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Faces of Recuperation

Situationist International #1 (June 1969)

THE IDEAS OF the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas: the class which is the material force of society is at the same time the ruling intellectual force.

If we detach the ideas of the ruling class itself and attribute to them an independent existence, without bothering about the conditions of production and the porducers of these ideas, we can say, for instance, that the domination of the aristocracy was really the domination of the concepts honor, loyalty; the domination of the bourgeoisie was really that of the concepts freedom, equality. The ruling class itself on the whole imagines this to be so. This conception of history, which is common to all historians, particularly since the 18th century, necessarily comes up against the phenomenon that the more abstract the ideas (that is, the more universal their form), the more they hold sway.

Once the ruling ideas have been separated from the ruling individuals, and, above all, from the relationships which result from a given stage of the mode of production and in this way the conclusion has been reached that history is always under the sway of ideas, it is very easy to abstract from these various ideas, "the idea," as the dominant force in history, and thus to understand all these separate ideas and concepts as "forms of self-determination" on the part of the concept developing in history. It follows then naturally, too, that all the relationships of men can be derived from the concept man, man as conceived, the essence of man, man. This has been done by the specualtive philosophers. Hegel himself confesses at the end of The Philosophy of History that he "has considered the progress of the concept only" and has represented in history "the true theodicy." Now one can go back again to the "producers of the concept," to the theoreticians, ideologists, and philosophers, and one comes to the conclusion that the philosophers, the thinkers as such, have at all times been dominant in history. History as dominated by ideas and those who "explain" or "produce" them.

This whole semblance, of the preeminence of thinkers, and of the rule of a certain class as only the rule of certain ideas, comes of course to a natural end as soon as society ceases at last to be organized in the form of class-rule, that is to say as soon as it is no longer necessary to represent a particular interest as general or "the general interest" as ruling.

The existence of revolutionary ideas in a particular period presupposes the existence of a revolutionary class. The function of theory is to always renew the struggle against the perverting influence of bourgeois though on the thought of the proletariat.

The Comedy of the Re-appearance of Economic Tragedy

Leninist theory explains as always that the negation of capitalist society is of economic necessity. The historical negation amounts to the realization of planned economy, through the correction of Bolshevik practice. The Leninist theoretical exclusion of the question of who plans in the planned economy (assuming that the true realization of planning represents the adequate condition for the realization of the individual) signals the continuation of the impoverishment of the individual, deflected by the appearances of economic equality and rationalized productivity.

Baran and Sweezy emerge years after their writings to provide the theoretical economic base of the contemporary leftish movement in the United States. Throughout their material they implicitly reduce the spectrum of socialist ideologies to historical variations on an evolving socialist model, and in which these ideologies will recover their essential unity at a future point in time. Their unification of an appearance becomes thoroughly transparent as the socialist countries continuously reveal themselves as familiar regulators of social control. In this light, socialist theory justifies manipulation and coercion through scientific (quantitative) analysis. It is the illusory theoretical base of the illusory alternative.

In Monopoly Capital, Baran and Sweezy argue that the contradictions of capitalism are with us still, but that they have been modified since their original expression; that is, the capitalist epoch had proven capable of more productivity than anticipated; and yet, profit oriented production creates economic stagnation: limited market outlets cause underconsumption (waste of products) and unemployment (waste of labor) and underutilization of machinery. The essential modifications of capitalism manifest themselves in imperialist war, racism, domestic and foreign exploitation, bad housing, moral despair, sexual repression, poverty, poor education, and so on and so on. The means of the critique suggest its ends. Baran and Sweezy approach the problem of capitalism by dividing it into separate (separated) problems that are then arbitrarily linked to one another, an approach compatible with the solution they seek, which is a series of reforms. To say that the capitalist system has been kept alive by 'stimuli' is to imply that it can always be kept alive by 'stimuli.' They forget their own active historical role as 'stimuli.'

There is thus no mystery about the performance of the United States economy in the postwar period. With the aftermath boom triggering a great upheaval in the living patterns of tens of millions of people, and with arms spending growing nearly fivefold — from $11.4 billion in 1947 to $55.2 billion in 1963 — it is probably safe to say that never since the height of the railroad epoch has the American economy been subject in peacetime to such powerful stimuli! What is really remarkable is that despite the strength and persistence of these stimuli, that familiar symptoms of inadequate surplus absorption — unemployemt and underutilization of capacity — began to appear at an early stage, and apart from cyclical fluctuations, have been gradually growing more severe...

What needs to be added is that the unemployment situation... was considerably worse than the figures indicate...

The problem, as they put it, is that in advanced capitalism the forces of production — men, techniques and machines — are blocked from total utilization. They are constantly being unemployed. Baran and Sweezy reduce the problem of alienation of the practice of rationalization (which is the full use or the full absorption, of the social product).

Their critique of the quality of life emerges because they can demonstrate only dangerous times for the bourgeoisie on economic grounds. So they tell us that the "sexual excess," like the economic excess, can only be adequately absorbed (sublimated) on a rational basis in socialist society. Nowhere does the individual, or even the worker for that matter, enter the critique, for the very reason that he does not play a central role in their revolutionary model. So-called Marxian science sustains the notion that the negation of capitalism is a given one (the socialist model). By rendering the problem and the solution scientifically (quantitatively) they suggest the necessity and inevitability of expertise, that is, authority.

As Leninists, Baran and Sweezy can do nothing more than quantify, that is, mystify things. For they begin and end withthe position that the revolutionary project is merely to accelerate the evolving quantitative processes of history. Leninism is the separation of quantity and quality on a permanent basis, in which an endless stream of party specialists redistribute production on behalf of the producers. Qualitative change is exiled to a distant future.

Baran and Sweezy confine the proletariat to a condition of 'morla despair' that permits of clinical (quantifiable) solutions. Beyond what they (and the rest of the social scientists) cannot quantify is that which belongs to the human imagination and a future objective-subjective reality whose material foundations and mere beginnings will be the unmediated, autonomous production of all aspects of life by the producers.

Authentic proletarian autonomy is not simply the adequate negation of hierarchy (though even proletarian autonomy is a possibility which the Leninists refuse to consider essential) but the free play of the individual himself, whose only remaining relation to the necessity of his labor is that he devises th appropriate conditions for its elimination.

(Ernst Mandel, Belgian Marxian economist, soon to be published in three volumes by Sweezy's Monthly Review, argues the impossibility of workers' control, in view of the failure of the Yugoslavian experiment.

In order to absorb class tensions, the Yugoslavian experiment with workers councils was administered by the state bureaucracy and passively established within the local factories. This technique restricts the worker to the factory place and immediately parcellizes the concept of worker autonomy to one aspect of life, when in fact the council form is effectuated at the historic point where it determines all of its aspects. Bolshevik centralization or decentralization are anodynes for the proletariat playing the central, that is, unmediated role in decision, execution, and production. What the problem is for the proletariat — to become conscious of apparent solutions — is not the problem for Mandel at all.)

Above all, Monopoly Capital merely demonstrates the alienation of the industrial capitalist economy from itself. Baran's Political Economy of Growth strengthens this minimal argument by taking great pain and length to demonstrate U.S. domination of underdeveloped countries. The purely objective (so-called unbiased) character of this economics becomes explicit when Baran defends the oppressiveness of Bolshevik industrialization:

The 'revolution from above' that consolidated the socialist order in Russia and that marked the actual beginning of comprehensive socialist planning led to a sharp deterioration in the immediate economic situation, to a grevous disruption of the normal flow of agricultural (and consumer's goods) production, and caused a painful drop in the standard of living. In this it was very much like most revolutionary breaks in history. Yet while the illness that it provoked was acute and painful, it was manifestly an illness of growth: it reached its crisis with enormous speed and yielded to convalescence in a few years. By the end of the First Five Year Plan the worst 'squeezing' of the consumer was over, by 1935 rationing could be abolished. . .

What the experience of the Soviet Union and other socialist countries clearly demonstrates is that the actual economic surplus need not be maximized in order to secure tremendously high rates of investments and economic expansion. These are fully compatible with a consistent and sizable rise of people's standard of living. They are possible on the condition of a correct allocation and rational utilization of such economic surplus as is made available for productive investment. While the former has to be governed by the long-term requirements of economic growth rather than by the desire for immediate rapid increases of consumable output, the latter consists of maximal exploitation of all available capital...

When consumer trends, capital accumulation, heavy industrial equipment build-up, and size of GNP serve as central criteria, concomitant elements of social coercion can be excluded from the analysis of social progress, becoming in fact a separate problem, if a problem at all. Bourgeois and Marxian social science exclude the 'human variable' from a central position in the analysis at equal rate.

The individual continues to serve his life sentence in the realm of chance, again sacrificed to the realization of historical necessity.

It appears that History allows the individual a single choice: to be strangled to death in the hands of the bourgeoisie or in the hands of the Leninists. The Leninsit "negation" of bourgeois society is the instrument of its perpetuation.

Baran and Sweezy in effect merely elaborate the core of Leninist-Stalinist theory: revolutionary change in the advanced capitalist countries is not an immediate possibility; at the stage of monopoly capital, the underdeveloped countries suffer the former agonies and express the former antagonism of the proletariat in the advanced countries (this proletariat now shares in the tendencies of bourgeois consciousness, temporarily); the emergence of socialist competition on the market along with immanent third world revolt eventually closes outlets for profits; so the cataclysmic depression is stimulated through the explosion of the external contradictions; in the meantime, socialist development must be protected at all costs; this means that the Leninist movements in the capitalist countries must not aggravate the contradictions that could stimulate reaction, even invasion of the Soviet Union. Add Cuba, China, Korea, Vietnam to the list and you have Baran and Sweezy.

In addition, these movements must by necessity, form temporary progressive alliances with progressive elements of the bourgeoisie (united fronts), assuming the temporary postures of reform movements. From beginnings to present, the Leninist movements have sustained their reformist postures. Leninism is the permanent transition; the caustic style of reform.

As it has worked out historically, the restriction of the negation of capitalism to the transformation of a society based on exchange value into one based on use value prolongs the existence of man as commodity. The restricted negation prolongs the alienation of the individual, compelled to develop through the power of others. As the cadre of the Welfare State, Baran and Sweezy invert, at all costs, the irreducible essence of critical thought which is to seek the realization of the concrete situation in which the divisions of the old world cease to be.

In the meantime, house servants remain temporarily in left-over "state bourgeois" homes in Peking; Russian industry remains temporarily motivated by profit and wage incentives; professionals, bourgeois, and so on, temporarily consume rare dishes of pork in restaurants well concealed from the pork loving Cuban people.

Capitalist society is sustained by the emergence of the Leninist enterprise. Can we wait till Monthly Review dies its natural death?

A Doctor of Speculation

Who is Marcuse? What is he? that all opposition adores him?

He tells us in One Dimensional Man that the bourgeoisie and the proletariat are still the basic classes in the capitalist world. But the former antagonists are now united in their interest to preserve and improve contemporary society. The proletariat has abdicated its historic role. Class struggle has come to an end in class society. Not only is the proletariat absorbed into bourgeois consciousness, but both classes, now practically one, no longer appear to be agents of historical transformation. The word appear as used by the doctor is curious: we are to assume the analysis of advanced industrial society to be based upon an appearance?

But havng disposed of the proletariat, he waxes sad, toward the end of the book, about even the most acute consciousness which is powerless when deprived of the material force for the transformation of life. Since revolutionary consciousness is impossible without a revolutionary class, we take the acute consciousness to be something other than revolutionary (bourgeois no doubt).

When he says that "the dialectical concept pronounces its own hopelessness," he crowns his mystifications. He has set from the start the condition for his own hopelessness, which is then transferred into the hopelessness of the dialectical conception, and, more largely, the hopelessness of the historical project of liberation. After that when he makes statements that tend to clarify the real relationships in 'advanced capitalist society,' the statements clarify not the necessity to supersede that society, but to reinforce the general hopelessness, and as such the statements become reasons for adjusting to the prevailing reality.

Deprived of a class to end class society, a 'demonstrable agent for historical change,' Marcuse seeks the realization (the emergence of the potential) of bourgeois society not through a supression of its conditions, but by an intensification of the prevailing process. It is not that the system should be other — but that it should be more what it already is. In this he joins Max Weber, who saw bureaucracy emerge to rationalize (Marcuse's word is: pacify) existence.

He delineates his alternative to bourgeois irrationality in One Dimensional Man:

Paradoxically, it seems that it is not the notion of the new societal institutions which presents the greatest difficulty in the attempt to answer this question. The established societies themselves are changing, or have already changed the basic institutions in the direction of increased planning. Since the development and utilization of all available resources for the universal satisfaction of vital needs is the prerequisite of pacification, it is incompatible with the prevalence of particular interests which stand in the way of attaining this goal. Qualitative change is conditional upon planning for the whole against these interests, and a free and rational society can emerge only on this basis.

The institutions within which pacification can be envisaged thus defy the traditional classification into authoritarian and democratic, centralized and liberal administration. Today the opposition to central planning in the name of a liberal democracy which is denied in reality serves as an ideological prop for repressive interests. The goal of authentic self-determination by the individuals depends on effective social control over the production and distribution of the necessities (in terms of the achieved level of culture, material and intellectual).

Here, technological rationality, stripped of its exploitative features, is the sole standard and guide in planning and developing the available resources for all. Self-determination in the production and distribution of vital goods and services would be wasteful. The job is a technical one, and as a truly technical job, it makes for the reduction of physical and mental toil. In this realm, centralized control is rational if it establishes the preconditions the preconditions for meaningful self-determination. The latter can then become effective in its own realm — in the decisions which involve the production and distribution of the economic surplus, and in the individual existence.

In any case, the combination of centralized authority and direct democracy is subject to infinite variations...

The individuals whose "authentic self-determination depends on effective social control" are the same individuals "whose particular interests are incompatible with qualitative change." It is the bourgeois order rationalized (pacified), by a centrally controlling technological rationality (why not like Max Weber use the word bureaucracy here?), leaving the individuals to toy "effectively" at the fringes with their individual lives and economic surplus...

Here then is a program for a social democracy, complete with planners at the top — technocrats or bureaucrats — who are good enough to allow the individual to decide over the secondary: his individual life as surplus.

He warns (elsewhere in his book) about technological fetishism — and then proceeds to advocate it in what he wants somebody to believe is the "chance of the alternatives." If he knows, he does not understand that every advance in technological knowledge is an advance in technological knowledge is an advance int he spectacularization of existence, in slavery: not because knowledge is slavery, but because the ruling strata — bourgeois or bureaucratic, and bureasucratic after bourgeois — can only use knowledge to that end. The liberatory potential of capitalism — removing men from the realm of their total submission to nature — turns into its opposite.

The technocrats are closer than he seems to think. "Every hour of every day the Sectretary is confronted by a conflict between the national interest and the parochial interest of perticular industries, individual services and local areas. He cannot avoid controversy in the whole range of issues which dominate the headlines if he is to place the interests of the many above the interests of the few, and yet it is the national interest, above all, which he has sworn to serve" (The Essence of Security, R.S. McNamara). (McNamara's own statement expresses a contradiction. The 'national interest' is the interest of the ruling class (the few, the parochial interest); but he identifies it here with the interests of the many, as best suits the ideology of a bureaucratically controlled state. This contradiction is the condition of existence of the bureaucracy: it is the foundation of its dilemma, in which it discovers all of its moral, idealistic or whatever, crises. While it carries on the struggle, with state power, for the pacification — rationalization — of existence.)

Beneath the cloak of a doctor of speculation hides a social democrat (one who desires to introduce such institutional modifications as will allow capitalism to sustain itself).

Earlier — in Eros and Civilization — Marcuse had pointed to the assumption in the Freudian theory of the immutability of the struggle against want. The practical possibility of eliminating want obviated the Freudian apparatus as reflected upon an ontological essence of man, and reintroduced it as a moment of thought connected to a moment of histroy. In the light of this discovery, the critical impact of Freudian theory bore heavily upon the repressive nature of bourgeois society. It was this which founded his attack on the revisionists of Freudian theory, in their need to demolish the critical content of the theory, for the benefit of the bourgeois order.

But Marcuse himself was on thin ice. In speaking of perversions, he noted that they "seem to be linked with the general perversion of the human existence in a repressive culture, but the perversions have an instinctual substance distinct from these forms; and this substance may well express itself in other forms compatible with normality in high civilization." The conditional hedging is more than the caution of a careful doctor of speculation: it suggests that Freud, after all, may have indeed uncovered something about the ontological essence of man.

It is questionable whether "timelessness is the ideal of pleasure," but he, affirming without the shade of seeming, employs the notion to reintroduce a "primary frustration" so that repression reenters to make "pleasure itself painful."

And he affirms that the elimination of alienated labor is impossible (forgetting for the nonce that alienated labor in bourgeois society reflects the 'struggle against want') so that he then recaptures the content of Freudian theory as ontological speculation. For the problem, really, is to minimize, attenuate, the more noxious traces of bourgeois domination — for a more rational, more pacified organization of survival, until death itself "like other necessities, can be made more rational — painless." So there it is.

On the level of the every day he is less circumlocuted:

I have never suggested or advocated or supported destroying the established universities and building new anti-institutions instead. I have always said that no matter how radical the demands of the students, and no matter how justified, they should be pressed within the existing universities and attained within the existing universities.

The university is the last bastion of freedom. It is not possible to do without an elite. The working-class needed for the social revolution he has in mind is the working-class needed to set up a new ruling strata. We can understand his desire for selective repressions — for he is not thinking of a revolution. He is thinking of the implementation of a social democratic program of reform within capitalism, and he is thinking of the retrograde opposition to that reform.

At the first skirmish in the streets he rediscovered intact his social democratic past, complete with "non-explosive evolution" and "progressive forms of repression."

The pessimism of his years of isolation permitted him to see that advanced industrial society, as he calls it, is of a piece, a unity founded on the parcellization of existence. But he didn't see it all that well. Rediscovering optimism (through no fault of his own) he rediscovered the fragmentary opposition of his past. Destroy the bourgeois university? Never! You dare, vandal! How can we participate in running it then?

The process of reification has not spared his imagination.

We note (from the same newspaper accounts) that he was impressed we wrote of inspired in France (May-June 1968) — All power to the imagination; Be realistic, demand the impossible. There was, among others, another which he never mentioned: Humanity will be happy the day the last bureaucrat is hanged with the guts of the last capitalist. As for doctors of speculation, they will also pass.

Meanwhile, a glib professor, but a social democrat also, is like a gold ring in a sow's nose.

This text, slightly abbreviated, under the title "The Recuperation of Marcuse,"
was distributed at an apparition of Marcuse on December 5, 1968, at a benefit
performance he gave for the
Guardian (small melting-pot of ideology).

Con at Work

McLuhan emerged, and with a banality: man's techniques (technology) are extensions of himself.

He says: "The Gutenberg Galaxy develops a mosaic or field approach to its problems. Such a mosaic image of numerous data and quotations in evidence offers the only practical means of revealing casual operations in history." So we know from the start that as a good logician, McLuhan is going to show that the "numerous data and quotations in evidence" will be the effects.

"technological environments are not merely passive containers of people but are active processes that reshape people and other technologies alike." And so now we also know that the way men make their living penetrates all aspects of life; and that new methods for doing so "reshape" if not elimate older ways of doing so.

He knows this well enough to say that De Tocqueville knew "typographic literacy had not only produced the Cartesian outlook but also the special traits of American psychology and politics."

He also knows that money is the universal commodity, that all things are reducible to — and that money reduces and is the measure of all things — quantifiable relations. "Money is metaphor in the sense that it stores skill and lobor and also translates one skill into another."

That all becomes commodity:

"Typography is not a technology but is in itself a natural resource or staple, like cotton or timber or radio; and, like any staple, it shapes not only private sense ratios but also patterns of communal interdependence." Or, "Typography tended to alter language from a means of perception and exploration to a portable commodity."

His sloppy use of language aside, he runs into an unexamined difficulty here. In the beginning, he was going to show us the root cause (which the title already indicated was the Gutenberg galaxy): but now he is speaking of his galaxy (typography) as a raw material among others for the production of one commodity among others. He describes the capitalist mode of production, but locates it in typography, and nowhere is capitalism directly taken to task. It is only later that one discovers why.

He discovers the power of parcellization as the operational base of the bourgeoisie (parenthical clarifications added from here on):

"The Machiavellian mind and the merchant mind (both: bourgeois mind) are at one in their simple faith in the power of the segmental division to rule all — in the dichotomy of power and morals and of money and morals."

He discovers the universal extension of capitalism, which unifies space as its space: "If Lowenthal is right, we have spent much energy and fury in recent centuries in destroying oral culture by print technology (capitalism) so that the uniformly processed individuals of commercial (bourgeois) society can return to oral marginal spots as tourists and consumers, whether geographical or artistic."

He knows the assembly line quality of life: "All experience is segmental and must be processed sequentially."

". . . the twenthieth century has worked to free itself fromt he conditions of passivity, which is to say, from the Gutenberg (capitalist) heritage itself. . . . The new electric galaxy of events (basis for change in mode of production) has already moved deeply into the Gutenberg (capitalism). Even without collision, such co-existence of technologies (modes of production) and awareness brings trauma and tension to every living person. Our most ordinary and conventional attitudes seem suddenly twisted into gargoyles and grotesques. Familiar (bourgeois) institutions and associations seem at times menacing and malignant. These multiple transformations, which are the normal consequence of introducing new media (new productive means) into any society whatever, need special study and will be the subject of another volume on Understanding Media in the world of our time."

There is something in McLuhan for everybody: the vulgar Marxists and the political economists, the formal logicians of the mysteries of quantification and the con men. And the McLuhan con is well underway. After finding his cause in a 'raw material,' not in capitalism itself, what is at issue is to work out how the new technology (another 'raw material') can be incorporated in "the world of our time," into this society; that is, how can it be made to fit the bourgeois mold.

We discover how in Understanding Media.

The extension of man has become a category which finds its philosophical expression in the phrase: the medium is the message.

Men are displaced. The object is central. Their extensions preempt men. In the bourgeois project of the domination of nature, McLuhan merely discovers for himself that men are dominated by the instruments invented for establishing that domination.

The proletarian project of liberation signifies nothing: men are moved by the unfolding of forces over which they have no control. They are subject to the conditions of existence. To be a man is to perceive the prevailing direction and join it — become one with it.

The global village of McLuhan's dream is universal capitalism, with the new electronic galaxy allowing for a geographic deispersal which is regrouped in the computer. He carries on at length about decentralization, the sine qua non of the new technology. Under the prevailing organisation of life, the new technology, at the service of capitalism, dominates centrally, and imparts the illusion of decentralization. The truth of that illusion is dispersal, centrally controlled. Geographic dispersal is the continuation of the parcellization which he had seen as the source of rule by the bourgeois (Machiavellian and merchant) mind.

Each time he reflects upon general content and uses the term "media" or "extensions of man" or "new electronic technology" — all on need do to understand his message is substitute the word "capitalism." Each time he reflects upon the specific characteristics of the "new media" — all one need understand is that he shows them in relation to the universal extensions and maintenence of capitalism.

His idea of total passivity — which he calls, in his characteristic manner of inverting truth, "involvement in depth" — finds its privileged expression in the reporter who noted about the first manned flight to the moon that it was, through television, "a participatory experience for the individual everywhere — a development that may rank second only to the trip" (New York Times, 12/29/68). McLuhan is full of admonitions on the futility of resistance to the established order (which he would call admonitions on the futility of resistance to change). He himself joined the Catholic Church to point the way.

The Recuperation of Language

The definition of passivity is involvement in depth. The strike (winter 1968) in New York City by the teachers had something to do with a struggle over decentralization. Marcuse masks the dilemmas of the thought of the ruling strata behind the dialectical conception, itself hopeless. A corporation devoted to the control, exploitation and negation of change is called Human Development. . .

The energy for emancipation must be shackled to its prevention. Participation is recuperated from the description of the relation among equals in an activity to become what describes the running of thing as they are — schools, factories, life. The function of such participation of course is to channel energies toward changing existing institutions into more viable forms. These changed forms become powerful tools for the prevention of any real emancipation. What is important to note in the process is the disappearance of any other significant sense to participation.

Before decentralization can be recuperated, it must be weakended in its implications of autonomous power, and of the absence of central authority. Before revolution can be recuperated, it has to mean first simply change; change in fare, small change. After that, the words — having inverted truth, and their truth — man little else.

To recuperate words is really to recuperate what they represent; so that the only activity that words describe is the activity the recuperated words describe. It follows that the true meanings of the words merely bocome aspects of their false meanings, the true activity they describe merely aspects of their false activity.

The SI offers a few definitions. Society: protection racket. The State: the Enforcer. Politicians: gangsters. The sense of the first terms emerge clearly in the second, which is, in fact, the function of definition.


We have used the word recuperate, which means recover: the activity of society as it attempts to obtain possession of that which negates it. The word that seems to mean the same thing on the "New Left" is coopt. The word means "to elect into a body by the votes of its existing members": by extension, it would be the act, for example, of Hayden or Carmichael going to work for the Nixon administration. The would, in reverse, be "lost" to their "New Left" organizations (though hopefully they would bring their constituencies with them).

The different word also separates us for the redundant confusion of that luckless state, the "New Left."