Undercomets / Sotto-comete

My essay “Undercomets: On the Structure of Antagonism and the Cosmo-Geological Field,” published on ILL WILL: https://illwill.com/undercomets,

“After the ‘fuori e contro’ (‘outside and against’) of the operaïst years, the ‘dentro e contro’ (‘inside and against’) of the struggle inside the Italian Communist Party, Mario Tronti’s compass, since Politics at Dusk, indicates a new fighting position: ‘aldilà e contro’ (‘beyond and against’).”

This is how the journal Lundi Matin introduced their publication of a recent text by Mario Tronti, entitled “Desperate Hopes.” [1] The hypothesis I wish to test out in this article is that what is here presented as successive biographical elements relating to Tronti’s political-intellectual journey — outside and against, inside and against, beyond and against — could also be understood as the description of a structure of antagonism, perhaps even the very structure of political antagonism as such, which is distributed topologically into an underneath, a within, and an outside-of.

This threefold topology could be understood by tracing it back to certain fundamental decisions: for instance, a decision to remain inside an institution in order to fight it from within, such that the institution now finds a form of underground life smuggled into it; or else, the moment in which we determine that there is no longer any possibility of emancipation remaining within a given institution and we decide to desert it. I believe, however, that these rudimentary strategic options reveal a concrete topology, which I will describe as a cosmo-geological field. My hypothesis is as follows: the structure of antagonism in general is only possible from within a given cosmo-geological situation; that is, it begins first with a mode of dwelling, occupation, or crossing — existential trajectories both real and imaginary, descriptive and prophetic — in which subjects are situated in relation to the Earth and to the relationship that the Earth maintains with the entire universe. []

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