sixty-first part, called “on movement LXI,” of a series of ‘letters’ written to you, the reader, towards a book called, theatre | writing

on movement

Our irony is not reserved to that which dismisses the body, to the pretension to spirituality, spirit, spiritualism or art, but to an automatism that is that of the general economy and of the cognitive-behaviourist brain. Boys, don’t they? tend to add to their toys an active component. Girls, I’ve seen, tend to add to them a social component.

Imagine the appeal of the toy that had both! The social economy is such a readymade—the readymade of social stereotypes and of their mobilisation in institutional codes. (And, of course, the readymade of gender stereotypes, social performativity, and the fluidity of roles: that whole theatre, where transitions of scenes are transitions of subjects, meaning, their production.)

The problem with a generally mobilised social economy is not that it exists. It’s not even that it’s a product such as engenders the commodification of social identities, stereotyping from the given material by a supplemental material, which, if we are sticking with the theatre metaphor, we can call symbolic. (Or phallic.) Its problem is that of already having been activated and socialised. That is, what’s a boy to do? What’s a girl to? Here is the repertoire—again, the theatrical metaphor—you are the supplement. Yet: you do not get to add the active component; and you do not get to add the social component. In other words, You’re it.

I seem to be speaking indirectly about social media. Not entirely the case: by general or a generally mobilised social economy I am referring to the mobilisation in the social of the economy, the socialising of economic drivers, capital as data, and, data as capital, to the rendering of the economy as social. It goes both ways.

Yes, we can see the boys excited on the floors of the stock exchange. And the girls rising through the managerial ranks by virtue of their social intelligence. (Or emotional intelligence.) But they are such for having been reciprocally produced by the economic supplanting the social and the social supplanting general political economy.

When we ask what is to be done we can see we are doing everything we can: flowing in all directions. This is what the code allows, which Deleuze and Guattari in Anti-Oedipus call the axiom of capital: a double parasitism or double ventriloquism. Am I speaking for myself here?

Do I really believe it? Well, yes, of course: what other cause could there be for giving rise to so many misunderstandings? All I want to be is clear about this: and immediately disown every word I have written.

How to eke out our little bit of world? our little patch of earth, as Deleuze and Guattari also write, when across its surface there is this general semiotic dispersal? We should note in this word, semiotic, both seeds and atoms; and note a change in register, or atmosphere. If there are still enough of the primary elements, if there are still enough atoms making them up, still enough air to breathe, the right amount of warmth, enough water, and sufficient soil, the seeds are subjects: that is, they contract these elements. Their coming-to-life is not so important as this.

Some time ago, we stated that there seem to be two principles. We were not concerned with their mediation but by the contracting power of what contracts them, which we have identified to be a subjective power. A subjective power is at work contracting elements of social economy, just as a subjective power is at work in the misunderstanding synthesising the meaning of these words. Such is the bad habit of being human: to focus on the mediation as the moving part.

note: source references available on request–these will be part of the book, if it should come to pass.

If you would like to help it come to pass, and show your support for what I’m up to, please sponsor it: become a patron, here.

If you would like to receive these posts, as they are written, as letters addressed to you, please send me your email address.