domenica 8 maggio 2016

4.7. Impulsive forces and the will to power - Pt. XXVIII - Excerpt from the essay «Money, Revolution and Acceleration in Deleuze and Guattari's Anti-Oedipus», Obsolete Capitalism Free Press/Rizosphere, 2016

Impulsive forces and the will to power

If, according to Deleuze and Guattari, “true is it that the schizo practices political economy, and that all sexuality is a matter of economy” (AE, 13), then, we can commence the final summary of this essay by presenting schizophrenia in market societies. The reason is that, if, on the one hand, “[c]ivilization is defined by the decoding and the deterritorialization of flows in capitalist production”, on the other hand “[o]ur societies exhibit a marked taste for all codes – codes foreign or exotic – but this taste is destructive and morbid” (AE, 245). The destruction of codes would represent a result common to both entities, capitalism and revolution – since the pure spirit of insurrection is in favour of the destruction of the “prominent taste for codes”. We ought to clarify the differences of regime between the two accelerationist entities, given the identity of nature, otherwise we shall fall in great misunderstandings. To this end, we summon the Nietzsche “destroyer” of autumn 1888: “the will to power is the primitive form of affect, that all other affects are only developments of it; that it is notably enlightening to posit power in place of individual 'happiness' (after which every living thing is supposed to be striving): 'there is a striving for power, for an increase of power'; - pleasure is only a symptom of the feeling of power attained, a consciousness of a difference” (O, fr. 14, [121], vol. VIII, part 3, quoted in NVC 101). “There is neither 'mind', nor reason, nor thought, nor consciousness, nor soul, nor will, nor truth: so many useless fictions. It is not a matter of 'subject' or 'object', but of a certain animal species who thrives because of a justice, and above all regularity relative to its perceptions (so that it can capitalize on its own experience)…” (O, fr. 14, [122], vol. VIII, part 3, quoted in NVC 102). And finally “there is no law: every power draws its ultimate consequence at every moment. Calculability exists precisely because things are unable to be other than they are. A quantum of power is designated by the effect it produces and that which it resists (O, fr. 14, [79], vol. VIII, part 3, quoted in NVC 108). Klossowski comments the three fragments as follows: “As a primordial impulse – this is what must be emphasized – the will to power is the term that expresses force itself. If the will to power appears in the human species and the phenomenon of animality – that is to say, in the phenomenon of the 'living being' – as a 'special' case, and thus as an 'accident' of its essence, it will not be conserved in the species or the individual it acts upon, but by its very nature will disrupt the conservation of an attained level, since by necessity it will always exceed this level through its own increase. Thus, for everything that might want to preserve itself at a certain degree, whether a society or an individual, the will to power appears essentially as a principle of disequilibrium” (NCV, 103).

Deleuze and Guattari use in the Anti-Œdipus the term “desire” as a substitute for the Nietzschean “will to power” (CO, 95) and, thus, for “primitive form of affect”. Nietzsche himself asked “Is 'will to power' a kind of 'will' or identical with the concept 'will'? Is it the same thing as desiring?” (O, fr. 14, [121], vol. VIII, part 3, quoted in NVC 102). Such conception of desire is the weapon that shakes – as an irresistible impulsive force – both the individual and society, transforming through a process of metamorphosis and instability each individual in a potential nonconformist and each society in a potential field of wild and energetic revolutionary intensity. However, we ought to distinguish the two natural poles within which the proactive, or affirmative, intensity field oscillates in order to understand the risks hidden within the de-structuring desire: for what concerns society, on one side we will have destructive and decoding capitalism, and on the other side the “desiring and headless”, destructive and liberatory revolution, as an accelerated moment of unburdening from accumulated power; instead, for what concerns the individual, on one side we will have the paranoiac and reactionary pole, and on the other side the schizophrenic and revolutionary one. However, it would be a serious mistake to generally confuse and identify the processes of destruction and liberation of capitalism and of paranoid man, with those of revolution and of the schizophrenic man. Indeed, Deleuze and Guattari wrote that “While decoding doubtless means understanding and translating a code, it also means destroying the code as such, assigning it an archaic, folkloric, or residual function, which makes of psychoanalysis and ethnology two disciplines highly regarded in our modern societies. Yet it would be a serious error to consider the capitalist flows and the schizophrenic flows as identical, under the general theme of a decoding of the flows of desire. Their affinity is great, to be sure: everywhere capitalism sets in motion schizo-flows that animate "our" arts and "our" sciences, just as they congeal into the production of "our own" sick, the schizophrenics” (AE, 245). As both Srnicek and Williams, and Pasquinelli remind us, capitalism “axiomatises with one hand what it decodes with the other” (AE, 246; GADC, 20, point 3). If, at the border of chaos, the function of axiomatisation bears signs of recovery and control, as well as of exploitation in order to maximise profits and collect new values from “new lands”, the function of schizo-revolution bears the sign of demolition and overcoming in order to evade from containment fields where the impulsive primordial force would hover, neutralizing itself. In order to conquer new boundaries and spot “new lands” the energetics of desire does not accept capitalisation, regularisation, and equilibrium. For contemporary capital, the anti-chaotic fastening agent and the Recovery Teams are respectively money and unlimited abstract quantities, storage for accumulated money-risk, absolute liquidity and the infinite repetition of credit and debit.

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