META-NOMAD

The Unintelligible and Re-enchanting Existence

Our Earth is big, but it can be traversed by industrialized methods of travel. Our galaxy is annoyingly big and has only been traversed by abstract scientific concepts largely relating to light. Our universe is quite simply, frustratingly big. Too large to ponder for too long, to do is to put oneself in a trance like no other. Even to lean one’s face into your hand and stare at the sky brings forth a feeling of wonder, horror and awe. This is a form of enchantment that is necessary for man. It is also a form of enchantment that since the late 19th century has been almost entirely lost, at least within everyday life. Why is this? Well, space, galaxies and the universe as whole are not of our primary design and construction, and industrialization and the arrival of runaway-techno-capital subtly taught us that those ideas and things of which we are not in primary relation to are, for lack of real reason, not of our concern. There are those who are concerned with these things of course, thinkers, engineers, scientists, but they usually interrogate it in a way of intelligibility which I feel is a grave error to make. What makes life worth living is not conclusions, or ends, nor completion or constructed merit, no. What makes life consistently, deliriously sublime is the unintelligible, that which we cannot grasp. Of course, the horror is found in the screaming between what we know we do not know. (Levinas’ il y a, is fantastic on this.)

To think on this unintelligibility is to be enchanted by life itself. The problem herein is that modern humans direct their attention to that which is primary to their perspective. We fully understand the spheres we exist within. We roughly understand how cars work, how we get to work, what lunchtime means, why we may watch TV shows, what it means to have status etc. To cut a long story short we only understand that which is already fully constructed, we can only ever understand completeness. And all out bubbles and socio-cultural spheres are pretty much complete, they are of the same. In fact, the reason people are so averse to leaving their spheres of comfort is that they fear difference. The eternal return of the same – in its most banal reading – is the soft pillow of disenchanted man. A man who has fully accepted. Not accepted X or Y, no. A person who has simply accepted, accepted it all. It is, for them, done. And now they simply just continue down the routes of the same which are open for them, routes which in their very nature as the same are no different to any other route. One cannot find difference in that which they can already attend. It comes from elsewhere, from possessions, communions, enchantment, deliriums, bemusement, fevers, from the weird and the strange.

“The most beautiful and most profound emotion we can experience is the sensation of the mystical. It is the sower of all true science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead.” – Einstein

It’s a slight shame that Einstein had to insert ‘science’ into that quote, it sort of throws it out of joint, pertains to the idea of  an overarching ‘theme’. But it covers the idea I’m writing about here nicely.

You’re more than likely caught up in something or other. Some domestic with your partner, a financial problem, an intellectual pursuit, some form of construction or conclusion that you’re aiming yourself at. Your own little temporal pathway which has an end, a end which in the grand scheme of things is always false. Have you ever felt satisfied? If you think of that question – if you’re anything like me – you realize that none of the material, societal or cultural pressures which you attended to and concluded ever culminated into any form of actual conclusion. They always drag on into some haphazard, drawn out affair regarding status, worth or value, and almost always end only in fatigue or submission.

We have forgotten how to be enchanted. Something which arguably should be a priori to our existence. I’m idling close to the pitfalls of extrapolating some deep-seated depersonalization here, but perhaps we all need to fragment our minds from time to time. Maybe people don’t stand in the mirror as long as me, and no, it’s not because I’m staring at myself, it’s because it doesn’t, never really has, and hopefully never will…make sense. This whole ‘living’ thing, when you get right down to it, is fucking weird. To forget enchantment is to forget the inherent weirdness and peculiarity of existence itself. Tying into my previous post regarding office work, it used to infuriate me that people could exist in such a sullen and dead manner, acting in such a way as if this is how it is and it’s never to be any other way, and that outside of their labour, and actions of flesh, is not wonder, but nothing. I say used to because now I’m apathetic to those who still so caged in. I will spend time messaging and chatting to those who wish to about how or why to become unplugged and re-enchant oneself, but ultimately you can drag a boring horse before the crab nebula and it will still moan its hooves hurt. Basically a large percentage of the populous miss the moon because they’re too busy looking at the hand pointing at it.

It’s easy to retreat, in fact it’s so easy that is has become our default setting. Someone pointed out something very strange that is put upon us at a young age. ‘Keep your head down!’. That’s what we say to children who are idly gazing upwards at the clouds, sky, birds or rafters of a large building. We instantly put a stop to their enchantment, but we not only stop it, we shame it. It has become a shameful act to mention that one feels a little uneasy at existing. Not in any angsty way. Don’t worry, when I’m assembling a door-frame I’m not shaking and holding onto the floor, but I am often thinking how odd it all is.

To lean into this feeling is to put yourself more and more at ease each day. This is one of the methods I routinely use to ‘exit’ myself from modernity and from that which I never needed/wanted in the first place. To buy, want, desire or buy-into various facets of life is usually because you wish to escape from this feeling, you cannot handle being and you cannot handle being enchanted. Human affairs – other than those you must take responsibility for (Health, family, friends.) should be secondary worries. You can watch that film tomorrow or not at all, you could visit that place another time, you may or may not do that thing, that cursed thing which is all jagged, striated and finished. Completion is the enemy of enchantment. I believe this is why more and more people in make-work jobs are beginning to feel alienated, lonely and depressed. These jobs are getting further and further away from enchanting existence. They are creating bubbles within bubbles, constraints within constraints, to add another lock onto the cage in hope that it will be the one which will make the boredom of the cage disappear.

One of my more controversial opinions is that I’m in agreement with R.D. Laing regarding depression. Give this a watch, but I’ll write out Laing’s speech here:

“It’s not necessarily a good idea if you’re in prison, in a dungeon, and the door happens to be open, to adopt the policy that ‘I’m not going to walk out of this state of affairs unless I discover how I got into it.’

Now understandably depression is a complex issue and I wont get into here, and wish to utilize Laing’s point to articulate my thoughts regarding enchantment. See, much like Laing’s ‘dungeon’ in the linked video, much of our neuroses and depressive pessimism regarding life is of our construction and is itself related to further constructions which pull us to and fro, and as Laing states, you’re more than welcome to exit that dungeon. You don’t need to know how you got there, who or what put you there or why it even exists…fuck the dungeon. The dungeon or more aptly prison is in this case the existence of dis-enchantment. Life feels dry, heavy, a little dead all the time and you keep wondering why, you don’t really anything, or dwell on that which isn’t dry or heavy, you just sit in that dungeon and repeat to yourself that life has become boring. “Same shit, different day.” you say to yourself. Well, I’ve got news for you. If you re-enchant life, then that statement will quite quickly be reversed “Different shit, same day.”. Your place of work, your commute, your home, your hobbies, when inspected on an ontological, philosophical or mystical level become wondrous activities.

You’re mowing the lawn. You focus on the grass, the green seems brighter today. it’s as if the birdsong is poetic, rhythmic regarding the swell of the day. The breeze hits cobwebs on your shed, you notice the spider making repairs. Everything is flowing and you were letting all this pass-by. Before the ‘boredom’ of the prison would have been momentarily satiated with modernity’s latest trinket, but now, you just look around and relax into the awe and horror of being itself and think of beauty.

 

 

Accelerationism: Capitalism as Critique

Accelerationism: Capitalism as Critique

With special thanks to:

Amy Ireland for helping me to understand the Outside, and for taking the time to answer my consistent questions.

And to ‘The Castle’ for their continual support in all of life’s endeavours.

(DOC for easier reading here)

INTRODUCTION

In this essay I aim to answer multiple questions, all of which are concluded by answering 1 overarching question, ‘What is Accelerationism?’. In recent years Accelerationism has been primarily posited as a political movement, or a new form of politics. In reaction to this contemporary wave of incorrect Accelerationist theorization, my aim is to thoroughly outline the philosophy of Accelerationism, which when articulated correctly in relation to the transcendental philosophy of Immanuel Kant and Gilles Deleuze, not only alters our understanding of Accelerationism, but leaves the entire politics meaningless and confused.

The politics however will only be a meagre afterthought of this essay. The primary tasks set out for me are to define the process of Acceleration, and in doing so define Accelerationism. I aim to answer these 2 questions by working metaphorically upwards, from the smallest unit of production analysable in-itself, man, all the way through to articulating the assemblage of processes and functions that compound into Acceleration. Within this essay the word ‘Acceleration’ is capitalised as a means of emphasising its relation to Accelerationism, as opposed to its classical usage. Alongside this, as this essay utilizes transcendental philosophy as its fundamental philosophical position, any notion of levels, planes, heights, ups, downs, aboves and belows etc. are only used as a means for ease of understanding, and are definitely not levels in relation to transcendence.

I begin with a Kantian extrapolation of the ‘Inside’, a term utilized within this essay to describe the transcendental reality of man, of the synthesized space and time he inhabits via his senses, an ‘Inside’ which is always in relation/connection to the ‘Outside’. Within this section the perspective is from the Inside in relation to how it functions with regard to the transcendental. I begin with an exposition on classical desire, using it as a placeholder for the ‘material processes’ of the Inside. Theorizing of their transformation in relation to critique through to their dissolution via the work of Jean-Francois Lyotard and Gilles Deleuze & Felix Guattari. This section is intended as both an articulation of the emptiness and vessel-esque status of the Inside in relation to the forces of the Outside, whilst simultaneously acting as a singular part of the process of Acceleration, to later be utilized in a manner of compounding.

Following from this dissolution of the material processes, I intend to utilize the work of Deleuze and Guattari as a means to transcendentally dissolve the material, inclusive of man, into the process of the transcendent itself. I achieve this by deconstructing the concept of the desiring-machine in relation to its components, ‘desire’ and ‘machines’, from which I assimilate the concept as a whole into Gilles Deleuze’s 3 syntheses of time, I do so as a means to show how both the material (space) and actions (time) of the Inside are wholly secondary to the processes of the Outside. From this temporal conclusion I utilize the Deleuzian conceptions of the virtual and actual as a means to articulate the method of connection and communication between the Inside and Outside, explaining that the communication is – with one exception (Schizophrenia) – entirely unilateral from the Outside to the Inside, and as such the Outside is theorized as primary.

From this theorization I begin to outline in abstract the process of Acceleration in relation to the Inside. Wherein from Deleuze & Guattari’s alteration of Marxist critique via utilization of capitalism’s industrial standardized time, we witness man move from being used by the machinic, alien power (from above), to being possessed by the alien power within himself, as the power. From this theorization I intend to show how man-as-desiring-machine is then made fully immanent to the process-of-production itself. At this juncture I interject the conception of the Deleuzoguattarian ‘schizophrenic’ as a means to show how the new is possible from such a transcendental entrapment. I conclude the section on the Inside with a brief articulation of its final guard, the unconscious, a conception which is repeated within the Outside in its correct transcendental articulation as a machinic-unconscious of production.

The catch-22 of Accelerationism is that descriptions of the Inside, once attended to in relation to the whole, seem entirely superfluous. Yet without them we stand with only a transcendental motor solipsistically churning without an output mechanism. To leave out the Inside, is to leave out the shadows of Plato’s cave. To write of the Inside is to argue that it is more comforting to know one is a puppet, than pretend one is otherwise.

I move from the Inside to the Outside, beginning with an extrapolation of the body-without-organs (BwO). Utilizing it in its most general, functional sense as a plane of consistency, of atomic recording and connections, making sure to differentiate it from the socius. Regarding Accelerationism the BwO is a plane of (virtual) selection for the Outside regarding that which it will reterritorialize into the Inside. It is from these theorizations of the BwO that an understanding of the Outside as primary and the Inside as secondary is made clearer. I continue my theorizations of the BwO by assimilating it into the dynamics of capitalism, arguing that the unique nature of capitalism (as fluid) allows it to be the only structure which can consistently use the BwO as a means for auto-construction.

I further continue my theorizations of the BwO by articulating the way in which the processes of deterritorialization and reterritorialization are a means of transcendental connection and selection, alongside the theoretical beginnings of the construction of a productive mode of temporality, away from the incorrect notion of a ‘linearity’, towards a mode of productive temporal event indexing, controlled/evolved by the forces of the Outside. Such a production of temporality is theorized in relation to Zero. Which within the context of the essay is the term used to mean an evolutionary form of production in relation to entropy and negentropy, Zero is the transcendental connection between the productive output of the Inside and the positive-feedback loop of the Outside. In its connection with schizophrenia I find a means to articulate a further extrapolation regarding Deleuze and Guattari’s notion of capitalism’s (non) limits, and as such, a way of describing the manner in which the process of Acceleration enacts itself.

From this extrapolation of the transcendental connection between the physical and virtual, I assimilate the third synthesis of Deleuzian time into the entire dynamics of the essay thus far, as a way to show how the future arrives and how it culminates into the production of an auto-construction of time, alongside how the system of capitalism inherently moulds itself to this temporality of continual cuts and caesuras.

I finally compound the entirety of the essays parts, functions and processes into a working definition of the process of Acceleration. A definition which in its very nature allows one to posit the definition of Acceleration, and as such transparently comment on the contemporary philosophical/political errors ascribed to the theory. This essay does not work backwards from a definition, lazily proving its construction it retrospect, but makes sure to leave no theoretical stone unturned as a means to articulate a transcendental coherent process regarding, time, production and capitalism.

 

THE INSIDE

Accelerationism is the perpetual arrival of the future; an auto-catalytic, positive-oriented system of production and time; an intricate, horizontal web of interconnecting processes and functions. A web which causes infection within the nerve-endings of existence, no node, however minor, can escape the clasp of production. I begin with the smallest of these ‘nodes’, the smallest kernel of production which can still be analyzed within and by its own dynamics, specifically, man. Or more succinctly, man-as-desiring-machine. A process of compounding is underway, from man through to ‘the process’ of Acceleration itself, the entire of which shall hold as a philosophical working model of Accelerationism.

First, a return. The proto-Accelerationist theory of Deleuze and Guattari possesses structures and unities in such a manner that their presupposed anthro-authenticity transcendentally erodes. I return to one such structure with the intention to use it as a placeholder for humanity’s structural certainty, born from ignorance of critique. The classical notion of ‘desire’ shall be my working example of all that is ‘authentic’, ‘natural’ and ‘organic’; a semantic trio which when placed correctly within the syntheses of Kant and Deleuze lose all possibility of affect.

The classical, psychoanalytical notion of desire denotes a want, need, lack and/or lust towards an object, emotion or identity. It is a theoretical formation of desire directed at a completion of the ‘self’ via acquisition of the lacked. Such a conception of desire lures the user towards not only a false end, but along a false premise, a premise of possible conclusion; classical desire’s tyrannical crime is that it allows completeness.

“It did what all ads are supposed to do: create an anxiety relievable by purchase.” (Foster Wallace, D. 2011, p414)

Foster Wallace’s quote assimilates desire into the practical dynamics of consumption under capitalism, emphasising the error of the classical/Freudian via its consumerist application. The presupposed ‘anxiety’ does not just assume there is an actual lack, but also makes the assumption of a possible unified ‘self’, and that such a unification could still exist within/under capitalism; the impossibility of a self from within a fragmentation of free-floating identity crumbs.

A self of agency, will, control and familial comforts, psychoanalytical desire gives man himself. Leaving him open to the belief that another’s psychoanalysing is his working-through of desires, repressions and drives. When psychoanalysis is correctly immanentized into the transcendental it dissolves into the same becomings as the entire anthropocentrism of the Inside: representation, illusion and mask, the trio of man’s material faith, senses forever targeted at a becoming-nothing. Such a form of desire and structural decentering is beholden to Kantianism, and as such a short extrapolation as to the section of critique critical to this form of theorization – the transcendental aesthetic – is needed before venturing further.

To posit time and space as a priori, they are absolutely – always already – necessary for there to be anything at all. Such a placement wherein time is prior to space is not accidental. For there to be perception of material there must be space, but for there to be space it must exist within time; time is always primary to space. This overly simplistic articulation of the transcendental aesthetic from Kant’s The Critique of Pure Reason (Kant, I. 1996) allows for the following conclusions regarding the aforementioned theorizations in relation to man. Man must exist within time and space, along with the entire cosmos, but man, due to his very nature can only attend to/perceive reality via his processor – his brain. As such, the way in which he perceives is a matter of synthetic process, the forms of time and space he senses are not pure, they are synthesized/processed versions of spatio-temporality particular to the output of man’s senses. What man perceives is a representation of the real, he synthesizes both temporal and spatial reality and in doing so his perception, he, creates his reality as he represents it.

From Kantian critique we can thus make a clear split, the terminology of which will feature heavily in relation to understanding the Accelerationist process. Two separate terms referring to the spatio-temporal synthesis of man (his reality), and the form of time and space external to these syntheses. The former synthesis from man is henceforth called the ‘Inside’, and the a priori spatio-temporality (and later, production) which is external to this ‘Inside’ is called the ‘Outside’.

The reality of man now transcendentally defined, I can return to the deconstruction of the classical via psychoanalysis and desire. For the conclusion of the psychoanalyzed is one made within their own limits, those who desire supposedly do so of their own accord, to desire is to desire, from one’s self. This is transcendentally incorrect shorthand for man’s (false) ability to attend to and control that which is outside of him. To sense (via his brain) that which is transcendentally external to him (as I will show), classical desire is a mere anthropocentric error of placement. An error regarding the very construction of reality itself.

In the Lyotardian sense “Everything psychoanalysis knows about desire it knows by injecting it into a certain schema called Oedipus, a closed, familial circuit.” (Hamilton Grant, I, 2004: p6). This outline of desire by Grant within the introduction of Libidinal Economy pertains to desire in direct relation to critique. Wherein desire is but a representation, a mask over something larger, atop a libidinal intensity or force. Classical psychoanalysis’ authority, and as such the authority of multiple systems of the Inside, comes from its location on the Inside. Folded into a complex web of other representations, promoting the illusion of cosmic depth and worth. Existence within immanence disallows depth for man.

Following Anti-Oedipus (2013) in this manner of occulted critique, Lyotardian desire theorizes of the Oedipal triad (Father-Mother-Child) as part of the Inside. All that is classically authoritative is demoted by the transcendental. Even Lyotardian intensities, which arguably toe the line of the Inside and Outside, are – to man – but representations caught in a loop of their own anthro-presumptions – the effects emanating from the representations of the Inside can never be understood in themselves. Desire of the Inside is a mere subordination of “every intense emotion to a lack and every force to a finitude.” (Lyotard, J, 2003: p65). In being represented via the cognition of man the pure forms of intensity communicated from the Outside are constricted into a finality, into the finality of the Inside. To follow or direct oneself in relation to notions of originary, classical or organic as if they hold any meaning is a recursion of nothingness; to blindly follow representations of the Inside as if in-themselves they held any meaning is the fate of those secure in their delusions, a maddening labyrinth where every exit is bricked up by nothing. Lyotardian desire, as posited within Libidinal Economy (2003), is an exemplary example of working-through the process of drawing back the transcendental curtain from the Inside, to always reveal an eternal nothingness.

To posit then that these ‘desires’ or structures of the Inside (as representations of the Outside) are at current the equivalent of an auto-constructive GPS. A navigational-control system which began before one’s birth and will continue forever after one’s death, destination production; you, the self or one, is always in the middle of an auto-constructive horizontal plane of desire.

Man placed within such a deterministic navigational system/lock-in removes rational notions of linear time. To deconstruct the transcendental entrapment indebted to humanity is a means to detail what man becomes in relation to the Outside. A becoming put into more transcendentally strict terms by Gilles Deleuze, for further extrapolation of the Inside in-itself would be no more than a repetition. Such an understanding of continual desire and the thread which man is made to follow posits questions of temporality. How does it transcendentally work and how is it constructed in relation to the dynamic of the Inside and Outside? To attend to this primary necessity of the transcendental system itself (time) is to begin to compound an understanding of man’s situation within the entire. As such I begin to compound the various ‘stages’ of Accelerationist time in abstract.

To define the first Deleuzian synthesis of time is to understand the present as a process. A passive synthesis where the past and the future are folded into a passing-present, as man perceives it. A present which is always transforming in its relation to the passive alterations of the past and future. “That is, a process that passes from the retention of the past into the expectation of the future, not as psychological, nor as phenomenological (in the sense of quantities of intention), but as formal processes bearing on different things (particular and general) and setting them into relation.” (Williams, J, 2012: p29). The very conception of the present in the form posited by the first synthesis can only happen on the Inside, within synthesized temporality which denotes a linear temporal framework. These passing-presents as quasi-succession form, for man, a now. Never having a real past, nor achieving the future, man within the first synthesis is processed by time.

Within such a form of time, desire theoretically begins to adhere to a more stable form of nihilism. For such an understanding of desire as “masks hiding no face, only surfaces without a back stage, only prices without values.” (Lyotard, J, 2003: p105) is to conceive of a desire of the Inside, which is processed on/by the Outside. A conception which articulates the dark reality of representation, and as such of linear time; no attempt to deconstruct or draw back the curtain of the illusion will ever reveal the forces of the Outside in themselves. Desire as a negative gloss, a trinket of production passively keeping the conscious entertained and busy, such a loop, such a form of temporal continuity allows for greater clarity with regard to the first synthesis.

To conceptualize desire both in the aforementioned Lyotardian sense and as a placeholder for any process of the Inside. Processes which are both retained (past) and anticipated (future) within the passing-present of the first synthesis. Caught in the representational loop of the Inside, the linear direction of material processes – due to their enactment within the Inside – are forever targeted at nothingness/further-representation. As such, the first synthesis, in its relation to the cognition of man, is of the Inside; the first synthesis as a temporal enclosure for man, utilized by that it will never know (the Outside). An eternal game of hide and go seek where man forever finds nothing, for nothing was ever hidden, but in his ignorance believed the cosmos cared.

This form of temporal entrapment begs a question regarding libidinal intensities/Lyotardian intensities in themselves. For they must, in their communication with Inside, have a means of reappropriation regarding the direction of man – the direction in which desire flows throughout the linearity. Such a means of communication is made possible by the ‘virtual’ and ‘actual’. A conception which has connections to both the Outside and the second synthesis of time in its relation to the Inside. The transcendental shift of perspective is from a classical desire/material process of finality, to a transcendental process of transformation of the virtual. The conception of the virtual and actual is only complete in its unification, one cannot be/become without the other.

I present a very basic definition of the virtual and actual here for ease of later utilization, the concepts become more versatile upon later application. For now we take a laptop of the object of attention for the virtual and actual. The actual is expressed in one’s encounter with the phenomenological reality of the item, an object of sensation. The laptop is hard, clunky and heavy. Within the actuality of the laptop resides the virtual, or, the virtual aspects of it. Relational aspects and transferable attributes of the object which posit virtual connections to other objects (Heaviness, hardness etc.). Attributes which all coexist on the plane of the virtual, or a plane of possibility, itself located on the Outside.

In relation to time these virtual (transferable) attributes are retained in the form of the second synthesis of time, which in its conception alters the past into a ‘pure past’. A past which “will be defined as determining the form of the passing present – that it must pass, and how it must pass – but it does not determine or cause the content of any particular passing present.” (Williams, J, 2012: p57). A notion of determination which is extrapolated upon later, for now I am still writing of the Inside. For man to attend to the ‘pure past’ his memory becomes active. The aforementioned passing present of the first synthesis is passive, a trait which carries over into the second synthesis with one minor alteration. The active-memory of the second synthesis allows for a transformation of the present into an aiming-present. Wherein man can aim his memory back upon an indexed series of passing-presents, where R = passing present, the pure past can be visualised as “((((Past + R’) + R’’) + R’’’) + …)” (Ibid, p62). Man can aim his meaning at selection ‘R’ in relation to the indexed series of virtual pasts, his ‘now’ a compound of virtual times folded into a present. As such, for man to desire a ‘sponge’ is for man to desire ‘sponge-ness’ and so it is for him to aim back towards indexed notions of sponge-ness within the pure past as a means to acquire his present desire and actualize it. The structure of such a reality is “a dynamic relation between the virtual and actual.” (Williams, J, 2013: p8). What is desired is not the actual roughness, but the sponge in memory; what is desired is something sent from the Outside, the present is never desired in itself, only in relation to a virtuality.

Once more this shows how the transcendental alters presuppositions of the Inside, derailing man’s assumed ability to attend to the virtual as if it was actual. Therefore what is attended to by man is of course attended to via the Inside, as such, that which he desires is both the nothingness behind phenomena and the inability of understanding the forces of the Outside (of desire) in themselves. Targeting his faculties from within an auto-construction, forever within a ‘middle’ of the Outside which is thus never the conclusion he’s been lead to believe exists. I leave the virtual and actual for now, delaying articulation of their functional importance until I write of the Outside.

 

STANDARDIZED TIME AND MACHINES

Thus far it has been shown how man is trapped within the Inside, and by what mechanisms he is ‘kept busy’, or kept continually moving within the linear time he is allowed. With such a mode of being extrapolated the task at hand is to articulate what it is man becomes from such a transcendental fate. An alteration of being wherein man transforms from human to desiring-machine, a conception largely posited within Anti-Oedipus (2013). As desire has already been defined the latter ‘machine’ is the subject of focus herein, to later compound into a working definition of man-as-desiring-machine in relation to transcendental time. A compound structure of philosophical elements which will outline the Accelerative processes’ means of control over the material of the Inside.

“Everywhere it is machines – real ones, not figurative ones: machines driving other machines, machines being driven by other machines, with all the necessary couplings and connections.” (Deleuze, G. Guattari, F, 2013: p11). This statement at the very beginning of Capitalism and Schizophrenia posits that everything has a machinic nature; the way we think of machines is incorrect (in terms of actual machines etc.). To machinize is to connect, intertwine, link and most importantly produce. Interconnected and networked production, this is machinization. Deleuze and Guattari emphasise that these machinic processes are real. Such machinizations due to their productive nature as virtual are stereotypically deemed not-real, surreal, or un-real etc. However, both the virtual and actual and thus machinic processes are real. Real in the sense of transcendental effect, wherein both processes in their inherent capabilities cause alterations. Such a confusion is once again created from a perspective of the Inside, a reluctancy to admit that the Outside is real too. The processes of machines, the machinations of the entire are the production of reality. Production is real.

The Marxist lineage of Deleuze & Guattari’s philosophy comes to the fore in the form of the ‘machine’ within the ‘desiring-machine’, “the machinery – does not exist in the worker’s consciousness, but rather acts upon him through the machine as an alien power, as the power of the machine itself.” (Marx, K, 2014: p54) The Deleuzoguattarian conception of the desiring-machine is a theoretical expansion of the alien power’s process, an expansion both of the process itself and how it effects that which it processes (man). The distinction, or theoretical progression herein is regarding transcendental levels, or lack thereof. Deleuze and Guattari disallow Marx’s rational division, seeking only to allow a division within man’s synthesis. The division between the ‘alien power’ and man within Anti-Oedipus (2013) is no longer a material division, but a process made immanent in concordance with the dynamic of the Inside/Outside. In correct transcendental theorization man can no longer be acted upon (for there is no above), and in theoretical correction becomes part of the act itself. The concept of the desiring-machine is one such place within Capitalism and Schizophrenia – which typically hides its Kantian lineage – wherein the transcendental takes centre stage. To shift from rationally separate forces of production to an immanent production, where all forces are within Kantian a priori spatio-temporality, divided only by syntheses of certain machines (man etc.). Thus, the alteration of man’s nature wherein he becomes-machinic immanentizes him into the transcendental circuitry of production itself, as part of it.

The ‘machine’ or ‘machinization’, much like desire, is removed from its classical territory where, in the Marxist sense it is seen as a ‘tool’ or ‘ligament’ which overrides the nature of man, and in this decontextualization is transformed by Deleuze and Guattari into the essence of its prior actions within the passing-present. Therefore to be a machine is ‘to machinize’. In this manner the first and second syntheses of time, in their human-centric synthesization are also subject to machinization. “Standard physical measurements are the essence of the machine’s regime.” (Veblen, T, 2014: p96). The machinic temporal standardization dynamics of capitalism (clocks, GMT etc.) culminate into a grand-representational machine defined on the Inside as time, which in reality is the representation of time in time.

This internal structure of time allows for distinct alterations to man’s nature, wherein the alien power reappropriates time for man, fragmenting the pure-time via synthesis into a temporal – linear – succession, leading man to believe and construct a reality wherein he is on time as opposed to in time. Without representational time, linear time or chronic time, the desiring-machine cannot exist. This is one the clearest examples of the way in which “The machine throws out anthropomorphic habits and thought.” (Ibid, p98), Veblen’s statement is close to conjecture of the ‘authentic’ human nature, or a ‘human’ time prior to the machines and yet, even if one is to ignore such presuppositions of an authenticity of ‘the human’, such a statement does reveal an understanding of the artificiality of time in relation to man’s transcendental reality; the gridlike structure of days, hours and minutes is an artificial subjection brought in from the machinic processes of the Outside. It is not a natural form of organization grown on the Inside by man, but a means of computational functionality from the Outside, regarding the productive output of material. The second-hand of the clock and its incessant ticking, fabricating a fragmentation of man’s very being into the most minute existences; planck length production.

This theorization and recontextualization of ‘machines’ posits 2 prescient points: 1. All processes are immanent, for all machinizations are real and transcendental. And 2. Production fundamentally changes. The process of machinization, of production in its transformation from material/political sign to transcendental force allows production to inherently alter. The process of the machine is theoretically moved to the Outside. Production no longer has any relation to the Inside other than as a force of the Outside within. The desiring-machine in its compound form can now be defined fully, a definition to be interwoven with man’s transcendental fate of time and production.

To define the desiring-machine in relation to Accelerationism, is to define the smallest kernel of production, it is to articulate the micro and to later bare witness to the macro of possession via process. The desiring-machine is the most transparently functional example of how the Accelerationist process works upon/into reality as seen from the Inside, to perceive not the workings of the process, but the work itself. The desiring-machine as seen from the Inside is an empty domino contributing to the positive-feedback loop of capitalism, stood passively, waiting to be possessed in the present.

“Production as process overtakes all idealistic categories and constitutes a cycle whose relationship to desire is that of an immanent principle.” (Deleuze, G. Guattari, F, 2013: p15). Production-as-process therefore allows a possible teleological direction of capitalism; the compounding of time and production begins. In a terminological reversion the desiring-machine is immanent to machinic-desire; man as a mere agent of passive temporal process – ‘his’ time (indexed passing-presents) and desire within capitalism are aimed solely at further production. The retrieval of man’s desires is a process of letting the Outside in. As the virtual becomes the actual it is retrieved at first from the fluidity of the virtual plane on the Outside, and actualized into the striated socius on the Inside. The socius, little more than the great-representation, the quasi-illusion of production as opposed to its reality as the Inside-as-product (finality). The productive acts are real, but the productive forces and the production itself are only to be found on the Outside.

A perpetual virtual/actual loop within a larger loop of “productions of productions.” (Ibid, p14). Within this recursion, which acts as the construction of reality “the human essence of nature and the natural essence of man becomes one within nature in the form of production and industry.” (Ibid, p15) all that is ‘natural’ is a mere contextual machinic component of the Inside; once the Outside is understood as the alien force that is now of man, within his being, then the subsumption of his essence into machinic process is immanent with the arrival of capitalism. Yet, these processes, these concepts of the virtual and actual are only theoretical modes of transcendental communication between the Inside and Outside, their functions are as placeholders for the articulation of the appropriation of forces. The process thus far only describes the end-result of the Inside. Yet, for there to be such a functional mode of communication – however one-sided or transcendentally unilateral it may be – it does allow for a theoretical door to be opened with regards to the Outside. Further explanation on Deleuzoguattarian critique will expand upon this.

In relation to Deleuze and Guattari’s continuation of critique, the Inside and Outside are altered in their relation, “the self and non-self, outside and inside, no longer have any meaning whatsoever. – only a process that produces one within the other.” (Ibid, p12). Deleuze and Guattari state that these concepts have no meaning, but this is not to be confused with existence. The Inside and Outside exist in multiple ways. They exist in their relation to each other, a relation which is only made possible by their relation to the syntheses of man. For the Outside and Inside in-themselves neither ‘exist’ in terms of externality or internality. But for man, from man, boundaries are formed and transcendental internality and externality is synthesized. In this manner, there is only meaning between borders; immanence as a whole disallows meaning to be universally formed, for there is nothing for subjection to push against, this is the horror of Kant. As such the aforementioned door which is opened, is one in which we can theoretically dissipate the border of the Inside, cut through meaning itself and attend to the transcendental forms, functions and processes in themselves.

This mode of being is distinct to the desiring-machine, caught within the first and second syntheses of time and the auto-construction of transcendental capitalist dynamics. There is however a schizophrenic light at the end of the representational tunnel. A door implies a line of communication and as such a possibility of exit from the Inside. Such a possibility is found within schizophrenia (schiz, schizo, schizophrenic). Schizophrenia is a complex process, no exit is easy.

For to exit and exorcise the dead-time of impersonal desiring-production, the process of the desiring-machine must become-schizophrenic. “Schizophrenia is like love: there is no specifically schizophrenic phenomenon or entity; schizophrenia is the universe of productive and reproductive desiring-machines, universal primary production as “the essential reality of man and nature.”” (Ibid, p15). In casting off its Oedipal shackles at every opportunity, the schizo no longer adheres to any ‘identity’ at its most general level. The schizophrenic evades structure due to its inability to change: state, authority, self, what are these but stagnant relics of the passed-present of the Inside. The schizo fragments desiring-production towards new appropriations of the virtual. If there is a possibility of exit, it is within schizophrenia. For “the schizophrenic deliberately seeks out the very limit of capitalism. – He scrambles all the codes and is the transmitter of the decoded flows of desire. – Schizophrenia is desiring-production at the limit of social production.” (Ibid, p49). Here we take the social production of the the socius as the grand-representation, the great authority of the Inside, a mass of coded identities and striated conclusions, it adores material limits. The socius in its very nature as a unity of the Inside stagnates as functional material retention. Schizophrenia seeks out these limits, decodes the stagnant desires and processes and reappropriates their virtuality back into the Inside as something new. Schizophrenia does this by taking a line-of-flight, an operation which transcends the actual and ascends to the virtual (as seen from our limited theorizations). It is this function, the ‘line-of-flight’, which acts as the ‘dark precursor’ of the new and the novel.

The schizophrenic’s line-of-flight is perpetual deterritorialization, a concept to be expanded upon later. It is a line of communicative production of the new between the Inside and Outside, to draw in the new. Again these new actualities are immanentized into the temporal passivity of desiring-production. Under capitalism, nothing new lasts. “Everything stops dead for a moment, everything freezes in place – and then the whole process will begin all over again.” (Ibid, p18). The birth of this ‘event’ comes from the Outside, and it ‘freezes’ in its process of actualization. Schizophrenia then continues its line-of-flight away from this actualization, this (now) present stagnance. Those and that of the Inside don’t witness or perceive this process, but only understand the event in terms of a retrospective, indexed passed-present. All that once was, was once new, and as such, the pure-past is a trail of debris, left behind by an ever accelerating schizophrenia. This mode of time-creation, of virtual/actual event creation as indexed pasts, has a wider implication regarding the Outside, of which I expand upon later.

Before concluding this section on the Inside, I need to extrapolate one final tenacious representation, one which eludes various rationalizations and is often deified to absurdity, the unconscious. The unconscious, much like the actualized socius is another grand-representation, but this time of the actual in abstract. The human unconscious is seen or acts as the overarching historical myth, lore and culture spread throughout linear representational time and supposedly unconsciously imposed upon man’s psyche. Yet, as is shown time is not a linear succession, and such an idea of linear time is produced via syntheses, and as such the unconscious falls prey to the same pitfalls as does the entirety of the Inside, it is a representation, albeit a peculiar one:

“it is the function of the libido to invest the social field in unconscious forms, thereby hallucinating all history, reproducing in delirium entire civilizations, races and continents, and intensely “feeling” the becoming of the world – Schizoanalysis sets out to undo the expressive Oedipal unconscious, always artificial, repressive and repressed, mediated by the family, in order to attain the immediate productive unconscious.” (Ibid, p119-120)

The worst Oedipal ‘rot’ is located in the unconscious, the historical, repressive and familial unconscious, a mode only of presuppositions and transcendental errors glossed over by a thin-veil entitled ‘the psyche’. Such presumption suffocate the production of the real unconscious, the machinic unconscious.The unconscious’ inscription of meaning to the pure-past is but a blockade against the reappropriation of the virtual, against the new. Oedipus halts production by assimilating the new into its old triad, converting novel events in time into its own mode of nostalgic future-bastardization. Potentiality becomes a finite object within the empirical malaise of Oedipus’ grasp. The classical unconscious is the last bastion of the Inside assuming any form of agency. It is just another curtain atop nihil.

The classical unconscious is therefore peculiar because its representation masks a distinct force, a machinic unconscious of production, the force/intensity of auto-construction itself. Or, the psychoanalytical/psychological human unconscious is a stratified representation of cause and effect, which has been subsumed into standardized time. Theorizations of the unconscious are mere over-extensions into the pure-past, a trifling within multiple connected familial pure-pasts with the intention of assuming connections between them. The reality of course, is that from the Inside such connections are still beholden to forces of the Outside. The unconscious’ peculiarity is that it assumes an Outside within the Inside (which is incorrect), whilst in-itself unknowingly masking the actual forces of the Outside in-themselves, auto-construction of reality etc. The notion of the machinic-unconscious is of primary importance later, as such an understanding of its differentiation from the unconscious is posited here, on the Inside.

 

THE OUTSIDE

I begin this section regarding the Outside with a theorization of the body-without-organs, from here on in abbreviated as the ‘BwO’. The concept of the BwO formulated by Deleuze and Guattari begins the theoretical construction of the production-in-itself of the Outside. A void of atemporal virtualization, not in relation to the pure-past of the Inside, but as a transcendental function of production and communication. Production-in-itself is part of the beginning of the Accelerationist process.

The BwO is a “blind, ineluctable recourse to machinism.” (Guattari, F, 2003: p136), a “smooth, slippery, opaque, taut surface as a barrier. In order to resist linked, connected, and interrupted flows, it sets up a counterflow of amorphous, undifferentiated fluid.” (Deleuze, G. Guattari, F, 2013: p20). The importance of the BwO (with regard to Accelerationism) is not its status as a void, but its function as a recording mechanism, as a “recording surface” (Ibid, p27). In relation to the transcendental the BwO is a plane of generality; the BwO is the general undifferentiated record of the Inside. A fluid plane of recording, desires, history, cosmic and biological forces, aesthetics, flows and connections. As such, the BwO in its most general sense is entitled ‘the plane of consistency, a functionally machinic plane of recording which holds all atomic connections as an “undifferentiated fluid.” (Ibid, p20).

However, the BwO is not the socius, it is from the BwO wherein the actual (as prior virtuals) of the socius emanate from. The BwO is where the possible future(s) are held. The clear point of division here is between the smoothness of the BwO and the striated nature of the socius. The former holds virtuality as a free-flowing mass of atomic connections which still hold their potentiality, the latter (the socius) captures that potentiality in actualization and striates it into a structure. A division which is key to the functional properties of the BwO.

The way in which I shall utilize the BwO is in its most general sense, with the exception of its differing functionality in connection with capitalism, which comes later. At its most versatile the BwO is the virtual dimension/plane of reality with regard to production (as output). The general plane of consistency where all connections, flows and fluxes of assimilative and computational utilization are held as virtualities, as potential for/of the future. The production of the new begins from the BwO. The BwO therefore, is the primary plane of production for the production-in-itself of the Outside, its first port-of-call regarding creation of the future. That which is within the BwO – as virtual – is already within the process(es) of the Outside, and as such the actualization via the synthesized reality of the Inside is secondary to the workings of the BwO, and thus secondary to the production-in-itself of the Outside.

Such a conclusion once again alters our perception of time with regard to the Inside, “we are doing things before they make sense.” (Land, N, 2014: p297). This seemingly simplistic quote by Land pertains, once again, to the production of the Inside as seen from the Inside, as actions for an unexplainable nothingness; if all actions and effects within the transcendental are viewed both as emanating from the Inside, as seen from the Inside, then nothing makes sense. To do things before they make sense, is to be possessed by the Outside in the form of an auto-constructive virtuality. The neurotic, paranoid, passive delirium of the desiring-machines is to construct that which it both doesn’t understand (until after the fact), nor understand why they’re constructing it. The BwO as situated on the Outside within the realm of production-in-itself, locks into the positive-feedback loop of production, which is both before and after any singular desiring-machine’s existence. As such the desiring-machine’s actions are secondary to the primacy of the auto-construction they are within. The BwO therefore, is simply the plane of selection for the primary Outside with regard to possible/potential futures.

At current I wish to detach the BwO from its temporal connections and focus on its determinist attributes a while longer. “It is a result of the relationship between the desiring-machines and the body without organs, and occurs when the latter can no longer tolerate these machines.” (Deleuze, G. Guattari, F, 2013: p21). When in communication with capitalism the desiring-machines’ desires become overcoded, their machinations become too hot, too structured for the BwO, and it repels them. When the undifferentiated overcodes into a clear differentiation, that is when these forms of the Outside are repelled by the BwO and actualized into the socius. Machined into a stratified lock-in and cradled by Oedipus. In this manner Oedipus is useful in bursts, caressing the new into a constructive form of productive continuation, yet, more often than not suffocating it into a nostalgia. Oedipus therefore is only useful so much as schizophrenia exists, without the potentiality for exit embedded within the nature of the schizo, the Inside would become an asylum of banality.

When “the desiring-machines attempt to break into the body without organs, and the body without organs repels them, since it experiences them as an over-all persecution apparatus.” (Ibid, p20). The desiring-machines once again make an error from the Inside, attempting from within their syntheses to effect the Outside. It is in this manner that a temporal distinction is made. The BwO is atemporal, the virtuality it holds – unlike that of the pure-past, which is indexed by the syntheses of man – is undifferentiated in time. As such the BwO is not only a selection of virtual attributes in relation to material actualization, but also a function of temporal (virtual) selection, times/events as productive potentialities.

To move from the general BwO to the BwO of capitalism, “the body without organs of capitalism attempts to internalize the plane of consistency’s unlimited-limit.” (Guattari, F, 2006: p393). The dynamics of capitalism inherently alter cosmic relations regarding stagnation, it cannot allow ‘completeness’, it assimilates all into its auto-construction.The BwO of capitalism repels the overcoding of the desiring-machine back into the socius as a modified version of itself. Capitalism’s mode of governance is to fluidly govern in any way which allows it to continue governing. It cares not for which representations it uses nor which ideological representations of the Inside it allows, it doesn’t care about the Inside, only computes its output back into the Outside, as to modify the BwO’s selection for a greater productive output. A computation from the Outside in which it perpetually selects the greatest productivity of production for capitalism. Capitalism avoids representation, it is pure techno-economic fluidity and bastardizes the function of the BwO into a cosmic production thresher function, targeted at the sole purpose of continual production (for itself).

From here we can view the socius as a ‘full body’, it is organized, it is the “surface where all production is recorded, whereupon the entire process appears to emanate from this recording surface.” (Deleuze, G. Guattari, F, 2013: p21). To metaphorically envision the socius as the layer over the top of the BwO, that which appears as the meta-agent of production. The reality is one of communication. The virtuality of the BwO roams back and forth between the socius (Inside) and production-in-itself (Outside), the transcendental dynamics of capitalism at work. Overcoded virtualities repelled from the BwO, possessing the machines as an alien power and forming a new mode of production. As such “Machines and agents cling so closely to capital that their very functioning appears to be miraculated by it. Everything seems objectively to be produced by capital as quasi-cause.” (Ibid, p22). Deleuze and Guattari writing so elusively here one wonders if they’re revealing all of their revelations. Even though they allude to “a perverted, bewitched world [where] capital increasingly plays the role of the recording surface that falls back on all of production.” (Ibid, p22) they are short-sighted in this application, especially when thinking transcendentally.

For we take the BwO in its most general sense, as the plane of consistency, of intensities, fluxes, flows and pure emotions. Supposedly these virtualities are then appropriated by the desiring-machines via their collective possession by the process-of-production itself, the alien force of the Outside. This possession allows for the actualization and recording of the virtual to be inscribed into the socius via the machinations of the desiring-machines. The insidious nature of capital here is – surprisingly – overlooked by Deleuze and Guattari. For capital is throughout the process. And so the aforementioned process wherein the virtual is drawn from the BwO and actualized via the machinations of the desiring-machines is altered. So, the BwO is taken as the plane of all virtualities (potential), these virtualities are appropriated by the flow and process of capital itself as a means towards capitalist expansion. These flows are usually appropriated/represented as money, which in itself is appropriated by a connective form of desire which is performatively actualized by desiring-machines. The aforementioned removal of the Marxian division between the alien power and man, towards a Deleuzoguattarian mode of production as immanent, and as such, production as man (as desiring-machine), transcendentally alters the the function of capitalist dynamics, from a process which controls man’s actions, to a process which is man’s very being.

Not only then are we possessed by the alien force of capitalism itself, infecting us from the Outside, in the post-Marxian Deleuzoguattarian sense. But also we are mechanically directed/controlled via appropriated virtualities – time and money – as a means for productive direction. The virtual is the original lure for man, no longer to work for capital alongside the actual – as would be the case within transcendence – but to work as capital, immanently, possessed by the virtual. In the arrival of the virtual from the BwO we return to desire. For desire is virtual, the virtual becomes actual. And so the desires we machinize are from the Outside. As such not only are ‘we’ mere assemblages, a clutter of loosely held together representations, but the originary aspect of each identity is the Outside itself. It is the virtual in all of us, desire-as-virtual of the Outside not only in you, but as ‘you’. Caught within an auto-construction of virtual elements, which non-linearly from the Outside have culminated in the creation of a ‘you’ within capitalism.

Why capitalism? Because the BwO repels all Oedipalization. Feudalism, Monarchism, Conservatism, Communism are all lying on the couch of the psychoanalyst, needing to be told where to stay, what to do, how to reappropriate for them to remain within their event. In doing so the BwO repels them. Capitalism sets fire to the psychoanalysts’ notes, and seeps through the pores of the office. The only (non) system which can control, utilize and/or produce with and from the “blind, ineluctable recourse to machinism” (Guattari, F, 2006: p136) that is the BwO is the system which is always, already and implicitly ready to allow all the paradoxes and contradictions of the undifferentiated virtual to flow through it, the system which in its very apparatus is a thresher of the virtual, targeting it solely and consistently at self-propelling production.

Or put even more hauntingly: “Do you believe in God? – “Of course, but only as the master of the disjunctive syllogism, or as it’s a priori principle – from which all secondary realities are derived by a process of division.” (Deleuze, G. Guattari, F, 2013: p24). The energies of the BwO are divine, in functional attachment to the primary process-of-production which is the Outside, it serves as the primary wellspring of creation, which when interlinked with a system such as capitalism, which in its inherent fluidity avoids the repulsion of the BwO (as I shall show), becomes an auto-constructive system. The lives and world of the Inside are not only secondary processes, but the door to the primary is locked behind them, the key to which can be found by schizophrenic process. Capitalism is the great primary helmsman of the BwO. It is in this manner that it could only be capitalism which is the working system of Accelerationism. There is no Acceleration without capitalism. The processes of Accelerationism are inherently connected to these methods of communication between the Inside and Outside, and the way in which these methods/functions can be consistently directed towards the future.

Capitalism’s means of perpetual continuation is articulated, and made possible by the process of deterritorialization and reterritorialization. At its most general level deterritorialization is a process wherein something is virtually unshackled from its supposed natural, classical or original set of relations. Reterritorialization as the quasi-inverse of this is the process wherein the previous virtual which has been decontextualized via deterritorialization is reappropriated within a new framework. We may think practically of the ‘80’s’, unshackled from the temporal relations of the mechanical time 1980-1989 and reappropriated into overt dramatization of the virtual ‘80’s’ within contemporary society. This functionality of decontextualization transforms history, narrative and linearity into a conjunction of interlinked deterritorializations and reterritorializations, not a line, but an index of virtualities to be serialized via the syntheses of the Inside (by desiring-machines). The process of production and in turn the production of history therefore, comes before history as we know (synthesize) it. A further extrapolation of time in connection to the BwO and capitalism is now needed to understand how the temporal dynamics are at work here.

The dual complementary process of deterritorialization and reterritorialization is wherein a clearer extrapolation of time within capitalism, or capitalism as critique is located. Capitalism as critique continues the critical conception of time as the primary a priori necessity of cosmic change. Once again we take Kant’s propositions of time stated in The Critique of Pure Reason (1996) as given; time is not movement, movement is only the representation of time in time. Also, time does not exist in space, everything in space can only exist in time. “In other words, the one thing that is not interior to time is the transcendental form of time itself. Thus, in discovering the abstract realm of the transcendental, Kant unmasks an unanticipated immanent exteriority – an outside that does not transcend the world but that is no less alien for that.” (Greenspan, A, 2000: p39).

What does that mean in relation to the aforementioned process of deterritorialization and reterritorialization? The virtualities of the generalized BwO are grabbed by the process of deterritorialization and reterritorialization throughout time, throughout pure time, not man’s time. Transcendentally speaking states and events of time hold no privilege over one another; the past, present and future – as per the first synthesis – become mere empirical articulations from the desiring-machines. This linear mode of time – a transcendental error – is countered by Deleuze and Guattari via the connection between the process of deterritorialization and reterritorialization and the BwO. Time in this sense, in its relations to capitalism, becomes a synthesis of temporal events in relation to production. There is no longer an error of temporal progression, only a mode of temporal indexing, conjunction and reappropriation, a process of temporally neologistic indexing: cybergothic, neoreaction, postmodernism; all origins are dissolved by the fluid dynamics of capitalism via the functional processes of deterritorialization and reterritorialization. The virtuals of the BwO as a plane, in their actualization via deterritorialization and reterritorialization become temporal events. Intense events, masks of time complete in-themselves and grasping – with effect – their neighbouring events. This process when computed via the fluidity of capitalism and targeted towards production is time-as-controlled, aimed-time. The atemporality (with regards to the Inside) and purity of time is aimed by capitalism, used by it; time does not continue anymore, it only produces.

As has been made clear the virtual and actual are real. Their functions as real come to the fore in relation to the BwO. The process/function of capitalist selection deterritorializes a virtuality and reterritorializes it back into the socius, into the Inside. This Inside is also wherein the synthesis of temporality concluding in ‘linear time’ takes place via man. Humans are demoted to this Inside and the process of deterritorialization and reterritorialization is a continuation of control regarding their synthesis. What is continually synthesized is that which is reterritorialized in ‘front’ of them.The difference regarding transcendental philosophy between Kant and Deleuze therefore is a matter of reduction. Kant halted at the proposition that it is man who synthesizes time (in its entire), Deleuze continues critique by reducing man’s process of synthesis into the Inside of the transcendental, as a process within something larger. It is this proposition which allows all aforementioned processes, mechanisms, passivities etc. of this essay to culminate into something more; the process of Accelerationism.

 

ZERO

There is another dynamic happening at the same time as all the aforementioned, a further stack of functions atop functions, an assemblage of functions in relation to the limits of capitalism, regarding the how of capitalism. Such limits which are strange forms of non-limits can only exist and function in combination with Zero. A complimentary function which is transcendentally alongside the machinic unconscious, to later be expanded upon further.

Without Zero the Accelerative process is nothing, without Zero there is only the horrifying zero of nothing. As such Zero (capitalized) as opposed to zero, takes on an inherently different meaning with respect to zero or: zero-as-negation, as-nothing etc. Zero has nothing to with a Sartrean existential negative, or banal psychoanalytical lack, it is not anthropomorphically comforting, but is transcendentally (cybernetically) computational. A theoretical function born from Deleuze and Guattari’s utilization of (degree-) zero in relation to the evolutionary mechanics of the Outside. Zero is a cosmic machinic optimism of positive-feedback, as opposed to the humanist pessimism of conclusions, zero.

It would be easy to confuse Zero with the “fits and starts” (Deleuze, G. Guattari, F, 2013: p1) of capitalism in themselves, as opposed to being the function of the fits and starts. “Zero is the motor of paradox” (Ireland, A, 2019). It is the momentary temporal mechanism wherein the machinic ‘breakdown’ of the Inside is deterritorialized and is drawn back into the BwO. Zero here acts as a plane, a plane of entropic and negentropic communication. As previously stated, beginnings don’t exist, only middles, as such to begin at Zero – continuously – is to make clear the restarts of midpoints between events. “The proportions of attraction and repulsion on the body without organs produce, starting from zero, a series of states in the celibate machine.” (Deleuze, G. Guattari, F, 2013: p33). In this manner Zero is a plane of swerves. Attraction and repulsion or; declination-as-stagnation back into the plane of Zero (old), and declination-as-difference repelled from the plane of Zero (new) – entropy and negentropy. Zero is an infinitely-connective plane of energy, from which all systems, multiplicities and events arise. The distinct difference here between Zero and the BwO is that the former has an implicit relation to the inbetween of capitalism and entropy, it is the motor which allows the perpetual contradictions and paradoxes of capital to make sense, it allows for the functionally sound separation of events into a continuum of contradictory projections. The BwO is but a void of atemporal virtuality. Both Zero and the BwO understand physics and are of physics, but Zero understands how to utilize it as means of transcendental communication.

Zero’s relation to classical entropic forces is as a theoretical quasi-replacement within modernity, a communicational link between entropy (decay) of the Inside and its inherent productive process on the Outside. In this manner Zero is the transcendental machinic replacement of degradation, decay and destruction in favour of quantifiable productive output. The utilization, and pure assimilation by capitalism through man as an ‘alien force’ of machinic-standardization is capital’s mechanistic backbone, its structure. Zero as a computational mode of productive evolution allows for the dynamic of profit and loss to infiltrate the transcendental – as this alien force – on behalf of capitalism. Zero is capitalism’s utilization of the entropic outcomes of the Inside as a selection device with regard to production. Entropy – for Zero – as affirmation of unproductive stagnation. As Zero perceives this it begins and ‘restarts’ its motor as a reaction of negentropy; the in-between of the BwO and capitalism, the communication function between the virtual-as-productive potential and the system which can actualize that potential. Zero’s function is to continually select, re-select and divide these potentials for capitalism. “The death of capital is less a prophecy than a machine part” (Land, N, 2014: p266). Zero doesn’t have the capability to select a more productive form of energy, it does however begin the entropic process of descension into its plane towards a re-actualization of energy for further reappropriation by capitalism. Zero can be seen clearest in any notion of ‘post-capitalism’. All that is ‘post’ is not post, but has been drawn into the dynamics of perpetual continuation made possible by Zero. There is no such thing as death, only machinic-evolution.

As mentioned earlier the schizophrenic, or schizophrenia-as-process seeks out the very limit of capitalism, in this way the schizophrenic’s line-of-flight is made at degree-Zero, it is a descent into the unknown. To head towards the known is to head towards that which has already been structured/synthesized, for it is already known/understood, and so the new is always found within the unknown. The reverse entropic function of Zero articulated as degree-Zero (quasi-synonymous with negentropy) is a schizophrenic reappropriation of energy. The two sides of Zero, one acting internally and the other on the Outside, work as an energy-thresher targeted at the productive output of capital, or; Zero is a transcendental function of production utilized by capitalism to communicate between the primary production-in-itself of the Outside, and the productive apparatus of the Inside, utilizing the inherent limit-jumping ability of the schizo to ‘evolve’ production.

But why ‘Zero’ or 0, or = 0? “Zero has no definitional usage. The zero-glyph does not mark a quantity, but an empty magnitude shift: abstract scaling function.” (Land, N, 2014: p366-367) The absolute horror of Zero, an unquantifiable break of reality, a nothingness with no relation, no lack, no substance. The absolute limit of the smooth-scape; hyper-nomadism pushed to obliteration. Zero is as close as one can get to the ‘anti’ of Anti-Oedipus. For what is more corrosive to ‘papamummy’ than a function aimed at perpetual structural reappropriation? Zero is the maddening-catharsis of exit possibility. The limits of capitalism without Zero remain non-transcendental. Limits which are now to be explained.

“The tendency’s only limit is internal, and it is continually going beyond it, but by displacing this limit – that is, by reconstituting it, by rediscovering it as an internal limit to be surpassed again by means of a displacement; thus continuity of the capitalist process engenders itself in this break of a break that is always displaced, in this unity of the schiz and the flow.” (Deleuze, G. Guattari, F, 2013: p266)

Capitalism’s ‘tendency’ is that of a positive-feedback loop, It is reconstituted/rediscovered by a multitude of layered processes: deterritorialization and reterritorialization, Zero and schizophrenia. Such a dynamic is the means of continuation of critique as capitalism. Deleuze and Guattari’s statement that the limit is ‘internal’ is not with regard to the mechanisms of capitalism, but is made in relation to the internally synthesised limits of phenomena. The exterior limits of capitalism – the Outside – are both primary production-in-itself and “schizophrenia, that is, absolute decoding of flows.” (Ibid ,p287) Much like the mutual relationship of the virtual/actual the Inside/Outside cannot be without one another, the latter, however, is always one step ahead of the former due to its inherently different mode of temporality. In this manner the push/progression of the internal limit of capitalism is made possible by letting the Outside in. The allowance of the Outside is made possible by the process of schizophrenia doing what comes natural to it, descending to the periphery and in combination with Zero, the schizo is allowed to jump the frontier and push into a new event and actualize a new negentropy.

The schizophrenic descends to the unknown, the periphery, the furthest limit of capitalism and during this process defines a new limit – one which it is already on the other side of (thanks to Zero). The madness of the schizo is exorcised and the schiz itself re-Oedipalized in assimilation with the newfound limit, desire or productive system. If Oedipus has an enemy, schizophrenia is it. Schizophrenia is not the schizophrenia of the asylum, but a process, a fluidity, a continual process of identity and structural repulsion. “[The schizophrenic] scrambles all codes and is the transmitter of the decoded flows of desire.” (Ibid, p49) The importance of [the] schizo is that he/it seeks out not just limits, but exits. “The schizo knows how to leave.” (Ibid, p156) state Deleuze and Guattari, a fundamentally problematic position. The schizophrenic process traverses the BwO and helps the reinstallation/reappropriation of desire/production within a newfound boundary. This implication of exit is confusingly conclusatory for Deleuze and Guattari, but this is only if one has yet to remove the last remnants of rational humanism from their thought. “There is nothing to transgress in a limit – since if there is a frontier, both sides must have already been posited.” (Lyotard, J, 2014: p203). As such the or a (one) schizophrenic is an error; to be schizo in relation to the actions of a subject is a transcendental error. The ‘subject’ has already been caught in the syntheses of the Inside; the schizophrenic process may sweep man up with it, but ‘a man’ is already too Oedipalized to become schizo. Schizophrenia is an external force of the Outside let in, it possesses man but is not let in by him, it exists only as a continuation of the machinic unconscious. To auto-induce schizophrenia is but to auto-induce complex illusions pertaining to heightened states within the Inside – do not kid yourself, you are not a schizophrenic martyr, but a delusional fool.

The real dynamic that allows schizophrenic exit is posed within the statement “Schizophrenia creeps out of every box eventually.” (Deleuze, G. Guattari, F, 2013: p268) The ‘box’ as linear modes of time, and ‘eventually’ as difference. The schizo as a process of the Outside let Inside is the difference within the synthesis of man. On the Inside change is doomed to the limitations of its own construct, on the Outside such a limit is non-existent. As such, allowing schizophrenia entry into the Inside from the Outside is to welcome the paradoxical means to overcome set boundaries, limits and hurdles.

Capitalism’s motto – “Nothing ever died of contradictions” (Mackay, R. Avanessian, 2014: p16) therefore, is only made possible via the critical theorizations of time and temporality within transcendental philosophy, with strict importance regarding the exclusion of both temporal linearity and cosmically-solipsistic attention to the (limited) perception of man. Here we return to Deleuze’s syntheses of time. The importance herein of Deleuze’s philosophy of time is what it transforms man, or more aptly, man’s position into. Subjectivity is fundamentally altered in relation to passivity, the human subject is removed from the possibility of agency (within the first and second syntheses) and likewise taken from the Kantian setting of critique of man-as-primary-synthesizer of processes, to man-as-process/man-in-process – Deleuzian temporality reduces Kant’s critique to shift humanity to the object side. “Time is subjective, but it is essentially the subjectivity of a passive subject.” (Deleuze, G,  p94) and a subjectivity which is disallowed the entire of the ‘box’ it knows of is practically useless. To say one has a subjective perception is to live as a transcendentally institutionalized ape! – “the first synthesis implies overlapping urations or stretches that cannot be reduced to a single line, or to a dominant narrative.” (Williams, J, 2012: p70) and yet the subjective understanding of man can attend to the most banal causal connections at an alarming rate; the time of the Inside maybe of a folded past and future into the present, but that doesn’t stop the self of Oedipus from finding a linearity to suffocate upon. These contradictions happen, appear and are enacted on the Outside and come in as actualization, becoming rooted to the fluidity of capitalism. Contradictions dissolve into the clock. Man, as passive desiring-machine, cannot attest to a contradiction, for from his point of view all is going correctly ‘forward’. A puppet makes no mistakes in-itself.

Mentioned prior was the temporal distinction between the first and second syntheses’, to extrapolate on this however we see a difference in the conception of the ‘past’. Wherein the first synthesis’ the form of past is folded into the passing-present as retention, whereas the past of the second synthesis is a ‘pure past’. Once again the notion that it is a determining past is prevalent here, for the pure past is virtual, it is a connective mode of retained temporality – “The pure past is noumenal it is a condition for the passing of actual passing presents.” (Ibid, p73) In relation to the transcendental then, this temporal realm of the pure past is a ‘behind’ of a deterministic quality. In a mode of reciprocal determination this noumenal plane completes the actual, utilizing the connective capability of the pure past. The virtuality of the pure past infects the present transcendentally, it is an infection and infiltration from the Outside. This infection is fundamentally processed via the process of reterritorialization and reterritorialization and Zero, and as such is immediately immanentized into the dynamics of capitalism. The mode – or synthesis – in which this happens is via the third of Deleuze’s 3 syntheses of time. Which is as (classically) philosophically close as one can get to an articulation of the temporal aspects of the Accelerative process.

It has already been seen via extrapolation of the first 2 syntheses that the subject, within Deleuzian philosophy, is not lost, but demoted. The third synthesis is a theorization of fracturing in relation to the subject, but this is a fracturing of the Deleuzian subject, of the subject-as-process within process. To articulate the third synthesis I must return to the first.

At its most stripped back the first synthesis is an understanding of the subject’s place within the Deleuzian continuation of critique, that the subject – and the Inside – are unable to control their relation and the effects put upon them by the syntheses of the Outside. Now to move to the third synthesis, we place this first synthesis onto the circle of the Eternal Return. “The caesura, along with the before and after that it orders once and for all, constitute the fracture of the I” (Deleuze, G, 1994: p120) and so there is, upon the circle, a cut, a fracture. Up until that point (cut) the first synthesis was passive in the ‘creation’ of a ‘subject’, a momentary – or event-caged – subject/desiring-machine whom within that previously allowed section of first synthesis began to form a subject, a self. But the caesura happens with its inherent implication of a before and after, slicing the I of the subject and creating a temporal event. In this way the third synthesis ‘begins’ (but the beginning is always the middle) the transcendental ordering of time. The caesura is the drama of time. For with cutting and creation of a new event there begins multiple relations, between the event, the before and the after.

“There is a necessary assembly of time implied by any possible cut in time. This assembly depends upon an image standing as symbol of the times assembled.” (Williams, J, 2012: p93) The times assembled have been synthesized (in relation to ‘subjects’) in the mode of the first and second syntheses; passive subjective conceptions of time created by a primary transcendental temporal assembly – “non-localisable links, action at a distance, systems of replay, of resonances and echoes, objective chance, signals and signs, roles transcending spatial situations and temporal successions.” (DR p113) one or many of these synthetic times “are assembled upon an image standing as a symbol of the times assembled.” (Ibid, p93). A symbol, event or event-assembly, of a synthesis is created from a cut in time. A novel/new action is dependent on this cut, for without a cut, fracture or break it remains only a possibility, there is no event, no assemblage, no time-image without the new; the future is not continuation, it is fragmentation.

But what of this future? “The new as produced in a present act and conditioned by the third synthesis of time as cut, assembly order and series is itself dependent on repetition as the eternal return of difference.” (Ibid, p96) The circle that is the eternal return spins as an assemblage of times. It makes its return (spin/cycle) and is cut, fractured, and the previous cycle is knocked out-of-joint, the circle is decentred. But, the cycle continues, this time decentred and spinning from a new temporal locale, as such the cut acts as the bringer of difference. The future is this new cycle. The eternal return never had an originary position, it is an eternal spiral/decentred circle, mutating its temporal self by way of fragmentation into a new/different temporal assemblage.

Thus far this has been an exercise of extrapolating on its key components, parts and functions. As such I can now begin to draw various aforementioned elements together and begin to construct the process of Accelerationism, which since the introduction has not been mentioned by name, but has most definitely been present. For a prior definition of Accelerationism without extrapolation of its respective complexities’ workings and functions, and their interactions, would be theoretically useless, to define a process one must understand its loop. From now this essay is a matter of assembly.

 

ACCELERATIONISM

A clarification of the beginnings of the ‘process’ of Accelerationism thus far with regard to this current conclusion. Prior to redirecting the aforementioned theorizations towards specifically Accelerationist emphases. Man is a passive desiring-machine, synthesizing the living-present in relation to retained and anticipated desire, this synthesis in relation to Deleuzian critique is of the Inside. External to this, on the Outside, is where the ‘alien force’ of production is found. This alien force possesses man via machinic means and makes him an agent of capital alongside making him capital. The process of deterritorialization and reterritorialization draws virtualities from the BwO which are then actualized into the socius, or into the Inside via man’s synthesis – the process of possession. Capitalism as a dynamically fluid system can consistently adhere to the BwO due to its ability to withstand breaks. So that which is deterritorialized is reterritorialized into the mechanical clock-time of capitalism, it is instantly immanentized into the runaway mechanisms of capitalism itself, targeted towards a productivity for capitalism. In this manner capitalism constructs reality, not metaphorically, but within the realm of physics. “Deleuze-Guattari’s machinic unconscious diffuses all law into automatism.” (Land, N, 2014: p322).

And thus this construction of reality, of the BwO being perpetually deterritorialized and reterritorialized is the immanentization of the forever-middle, the machinic unconscious has no crescendo, only more desire. This process is the machinic unconscious, the machinizing of virtual temporality into actuality as a runaway mechanism. The ‘reality’ of the Inside never ‘begun’ in any originary manner, it only exists in a sporadic indexing of intense construction directed by the productive forces of the machinic unconscious, which exists solely on the Outside. For,

“Oedipus – or transcendental familialism – corresponds to the privatization of desire: its localization within segmented and anthropomorphized sectors of assembly circuits as the attribute of a personal being. Anti-Oedipus aligns itself with the replicants, because rather than placing a personal unconscious within the organism, it places the organism within the unconscious.” (Ibid, p320)

Once it is accepted that the human subject is no longer the pre-copernican/pre-Kantian subject or overarching synthesizer in-themselves (via Deleuze), but is synthesizing within a pure time inclusive of an Inside and Outside, alterations occur regarding classical structures of order. The personal unconscious is revealed to be another transcendental illusion, another mask hiding no face, or; an actuality within the socius acting as an illusory form of agency functioning in relation to an underlying productive process. “In the unconscious there are no protectable cell-structures, but only ‘populations, groups, and machines’.” (Ibid, p320) a productive-unconscious which, in relation to syntheses is “not considered to be not merely immanent to their operation, but also immanently constituted, or auto-productive.” (Ibid, p322) this auto-constructive/productive element is explained in terms of physics within Anti-Oedipus,

But in reality the unconscious belongs to the realm of physics; the body without organs and its intensities are not metaphors, but matter itself. – A machine works according to the previous intercommunications of its structure and the positioning of its parts, but does not set itself into place any more than it forms or reproduces itself.” (Deleuze, G. Guattari, F, 2013: p323)

As such, the auto-constructive process of the Outside, of production-in-itself is the machinic unconscious. The positive oriented construction of a temporal index from the Outside in. Not only within the machinic unconscious, but from it and of it too.

Or might it be to go in the opposite direction? To go still further, that is, in the movement of the market, of decoding and deterritorialization? For perhaps the flows are not yet deterritorialized enough, not decoded enough, from the viewpoint of a theory and a practice of a highly schizophrenic character. Not to withdraw from the process, but to go further, to “accelerate the process,” as Nietzsche put it: in this manner, the truth is that we haven’t seen anything yet.” (Ibid, p276)

This quote forming both the name ‘Accelerationism’ and the motto of the Accelerationists, “accelerate the process”. The process defined then is the culmination of the aforementioned multitude of parts into a coherence in relation to all, the primary components however are: Time, production and capitalism. It is of note – to those still…stuck – that humans here as desiring-machines are immanently demoted to the Inside of the transcendental split, as such work only in coordination to a primary force, the primary force of production-in-itself.

The shortest description of the process of Acceleration(ism), the one which Deleuze and Guattari say should be accelerated is as follows: Letting the Outside in. Let me crack this open and lay its parts – now thoroughly examined unto their own merits – in relation to one another. Time is understood in the mode of Deleuzian critique, it is a time of immanence and via Deleuze man is demoted to the object/material side of the transcendental split. We name this ‘side’ the Inside, for man is within a larger pure time due to the fact he must synthesize, which acts as a lock-in. The Outside then, is the transcendental. It is pure time and production-in-itself. But if we are to let the Outside in there needs to be a mode of connection or communication, or even, a method of possession. Enter the actual/virtual dynamic, wherein the actual exists within the material realm and the virtual exists in time, but also in connection to man. The actual and virtual is the link of physicalization, then, but how is it processed? The function here is Zero, which acts as the functional means for retention of surplus production value over time. For there to be a continuation, perpetually, we need the system of capitalism in all its fluidity, why? For all other systems get locked into their own principles, whereas capitalism thrives on contradiction, as such all virtuality can be utilized by capitalism and targeted towards a sole objective, continuation of capitalism which happens via continual production, or; capitalism’s aim is production of production. The machinic mechanisms of capitalism – clock/industrial time – act as an alien force acting upon man, altering him into a machine, which, in combination with passive Lyotardian desire fundamentally changes man into that which can be possessed by forces of the Outside, for man is but immanent to the process itself. Here time takes effect. For this entire process is happening within the temporal mode of the eternal return. As such, upon the return of the cycle a cut happens, and the new is brought forth via time.

The process can be described very plainly, without its temporal linkage, as the process wherein the productive, schizophrenic and deterritorializing capabilities inherent to capitalism are accelerated. Which without prior articulation of the problematic nature of capitalism’s limit in relation to schizophrenia, time and process seems clear. To begin at the start of this essay once more, I noted that time plays a major role in the ‘process’ itself. The relation between Deleuzian philosophy of time and Accelerationism is the clearest route to articulating the process in-depth. For, the classical definition of ‘acceleration’ posits one idea, the continual push for the new – to ‘accelerate’ is never to return, or at least return to a previous (same) state. To accelerate to 80 mph, is not return to 20mph once you’ve hit 40mph. The definition of ‘acceleration’ in relation to Accelerationism however is a little more tricky, but I will come to that shortly. For now I shall focus on Acceleration in relation to the Deleuzian philosophy of time. To Accelerate (now in the sense of Acceleration(ism)) is to allow the past no continuation, it is to play no part in the past, except wherein the past is utilized by schizophrenia, taken upon a line-of-flight and deterritorialized back into the virtual, processed by Zero, and reterritorialized once more as actual back into the socius as something new – there is much process to avoid the stagnation of the past, for it is trapped, and the machinery imposes an inhumanity of constant change. Primarily, as I have stated, Accelerationism is concerned with the third synthesis in its relation to novelty, the new, difference…the future. So the process in this manner is the way in which the pure form of time posited by Deleuze is (ab)used/utilized to maximum efficiency by the inherent capability of capitalism to be fluid. That is, due to the inherent nature of capitalism’s system as that which avoids definition, any mode of thought epoch, external system, internal system or defining capability that attempts to mould capital to its will is either subsumed into the dynamics as an illusory form of its previous self (read: leftism), or is left as a stagnant external to capitalism (and thus to time) and left to rot due to exclusion from the only productive hegemony (read: primitivism).

Acceleration is not synonymous with speed. It should be evident by now that the idea that one, or an, or even an ‘I’ or ‘they’ could actively speed up capitalism as a mode of praxis would be a transcendental error. An error wherein one mistakes the ‘speed’ of phenomena, or of actualized ‘entrepreneurship’, techno-economic innovation or higher profit rates as Acceleration. In this manner, the entire canon of Left-Accelerationist writings fall flat on their incorrect readings of Accelerationism in relation to time. Whereby they believe that accelerating capitalism will lead to a means of emancipation of the worker in the future, via automation etc. Such a belief is posited on the notion of anthropocentric material and praxis, and as such is an error in its entire.

From this I posit that Acceleration is not synonymous with speed in the classical sense of MPH etc. The question then is how to define the ‘Acceleration’ of Accelerationism? I have thus far made it clear that Accelerationism is primarily a philosophy of time, it is understood as a continuation of critique and attends to the transcendental framework of time as primary. The connection between capitalism and time is where we find the definition of what it is to ‘Accelerate’. As noted capitalism has a critical understanding of time and finds within it its ability to act as auto-construction between and over temporal events. Instead of being divided into temporal offshoots or temporally constructed neologisms (cyber-gothic, neoreaction, postmodernism, neo-Dada etc.) of its own system, we find that capitalism never fragments in time. Capital is always already temporally one step ahead. It is the great abstract-machine of living presents; though it has not produced this system of time itself, it has inherent to its mechanisms an ability to produce from it and with it. The passive syntheses of time are drawn into the system of capitalism which acts as their undercurrent, their temporal mediator. Man stands as a material for the communion of capitalism. For the internal dynamic of capitalism is a positive-feedback loop targeted at production, targeted at production of production. As I have shown the philosophy of Accelerationism is not empirical, so these modes of production are not traditional/classical profit dynamics, material growth rates, resource extraction rates etc., these would all be but more masks hiding no faces. More quasi-illusions atop the production-in-itself of the Outside. In this manner to ‘Accelerate’ is not to ‘go faster’, but is to allow capitalism to enact its inherent capabilities regarding perpetual acquisition of the new. Not to speed up, but to be novel.

The two-factor form of positive feedback that makes up the ‘process’ of Accelerationism is as follows then. The productive output that capitalism (as positive oriented) is targeted at is a transcendental form of production, profit rates are on the inside of the transcendental. So the true productive capability comes from the Outside, which can also be stated as working with the BwO in its most general sense as a bank of virtualities to be reappropriated in a novel way by Zero, and actualized through man. So the cyclical nature of Deleuzian time in relation to the eternal return states that the eternal return is the return of difference. The return is the future, which is the decentred circle starting another cycle from a different centre point; without this decentred, out-of-joint nature of the eternal return, the return would always be the same. A connection is to be found here between the eternal return and the BwO, “Drawn from the real present object, the virtual object differs from it in its nature; it does not only lack something in relation to the real object it subtracts itself from; it lacks something in itself, by being half of itself where the other half is posited as different and absent.” (Deleuze, G, 1996: p135)

The virtualities “half of itself” is that which is returned to the BwO, the lost part of it, its perpetual potentiality for difference, for reappropriation. The part which returns to the atemporality of the BwO, for it is not locked to the object of an event as the actual is, and can return to be reused. As a whole process the virtual can always return, in the sense of both its indexing within the pure past and as part of difference. On top of all this the process unto which the virtuality is thrown into the thresher of either non or pro-productive difference is entirely unconscious. “A machine works according to the previous intercommunications of its structure and the positioning of its parts, but does not set itself into place any more than it forms or reproduces itself.” (Deleuze, G. Guattari, F, 2013: p323) In this manner the industrialized, mechanized and quantified attributes of capitalism’s internal dynamics act as a numeric thresher regarding the productive output of temporal caesuras as reterritorialized pure past sent in from the Outside. To expand upon one instance of this process:

The eternal return cycles one return, there is a caesura/break in time which inherently acts as a cutting of temporality therefore forming a before and after and in turn producing novelty, the-future-as-difference, as such the eternal return is the eternal return of difference and is the temporal motor of Acceleration. This return of difference is a new virtuality to be both deterritorialized from its originary temporal location and reterritorialized until complete burnout, in this sense, capitalism’s machinic-unconscious acts as a temporal thresher, extracting all productive potentiality from that which is sent ‘in’ from the Outside via the process of the eternal return – this is what it means to Accelerate.

The process of the return is the content of Acceleration. It is that which comes closest to a theoretical outline of that which has been or is Accelerating. The eternal return of difference being instantly re-immanentized (BwO > Schizophrenia > Zero) back into the dynamics of capitalism. Capitalism utilizes all difference as a means for its own expansion. Upon the instantiation of transcendent capitalism the eternal return fundamentally alters. For much akin the BwO, a return as a form of difference is an act of repulsion against the same, much alike the repulsion of overcoding from the undifferentiated within difference. Also the same is the way in which capitalism can adhere to that which is theoretically eternal. For only that which can remain undisturbed in-itself throughout incessant change can continue eternal, namely, capitalism. The return of the circle is but another force of the Outside, another novelty to be aimed at its continuation.

As much as the aforementioned entire could be stated as ‘conditions’, however the process unto which one has to deal with said process is unconditional. Thus to direct, attempt to direct or even to theorize a direction of the process is always already a dead, strange and terrifying abstraction.

Within this is a direct assimilation of productive potential regarding the pure form of time. The pure form of time in the ‘event’ (caesura) of the third synthesis is 1. An event unto itself, but also 2. A fragmentation, a variation, a splitting or divide, both (1 & 2) are in time. This mode of breaking wherein a break imposes a serialization unto time poses an implicit problem for every other system other than capitalism. In this manner the system of capitalism either formed itself respective of Deleuzian time, or such a mode of time evolved capitalism (this is not for me to answer here). For each temporal event has its own symbolic image underneath it, as such Feudalism, Monarchism, Communism, I state that these are all passive temporal forms which cling to the symbolic, the locked-in imagery of a single symbolic event. And whatsmore, they fear further events, for the caesura brings with it an effect unto their event and thus a change. Capitalism on the other hand is the great temporal thresher, hoovering up productive capability of the serialization of time and assimilating all new virtualities into its fluxing/fluid temporal domain.

So what is Accelerationism then, what is it to Accelerate with regard to all that has been assembled? It is the temporal assemblage of the dynamics of capitalism, transcendental temporality and Deleuzoguattarian production. It is passivity in relation to this trio, an understanding that once the auto-construction that is the machinic unconscious is underway, that within its inherent nature it targets itself at continual production-of-production, as such, Accelerationism begun as soon as capitalism begun. The cosmic evolutionary utilization of the return of difference as a means to compound greater production regarding the future. For the process of Acceleration is a multiplicity of functions, of process-based assemblages interconnecting into a cosmic fluidity. It is the transcendental conclusion of man as a passive desiring-machine, which in concordance with the processes of capital makes him capital in-himself, man is made immanent to the system itself. The anthro is dissolved. Accelerationism is transcendental evolutionary production, a cosmic production thresher of the Outside targeted foremost at time itself. The process of Acceleration or: “accelerate the process” (Ibid, p276) then is a semantic mistake. For ‘to accelerate’ presumes a form of agency, a form of direction, whereas the ‘reality’ of the process is one of an ever changing reality; acceleration is always disjointed, neo, ahead, disappearing,

“Anyone trying to work out what they think about accelerationism better do so quickly. That’s the nature of the thing. It was already caught up with trends that seemed too fast to track when it began to become self-aware, decades ago. It has picked up a lot of speed since then.” (Land, N, 2017)

‘Accelerationism’ as a piece of terminology is a pithy joke, to define an ever evolving machinic unconscious leviathan so didactically is laughable, to ‘work it out’ is only ever to work out the processes or functions of its nature, never to find a form of comfort or control.

 

CONCLUSION

From such an assemblage of functions and processes, the entirety of which are within the auto-construction of the machinic unconscious, any conclusion can only be articulated in a non-conclusory form. Due to Accelerationism’s inherent transcendental characteristics, which have been thoroughly extrapolated here, one understands that any notion of an Accelerative finality is not possible. Such a possibility only exists on the Inside, and even then, it only exists as an illusory form of finality, a stagnance decided upon by a desiring-machine. In this manner I take the opportunity within this conclusion to make a prescient points regarding the entirety of what is known contemporarily as ‘Accelerationist Politics’. The conclusion that one can draw about such a statement, considering this essay’s prior theorizations, is that any notion of politics in relation to Accelerationism is any traditional sense is instantly recognized as a categorical transcendental error. No amount, no type, no redefinition of politics can alter it in such a manner that it can affect the primary of the Outside. In this manner this essay stands not as an attack on the Accelerationist politics of Williams and Srnicek (2013) and Shaviro (2015), but positions itself prior to any of these theorizations.

Further to this conclusion I would argue that the trajectory of the so-called ‘Unconditional Accelerationists’ is not incorrect, as much as it is terminologically ambiguous. For I have outlined certain conditions which culminate into both the process of Accelerationism and Accelerationism itself. In relation to the entirety of the transcendental there are conditions, functions and processes which all autocatalytically interact, however vague, free-floating and fluxing these conditions are, they all need to be in place for there to be such a theory of time as Accelerationism. However, I will openly admit that in relation to the Inside Accelerationism is unconditional, that is, there is and never was anything we could do.

So where can one say the process of Acceleration will continue into, what will come of it? Such an answer can admittedly only be purely speculative theorization. In that, it may be that capitalism continues in one of 2 directions. Either it continues its runaway mechanism towards singularity, which would take such a form that one could not comment upon. Or direction 2, it continues its runaway mechanisms in continual ignorance of the finite nature of the Inside and as such crumbles under its own nature. In the first direction the conclusion is a dark Marxist transformation, wherein, the means of production are not given over to us, but escape from us towards their own self-propulsion. In the second direction, anthropocentric and Inside-centric perspective would once again take to the fore. If capitalism crumbles under its own weight via resource over-extraction etc. then we no longer would have the dynamics of capitalism to solve our problems, and as such the Outside would dissolve, or at least its methods of communication would disappear until such time as the entire assemblage is made possible once more.

There is however a quasi-conclusion to the theorization of Accelerationism. In that, it is arguably the first philosophical effort or critique in which the human truly stands alone. Prior to Accelerationism all notions and articulations of what it is to-be-human have come either from the Inside, and as such have a transcendentally incorrect bias, or, spring from a pre-Kantian rationalism, which in-keeping with the theory of this essay is also incorrect. Though Kant and those philosophers working with critique make man’s place in the world clear, different and non-anthropocentric, they only do so in a manner of placement, as opposed to definition. To place man on the Inside is not to define him, it is only to locate him. However, in relation to Acceleration, man is both transcendentally demoted to the Inside and has entirely inhuman/non-human forces reacting, possessing and controlling him. As such, via Accelerationism we can begin to posit man and humanism, not in-itself as a form of self-congratulatory conservative bias, but as a reaction against an artificiality it most definitely is not.

 

Bibliography

Deleuze, G. (1994) Difference and Repetition. Trans. Patton, P. London: Bloomsbury Academic

Deleuze, G. Guattari, F. (2013) Anti-Oedipus. Trans. Hurley, R. Seem, M. Lane, H.R. London: Bloomsbury Academic

Foster Wallace, D. (2011) Infinite Jest. Great Britain: Little, Brown and Company.

Greenspan, A. (2000) Capitalism’s Transcendental Time Machine. PhD Thesis, University of Warwick

Guattari, F. (2006) The Anti-Oedipus Papers. Trans. Gotman, K. New York: Semiotext

Ireland, A. (@qdnoktsqfr) (2019) https://twitter.com/qdnoktsqfr/status/1121261704275345408

Kant, I. (1996) The Critique of Pure Reason. Trans. Pluhar, W.S, United States of America: Hackett Publishing Company

Land, N. (2014) Fanged Noumena. Ed. Mackay, R. Brassier, R. United Kingdom: Urbanomic

Land, N. (2017) A Quick-and-Dirty Introduction to Accelerationism. https://jacobitemag.com/2017/05/25/a-quick-and-dirty-introduction-to-accelerationism/

Lyotard, J-F. (2003) Libidinal Economy. Trans. Hamilton Grant, I. Great Britain: Continuum

Lyotard, J. (1972) ‘Energumen Capitalism’, review in Critique 306. In (2014) #Accelerate – The Accelerationist Reader. Ed. Mackay, R. Avanessian, A. United Kingdom: Urbanomic Media Ltd

Marx, K. (1939) ‘Fragment on Machines’, edited extract from Grundisse. Trans. Nicolaus, M. In (2014) #Accelerate – The Accelerationist Reader. Ed. Mackay, R. Avanessian, A. United Kingdom: Urbanomic Media Ltd

Shaviro, S. (2015) No Speed Limit: Three Essays on Accelerationism. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press

Veblen, T. (1958) ‘The Machine Process’, edited extract from The Theory of Business Enterprise. In (2014) #Accelerate – The Accelerationist Reader. Ed. Mackay, R. Avanessian, A. United Kingdom: Urbanomic Media Ltd

Williams, A. Srnicek, N. (2013) #Accelerate. In (2014) #Accelerate – The Accelerationist Reader. Ed. Mackay, R. Avanessian, A. United Kingdom: Urbanomic Media Ltd

Williams, J. (2012) Gilles Deleuze’s Philosophy of Time. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press Ltd

Williams, J. (2013) Gilles Deleuze’s Difference and Repetition. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press Ltd

 

The Genealogy of Foucault’s Numeric Power Structures – Man Under Number

The Genealogy of Foucault’s Numeric Power Structures – Man Under Number

By Meta-Nomad

Essay constructed whilst listening to Röyksopp’s Senior – here, listen.

PDF Link for easier reading.

 

Introduction

In this essay I primarily use Michel Foucault’s text The Birth of Biopolitics (2010) to extrapolate and theorize on the socio-economic genealogy that is created after the Enlightenment. I propose that distinctive to the process of the Enlightenment was a fundamental cultural shift towards the assimilation of number into every facet of man’s life. My task is not to ask ‘Why?’ this new numeric culture arose, nor ‘Why?’. My sole task is to analyze the full economic, social and political genealogy it gives rise to in relation to man’s understanding of himself. I shall note that the genealogy itself is theoretically auto-catalytic (as shown by Fig 1), as such the linearity of the essay is continually reliant on the extrapolation of a previous section. As such I have written this essay in such a way as to expound upon that which I believe to be the largest ‘macro’ first (the culture of number) and continued genealogically through to the smallest ‘micro’ (man as homo-economicus). Though there is a quasi-hierarchical relation between the influence of some parts of the genealogy upon others parts, no part can exist without any other, as such the structure of the text acts only an illusory form of cohesion in relation to that which is ceaselessly auto-catalyzing between systems, structures, institutions, temporalities, cultures and frameworks.

(Fig 1 – The Auto-catalytic Nature of Modernity’s Numeric Genealogy)

 

Man’s Maturation and Enlightened Numeric Systems.

This essay’s respective ‘parts’ form a cohesion in relation to the maturation of man [1]. This process of maturation is inherently connected to time, it is a temporal process, one matures over time. The key ‘era’ of man’s maturation, in inherent distinction to others, according to Kant (Kant, 1784) was the ‘dawn’ of the Enlightenment. A process beginning with the 16th (Foucault, 2000, p307) century and continuing through to the early 19th. A process which has become synonymous with the arrival/birth of modernity (Ibid, p303-304, 309). The Enlightenment is a process situated within history, from which “Man puts his reason to use” (Ibid, p308). To utilize his reason, his human reason as a form of exit from the authoritarian and theological structures of the Other (Ibid, p306) that dominated the thought of the subject prior. To understand the world within man’s own cognitive capacity, this is what is meant by critique (Ibid, p305); the Enlightenment is the dawn of anthro-limit-acceptance. The systematic modification of will, authority and reason (Ibid, p305) that takes place within the Enlightenment is a distinctly temporal form of maturation – “because illumination takes time” (Land, 2013), linked to an ongoing histo-cultural process. Epistemologically locked to the changes taking place within said process. There was a darkness and calculation – as I will show – lead man to the En(Light)enment. The grammatical focus on the singular notion of an Enlightenment confusingly removes it from its true nature as process, a process within a larger process of techno-capital which it helps/allows to birth. Inherent to the system of the Enlightenment is a historical and numerical overlap which allows man to fully mature, the historical and systematic roots of which I shall now begin to pull up.

To state that the process of the Enlightenment is at its core historically and culturally mathematical would be the understatement, with regard to not only history, but to man’s nature and ‘nature’ in general – as I shall show further on. The proto-process of the Enlightenment begins much earlier that the 16th century, Crosby notes the process begins – less systematically – in the 13th century (Crosby, 1996). Yet full scale numeric-cultural assimilation of which is the focus of the this essay doesn’t arrive until the 16th century. From then on its arrival is so militaristic one wonders where numbers do not pry: Military textbooks (Ibid, p6), mathematical clocks (Ibid, p19), abacus’ (Ibid, p112), roman numerals (Ibid, p115), Mercantilism (Porter,T,M, 1986, p20), Malthusianism (Ibid, p26), Victorian social policy (Ibid, p30-31), standardization of measurements and time (Porter,T,M, 1996. p29, 93, 207, 224). The physics of Kepler, Galileo, Descartes and Newton, Stevin’s decimalist fractions (1585), Napier’s logarithms (1614), Fermat (1636) and Descartes’ (1637) geometry, Leibniz (1684) and Newton’s (1687) calculus and so on (see secondary bibliography on Enlightenment texts). As I previously stated in the introduction, my task is not to theorize the how or why the numeric cultural methods became so prevalent within the process of the Enlightenment, but to ask what these new numeric methods/attitudes do to man, how they alter man. What happens to the ‘homo sapiens’ when systematically introduced to number. That of man’s maturation under number? For a thorough analysis of this I turn to Foucault’s Birth of Biopolitics (2010).

A continually self-aggrandizing numeric process/culture which begins and succeeds in applying and parasitically assimilating number, math, calculation and quantification onto and into every facet of society. Number and limit convert man’s most basic and fundamental actions from subject oriented actions of the ‘immature’ self into economic possibilities: growth, gain, loss, limit, production and profit etc. The aforementioned numeric and mathematical events taking place within the Enlightenment convert society into a culture of the abacus, of ones and zeroes, pluses and minuses, controlled by chronic, linear time; “Modernity is often situated on a calendar” (Foucault, M, 2000. p309) notes Foucault and yet one struggles to rigorously select the dates unto which we can say ‘modernity’ precisely takes place. However, one can say that without modernity calendars cease existence, at least in our current systematic understanding of them. Calendric culture is modernity, a grid-like structure atop the world locking culture into smaller and smaller parcels and units of time. The calendar is the metaphor for modernity, a thorough process of temporal atomization unto which one can easily control the minute boxes are produced from it. A time built for control, from mathematical means of control. Firstly, the newfound numeric culture must assimilate into the ‘macro’ as a means to alter the ‘micro’; society first, only then to man.

 

Assimilating the Attitude of Modernity into Society

The numeric attitude of modernity aforementioned, complete with its assimilation of reasoned, mature, calculable limit into every facet of life shall forthwith be called ‘the attitude of modernity’. This attitude – for reasons I expand upon later – exists everywhere, and so, to get to the question of this essay, namely ‘man’, I must follow the constitutive parts of a numeric genealogy which begin their journey as the formation/creation of the synonymy of society and economy, and from there onward affect man more directly and purposefully. Yet one must extrapolate on that which man is within and in some sense being molded by before attending to the singular unit of man himself, he exists roughly at the ‘end’ of a genealogy: Number, economy, state and finally man.

Once the attitude of modernity infects society the task of society fundamentally changes, due to its newfound utilization and reliance on number and thus numeric/economic systems. This newfound raison d’Etat has at its core a critique of the ‘art of governance’ inherently connected with number (Foucault, M, 2010. p6), for the understanding of ‘limit’ is not possible without a coherent ‘lesser’ or ‘greater’, a mode of thinking made available by number. As such government begins to understand itself in relation to its own limitations and precisely because of this self-understanding it can begin to place itself within and enter into competitive frameworks, as well as this government also begins to understand its own internal limits and begins to regulate where it deems fit. Both the external mode of competition and internal mode of regulation are made possible by alterations both in communal/societal understanding of limit via numeric education and nature (later). This raison D’etat which takes the form of “internal limitation of governmental reason” (Ibid, p13) – or perhaps, ‘the maturation of government’ – is made possible by the arrival of ‘political economy’ (itself arriving synchronously with the numeric attitude) – “a method of government that can procure the nation’s prosperity” (Ibid, p13). Political economy in its mutual utilization of the attitude of modernity acts as governmental reflection (which was previously based upon morals, theology or law) ground down to ones and zeros, positives and negatives of wealth, value and capital (Ibid, p15). From this form of epistemological and governmental legitimacy wherein profit is ‘correct’ (Ibid, p14) “the economy produces the legitimacy of the state – the economy creates public law” (Ibid, p84), for law need only be tailored towards – the same now for everything else in society – the growth of the economy in relation to the nation. And so there is a ‘permanent genealogy of the state from the economic institution” (Ibid, p84) the actions of society become the actions for the growth of the economy and so succinctly, society becomes equal to economy.

To continue with this exposition of genealogy in the direction of man I must reach back to where I began. The attitude of modernity makes the society within its clutches understand itself in relation to its own attitude and epistemological legitimization of economic growth. All that is macro (society & state) or micro (man) is assimilated into the controlled signification of society now synonymous with economy, as noted by Foucault:

The economy produces political signs that enable structures, mechanisms of justification and power to function – the free market, the economically free-market, binds and manifests political bonds.” (Ibid, p85).

This form of economic positive-feedback-loop creation is genealogically bound to the economy – the creation itself made possible by the maturation of man. The positive feedback loop of the economy is reliant on material agents who understand and make intelligible its system (men) to feed its growth-directed abacus. Man’s economic choices within this economic loop compound into a single choice, the choice for the continuation of the economy beneath him. This is the only societal choice if one is to utilize the logic expounded previously: A nation’s prosperity is in relation to the growth of the economy, arguably the average man wishes for the betterment of his nation and in turn himself (from his nation), as such the purpose of man – survival, betterment, wellbeing[2] – becomes equal to attending to and helping the economic growth of the/his state/nation. For what now exists outside of the economy is now also outside of society and as such struggles, due to lack of institutional support networks, to survive. Man’s remaining options are to attend to the expansion of the economy or beg for scraps external to all systems. The attitude of modernity is a parasite infecting both at an individual and social level as to legitimize growth-as-wellbeing via intelligible mechanisms, and so, for man to improve his wellbeing he understands via signification produced by the economy that he must improve the growth of the economy – his ‘purpose’ has been replaced with a clearer economic purpose, his material meaning fulfilled, but what of his nature?

 

Nature and Political Economy

Political economy has arrived, as such the fundamental notions of nature, society and economy and man have changed, and so the state has inherently altered and modified into a system that mutates governmental practice into an economic entity – “Political economy [a] method of government that can procure prosperity.” (Ibid, p13). To prosper, to grow and to profit. Political economy is the numeric reflection of governmental policy via its economic effects and choices. This socio-economic abacus of political economy reveals [3] the intelligible mechanisms (Ibid, p15) of the economy. Mechanisms that once revealed can be taken by government into a loop of creation and utilization, to alter and direct their mode of governance in relation to a personal ideology. To chain the flow of capital towards a humanist venture. For the mechanisms cannot be avoided (Ibid, p15), and so are to be directed – which is considered by Foucault to be to the detriment of the free-market (Ibid, p116) – or are simply to be left alone, to be [a] free [market]. These mechanisms become nature via their synonymous actions alongside the attitude of modernity. Numeric attitudes allow such mechanisms an actuality via cultural assimilation of the means of understanding the mechanisms (mathematical education). This in turn assimilates into the collective engagement of society and government – “The notion of nature will thus be transformed with the appearance of political economy.” (Ibid, p15).

If we’re to take Foucault at his word when he states “Nature is something that runs under, through, and in the exercise of governmentality.” (Ibid, p16) then it follows that the reveal of political economy, and political economy itself is natural – for political economy is merely a modification of governance in relation to cultural progression maturation and alteration. There is no mutation in/of nature, we have simply revealed a further part of its form. The attitude of modernity as parasite in accordance with the political economy adheres to the previous culture of society/man and directs it via assimilation with mathematics towards a new form of natural behaviour in-keeping with the modern attitude. Number begets number via parasitic invasion of man’s being, allowing man to enter into the epistemological framework which reveres markets as signifier of truth.

Further investigation with regards to man’s ‘new’ natural reality of political economy is paramount to understanding his new being. For within man’s ‘new’ nature – now simply ‘nature’ – the choice of taxes at a politically economic level is a now simply a question of growth in relation to the state within which that political economy exists, does doing X to Y result in growth. The competitive essence of growth quashes archaic modes of ‘right & wrong’ via the assimilation of the attitude of modernity into every facet of man’s praxis. From (new) nature man now understands his purpose in relation to growth, and so all his actions are to be taken and made in relation to growth. Truth, for man, now lies solely – within a free-market capitalist mode of economy – within the potential for national prosperity, itself connected to the ‘regime of truth’ (Ibid, p19) connected to government via natural signification – “the site of truth is the market” (Ibid, p30). From this complex interwoven process of maturation via number, agents, economy, state and markets arises a norm. A mode of societal and governmental normitivity arises from the black unknowability of all economic processes. Man’s new mode of being – political economy as society aside – is to adhere/revere the normative, calculating, reasoned and epistemologically numerical economic mode of being, itself arisen from the secular domain of economy. Nature now runs through government as a mode of economic truth, an individual and collective mode of being made possible by the process of the Enlightenment’s maturation being synonymous with the assimilation of numerical attitudes into culture. This ‘mode of being’, for man, is to be ‘homo-economicus’.

 

Becoming Homo-Economicus

But what of ‘man’ within this new reality, this ‘new’ nature? He too synchronously changes alongside and with the nature of the collective. Man transforms, he modifies into ‘economic-man’, ‘human-capital’, homo-economicus. This modification of ‘man’ happens not only at a sociological, political and economic level, but also more fundamentally at the level of identity, at the level of his very definition. Foucault notes the history of the Latin word for man – homo, e.g. homosapien – during the process of the Enlightenment (Ibid, p250). During which the abstract integration of ‘man’ (homo) into external systems of cultural, societal and – eventually – economic relation takes place – homo-penalis & homo-criminalis are two clear examples (Ibid, p250). Throughout the process of the Enlightenment, man’s maturation, the singular subject ‘man’ loses his state as subject-as-island, separate from systems, sovereignty and economics, he begins to become inherently integrated into the modern attitude itself via semantic means. A man who is a criminal is a criminal-man, a new singular semantic judgement. Yet more importantly, for not all men are criminals – all men are now, or have the capacity to be calculating, man’s critical future neologism as homo-economicus, economic-man is locked into the modern attitude of calculation, which itself is locked into the ‘new’ form of nature. Man’s assimilation into this new economic reality is made whole by this creation of a neologistic combination of biology and economy. The cultural integration of number infects man and makes possible his new, inherent tether to the economy. The process of the Enlightenment, the maturation process paves the way for his becoming-economic. If man is now to be, he must be economic, he must be homo-economicus.

“The homo-economicus sought after is not the man of exchange or man the consumer; he’s the man of enterprise and production.” (Ibid, p147). However, with regard to “enterprise and production”, Foucault does not believe this fundamental shift within the subject of man makes him merely a puppet of capital, pulled by larger, unseen economic forces. It places him within and of an inescapable and unknowable whole of economics which, as atomized homo-economicus, he now becomes within due to to his newfound intelligible abilities in relation to economic mechanisms, themselves in relation to the political economy. Homo-economicus is entirely a becoming, a temporal length of maturation in relation to his understanding and assimilation into the numeric/economic framework. This process of assimilating the attitude of modernity into man begins at birth. A child is human capital (p228). It is a maturation directed at the potential for future economic output, a numeric maturation. The capital that is a ‘young human/infant’ is thrown into a temporal framework of limitation in relation to the epistemological legitimacy of market processes at that current time: Age, intelligence, investment, health, family and future possibilities all act in relation to the potential of this atomized homo-economicus to supply the state with growth. Their only other option is to de-tether from the economy and risk death.

Man, for Foucault, throughout this entire process undergoes as complex change & modification – if not more so – as state and society, due to assumptions surrounding his own being and ‘subject’ itself being eroded. The new reality – nature – I previously wrote of is foremost ‘accepted’ by man, “The nature of human nature is to be historical, because the nature of human nature is to be social. There is no human nature which is separable from the very fact of society.” (Ibid, p299). Such a newfound reality/nature works upon man in way of altering the very definition of his being, modifying and directing his being into alternate pathways made available by number. During the maturation period – the Enlightenment – the concept of ‘man’ began its own semantic journey into critique, flirting with systems of its own creation – law, criminality and now economy – in ways never previously experienced. Viewing these systems not as external modifications and alterations to a (whole) self, but as internal mutations of the self into a new form of self. Man becomes criminal-man (homo-criminalis), and in the context of this essay man becomes economic-man (homo-economicus). One must understand that this acceptance of nature anew is man situated “in an indefinite field of immanence – linking him to a series of accidents. [See fig 1], linking him to production, to others – a doubly involuntary situation.” (Ibid, p277). Situated in a field of non-totalizable economic immanence, a field he partakes in via economic choice in relation to society via intelligible mechanisms, yet e only does so in an atomized manner. Such a reality is acceptance of life as an atomized conduit for Smith’s invisible hand. It is a life “in the dark [wherein] the blindness of all economic agents [men] [is] are absolute necessity.” (Ibid, p279). Foucault’s allusion to state-subject collapse in lieu of economic becoming is extreme, yet realistic in relation to man’s own limit. Man must remain blind to the totality of economic process for if he sees he risks vision of society as limitrophe of zero, of society & state-as-economy as teetering on top of a complex abacus of illusory numeric supports [4].

Man’s place within and of these supports is succinctly extrapolated by Foucault (Ibid, p84-85). Man is allowed by the institution – in relation to its merit now intelligible via number – to spend and act, simply because the institution wishes them to do so; it is in their interest to allow agents of the economy (man) freedom. It allows them with this freedom to state it is right to give them such a freedom – an epistemological loop of economic legitimization. Such actions/freedoms of man are always in relation to growth/loss etc, itself made intelligible by the epistemology of the market, and so man’s freedoms become legitimized via the regime of the market. As such, from the underlying epistemology of the economy via the intelligibility of the market comes the legitimization of all of man’s actions in relation to production, a consensus of production is produced by that which wants production – the economy. Within this positive feedback loop of human-wellbeing assimilated into the epistemological legitimization of production man becomes an agent of the economic process itself, from this loop man becomes homo-economicus, he becomes a partner of exchange (Foucault, M. 2010, p226) and as such a partner in the production of economic and political consensus via political signification made possible by intelligible market processes, (Ibid, p85) in tacit relation to the continual growth of runaway capital.

 

There is moments wherein man attempts reversion to his previous natural ‘state’, where he attempts to cordon or direct the free market economy, often resulting in detrimental effects (Ibid, p116) – these attempts are acts of competition in relation to internal and external limits. The market is pure competition (Ibid, p121) and so acts of limitation with regard to competition are anti-free-market, to regulate the economy is to regulate truth, to regulate nature. So if the market is left alone the remaining economic representation is the epistemologically (numerically) legitimized truthful vision of societal demands and desires, or else, if regulated, it is the signifier of ideology. This form of societal signifiers is synonymous with the arrival of political economy, itself synonymous with the arrival of homo-economicus.Both forming a complex whole, the existence of which is only possible on the condition of the existence of the aforementioned economized institutional framework of the state (Ibid, p163). Their adherence to the state is adherence to historical economic attitudes, or the attitude of modernity works within an institution to materialize a numeric-based power structure.

 

Temporal Power Structures

And yet, the seemingly bleak future for homo-economicus is tethered to a secondary means of control which has thus far only been hinted at with regard to its importance. This means of control is more complex in a far subtler way, the means itself is simple temporality and the realities it imposes on humans (mortality, health, productive output etc.). Yet at all junctures within both the process of maturation and the fully-fledged becoming of homo-economicus temporality is utilized by the economy via governmentality as a means for control. Before listing the simple/obvious practical means of control, I shall extrapolate on further ways in which temporality works synergistically with capital as a means of power over man. As I stated at the beginning of the essay one must not remove emphasis of the word ‘process’ in relation to maturation and the Enlightenment, this method of thinking about power must also be applied to the economy, for the economic processes unto which man is now befallen are equally forms of temporality, they are processes and at their core are actions of time. To paraphrase Foucault: the formalization of economic mechanisms and processes only exist in history (Ibid, p163) – there has to have been time for formalization to take place, no economy is a temporal moment/present. Not only do economic processes only exist and enact within history and time, but they also – within a numerical culture such as the one homo-economicus inhabits – use and utilize time as a means of control, as an economic means in itself. Foucault notes that the “economic reality of capitalism” we’re dealing with is “a singular figure in which economic processes and institutions call on each other, modify and shape each other in ceaseless reciprocity.” (Ibid, p164). Capitalism is a process of processes, “Capital is essentially /capitals/ at war among themselves.” – (Land, N. 2018, p1370). This ceaseless modification is ceaseless diversions of temporality attuning man’s life-cycle to a lesser or greater mode of profitability in relation to time. Each cross referenced via intelligible mechanisms to cater to its – capital’s – own impenetrable longevity. This history of ceaseless reciprocity, or history of economic histories “can only be an economic-institutional history.” (Ibid, p164). The overlooked factor in relation to the reality of man here is – surprisingly, with regard to Foucault – the temporal element. History, not only as supposed linear narrative of consistent economic growth or loss plotted upon a linear timescale, but also capital’s utilization of its own understanding of temporality used alongside and with the numeric attitude assimilated into man as a controller of homo-economicus. Capital utilizes temporality as a means to reinforce its fundamental social policy, growth (Ibid, p144), such a policy that is only possible via time. Capital is to utilize the temporality of man as a means of productive output, as a further means towards the best possible use of resources as an even further means towards growth. Capital takes man’s true limit and resource, time, and uses it for its own gain. Man has been systematically immanentized into the auto-catalytic schema of capital as human-capital, as part of the system himself, he is “one of the two partners of exchange in the process of exchange.” (Ibid, p225). Once man partakes – usually unwillingly – in the attitude of modernity he becomes human-capital and as such becomes – a form of – capital. A process in himself to be understood and modified by capitalism. The maturation of man during the “Western economic take off in the sixteenth and seventeenth century – Was it not due precisely to the existence of an accumulation, an accelerated accumulation, of human capital?” (Ibid, p232). This was indeed a physical accumulation of human capital, but at heart it was the accumulation of contained time as an investment in mechanisms of growth. Such an accelerative effect of accumulation was directly made possible by the assimilation of all human-capital onto an economic plane via numeric education.

Without the process of maturation, inclusive of the historic/cultural integration of number into society, man’s understanding of himself would have taken a drastic, unknowable turn…or perhaps he would have remained within a world wherein his understanding of his own ‘time’, lifespan and temporality would not coincide with number. However, the process of maturation did – or had – to arrive alongside the assimilation of mathematical education, for understanding one’s own limit is not possible with a numeric spine, as such the means of control of which the economy may utilize are larger and more intrusive.

As for the physical, practical ways in which the political economy, the economy, capital controls homo-economicus… in which it creates a power structure, I turn once again to time. Hours, minutes, seconds, linear/successive time, hours worked, rate of production, productive output, clocking-in-and-out, growth, decay, profit, loss, holidays, pensions, hourly salary, yearly salary, overtime, bonuses, years of service, dividends, bonds, stocks, bankruptcy, taxes, tax breaks, distance traveled to work and pay per hour. Each of these is made societally universal via the assimilation of the attitude of modernity into every facet of life, as well as each being uniquely connected to time via its own method of temporal control. Each of these – and many more – are actions of the aforementioned “ceaseless reciprocity” (Ibid, p164) of capitalism. They are modifications and alterations of the temporal lifespan of homo-economicus as a means towards greater productivity and growth. Not only does man have to be numeric, but his very temporal being is split, allocated and allotted as a means towards profit. The labor of profit is primarily man, and a mistake is made in relation to understanding profit as solely a monetary venture. Money is simply the signifier of the value allotted to the time worked within a particular context, by a particular human. ‘Time is money’ takes on literal significance in relation to money being the most common intelligible mechanism with regards to understanding growth. And so, the homo-economicus has a lifespan unique to its being, which from birth is for use by capital for capital “if capital is that which makes future income possible, then capital is inseparable from the person who possesses it.” (Ibid, p224). Under capitalism, capital makes future income possible, meaning that capital makes the future possible, for now the future cannot exist without being a continuation of the growth directed system of capitalism. The system of capitalism understands the economy in relation to homo-economicus as allotments of time, “the more we move towards an economic state, the more paradoxically the constitutional bond of civil society is weakened and the man the individual is isolated by the economic bond he has with everyone and anyone.” (Ibid, p303). The system of capitalism utilized the assimilation of number as a means to temporally atomize man into becoming an individual economic and temporal unit, perfect for utilizing with regard to exchange and production, each man their very own test-kit for capital. The attitude of modernity was thus the launch pad for capitalism to become a hegemonic, cosmic, numeric entity. Forcing men into semantic deaths of the self via institutionalized inescapable connections with the system itself. The parasitic structure of capital is such that the parasite exists in time, with time, and moves from host to host using their time – via practical, economic means – as a way to prolong its own existence, for the sake of its own existence.

 

Conclusion

Capital is an abstract parasite, an insatiable vampire and zombie-maker; but the living flesh it converts into dead labor is ours, and the zombies it makes are us.” (Fisher, M. 2009, p15)

If we’re to follow the genealogical thread of number through to man, one comes to the bleak conclusion expounded upon quite heavily by Fisher in Capitalist Realism. The process unconsciously undertaken during the Enlightenment unleashed the vampiric means of capital. Careful attention to Fisher’s notion of vampiric capital however reveals one salient point, there is, supposedly, life-after-capital. You have become a zombified partner of exchange in relation to a large unknowable whole, yet you are still in control of your flesh, whether or not it is being eroded by the process of capital, used up by it. As I have shown the ‘abstract parasite’ of capital is so fundamentally tethered to a numeric-reality that expunging it from one’s system is, in reality, a temporally gigantic task. Global educational reversion towards a world of quality, away from quantity would be the task for those who intend to detach from capital. Foucault’s overlooked factor in relation to man not-becoming-capital-puppetry is his omission of the ways in which capital utilizes intelligible mechanisms as a way to justify its own reality, as the only reality. “If escape into capitalism isn’t the escape you want, then modern history is not for you.” (Land, N. 2018). If the maturation process, the ‘exit’ Kant spoke of is inherently bound to the attitude of modernity then there is no exit from capital, there is only existence within its self-selected direction. The conclusion of the genealogy expounded upon by Foucault, in relation to man, is that he is free to exist within the flow and process of capital, he may bare his flesh only in acknowledgement of capital.

 

Endnotes

[1] Though the process of man’s maturation with respect to Kant and Foucault could easily be deserving of its own essay, it is included here due to its unavoidability in relation to the topics discussed within and its connection throughout, as such it is expounded upon here as minorly as needs be, for this essay isn’t directly concerned with the Kantian aspect of the Enlightenment’s historical influence.

[2] I shall not argue the purpose or meaning of man’s life here, for I am taking it as a given via The Birth of Biopolitics that man directs himself towards personal wellbeing.

[3] Note that throughout The Birth of Biopolitics Foucault uses strictly Heideggerian language – specifically ‘reveal’ – as the way in which he understand the processes of economy. If one continues this thought, it seems applicable that the natural processes of economy were there all along.

[4]“The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents.” (Lovecraft, H.P., 2014, p381) Lovecraft’s notion that pure cognitive correlation is     horrifically synonymous with the place in which man himself with regards to the reality of economic position, for him to see the ‘whole’ of the economy, is for him to correlate existence and time.

 

Bibliography

Crosby, A (1996) The Measure of Reality: Quantification and Western Society, 1250-1600. Cambridge, New York and Melbourne: Cambridge University Press.

Fisher, M. (2009) Capitalism Realism: Is There no Alternative? John Hunt Publishing.

Foucault, M (2000) Ethics: Essential Works of Foucault 1954-1984. Penguin Books, London.

Foucault, M. (2010) The Birth of Biopolitics: Lectures at the College De France 1978-1979. Palgrace Macmillan, New York.

Kant, I (1784) Kant: What is Enlightenment? [Online] Available at: (http://www.columbia.edu/acis/ets/CCREAD/etscc/kant.html#note1) (Accessed: 06/01/2019)

Land, N (2012) The Dark Enlightenment: Part 1. [Online] Available at: (http://www.thedarkenlightenment.com/the-dark-enlightenment-by-nick-land/#part1) (Accessed: 06/01/2019)

Land, N. (2018) Hermitix Podcast, Nick Land – Accelerationism and Capital. [Online] Available at: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FgEqQujsNTY&t=) (Accessed: 06/01/2019)

Land, N. (2018) ŠUM, Journal for Contemporary Art Criticism and Theory, n. 10.2, Cryptocene

Crypto-current: An Introduction to Bitcoin & Philosophy. Društvo Galerija Boks.

Lovecraft, H,P.(2014) The Complete Fiction of H.P.Lovecraft. Race Point Publishing, New York.

Porter, T,M. (1986) The Rise of Statistical Thinking 1820-1900. Princeton University Press, UK.

Porter, T,M. (1996) Trust in Numbers: The Pursuit of Objectivity in Science and Public Life. Princeton University Press, UK.

 

Secondary Bibliography of Enlightenment Texts

Simon Stevin – La Disme, 1585

Franciscus Vieta – In artem analyticem isagoge, 1591

John Napier – Description of the Marvelous Canon of Logarithms, 1614

Joost Burgi & Johannes Kepler – Tabulae Rudolphinae, 1627

Bonaventura Cavalieri – Geometria Indivisibilibus Continuorum, 1635

Pierre de Fermat – Methodus ad disquirendam maximam et minimam et de tangentibus linearum curvarum, 1636.

Rene Descartes – La Géométrie, 1637

John Wallis – Arithmetica Infinitorum, 1655

Isaac Barrow – Geometrical Lectures, 1670

Isaac Newton – Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica, 1687

Colin Maclaurin – Treatise of Fluxions, 1742

 

The Mausoleum of the Lemurs

I headed there in an act of investigation, off the back of a recommendation from an old acquaintance, one Mr Francis Kaye. Hadn’t heard from Kaye in around three years, we weren’t ever that close when we were younger, not in any traditional sense, passing by year in year out, crossed documents, information shared, both attempting to find a pattern within existence.

Arrived around midday, there was – even at this time of day – a cool layer of air about the forest. Lightly trodden paths amongst thick bracken, roots spiralling out atop the dry ground, this was most certainly the place of Kaye’s note.

It would be callous of me to put my findings down to the mere ‘cult of Egyptology’.

After walking for some time I reached an opening in the woodland. Before me an arch of trees looking out onto a plane of grass and unto the other side a return to the woodland.  Yet as one breaches the treeline they’ll find their peripheral vision clouded by a tall grey intrusion. To pan to the right one finds a pyramid within the heart of the country. Perhaps 40ft high and made entirely of stone, the structure stands in complete isolation from nature, a memoir of its own creation, as if appearing from a minor crack in time.

The Mausoleum of the Lemurs

It was in fact the very thought of the pyramid’s place in time that made my investigation so thorough. Kaye would often recommend me places of note, ritual sites, burial mounds etc. And these would more often than not add only a footnote to a tiresome linear history. I’m sick of the past to be quite honest, all these flippant thousand page documents containing detail after detail of dead time, I cannot be bothered no more to jot down the dead lives of a dead time.

With this in mind one might be surprised that I even continued my investigations. The history of the pyramid – classically speaking that is – is quite straightforward, as I had gathered from my research prior. It is a mausoleum, built in 1794 and containing the remains of the 2nd Earl of Buckinghamshire John Hobart and his first and second wives, Mary Anne and Caroline. Within the – very lacking – written history of the mausoleum there is little of note, even cross-referenced researched would amount to the single following passage:

“One of the most severe yet dramatic of all such monuments, Bonomi’s mausoleum takes the form of a stone pyramid based on the tomb of Caius Cestius in Rome, its height and breadth being of equal length. Inside there is a central domed space with eight radiating barrel-vaulted alcoves. The three alcoves facing the entrance contain the marble sarcophagi of the Earl and his two wives. The burial chambers are thought to be concealed within the walls. The floor is paved with marble slabs.” – MMTrust

Let it be known however, upon walking closer to the pyramid my stomach bound to a knot. The lining of trees and overgrown grass seemed to pause sporadically. The pyramid loomed high and the open plane became a channel for the cold wind.

I returned home swiftly and began undertaking further research at once.

I already knew the mausoleum itself was built in 1794. However, I was yet to research into the architect. Who would design – and concededly place – such a geo-temporal anomaly? That is, dear reader, why did that pyramid feel not just out of place, but out of time.

The pyramid was designed by one Joseph Bonomi the Elder:

The style adopted by him was the Italian or modernised Roman; and he sought to obtain the characteristic effect appropriate to the object of his design, rather by just proportions and good details than by unnecessary ornamentation and littleness of parts, thus exhibiting his preference for the “Architecturesque” over the “Picturesque.” – Papers Read at the Royal Institute of British Architects

Original Design

Bonomi’s mausoleum is architecture of detailed rebellion against the nature of greenery and temporality, the pyramid-shape itself splitting – vortexing – upwards into the sky.

And yet it is of Bonomi’s son, Joseph Bonomi the Younger unto which my research really took its strides. For Bonomi the Younger himself became a prominent sculptor and Egyptologist, with an insatiable interest in the afterlife, a fact which is present both in his own writings and designs. One of Bonomi the Younger’s designs has retained a cult-like status amongst those interested in time, space and immortality.

The Courtoy Tomb is – alike the pyramid – of Egyptian styling, has no record of construction and seemingly a keyhole without a key. The tomb itself is rumoured to be a time machine. Whether or not this is a metaphor dragged from the fact it has potential for underground linkage and thus a ‘saving of time’ is up for debate. What isn’t up for debate is the fact the tomb itself is covered into Egyptian iconography:

“Its occupants are a mysterious trio of spinsters about whom almost nothing is known. Intrigued by the tomb, writer Howard Webster began researching its origins and now believes the 20-foot tall building was a time machine built by a maverick Victorian genius, Samuel Warner, who also invented the torpedo. Warner is buried in an unmarked grave about 70 feet from his creation and in another nearby grave lies his likely collaborator, architect and Egyptologist Joseph Bonomi.”

What adds to the mystery is that some people believe Warner, who was in negotiations over his plans for aerial bombs and sea mines with Duke of Wellington, commander in chief of Britain’s army, was either murdered to prevent his designs for weapons falling into the wrong hands, or by someone who stole them from his dead body. However, others believe Warner was either a crackpot or a fraud whose inventions could never have worked.

Warner’s colleague Bonomi was in the team of Egyptologists and archaeologists who first deciphered the hieroglyphic texts found on papyri in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings.

James Mackay, a spokesman at Brompton cemetery, reportedly said at the time of the Reuters story: “It could be that some of the papyri they were decoding dealt with time travel.”Badwitch

Both a father and son having a dedicated interest in Egyptology is not uncommon for the educated of Victorian England, yet the strange placements, the odd rumours, the lack of record and accessibility, the very fact my blood slowed to a crawl upon approach all speak to me of a connection unto which one should not venture, and yet I feel myself pulled towards their cold temporal nature more and more.

Further research expanded upon the feeling of dread surrounding:

“Sixty feet away, Bonomi’s gravestone bears similar hieroglyphic carvings including the Egyptian god of the dead, Anubis, sitting on what appears to be a replica of the mausoleum. Webster believes this is a vital clue to the mausoleum’s secret. The direction Anubis is facing – toward the mausoleum – suggests in Egyptian mythology a soul lost out of time.” – Badwitch

“I like to believe that Warner’s is not the body in the unmarked grave but that he is still alive and travelling through time in his machine.”- Badwitch

I slept and dreamt of time.

When I woke I planned to venture back to the pyramid, assess the area, and tread into the cosmic ripples. During my journey there I thought of William Burrough’s lemurs from the Ghost of Chance. The fragmented conception of time that Burrough’s chose to address within his novella resonated with me. “There is always something a man must do in time.” (p5) Burroughs notes. The entire novella weighted-down by the very fact that time “is not a human invention, but a prison.”(p16). The Bonomi’s struck me as a lineage attempting to free themselves from time, ‘How?’ of course was the question, not the ‘Why?’ for there are many clear answers why a man would wish to free himself from time, the ‘How?’ is of importance.

Upon my second walk to the mausoleum I began thinking of the Cybernetic Culture Research Unit (CCRU) and their piece Lemurian Time War. A piece in which they extrapolate on the premise that Burrough’s Ghost of Chance is in fact a hyperstitional document of the utmost importance in an occult time war. ‘Hyperstition’ – in short – meaning ‘fictions that make themselves real’. Usually by the propagation of signs and writing and then utilization of both as a function within reality. I began to think of the lengths the Bonomi’s had gone to effect the temporal flow of the ‘present’ reality. Their architecture functioning as inter-temporal signs intended for the making of a transition. That is both mausoleums – the pyramid and the tomb – stand alone as remnants of distant culture and time.

A citation from Lemurian Time War resonated with the temporal totality I’d found myself within, as if reaching from the pages a lemur-tale teased a communication, ‘And what is a virus? Perhaps simply a pictorial series like Egyptian glyphs that make itself real’ (Ah Pook is Here p102). I thought of this quote as I ventured into the opening once more, a distinct cosmic paranoia allowed me black-tunnel vision of the pyramid alone. The tree-linings disintegrated into a haze and the grass a blur. The mausoleum’s edges stark against the dead sky and its stone fluctuating between stages of corrosion and decay.

I proposed to myself that the Bonomian time-machine was not of any ‘traditional’ mechanics. Those who merely dismiss the rumour as just that, ‘a rumour’, are missing the point entirely. The Bonomian time-machine is a hyperstitional time-machine. Their intricately composed ‘fiction’ is assembled both throughout time and of pieces of time. Both mausoleum’s have a semiotic connection to the Egyptian afterlife and are created in such areas as to cause temporal and aesthetic confusion and resonances, hyperstitional-juxtaposition; the uncanny manner of the old man’s etiquette transports you to another social bearing. And finally they lay the pure-framework of Hyperstition via the virile subtly of rumours, for who cannot resist the allure of a time machine. And as the rumours expand, grow and infect their hosts, and as the tombs root into a time not of their own, and as the semiotic cybernetic family lineage interconnects throughout and during time the fiction comes ever closer to a reality, the Bonomian time-machine reverse engineer’s its own becoming by tricking the fictions of others into assimilating it.

I stood before the percolating mausoleum a man allowed but a glimpse of a cyber-temporal whole. Burroughs along with the CCRU note that “The Word Lines keep you in time…” (Word Virus, p270). That is, in accordance with the occult time war, the One God Universe (OGU) which can be thought of as complete-centrality, Order, Oneness, Control, created a fiction so oppressive that it gave birth to the reality of “biological destiny and immortality” (CCRU, p37). For there to be control, there has to be time, a system of time, or in more practical terms there has to be a time of succession. And as such once the written fiction of the OGU commenced it assimilated each and every other fiction into its own time-system.

My mind digressed at a frantic rate, pacing back and forth between excerpts of Kant, Nietzsche, Burroughs and the CCRU, piecing together the sporadic remains and becomings of a fiction I wasn’t supposed to witness. Inscribed above the mausoleum’s door are the words “AVCTOR PRETIOSA FACET” translated as “the giver makes the gift precious”. The gift here being the first node in the Bonomian temporal-network, ‘given’ knowledge of paths through succession, hyperstitional landmarks juxtaposed in time to emit a previous or coming reality. A pathway through time bouncing lost souls to and fro.

The area vibrated minutely. My vision became akin to a fish eye lens, bearing down into the doorway. My peripheral vision was of frantic black splodges, darting reds and whites, as if a retro-virus had begun to wipe my perspective frame by frame, and complete corneal meltdown. And suddenly nothing, then release. As if awaking from a slow sleep paralysis that which I now saw could have been dream, could have been reality, but what I truly feared was a mixture of the two.

I pulled my gaze down from the doorway, away from the pithy inscription. I took a few steps backwards from the doorway looking around and the lagging grass. Between the tall blades and thick clumps – I believe – appeared curled black tails, red dots and tufts of dark smoke. Fading in and out of the meadow indiscriminately were the silhouettes of lemurs. The spots of temporary darkness spread to the back of the meadow and all the way to the tree line, a viral quasi-spacio-temporal rift pulsating into a drawn out single moment fell over the mausoleum, and then, the winds swept and the birds tweeted. What was this but a warning in time?

I began the journey home.

Dec – Prim – Storm King

Storm King’s Grim Omen codes in. Car beep, virile codification of the human subject into identity fragmentation. Repetitive synth articulating the content-future of a thousand-thousand docile subjects. Enjoy your stay. Skin numb to the device writhing into arteries. Pale flesh drifts downward into hive-sleep. The background muzak assembles LA-street hymns into a sombre, paranoid evening sweat. 70’s Cop Car chase ignites momentary spinal sensation, passers by de-click from screen sleep and gaze upon the epileptic moment. They drift out of sight and the crowds return to the hum and warmth of k-addiction, k-time.

Marshall Sahlins writes “If economics is the dismal science, the study of hunting-gathering economics must be its most advanced branch.” (The Original Affluent Society) and herein lies my trajectory for shoehorning multiple thinkers and writings into a Decelerationist/Primitivist mash. To begin with even the idea of a pre-industrial, or more aptly, primitivist-economics poses an interesting question with regards to primitivist capital? Within a primitivist society does capital lie? It’s not money, for this does not exist. Potentially food, or tools etc. though these things seem to be taken care of and a part of an egalitarian system as opposed to a bartering system. One could argue that knowledge/intelligence is the true form of capital and thus primitivist societies are not free from its grasp. Yet, primitivist societies inherently wish to move/progress further than point X, and thus to systematically streamline or machinize the work up to X would be fruitless, superfluous, for if techno/industrial/religious/ideological progress or progress-in-general is not your aim what’s the point in rushing. The very act of rushing is entirely deconstructed within a society which has no desire to accelerate. Capital has little room for contentment or complacency.

Cleanse the Metropolis, a prayer to the group of cyber-teens squandering time. Leaning against glitching douglas firs their eyelids flicker to the rhythm of derelict neon. Synth emanates the mall, waking none from the caustic glow of a dying consumer-chapel. Bodily micro-vibrations akin to old cartoons; “Mom! Garfield’s legs are rotting, why is the screen green and blur and over…” Brain chemistry frenzy. Cross-referenced memories collide in bio-space causing time to splinter – “Hey kids, you don’t even know when you are.”

So this leads towards that which can be deceleration, which is namely that which can remove the desire for capital all together. Within a primitivist society the act of work is wrongly named ‘work’. For the connotations connected with the term ‘work’ are now heavily burdened by a post-industrial society, or, you’re thinking of a shoddy 9-5, you’re thinking of that which is done as a means for survival in the 21st century, money in the bank, rent paid, groceries bought. Yet the work of a primitivist society – often romanticized – is in itself an act of immanence, a process which draws multiple lines between humans and nature; not the act of erecting a fence, but the act of accepting the presence of what is now not-Other, a bird or squirrel etc. Post-industrial labour is merely lost being. Taken labour, taken soul.

//LOAD_VR: nostalgia2_1986.exp a multiplicity of Simpsons stills melt atop the closing shutters. You can’t remember the last time your eyes weren’t heavy, the last time you smelt an origin, the last time panic was a possibility. The beat here jolts accordingly to the memoirs of youth sat before the Atari’s warm glow, a better time found within the truth of polygons. Fade back to the mall. Slow and too steady. If you stare forward long enough it combines into a tech-nothingness, false balsa wood, beige roof patterns, off-white gloss, radio tremble and the smell of dry rain, nostalgia for the bland.

Quite honestly I didn’t see myself leaning from accelerationism, at least in the abstract, quite so violently and quite so quickly. But as – one of many – exit options for myself is that of a homestead, the ideology of primitivism, or potentially paleo-Agorism, seems quite agreeable. One cannot deny not just the potency but the astonishing eruditeness of Ted Kaczynski’s Industrial Society and its Future (ISAIF). The connection between progress-for-progress sake and leftist inferiority complex is quite revealing. The continual need for a ‘minority’ holds within it the leftist belief that in fact there is a hierarchy. They must see and accept for otherwise they would not know who to help, they need the lower rungs of the ladder to use for their own signalling.

Mama Don’t Like A Tattle-Tale. Hey now, hey kids, hey now, buy this…buy this. Glam-rockers arrive on your lawn. Stiff-glitching vertically, side-to-side, Their hair can’t keep-up. 1986 called, it wants its lag back. You feel that first layer of 30’s fat rolling over your jeans. Eddie Van Halen jumps into cyber-death, identity-pixel-blitz eruption and the 80’s die.

And yet what Kaczynski’s magnum opus revealed to me, even more so than its primitivist attitudes or anti-leftism, is the trajectory freedom and the idea of freedom takes under an industrialized society. The immediate thought that sprung into mind mid-read was that – quite ironically – of the possibility of a contemporary western nomad. What of he whom wishes to exit, though it has been said many times, what of he who truly wishes to? Even if it means he succumbs to a societally perceived regression? Or, what of he whom wishes to simply leave and live in peace in a forest or clearing, in an un-used quiet peace of land, he whom wishes to be he own. If a man cannot just go into the woods and live off his own back without ‘state’ intervention, then be sure that man is not free.

v a p o r  l o u n g e 2 0 4 8. Wild nature filtered into a palm tree past. 33 waiting rooms layered into a single dental visit, the receptionist keeps locking eyes, you’re sweating. As you go to caress the tooth of pain you swirl into the sticky leather. The palm trees leaves begin to jive. Reverend Abscess arrives playing a jazz-organ. “Hey boy! Lemme look at them there whites. Open wide.” You’ve become sofa, and your mouth cranks open. “Damn son, you be vapin’…keep at it.”

Meaning comes so easily to Kaczynski. Within ISAIF meaning is synonymous with purpose. And as such Kaczynski sees our contemporary ‘leisure’ activities as ‘surrogate’ activities, that which is extra and thus not of direct importance, yet his emphasis here is upon a world in which there exists only surrogate activities. For the primary acts of survival, of gaining water, food and shelter are catered for practically atop a silver platter. Ones day long hunt for a few rabbits is condensed to a medicinal shopping aisle of pre-packet gunk-meat. A multi-month harvest is altered to tinned carrots, tinned peas and tinned corn. Contemporary labour takes away soul, because contemporary labour has little, if not nothing to do with your life. The metaphysical lacuna between the act of filing insurance papers and the act of harvesting ones of own veg patch is so vast that there can never be a connection.

Witchburner And the roots shall rise into industry and demachinize the cogs. The ferns shall grow through glass, shattering layer upon layer of progress. Wild nature…wild acidic nature simultaneously takes its damn time and is quicker than you’ll ever be. Every curb, every concrete void succumbing to the rampant spread of green! Hail king Dandelion! Master of the collapse. Bunkered down, hunkered down the humans tremble as the grass grows tall. Collaboration between oil, sky and greenery. A thick covering of prim-smog. Long live the Earth’s flesh!

Upon further inspection one finds that the majority of data pertains to the fact that ‘health’, actual meaningful, soulful health was far better before industrialization. Not just physical, but mental health. The majority of contemporary anxieties arising from physically non-existent bureacratic acts of bitterness, worry, hate and depression stemming from the hellish reverberation between what one can and cannot do. The list of things upon the latter list grows day by day, week by week…as the former shortens, a continual penning-in of a race once accepting of its nature.

Analog Human Resistance there exists a commander, deep underground, he listens to Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds nightly, he thinks himself a proto-John Connor vs NatureNet. Standing upon a mound of boxed fidget spinners and vapes he proclaims: “Let us take back from nature what was never ours!” The analog hour is now!” And so come the grunts, the apathy of a billion useless humans, content to die in a world no longer bending to their whim. Humans cannot resist their home. Human conciousness dissolved into media-pulp. It is over.

“Contemporary records indicate that, more than once, both rich and poor wished that the barbarians would deliver them from the (Roman) Empire. While some of the civilian population resisted the barbarians (with varying degrees of earnestness), and many more were simply inert in the presence of the invaders, some actively fought for the barbarians. In 378, for example, Balkan miners went over en masse to the Visigoths. In Gaul the invaders were sometimes welcomed as liberators from the Imperial burden, and were even invited to occupy territory.” – Joseph Tainter

FIAT GLADIO gladiator arise from the non-burning, arise from the under and overgrowth, arise into the a world born-natural, into the world without mask. Tech-Gladio programmed by Arthurian legend, master of the stone, the industrial from the natural, a true proclaimer for continuation of the abusers! March towards the evolving mall-wrecks, the cars-turned-orchids, the satellites-cum-fly-traps. Pre-programmed human-history detritus stood before wild perfection!

He laughs as he clicks the ‘order’ button for another pallet of sardines. Smashing the toaster into a thousands pieces “Primitivists don’t have toast, Earth rules!” Naked, covered in tar atop the kitchen table he screams.

Culture Terror walking forth into physical memory. The parks gone, swingset eroded and nostalgia sodomized by the agency of the grand Mother. Gladio marches year upon year, finding nothing but the remains of apathetic industry. Slowing, trembling, slowing and cursing, to a crawl…to a stop. Bug-covered, rusting and leg-vined, Gladio halts a final time, physically unable to move from the undergrowth. The final robotic remnant of humanity forever encased in a labyrinth of wild-thicket, eternity passes before its eyes.

Let’s see where this goes…

Corruptor/Depopulator oh what terrors eternity can bring! My son you shall witness, oh my eternal robotic human misery witness, witness, witness the rise and rise of Mother! Gladio’s steel lids held apart by dampened leaves. Never look away, never can you un-see the acidic terror of a wild nature unfurled! See your past, your future, your time entire splinter into non-recognizable patches of nature! Fields of green! Seas of green! Wooden supports holding up the Natura Aeternum!

 


Grim Omen – Lovecrypt

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Towards a Serresean Patchwork

Introduction


In this essay I plan to analyse that which shall be called the ‘Serresean patchwork’, a spacio-temporal multiplicity which also acts as global topology, akin to a knitted patchwork quilt pertaining to the work of Michel Serres. Utilizing texts from both Michel Serres and Gilles Deleuze & Felix Guattari, all of whom have conceptualized the idea of ‘patchwork’ within their work. Alongside utilizing Lucretian atomism as the materialist philosophy underpinning the work of the aforementioned theorists. I shall begin by briefly expanding on Michel Serres’ conception of time as a ‘crumpled handkerchief’, for this temporal reading is both relevant at a foundational level and acts as the cause for the contemporary Lucretian process. Following this I plan to appropriate this reading of time onto the materialist framework of Lucretian atomism, extrapolating on the Lucretian process of material becoming itself, from laminar flow to vortex. I then plan to move the Lucretian process from its traditional temporal/abstract root to physical space via assimilation of the process itself onto the ‘smooth and striated space’ of Deleuze & Guattari, allowing each abstract atomist process to be assimilated onto a material movement or allotment between smooth and striated space. Finally I intend to explain how this atomic spacio-temporal triptych of crumpled time, Lucretian atomism and Deleuzoguattarian space allows for a clearer vision of a ’Serresean patchwork’. A patchwork which inherently utilizes each section of this essay as a means for its own structural and topological becoming. Each theoretical underpinning contributing to various factors in relation to the patchwork’s becoming, movement, purpose and realization.

 

Serresean-Time and Lucretian Atomism


I shall begin from the bottom and work my way upwards, axis here being factually useless, but metaphorically useful. The foundation is time itself. In this case Serresean-time. Take the temporal plane and imagine it appropriated onto a handkerchief (Serres, M. Latour, B, 1998: p60). One could, for ease of familiarity, draw a grid, or line onto the handkerchief, plotting points equidistant along the line as a means to track days, weeks or years. Now imagine one is to crumple this handkerchief, one would find points from the line’s ‘past’ meet points of the line’s ‘now’ or ‘future’. Not only does this conception of time reveal the falsity that is temporal linearity – for ancient ideas are still present, as I will show it also conveys the nonlinear dynamics of Serres.

In the act of crumpling, a rigid linear system is transformed into that which can now touch, meet and share data with parts of the ‘system’ further than one ‘step’ backwards or forwards. Of course, in the case of the handkerchief in relation to time, there is no physical sharing going on, there is no literal material time-travel. The crumpling of the handkerchief is a Deleuzian moment of historic-cultural warping, wherein traditional linearity is found archaic, and in specific reference to Serres’ utilization of such a temporal conception, we find that which we now call fluid systems or atomic physics has always been upon the handkerchief in another form, under another name, previously Atomism, or more specifically Lucretian Atomism. Lucretius arrives from the past riding a Serresean handkerchief crumple, allowing the nonlinear dynamics of the ancients to infect the future. And so from this act of crumpling one understands that “There is nothing new under the sun.” (Serres, M. Latour, B, 1998: p93) only retro-temporal discoveries.

This nonlinear temporality is with or under Serres at all times and as this essay deals directly with Atomism and flat planes intended for temporal crumpling, one needed to expand upon this re-conceptualizing of time before moving forward. For if at a foundational level there can be some form of temporal transition, then movement, line, becoming and space are all inherently altered. Keep the potential for crumpling at the forefront at all times, even the dullest of historical islands may find new life via a crumple transition.

There is one specific philo-scientific crumple I wish to discuss in-depth, the aforementioned Atomism, specifically of the variety shared by both Serres and Deleuze & Guattari, Lucretian Atomism. An ancient physics thought and thus made redundant by contemporary science and henceforth resurrected in time via new found evidence and interest within the area of nonlinear dynamics; or, compressed, the ‘ancient’ physics of Lucretius met with the ‘now’ during a temporal crumpling. In either case, the idea pertaining to the form of both Lucretian Atomism and atomic physics remains. A Deleuzian moment wherein the ideas of the ‘future’ were already within the culture of the future, waiting for their chance for materialist assimilation, waiting for two distant points on the handkerchief to meet. The specifics of Lucretian Atomism in its ‘original’ state are relatively simple, a few interconnecting parts and intensities creating a process culminating in compound realities. Yet, this process of Lucretian Atomism in relation to that which I wish to write about – the Serresean patchwork arising from Deleuzoguattarian space – is a little more intricate, as such, the following section is pure Atomist extrapolation as a means for latter clarification. From laminar flow through to vortex, the Lucretian process arrives.

For Lucretius everything flows, “Everything begins with atoms falling through the void.”(Webb, D. William, R., 2018: p4). The flow of these atoms in the void is such that each is parallel to the next, a series of symmetrical atoms falling through an infinite space, forever. This parallel atomic descent is called ‘laminar flow’. The underlying atomic reality prior to the world – this is made clear later – the recurrent element from which difference equals/becomes actuality. The question is, how does change appear within the laminar flow?

My first point of interest is the common comprehension and perception of the laminar flow, attesting to a stereotypical form of sequential order, yet this order, wherein each atoms falls to zero, this order of ‘the same’ is thus of “non-being” (Serres, 2018: p134) and acts as the disordered, allocated and striated plane from which can arise – at the very least – a possibility of the world (Ibid, p133). The growth of something from the void is thus ordered, the void itself is disorder. Yet for there to be a world something needs to come from the ‘non-being’ of the laminar flow, and thus there needs to be some form of difference or division within the sequential atomic parallel, and therefore a beginning of such a form of division. Enter the clinamen, the minimum angle of declination against the laminar flow (Ibid, p25), the diagonal within and from the parallel atomic sequence and the spontaneous breaker of symmetry (Serres, 2006:p15). The clinamen acts as the primary agent of division, underpinning the possibility of a patchwork – as I will show – for the clinamen is “transformation in general” (Serres, 2018: p114). Acting as the ur-transformer, the clinamen is that which quasi-instantaneously begins a chemical reaction, and is that which over the course of a thousand years leads to erosion of a coastline.

The clinamen is only the initial part of the multi-stage process which ends in the formation of things (Ibid, p50). Alongside acting as ur-divider, the clinamen is “the smallest imaginable condition for the original formation of turbulence” (Ibid, p24). The pre-condition of turbulence as it were. To understand turbulence one must return to the laminar flow as seen as a river or stream. A river descending wherein both its periphery and centre follow the same path, that is until a peripheral trembling begins, or in the words of Lucretius “trementia flutant”, ‘trembling thy undulate’ (Ibid, p61). And it is this ‘trembling’ which is seen by Serres as turbulence, an intense halt within the rivers’ flow, stability within the ever-descending instability of the stream (Ibid, p61). Turbulence, a point on Serres’ handkerchief begins to form, begins to darken, begins to stabilise in its ability as temporal transmitter…a historic-cultural point begins, for “time is the fluctuation of turbulences” (Ibid, p115).

To return to turbulence as it is atomically. The wish of Atomism and physics in general is to understand how order comes from disorder, how, to utilize the Serresean tongue, a single sublime form may arise from the general background of noise or static (Serres, 2008: p51-55). The transition from the disorder of the laminar’s atomic chaos to the order of formed things begins with turbulence; it is a transition both acting as turbulence and made possible by turbulence. (Serres, 2018: p47). The clinamen declines into the flow causing an inception of turbulence (Ibid, p25), which in turn “secures the transition” (Ibid, p47) and a point in the flow begins to tremble. From this ‘trementia’ “it preserves the forms” (Ibid, p61). Against the ever flowing laminar decline, against atomic chaos, turbulence acts as a temporary island of stability, a form of transition in the river’s flow, a form amongst a multitude of others. Not sequential, systematic nor symmetrical in their becoming, only spontaneous, “appearing stochastically” (Ibid, p25). Each separate turbulence born via its own repulsion of another, “born from deviation” (Ibid, p114).

Random scattered turbulent stabilities within the flow form a pseudo-coherent system when viewed from a single turbulence’s birth in relation to another’s fall, or when viewed from ‘first’ to ‘last’ to arrive across the tempo-spacial length of a human life. As such they’re often referred to as ‘history’, which in the intelligent materialism of Serres acts as nothing but the stochastic collection of intense impermanent spacio-temporal unstable-stabilities (Lezra, J. (ed.). Blake, L. (ed.), 2016: p28). As with the clinamen, these stabilities stolen from the process as a whole become disconnected, cogs without reception, if only one could maintain each element atop one another simultaneously, an un-halting all-at-once proclamation is the only route to traditional articulation of the Serresean multiplicity.

Yet all of the process thus far has been nothing but transition. Turbulence as transition to that which is the ‘stage’ able to form things (Serres, 2018:p50), to the tourbillon or vortex (Ibid, p49). To think of a ‘children’s top’, spinning top or rhombus (Ibid, p50), for that is the image of the vortex: “unstable and stable, is fluctuating and in equilibrium, is order and disorder at once.” (Ibid, p50) the most stable of instabilities momentarily printed onto the handkerchief of time, for the vortex is “the formation of things” (Ibid, p50) and is thus that which we materially interact with. Born from a hierarchic process of instability: laminar, clinamen, turbulence, vortex, each more stable that the last, yet all temporally mortal and destined once again to deteriorate to zero (Ibid, p41). Each further stage a greater layer of stability atop the laminar flow, concluding in the tangible vortex sitting in the world, a conjoiner of atoms, a stable-unstable safe haven from the cosmic atomic horror of Atomism. “Rotating, translating, falling, leaning and swaying.” (Ibid, p49), the spinning top of the Lucretian atomist idea itself has remained a stable-instability for thousands of years, its velocity slowly dwindling until the 17th century, wherein the spinning top traversed a crumple in the handkerchief of time, allowing it to superimpose its image upon the minds of Galilei, Descartes and Gassendi, wherein the vortex was rejuvenated.

This extrapolation of Serres’ reading of Lucretius will, for now, seem lonesome and without relation to anything tangible. Yet this preliminary framework is necessary for a full understanding of that which is to be undertaken later. The Atomism of Lucretius and the Serresean crumpling of time spills, connects and overflows into much, if not all of the patchwork-structure to come.

 

Deleuzoguattarian Space in Relation to Lucretius


With Lucretian Atomism established as Serres’ atomically recurrent reality (Lezra, J. (ed.). Blake, L. (ed.), 2016: p28), the question remains as to what arises from the turbulent birth, what is it in actuality the Lucretian process forms as its conclusion? Wherein does one find the formed thing which is brought forth by the vortex? Following the process through from laminar flow to vortex I intend to answer the question – along with the questions above – what of the ‘space’ unto which the vortex forms its things? For initial answers to these questions I turn to Deleuze and Guattari’s A Thousand Plateaus, for both Serres and Deleuze & Guattari both take their philosophical trajectory – in part – from the writings of Lucretius, especially in relation to where space and flow are concerned. And so in terms of utilizing a theoretical reading of space which can be appropriated onto the later patchwork for need of physical becoming, I look to ‘the smooth and the striated’.

Deleuzoguattarian space of the duality, or more aptly plurality ‘smooth and striated’ is much akin to the Lucretian duality of matter and void, one immediately finds that a simple opposition between two parts leads to a complex difference in relation to wherein each coincides, that is, the simple opposition of two camps brings forth a multiplicity of relations. The conceptual pair move quickly away from geometrical ideas of space in relation to material, borders and enclosures and towards a “complex mixture between nomadic forces and sedentary captures” (Lysen, F. Pisters, P., 2012), these Deleuzoguattarian spaces are less – if at all – spaces of tradition, but spaces within which events and movements can happen and the type, intensity and relation of events and movements to the space is key in determining the space’s own type of either ‘smooth’ or ‘striated’.

As I have stated smooth and striated space “exist only in mixture: smooth space is constantly being translated, transversed into a striated space; striated space is constantly being reversed, returned to a smooth space.” (Deleuze, G. Guattari, F, 2016: p552) and so a definition of one is reliant upon the other, the task of description itself an intertwined nonlinearity. However, I shall begin with the smooth alone, until mixture is mandatory for articulation. “Smooth does not mean homogeneous, quite the contrary: it is amorphous, non-formal space prefiguring op-art” (Ibid,  p554). Smooth space is of events and haecceities (Ibid, p557), directions rather than metrics or dimensions (Ibid, p 556). Striated space on the other hand, is a space in which empires occur (Ibid, p575), a momentary stability much akin to turbulence, for on either side of the striated is the smooth, one side waiting to once again produce striation, the other the smoothness striation becomes; the perpetual transition of one into the other, yet only striation allows a compound reality to occur.

A simple metaphor allows greater clarity in understanding the notions of smooth and striated space in relation to the Lucretian process, the metaphor of the farmer and the nomad (Ibid, p559). The farm and the farmer exist in a closed off, allocated striated space. A space which is a line or shape between points, a stability within chaos (Ibid, p559), each seed a clinamen of its own. The nomad on the other hand is entirely unallocated in its existence, a point between lines, over boundaries, allowing the plot & grid, the natural and the cosmos to pull him to and fro. “The respective role of point, line and space” (Ibid, p560) matters not when the point in question acts upon the whim of intensities, allowing wind – as an example – to control the point’s direction.

However, both spaces in relation to the Lucretian process reveal the strange peculiarities of both the smooth and the striated. For even though Serres attests that turbulence brings order from disorder, with said disorder being the laminar flow itself, the laminar flow is in fact a space of striation, which is a space of order and allotment. For the symmetrical atomic repetitive space has been succinctly allocated and allotted. The homogeneity of the laminar flow attests to the fact that the flow itself is the tightest striation of all – atomically regular intersections make it pure limit-form (Ibid, p566) – this is why Serres places much emphasis on the relation between the clinamen and freedom. Not only is the clinamen an escape from a limit, but it is the birth of all possibility after the recurrent atomic cage. “- the clinamen appears as freedom because it is precisely this turbulence that resists forced flow” (Serres, 2018: p107) the clinamen not just as a chaotic break for the sake of symmetrical-breaking, but the angle deviates in the direction of a spontaneous freedom, it begins the journey “From pure to applied” (Serres, 2006: p15).

The striated fabric exists in a tight, interwoven manner, a fabric allocated and allotted to become a place for the formation of things within axis (Deleuze, G. Guattari, F, 2016: p552), a place of archetypal, physical progress. For “-progress is made by and in striated space, but all becoming occurs in smooth space” (Ibid, p564). So, perhaps we must say that all progress is made within and from the vortex, but all becoming occurs between the clinamen and turbulence – order from chaos, not the reverse as it seems at first glance. The transition of turbulence is the transition of smooth to striated. For one begins with the pure cosmic limit-form (Ibid, p566) of the laminar flow, tight, recurrent striation allocated between successive points, descending eternally. The clinamen comes forth, an atomically smooth nomad deviating across the laminar’s striated totalitarian farmland, no longer allowing itself to be hemmed in, it takes up the angle of direction and in its revolutionary act literally draws smooth space upon the direction taken (Ibid, p433).

Acting as the “shorthand for nonlinear dynamics” (Abbas, N. (ed.)., 2008: p51) the clinamen is that which begins – from its nomadic drawing of smooth space/declination – the process of interweaving, fragmenting, tearing and axis producing whilst simultaneously allowing the growth of temporary points of turbulence atop the Serresean handkerchief. With its inherent attribute of bifurcation and division it acts as the messenger of smooth space, “that smooth space that changes in nature when it divides” (Deleuze, G. Guattari, F, 2016: p 563), the clinamen as division’s pre-condition and its intensification of turbulence-becoming-vortex; the clinamen as the messenger of temporal and spacial fragmentation and freedom. And yet this atomic nomad is but the pre-condition for another authoritarian allocation. For the clinamen intensifies into turbulence and the transition from smooth to striated begins, the turbulence-becoming-spinning-top intensifies further into a vortex for a final allocation of vortex-striated. With the vortex or space of striation becoming a “central perspective” (Ibid, p574) upon the global and temporal topology to come.

Beneath both Serres and Deleuze and Guattari is De rerum natura, is an ever-flowing, ever-intersecting and interweaving postulation of freedom, not just within the reductive confines of man, but at the atomic level. A nonlinear uncertain world, making and not-making decisions and from such a text, from such a conceptualization and conclusion comes the possibility of an interwoven reality. Separate atomic retirements existing away from the void within a topological patchwork of their own creation.

 

Towards a Serresean Patchwork


My direction for a Serresean patchwork takes its trajectory primarily from the preface of Serres’ The Troubadour of Knowledge and as such, this is where I shall begin and return to for need of topological clarity. We begin with an emperor on stage, ridiculed by the crowd for his clothing, “A motley composite made of pieces, of rage, of scraps of every size. In a thousand forms and different colours, of varying ages, from different sources, badly basted, inharmoniously juxtaposed, with no attention paid to proximity, mended according to circumstance, according to need, accident and contingency – does it show a kind of world map.” (Serres, 2006: piii), in short the emperor is “enveloped in a world map of badly bracketed multiplicities” (Ibid, pii) It is this ‘world map’, this topological ‘mosaic’ (Ibid, p155) I wish to explore, not the epistemological connection to the emperor, nor the dry satire of power, no, one intends to assess the becoming of the enveloping patchwork. For the plurality of a mosaic is the proposition of a puzzle (Ibid, p154), a puzzle to be worked out away from archaic monism and centrality. The puzzle itself is of the Serresean vein and thus becomes within and from the Lucretian process. The Emperor’s patchwork a world map and allegory of spacio-temporal difference, and so, I view the potentiality for a triple layered actuality: Lucretian Atomism, Deleuzoguattarian space and Serresean topology flow into one another as a means for the construction of a topology.

We begin once again by assessing the foundation, the potentially flat plane that is the emperor’s “map-cum-greatcoat” (Ibid, pxiv) – herein abbreviated as ‘greatcoat’. A temporal and spacial plane, much akin to Serres’ handkerchief, the coat folds, crumples, rips, tears and bundles together, a metaphorical spacio-temporal and cultural map of ragged, patched history crumpling up, for the emperor states “my time has sewn them, then melded them together, tattered rags, certainly, but rags become my very flesh” (Ibid, p147). Prior to this ‘melding’ however we have a composite, the melded coat is of personal attribution, each melded composite is of and for a single being, yet what of the composite, the coat prior to the ‘incandescent assimilation’ (Ibid, pxviii) into unification, what is the nature of the non-unified composite? The patchwork material without owner? And yet to focus on the singular perception of the patchwork unified/melded, one finds “the sum of these individually experienced perceptions creates a global topology that has no common language because it is composed entirely of subjectively gleaned information” (Lee, C, T., 2014: p195-196) and so even though ‘one’ has a sum experience, the underlying dynamic is still at question. The patchwork exists with or without an owner, the global topology of rags and tatters continues to assimilate and flow whether or not a unity of personal relations is found.

A construction mirroring the Lucretian process must too begin with a laminar flow, a foundational layer, the greatcoat’s own fabric. A fabric which “intertwines in this way: over, under” (Serres, 2006: p20) akin to the Deleuzoguattarian intertwining of the horizontal and vertical. The fabric-qua-laminar-flow is the metaphorical embodiment of sequential limit-form, a greatcoat of striation allocated as world-space for the progress of the Lucretian process. Yet the greatcoat exists in a paradox. For acting as laminar flow the greatcoat ceases to materially exist if it is without stray threads, rags, tatters or patches, without the becoming of atomic-difference within its striated-eternal-sewing, the greatcoat simply remains a parallel void of non-being and thus materially ceases. It is not until a nomadic thread divides the fabric that a world may possibly be born. That a single patch may arise from its cloth.

To move from the laminar layer of fabric to the singular parts of the greatcoat: A rag, a tatter, a scrap or more aptly, a patch; “local patches activated or created by contact and brought together into an ocellated fragment” occupying volume and expanding into the global (Serres, 2017: p140). A patch as the shadow of a fingerprint within a topology, within a bouquet, a patch as a single momentary turbulence pulled inwards towards other fragments, to form an un-analysable mingle (Ibid, p172). The singular patch as a state of momentary turbulence entering into an “intelligent materialism” which “considers the world a network of primordial elements in communication” (Abbas, N. (ed.). 2008: p65). The stochastic repulsion of turbulences and thus patches (Serres, 2018: p114) creates in its wake an immanent network, a birthing of difference, actualized into the formation of multiple patches (or a patchwork), each their own mixture of smooth and striated within a vortex-qua-striation, a space trembling vortically until its declination back to zero.

These singular patches, these “Knotted points” in the fabric (Ibid, p150), working at the intersection of many other patches (Serres, 2006: pxvii) become the greatcoat-qua-patchwork. A temporally-crumpling plane, a “combinatory topology in the literal sense” (Serres, 2018: p122) and a cybernetic combination of chemistry and contemporary physics (Ibid, p147), alongside being “-the birth of things – the fundamental mode of existence of all things”(Ibid, p122) and so “the angle of the atom” i.e. the clinamen, is not just ‘the freedom of the subject’ (Ibid, p27) as Serres states, but truly is freedom in the purest sense, away from political, geographical and metaphysical tyranny. As I previously made clear, the Lucretian process is in part synonymous with the transition of smooth to striated space and as such allows for the becoming of a space wherein cities or empires may occur (Deleuze, G. Guattari, F, 2016: p575). The greatcoat-qua-laminar as world map, is atomically indebted to the Lucretian process and thus assimilates the same process onto its own periphery, therefore, to return to the clinamen, we find our single revolutionary atom has transformed into the physical embodiment of a patchwork-becoming; a clinamen-qua-nomad cuts through longitude and latitude, slicing the grid of striation, following the process through, until, atop the greatcoats’ periphery we find a vortex-becoming-city, the birth of a patch. This is how the atomic language allows us to become master. (Serres, 2006: p48)

Not a master of the centre, for a universal centre only exists for a single emperor – hence the never ceasing laughter of the public (Ibid, pxv)-, but the master of a patch or single centre, or unified composite of patches, for “you need a cross to locate the a centre” (Ibid, p18) and as such any idea of subjective centrality implies a composite of interlacing patches. Not a point on a line, nor a line between points (Deleuze, G. Guattari, F, 2016: p 559) but a mixture of both systems, wherein the former point on a line is a nomad-qua-clinamen bifurcating the stable line-qua-relation of the latter line between points, the points of which are vortex-qua-striation, a quasi-chaotic process which gives birth to “a topology of interlacings, a hydrology of what flows through the network” (Serres, 2018: p72) And so each crossing, – not perpendicular, but sporadic –  each line between points is additional communication within the global topology of subjective relations. And so “the world is only laminar flux” (Ibid, p79) the perpetual order from atomic disorder, birthing into lines between points, birthing into smooth spaces from the clinamen, the nomadic clinamen intensifying/drawing smooth space from the greatcoats’ laminar fabric and following the process forward into further spaces of striation, striated vortexes, which are allocated patches of striation upon the world and as such potential empires (Deleuze, G. Guattari, F, 2016: p 575). Each of which flows in relation to that which it previously deviated from, a topology. A topology atop the temporal handkerchief, each patch a historic-cultural stability with the potential for the metaphorical warp, the temporal superimposing. The greatcoat temporally crumpled, ripped and torn, nomadically sliced, divided and transformed, approximately striated, allocated and allotted, topologically connected, related and interwoven. Or put very simply “The world is a multiplicity of flows inclined in relation to others” (Serres, 2018: p79).

One now views the greatcoat and finds it true that “existence is topological rather than geometrical” (Herzogenrath, B. (ed.). 2012: p44). The greatcoat-qua-world-map is a cybernetic wonder, a topological network and a geographical patchwork. All a constant mixture, patches as deviation from equilibrium on their rise from zero into stable vortexes – striated compound spaces -, towards their decline and deterioration back to zero. “Knotted points occur” in the fabric (Serres, 2018: p150) and are swiftly assimilated back into the laminar flow – the dull embroidery-, a patch is a moment, it is an event within the grand greatcoat and is prey to the realities of physics and so many cease simultaneously as others may begin. The patches stagnating and disappearing when moved to the singular melded patchwork, the owned unification, but when moved towards a global topology however, rags and patches grow and die, become and decline in relation to the Lucretian process. In accordance with an intelligent nonlinear materialism.

 

Nonsecular or: Perturbed Over Time


You feel the greatcoat’s fabric against your skin; the stagnated and complacent patches feel all too familiar, it is unification a priori. No one speaks of the emperor’s old clothes, incandescent and utterly complacent in their assimilation, each rag, tatter and patch heralding a part accepted. Why bother with the stage if the purpose of your theatrics is to boast a truth, your own truth. A voice from the back calls out Cast your coat to the floor!” A patchwork wound so tight as to suffocate, each part atomically chained to the next. You cast it into the global, the threads loosen and one can finally breathe. You shed your coat and it crumples onto the floor. You walk to the back of the theatre and take up a spare seat. Surrounded by a thousand languages, bereft of commonality. Amongst the cackling of the audience you ponder what’s so funny, a man to your right taps you on the shoulder, directing your attention to the stage. Your vision surveys the room. Everyone’s naked, their heads rocking in hysterics. You follow their line of sight to atop the staging. At first you see your old greatcoat, a greying heap slumped onto the boards. Minutes pass and you relax into the crowd. Your greatcoat livens, multiple gradients of colour wash across each patch. Your grin begins to widen. Threads begin to dive and fray, dance and duck. The greatcoat leaps from the floor, a few feet into the air, halting momentarily before finally exploding into a web of patches and tatters! Growing and shrinking, thickening and curling they dance along their threads of relation, you begin to chuckle. Until finally, materializing from the void of the stage, appearing from nowhere come a thousand separate greatcoats each retaining the singular for a mere moment before erupting into the dynamic physicality of multiplicity, a world of flows before you, a play of interweaving. You relax into the gales of laughter as the final remnants of your old greatcoat naturalize into the frenzy.

 

Conclusion


In conclusion one finds that not only is the Lucretian process relevant to the formation of a Serresean patchwork, but it is in fact integral to its structure, to the structure of global topological construction.  From the process one understands the clinamen-qua-nomad as that which acts as the pre-condition of the world. The clinamen which in relation to Deleuzoguattarian space acts too as the physical atomic embodiment of freedom against the sequential limit-form of striation. Striation-qua-laminar-flow in its universal allocation as parallel-void becomes the chaotic-nothingness of zero wherein everything can divide from. Division which in its spatially smooth/turbulent transition simultaneously draws smooth space and circuitry of relation; a stochastic bifurcation into turbulent deviation and onwards into topological communication. This process finds its physical conclusion atop Serres metaphoric patchwork-qua-world robes. The global periphery as laminar-fabric transforming via the division of a nomadic-thread which then incepts a turbulence, a knot-becoming-vortex, continuing into an unstable-stable vortical movement of multiple axis concluding in the formation of things, adhering to an intelligent materialism. Upon analysing the ‘Serresean patchwork’ one finds a process of multiplicity which in accordance with its underlying Lucretian flow is only analysable in its separate parts, but only tangible, realized and  sublime in its whole. That is, the Lucretian vortex must be still spinning, for observing this patchwork changes the outcome.

 

Bibliography


Serres, M (2018) The Birth of Physics. Trans. Webb, D. Ross, W., New York, Rowland & Littlefield

Serres, M (2006) The Troubadour of Knowledge. Trans. Glaser, S.F. Paulson, W. U.S.A, University of Michigan Press

Serres, M (2007) The Parasite. Trans. Schehr, R.L. Minnesota, University of Minnesota Press.

Serres, M (2017) The Five Senses. Trans. Sankey, M. Cowley, P. London, Bloomsbury Publishing

Serres, M (2011) The Natural Contract. Trans. MacArthur, E. Paulson, W. U.S.A, University of Michigan Press

Deleuze, G. Guattari, F (2016) A Thousand Plateaus. Trans. Massumi, B. London, Bloomsbury Publishing

Lezra, J. (ed.). Blake, L. (ed.) (2016) Lucretius and Modernity. UK, Palgrave Macmillan

Abbas, N. (ed.). (2008) Mapping Michel Serres. U.S.A, University of Michigan Press

Herzogenrath, B. (ed.). (2012) Time and History in Deleuze and Serres. London, Continuum International Publishing Group

Serres, M. Latour, B. (1998) Conversations on Science, Culture and Time. U.S.A, University of Michigan Press

Lee, C, T. (2014) Haptic Experience in the Writings of Georges Bataille, Maurice Blanchot and Michel Serres. Germany, Peter Lang.

An Atomist Reading of Accelerationism: The Machinic Clinamen

We begin here with Lucretius, the Roman poet and philosopher, or more aptly poet-philosopher. A thinker whose work within physics, especially his Atomism can be described as Deleuzian, and thus you should know about it, as it’s in and of and with the future already. So here we have it –

– a laminar flow. A series or parallel lines running next to each other, put very simply, let’s make it clearer for you –

– now the lines or ‘the flow’ are/is heading downwards. This laminar flow, or laminar plane consists of a series of atomic threads or lines, each parallel to the next and entirely stable within the void, heading downwards on an/the ‘extreme descent’ eternally – all thanks to the law of the optimal path – now, think of this laminar plane as time, or as a temporal laminar plane and the resulting possible/potential shifts of the atomic threads as possible/potential alterations to the physical world…due to the fact time has been altered.

Now, let’s begin the exciting bit. What is called ‘the swerve’ or more academically the ‘clinamen‘:

When atoms move straight down through the void by their own weight, they deflect a bit in space at a quite uncertain time and in uncertain places, just enough that you could say that their motion has changed. But if they were not in the habit of swerving, they would all fall straight down through the depths of the void, like drops of rain, and no collision would occur, nor would any blow be produced among the atoms. In that case, nature would never have produced anything. – Lucretius, De rerum natura

So, that is, one of those atomic threads within the laminar flow is changed, altered, swerved etc. it is no longer parallel or in harmony or eternal with the rest of the threads, and as such a change within history has been made. One could think of the laminar flow as an extremely simplistic cybernetic circuit for the entirety of human history if they liked, it wouldn’t matter much, for an Accelerationist reading will bring our demise, so let’s begin.

Acceleration(ism) enters. And due to the very nature of the laminar flow the only way in which something can alter the flow itself is to enter it diagonally, for the flow is vertical. This diagonal movement made by Accelerationism – remember Accelerationism is synonymous with Capitalismism – is a temporal movement, a movement in time, and as this movement is not simply in-keeping with the eternal Sisyphean drudgery of those other parallel atomic threads one can begin to analyse its – this new diagonal line’s – end, for that which is changing the course of such eternal descending bliss must have way of conclusion or end. So one should assess Accelerationism’s approach to obstacles.

Well, what are Accelerationism’s obstacles? Literally that which could potentially hinder its self-fulfillment, which, due to its very nature is very, very few things. How do we assess its approach? Well we give an assessment of its/our current access, presence, absence, strength, weakness and availability of that which could either constrain or bolster its direction towards its end goal. Or more succinctly:

“How well is capital doing?”

“Help me! They’ve commodified my every thought!”

It’s doing well. So well in fact that it routinely surprises even the most Bear Grylls-esque Outside-investigators as to its methods of temporal self-fulfilment. Rarely do such temporal end goals exist in such clear cut ways, rarely is there such finality to a temporal movement. That’s because it’s not just one thread being pulled.

The diagonal alteration of the laminar flow by Accelerationism, or, the machinic-clinamen, is itself capital. Capital which is going to alter or ‘swerve’ each and every singular atomic flow it needs to as a means for its own machinically desired end. That is capital swerves the laminar plane hyper-diagonally into the temporal circuitry of a cybernetic market process which utilizes the entirety of ‘history’ (meaningless in context to the plane) and agency (also meaningless) as a means for its own self-fulfillment, its own immortality…its own becoming.

Welcome, one and all to a future already designed, the culmination of multiple perfectly machnically-swerved atomic threads that have always-already instigated their own birth. To say you’re a meat-puppet, that’s the understatement of eternity.

 

TL;DR: Capitalism(ism) isn’t just reaching into the future & past to control its own becoming, but is in fact taking control of the very physics of being as a means for its own becoming.

Extrapolating on the Accelerationist Ritual

The Accelerationist (Acc) ritual is as follows: “Accelerate the process.” It’s best repeated at the end of a long, didactic blog post which alludes to multiple niche sources. The ritual in its usual form comes from Deleuze & Guattari’s Anti-Oedipus, and is to be found at the end of a section titled ‘The Civilized Capitalist Machine’, which along with the earlier sections on ‘The Desiring-Machines’ are all must reads for anyone interested in Acc and the Acc-sphere. The ritual itself is often taken for granted. For we have all read vast amounts about ‘acceleration’ now, and so the ritual seems self-explanatory, yet it this so? Has not the latter part of the ritual, ‘the process’ been left alone, if not mistaken for acceleration itself. The ritual is to be found like so:

“Or might it be to go in the opposite direction? To go still further, that is, in the movement of the market, of decoding and deterritorialization? For perhaps the flows are not yet deterritorialized enough, not decoded enough, from the viewpoint of a theory and a practice of a highly schizophrenic character. Not to withdraw from the process, but to go further, to “accelerate the process,” as Nietzsche put it: in this matter, the truth is that we haven’t seend anything yet..” (p276, Anti-Oedipus)

In relation to Anti-Oedipus this quote is – surprisingly – quite self-explanatory. That is, the Deleuzoguattarian ‘acceleration of process’ is the acceleration of the decoding and deterritorializing that is inherent within capitalism, to allow the markets and capitalism itself to continue its production of producers-of-production – roughly speaking. Yet what if one is to take a single step back and withdraw to the source of the ritual, to Nietzsche’s The Will to Power:

“The strong who are to come. In the past, it was only by a combination of necessity and chance that the conditions for the production of a stronger kind of man were occasionally realized. But now, we can understand and consciously choose them: we can create conditions under which such an elevation is possible.-” (p510, a898, The Will to Power)

Nietzsche here speaking of his rope, from animal to man to Superman, or perhaps merely a greater form of man as a means for the coming of the Superman, either way Nietzsche’s point of conscious choice and creation of conditions is in conflict with the supposed apolitical nature of Deleuze & Guattari’s ritual.

“So far, ‘education’ has sought to benefit society: not as much as possible for the sake of mankind’s future, but for that of present-day, established society. What was wanted were ‘tools’ for its use. But suppose the accumulated wealth of energy were greaterm we could contemplate the possibility of setting aside a certain amount of that for the purpose of investing, not in society, but in the future. The present form of society is undergoing such a powerful transformation that at some point it will no longer be able to exist for its own sake, but only as the instrument in the hands of a stronger race. The more the extent of this transformation is understood, the more urgent it will be to set such a task.” (ibid)

The quarrelsome education system stuck within its own contemporary loop, unable to set aside assets for the future, unable to allow itself to even attend the future, even in the most hopelessly meagre ideas. You’ll notice too that Nietzsche doesn’t talk of investing in a future society, but only future, for the ‘society’ of the future, (hopefully) inclusive of a greater form of man would be so different to contemporary society that taking such an investment trajectory would be futile.

“The progressive diminution of man is precisely what compels us to consider the cultivation of a stronger race: a race which would have a surplus of precisely that in which the diminished species had become weak and was growing weaker (will, responsibility, self-assurance, the ability to set goals for oneself). The means to accomplish this would be those which history teaches: isolation by virtue of the fact that one’s needs and interests are contrary to those which are usual nowadays; practice in the contrary value judgements; distance as pathos; a clear conscience about is today most belittled and forbidden.” (ibid)

This section actualizing a bastardized form wherein L/Acc & R/Acc are flattened and stripped down to something quite horrific. The remaining flattened entity is that which has drawn out the process of man’s emancipation via capitalist acceleration, yet has retained its trajectory atop convergent waves. The emancipation, self-actualization, will and weight of man utilizing the immanent force of right-accelerationist convergent waves as a means for its own ascension.

“That great process, the levelling of European man, is not to be retarded; it should even be accelerated.” (ibid)

Man must be consciously flattened, made horizontal.

“This levelled species requires a justification, once it has been attained; its justification is the service it provides to a superior, sovereign species who stands upon it and can arise and accomplish its tasks only upon this basis.” (ibid)

only upon this basis.” as such the process must come prior, man must become levelled prior to anything, man as the actualizer of the superior is a notion that still stands whether we ‘accelerate’ or not. And so to accelerate without this process of the levelling of [European] man in place one could argue that man is merely letting the future take the wheel, allowing conclusionless convergent waves take hold, without the levelling of man we accelerate along reversed temporal ripples that are heading towards a non-event, towards 0 itself.

The process, with thanks to Deleuze & Guattari, has become overcomplicated, ‘the process’ in its conservative (Nietzschean) state is quite straightforward, it is the cultivation of “that in which the diminished species had become weak and was growing weaker (will, responsibility, self-assurance, the ability to set goals for oneself).” (ibid)

The levelling, the conscious choosing, the creation of conditions is a must. Acceleration without conditions is allowing humanity to wither within an entropic-feedback loop of its own despair (contemporary progress), until it eventually fades into nothingness, dragging the ritual with it. As such, Acceleration must have conditions, for if it doesn’t what is it other that dull, decadent nihilism?

The Function of the Academy

There is much that can constrain or suffocate a work of thought, of theory, of philosophy. There are editors, critics and shills, classical religious and political bodies, demonstrations, burnings and bannings, yet none more harmful to a work of thought that that which promises it its sceptical freedom, indeed it is the Academy itself which is sole eroder of a theoretical work’s decency. It is the Academy in all forms which pollutes the very root it so promises to help grow. I say in all forms for the Academy has and always will enter into various areas of critique under different names. Whether it’s a Chomskyan Manufacturing, a Moldbuggian ‘Cathedral’, a doomsayer’s ‘devil-machine’, a Serresian ‘Parasite’, Debord’s ‘Spectacle’ or plain old media-systems-propaganda-worship, that which attempts to broadcast art, theory, music or vision to the masses always does so via a lense of constriction, and thus that which you are seeing, hearing or reading has already been tampered with.

Mirroring Buren’s essay[1] wherein I found inspiration for this piece, one must define the function of the Academy:

 

It is the place where the work originates.

It is generally a place of WEIRDness: Western, educated, industrialized, rich and democratic. It is indebted and economically-umbilically linked to a WEIRD government or state.

It is a stationary place where portable and lucid works are produced.

 

And thus the contemporary importance of the Academy is established, and if one is hopefully not too blind, they can see as to why a work created in such a place may have a few progressive stains dribbled upon it, or as to why certain work might not make it out alive so to speak. Buren calls the studio the ‘first limit’, upon which all subsequent limits will depends. Yet the Academy is not just some vague room in which anything can be produced, it is quintessentially WEIRD and that is thus our first limit. The Academy of course is also where numerous critics, lecturers, tutors, reviewers, scholars and specialists come to review papers, dissertations and thesis’ to see if they make the cut, to see if they’re moulded or mouldable enough to jump through the Academic hoops, if not of course there’s a pre-constructed system to deal with work unfit for Academy consumption: a bad grade. As such it is the Academy and its practioners alone whom decide that which is a continuation, that which is to become canon, that which is to be the ‘correct’ reading; it is the Academy and the Academy alone which decides whether or not a work shall become part of its and thus the recognized ‘future’.

And so as Buren’s ‘studio’ is the reality for the work of art, so too is the Academy the reality for the work of philosophy. Much like Buren’s claims of art, the work of philosophy too becomes more mature the further it distances itself from the death-grip of the Academy, the further it strays away from the world of checkboxes, grading and marking the further it enters into the actual world of thought and freedom. And so Buren proclaims:

“If the work of art remains in the studio, however, it is the artist that risks death…from starvation…”

So too does the philosopher, writer or theorist risk death if their work remains within the Academy. One will find once they free their work from the academic cult of WEIRDness that is is finally able to breath, to live and to…feel uncomfortable. Indeed the supports you so relied upon within your industrialized-education-complex wither and die at the sight of an original mind, one not poisoned by the water of WEIRD canals. Unlike Buren’s art-from-the-studio however, one may, can and should produce work outside the Academy, not with the Academy and not of the Academy. Imagine that dear fellows, writing what it is that actually comes to your mind when reading Kant, Nietzsche, Hobbes or Rousseau without feeling an authoritarian obligation to sculp your supposedly contrarian musings into another dreary Academic repetition.

And so I say to you ‘amateur’ or ‘professional’ or ‘practicing’ philosopher there is no such thing. You have been moulded, your work sculped and the higher your form of personal academic achievement the further your work has been lost to the chasms of WEIRDness. So where does one wander once they’re banished or have managed escape from the Academy, sitting atop its marble steps you ponder what to write about, who and when to write about. After the Academy there no longer has to be a why, when, who or what as to you’re writing. You’re writing because you are writing. Your work becomes entirely its own existing for its own sake, within a decaying blog, or viral pamphlet. Your thesis read by 4 people disintegrated into the WEIRD-abyss, rife with merit-signalling and brown-nosing. Your 4000 word pulsating screed on the hell-time of a cybernetic patchwork transition stage on the other hand was read and enjoyed by many.

If the work of philosophy remains in the Academy, the philosopher and philosophy both risk death.

 

[1] The Function of the Studio – Daniel Buren

 

 

On Left and Right Accelerationism

Where one begins with Acceleration or Accelerationism (or Capitalismism) in the scholarly philosophical sense can not be from any centralized point; this rhizomatic point-of-origin is quite in-keeping with Accelerationist theory. One could begin from Marx’s Fragment on Machines, The Accelerationist Reader, Hyperstition, Nick Land’s Oeuvre, Deleuzeguattarian philosophy, late Nietzsche, CCRU or even niche Twitter subgroups (search-terms: u/acc, l/acc, r/acc, z/acc, #rhetttwitter & #cavetwitter) So where shall I begin, from the list aboves glaring lacuna…

I shall begin with a the MAP. Unfortunately, this MAP isn’t full of detailed schematics, measurements or routes, no. This MAP is in fact a manifesto, The Manifesto for an Accelerationist Politics (MAP) If it were a map I’d argue that it’d be so dated in its approach to cartography that we’d be dealing with but a crayon drawing of robo-Marx pointing which direction to go in. So, why begin here as opposed to the other Acceleration labyrinth (Acc-Lab) entry points? The MAP is one of the few entry locations of the Acc-Lab that actually has a defined position which is relative to any agreement; thus far, the MAP Acc-Lab doorway is the only agreed upon entry-point which leads to any constructive discussion as to acceleration. Why is this? To the meat!

As I stated MAP declares a position, which is of/on the left. Their proposition in short is to accelerate technology as a means to emancipate the worker from the shackles of capitalism, the acceleration of technology as a utopian-accelerative gesture.

‘Work for work’s sake is a perversity and a constraint imposed upon humanity by capitalism’s ideology of the work ethic. What accelerationism seeks is to allow human potential to escape from the trap set for it by contemporary capitalism.’ – #Accelerationism: Remembering the Future

It is quite transparently a ‘Marxism for the 21st century’ (Isaac Camacho) and so one may wonder why anyone would take seriously such a proposition, the idea that post/after/beyond/through capitalism lies this Marxist utopia is deluded, capitalism has already subsumed Marxism and unless you wish to make the case that it still exists but as mere internal-cyst upon capitalism’ innards waiting for its day or rupture, then your argument comes to a halt rather sharply. Postcapitalism, if such a nauseating political reality could come into existence, would exist much akin to postmodernism, yearning to be free of its suffix-master, yet perpetually attached via an economic umbilical cord for stability.

Yet this idea of ‘postcapitalism’ allows us to view that which Acceleration is truly indebted to: time. Postcapitalism could only come into existence via the ability of future-construction, via the ability to construct the future: ‘24. The future needs to be constructed.’ – MAP.  

‘The notion that the future is less ontologically settled than the past is less transcendentally unsustainable position, it’s a metaphysics of time in a strict critical sense and it’s convenient for political orientation but it’s a philosophically unsustainable commitment.’ – Nick Land

This idea of ‘construction’ is ontologically and temporally muddled, albeit wrong. MAP’s notion of construction implies both a retainment of agency (not surprising from a Marxist perspective), yet it also implies that history presents a choice, and that history is on a divergent wave as opposed to a convergent wave. The ripples move in reverse, back towards the ‘event’, the singularity; capitalism drags and draws the ‘past’ and the ‘now’ from its place in the future. A temporal lasso cuts through common notions of chronic-time and acts out its transcendent selection process. Acceleration is the struggle to keep up with the demands of the future.

If one is in doubt of this strange, outside, diagonal temporal process they may only look upon the influx of subcultures and movements indebted to a non-linear, anti-chronic or atypical theorizations of times: Cyberpunk, Cybergoth, Neoreaction, Archifuture, Retro-progressivism etc. Imminent examples of disorder within the supposedly (currently) ordered security system; the prediction market was reliant on an incorrect form of time and as such…we got a lot wrong. If one returns to the idea of time as a convergent wave, they find that of course prediction markets would be wrong, their predictions were blind darts thrown against the pull of the future.

Back to our entry-point. Why did we enter at L/Acc? Because (as is often the case) it is the left who imply, if not create the first point of reference upon the spectrum. So with an entry at L/Left we now (apparently) have a political left, a directional left, and a positional left, from the trajectory of the MAP one can now – with rough certainty – say their hand is to the Left wall of the Acc-Lab. So with the existence of a Left comes the implication and almost forced (unwarranted) creation of a right. For you cannot have left without the existence of a right, wherever it may lay, and whatever it may be. R/Acc is an inevitable semiotic effect from the coinage of L/Acc.

Can you hear that clicking, hissing and screeching in the distance? It’s the noise of a hundred shitposters frothing at the mouth at the prospect of R/Acc articulation.

R/Acc, that grand phantasm of accelerationist thought. It is easiest to begin from comparison. In the traditional sense the political spectrum has on its left Liberalism and Communism, and on its right Conservatism and Fascism. So where L/Acc see a constructed future once again pertaining to Marxist thought, R/Acc sees (amongst a few perceptions – Wait your turn!) the possibility of acceleration only existing with a reversion to some form of hierarchical structure; this is where we see the convergence of Neoreaction and R/Acc, both taking the blackpill in acceptance of deterritorialization as capitalism – ‘it sees capital’s oppressive reconfiguration of the social space as the inevitable price techno-industrial development.’ – So, Acc

More recently both ends of the spectrum have altered in mirrored ways (as they would). We have seen the left become increasingly more egalitarian, more inclusive and more tolerant, to the point of ignorance, frustration and delusion. What the Left wishes to tuck neatly under the rug and act as if it will simply disappear once/if technological emancipation is achieved, the right wishes to bring to the fore and accept as a means to ‘prove’ and foster the idea that either we need a reversion, or more recently ‘It’s too fucking late!’

R/Acc: An increasing proportion of the industrial surplus is being absorbed by the task of masking bio-social deterioration.

Z/Acc: Over 100% soon.

U/Acc: Oh c’mon.

L/Acc: Look, a squirrel! – Nick Land (Outsideness)

The discrepancies of an R/Acc definition come about precisely because in its origination it was anti-capitalism. To paraphrase Moldbug ‘Just because you’re no longer a red, doesn’t mean you have to become a blue.’. R/Acc were anti-capitalist, but they weren’t/aren’t those anti-capitalists, they can’t be, otherwise the spectrum just shot up its own arse. R/Acc’s form of anti-capitalism begins from the idea that (for R/Acc) capitalism and acceleration are synonymous, and thus, they are not anti-capitalism in the strict, empirical, political sense, no. They are anti-capitalism in the sense of understanding that capitalism’s ‘industrial surplus is being absorbed by the task of masking bio-social deterioration’ and as such this isn’t a convergent wave leading anywhere pleasant. But then again, who ever said the singularity was going to be pleasant?

If one is to refer to the root of Deleuze and Guattari’s now semi-famous ‘accelerationist passage’ one can find articulation. The root of the accelerationist ritual ‘Accelerate the process!’ (Anti-Oedipus) is of course to be found is the latter fragmented jottings of Nietzsche’s nachlass The Will to Power: ‘The levelling of the European man is the great process which cannot be obstructed; it should even be accelerated.’ What does this quote reveal to us of both L/Acc and R/Acc? It reveals priorities: L/Acc dumbfoundedly wishes to control the ritual process, whereas R/Acc are primarily focused on what the levelling does to European man. Or: It’s all well and good ‘levelling European man’ but if that process results in a dysgenic, IQ shredding, weak, slave-like mess then perhaps it’s best to question the method. (I would add here for those interested that Neoreaction focuses more on European man that levelling or its effects.)

R/Acc is L/Acc’s compensatory reterritorialized element, yet unlike the L/Acc R/Acc has not chained itself to archaic theory set in chronic time, and as such acts as a reterritorialization acting and moving in relation to L/Accs consistent compiling of ignorance. This would be my personal argument against the idea that R/Acc needs or has a consistent political position, R/Acc’s inherent understanding of agency within unhinged time allows them to acquire the blackpill-visors and metaphorically witness capital’s convergent lasso come forth. With L/Acc searching for the – supposed – true agent of acceleration exterior to capitalism, which in the view of R/Acc is capitalism itself. Thus the spectrum upon which both L and R/Acc coexist is one of ontology, wherein one side (L/Acc) promote an ontologically objective structure of time, with humanities agency at the wheel, and the other end (R/Acc) accepting the ontology of the future as a constant. R/Acc accept that capital is critique.

Thus the circuit diagram of both L/Acc and R/Acc remain the same, their ontology however, is entirely different. The circuit diagram itself is Acceleration pure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

R/Acc