The notion of ‘post-truth’, as a general specification, is still informed by assumptions of truth determination. Whether or not, these assumptions have become problematic due to the difficulty of establishing stable truth conditions constituting such veridical determination, does not alter the governing assumption of such determination. Pluralism would bring together various types of truth determination, together with their respective contexts or truth conditions. Pluralism is an acknowledgement that there are indeed different kinds of truth determination and different kinds of felicity. That the generality of the truth idea is susceptible to the differentiations of localised and situational expressions. But notice, criteria of ‘localisation’ and ‘situation’, are themselves constructed determinations. The same cautions apply to determinations of ‘immanence’; ‘plurality’; ‘temporality’; structures of evaluation; negative indication, or indication through negation; ‘reality’; structures of testability and experimentation. It’s understandable that explicit consciousness of the possibility of such determinations, under the sign of constructive action, could prove somewhat overwhelming in its complexity, especially given the fact that so many of those determinations are simply historical and cultural givens constituting the taken for granted, backgrounds, supporting life-worlds in which people dwell.
That the onset of modernist conditions has transformed the nature of localised interaction between life-worlds into something far more striated by what would be considered before as non-local forces, is simply the result of the forces of that ongoing modernity spreading itself according to its own logics, producing new forms of itself according to the conditions it finds itself in.

The notion of a ‘thought image’ is simply that of an idea; a position; a philosopheme; an order; etc.. In practice, a philosophical convention, perhaps even a philosophy meme? Yes, it’s possible to differentiate and distinguish all of these terms with a view to their respective uniqueness and incommensurability, but in practice there is considerable semantic overlap of use.

The notion of quantum, performance, and structural, images, are three different positions that seem to have developed contemporary relevance. That relevance situates itself according to certain kinds of need or desire. The quantum image is a particular site of speculative hypostasis; the scientifically arrived at limit of classical objectivity; producing effects that are radically susceptible to interpretation. Thus the site is vulnerable to all kinds of objective hysteria; every order of the object, of any object, seeks reconstruction according to the probabilistic granularity, or granular probability, of quantum possibility. The assumptions, and preoccupations, of atomistic constitution, provision the tangibility of collapse and initial, objective closure, a zoology of particularised and detectable actuality. But this actuality is structured, therefore a necessary complicity with the so-called, ‘structural image’.

The ‘structural image’; as an artefact of holistic perspective, both in ancient, modern, and multicultural, forms; is perhaps the contemporary replay of that perspective. There has of course been gestalt theory, in 19th and 20th century Germany, a perhaps corollary movement. But contemporary structuralism, at least its continental forms, has a well-known development, initially associated with linguistics. If it’s typological procedures are a little too modernist, too general and abstract, not immanent enough, that seems to have been sufficient provocation to produce the responses of libidinal materialism characterising Deleuze’s and Lyotard’s mid-period and early works, respectively. As well as perhaps Foucault, often called a structuralist, but distinguishing his epistemological, ‘epic schemes’, and highly immanent stagings of localised, historical analysis, from the linguistic emphases of structuralist typology. And then of course there is Derrida, who radicalises structuralism into post-structuralism, using structuralist resources. Foucault, of course, did the same, using epistemological reflexivity of consideration in his analysis of Velázquez’s Las Meninas.

If Michel Foucault’s subsequent treatments of power and knowledge, within the contexts of his ‘hidden histories’ concerning representation, madness, sexuality, etc., constitute the deconstructed, shifted and analysed, basis for both theoretical and practical action, as seems to be the case with his continued relevance to contemporary debates, then it is easy to see that the factor of contemporary appeal has very much to do with the stagings of immanence his work provides or enables.

The question of the performance image is central to such contemporary appeal. People like to do things; they like what they do, to be relevant. Perhaps it’s just cybernetics? A message requires both a sender and a receiver, the structure of transmission and reception is expected to do something, to have some kind of agreeable effect on whatever ‘world’ the interlocutors of the message form believe or consider that they inhabit. But those so-called, ‘worlds’, in the context of modernist permeation of global communications, are brought together through processes of mutual and vertiginous reflection, much like the mirror play within Las Meninas, effectively blurring the difference between the different kinds of truth determination belonging to those ‘worlds’. Much as the order of the object seeks reconstruction within quantum possibility; the ‘order of worlds’, of locales and life-worlds, seeks reconstruction within the arena of representations constituting global communication. Each of those ‘worlds’ aspires to the status of being an indispensable ‘model of representation’, hence the hysteria of repetitions by some of those ‘worlds’, as a quantity strategy of ‘full-spectrum domination’. Such a strategy necessarily operates according to full-spectrum appropriation, as well, attempting to reduce what it clones to the terms of its own, imagined model. These activities constitute the conditions of the so-called, ‘performance image’, the cultural war of imaginary models. Each imagining an order of its own substantial extension, as the absolute economy of its imagined model, which it’s every expression, it’s every message, simultaneously tries to establish and yet undermines. Obviously this is inclusive of any ‘model’, of ‘plurality’, as well.

If such models are principles of hypothetical socio-economic and cultural organisation, they constitute universalising aspirations towards a generality and security of conditions. But those universalising aspirations often read notions of generality and security, in profoundly different ways. Those ways have radically different aetiologies and rationales. Their resolution on a social level, requires social understanding. The development of such understandings is often contradicted by differing mechanisms of cultural utilisation and operation, susceptible to variable characterisations of acceptability and non-acceptability; of what constitute legitimate and non-legitimate, forms of exploitation. The clash of positivist observations leads to clashes of contextual justification, to an extent where all contexts are brought into question, resulting in a complexity exceeding the terms of conventional public debate and understanding.

If it’s the case, that Alain Badiou seeks to compartmentalise this complexity according to the truth rubrics of his own general categorisation, reflecting the ostensible expressions at play in the social field; and if François Laruelle is seeking to recover some kind of neo-positivist purity of the everyday, with a vocabulary of axiomatic givenness immunised against philosophical difference, enabling the neo-nativism of an idiomatic incommensurability; what could such gestures mean?
It might seem that Alain Badiou gives space to the messiness of social action; to the power of event and trauma; to the monumental motivations of dramatised rupture in a kind of Hegelian historical narrative of truth-disclosing, traumatic events; promoting the witnesses to such staged events, as might be accepted as such, to the privileged status of ‘subjects’, the eventual, publicity agents, jointly authoring Alain Badiou’s Hegelian narrative monument of truth disclosure.
It might seem that François Laruelle simply wants to begin again, shearing off the unpleasant messiness of history, as so many bad decisions for which there is no obligation to really learn anything or take any responsibility. All is forgiven, and nothing need be understood, under the aegis of ‘the One’, it’s all back to positivist business, as usual, or so at least Laruelle hopes.
Both thinkers are promoters of the performance image; both are caught up in its default assumptions; both are apologists for the ideology of production, at any and all costs.

But the performance image is contingent on the notion of performance. That notion, whether classically or in any other way, is susceptible to radical interpretation, to the extent of the extremity of there having never been any performance, at all. That extremity does not receive enough consideration or contemplation; there are insights to be had there.
Instead, both Alain Badiou and François Laruelle trot out their programmatic, metaphysical schemas as ideological insulation for the cabled conduction of the powers of axiomatic truth and incommensurable position. Those cables serve the engine of performance mysticism and its spell of production.

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