There stills seems to be a consensus by scholars of modern aesthetics that the artist should be removed to the greatest extent possible from the work so that the material conditions which determined the work may be emphasized. At the same time, there is a real movement toward “anarchist aesthetics” within these circles (e.g., network aesthetics, aesthetics of everyday life and simple things, etc). There is a fear that in adopting anarchist aesthetics one slips in through the back door some notion of autonomy, self-organization, etc, which, returns us to the problem of determination.
The problem is that today there has been increasing evidence that the paternal function has fallen. There are a number of ways to state this, of course, and every school of thought has their own label for what Zizek calls the decline of symbolic efficiency.
Psychoanalysis proves itself to be ahead of the curve here. It is precisely today that we can, finally, return to the question of autonomy, self-management, etc., which are precisely the terms that the anarchists are starting to finally give up on after the postmodern turn. The difference is that by self-organization, psychoanalysts mean, literally, the production of a self – whereby the semblant serves as a replacement for the missing non-du-pere. This is how an object is made when there is no prohibitive symbolic function.
When the non-du-pere falls, we should begin to think about the notion of auto-non-mie / auto-nom-mie (a French homophone I invented two years ago, spontaneously, while speaking at an anarchist conference).
auto-nom-mie, not in the essentialist characterization of the egoist whose conscious mind controls his destiny, etc. But of the unconscious, as in, the parletre (speaking being) who *does not know* that he has been afforded a certain type of order precisely through self-nomination. Thus, we might return to Stirner – a mysterious figure who without even realizing it, needed, desperately, to keep trying new names for himself.
Stirner is to anarchism what Joyce is to psychoanalysis.