Identity is the Crisis

Can't You See?


Identity is the crisis, can’t you see?
Identity identity

X-Ray Spex, ‘Identity’ / ‘Let’s Submerge.’ EMI International, 1978.

In the formation of a class with radical chains, a class of civil society which is not a class of civil society, a class which is the dissolution of all classes, a sphere which has a universal character because of its universal suffering and which lays claim to no particular right because the wrong it suffers is not a particular wrong but wrong in general; a sphere of society which can no longer lay claim to a historical title, but merely to a human one, which does not stand in one-sided opposition to the consequences but in all-sided opposition to the premises of the political system; and finally a sphere which cannot emancipate itself without emancipating itself from — and thereby emancipating — all the other spheres of society. This dissolution of society as a particular class is the proletariat.

The proletariat is only beginning to appear as a result of the emergent industrial movement. For the proletariat is not formed by natural poverty but by artificially produced poverty; it is formed not from the mass of people mechanically oppressed by the weight of society but from the mass of people issuing from society’s acute disintegration and in particular from the dissolution of the middle class. When the proletariat proclaims the dissolution of the existing world order, it is only declaring the secret of its own existence, for it is the actual dissolution of that order.

Karl Marx, ‘A Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right. Introduction,’
in Early Writings, p 256. Penguin, 1975 (1843).

18 x 24 inches
black silkscreen on ten point silver metallic board
edition of 300
NY Art Book Fair 2019