capitalism, death, difference, disaster, expressivity, future, health, humanity, language, machine, metaphysics, modernity, nihilism, Politics

Genesis

Genesis. Enormous psychosocial and political transformations were necessary in order to put into place the global transhistorical capitalist institutions we take for granted. Capitalism is different, genetically as it were, from all previous ways of organizing human society. It dissolves society in favor of the decoded flows of pre-individual traits and elements which will form abstract labor and commodities. This dissolution is what previous forms of society had attempted to prevent. They had precisely developed various auto-immunities against this total subversion of traditional sense and value engendered by the radical deterritorialization attending the development of capital.

Modernity is this insane and universal cosmopolitan social order which encircles everything within its technocratic grasp; degeneration, death, disaster and apocalypse are both its legacy and sense. What remains for subjectivity but the twin messiahs of nothingness — the state and the market? A timeless celestial burrowing-machine and a timely sociopolitical ungrounding-device — messenger and channel, rex and flamen.

"Cosmic Ovulation" by Claude McCoy

"Cosmic Ovulation", Claude McCoy

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decision, Deleuze, mathematics, Nietzsche, nihilism, non-philosophy

Supplements

 

Philosopher (Dali)

 

Is mathematics discovered or invented? But what if we have misplaced the scent from the start; in other words what if this clear distinction elides the process itself, if the particular and immanent relation between invention and discovery forms the basis of the ‘singularizing’ expression involved in a new mathematical proof? But a rigorous diagram of novelty itself, of the Event, seems to escape the boundaries of mathematical thought. Ontology is not the royal road to reality, any more than dreams are a singular road the unconscious. In a way, it does not even seem to get us very far at all; at least in terms of understanding “truth,” that exceptional ontogenesis of knowledge and/or being, which after all constitutes what philosophers have so far approached as the ideal “problem” according to which all others are to be modeled, and to which the creation of any new concepts must invariably be induced to correspond.

Risk. The utter annihilation of the soul is an unavoidable stage of becoming human. The human soul is restless, without certainties — at least until it has finally inoculated itself to the world, jamming any channels still open to the outside.

Nihil. Philosophy is a whirlwind from which very little can escape; the breaks are not always where they appear to be! A pure negation of philosophy remains pure philosophy; it is coded in the same semiotic, an inverse. Even suspending this decision (to separate essence from appearance) is still a philosophical position. Finally, even if we manage to truly escape philosophy and found a new science which could in turn truly take the “human” science of philosophy and grasp it as raw experimental material, the risks of a new asceticism corresponding to this “higher” rigor are nearly unavoidable. All these risks are not unlike those Nietzsche or Deleuze are continually warning us about. The worst consequence of nihilism is not necessarily that of forgetting our philosophy in our despair; rather there is a stranger, more uncanny possibility — that the pious suspension of philosophy would be capable of sweeping reality away along with it, abandoning us in some non-human plane of transcendent nullity, enslaved to transparent emptiness and arcane jargon. Nonetheless, a positive “nihilism” undoubtedly constitutes an ideal space for the creation of a new kind of science capable of grasping in turn any human science, and even philosophy itself.

 

Supplements. What is true cannot change; what changes cannot be truth — is this not the miserable dream in which too many have diffused their cleverness?

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asceticism, gandhi, God, love, nihilism, non-violence, paradox, Politics, purity, religion, truth

Purity

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To see the universal and all-pervading spirit of Truth face to face one must be able to love the meanest of creation as oneself. And a man who aspires after that cannot afford to keep out of any field of life.

That is why my devotion to truth has drawn me into the field of politics; and I can say without the slightest hesitation, and yet in all humility, that those who say that religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion means.

Gandhi

To Gandhi’s way of thinking, self-purification is the straight and narrow path towards realizing God, the only possible means human beings have to allow them become truly and actively non-violent. Purification is not constrained to one or two kinds of activities; religion is inseparable from all human activities, as their essence or content. In order to approach truth, human beings must becomes purified; if they purify themselves, the world around them will become purified as well.

The pathway of purification therefore also leads to non-violence in all ways of life: only once we become pure of heart can we identify ourselves with any living being — even those who hate us. We can love the lowest; we can even find the strength to love our enemies:

Not until we have reduced ourselves to nothingness can we conquer the evil in us. God demands nothing less than complete self-surrender as the price for the only real freedom that is worth having. And when a man thus loses himself he immediately finds himself in the service of all that lives. It becomes his delight and his recreation. He is a new man, never’ weary of spending himself in the service of God’s creation. (MM, 30)

We may begin to grow curious at the absolute positivity Gandhi deduces from self-negation. How can surrender produce freedom? Yet Gandhi claims surrender is the price for the only freedom which is worth having. We must lose ourselves in order to find ourselves (transposed, does this imply God must be infinitely distant from us in order to discover him as truth itself? That in a way, God must die in order to be revived within us, through our spiritual self-purification?)

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apparatus of capture, genealogy, Nietzsche, nihilism, nomads, overman, Politics, state, warrior, will to power, Zarathustra

Zarathustra and Genealogy: Where the State Ceases…

surrealistic-images01.jpgIn Book 1 of Thus Spoke Zarathustra, there is a speech on the state (“Of the New Idol”) that is surrounded by a speech on war and the warrior prior to it and also a speech “On the Flies of the Marketplace” following it. All three speeches in a way need to be read together (not only in order but also juxtaposed in other ways) to be fully understood. Having said that, I want to bracket these other two sections off (keeping them in mind) while focusing solely on Zarathustra’s short discourse on the state. The speech begins:

There are still peoples and herds somewhere, but not with us, my brothers: here there are states.

The state? What is that? Well then! Now open your ears, for now I shall speak to you of the death of peoples.

The state is the coldest of all cold monsters. Coldly, it lies, too; and this lie creeps from its mouth: ‘I, the state, am the people.’

It is a lie! It was creators who created peoples and hung a faith and a love over them: thus they served life.

It is destroyers who set snares for many and call it the state: they hang a sword and a hundred desires over them.

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French Translation, marxism, Maurice de Gandillac, method, Nietzsche, Nietzsche aujourd'hui, nihilism, ontology, Pierre Boudot, Zarathustra

Translation: Appendix to Boudot’s Reading in Nietzsche aujourd’hui: Round Table Discussion

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Boudot, Pierre. “Discussion de la méthode dia-critique: une méthode de lecture de Zarathoustra.” Nietzsche aujourd’hui (2 vols.). Pierre Boudot et. alia. Publications du centre culturel de Cérisy-a-Salle (Paris: UGE, 1973),vol. 1, pp. 384-393..

This is the discussion following Pierre Boudot’s essay in the Nietzsche aujourd’hui volume translated by Taylor Adkins [9/28/07].

Robert Sasso: I am surprised to hear you presenting your lecture program without many references, some allusive, to works already devoted to readings of Nietzsche, his relations with other authors, the civilization of his time, for example, those of Andler or, more recently, of Morel. It is certainly not about ignorance, but a setting between brackets of which I would like to understand. In addition, when you propose a collective task, extremely vast moreover, how do you conceive the execution of it?

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diacritics, dialectics, Eternal Return, French Translation, method, Nietzsche, Nietzsche aujourd'hui, nihilism, ontology, Pierre Boudot, Zarathustra

Translation: The Dia-critical Method: Pierre Boudot’s Method of Reading Zarathustra

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Boudot, Pierre. “La méthode dia-critique: une méthode de lecture de Zarathoustra.” Nietzsche aujourd’hui (2 vols.). Pierre Boudot et. alia. Publications du centre culturel de Cérisy-a-Salle (Paris: UGE, 1973),vol. 1, pp. 371-383. Translated by Taylor Adkins [9/07].

The following is my translation of Pierre Boudot’s essay. The discussion following his essay in the Nietzsche aujourd’hui volume will also be translated at a later date with commentary.

At each moment of his thought, Nietzsche reactivates the reasons why he is Nietzsche, and pushes a little further, a little farther away, the fundamental concepts of his thought, while varying (almost without his knowledge) the contents in combination with the problems that occupy them. The basic Nietzschean concepts do not have the same direction according to whether one makes use of them to interpret The Birth of Tragedy or Human, All Too Human or to explain their specific sense. Thus any interrogation on Nietzsche must see whether these are concepts that vary by successive implicit definitions or if they alternate when words, apparently identical as for their phonemes, push in front of them a reality which deviates differently because it is transformed from the inside by the basic themes that Nietzsche himself proposes. If the basic concepts vary, it is in order to commit a series of misunderstandings which employ them according to the innovation of the automatically corresponding problem and clearly to the innovation of words which however would be pronounced and heard in the same way: eternal return, overman, nihilism, revaluation of values, will to power.
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decadence, hope, institution, Nietzsche, nihilism, Politics, religion, socialism

The Future of Culture: or, Beyond Eschatology

Nothing has preoccupied me more profoundly than the problem of decadence… “Good and evil” is merely a variation of that problem. Once one has developed a keen eve for the symptoms of decline, one understands morality, too—one understands what is hiding under its most sacred names and value formulas: impoverished life, the will to the end, the great weariness. Morality negates life… (The Case of Wagner, 51)

The social relation requires re-evaluation in light of decadence, the unmistakable event of cultural decline. Let us say that for Nietzsche there are three impulses in particular which we must isolate, tear out the best parts, and throw away the chaff. These impulses are, in descending order of their urgency at the time of Nietzsche’s writings: Christianity, Nihilism and Socialism. Human, All Too Human is a unique text in Nietzsche’s canon, as each ‘impulse’ is vivisected in turn, new pathways opened for thought beyond the archaic form of these impulses — in order that a life-affirming energy may be revitalized.

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