LOOKING INTO LARUELLE, ON THE CRITIQUE LIST

It’s my contention, that where Laruelle says anything valid or worthwhile, this would consist of highly obvious extensions and implications that do not, it seems to me, contribute much in the way of insights, but nevertheless, licence a regression of sorts; the kind of nostalgia, of positional retrogressions, that can be observed as instancing a more general cultural movement of the contemporary era.

More suited to the populist demand producing Donald Trump, ‘Laruellean licence’ similarly, serves a philosophy readership unused to thinking ‘radically’ and questioningly, always, and as a matter of course. Such a readership always looks through ‘reversed telescopes’, exercising a kind of ‘consumer choice’ on what it sees, projecting, fixating and privileging, only along the lines of its own, essentially positivist, understanding. The resulting buffer zone of doxic fragmentation, the zone of positivist consumer psychology wherein in a host of superficial and easily accessible opinion-choices, can be proffered, again and again, as philosophy, even under the rubric of its apparent negation.

There is a price to pay, of course. In this case, it seems to me, the valorisation of current receptions; no matter how superficial, uninventive, or uninformed; is the unfortunate result. Thus we see, more or less, only a history of bad and uncharitable interpretations, each being the necessary condition for subsequent promotional campaigns of philosophy production. Countering one bias of poor interpretation with another, all the while clinging on to the modality of superficial opinion transaction. The value of this procedure is eminently social and communicative. The reversed telescopes move together, communally, avoiding the arduous alienations and depths of solitary contemplation. This is ‘hive learning’, a ‘swarming philosophy’ for an increasingly networked world. The mass distribution of loved wisdom, engineered according to protean and prevailing, real-time, l.c.d. (lowest common denominator) needs. It is a market philosophy, modeled on the 6.00 news, telegraphic, televisual, telly-typed (sic). Because its emphasis is social, it opens up the usual sociopolitical possibilities, various theoretical worlds transitioning into a perpetual broadcast context and its configuring logic. Usually, that logic’s hegemonic principle is reality, or as its proponents insist on calling it, ‘the real’.  Such insistence, of course, is paradoxical, especially when those same proponents declare themselves both to always inhabit this ‘real’, and yet to never reach this alleged habitat of their own declaration. There are obviously two different and unanalysed conceptions at play, the interstices of which are readily susceptible to the most banal discursive productions, whilst still being able to retain the rubric of philosophy, somewhere in the vicinity. This, of course, enables populist relevance; multiplies interdisciplinary employments; and increases the market value of various academic philosophy brands.

Market context and configuration, whilst important to some, is not necessarily radically pure conceptual critique, as it were. So, I’ve put Laruelle on the critique list. Let’s see what all the non-sense is about!

TECHNO-ENTANGLEMENTS OF THE TECHNOSENSORIUM

As all definition moves closer towards simply being desire; each definition a dialectic between varying probabilities; between the reliable regularity of alleged certitudes, and the increasingly improbable; that nostalgic conceptual economy, rubricised as ‘world’, grows ever more granularised, into micro-epistemologies, into micro-libidinal epistemologies; vast swarms of sense, in both senses.
In and around this imaginary, of a ‘world-pen’, huge herds of meaning can be observed, their migratory patterns almost instantaneous to a subset of biological perceptions, caught in its global techno-entanglement of electronic light.

NAIVE CONFINES OF THE TECHNOSENSORIUM

Using naive, positivistic literalism, exploiting its apparent contrasts from the convoluted developments characterising philosophical specialisations and their discourses, is invariably an anchoring appeal to common intuitions. But there can be different reasons behind such an appeal.
In scientific demonstration, discursive convolution has a close relation to the teleology of ‘results’; these ‘results’ being a kind of cartography of future immediacies and reliable regularities; such teleological methodologies, no matter how wild their interim, empirical excursions might be, are always conditioned by ‘knowing’ obligations to arrive at the mappable effects of ‘demonstration’, in the construction, or constructive extension, of future commonalities and their eventual, given ‘intuitions’.
The social power of scientific discourse is ultimately contingent on the association with its applications and technological effects on common intuition; usually in ritualised forms of mass distribution, as prodigiously numerous, altared ‘engines of demonstration’, or engineered commodities. Under the signs of various scientific laws, priests administer these engines of habitual ritual, for pricely offerings.
But this perpetual festival of scientific demonstrations, though it exercises considerable challenges, rarely questions the utilitarian assumptions and habits it services. Even less, does it question the common intuitions, from which those utilitarian assumptions and habits arise. Within the confines of the technosensorium, naive, positivistic literalism, can continue on in the sphere of an l.c.d. (lowest common denominator), ‘user friendliness’, relatively unhindered by surrounding sophistications, which anyway have been largely constituted in its service.

EURO COMMODITY: SELF DEGREE ZERO PRODUCTION


A response to this: http://www.xenosystems.net/horseshoe-quiz/


and this: https://www.opendemocracy.net/can-europe-make-it/yanis-varoufakis-franco-berardi/resignation-letter-from-franco-bifo-berardi-to-ya



Berardi is an okay writer. His semio-critique is quite appealing, I’ve seen bits of it on Facebook; a linked interview; but haven’t had the chance yet to check him out properly.


The letter is a dramatic and passionate gesture, but could be a little naive, like most 21st century discussions. Most political writing is naive, though. Necessarily so, because of the limitations of what I have called, back in the last century, l.c.d. (lowest common denominator) thought.


The very techniques of modernity, exploited to generate European prosperity, necessarily displace all conceptions of responsibility. Ideologies of dominion economy, necessarily displace all conceptions of ecology. In short, that’s the basic logic at play, in practice. If you want a ‘world’ to live in, it doesn’t really matter whether you ‘believe’ in it or not, but you do have to look after it, not just incessantly take it, and use it. In practice, particularly in the USA, there is only the transaction of simplistic, blocked-beliefs, not of thoughts or thinking. It is a narcissistic economy of blocked credibilities, with no perspective on itself, though it hallucinates many in its hysterias of self-consuming. It’s so simple to see, the avaricious, Occidental android fever, of commodity. Its rhetoric of polity, a logorrhoea of absolute convenience.

NOTIONAL COMMOTION

Communications systems, codes; languages and worlds, from the outset, proceed out of selective idealisation; out of processes and economies of intent(ion).  An intention, or intentio, is a picture or picturing, configuring and configured by, lines of motivic force; each line itself, as ‘motivation’, a sent emissary of another vision. This interplay between vision and motivation, or ‘form’ and ‘force’, is one in which each declares the other, proceeds from the other, ‘informs’ the other. Such a scenario of mutual structuration and relation; of effusive phenomenality in all directions; a vast variety of visions, motivations, and missions; all of which can be seen as constituting ‘notional commotion’.

THE CONDITION OF COMMODIFIED CONSCIOUSNESS

If there were no such thing as sound, there would be no such thing as ‘silence’.
The notion of a linguistic silence is inherent to language.
As the expansion of non-selection, non-intention, ‘absence’, ‘space’, etc.; it is the expansion of the condition of selection, intention, ‘presence’, ‘sign’, etc..
This expansion, as emphasis and increased consideration, begins to signify the non-significant; setting a conditional semantics, or semantics of condition; against that of simple, positivist, utilitarian, and habitual, selections; or, more precisely, those selections without non-significant, conditional reflection.
Selecting the non-significant, or more bluntly, signifying the non-significant, might seem to be a blatantly paradoxical enterprise. But this would only be the case, with universalising notions, of essentialist conceptions, of the sign and non-sign.

Just as a sign requires delimitation to function as ‘a’ sign; an amalgam of signs, constituting a code or language, too, require delimitation, to function as ‘a’ code or ‘a’ language. Therefore, the gesture of defining selection is always specifically conditioned; specifying that which is defined, with relation to the necessarily undefined. These requirements and gestures would be the minimal conditions necessary to produce ‘significance’, whether as sign or system of signs.
Without sign, or semiotic system; as specific ‘significance’, or specific system of significance production; there can be no non-significance. Signs are relational, so are ‘non-signs’. If there were no signs at all, there would be nothing to negate.

Naive positivist essentialism, has a tendency to look for ‘things in themselves’, at the expense of any genuine consideration of their conditions. It has a tendency towards axiomatic atrophication of signs, and hallucinating unnecessary incommensurabilities of its own construction. Rather than abandon this somewhat emotive attachment to positivist naivety, it will extend relational non-significance into an essentialist nihilism, under its self-imposed cultural duress of monumental self-mythology. In truth, though, this banal exceptionalist desire only suffers from a monumental lack of relational talent. Such is the condition of commodified consciousness.

THE CIRCUITRY OF IDENTIFICATIONS

Looking one way, into the bibliographic vertigo of representations constituting the ‘book’. Looking the other way, discovering the cartooned conditions of representation seemingly occupied.

Reading frames, in both directions. The frame of the book, the cartoon frames seemingly occupied. Frames are determinations.

The notion of ‘freedom’ is an inherently contingent one. There has to be a determination of ‘confinement’ in order to produce a ‘liberation’.
All determinations are necessarily representations, governed by the very assumptions and orders of ‘presence’ which they attempt to determine and re-present.  A determination of ‘absence’, if delimited in any way, is necessarily an inverse presence. Conversely, presences are inverse absences. The logic of delimitation governs both terms of absence, and terms of presence.

To construct another sequence, another economy, of representations; mirroring the economy of determinations encountered, in an ecstasy of adequation-acknowledgement and repetition-satisfaction; continues the chosen obligation of fractal reflexivity. That hallucinated machinery of determinations, reinscribing and reproducing itself, at every reflection, inflection, and deflection.

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THE WEAVING OF A TWISTED WORLD BY AN IMPERIALISM OF THE VOID

TRUMP’S populism is built from the algorithmic trackings of public opinion fluctuation overseen by Bannon and Cambridge analytics. That’s largely why he’s in the White House.

Capitalism being what it is, actual free trade policies would lead to the continued disenfranchisement of uncompetitive American business and labour by foreign competition. There are two forms of protectionism by which the USA has attempted to stem this trend.
One, the various global trade agreements, such as TTIP, etc., which enshrine the interests of corporate capital as prime legislation, handing over all arbitrations to internal, corporate decision. This has the effect of allowing U.S. Capital, as well as all international corporate interests, unlimited and risk-free lattitude in deploying their present capital reserves to fully monopolise all markets and drive out all competition.
Two, Bannon’s ‘economic nationalism’, which in effect does the same thing domestically. Lessening corporate deficits through tax cuts; creating the conditions for subcontractor/small business increase; these simple moves, whatever else they may do, ensure that U.S. corporate capital does not deplete. International trade is then arranged on a piecemeal basis, according to Trump’s ‘art of dealing’.
All of this is fairly innocuous and simple, but it neglects the unpopular military-industrial face of American business which Bannon; Trump, and his supporters; would rather ignore, in their dreams of a U.S. self-reliance, whose every international intervention is a magnanimous act of U.S. beneficence. To reflect this visage in America’s political mirror, would not only be to deny this dream of charitable autonomy; but it would be an explicit acknowledgement of the extent to which the USA configures, calculates, and controls; horror, injustice, and iniquity, around the globe.
No longer would this acknowledgement merely reside in oppositional rhetorics of the populist Left and Right; or in dispassionate political histories of the contemporary era.  The discrepancy between mainstream, official declarations, and the leak of critique, has, with the ascension of Trump’s own indulgence in demonising the U.S. establishment from the White House itself, essentially collapsed that discrepancy.

The speeds characterising high frequency trading necessarily encourage acceleration of linked economic factors and processes, too. Political and media production, cannot help but reflect this. This, together with the hyper-visibility of the Internet, and the international polyvocity it enables; ensures that mainstream authorisation and its critical refutation occur almost simultaneously. In some cases, such refutations actually precede authorisations. Given this scenario, the traditional notion of an independent media reporting on autonomous political events no longer quite obtains. It’s not so much that representation and reference have entirely disappeared. Rather, all factors have collapsed into the singular momentum of pure eventuality, a sphere of self-caused ‘effects’ that mediates only itself, and is no longer susceptible to traditional linear explanations. Such explanations would have been reliant on the worldly distances between traditional categories. With the technological compression of those distances, creating a speed of events beyond the effective processing capacity of mass human reception; traditional categorisation, and the lineaments of world-building sense which it provides; has lost its purchase on eventuality and can no longer quite find the worlds of mundane yet reliable convention it once enjoyed. There is a twisting implosion in which the encoding embroidery of these conventions; the textile of the whole world; has become a mere ‘wet rag’ of reality, wrung ever tighter by Profit’s grip, in Finance’s quest to eke out every drop of unexploited value. This adventure of compressive desiccation, or desiccating compression, has reached the point where all liquidity has left this torso of conventional reality in torsion, dripping and disappearing into the virtuality of offshore, financial fictions. As further twisting tensions are applied, the fabric of reality begins to break, and the masses hang on to the weave of its nostalgia, by a thread. Noticeably fraying and unstitching, at the conclusion of this process not even a single patch of reality is left. In addition, it is no longer certain what is ‘loom’ and what is ‘weft’. For the empire of the real was not only clothed in the threads of imagination, but it was entirely built out of them, too.

NIHILISTIC MOMENTS: THE JUNCTIONS OF EXPLOSIVE AMBITION OR COMPLACENT APATHY, OR BOTH?

This responds to Timothy Lavenz’s FB post, here, which quoted a section of a blog essay, “Evil Compassion”, here. This is the quote:
“Nihilism is a belief in the sufficiency of any determination of what is, of how it is, of how one is, of what the future will be, in short, of what can or even might be (known, created, changed, destroyed). To turn one’s back on this presumed sufficiency of the thought-world necessarily leads to offense — but offense is not the goal, nor the non-nihilist’s point of pride; it is rather an effect of the search for future causes, for novel grounds of creativity not legitimated by any given situation or horizon of sense — causes that remain essentially unknown and suspended in their sufficiency, thus in constant contact with their own evental conditions, their own force of potential and means of invention. In Nietzsche’s words: ‘Excess force in spirituality setting itself new goals.'”

{AK}: To say that “Nihilism is a belief in the sufficiency of any determination of what is, of how it is, of how one is, of what the future will be, in short, of what can or even might be (known, created, changed, destroyed)”, is to characterise Nihilism according to ontological modality, and its given conventions (“sufficiency of any determination of what is”). This is precisely not an availing of Nihilism’s potential for liberation from any ontological “sufficiency”, whether allegedly quiescent or otherwise.
That Nihilism is often equated, by Occidental convention, with apathy, is merely the symptomatic characterisation conferred by Occidental ontology’s PR hype; its relentless campaign of self-celebration; & its ideology of positivist inflation.
The nihilistic moment, is the exceeding of any “given situation or horizon of sense”, in order to generate explosive Nietzschean revaluation.
But how often, do such alleged revaluations not merely return to the tired sufficiencies of ontological convention – “Every vaunted revolution, one more turn of the wheels of oppression.”?