What Can We Create?

If there were an exact center to the current political impasse, the short circuit of process, it would be this fact: that free discourse first demands a difference. It could be said that truth is always in conflict with destiny. An illegality, more universal than the universe, breaking the symmetry spontaneously and opening the way onto a new reality. In other words, beyond non-identity, there is yet a non-equality which goes deeper than a face-to-face opposition. The face is a complex torsion of the discursive space; whereas asymmetry may be the origin of space itself. Talking is terraforming, interring destiny, burying original forms deep underground; a willing hypnosis overcomes swarms of a priori contradictions. The earth does not countermand me; this refutes your objection. Consider, for example, when two entities differ so much they cannot be meaningfully compared, there is no isomorphism, no discursive space which can account for a relation between, which could isolate a structural symmetry. And in truth all situations are partial and fragments in this way, fractured, refracted, as their basic essence. Against appearances, the properly political situation is not only when a mutually valid criteria is inconceivable — but when it is even actually dangerous. Was dialectics ever dialogical? In other words, can a theory of contradiction be anything but itself a theoretical contradiction — could it perhaps trace beyond, beneath conflict? For certainly beneath human faces, human relations, many things flow…


Conflict is never purely external. Some measure of it is always internal, immersed, abyssal; conflict is never really between a thing and its absence, or only rather, it is but only in theory, in principle: the song and the shadow. A musical origin of theory — pleasant melodies, to change the way the world feels to us. Fear is abolished, along with the entranced factual subject: but a self-difference re-asserts itself immediately, an elevation of spirit which shatters identity, balkanizes convergences, in short — creates spontaneous differential inclinations. A chaotic multiplicity becomes entangled with itself; elements of assemblages spiral in a complex path of mutual coordination; a vortical flow — the pure image of duration. Time is fluid, perhaps especially State time which claims to be segmented, geometrized, clearly distinguished. But the political problem of difference can only really be seen against the proper precondition, or background image, which is temporal multiplicity, a simultaneous passage to the limit, of identity or singularity. Parallel convergence: the infinite task, the pure and intractable problem of the spiral.

The form of politics is not the same as a political formation; they are separated by the tiniest gap, the smallest possible difference. This tiny difference is the beginning of a spiral, a new ordering of orders. Utopia is not a world away, only a hairs’ breadth. From revolution to institution, the field of the political is inhabited by such differential, differenciating machines. We need a minimal, molecular politics, whose operation is cyclic, open, continuous.

But differentiation is not yet individuation, and individuation is not yet personalization: face-machines are precisely the point where public order and private chaos become mixed, primitive, indiscernible, memory-laden, traumatic and obscure. What is the face, how do we account for its formation, how is its form selected? The face is a relation without relation, like a top spinning, stable in its instability. An invisble line of flight, an invariant line, not in the sense that there is only one such line but rather that there will never not be such a line. A face even in the moon, a machinic-face everywhere one looks. The black hole, too, is a face. Invention overflows stability through a thousand membranes, discovery metastabilizes uncertainties, the field of the political attains order by a hypnotic or subversive disorder. The face made into a straight line, a linear sociality. Again, it is the smallest possible change, the minimal difference or angular shift, which makes a difference. A million tiny acts of deviance could indeed change the world overnight — whether we speaking of geopolitics, climate, or society itself.

The tiniest angle is a tangent, the line of flight of the map; an angle is like an emotion, or consciousness. An epiphenomenon. Only a shift, a rotation, a curve. Not a choice, not determined, not written, unmarked, undistinguished, imperceptible. Beyond the limit, outside the distinction, without freedom or necessity. Between geometry and phenomenology, between God and the Earth. The state, religion, the family — forgotten myths someday, ancient primitive names for the unnameable, the impossible, the invisible possibility for transversal intersubjectivity. Also despotic structural bases for its paradoxical accomplishment, through an illusion which transfixes, hypnotizes, makes us subject-groups.

Coordination does not happen in isolation: the two must be made to communicate, without dissolution back into unity. Hence the eternal desire for violence in politics; from one religion to another, the repetition of the same battle for a different assemblage.

The forces were different; the force was the same. Death, knowledge, ethics: the coordinations are always framed intersubjectively. Philosophy is the degeneration of religion, that is to say, it’s mathematization and aesthetization, the becoming-invisible of the voice of God. God becomes the machine, the will to survive, the feeling of power. Finally: God is justice, ethics is only to be found by responsibility to others. Marx is Levinas, or even Moses: the stuttering prophet of a promised land. Detach from the state, become a nomadic war machine; be responsible, follow your conscience.

We must eat to live; the question is not how much we can create, how well we can eat. The question is that and what and how we’re eating — between how good it is, and how ethical it is, we must ask the ontological question. Survival is the ontological question; biology is ontology. The question first must be: what new machines can we assemble, what new desires can we produce? What can we create? 

This entry was written by Joseph Weissman and published on Friday, September 28, 2007 at 10:41 pm. It’s filed under chaos, dialectic, dialogue, difference, family, God, multiplicity, nomad, Politics, state, time, war machine. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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