Excerpts from The Technology of Uselessness from the Brain Virus calling itself Electronic Civil Disobedience and Other Unpopular Ideas (ISBN 1-57027-056-2)
Reagan and his Star Wars campaign issued a policy radically expanding the useless. Reagan, of course, was the perfect one to make the policy, since he was an idol to uselessness himself. He represents one of the few times that uselessness has taken an organic form in this century. (This is part of the reason he was considered such a bourgeois hero. He was willing to personally plunge into uselessness without apology. He did not let a thing stand in for him). Playing on yuppie paranoia (the fascist's friend), Reagan convinced the public loyal to him that a defensive monument (Star Wars) to uselessness was needed, just in case the offensive monument (the missile system) was not enough. He was successful enough in his plea to guarantee that years of useless research will ensure that no one will be able to stop, even if his original monumental vision (a net of laser armed satellities) should be erased. In this manner, Reagan made sure that the apparatus of uselessness would expand even if the Cold War ended.
Indeed, this situation has come to pass. Currently, the US has no competitors in the race to uselessness, but the monument continues to be maintained and even to grow, which is particularly odd, since even the cynical argument of deterrence is now moot. Even though the offensive monument to uselessness seems to be shrinkingmissiles are being defused and cut apart with the care and order of high ritual, and technology costing millions of dollars is being laid to rest, having never done anything but existthanks to Reagan's farsightedness, the general system continues to expand. Although many are still in denial, the desire of the bourgeois to subordinate themselves to the useless has become, for the moment, glaringly visible. The research is done; the system is upgraded, but for what reason? The missiles are now aimed at the ocean, so that even if they are "used," they will still be useless. The fragments of Star Wars technology have not been released in pure form from the experimental labs, and even if they were, no enemy exists against which Star Wars technology would protect US citizens. The American system has achieved utter transcendental uselessness. This technohistorical moment is the highest manifestation of technological purity.
Progress in the 20th century has primarily consisted of bourgeois culture looking for a new master. In the time of bourgeois revolution, the aristocracy was destroyed, as was the church with its spiritual hierarchies, but the primordial desire to serve the useless has never been affected. The "primitive" ritual of offering goods to an angry or potentially angry God in order to appease it into a state of neutrality continues to replay itself in complex capitalist economy. All things must be subordinated to neutralityto uselessness. One major difference between the age of the virtual and more primitive times is that the contemporary idols have no metaphysical referent. The ones that have been constructed are not the mediating points between person and spirit, or life and afterlife; rather, they are end-points, empty signs. To this paper master, sacrifice has no limit....
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