Tuesday, 4 May 2010

The Autophagic University

The Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy at Middlesex University is worth more dead than alive. As this FAQ makes clear:
"if as many believe, the incoming government delays the next research exercise by 2 years, to 2015, Middlesex will continue to receive RAE money for Philosophy for six more years, until August 2016, whether it employs any philosophers or not. The total sum is likely to be close to £1 million."
Hence the management has decided to begin a highly profitable autophagic feast. As a mental disorder, Autophagia is a compulsion to inflict pain upon oneself by devouring portions of one's own body. It is sometimes caused by severe sexual anxiety, schizophrenia or psychosis. Please sign the petition, join the group and attend...

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Pitch-black ecology

The new Collapse is proving a provocative read, and I will come to Reza Negarestani and Manav Guha’s pieces in due course, but already I find myself in somewhat of a bind. For Timothy Morton’s piece, “Thinking Ecology: the Mesh, the Strange Stranger, and the Beautiful Soul”, whilst attacking some of the right enemies (Heideggerean mystical-holism and the conservative ecology of the “just-over-there”) ends up positing its own deeper and more obfuscatory mysticism. He begins, simply enough, with a basic thesis: interdependence in any region of reality (although he appears to be concerned with biological, and to a limited extent linguistic realities) can be minimally defined by two axioms, (1) any given thing is defined by its not being another thing, negatively differentiated and (2) all things derive from other, prior things.

From these minimal axioms of potential interdependence, Morton derives a sequence of propositions, which themselves eventually undermine the logic of the initial axioms. Chief amongst these is the impossibility of disentangling elements within ecosystems (at multiple levels: distinguishing absolutely between species, distinguishing living from dead, pulling apart environment and animal as lifeforms both reconfigure their environment and actually constitute such an environment for other such entities, all targets constantly in motion etc). This entanglement is embodied in the idea of “the mesh”, a term chosen to avoid both overly vitalist nomenclatures as a “web” and overly technological ones such as “network”. Humans, like every other form of life are ensnared within this mesh, bleed into it and into each other in slippery reflexive continua, our boundaries confused in a relation of intimate complicity which vitiates against any position of transcendent relation. Many of Morton’s scientific reference points are fascinating, particularly his account of the pre-living life of the crystalline 'RNA world', and the sinister creep of life (to use a Naught Thoughtism) at the sub-cellular level. And indeed, the majority of his thesis on interdependent intimacy (no transcendence for man within the ecological schema, no “leaving be” in a Heideggerean mould, no “nature”) I am in complete agreement with.

But in deriving his notion of interdependence from Derridean linguistic deconstructive thought, Morton lays himself open to a vitalist-correlationism, or a twisted ecosophical absolute idealism in the guise of a high-tech Po-Mo materialism. I am reminded of the deep irony in critical animal studies taking up object oriented philosophy: deposing the tyranny of Homo Sapiens by theoretical coup d’état only to install in the void it leaves behind the dictatorship of the animal (which someone like Larval Subjects is wise enough to immediately bound over, to enter the more interesting if not unproblematic territory of his own universal politics of objects). For though it is correct that it is difficult, perhaps even intractably so, to distinguish between living and non-living things (as in the example Morton quotes of the minimal functional difference between RNA viroids and computer viruses), this difficult continuum or grey-zone between the two does not mean that there is nothing outside the vital. It is correct that whilst ‘life’-systems are enmeshed within one another, there remains a realm, a region of time-space which pre-exists ‘life’ and which will be again, after ‘life’ has been extinguished. It is this challenge to thought, to life, which is countenanced and forms the speculative motor in the works variously of Meillassoux, Brassier, and Negarestani, though with very different conclusions.

As Reza Negarestani himself put it to me:

“Interiorisation as Urtrauma (originary splitting) does not result in […] the assimilation of the exteriority (extinction, ancestrality, etc.) by the principles of the interiorised horizon but rather it leads to a redistribution or retwisting of the exteriority’s non-belonging and the unilateral negativity (the nonnegotiable power) inherent to it. Rather than assimilating the exteriority and turning it into itself, the interiorised horizon is forced to reassign its extensive and intensive vectors to the unilateral negativity harboured by the index of exteriority, remobilising it as a subtractive form of dynamism for binding exteriority from within and from without.”

In other words the originary trauma of the emergence of life from non-living matter (in Reza’s terminology, the construction of an interior realm) does not result in the formation of an absolute immanence, but of a more complex topology of imbrications and corruption. The problem of Morton’s continua and intimacy-infection is that if extinction is assimilated by life, then the whole moral/ethical dimension of the project is damaged (ie- the references to ecological catastrophe which frame this work). The piece begins with gestures towards a “politicised intimacy” with other beings, rather than nihilism, and yet once Extinction/Ancestrality is taken seriously, the legitimacy of a non-nihilistic ecology becomes strictly moot. Not only must we divest ourselves of any inkling of transcendent ecology of “nature” and the beautiful soul who “lets it be”, but of hyper-relationist ecology which seeks the sublation of the ancestral dimension beneath a pan-vitalist rubric. Perversely, only a rigorous nihilism can vouchsafe the threat of the great outside. More than simply a melancholy understanding of complicity and inescapable ensnarement within permeable systems leading to a kind of responsibility, (and why responsibility and the weak ethical turn rather than irresponsibility?) instead we need to think a deeper and more disturbing complicity between living and non-living (which does not subsume one within the other but maintains the tension and complex topological relation between the two) an intimate embrace contorting life nested with non-life, life formed from the twisted planes and surfaces of the inorganic. The “butchery” of the outside (outside thought, outside life, the great outdoors in all its objective monstrosity), which is already within, already the very stuff of the inside. An intimate nihilism. The catastrophe, which ecology abjures, has already occurred.

Monday, 1 February 2010

Matters geophilosophical

The latest volume of Collapse, the pre-eminent journal of experimental and cunningly thematised philosophy has now been released. If proof be needed that the journal will not shrink to a narrow horizon of scientism, as some have predicted, then this Geophilosophical issue is it. If past excursions are anything to go by, this ought to be a head-crushing and paradigm shifting experience... get it here.

Sunday, 31 January 2010

On negative solidarity and post-fordist plasticity

From the tube strikes to the postal strikes, to the upcoming round of public service cuts, and festering in every political blog’s foetid comments box and every wretched rancid letters page of the right-wing London free-sheets, a striking psycho-cultural phenomena emerges: negative solidarity. More than mere indifference to worker agitations, negative solidarity is an aggressively enraged sense of injustice, committed to the idea that, because I must endure increasingly austere working conditions (wage freezes, loss of benefits, declining pension pot, erasure of job security and increasing precarity) then everyone else must too. Negative solidarity can be seen as a close relation to the kind of ‘lottery thinking’ the underpins the most pernicious variants of the American Dream. In lottery thinking we get a kind of inverted Rawlsian anti-justice- rather than considering the likelihood of achieving material success in an unequal society highly unlikely and therefore preferring a more equal one, instead the psychology of the million-to-one shot prevails. Since I will inevitably be wealthy in the future, this line of thinking runs, I will ensure that the conditions when I become wealthy will be as advantageous to me as possible, even though on a balance of realistic probabilities this course of action will in fact be likely to be entirely against my own interests. More than lottery thinking, which is inherently (if misguidedly) aspirational in nature, negative solidarity is actively and aggressively anti-aspirational, utterly negative in the most childish fashion, and drives a blatant “race-to-the bottom”. Negative solidarity operates under the invisible, though clearly contradictory and self-refuting, assumption of reflexive impotence. I will endeavour to campaign for the lowering of working standards since I must suffer the same lowered standards, because there is only one direction in which the thermodynamic system of socio-economics can run: towards the abject exploitation of sump-end post-Fordist (faux-free market) Neoliberalism. When the Tories talk of social solidarity in the face of the consequences of the financial crisis, it is clearly negative solidarity they have in mind.

The problem that negative solidarity indexes is twofold. Firstly, and on a smaller scale, it demonstrates the extent to which any activity by labour movements will be met with implacable public hostility. This can perhaps be resolved by a smarter presentation of the underlying issues, difficult though that may seem given the current media ecology. All too often mindless inefficiency and blatantly exploitative management practices are smuggled in under the discursive rubric of “modernisation” and it is clearly around terms such as these that the short term struggles must be based. Any labour actions must be explicitly battles for modernity, against a form of managerialist paradigm which is inadequate and actually antediluvian in nature. However, one of the chief stumbling blocks to achieving this links into the second and far more serious problem which is gestured towards in negative solidarity: the widescale collapse of organised labour under post-Fordism in the west. This has been achieved as the result of a deliberate and carefully coordinated (though experimental) political programme, Neoliberalism. What remains of labour movements in the UK are partly in hoc to the dreadful failure of a New Labour administration, and those that are seriously militant are generally connected to key levers on capitalist production: transport, infrastructure, communications. The control of the narrative of what “modernisation” might mean has been hijacked by sclerotic and centralising centres of accumulation (of capital, power, information). Between the forcible shattering of the labour movements in the 1980s and thirty years of post-Fordisation of the workforce, widescale labour militancy would seem to be unlikely. The old form of workerist solidarity is inadequate, only partially available, and utterly weakened.

Unpicking negative solidarity, which is clearly an internalisation of the conditions of flexibility and atomised ‘homo economicus’ individualism necessary for the embedding of Neoliberal post-Fordism, requires the constructing of a new form of solidarity, a form of solidarity adequately configured to effectively oppose the chief machines of Neoliberal praxis: finance. This new form of solidarity must be capable of fluidity and rapid response, able to exploit weaknesses within systems and structures opportunistically and with a global purview, one which crucially can mirror the rapidity and fluidity of international finance. This is solidarity as plasticity, rather than the static brick-like form of Fordist labour solidarity, capable of flowing and shifting, yes, but also of fixing into position and assuming a hardened form where necessary. This form of solidarity must be inclusive of the new protest and occupation movements which have emerged in recent years, which although they have been largely ineffectual to date, have certainly led to new and interesting configurations of interest groups. What has been lacking however are the necessary cybernetic coordination systems to effectively enable these disparate and fragmentary groups to achieve the status of a counter-hegemonic power, a “class” power in the broadest sense of the term, one which is capable of counter-balancing effectively the rapacious if discredited centres of neoliberalism. Indeed it is this which must be formulated as the political conclusion of theories of post-Fordisation, rather than any kind of fantastical and strictly imaginary political subject such as the multitude. Only when there is an effective counterbalancing power can new theoretical socio-economic post-capitalist forms be properly disseminated, and successfully gain purchase.

Vindicatrix’s liminal songcraft

Kudos to K-Punk in last month’s Wire magazine for bringing a little-remarked upon album which sneaked out in the latter days of 2009 to my attention. Vindicatrix sits in an almost entirely unexplored region of musical terra incognita, perhaps only previously visited by late-era Scott Walker, and even he never quite travelled so far-out into such unfamiliar spaces. Vindicatrix’s earlier releases on the Mordant Music label were largely club-oriented pieces of gloom-techno or glum-post-dubstep, garnished with his Scott-at-the-bottom-of-a-reverb-pit style vocals, and were intriguing but somewhat limited in scope. With Die Alten Bösen Lieder, Vindicatrix extends this style into a series of bizarrely broken assemblages, a parade of semi-functioning aesthetic machines: neurotoxic Weimar Republic house, serialist ethno-dubstep, dada-nightmare isolationist ambient, and a beautiful middle sequence of unearthly liminal ballads. A friend of mine described the album as sounding “like you're sitting in a room adjoining a performance of Wozzeck and a Shackleton gig” and this certainly captures something of the flavour of the earlier tracks, combining dissonant circling choral harmonies with rickety bleached-bone drum patterns and dolorous vocal ruminations.

But really the core of the album is the expanse of three alien-art-ballads beginning with “Lack of Correspondence”. Shifting away from the subtly dubstep and techno inflected percussive textures of the earlier tracks, these songs, rather than operating on principles of postmodern combination of pre-existing generic forms, instead home in on and magnify the most alien-sublime elements of Scott Walker’s late works. Vindicatrix takes late-Walker at his most lushly orchestral, those immense pieces of extraterrestrial lieder like “Sleepwalkers Woman” and “Patriot (a single)”, sketching vast landscapes of unknown emotions, then drifts even further out into an ever more unknown oneiric psychological hinterland. “Lack of Correspondence” begins with a kind of drolly humorous narrative of religiously inspired love before folding into cut-up vocal fragments and teeming swarms of rapidly edited white noise shards. “Rubbing Pages Out” merges backmasked noise with vast banks of shimmering strings to create a glowing mass of iridescent sound, akin to the final glorious chord of a romantic symphony captured and transformed into a continuous plateaux, topped with occasional interventions by a conciliatory tuba. On “Insulinde”, at almost ten minutes the longest and most singular piece on the album, we enter a strange territory of distantly tolling metals, subliminal bass drones, oddly harmonised vocals, chimingly sinister bells, a recurrent motif of five metallic thumps, sampled operatic wailing. A rising tumult of strings: “Behind closed doors. There is. Violence. In. Outer chambers. Violence.” An unnameable ritual. All this material accumulates, disperses, reforms, dreamlike in the sense of being unplaceable, yet naggingly familiar, the relations between these sound-objects intuitively understandable yet forming a strange sort of sense, in a liminal grammar like a sequence of words caught in the instant before sleep, a memory which can be recalled but cannot be placed, sitting between the sinister and the gloriously beautiful.

The album concludes with the inhuman bleak expanse of “A Long Straight Road in a Cold City”, a continual sub-bass filched from some 2006 dubstep track, but shorn of its percussive-clothing, left to prowl through the remnants of a Ligeti choir, whilst acoustic drums and screams burst in momentarily to assassinate the calm with the unintelligible violence promised elsewhere on the album. In an era when experimentation with song form seems locked into past paradigms, this is an enormously welcome and necessary collection, acutely aware of contemporary sonic mores but able to spin them into new and unsettling forms, capable of rendering the beautiful strange and the strange beautiful, rather than simply ungainly.

Friday, 2 October 2009

The Paradoxes of Militant Dysphoria

Many thanks to Mark Fisher for organising Wednesday's Militant Dysphoria event at Goldsmiths, in conjunction with the release of Dominic Fox's excellent new book Cold World. The quality of other papers was such that I hope they are made available online, but for the meantime here is Nick Srnicek's on Dysphoria, Actor Network Theory, and slow motion revolution. My own paper, which is fairly inconclusive unfortunately, is below:

Dysphoria & Unworlding

Firstly let us consider the particular political-theoretical ecology from which the need for “the cold world” of militant dysphoria appears to arise. Most obviously, there is the collapse of the familiar paradigms of leftist politics, be they democratic parliamentarian, or street-protest based. Though neo-liberalism as reality principle might well appear to have imploded following the economic crisis of 2008, in the West we have pointedly not seen a serious renaissance of the left. The impasse of the contemporary political moment is never better dramatised than in this Spring’s G20 protests in London. Here the limits of a certain form of praxis were plain, where protest seemed little more than a kind of feel-good feel-bad activity, a pious but clearly inevitable defeat. Thirty years of triumphant post-Fordist neoliberalism seem to have critically weakened the usual avenues for left politics, to have driven those who keep faith with the truths of Marxism or Socialism to either an in-denial fervour for the theatrical acting-out of a party in the street, or a kind of numb remove, an immisrated state. So the left is trapped in a sort of depression, in a dysphoric state itself. Here “militant dysphoria” means the dysphoria of the militant. The hope arises that it is through a radicalisation of this very negative state that a future emancipatory politics might be born. A radicalisation in what sense though?

For perhaps what the cold world of militant dysphoria threatens is a similar utopian twist to a dystopian analysis as the Italian post-Marxist Autonomist’s notion of the Multitude. For the Autonomists, most notably of course Hardt and Negri, there exists on the one hand an ever deeper encroachment and subsumption of the human lifeworld by post-Fordist capital, and the destruction of workerist subjectivity. But on the other there is an expansion in the power of living labour (as fixed capital becomes ever more composed of cognitive and affective-communicational components), and the formation of a new kind of subject, the Multitude. Somehow what appears to be an absolute dystopia nurtures the very conditions from which utopia might emerge, and from the state of utmost despair arises ultimate salvation. We might agree with the negative dimension of their analysis, delineating the fundamental shift from Fordist to post-Fordist modes of production, and the concomitant erasure of a certain form of political subject, without accepting their thesis of what will replace it. Can the notion of a militant Dysphoria escape such a fate, a pseudo-Hegelian teleological fantasy of determinate negation?

In terms of theory, we have seen a parallel swing from euphoria to dysphoria, from affirmation to negation. As Ben Noys has diagnosed, this shift is most firmly marked by a swing in the balance of power from affirmationists, or accelerationists, paradigmatically Deleuze and Guattari, to a qualified return to the negative (or at least, the subtractive) in the form of Badiou. Affirmationist politics proceeds from a primary positivity- be that difference-in-itself, Desire, Life – and from there towards an acceleration of the innate processes which Capital utilises but which must always limit in order to maintain its consistency, in other words to undo capitalism from within by accentuating its deepest tendencies. Against this, Badiou stands markedly more opposed to the logics of capital, seeking to think a subject divorced from the determinations of the situation, working to construct truths which are subtracted from the democratic materialism of bodies and languages. Though continuing to root the political closely to the ontological, the political here is not an acceleration of the fundamental tendencies of a world, but rather a subtraction from it, and a torsion upon it.

Finally we might see the cold world as sitting intriguingly at the juncture between two emerging trends within contemporary post-continental philosophy, between Speculative Realism, and a less well defined but equally powerful strand which might be termed “subjectivationism”. Speculative Realism, though it consists of a series of distinct elements marks a shift away from a correlationist conception of philosophy, a breaking of the necessary co-implication of human subject and world. In so doing it has been accused of jettisoning concerns for the political altogether, although this is perhaps a premature judgment. The second school of thought is probably even more loose, and aims instead towards a rethinking of the conditions for radical political subjectivity. The notion of the cold world and militant dysphoria serves as a meeting point between the two, for whilst on the one hand it seeks to uncover the subjective conditions for new forms of politics through the gesture of scission in a post-Badiouian fashion, the removal of the subject from the world, it also opens the door to the beginnings for the beginnings of a post-speculative realist politics.

One interpretation of a militant dysphoria would hold that dysphoria acts to separate the subject from their world, and that then once suitably energised by this negative relation, they might act to change it. In this sense of “militant dysphoria” dysphoria is a necessary stage of subjective transformation, a making strange of the everyday world of life and the vital, a subtraction apart from its quotidian ensnarement and the first step on the path towards its transformation. Here then, militant dysphoria breaks down into first dysphoria, then militancy, in that order. We might even conceive this in Latourian terms- to change the world from a “closed black box” which is simply taken as a given, effectively invisible, to an opened black box revealing its components and working parts, coming newly into focus as the dysphoric subject finds themselves freshly alienated from its processes. The primary difficulty here is to think the transition from the moment of refusal, of separation, of scission, and the conversion of this negative energy into action, the shift from rejection and dejection to engagement. Here we would certainly need the supplement of a form or vessel into which this negative energy might be poured, a structure, a party, a battle group, some degree of institutionalisation of negativity which would serve to give form to the otherwise potentially solipsistic tendencies of the dysphoric.

Moreover the politics of this form of militant dysphoria is deeply paradoxical, and seemingly always in danger of either sliding back into the logic of the vital or its dark inverted doppelganger, a reification of dysphoria itself. There is always something approaching a paradox in the disavowal of the vital. Take for example the writings of the ontological horror writer Thomas Ligotti. At the level of content there is a radical denial of the vital, and yet this very disavowal enables the works to pulse with certain inhuman vitality. Within the libidinal economy of the depressive mind, whilst life itself is refused, the life of the depressive economy, of the inverted libido, becomes omnipresent, becomes a new kind of life. Ligotti, for example, whilst claiming an absolute anhedonia, a freezing up of the machinery of desire and enjoyment into a crystallised, timeless, ice-like tableaux, at the level of productivity remains motivated. Fundamentally of course, Ligotti still writes. Instead of a refusal of the vital, of enjoyment, the dysphoric libidinal economy seemingly learns to enjoy displeasure, to metabolise disenchantment itself as a new kind of alternative energy source. Again this leads us back either to the vital, back to the world which seemingly the dysphoric appears to be escaping, but are in fact simply reconfiguring their internal relation to. Or, alternatively, towards a genuine absence of energy, which would preclude any political activity whatsoever. Problematically, if the dark libidinal economy takes hold, it serves only to perpetuate itself, and therefore will never rise to risk the elimination of the very things which enable its perpetuation. In a political context the refusal to enjoy, to take the apparent fruits of consumerist late capital and receive pleasure from them, comes to take on its own negative enjoyment, to become an inverted pleasure all of its own. At best a malign energy distinguishes the militant dysphoric from the merely dysphoric.

In his book Dominic singles out a line from one of Gerard Manley Hopkins “Terrible Sonnets”, which runs “no worst, there is none”. This indicates something of the paradox of the dark libidinal economy. That there is no worst means that there is no halting point to the process of disenchantment of which dysphoria is the primary affect, and that a radicalised dysphoria’s only aim is towards its own self-expansion. To think politically, the amassing of negativity within a social-economic system at the affective and economic levels might trigger the calling into question of the coherency of such a system, and the emergence of the truth of it, a new world born from its ashes. But if there is no worst, that we can advance ever worstward ho without limiting point, the necessary dialectical grip or friction for a conventionally oppositional change is absent. The very point of sublation which might imply the alteration of the world of life from which the militant dysphoric has fled is absent, and instead a non-dialectical form of negativity rages without end.

But what I would clarify as the necessarily militant moment is perhaps the point of subjective decision, to, ironically, affirm this withdrawal, or perhaps, to identify with it. If the distinction between the merely dysphoric and the militantly dysphoric can be drawn, it is at precisely this moment. Discontent can always be cathected, or indeed stored and then released. But might there be another interpretation of the term, rather than the sadness of the defeated militant at the end of the end of history, or the dysphoria which leads somehow towards militant engagement? Rather perhaps a dysphoria which is itself militant. If the paradox of militant dysphoria is its tendency towards inertia without some kind of vessel into which it might be employed, then perhaps one way through this impasse is via dysphoria itself, not to escape, to employ this negative affect to remake the existing world, but rather to see in it a new world altogether.

What is most fascinating about the militant of the cold world is precisely what Dominic has located in the field of Black Metal, in the ability of the genre to present aestheticised dysphoria as a kind of telepathy with the dead, an ability of the subject to reach a point of anti-subjectivation, to commune with that which is not a subject, to become possessed by the inhuman. What is most radical about this notion is, for all its influence by Badiou, it is an inversion of its master’s doctrines, a generic mis-anthropy or generic inhumanity rather than a generic humanity. Here then dysphoria acts as a path not towards militant engagement with the world, but rather a making strange of the human-world relation, to the extent that the human subject identifies no longer with their own ostensible interests, but instead with those outside of itself. In other circumstances a similar kind of politicisation might occur so that the self-interested individual takes on a willingness to live and perhaps die for an idea or a cause. But here rather than an identification with humanity as a generic concept, or even the vital as such (as in perhaps communism or radical environmentalism, with a willingness to make ones own interests subservient to those of the greater cause) here the abjuring of the vital indicates instead a form of communion with sub-vital or non-vital processes.

To systematise briefly: a world protects its consistency by rendering itself a black box, invincible and invisible, taken for granted. The human world is one determined by vitalistic principles, and it is these which are undone in dysphoria, hence undoing the world which they construct. If capital has subsumed the world of life, has exploited and manipulated its processes to such an extent that it becomes synonymous with life, and indeed a form of life itself, then perhaps the way of death, of non-life, of the freezing over of the vital offers a way out of its particular strictures. It is certainly true to say that capitalism as it stands now requires a degree of acquiescence with the “big other”- to at least pay lip service to the affirmationist common sense. This means that at the level of microeconomics, we must “enjoy” or at least pretend to do so, and at the level of macroeconomics that the dogma of growth of gross domestic product as strictly equivalent to the common good and the elevation of the general standard of living of humanity must be maintained. So in identifying with the state of dysphoria itself and hence to subtract from this world, the militant dysphoric effectively abandons a world already made cold by capital’s alien life, and then perhaps, undoes it. Perhaps.

But there are clearly uneasy isomorphisms between the self-expanding activities of capital and the accumulative logic of dysphoria itself. Unlinked from the necessary dialectical purchase to transform the world of life in the name of life, the libido of the terrorist or Black Metallist, can think of no greater horror than the ending of horror itself, no greater misfortune than the ceasing of the cold world, of being drawn back into the rhythms of the vital, to, as Dominic puts it most succinctly, love and to work. As such the dysphoric libidinal economy appears to depend upon the very thing which induces it, leading this reified, fetishised dysphoria to appear to be intimately imbricated with contemporary Capitalism. A truly militant dysphoria is analogous to capital-as-cancer or as-virus, (ie- without dialectical purchase or friction, a slippery self expanding negativity) but this itself must be grasped and pushed to an aggravated conclusion, since as with Nick Land’s phantasmic re-imagining of neoliberalism, we can clearly risk overestimating the dissolutory forces involved, and to ignore the ever-present conservatism of the form. For Capital this is the need to preserve its own consistency through restraint upon production, and for dysphoria it is its unwillingness to dissolve itself or the grounds for itself. In this sense the militant dysphoric asserts both the unending dissolution of worlds, and the construction of a singularly new world consisting of such endless dissolutions, the world defiled and the world of the process of such defilements.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

For the greatest betrayal.

If only there were a misanthropy pure enough to become divested of its human shell. That it cannot be so, that is itself the quandary, the attempt at resolution via a limitropic reduction, an asymptote descending upon zero... poised between elimination, the betrayal of every prior world, and desertification... but where the desert itself, the absolute plane… is absent, though the process… continues… the desert is a mirage, but the dust… the dust is real. The effect however is of a tensor sign: between the drive towards unpeeling unto an impossible zero, and the contamination of the flesh- eliminativism as paradoxical, an endless ungrounding, tunnels and wormholes, insides and their insiders—at every layer a new conspiracy-- and yet... this paradox itself generates some kind of energy, an entropic energy, built upon a tensor sign- a generator of eddies of negentropy even within essentially utterly entropic abstract decay paths...

It is the impossibility of this zero=the real=that which both drives and confounds the process (the inhuman, OR the inside which is also the outside). But the process must continue - an accelerationism forever worstward, the worst the better, without any remorse or flip or dialectical reversal… (Negri is the same but with the negative switched to the positive, of course). A tensor sign between the purifying drive towards nullification at absolute zero and its eternal contamination by- flesh=the inadequacy of every subsequent conceptual regime- Hegel without absolute knowing, the pathway of doubt without redemption… where it is this inadequacy itself which perversely enables the mobilisation of non-dialectical negativity for subversive ends. It is the impossibility of the ultimate militant process (capitalistic abstraction/subsumption processes or technoscientific destruction of an endless regress of manifest images) which both will please the regressive Marxists amongst us (the limit cannot be breached) and yet which drives onwards… The ultimate betrayal is the impossibility of ever reaching the (non)-ground, the process is for nought, and yet it can never reach nought. The Human cannot slough off its skin, the physicist cannot find their Grand Unified Theory (or absolute univocal ontological component). The impossibility of the militant operation (desire to cleanse) lends it its metaterroristic function, a fury without end. Lies… all the way down.