Italian philosopher Diego Fusaro had already given much evidence of being a counter-thinker on the left, but his new book , The New Erotic Order (The Old Mole), is arguably his most formidable statement of dissent.Fusaro not only describes the keys to sentimental and affective ‘deregulation’ that have marked our society since the sixties, but also interprets them as a ‘neoliberalism of customs’ that serves the interests of the current capitalist phase. And, from there, he attacks the dominant left, the fuchsia left, for being the ideological outpost of this movement and an accomplice in the processes of social destruction that it causes. In what Fusaro reveals himself to be an orthodox Marxist is in his conviction that such problems will only be resolved with the destruction of capitalism -he does not conceive of the possibility of new modulations- although he becomes provocative again when he encourages overcoming the framework of the left/right division in search of new ways of thinking about the conflicts in which we are immersed. A few days ago he visited Spain to present his essay, which will surely give a lot to talk about.
Question: Your book is original for many reasons. The first of them: being a Marxist, you radically distance yourself from what is the dominant discourse on the left on sexuality, identity and affectivity. How did you get to that personal position?
Answer: I don’t think it is a personal position, because if it were it would be uninteresting. I think it is a philosophical position based on solid foundations. The paradox of today’s fuchsia and neoliberal left lies in the fact that it has fully accepted the market and the classism that accompanies it, and also the damaging consequences of the market. He accepted economic deregulation and anthropological deregulation, job insecurity and sentimental precariousness.
Q: What is the new erotic order that your book refers to?
A: The new erotic order is nothing more than liberalism applied to the sentimental sphere, the fluidification and precariousness of love in accordance with the flexible phase of capitalist accumulation. If the left stops being interested in Marx, it is necessary to stop being interested in the left and continue with Marx.
Q: You provocatively call the discourse of the current left neolibertinage, and consider it to be neoliberal and individualistic in nature.
A: The fuchsia and neoliberal left represents the complete betrayal of Marx and Gramsci, as well as the working class. He shares the neoliberal perspective, according to which society is a series of atoms that must perform according to their individual whims. In the field of feelings, this develops as a new erotic order of solitudes that seek enjoyment using the other as a tool. The libertine uses the other to enjoy without limits and sees the family as the main enemy because the family regulates love. In a way analogous to how the liberal uses the other for unlimited profit and sees the state as the main enemy because the state regulates the economy.
Q: The second surprise, no less radical, is your defense of disinterested and committed love.
A: Love is a revolutionary force and we could say anti-capitalist by definition. To love means to want the fullness of the other’s being, without compensation, without selfish interest, without personal interest. Volo ut sis , I want you to be: this is the formula of love according to Augustine of Hippo. In the love of a mother for a child, or of a father for a mother, there is a disinterested love that overturns the commercial logic that today claims to be the only valid one in all areas. Borderless turbocapitalism reduces society to a global market: it does not accept fathers and mothers, citizens, it always wants to see, and everywhere, uprooted consumers who relate to each other according to the logic of do ut des , I give so that you can lose , From the market.
Q: Love has always been seen, and still today, as the only thing that can save us from the tragedy of living, but now it is also under suspicion.
A: Love is a life-giving force, because it allows us to complete ourselves thanks to the other, to reach plenitude to be superior through the dual synthesis with the loved one. Among other things, it also shows us how false neoliberal anthropology is: love reveals how incomplete we are in our individuality, since in order to fulfill ourselves we need a vital relationship with the other. That is why today capital does not want love, but only enjoyment, which is rather a form of selfish individualism.
Individual whim is the lowest form of freedom, as Hegel already said
P: Your idea that love has been reduced to pleasure, to surplus enjoyment, and with it has become a commodity, is especially lucid.
A: Of course, love has to do with enjoyment, but it is not reduced to enjoyment. Neoliberal society totally separates love from jouissance and only allows the latter to survive. ‘You must enjoy’, the imperative of the Marquis de Sade, becomes the categorical imperative of neoliberal civilization. Love is incompatible with capital, while jouissance fully expresses it. Jouissance and consumerism influence each other dialectically: the libertine and Don Juan are erotic consumers, who see the other only as an instrument and who always seek new pleasures according to the logic that Hegel would have called the “infinite of evil.”
Q: Another surprise is your defense of marriage as a solid institution to defend, in times of promoting polyamory.
A: In Italy and France in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, there were Communist Party posters that said “vote communist, defend the family.” After all, the proletariat was the class based on descent. Today the fuchsia neoliberal left, complementary to the bluish neoliberal right, opposes marriage just as it opposes the State, seeing both limits with respect to the economic and anthropological deregulation of capital.
Q: And why is it important to defend marriage?
A: Marriage represents the heart of ethical family life, love that is transformed into a stable project and that, by begetting children, is structured into a new life. The fact that the left laughs at marriage reveals the smallness of the left itself, which has become a bulwark of the relativistic nihilism of the civilization of capital and has become even more the useful fool of the bosses without borders. Whatever the masters of the money right want, the useful fools of the fuchsia left defend.
Q: Why would the money right want to weaken the family?
A: The right of money wants individuals without families, that is, without ethical ties, and the fuchsia left of customs says that the family is homophobic and repressive and that it must be overcome. But it is that the money right wants the economy without the democratic sovereignty of the State, and the fuchsia left says that we must defeat the State because it is naturally fascist. And so on to infinity.
The left becomes the ideological outpost of the justification of capital and, therefore, of the right of money. Even in the discussion about marriage. Today the Fourth Estate becomes revolutionary in marriage, that is, resisting the logic of capital. It’s funny, but at the same time sad, to see precarious and exploited young people who will never be able to start a family and who take to the streets to demonstrate against the family, thus revealing their total subservience to the capitalist project.
Q: I don’t know if this defense of marriage does not conflict with Engels’ book on the origin of private property and the family, which is one of the sources of the dominant sexual ideology.
A: My book certainly conflicts with Engels, but my interpretation of Marx often conflicts with Engels. As I tried to show in my book “Marx again”, also translated into Spanish, Marx and Engels are not monozygotic twins. And, in fact, I go so far as to say that Engels is to Marx what Saint Paul is to Christ. Engels is certainly a great thinker, but not identical to Marx. Also on the subject of the family, in my opinion, Engels says interesting things, but they cannot be shared and cannot be extended to Marx.
Q: I gather that you do not consider the current dominant left to be the true left.
A: Of course not. The true left was the red sickle and hammer of Marx, Gramsci and Lenin. I identify with that because it was based on the struggle for the emancipation of society and against imperialism. The new left, the left simply represents the evaporation of the left towards neoliberalism.
This is the reason why the left cannot be the solution today, but is an integral part of the problem. Today it is not about refounding the left, it is about going beyond the right and the left to found a new geography of politics and a new project of socialist emancipation that carries forward the discourse of Marx and Gramsci in the changing context of neoliberal globalization. Right and left are today only the stewards of capital. Today in Spain the butler wears a fuchsia apron, while in Italy it is blue. But absolutely nothing changes for those below, that is, for the working classes and the middle classes. That is why we need to found a policy from below and for below, for the people and the workers.
Since the 1960s, turbocapitalism has aimed to overcome both the family and the sovereign national state to produce an anarchist model.
Q: The really existing left interprets this neolibertinism as the maximum expression of freedom, and as a conquest. You see it as a trap and a problem.
A: Neolibertinism, which is neoliberalism applied to erotica, does not represent freedom but rather the triumph of the individualist whim of consumption: individual whim is the lowest form of freedom, as Hegel already said. True freedom occurs in a society of equally free individuals who are related in solidarity and community. The neoliberal monadology defended by both the right and the left instead presents us with an aggregate of atoms that are related to each other according to the logic of economic and erotic benefit. As the story of Don Juan studied by Kierkegaard teaches us, Don Juan believes himself to be free when in reality he is a living contradiction because he searches for something new that is always the same, and he is trapped in this mechanism of continuous enjoyment that can never find peace. . Therefore,
Q: Your blunt criticism of transgenderism is also striking, which, as you know, has divided the feminist movement in Spain, with a part that opposes the Law on Gender Self-Determination that has just been approved.
A: The permanent media exaltation of transgender people in the market society is significant: capitalism does not tolerate the existence of fixed rules and norms, not even natural ones, because its essence today is deregulation. Today’s capitalism is no longer authoritarian, but anarchic and liberalized consumption, as Pasolini had already understood. The transgender is celebrated as the quintessential anarchist individual who breaks all boundaries and who also represents the essence of borderless capitalism.
In addition, it represents the essence of a unisex individual who, like a superman, has an unlimited will to power and who decides everything sovereignly, without having to respect taboos, laws, limits or foundations. The idea that the individual can decide his own sex is simply nonsense, since sex is assigned to us by nature, even before we are born, through chromosomes. Violence against nature and being as such represent the essence of the capitalist vision that everything is available to the techno-capitalist will to power.
Q: You go so far as to say that the trans person is the figure that best defines the ideological framework of current capitalism. Would it be one of the reasons why it is being so supported and promoted?
A: Yes, precisely for this reason the transgender becomes the object of permanent media celebration: while the father of a family or the mother of a family are mocked by the society of the spectacle and presented as old-fashioned and ridiculous models, the transgender is presented as the vanguard of the free society of progressive individuals who have crossed all borders and who no longer have laws of nature to refer to. The trans movement is presented as revolutionary simply because it serves the logic of turbocapitalism.
Q: In your book you distinguish two moments in the development of capitalism in relation to the issue of sexuality and the family.
A: Yes, my book distinguishes two fundamental moments: capitalism in modernity is based on the family and the sovereign national state, but turbocapitalism since the 1960s aims to overcome both the family and the sovereign national state to produce a model of anarchist turbocapitalism based on the ius sive potentia , law as power, on a planetary scale. It no longer needs the family, nor the State and everything that Hegel called the ethical roots, because it reduces the entire world to a market, to an ‘open space’ of free circulation of merchandise and commodified people, the exclusive condominium of the plutocratic class. international without borders
Q: But, ultimately, everything is a drift of the fact that we are the first strictly materialistic civilization in history…
A: We have certainly become a civilization of pure atheistic and cynical materialism. The singer Madonna sang ‘ I am a material girl / in a material world ‘ (I am a material girl in a material world), thus perfectly describing the essence of capitalist materialism.
Q: Adam Smith recognized that capitalism is a blind system with no morals, and therefore it was important that society have strong moral and religious convictions to act as a restraint.
A: In Adam Smith we already fully find what, in my opinion, is the error of contemporary right-wing conservative thought, and that we can see, for example, in an interesting thinker like Roger Scruton. Conservative thought wants to defend traditions, identities and cultures: and I totally agree with it. However, it accepts the free market, which is precisely what causes the destruction of the identity of traditions and cultures. In other words, right-wing conservative thinking combats the effects and cultivates the causes. The only way to be truly conservative is to fight the free market. For this reason, today we must be revolutionary in political and economic ideas and conservative in ethical and moral values. Beyond the right and the left, or if you prefer,
Q: To what extent has the collapse of Christianity (understood as the dominant worldview in the West) contributed to the drift in which we find ourselves?
A: I reflected on Christianity in my last book, entitled The End of Christianity. The death of God in the time of the global market and Pope Francis . My basic thesis is that the society of global capitalism or turbocapitalism no longer needs the religion of transcendence and must discard it as a disturbing element for its reproduction. In modernity, the capitalist power has used Christianity to legitimize itself in various ways. Today capitalism is based on relativistic nihilism and therefore must kill all figures of the sacred and the transcendent.
Christianity teaches us that the other is a brother because, like us, he is a creature of God, it teaches us that the temple is sacred because it is not for sale, it teaches us that God gives laws that men must respect, it teaches us that we are communal beings made for fraternity. For the neoliberal discourse, nothing should be sacred because everything should be for sale, the other is not a brother but a competitor, society does not exist, only individuals exist, brotherhood is a fiction because in reality there is competition. That is why today we are not in a religious war, but rather in a war against religion waged by capitalist nihilism against the religion of transcendence, which in Europe is Christianity.
Q: What role do you think religion can play in the current scenario, in which even a role like Benedict XVI predicted that the Catholic Church would once again be small?
A: In my opinion, the Catholic Church is now facing a fundamental crossroads: Bergoglio’s post-Christian neochurch represents the evaporation of Christianity, or if you prefer, the dissolution of Christianity into the relativist civilization of consumption, since in Bergoglio it no longer there is no reference to transcendence and the Divine, but only the unique discourse of capitalist globalization. The alternative is Ratzinger’s church, the small remnant that wants to please God and not the world and therefore this is the bottom line, comes into conflict with the world, finds itself in opposition and is forced to fight against a nihilistic world that no longer wants Christianity. The true Christian of today must oppose capitalism and nihilism, or be no longer a Christian, as with much of Christianity that follows Bergoglio towards the precipice of relativistic nihilism. This is the fundamental theme that I developed in my book,The end of Christianity .
May 68 was a capitalist emancipation movement, not an emancipation movement from capitalism
Q: On several occasions you have spoken of the need to put an end to the market economy and bet on socialism, but the results of real socialism have not been very satisfactory, and the current examples (Cuba, Venezuela…) are not very encouraging, to start with their lack of respect for freedom and human rights.
A: The fact that the cures for the disease of capitalism have not been entirely satisfactory should not prevent us from trying again to cure capitalism. Just as the fact that cancer treatments sometimes don’t work well shouldn’t stop us from looking for new treatments. You mention Cuba and Venezuela, certainly not perfect states and largely perfectible: but the fact that they are not perfect cannot be used as an argument to justify the market society, or Western governments in general, subservient as they are to US imperialism and capitalist reification. At least Cuba and Venezuela are sovereign states, while the European states are now colonies of Washington, simply slavishly obeying the orders of US imperialism.
Q: You seem to pay insufficient attention to the cultural and ideological causes that may be behind the mutation of the market economy model. I am thinking of the cultural revolution, which places the desire of the individual at the center; the youthful and anti-authoritarian culture that arises around rock; the sexual revolution sponsored by the invention of the pill; and the great explosion of May 68.
A: In my opinion, May 68 was a capitalist movement for emancipation, not a movement for emancipation from capitalism: capitalism was passing from the bourgeois authoritarian phase to the hedonistic phase of free consumption and the individualist liberalization of customs and consumption. . The 68 proposes a model of liberation that coincided with the new spirit of capitalism: forbidden to prohibit, let’s enjoy unlimitedly, everything and that’s it. They are the same slogans of contemporary market society. 68 represents the year in which it is not capitalism that is struck, but the bourgeoisie as a class with its potentially anti-capitalist unhappy conscience, and with its own pantheon of non-commodified values and solid points incompatible with an undifferentiated free-consumer capitalism.
Q: Given the strong roots that support this neolibertine ideology and its usefulness for the current system, how do you see the future? Are there reasons for hope?
To challenge capitalist globalization we must first think differently, as the title of my book, Think Different , says . I do not believe that salvation comes from either the right or the left. The only salvation will consist in going further to propose new philosophical and political maps. Its fundamental structure is based on the dichotomy above and below: right and left represent the interest of what is above versus what is below, staging an alternation without alternative in which the blue waiter and the fuchsia waiter alternate to carry out the orders imposed from above by the neoliberal plutocracy.
Gramsci would say that one must go to the town, that is, look from below and downwards. Today we must be revolutionaries in economics and politics and conservatives in ethics and values. The two fundamental political categories must be sovereignty and people. But the sovereignty of the People exists in the State, so for the sovereignty of the People to exist, the sovereignty of the State must exist. This is why the liberal masters have been deconstructing popular sovereignty for years by deconstructing the sovereignty of nation states. And this is so that the sovereign decision-making places go from national parliaments to supranational organizations such as the ECB or the International Monetary Fund.
Q: Or the European Union?
A: The European Union represents a textbook example of this supranationalization whereby the sovereignty of the nation state is taken away in order to eliminate the sovereignty of the people in the nation state. For this reason, as Manolo Monereo also says, the class struggle in Europe today is above all a struggle against the European Union and its neoliberal institutions. The project is ambitious and we are only at the beginning.
Q: Does that fight go through the dismantling of the European Union or through its reform?
A: I have written my position regarding the European Union in my book Europe and Capitalism . There I maintain that we must leave the European Union and the eurozone as soon as possible. When a rhino breaks into a run and prepares to charge, the only smart thing to do is get out of its way, in this case get out of the European Union as soon as possible, before getting overwhelmed and going the way of hapless Greece. The European Union is a project of the simple domination of financial capital against the middle and working classes, the triumph of financial capitalism. The European Union denies the idea of Europe. Anyone who loves European history and civilization must oppose the European Union and its destruction of identity and rights.