META-NOMAD

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.

The Experiment of the Future

 

The Experiment of the Future

Deleuzoguattarian Nietzsche: Overcoming as Capitalism.

 

 

Introduction


 

The aim of this essay is to extrapolate on the claim that accelerating capitalism would act as inherently beneficial for Nietzschean man’s overcoming of himself into Overman. I plan to do this firstly by defining what man and amor fati mean for Nietzsche, alongside defining both that which man shall become, namely the Overman and its counterpart of Eternal Recurrence, alongside their inherent connection. Primarily focusing on the possibility and actuality of man’s overcoming, what it means to overcome and that which man is against during his process of overcoming e.g. the herd. From here I plan to explain why in the current day or epoch what it means to be ‘man’ has been drastically altered, largely due to capitalism being western man’s political horizon. I plan to briefly attend to a common description of capitalism, then utilize the writing of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari as a means for extrapolating what it is capitalism does to man, and what man is under or within capitalism, with extrapolations on both man as desiring-machine and the Civilized Capitalist Machine itself. In the final section I plan to achieve 3 things in a linear fashion, yet assimilated into one another. Firstly a basic overview of Nietzschean man’s overcoming, secondly the process of overcoming for Deleuzoguattarian man, and thirdly the process of overcoming for Nietzschean man subsumed into Deleuzoguattarian capitalism, expanding on the idea that not only is capitalism beneficial for man’s overcoming but due to its inherent qualities it is in fact the greatest vessel for overcoming.

 

Man, Overman and Recurrence


 

To begin with Nietzsche’s fate of man, for where else could one begin except with man’s becoming, the fatal amor fati. That proclamation of purpose amidst schematic metaphysics and the passing of value; for Nietzsche the macro-pursuit or task of humanity, of man in its grandest sense is a thorough “going-across and a down-going”. (Nietzsche, 1961: p44), a personal and herd-external recognition of that rope so “fastened between animal and Superman” (Nietzsche, 1961: p43) and so within Nietzsche’s call for a “down-going” is an – often unheard – cry for man to act as Socrates once did and “descend from the plane of his intellectual understanding” (Pappas, 1995: p17-21), man baring all for the future, to accept what comes – as we shall too – and [justify] “men of the future” (Nietzsche, 1961: p44), those Overmen, greater than man, those who’ve overcome humanity. For the task of man is to overcome himself (Nietzsche, 1961: p41). For aid and direction in such a feat one and man must turn to Zarathustra, aloud at the marketplace: “The hour when you say: what good is happiness” (Nietzsche, 1961: p43) he proclaims to the herd “your very meanness…” he concludes. Within 19 short lines Zarathustra brings to the fore the decadence and degeneracy of man, a man subsumed into the herd, of the herd; the stasis of the marketplace dances confidently upon the corpse of God, confident of their apathy. Arrogance and ignorance in a new world deprived of God’s light, searching for pity and sympathy, a world bereft of creation. Confronted with the herd’s apathetic nature Zarathustra in haste defends “What is great in man” (Nietzsche, 1961: p45) a list the likes of the herd and the last man find at once burdensome and heavy. Yet those who are to overcome, those who for Zarathustra “prophesy the coming of the lightning…” (Nietzsche, 1961: p45), those men who under darkened clouds continue planting seeds for trees they shall not see, those men who carry and own their fate. The becoming towards Overman true, a love of creation even when it is destruction; a simultaneous innovation, growth, creation and longing for life, all of life. These men who become are those who wish to “perish by the man of the present.” (Nietzsche, 1961: p45). Men so utterly subsumed into their amor fati that they question a positive roll of the dice; a man who feels indebted to the future and understands it is he who must pave the way against the belly laughs of the herd, this is what it means for Nietzschean man to become.

What of this ‘becoming’ of which man must attend, wherein must man begin? The process prior to those who have overcame, what will and does overcoming look like in actuality? For these questions we turn to the abstraction of the Nietzschean rope of animal, man and Overman. The rope of overcoming as a guide for transcendence. Beginning with the former coupling of animal and man or nature and man, and so one turns to Section V, Dawn, (Nietzsche, 1911: A434 and A464) wherein lies a critique of man’s reaction to nature: “the great things of nature and humanity must intercede.” (Nietzsche, 1911: p274) For there should be no return, for fear of clawing at old animalistic rope, there in fact should be a cultivation, an active improvement of nature wherein the duality of man and nature – expanded upon later – becomes a symmetrical improvement for both sides’ inefficiency: Man as he who improves upon nature’s shortcomings and nature as reminder of origin, of how far man can fall. Within Dawn’s critique and Zarathustra’s proclamations we find man’s perpetual opposition to that which he creates, as Kaufmann comments (Kaufmann, 2013: p248), that much akin to Wilde’s smelt of bronze (Wilde, 1894) man must melt, form and re-melt his bronze ad infinitum, each reforming a Heraclitean improvement of his creation and his being. This albeit ‘practical’ form of becoming is at its heart the private ownership of one’s own amor fati; a “down-going” into fate, however light, however bleak. I shall return to becoming in abstraction later, for now, that which man shall become: the Overman.

If one is to speak of man as a rope: from animal, to man, to Overman, then one may ask what difference lies between man and Overman. The difference presents itself in the way each influences and is influenced, for “Man is a polluted river.” (Nietzsche, 1961: p42) and though he could recast his bronze a new, or bare the future’s weight, both acts, along with his present agency are prey to the external influence of herd-entities: state, religion and society, all of which act as forms of ‘pollution’ for weak, fearful man; those men who are not as of yet themselves. His thoughts, his ideas, his morals, his structures even, are perceived via a gauze of epoch-centric stimuli altering the original and authentic into the lulls and whines of the herd; and thus what is his, is not his. Whereas “the Superman: he is the sea” (Nietzsche, 1961: p42) and thus can receive the pollution of the river, of many rivers, of all rivers without losing his original form, without losing who it is he is. The Overman therefore, is he who can withstand external pressured perspectives en masse whilst retaining authenticity and origin. Indeed if one is to turn to the literal (published) origin of the Overman, to The Gay Science, they shall find him within a reverent triptych “of gods, heroes and overmen.” (Nietzsche, 1974: A143), it is here in origination we find not only is the Overman he who withstands the rabble’s infectious strains of decadence, but it is he who – in the future, once born – will be able to create structures and systems akin to those of gods and heroes. It is of course no mistake that the Overman finds his literary birth in an aphorism focused on the problematic nature of restriction, specifically the restrictions of monotheism in comparison to polytheism; why worship the singular, suffocative ideology of a long since murdered God, when one can overcome restrictive pollutions and help the future bare witness to the birth of the Overman. To lure “him who justifies the man of the future.” (Nietzsche, 1961: p44) forward so, away from all sources of pollution, man, in plural, may glimpse at a future bearable, recurrence bearable…

For why write of a Nietzschean future if one doesn’t address the only future: Eternal Recurrence. For Nietzsche the doctrine of eternal recurrence is the impenetrable metaphysical horizon: “Eternal recurrence – that is to say of the absolute and eternal repetition of all things, in periodical cycles.” (Nietzsche, 1911: p73). The finite number of atomic configurations within the infinity of time recurring over and over, a perpetual reorganization of chaos again and again. A succinct description of the atheistic horror, the atheistic universe. For not only has God been murdered (Nietzsche, 1961: p41) and thus been made mortal by man, but the act of murder shall recur. Recur out of sight and out of cycle (Nietzsche, 1961: p234), and so it becomes an impossible act for any mortal man to comprehend…the recurrence of all his pain and loss, strife and suffering, let alone wish once more than he act out his mortality. Yet this is the ‘heaviest weight’ which the Overman must bare, not to “curse the demon who spoke thus.” (Nietzsche, 1974: A341) but in fact, to embrace his announcement, the great amor fati, to want no difference of fate, nothing ever changing for all of eternity, this fate only the Overman can embrace and it is this virtue that make him thus. Recurrence of such is here prior to any ‘arrival’ or birth or the Overman, and thus we exist in an anti-anthropocentric universe that cares not for our wallowing in chaos, for our lack of atomic organization or baring of tragedy, the justification of the future is in the arrival of he who will bare the horizon of recurrence. For recurrence without the Overman, without he who can accept it…own it, truly, would result in a death of possibility, of potential, a repetition of the finite forever, without hope for value, transcendence or hierarchy. The Overman without recurrence however, would act as a fatalistic tyrant, leaping into the unknown whilst dragging humanity behind him. In their connection the present belongs to no one, it is the end-result of a past configuration and the future is only that which is to be overcome. “For greatness in man is amor fati: the fact that man wishes nothing to be different, either in front of him or behind him, for all eternity.” (Nietzsche, 1911: p45) For the Overman, the wish for non-difference is their a priori connection to recurrence. Yet this relationship is asymmetrical, for it is inconsequential to the universe whether or not chaos is organized; yet to those who benefit from a reorganization it is not. “After the vision of the overman…recurrence now bearable!” (Kaufmann, 2013: p327)

 

A Deleuzoguattarian Epoch


 

The horizon for man, specifically contemporary western man, has changed, the epoch altered: that which man creates, destroys and lives from, has itself altered in such a fundamental way that which ‘man’ is has too changed, at least in relation to the ‘man’ of which Nietzsche referred. Man for Nietzsche as he whose potential for overcoming would have directly conflicted with strict ideological value adherence, the Utopian dream and modernity, all of which act in opposition to the epoch of contemporary western man, who pushes to and fro, from and with…capitalism.

Capitalism: A free market economy wherein the means of production – and product – are privately owned by an individual and are operated primarily for profit. A dynamic of recurrent success and the dissolving of failure. Man as controller or controlled, employer or employed; strength and weakness appropriated as economic status and authority. From a Nietzschean perspective it is true that all forms of economy, state and ideology are themselves hindrances of authenticity or pollution for the mind of man, for man’s overcoming. Yet capitalism’s unique machinic nature with relation to man’s unconscious desire allows not only for the possibility of overcoming, but for the ‘acceleration’ of such a process, the nature of capitalism as such is expounded by the philosophy of Deleuze & Guattari.

One, in fact, must turn to Deleuze & Guattari’s Anti-Oedipus for a full understanding of the socio-philosophical consequences of man’s subsumption into capitalism. For that ‘man’, that humanity, first spoke of as he who is to justify the future’s existence has since been altered by the eventuality of capitalism, which mutates man’s nature into that of a desiring-machine (Deleuze & Guattari, 2013: p12), integrated into the societal meshwork of desiring-production (Ibid, p19). Desiring-production: The perpetual loop of production and consumption along with their inherent bind: “Hence everything is production: production of productions, of actions and passions…Everything is production.” (Ibid, p14) within this machinic capitalist process “the human essence of nature and the natural essence of man becomes one within nature in the form of production and industry.” (Ibid, p15) That ‘nature’ which the ‘man’ of Nietzsche is to cultivate and improve, has since, in its duality with man been subsumed into the form of production and industry. The rope of becoming ground from its animalistic beginnings into man by the process of production, both moving forward into a process larger than themselves, of which shall accelerate the motion of man towards Overman. This duality of man and nature, this “Production as process” (Ibid, p15) as that which subsumes all: desire, ideals, identity and categories, and thus is not itself a means to an end (Ibid, p15), nor infinite perpetuation, but is the essential productive reality of man and nature entwined as process for the refinement of both. Man as a “producing/product identity” (Ibid, p18) process amidst a process of momentary cyclical lapses of production, wherein the whole process starts again, a non-means to an end, a “continual birth and rebirth.” (Ibid, p18), a continuous melting and sculpting of Kaufmann’s Nietzschean bronze (Kaufmann, 2013: p248); man reassembles himself again and again from the remnants of his singular past bronze creation into a new original form, a glimpse thereof for a moment, before the product is consumed and melted back into the process of production along with man: a process of the continual lapsed process of micro-productive overcoming. Man as desiring-machine amidst the capitalist landscape, wherein the distinctions of: production, distribution and consumption are immediately flattened onto a single immanent plane (Deleuze & Guattari, 2013: p15), alongside industry, man and nature all acting as a means for the process of production, as such man becomes a process…a process of production. As a furnace produces the heat to smelt, man produces sweat to cool, both acts interlinked under the horizontal process of capitalism as that which emancipates becoming from the suffocative pollution of utopias into the perpetual “decoding of flows.” (Deleuze & Guattari, 2013: p257), into a non-linear, fragmented Nietzschean explosion! (Nietzsche, 1990: p108)

What of these men, these desiring-machines whom are of the capitalist socius, what does it do and what does it alter of their agency? These men who, in accordance with Deleuzoguattarian philosophy, becoming desiring-machines. Wherein that latter machinic nature is not metaphoric (Deleuze & Guattari, 2013: p12), but actual, man assimilated as machine into “only a process” (Ibid, p12) driven by an unconscious desire of “fragmentary and fragmented” (Ibid, p12) ‘objects’ and ‘flows’. “Desiring-machines work only when they break down, and by continually breaking down.” (Ibid, p19) and so, as this “identity of production” (Ibid, p19) acting simultaneously alongside the naturally decoding and fragmentary processes of capitalism, with desire as the underlying catalyst for the ‘current’ and ‘break’ of capitalism’s decoded flows, we find man as he who now exists within a continual machinic birth and rebirth, product and production; fragmented man as process removed from archaic independent spheres into a political project of immediacy and divergence.

What of these men within and of capitalist process(Ibid, p257), of The Civilized Capitalist Machine, a construction of semantic parts of which each must be swiftly deconstructed as a means for understanding the horizon of man: ‘The Civilized’ as in the singular capitalist machine which in its unification acts as a vessel for and of decoding and deterritorialization, which via the proclamation of its ‘civilized’ nature has been brought, or brought itself to a correct developmental stage: So via a deconstruction herein we understand that of a singular accepted capitalist machine, the process of which – production, process, man – acts as both its civility and machinations. Internally holding the emancipative process of the decoding of flows and deterritorialization, a process which subsumes man as desiring-machine into as a means for man’s accelerated overcoming.

Towards the emancipative process itself: “That is why capitalism and its break are defined not solely by decoded flows, but by the generalized decoding of flows, the new massive deterritorialization, the conjunction of deterritorialized flows.” (Ibid, p259). The Deleuzoguattarian primacy of capitalism as that which decodes; a removal of structure, a reversal of apparent limitational natures; ‘coding’ as linearities wherein growth has an ‘end’ or a blink (Nietzsche, 1961: p46). And what of the flow that is to be decoded: “What is it that moves over the body of society? It is always flows, and a person is always cutting off a flow. A person is always a point of departure for the production of a flow, a point of destination for the reception of a flow, a flow of any kind; or better yet, an interception of many flows.” (Deleuze, 1971) This Deleuzoguattarian ‘person’ taken as man, humanity, a multitude of persons, is man within capitalist process as desiring-machine, entirely subsumed into decoded and perpetually decoding flows, man fragmented into the process of production (of production) of capitalism itself. These “decoded flows that makes of capital the new social full body.” (Deleuze & Guattari, 2013: p261) become capitalism itself, assembly of the capitalist machine as the “production of productions.” – the great creation – with man taking his place in and within and of the machine, no longer a capitalism which “installed itself in the pores of the old socius”(Ibid, p261) but a capitalism entirely deterritorialized into a civilized production machine, with subsumed man as desiring-machine, flattened onto the semantically reductionist plane ‘capitalism’ from which one can begin a trajectory towards an isolation of desire and of overcoming, using capitalism as its natural propellant.

 

Man’s Transcendence As Capitalist Process


 

This isolated trajectory towards overcoming…of overcoming, this possibility of transcendence via the utilization of capitalism’s inherent emancipative processes benefits from a return to the Overman/Recurrence duality. Such an Overman is he who is beyond capitalism, beyond the pollution of any -ism or -logy, those so transcendentally emancipated they can lure humanity from the decadent present with their call for ‘man to justify himself’, that which makes great men act, thus: build the future from the future. The inherently problematic yet beneficial nature of capitalist process if that the alterations it has performed on man of course change that which he is to overcome, namely himself, for it is man to be overcome and man has changed. Yet these processes too – as we shall see – allow for an accelerated reassembly of the recurring finite. First: overcoming as Nietzsche’s man, secondly: overcoming as Deleuzoguattarian man, thirdly: utilization of both forms as a means for accelerated overcoming as process.

Great men…in whom tremendous energy has been accumulated…there has been no explosion for a long time.” (Nietzsche, 1990:p108) What of these ‘explosions’ and why have there been so few? For they are held back by the Nietzschean pollutions: state, religion and epoch. So of the former ‘great men’ we find a symmetrical characteristic with the Overman, both care not for their epoch’s chaos and both become who they are’(Nietzsche, 1974: A270). However, those great men of present, taken henceforth by capitalism’s all consuming process, acting as a vessel for the “overwhelming pressure of the energies.” (Nietzsche, 1990:p109) as such that the unhinged, free market capitalist state allows these men to become that process towards which there is the Nietzschean explosion.

To grasp the Will to Power both as text and as actual will in consideration with the contemporary socio-political organ is to invite an abstractive haste titled under the principle of more! (Kaufmann, 2013: p185), guided into the future, attempting to justify the future via posthumous fragmented jottings, decoded from author into flows alien to their temporal origin seems fitting: To guide us, bluntly towards the perspective of the non-end, the forever-end of man prior to the coming of the Overman: “To invite disease and madness, to promote symptoms of derangement, meant to grow stronger, more superhuman, more terrible and more wise. (Nietzsche, 2017: A48) Invitation, promotion, growth and more, more, more, the perpetual decoding of flows is that which we must invite; acting as a contemporary deification wherein one actively allows and invites the process of capitalism further into his desire. Wherein man attempts an assertion of his place within the authoritative triptych(Nietzsche, 1974: A143), utilizing the naturally creative powers of capitalism as a means for future – God & hero-esque – value creation.

If we remove the idea of purpose from the process, can we still affirm the process? We could if something were accomplished at every moment of the process.” (Nietzsche, 2017: A55) What purpose does capitalism hold and promote except that of continued deterritorialization and the decoding of flows, each decoding, intersection and multiplicity of flows is at once and “every moment” a creation, a deterritorialized creation without root of purpose, unconscious creation from and of man! A miraculous creation amongst [modernities’] “breaking up of traditions and schools.” (Nietzsche, 2017: A74) This fragmented disintegration via capitalism’s decoding of modernity, of all which could have possibly coded, caged and polluted man, is at once subsumed into the unconscious process of production and forthwith a flow of production, of creation. – “As a matter of fact, great growth is always accompanied by tremendous fragmentation and destruction;” (Nietzsche, 2017: A112) thus from the ashes of decoded schools and relics of tradition arises “the transition to new conditions of existence.” (Nietzsche, 2017: A112). Utilizing capitalism’s inherent unchecked growth and mechanisms of decoding the Nietzschean pot of smelted bronze meets its greatest furnace; for the Overman as transcended is he who creates!

For “Consciousness only extends so far as it is useful.” (Nietzsche, 2017: A505) not only must the process of overcoming accept pollution as a physical limitation, but to overcome, man must accept the nature of consciousness as anchored to the herd, to the state, to those and that which hinder and impede the process of overcoming: For man’s conscious intentionality is always drawn to pollution and decadence prior. To be and to allow and own the unconscious is to begin to overcome. Such a process of overcoming finding itself inherently within the socio-ideological organ of The Civilized Capitalist Machine: “An organ of what controls us.” (Nietzsche, 2017: A524) the organ Nietzsche speaks of in relation to commerce acts symmetrically to that of the desiring-machine, taken into and in control of an organ. It is from said organ that the limitations of consciousness’ usefulness are left behind in favour of desire, wherein man’s overcoming he shall “trace something new to something old.” (Nietzsche, 2017: A552) as flows decode, and parts are deterritorialized, micro-justifications for the future fragment and decode into process, perpetually, a constant ‘tracing’ of new to old. Such a temporal tracing within capitalist process can be allowed to expand and diverge due to its inherent decoding of flows and form of ownership: “great men…” acting as employers, CEOs, entrepreneurs, visionaries and inventors are “shaping and commanding forces – extending the sphere of their power – the demand increasing.” (Nietzsche, 2017: A644) via appropriation of the traditional ‘strong and weak’ onto the asymmetrical replacement of employer and employed, the capitalist and the capitalized or “Being useful for accelerating – and being useful for [stability]” (Nietzsche, 2017: A648). Thus it is from capitalism that great men are born once more and allowed full reign within their sphere of power, utilizing the multitude of weak marketplace energies to construct, build and create a justification for the future, for the men of the future, for “The herd is a means and nothing more!” (Nietzsche, 2017: A766)

Accelerative processes, no: “NB. Processes considered as ‘beings’.” (Nietzsche, 2017: A655) and asymmetrically beings as processes, a recurrent subsuming of one into the other as a means for overcoming themselves; weak and strong, humanity and capitalism. “NB. Hitherto, man has been man of the future so to speak.” (Nietzsche, 2017: A686) that is, what is man but an effort towards not a better future, but a greater future, capitalism allows man his “Subsumption into the larger whole in order to satisfy its will to power.” (Nietzsche, 2017: A774, 2), man into capitalism as to satisfy desire via unconscious decoding and power by application of practical free market economies, both as a means towards overcoming and to benefit the Overman, to pave route to the birthplace of the Overman.

And so in utilization of contemporary capitalism, with man as desiring-machine, the Nietzschean dream has begun: “He must be endowed with the virtues of a machine.” (Nietzsche, 2017: A888) and so he has been endowed, with the virtues of the desiring-machine, who acts in such a way to acquire little pollution, the unconscious machinic process of capitalism, the unchecked, accelerative virtues of desiring-machine are indeed “The strong who are to come – investing not in society, but in the future – That great process, the levelling of European man, is not to be retarded; it should be accelerated.” (Nietzsche, 2017: A898)

And here in the late, maddeningly fragmented jottings of The Will to Power do we find the origin of Deleuzoguattarian acceleration, acting as the form of ‘end’, the continuous birth and rebirth, the only conclusion man can muster to the civilized capitalist machine:

For perhaps the flows are not yet deterritorialized enough – Not to withdraw from the process, but to go further, to “accelerate the process””(Deleuze & Guattari, 2013: p276)

Herein lies the fatal bridge between Nietzsche’s late – decoded – attempts at offering a solution for man’s potential becoming and Deleuzoguattarian capitalism; for man has become and is always becoming a desiring-machine of unconscious desire, such a machine acting as a part of and as the process of capitalism itself, driving his desire ever forward, yet remnants of recurrent stability remain. His attachments are still to the old as a means of pleasing the strong, he must relieve himself of familiarity and accelerate himself, overcome himself as a process towards the future. Deleuze & Guattari’s call to “accelerate the process” (Deleuze & Guattari, 2013: p276) is a call of acceptance towards the emancipative powers of capitalism in relation to man’s overcoming of himself. And so this production of process and its reverse, the process of production, both acting as capitalism itself and as man, should not be lapsed or halted, but in fact should be accelerated pushing man ever further towards his limit, towards the future, towards his birth as Overman.

 

Conclusion


 

Man as he whom will always – a la Nietzsche – be indebted to his fate and to his future, is as such always burdened with the task of preparing/actualising the existence of the Overman. Against the whines of the herd, man must take up the abstract process of overcoming and cultivate a symmetrical relationship with nature wherein the inefficiency of both is improved, this interceding of both man and nature via a Deleuzoguattarian capitalist framework allows man to utilize the inherent present capitalist process capabilities: decoding of flows, excess fragmentation and the assimilation of independent spheres into a unified process, as a means to accelerate the process of man’s overcoming. Deleuzoguattarian Nietzsche therefor is the interceding of man as desiring-machine with his amor fati, which to the desiring-machine is the unchecked acceleration, fragmentation, decodification and divergence of flows. An amor fati which in conjunction with the emancipative powers of capitalism with regards to product, production and process is accelerated due to its natural inclusion within the Civilized Capitalist Machine. And so: Desiring-machine as humanity within the Civilized Capitalist Machine, are still eternally indebted to the future to their amor fati, as such man must accelerate the inherent capabilities of capitalism as a means towards the emancipation of man, as a means towards overcoming and the creation/birth of the Overman.

 

Bibliography


Text originally submitted to M.A. course.

Note on Bibliography: Preceding a number: p=page and A=aphorism.

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Nietzsche, F (1990) Twilight of the Idols Trans. Hollingdale, R, J, Penguin Books, London.

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