Follow the old mole.
Immediately after the collapse of the Documents project, after being expelled by Breton from surrealism, and in the wake of 1929 fiscal crisis, and after meeting Souveraine, Bataille has joined Contre Attack and writes his first major essays for Critique Sociale.
In a first application of a kind of Psychoanalysis to the State, Bataille discusses Homogeneity and Heterogeneity, order and formlessness
A discussion of the state – in terms of authority and adaptation – reduction of difference through compromise OR a strict authority.
Force for cohesion, compromises and adaptation/assimilation
counter forces that must be controlled, subject to violence (until the latter grouping is marshalled or congeals in an affiliation where anti-homogenous forces adopt the Lumpen – they cannot represent themselves until along comes Bonepart to represent them)
The heterogeneous is impossible to assimilate. The homogenous is useful – all that belongs – democracy, the heterogeneous is useless – sacred, waste, what cannot be assimilated
Regulated exchange versus psycho-social and political excess
[though his essay displays the influence of a somewhat exoticist abstract digestion of French anthropology and its seamles unseemly seizure upon a political project of an almost theoretically openended Marxism, or at least something reducible, later, to the anarchist project against the State/taking a distanced disregard of the block that is the state]
Mana – sacred power (Mauss)
Unproductive expenditure (Marx)
Trash, vermin, violence – affect, repulsion madmen, leaders, poets, mobs – the Lumpen – incommensurate
Fascist leaders are part of heterogeneous existence for various reasons – they will not compromise, they come from the place of the Lumpen (in the sense that they had been previously banished)
But with a force analogous to hypnosis, a charisma, they initiate an affective, seductive effervescence that – through a sort of transcendence of the befouled, senile, rank world, through a sadistic, militaristic, transcendent exclusion (of what could not be assimilated – what Bataille likes, the formless) restores formlessness into a unity of diverse elements that makes much of inversion, of the identity of opposites between glory and dejection, by always being the opposed and marginalised they claim the centre and the place of the sacer – their nature as ‘other’ permits them to represent all
Power here of mana, of the king, the sovereign – yes Agamben plagiarises from this, steals the crown – a divine supremacy (the fuehrer, a prophet – able to remain pure in the midst of an orgy of violence)
So some principles must be considered – Bonapartism is like fascism – paramilitary groups, surface similarities – the soldier then each equates his leader’s glory with his own – in uniformity, and in uniform, standing erect – the formless, lower orders are taught to march in neat lines and feel their power as his power
Infamy and slaughter are transmuted into honour and duty as the glory of a divine nature from the bottom up but religious and militarist, the chief leads the impoverished proletariat – what Mussolini calls a multitude (comment a propos Negri and Hardt??)
When these classes become aware of themselves as a revolutionary proletariat, when this proletariat becomes a point of identification for every banished element, then subversive forms are latched onto by those fallen and banished elements – who can only find these lumpen allies. Of course it’s the socialists that Bataille would like to have succeed here – too many fucking Trotskyites, he is reputed to have said – but he also recognises that it’s the fascists that can triumph too. Thankfully only the ‘very nearly indifferent attitude of the proletariat that has permitted some countries to avoid fascist formations’ – not the proposed strategic anti-fascist alliance of the bourgeoisie and the proletariat – such would both improve fascisms chances of taking hold just as it weakens/dilutes the proletarian struggle
Bataille does not want to save bourgeois society from fascism, but rather to see both destroyed. As if quoting Lenin.