Saturday, July 20, 2013

'is this logic of re-engineering pathological?'

I find it fall over kinds of funny to watch a brilliant mind like Ray Brassier lumber awkwardly towards Marxism. I find it fall over kinds of funny that there is a cottage industry of ‘nihilists,’ carrying out the holy work, in hushed, revenant tones, of determining: ‘what does Ray Brassier believe?’

At best it gestures to a kind of sad pathology, in and of itself, in which readers aren’t even comfortable affirming their own material existence and the existence of others unless it’s been mapped out and schematized by an authority figure – ‘authority’ so determined upon that figure’s proficiency at articulating ‘how a subject can work,’ ‘what conceptual apparatus are available to it.’ Like an early and jaded incantation for post-neoliberal bio-ware system specs on a budget: processor cores [or whatever amounts to ‘cores’ by then] of a Platonic, Kantian, Hegelian stipe. New add-on upgrades every few months – lulz! – pop in at the MoMA for a chat about whether or not the logic of re-engineering is pathological, eh? How positively [terrifying] precious! The point is that the logic of re-engineering won’t seem strange to someone who’s already running Sellars on a Kantian system, or Quine on a Platonic system – that is, to someone who’s already bought the system; to someone who’s having Brassier run, I don’t know, technical support, I guess? [Just like Lacan ran technical support to ‘the mob’ under De Gualle] – At least until Brassier gets together an articulation of subjectivity for himself! One that ‘you can buy!’ Until then he recommends purchasing the go-to standard and run Badiou on a Kantian Core with the Lacan-Psychoanalytics Accelerator [popular amongst his adherents]. Some more fringe hardware enthusiasts run Zizek on a Hegelian Core with the Lacanian-Psychoanalytics Accelerator. Some particular gearheads run Land on a Bataille core with a Nietzschean-Psychoanalytics Accelerator, or Nietzsche on a Bataille core with a Landian. . . – fuck, who cares?

This brooding technical mastery belies how useless and inapplicable whatever particular distro of Brandom or Sellars is to the vast majority of the population world-wide. How simply possessing some model of subjectivity – which now requires software updates from the floor of the MoMA apparently! – does not then magically possess one of the material means of work or self-expression. That is to say – a conceptual mastery of Glenn Branca does not in and of itself bequeath unto one a guitar [and indeed, how could one come to understand Glenn Branca without playing the guitar?].

This is the Landian future – technical support going, ‘look, lady, I’m sorry your lousy job doesn’t pay enough to feed your kids, or buy a literal computer, but if you’re running your Althusser mark 4 on McDonalds food I can’t help you, of course the system’s going to get bogged down . . .’

I’ve found running Deleuze on a Marx Core with the Guattarian-schizoalytic Accelerator to be the most properly open-source subjectivity – easy enough to pick up in and around Jerry Zaslove’s Vancouver or Arthur Kroker’s Victoria – without all of the flashy ‘episodic updates’ that Reza, Ray, Nick, Alex and Peter et. al are now seemingly in the business of. No, no ‘episodic updates’ no dictates from the floor of the MoMA. It’s basically Fedora Red Hat for your head: if you’re ever in need of manual, patch, upgrade, etc. consult either a stranger, or best friend, or Derrida’s Glas - preferably all at once - its open source. If all else fails consult this kid:

'How do you know?'
'I listen to people alot, I use my own brain, I read newspapers, watch TV and search the internet.'

- Oh’ the mind-deadening hilarity of it if you get the Suzuki and William Gibson kits and run these specs in Canada under the government of Stephen Harper – and in Toronto under the mayorship of Rob Ford! – both, in their own particular way, squealing stamping pig-men who aren’t running anything other than the most banal nationalism on a protestant core.

The point is that while the most up to date conceptual specifications may help one plumb the depths of the cosmos - time and space - one can recognize how a 'majority' government with less than 40% of the popular vote isn't 'democratic' with more modest and easily available tech.

The point is that there are untold millions around the world who are running Mao on a Marx core - on the wetware they've got - because it’s – honest to god ; ) – the best specs they could be running on their body in their part of the world, under their particular set of material circumstance. And not acknowledging that is bourgeois.

And btw, its Negri, Foucault, Esposito et al. who understand this best, so I’d recommend Brassier [and Badiou, and Zizek for that matter] learn how to program in biopolitics. Because it doesn’t matter if you’re running V.12 [EU] release Habermas on a mint off the line, Brassier-approved, Sellars Core – in a well-ventilated New York apartment, I’d imagine – if you aren’t actively engaged in upgrading everyone else’s specs, software and hardware.

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