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on resistance and naming the enemy

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say, fear…

… is underestimated as a political risk. As soon as afraid, for loss of position, simple social advantage, or political status, the most primitive opportunistic intuition sets in–as if the limit condition for responsibility, in individual, social or political dealings, was accident aversion.

Safety culture is then symptomatic of a fearful society. Health is too: whether it is the health of the planet or of the foetus.

Fear does not drive career politicians or political usurpers to seek advantage, status and power. Fear drives them to avoid its loss.

Fear is the more forceful driver for those selfless ones on the left; and not because they have advantage, status or power but because they do not find in advantage, status and power as much meaning, while these are goods in themselves, in principle, for those others on the right. Still, for the ones on the right, fear prevents them from easily relinquishing advantage, status and power at the promptings of democratic process or change in political economy. They hold on: fear has them holding on; while the others on the left are fearful of taking hold.

The goods in themselves those on the left are fearful of losing are those based in the communicative realm, of consensus, or of the show of consensus, democratic principles, middleclass principles of fairplay, equality, and values called qualities to contrast them with the quantities of financial economy. This is the area where the left most needs a Nietzschean critique–an analysis that gets down and pulls up their servility by the roots.

What is called populism procures for the value of popularity a newly elevated status: but at the cost of those who care about it, who may even have gained most from it, becoming fearful for its loss.

What drives compulsive gamblers? It is a strange psychopathology, and a sociopathology when something large like global human ecocide is being gambled on: it is not fear of loss that compels the compulsive gambler. Loss can always be denied.

Loss can always be denied if it is seen to concern the future. A compulsive gambler lives inside the present moment of the gamble being made. This moment can be called mindfulness.

Mindfulness is inversely symptomatic. It diagnoses from within the pathology annulling the future for the present gain to be had from it. Mindfulness is not mindful of fear. It should be.

Fear is more basic than being mindful of what we have to lose. It is more direct and basic than any reflection on our own advantage, status or power. Yet fear is discouraged, except when dealing directly with our own personal welfare. A fear that is mindful of the risk of global human ecocide is discouraged. It is thought that this fear would be paralyzing.

The abjection of safety and health cultures consists in their continued reverence for what is to the advantage of the individual. The abject reality of safety and health cultures is the level of control they exercise over the individual, for the good of the individual.

The fear is not seen that drives people with power, status and advantage. In fact all we see of it is their paralysis.

They are paralyzed in the face of fear even while their faces attain a strange mobility and their actions acquire a character strangely hollowed out by hyperactivity. Their faces turn away, on the inside. They twitch. Their actions run in circles. They follow the same route as the traumatised, covering the same ground with a compulsion to repetition which resembles that of gamblers.

Fear in the case of those in the public media is of the nature of ongoing stagefright. It is visible in CEOs and in local and global leaders. But privately many experience the same stagefright.

Fear is the friend, the best and most reliable friend, to the one in whom it takes the form of the most primitive opportunistic intuition: it enables success through its utter lack of regard for consequences of any kind. It even makes the person in whom it is allowed to govern appear fearless. Fear then lives in an endless now where the one in whom it governs is only scared when he or she is not afraid.

[illustrated with images by Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes]

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23 June 2019: Akasaka – University of Tokyo, Komaba Campus, 21KOMCEE WEST – Akasaka – Ramen Street, Tokyo Station

Out the back gate, past the ventilation chimneys, crossing, the beware of ghost sign, up over the hill, down residential oneway, police manning the inroads to embassyland, under the pedestrian bridge, left at the south-easterly corner of Yoyogi, in through exit 2, minutes before Chiyoda line sped away, under the city, to Akasaka, debriefing with J., dinner at the first place I’d eaten two doors down from Hotel Felice: clams, grilled fish—Norwegian or Nihonese was available—the local, chuhi and birru. Now I know the way, this morning, the last day of the conference—it is almost sad, to have resolved the problem of finding one’s way, soon to be leaving one’s way behind. Like a secret one carries.

For Kenneth Surin, I decide on Session 28—four other sessions are running at the same time, 9.20-10.50. Morning snacks are served on floor 3: coffee, marmalade bun.

Felicity Coleman, Rebecca Hill and Catherine Dale—the last convening, the former presenting at this session, with Kenneth—talk about being here. Felicity Coleman has in the past hired a car, made her way through the small towns, stopping at onsen. Today, in the rain, she says, an onsen in the woods would be perfect. She is, tomorrow, presenting in London—but will gain a day inflight. In fact, many of the conferees are going straight to London.

I wonder at this moving group of people conducting their business all over the world—taking this world with them, insulated by it; as one is, traveling by car, J. and I later decide, insulated, not reliant on the confusion of finding one’s way along with locals and other visitors, in the confusion, for example of rail, and how it opens one up to by forcing types of exchange which would be missing in the car-bubble. Then there is traveling as a couple also—and this trip we have both traveled alone and together: how couples become a world, infacing.

I introduce myself to Ken, who has come in early, is consulting his laptop. He seems to recall our meeting in Stockholm, but is probably being polite.

Al, preferring the front, we move ringside. He does his round of the table, finding out who is there, what they do, with his great receptive smile.

“Becoming Gender” the session is called. Dale calls it something of a misnomer.

Ken’s preamble is to say that he has to wait until his retirement from Duke University—where he is professor emeritus—and after decades of teaching, to finally present on becoming gender. He has a Union Jack T-shirt, distinctive whiskers, an orotund delivery. …becoming is intrinsically tied to the category of the minor. To which Coleman’s the minor failed, the minor is no longer a possibility… has no salience.

Becoming-animal … part of a constellation, being analytically rather than arithmetically in the minor.

Everyone has to become woman, even women.

Everyone has to become animal, even animals.

Deleuze and Guattari—what is new, remarkable, interesting—“the actual is not what we are but what we become.”

“we become animal so that the animal also becomes something else.”

a zone of interchange

of passage between human an nonhuman

Gregor Samsa fails (to escape Oedipal coding in authoritarian family). Already I want to ask if every such becoming is a failure.

The Wolf Man – Freud’s – his position is in a territoire sauvage, the steppes, between forest and farmland—he is a pack animal.

Eugene Thacker—there are prejudices we have to overcome.

The life of the group forms a plane of consistency. The aggregate comes to have a life

– of packs herds swarms.

Donna Haraway loves dogs.

…it becomes a political question, to set up a steppe, a plane, a pathology … a plan/e of escape.

Wolf Man’s depression: bourgeois interiority.

Schizoid element: outside.

There can be molar collectivities, e.g. kolkhozi, collective farms, set up under a regime of collectivisation—and one might say the open office as well.

In molar collectivities there is also group belonging.

I think about this question:

Is Deleuze-Guattari studies a molar collectivity or does it set up a molecular plane of consistency?

In the molar, negation is used to determine difference in contrast to same. A question of either internal determinations of a concept or external determinations of molar or static nomination, accusation.

What marks one as part of a molar aggregate?

One is only ever sufficiently English Brazilian… but this sufficiency is still not affirmative. It conceals “desire, convention, contrivance.”

Deleuze and Guattari’s first move requires us to work on what I and you do or do not have in common. They do not require an identification, one drawn from abjection. There is a tautology in the racist: the one who claims to be the only one who is French or American; the one who claims to be the only one who has this essence and can have it. This one is inevitably the one who is. (But is it still drawing on abjection, on what we may call ontological abjection, to talk about being sufficiently British? British enough to wear the T-shirt? Deleuzian enough and Guattarian enough to wear the T-shirt?)

Rather than the ontological abjection of identification, we might enter a becoming, as a passage through a zone of indiscernability.

(I am put in mind of the letter in which Kafka writes, I’m going home to China.)

Rebecca Hill speaks next, she is “conceiving immanent desire with Irigaray and Deleuze and Guattari.”

Irigigaray offers a diagnosis of phallocentrism. Rather than her criticism of Deleuze and Guattari’s becoming-woman Hill traces the “generative commonalities and divergences” amongst these thinkers.

In a 1973 seminar, “Dualism, monism and multiplicities,” Taoist immanent desire is contrasted to Cartesian dualism. From the latter, every statement splits, cuts the subject—dividing thinking from desiring. From the former, there is no need for a split in the subject: thinking and desiring “is a pure process.”

Thought is monist multiplicity outside the status of number.

To become is to escape capital and man. (In a “pure process”?)

Immanent thinking is not feminist and is not colonialist.

The 1973 seminar acknowledges a “phallocratic imperial” background to all thought.

Hill offers that she gives a “highly motivated reading” of Irigaray.

The transcendence of Irigaray’s view of sexual difference—

“Volume without Contour,” “When our lips speak together,” in Speculum of the Other Woman: these concern immanent thought.

Western metaphysics uses woman as its “ground and resource” (all through this I am thinking of the Derridean chora).

Woman overflows and unravels the systematisation of reason and order.

What is stated is an “immanent feminist topology” of thought.

The feminine is the locus of chaos and terror.

The Oresteia trilogy is cited: Clytemnestra kills Agamemnon for killing her daughter Iphigenia.

Orestes—the titular—kills Clytemnestra and is put on trial.

Mother and daughter, Clytemnestra and Iphigenia, become unspeakable.

A feminine topology of immanence, from “Volume without Content,” sets up an impersonal and unlimited field of immanence.

In “When our lips speak together,” lips are a figure of multiplicity: against the representative interpretation.

A w/hole that is never totalised—lips are a multiplicity.

The place of woman is mentioned in relation to Taoism.

The phrase is used “absolute self-survey,” but not in reference to Ruyer.

It comes to questions: That was, I say, between “sufficiency” and “purity.” This is a question for both—but perhaps Rebecca will be able to correct the statement—Irigaray writes somewhere, Perhaps (it is only) a (true) (understanding) (of) sexual difference that will save us?

I don’t think it was “true,” says Rebecca Hill. It was of course taken from Heidegger’s phrase.

Of course, I say. (Only a god can save us now, I think.)

And, Hill continues, it is in her later work. I have not dealt with her later work here…

…there seems to be some kind of zone of indiscernability in Kenneth’s phrase, an immanent feminist topology invoked…except polarised…

What do you mean by polarised?

Well, more rigidly constructed.

I would not use the word rigid. I mean, in her later work, Irigaray talks about a zone of something like indiscernability, where a becoming that is dual is possible, of both man and woman, of man with woman… But, I don’t work with her later writing, where she says sexual difference is real. … And she actually says, for which she has been heavily criticised by the trans community, There are only men and women. …

I see I backed away from a proposition rather than having to state it: I might have said polarised over gender—on the basis Irigaray, that it is in her later work notwithstanding, says very much this. But what I was asking had nothing to do with inclusion or exclusion in becoming gender, or becoming animal. It had to do with what the human might be; however, we can never excuse or avoid or refuse addressing sexual politics.

This question of what the human might be, I raised it because Coleman was in the room: in an algorithmic becoming there is no possibility of being saved—or saving us—let alone by understanding sexual difference.

But is this really the case? Isn’t algorithmic becoming something for which men and women can or should take responsibility? Even as it is nonhuman becoming, belonging to a technosemiosis which is not human or gendered. Still, isn’t this letting it go, this question? And I am reminded of Coleman’s As a feminist, I can’t possibly answer that question. Perhaps the algorithmic becoming—well we know that in its use, like reason, it is—uses women and men unequally, makes use of them, where it encounters them differently?

This would not be a question of what the human (contested in its internal differences) can do, it would not be a question of what whatever we is ought to do—therefore it would not be a question of morality—but it would be a question of what the human, we, can be, of what we is, exactly contested in sexual difference. Isn’t this the ethical question of only (an understanding of) sexual difference can save us (now)?

Another question: Ken answers with the long list of becomings which Deleuze and Guattari give. Getting to becoming mineral, he says, this is one I have never really understood. I suppose you could speak of the mineral as that which is used for jewelery, or in computers… is in watches, gemstones and precious metals…

Strangely there is some sage nodding of heads. It doesn’t seem to occur to anyone that minerals are mobile elements. They pass through sedimentary layers of strata. What might be at stake in a mineralisation, or becoming mineral, is gaining this fine grain level of mobility—and a granular point of view or perspective. (That of the mineral subject, I might now say.)

Ken pronounces haeccitas “hex-itas.”

The next keynote is again presented in the wooden hall underground with the hinged chairs and the technical difficulties. It is Alex Taek-Gwang Lee: “Deleuze/Guattari and the Third World: Rethinking Political Philosophy After May 68.” He is perhaps the third speaker Koichiro-san has introduced as his best friend.

Foucault said political philosophy is a theory of government. Yet Deleuze and Guattari call their own work political philosophy. It does not so much address governmentality as a people who are missing. This is what makes it political philosophy.

The Third World constitutes the historicisation and the politicisation of a people who are missing. (Note: it is not the singular people of a Volk, not a People who is missing.)

In Cinema 2 political cinema is to think about people who are missing—the Third World.

This consideration comes in light of the cinema being an art of the masses. Stalinism. Nazism. Americanism. It is an art of the the mass subject.

Once America was the land of deterritorialised peoples. Now its concerns are its its own ends and interests.

The aim of political cinema is to invent and not to represent people who are missing. “The missing people are a becoming.”

This future politics in my terms is planetary communism.

Why do the people of liberty not accede to a liberation of others? So that A Thousand Plateaus speaks of “exploitation of the Third World; the arming of dictatorships, and the pollution of the atmosphere.”

Imperialism provides a counter-history of liberalism.

Ultimate aim of Deleuzian politics, according to Mbembe, is

  1. a founding violence
  2. imposition of law
  3. a system designed to sustain colonialism and to replicate it.

But there is then a boomerang effect, from the colonised peoples: Auschwitz has its origins in colonialism—implanted back in the imperium. This is Mbembe’s necro-politics.

Commodification of labour—subjugation of labour force—in colonial countries, flows back—an authoritarian politics—flowing back to Europe and to the West in general.

The fascism and biopolitics in nation-building in the Third World rebound on the West.

Manjiko—as it is called here—Manchuria, shows how fascism grows up in the mechanism of capitalism. Capitalism incubates and bears forth fascism—leading to the mobilisation of the newly imperialised Third World in Total War.

Fascism is the counter-current in imperialism.

Nationalism in the 1930s in Japan became Empire—and failed.

The Japanese designed Manjiko as a nation-state in answer to this failure.

Emancipation and development are the goals of the game: an anti-imperialist nationalism.

The Third World movement shows colonialism does not work out unilaterally. Colonial territory is established on the exclusion of native peoples.

The colonial regime in Manjiko failed because of the division of the colonists and the colonised.

In a Land War, the colonised is a “wild beast” to hunt down.

Foucault writes that in the 17th century the form of power changed from disciplinary power to biopower: people became population.

From Malthus, for whom it is population that matters, while liberalism relies on people and on a cancellation of the population, to Hobbes’s liberal Leviathan, it is an easy step to biopower—to people as data.

Liberalism in Malthus concerns population. The people who are missing concerns a geophilosophy: taking up the conflict for settlement, colonialism, and therefore also imperialism, between land and sea, that between the Behemoth and the Leviathan.

In Schmidt, sea threatens earth-born nature. The Leviathan has no hierarchy. It threatens the Ship of State.

For Deleuze, humans cannot live in security unless they assume the struggle of and land and sea is over.

The Third World is an “island,” the missing people a “desert.”

Inhabitation does not end a desert island.

The island as a field of struggle of ocean and land precedes Robinson Crusoe.

It is prior to the opposition of Crusoe the coloniser and Friday the colonised. In Tournier, the island changes Crusoe.

Crusoe cannot perpetuate our world because he cannot reproduce: he is asexual.

He is a pervert.

There occurs the internal subjectivation of the island as such.

Planetary communism goes from the island as subject. Becoming-island is a politic of the desert island.

The Third World means this kind of island.

Danilo asks about the link between fascism and imperialism.

The French and English empires survived because they underwent development and modernisation.

Nationalism in Japan occurred for the purposes of the modernisation of Japan, resulting in imperialism.

Adam Smith is anti-imperialist. Imperialism in the UK is a product of the nation-state. There is a time lag between empire and nation-state: an attempt to return to empire.

Christoph asks why we should leave our food and our shelter, those of the developed world, and become Third World.

The Third World is an abstract world: it is not a question of refusal but of working against exclusion.

Greg asks after the coherence of a homogeneous concept of the nation-state when the state as we know it is heterogeneous, made of many peoples.

To become Third World you must invent the Third World. A territory.

Leviathan reminds us and recalls us to the nation-state we must be part of.

Greg: First Worlds coexist with Third World, in Mexico, the US, in China.

Craig Lundy: Is Third World a new earth?

In Third World, we are inventing an earth in common: that means communism.

(There are the now commonplace technical difficulties with the mics.)

I read in the programme that Philip Martin, from Macquarie University, Sydney, is presenting on the Kyoto School: something I have been missing is the connection between Deleuze and Guattari and Japanese philosophy.

The Kyoto School’s most well-known representative is Kitaro Nishida.

Working in the tradition today are Shizateru Ueda and Ryosuke Ohashi.

Jun Tohsaka (1900-1945) coined the name Kyoto School.

Martin goes about formulating a connection: the suprasensible in the sensible is how Deleuze frames Kant’s project.

Deleuze’s criticism—of having done with judgement—comes from a criticism of a total form of history—in real historical institutions.

There is another model of the sensible and the suprasensible in Deleuze: this is art.

From Law and Judgement, to, in Deleuze, Art.

Kitaro Nishida’s logic of basho—which a simplified translation might give as place—entails an expressive and transformative relation to the world and to history.

Logic and Life (1936) proposes the reciprocal determination of individuals and their actions and the world as a whole. It is a monadology.

The continuous history of change and transformation between consciousness and the world means we are caught in continuous transformations with the world (as a whole).

Art, ethics and religious experience is a knowing of itself to be transformative.

Miki—is another figure, Martin has not the time to present.

Nishida: the world of historical reality … is the subject of his 1936 work.

Jun Tohsaka: What is the Technological Spirit (1937/2018). This work informed by scientific Marxism links art to life to science. The technological spirit is social production in and of history, working on the level of a technology of self as a creative procedure, and creating thereby, rather than taking it as a given, a common sense—in the production of a society or social and cultural sense.

Antonio Catalano: his theme Deleuze as political thinker, through the work of Italian political philosopher, Toni Negri.

Deleuze does not isolate politics as a way of thinking. The real issue is the relation between ontology and politics.

Marxism follows two lines of descent: a theological-political direction which is that of Benjamin, Schmidt; a biopolitical direction, that of Foucault, Deleuze, Guattari.

Negri: At the Origins of Biopolitics (1997).

Negri with Guattari: Communists Like Us.

Our time is one of the saturation of discussion between society and economics.

Capitalism builds a real plane of immanence.

Every singularity is pure energy.

Hegel—dialectics, negativity, history

Deleuze—philosophy of nature, affirmation, becoming-woman

Negri needed from Deleuze and Guattari an ontology of the spontaneous production of beings to transform Marxism.

Living singularities will always exceed the structures of domination.

From Deleuze issues a biopolitics creative of subjectivities, biopolitics as a constituting power and one not simply constitutive or given power in a given set of power relations.

Spinoza engages first philosophy of ontology, materialist immanence: “matter that produces is expression.”

From an ontology of absolute immanence is it possible to derive a politics?

There is no purely theoretical level which must be translated into action—theory and action enter a zone of indistinction where politics equals ontology.

It is in the ideal hegemony of the “inside,” of ontological interiority, that the political is determined.”

Absolute ontological: the ontological inside—the plane of immanence equals an ontological inside.

What relation to singularities does the plane of immanence have? What relation to subjectivities?

Communism is to subjectivities what the plane of immanence is to singularities.

Communism—space for free and autonomous development of singularities: the part is not subordinated to the whole, but a plane of immanence and singularities; work becomes creative process.

Jean-Sébastien Laberge states his theme as a dissensual meta-modelling of ecosophical democracy.

The metamodel is an external apparatus of synthesis.

A few months after joining the Greens, in 1985, Guattari first uses the term dissensus.

Guattari took the Greens in the direction of Rainbow Network, which was an experiment in creative dissensus, agreement in respect of difference—in which dissent is not denied.

With a network of 5,000 each individual or collective cannot claim to the exclusive representation of its membership.

This way of working reverses theme and variations. It starts from variations.

It works in parallel with the priority of the social over the political. It is a movement in social world (not necessarily first a political movement, and not one imposed on or to be imposed on a social world).

Ecosophical democracy is fabulating, not the acceptance of difference but fully assuming it.

Guattari died in August 1992.

Before questions commence, Antonio Catalano leaps to his feet to profess to his shame at speaking before the great Anne Sauvagnargues–in French–had he known, he would not have dared, which Jean-Sébastien Laberge responds to in an equal torrent of French, while Anne makes a little joke, almost concurring with the first speaker, then explaining she is only joking.

In the questions, which again followed after all three presentations, Anne criticised Martin for the use of suprasensible, which, it seems, she heard as super-sensible, therefore in ethical breach of her polemical insistence on immanence without transcendence.

Martin replied that the suprasensible maintains contact with immanence.

Laberge remarks on dissensus that it is used by Guattari and then becomes common in Negri (and also in other Italian political philosophers, like Esposito).

The issue is: new ways to put different points of view together in the social.

It must have been yesterday, in the coffeebreak, that Wren Nishina, or Nishina Wren-san, who was the interpreter for the artists exhibiting at Chiyoda Arts Centre as well as for Uno Kuniichi-sensei, was wearing his dovegrey pleated shirt, and I said to him, Ah, Issey Miyake’s Pleats Please.

Yes, it was the Saturday, because Wren said to me, I thought, since I was presenting, I ought to make an effort. His paper had been “Spatiality according to Deleuze and Shinobu Orikuchi”—taking up on the idea they share of the frontier or boundary not being a ‘geometric fiction sandwiched between two blocs of land’ but a ‘world,’ or—if one were to co-opt computer speak—a partition, that is an horizon on which a world dataset takes place.

It really was a beautiful shirt. Wren is an MA student at Tohuku University. His English-speaking voice is Oxonian. He said, You are a Japanese expert.

No, an amateur.

You seem to know more about Japanese culture than anyone else here.

This impression must have come from simply knowing a little of Uno Kuniichi’s background with Butoh, and Hijikata.

…and then he said something even more flattering, after I’d said I was a late doctorate currently looking for a position—and that if he knew of where I might be welcomed, I would willingly go there. He said, You have such amazing curiosity. If only we all had such curiosity.

What the cure is for that, as Dorothy Parker wrote, noone knows.

Joff Bradley presents the final keynote, in the woody hall, with the technical problems, and the little chairs, that, when Kenneth arrived, he called built for midgets. He had a chair brought into the hall from the foyer, and positioned himself in the aisle.

Joff Bradley’s presentation is called “On deadly spirals of ipseity.” I had gained no real insight into Joff’s area of interest, despite his having convened the session at which I presented, despite having had, albeit cursory, encounters with him, through R.’s intercession, her introduction.

If Chiba Masaya-san had been, as I wrote, the first revelation of the Deleuze|Guattari Camp, with his disconnective Deleuze, Joff was a, if not the, revelation of the conference, his contribution entirely unexpected—in its suggestiveness.

Wilhelm Reich is the figure who presides over the presentation: Nick Land’s dark Deleuze is invoked, as is Masaya Chiba’s disconnective Deleuze. A negative Deleuze, an affirmative Deleuze, but what about a joyful Deleuze? A Reichian orgasmic Deleuze—and Guattari.

He cites a discussion between Žižek and Schutzer—Deleuze and pleasure.

He is dealing with the avoidance of stating the real importance of that crackpot Reich to both Deleuze and Guattari—all through Anti-Oedipus, which even quotes some of his fruitier, whackier theories, commentaries. … “the embarrassment with Deleuze and Guattari for celebrating the anti-fascism of Reich.”

But Reich was Freud’s favourite disciple.

What Joff’s real theme is is the hikikomori—the locked-in-the-parental-home of those too, in fact, embarrassed by themselves. The socially withdrawn.

Of the hikikomori Reich would say it is the worm in man.

But Joff makes the alignment of hikikomori with autism—withdrawn-ness, isolation—not depression, which to me is in this relation to autism.

The (biological) tapeworm spreads cancer—is active in spreading cancer around the body.

Rudolf Steiner might be a blue (as opposed to a red) kind of fascism. (This is a reference to a session in the conference called “Red and Black Deleuze: Planetary Communism and Open Marxism,” which was a panel discussion, taking place at the same time as the session I was attending on Bergson, Space-Time, Deleuze, with Craig Lundy, yesterday.)

With the worm in man the organism can be dammed up petrified and cannot pulse. Reich says fascism of the worm in the life force that does not wiggle but goosestep.

There is a double capture of worm and hikikomori.

Reich holds that orgone energy kills cancer. Resignation shrinks.

Joff speaks to the death in life of the hikikomori: the orgasm frees energy, for Reich.

Reich’s guide to a joyful life is to have as many orgasms as possible.

So as not to be Nietzsche’s lonesomest one.

The lonely withdrawing ones, says Nietzsche—from this comes the possibility of the Overman.

(Once again, it is worthwhile comparing this with Simondon holding up Zarathustra as epitome of transindividual—withdrawing from the crowd, being left to bury the friend, the dwarf, the highwire artist, returning to the cave, and transindividuation.)

The serpent hanging out of the mouth of Zarathustra is none other than the Reichian worm in man.

Armoury is, for Reich, in this contactlessness and affective blockage; an autophagy—in connection with the little machines supposed to provide contact in the hikikomori’s room, or those Reich is left with, in the end, his orgone machines, autophagy belongs to the body without organs: it turns cancerous.

The Id in Reich communicates cosmic orgone energy.

But then in armoured seclusion, waves of desire—undulations of the worm—freeze into segments.

Ipseity is the singularity of the self.

The hikikomori nestles down deeper into the self—in deadly spirals of ipseity.

The face does not open the self to the other, opening to the self—as in Levinas. (Joff states his singular move, not just in this presentation, but in a pragmatics, is not to make recourse to Levinas.) Ipseity is hostage to itself.

Spirals of ipseity occur in detached auto-immunity of the self.

The sovereignty of the self turns to itself—possibly through micromachines—or—spirals into itself.

It concerns the centrifugal rings as the worm recedes into itself. It becomes a malignant subjectivity.

Lingis is the source for the title of the presentation, his phrase “engendering spirals of ipseity,” which describes orgasm. So, here, for Joff, these become deadly.

It concerns, says Joff, not the fascism of the rhizomatic potato but that of the couch potato.

Ryu Murakami, a very different writer from Haruki, (one I have been reading as soon as English translations become available) writes after Fukushima—which Joff states as decisive, a threshold for the increase in the numbers of hikikomori—of the “movement of sorrow of the past to the loneliness of the present.”

– Murakami Ryu’s The Symbiotic Worm

For Stiegler, there has to be a pharmacological coexistence with the worm in man. (Joff does not reject the use of pharmaceuticals—neither, in fact, did Guattari.)

No one can withdraw from withdrawal – spit out the black serpent – the worm in man – “we are all hikikomori.”

As I write this out, back in New Zealand, it resonates with me more; at the time I took as a gesture. I took it to be gestural, and to theatricalise the moment Joff was intending to mark. But now it has something of Coleman’s hopelessness of humanity’s current algorithmic becoming—and of course it has to do with isolation, which is that of the individual who, forced to watch, withdraws, who cannot withdraw from her withdrawal, or who deadens himself.

This enervation is not the same as the numbing to mediated atrocity we are said to suffer as a result of our saturation with images of violence and abjection. No, it is much more personal and has to do with personal shame, libidinal or perhaps orgasmic shame—with which, in adolescents, Joff will identify it.

So perhaps it were better said than forced to watch, watched—forced to be watched—even to the self-consciousness of knowing she is and the autoveillance as an amplification—in a deadly spiral of ipseity—of his being watched: the little machines, who, in that lyric of Mercury Rev, have telephones for eyes.

Ryu Murakami says that Japanese youth may be a new possibility of the human.

I think, Why the interest in the strange pleasures of failure? Is it that fascination Izidor Barši spoke about in his presentation of the intellectual—and by extension the intellect—with violence?

Why the stupid embrace of “vacuoles of noncommunication” (Deleuze’s phrase for what we need in societies of control—in the “postscript” with that title)?

Joff’s big Reichian joke came after his rhetorical gesture: “we are all hikikomori.” He was finished, made a movement to leave the lectern (behind him some of the slides I snapped above), and applause burst out.

But then he returned—held his arms up to quell the applause, saying, “Sorry! Sorry! I finished too soon!”

And he went on:

Where there is processual schizophrenia in schizoanalysis, in hikikomori the question is one of disarming the rings enveloping the body of the hikikomori—getting the worms to stream (in Reich’s term—here problematic considering the streaming media that is a relentless fact of life for hikikomori, as Joff acknowledges).

Narcissism, self-hatred, orgasm-anxiety, forms the basis of the general hatred of life.

Nonfascism, there produced in Anti-Oedipus by processual schizophrenia of schizoanalysis, here is in Nick Land’s cry:

DEATH TO THE HUMAN SECURITY SYSTEM!

Questions:

Anne asks about the social production of autism. Are they (hikikomori) too connected? Or too unconnected?

I am thinking about Josh Cohen’s book Not Working: Why We Have to Stop. His word for the propensity that is innate in humans to stop, to give up, withdraw, lie down, is ataraxia. Cohen gives four case studies for the four types of the ataraxic: for the burnout, Andy Warhol; for the slob, Orson Welles; for the recluse, Emily Dickinson; for the slacker, David Foster Wallace. Note that all four suffer from hyperproductivity at the same time—effecting a remarkable dynamic between creativity and enervation, or the sort of exhaustion which precedes and doesn’t follow from productivity, between work and stopping.

Danilo asks: how does gender apply?

Joff answers there are more male hikikomori.

Danilo asks around the notion of armoury, coined in the sense it is used by Joff, by Theweleit in writing about character-armour against the flood of women and Jews.

There is a question also about the outbursts of deadly violence from otherwise reclusive and alienated hikikomori types: Joff makes the brilliant point that this a question of the drives and not of desire—it is not because, as Stiegler puts it, of a crisis in desire, but is a deadly expression of the drives, the Triebe—sometimes translated as instincts. Desire does not find its destination and the drives now burst out.

Joff gives the numbers of hikikomori as around 1.2 million in Japan. Asked how these figures can be stated, he answers that they come from diagnosed cases, since, often, concerned parents will take their hikikomori children to doctors—for advice and for treatment.

Hikikomori is not limited to Japan: in the US and the UK numbers of such cases appear to be on the rise.

Perhaps it is when answering Danilo’s question, Joff becomes overcome with emotion and says, I am just sick of losing students. One month they are in your class. Then they just disappear.

He also talks about using Pokemon Go in a research project to get hikikomori outside, about which he wrote a very long paper. His conclusion, he says, was not very hopeful: he doesn’t hold out a lot of hope for this type of approach.

Koichiro makes the final address. He says that he has been restrained by his official role from making any kind personal statement, but that now he would like to take this opportunity to make a personal statement: a slide comes up—my book is coming out soon, published by Edinburgh Press, and I would like you all to buy a copy. Buy one for friends too.

He invites a representative from the next Deleuze/Studies Asia Conference to come forward: it will be held in Nanjing. She begins, as Koichiro did, days ago, that Ian Buchanan approached her and said that there should be a Deleuze/Guattari Conference Asia, this time, in China.

I try to find Dan W. Smith to say buy and share my contact details. He must have left. I find Greg Flaxman. He says it’s been great meeting and that all my questions were right on point. I invite him to come to New Zealand. He says he has no doubt our paths will cross some time in the future.

I say goodbye to Al Lingis. It’s been great meeting—I am hopeful of seeing him again—perhaps next month, when he is visiting Christchurch for a conference?

This didn’t happen sadly, the event in Christchurch having already taken place at the time of writing.

My final notes, before leaving on the direct return route to Akasaka and Hotel Felice, concern my own project:

…the joints of opponents as Ronaldo dodges or tackles them… …the letters and articulations of the words and sentences I now write… are so many subjective events, determining the field of a subtractive sensible interest.

In other words, the system of objects on the outside becomes determinate only in actual (becoming) the spontaneous perception of consciousness.

Neither is it determinate in the pattern lying in wait to be found, nor is it animated—in the strongest sense of inspirited, of the simulacrum brought to life, to lifelikeness, by the sculptor: it is rather the thought in action, that is consciousness.

That night, J. and I go out to Tokyo Station to find Ramen Street. It turns out this is underground. We join the queue, and when we reach the machine, we punch in our choices, going by the photos, for our ramen and our drinks, pay entering the coins and notes, and receive tickets which we take to our table, in the middle of a crowded ramen bar.

(&&&[Deleuze])=-1...
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end of dreaming

I don’t want to be the one who lives here
     but the alien
I want to visit your beautiful country

I don’t want to speak this tongue
     but the alien
I want to hear your beautiful language

I don’t want to share the words used
     to be the one who understands
     but the alien

I don’t want to be able to explain
     who we are
     what is said
     how we do things here

I don’t want to be the one who asks what you think
     of our beautiful country
     but the alien
I want to understand nothing but your laughter

I don’t want to be the one who knows
     who we are
     and who they are
     but the alien

I don’t want to be the one who knows
     what we are
     and what they are

I don’t want to give them the words
     to take out the words they use
     to share the words in their mouths

I want to share in your beautiful laughter
     and to understand in your smiles
     your good will to strangers

I don’t want to be the one with dreams of leaving
     anymore
     but the alien

I don’t want to be the one who hears
     from your beautiful mouth
     you are leaving
     but the alien
who leaves who just leaves who lies down
     and leaves

I don’t want to feel this grief on anyone’s behalf
I don’t want to feel this shame on anyone’s behalf

but I want this grief
but I want this shame

     and the shame of grief
     and the shame of shame

 

 

[written on the occasion of the shooting

Christchurch 15 March 2019]

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Shoshana Zuboff defines:

Sur-veil-lance Cap-i-tal-ism, n.

  1. A new economic order that claims human experience as free raw material for hidden commercial practices of extraction, prediction, and sales; 2. A parasitic economic logic in which the production of goods and services is subordinated to a new global architecture of behavioral modification; 3. A rogue mutation of capitalism marked by concentrations of wealth, knowledge, and power unprecedented in human history; 4. The foundational framework of a surveillance economy; 5. As significant a threat to human nature in the twenty-first century as industrial capitalism was to the natural world in the nineteenth and twentieth; 6. The origin of a new instrumentarian power that asserts dominance over society and presents startling challenges to market democracy; 7. A movement that aims to impose a new collective order based on total certainty; 8. An expropriation of critical human rights that is best understood as a coup from above: an overthrow of the people’s sovereignty.

see also: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/jan/20/shoshana-zuboff-age-of-surveillance-capitalism-google-facebook

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brand “curatorial journalism”: this year more than ever before we are fighting the power (of speech)

Seth Abramson writes in the Guardian:

“In 2018, there are actually more reliable news reports than ever before, as there are now more responsible media outlets online and in print than there ever have been – a fact that often gets lost in debates over “fake news”. The digital age has also internationalized hard news reportage, meaning that readers have access to high-quality reports from around the world with an ease that was impossible before the advent of the internet.

“But this sudden expansion in focused, reliable news coverage has coincided with some of the largest and most prestigious media outlets cutting resources for investigative reporting. The upshot of all this is that reporters have less time or ability than ever before to review the growing archive of prior reporting before they publish what they’ve uncovered.”

He goes on to advocate (advertise) curatorial journalism. It’s like journalism but smarter. It’s all about context–that other dream of the net: hyperlinks as hypereferences and the interweb interweaving texts and documents and statements, online discourse in short, in multidimensional networks so that any one thread, quote, citation, reference might be followed back to its earliest online expression; or connected horizontally, and so on. But this is not the system we have.

We are therefore once again living in that exceptional present which would have been the future if it hadn’t already arrived, that exception that is always made for this year having more reliable news reports than ever before as well as more unreliable news sources than ever before as well as more words expended on, well, just about anything–taking into consideration the rise of text over speech in daily communication–than ever before.

The answer might have been, had Seth Abramson been so inclined, journalism with a scalpel. And we might well have been saying about our exceptional present moment, as well we might, that the time for journalistic balance has passed. The idea of a report being neutral, and of it presenting both sides of an issue, or curating the multiple facets of a complex ‘story’, belongs to the past. We might so have been saying. But what is of our devising, as the present is supposed to be, in the Anthropocene, is smarter than us–is supposed to be: so we are in the predicament of making sense, sense for an audience in the case of journalism, of a situation, a situatedness, of a realtime-base for issues, we have carelessly, hopelessly and unconscionably complexificated.

Journalism with a scalpel would offer a different diagnosis: maybe cut first ask questions later–maybe, but with the surgeon-reporter being held accountable. And perhaps more than events and issues becoming more complex, more deeply intricated and extensively imbricated, than ever before, issues and events have become more integrated, more deeply intimated and extensively implicated–in the social, for sure, but, as surely, in the personal.

Having an opinion is a public liability. Have a stupid opinion! Say “to be honest” a lot, honestly. Or imho, modestly. Have a stupid, make a stupid tweet, and the world is cheeping with you.

Imagine the informed writing to the level of the educated. Imagine no more–because in fact more informed journalists are writing to a better educated public than ever before this year. Of course this year stupidity has been normalised as populism too.

I find myself–more honestly, I lose myself–walking in a library modestly wondering what it is for, since it doesn’t itself seem to know. And the ones who work here give the others who don’t, who used to be members and who now are customers, or patrons, the resentful eye, while adverting to the latest electronic offering, whether it is wifi, or the latest pulp fiction or pulp nonfiction (pulp fact? fat nonfict?) available via the app. Like Seth Abramson, in the Guardian, I have been an advocate (advertiser? advertisement?) for curation: librarianship, isn’t it a matter of leading the social animal to the cultural water? Making better animals to make a better social? (Dot says, But you can’t make it think.)

These GOSPIS (Grand Old Signs one Participates In Society), like the Grand Old Deity itself, in whom, and in which, more people put their faith and believe, with honesty and modesty, than ever before–even to being pridefully jealous of the competition (this year more nationalistic than ever before)–have lost their tongues. Journalism must–you can’t fight it!–progress by borrowing ways of talking about itself and its essential tasks from, where? the operating theatre? or the art gallery?

Then the idea of information has lost its teeth. Open mouth, ah. Closed mouth, mm. We know there is more information than ever before, this year, and that’s why it’s called Big D. Journalists are among the data miners. But there isn’t the time and there isn’t the return, and this is the latter. Who wants to live forever? No, that’s not the question: Who wants to pay for information?

And libraries, going forward–resistance is futile!–, borrow ways of talking about themselves and their essential tasks from? They don’t borrow. They’re told how to speak for themselves by those who, usually those which, since they tend to be annexed to institutions, of which they once were the jewels in the crown, fund them. They are told how to speak for themselves so as not to try the patience of the daleks. Who or which will cease to fund them if they were suddenly to speak for themselves, since they would be asking for it, for extermination.

Yes, good journalism once it too was something to show off, now it’s tackling the big issues, scoring the big anchors, more than ever before this year. Just like a university was the institutional encrustation of a library. It was the paste and setting for the cultural riches collected over time, protected over the bad times, saved to adorn the good, through careful, assiduous, committed and (need it be said?) professional librarianship. But middle management detests decoration, for which there will be more martyrs than ever before, this year, mouthing silently the words written on the wallpaper, God Save Us & Oscar Wilde… and for the journalists we will add, George Orwell…

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neosurvivalist / naivalist / postoccupy / inhabit?

The End
of The World

It’s over.
Bow your head
and
phone scroll
through
the apocalypse.

from here

and or

Learn to hunt, to code, to heal. .

from there

despite the brilliant and funny analysis given inhabit.global’s website by Ted Byfield [assuming he’s this one] on nettime listserv, I wonder about both Ted’s intention to be funny and inhabit’s intention to be serious, one to be taken one way, the other to be taken one way as well.

a left-leaning bunch of techfriendlies reacts to a naive bunch of reactionary post-politicos–the common ground, to hunt, to code, to heal, would appear to repose in the middle term.

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what began as neoliberalism ends in fascism {or: FAKE NEWS=TWO TRUTHS}

once there are two truths, established by Friedrich Hayek in 1954, then the way is clear: all the ingroup has to do is maintain control over economic policy–and the outgroup, even to the whole of Brazil, can be told this is freedom, Bolsonaro’s fascism is fake news.

see here

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a found item

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