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Capitalism and Schizophrenia
Let's create a Molecular Revolution
sodapopinski51
capandschiz
sodapopinski51
To be free, in my opinion, is to sizzle with life, and to dwell in the intervals between the spectacular occurrence of an event with the utmost longing. Here I will turn to Nietzsche because doing so legitimates my own thoughts, who would take someone like me seriously without paying an homage to another canonical figure, but also because he was a thinker who stood on the shoulders of giants and because of his solitude could see further than an ordinary human going through a humdrum existence. His profound insights are richer than mine simply because he never had to do the dishes, or change diapers, or take out the trash on a Sunday evening because he spent his time scrutinizing Goethe:

“Life consists of rare individual moments of the highest significance and countless intervals in which at best the phantoms of those moments hover about us. Love, spring, a beautiful melody, the mountains, the moon, the sea – they all speak truly to our heart only once: if they ever do in fact truly find speech. For many people never experience these moments at all but are themselves intervals and pauses in the symphony of real life.”[1]

Experiencing the death of a loved one can open up possibilities of living, as Heidegger noted, but it can also create a deep sense of longing in the intervals between the intermittent grieving period. The phantom of the intense experience of grief haunts the living. The phantom haunting us in the interval is the knowledge that as life nears closer to death, living becomes evermore precious[2]. Death is one movement in the symphony of life, and perhaps it is the crescendo, or perhaps it is a whimper, but the fact remains that it is always a coda. We, as spirit-composers may reincarnate and write subsequent symphonies with different instruments for entirely different audiences in some era completely removed from now, or we may cease to exist and fade into the abyss, never to be touched by another note of music again. What happens after death is not as important as how an individual responds to the news that life is a finite resource full of raw materials like reasoning, love, ambition, the brute force of will to power, only to be enjoyed for a few measly decades which can be burned through in the heat of a cataclysmic desire, or can be used up like any other resource drifting through the winds of karma on “the back of a tiger.”[3]
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sodapopinski51
capandschiz
sodapopinski51
America is in a crazy place right now. Let me take for a moment the topic of Gun Rights. The NRA is in the back pocket of the GOP... because for some reason we stupidly associate "Capitalism" with "Freedom" instead of exploitation and misery. The problem is... We should be trying to get the NRA to turn their aggression AGAINST the bourgeoisie. Instead, Liberals have cornered the market on gun control... conservatives, the party of the bourgeoisie, have turned gun rights into something akin to "You have the right to shoot deer with an Uzi."
Let me be clear.. the Founding Fathers gave us the second amendment to ensure that the people could rise up and overthrow the Government (OR, "all enemies, domestic or foreign" is what the Constitution says... which would include the bourgeoisie when they abuse their power, which they ARE continually)... so this means that gun rights have a lot to do with giving power TO the people. The second amendment protects our right to use Uzi's to revolt, not shoot deer.

The crazy f#$%ed up part of american political discourse is that it has become so homogenized. Everyone knows their respective places (the republicans think this on gun control and lure in reactionary revolutionaries to vote in favor of increasing their exploitation and misery, democrats disagree with everything in a purely reactive way, etc.) Capitalism produces mass subjectivity, when it comes to politics almost nobody really thinks for themselves... yet, if we could just turn the NRA into a Marxist organization, in the sense that Gun Nuts need to learn how to rise up against the Hegemonic Class.. THEN we could finally become free! Armed insurrection... it is our only hope at this point.
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sodapopinski51
capandschiz
sodapopinski51
Digging away at the layered sedimentation of history, can we know about the past? Or is it lost forever beneath impenetrable encrustations and strata, like geological rock formations burying and preserving ancient artifacts. Historians are like archaeologists on some level, but there is a certain futility to pretending like we can "Know" about the past, that there is a very real possibility that as historians dig deeper and deeper beneath the layerings of history, it becomes increasingly difficult to discover a kernel of truth buried beneath the layers. The Origin is perhaps unknowable, but hey, I can venture a guess... digging into history leads us ultimately back to the origins of the universe. Like asking "When did Capitalism begin?" Well you can go back to the Industrial Revolution, and then to feudalism, and then dig deeper to pre-Roman times, to bartering societies, etc. Where does it all begin?
The Universe just is, as the existentialists say, indifferent to my existence. I am on my own, and there is quite possibly no singular origin to the Universe. It is always already infinitely and eternally there, without an origin and without an end. It is human existence that is the contingency and finite. Life, money, the body, pleasures, all of these things fade and diminish with time, plus you cannot take them with you when you die. If the Universe Just "IS" then how do we conceive of a moral ground to stand on? OF course, this is an illusion, morals are made by three forces 1. history 2. social pressures 3. a personal exertion of Will.

The Secret to life is, in the face of this indifferent universe that does not care about me, I must find the courage to will myself to become what I desire to be. To know that I cannot escape History of Social pressures, but to find my inner Will Power and create myself in my own image (not God's). Not merely "thinking" about my desire, but actually willing it thus by tapping into my sense of agency, my capadity to become what I want to become. This means thinking the future as an infinite possibility of a radically different becoming, wherein the present will not be extrapolated into the future in a conservative sense, that is, in the sense that NOW will be conserved in the future, but a wastefulness or an entropy to the present (not an inertia). An energy flow that might actually recycle the temporal body (as it exists now) into the karmic becomings of the future in a chaotic sense of becoming, creating an infinite number of future possible worlds.

I still think that energy is recycled, never lost, but I think that entropy has a moral component and this has a lot to do with decadence and decline on a Historical level, and that this decline trickles down to the individual level as well (epistemes being co-opted by doxas, etc.)
Hope this makes sense. Lots of Eastern Gobbly Goop mixed in with Derridean thought, but dumbed down considerably.
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sodapopinski51
capandschiz
sodapopinski51
Just re-read on of my favorite books from my Georges Bataille phase,
Thirst for Annihilation by Nick Land ... INCREDIBLE. He eclipses Bataille, Deleuze, and Artaud for craziest MF'er in in philosophy.

My favorite moment in the book is when Land, theorizing about castration, castrating, and castrated beings, presents the audience with an image of God consuming his own penis. Exquisite! He was fired after he wrote this book. And you can see why I hate Universities, why should be censor something provocative.. a provocation to thought should make a person feel uncomfortable!
He raises nihilism to an art form. Vastly superior to 99.9% of the shit cluttering the shelves of your local University Library.
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sodapopinski51
capandschiz
sodapopinski51
Possible "nows" are nothing (i.e. cause anxiety and cannot be represented). Being is always locked into the "Now" that is... what is grounds the possibility of becoming. What will "be" will be within History and Time. In other words, there is no escape from Time, that is, until death and then who knows what happens then?

The Eternal Recurrence is a thought of eternity in the sense that eternity is another nae for the presence of the present. If you think of "Eternity" you cannot think of duration, because Eternity cannot be conceptualized as being lengthy, it simply IS as an infinite being. Eternity is being without becoming, an eternal Present in the sense of being an identity based on negating a thought of difference. A numbering wherein a being counts 1.... 1.... 1... 1... without ever moving on to Two, because a thought of numbering as difference would be a thought of difference, which would allow for a temporal change and a thought of duration. Hence, eternity simply IS. And this is what constitutes vulgar time. An eternal recurrence of the Ones without ever moving on to the Two. What would one be without two? Nothing, it wouldn't make sense. So sense is only possible within the presence of Difference, that is quantitatively speaking, a relationality to the Other.

All of this makes sense, on some level, if you can conceptualize the process of subjectivity as an inter-subjective set of Others. What is evaded in the question propagates its effects over the entire history of metaphysics, what is unthought is impossible, and causes anxiety. Hegel once said, Time is the same principle as the I=I, a narcissistic, solipsistic hermeneutic circle if their ever was one. Kant, for the first time subjected time and the "I think" to a transcendental interpretation (A relation TO, and with, instead of a relation "In" as in Immanence). Yet capitalism is based on creating solipsistic, narcissistic subjects.. "I am a genius in my own mind." I see it everyday in my classroom, the stoked ego of the inner-Superman who thinks, "I am God." The Doxa have been produced out of the dominant episteme, unknowingly.
I'm not sure what my point is... just scrambling a few ideas together from Derrida's Ousia and Gramme.
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sodapopinski51
capandschiz
sodapopinski51
The discourse of "Man," as in Rights of Man, Liberal Humanism, and The Human Sciences began when the Classical Period ended. The entire book is primarily about this transition, and how subsequent philosophers are indebted to this transition. While the book reads like a History of Philosophy, very few sources are cited. Rarely is a footnote given, yet we, the humble readers, are left to decipher the labyrinthine set of allusions sprinkled throughout the entire text.
Ideas are alluded to, and then dropped, concepts discussed and then never explained. We are given a veritable "Word-Salad" akin to much of Anti-Oedipus. Partial objects and swirling images flutter about loosely formed, yet distinctly and thoroughly plodded out.
What we are left with is a schizzing of how language is performed, how thoughts are created, and how ideas are passed on through the canonical texts in the Western Tradition.
It ends on such a down note. After extrapolating the transition from Classical thought to Humanism, Foucault concludes by concisely saying, "If those arrangements were to disappear as they appeared, if some event of which we can at the moment do no more than sense the possibility- without knowing either what its forms will be or what it promises- were to cause them to crumble, as the ground of Classical Thought did, at the end of the eighteenth century, then one can certainly wager that man would be erased, like a face drawn in sand at the edge of the sea." Whoa. Is everything contingent in the realm of discourse? Can we ever know what will happen next? What discourse will emerge on the horizon? Perhaps not.

I'm confused. Has anyone else read The Order of Things by Foucault? I've spent the last four months reading as much by him as possible (almost everything excluding Discipline and Punish, and Archaeology of Knowledge)... Anyone have thoughts on this book?
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sodapopinski51
capandschiz
sodapopinski51
So I've been jogging almost every day for the last two weeks now. Five out of the last six days I've gone 4 miles, and on the other day I went 1.5 miles. My goal is to lose 10-15 lbs. this summer, and it feels great to finally take my life back into my own hands again.

Running is a great pastime. Not just for the obvious physical benefits, yes it burns fat, but also because it gives me a chance to clear my head. To think my own thoughts. To settle down and de-clutter my mind. For quite a while I've been struggling with negative thinking, bordering on paranoia. It feels great to just let all of that negative energy go, and to put all of my focus into running, building good karma, and feeding off of my own positive energy.

I'm not too sure that society will recover from this economic crisis. Capitalism might be finished. I might never find a stable, middle-class career that can support my family, but for 40-55 minutes a day all of those doubts and worries disappear. I just focus on looking at the little patch of pavement directly in front of my feet, or stare at the trees on the side of the road, or gaze off into the streaming clouds in the sky. Clearing my head works best when I try to manage my breathing. I make a concerted effort to inhale and exhale in a rhythmic pattern that is almost musical. It makes the jarring motion of running feel smoother.

The first mile is rough. I'm not going to lie. There are plenty of times, even in just two weeks, where I've doubted whether or not I should continue because I get winded. But after the first mile, I build a great head of steam that carries my momentum through for the next 3 miles. It feels great. After a mile I often times slow down and power walk for a bit, but my body, like its sending me a direct signal, does not want to slow down at that point. By the second mile I feel like I'm running on air.

Just the other day it was raining and dreary. I felt like staying in. Then outsmarted myself, and began to think about Nietzsche's Will to Power. I thought, "What would the Ubermensch in me do today? Stay in? Absolutely not!" So I overcame my inner dwarf (as Nietzsche called it) and ran in the pouring rain. It felt AMAZING. To get out there and feel alive for the first time in such a long time. To push myself. To get back my killer instinct, my mental edge as my Golfing brother Kevin says.

It feels great to finally do something besides reading, writing, and talking to professors. Bleck. Who needs that austere intellectualism all the time? I confess, there is a time and a place for "Thinking," and the Life of the Mind, but there should also be a time to balance that with physical fulfillment. Sound mind, Sound body! That's the key to life. Aristotle was right!
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sodapopinski51
capandschiz
sodapopinski51
I was trying to explain this to my wife today. I believe the Buddhists got a few things right for a few simple reasons. I feel as though Karma makes sense. To me, Buddhism is all about recycling, re-appropriating, reusing, and renegotiating energy. There is some positive and some negative energy in the world. But for the most part, none of this energy is ever lost, it is only moved around being reshaped through different forms.
So, what I do in this life, the conscious choices I make, instilling positive values into my daughter for instance, will eventually create a ripple effect that will negotiate these different types of energy throughout her entire social field, having a small effect upon her world.

Everyone I have contact with will have an impact on me, and me on them, and this trickles down to my daughter, who grows up, goes out into the world, and moves energy through her actions. So my understanding of Karma is this... building good merit (as the Buddhists call it) is about actively engaging in producing effects in this life, that will move energy around, to result in a flow of energy that will meet and greet you when you return to this planet in the next life.

So Karma is something like this... if you live the life of Adolf Hitler, and create a world based on fascist scare-mongering, which has sadly become a political model widely accepted throughout many parts of the world, then you will have to reincarnate into this paranoid world in your next life. So beware! Your actions will follow you.

I was thinking, I like Buddhist karma better than the Christian concept of Heaven and Hell. Why? Because in Christianity you get a mere lifetime to either do Good or do Evil, and then you pay off your debt to God for all of eternity! That seems really excessive. I like Buddhist reincarnation better. If Adolf Hitler kills 6 million Jews, he can live the life of someone experiencing genocide in Darfur... he can feel the terror first hand. No energy is lost. So he can go from being the producer of paranoia, to the consumer of paranoia, and learn his lesson, thereby recycling energy into the next life, making the universe richer, more complex.

It all made sense to me while trying to decipher Foucault's theory of the episteme in The Order of Things last night. The Post-Structuralists are always talking in Heideggerian language about "Appropriation" this, and "Power dynamics" that...perhaps this type of malleable creation and recycling of energy flows through an infinite plenitude of possible forms is precisely what they mean by history! By flows and by Power. Nothing is lost. Only recycled, re-appropriated, reworked, and reformed. I like that idea. Makes sense to me. I just think that people need to be made more conscious of how this positive and negative energy flows through each of us on a micro-political level each and every day.
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sodapopinski51
capandschiz
sodapopinski51
The World is a War Machine. But it is also a Loving Machine. These two impulses drive the entire world. The insatiable desire for acceptance, love, affection, approval, and nurturing actually leads to the wanton abuses of power, war, destruction, and so forth.
Dispersed social energy, molecular bio-energy, the energy produced through the consumption of flesh flows throughout the entire eco-system. Food webs are produced, grow, reach apogee, and fall as a result of a precarious set of balances within a given social, bio, or geological realm. What happens in one distant corner of an ecological web, has a direct impact on Us. The illusion of a self-enclosed, knowing "I" that can fend for itself goes back to Leibniz (his monadism as opposed to Deleuze's wandering, precarious, Nomadism of the War Machine).

Cities destroy food webs, but they also create a mesh-work of relations that always put humans at the center (De Landa's point in 1,000 Years of Non-Linear History). Any irregularity, a boom or bust cycle that spirals out of control in capitalism for instance, can actually have a dire ripple effect upon the entire species. Hence, the word for this type of precarious social environment, where a whole population, or rather a whole species, is regulated, monitored, and subject to extinction, is Bio-Power (Or Bio-Politics).

All of us living in so-called Modern, technologically advanced societies are living in this type of precarious situation. None of us can actually fend for ourselves (we'd all be dead if the local grocery store went bankrupt) yet we cling to this illusion of the Rugged-Individual, the Ego-centric "I" that has control over destiny. This is hogwash. An illusion or a discursive trick of the Liberal-Humanist incarnation of Capitalism linked to Democracy as it stands today. We are not free. We are progressively regulated in every little minutia of our daily lives.

(What I'm about to say IS NOT SOMETHING I"M MAKING UP... This is all Documented on History of Sexuality Volume 3 Care of the Self by Michel Foucault)

Like pederasty for instance. In Ancient Rome sex with young boys by grown adult men was common place. Marriage between man and woman was not where Romantic Love occurred. In fact, marriage was only a necessity for basic household upkeep. Women were domestic slaves, not thought of as romantic love interests. This Romantic Love was reserved for young boys who were thought of as being aesthetically beautiful. Sex and romantic love was thought of as being pleasurable because it was reserved for showing affection toward beautiful bodies, and young boys were thought to epitomize the Aesthetic Ideals for the most sought after types of beauty.
Think about all of the hullabaloo regarding Michael Jackson's pederasty controversy. After he was run through the mill he was viewed as being Strange, or suspicious because he laid in a bed with young boys. While I don't know what actually happened with Michael Jackson, to simply imply that he was laying in bed, with his clothes on with young children is enough to label him a criminal. That was not always the case. But people get fired up about this stuff. Just mention the term, "Pedophilia" to someone with kids, and they'll talk about all kinds of violent acts of retribution and vigilante justice, "I'll cut his nuts off, and burn him alive," etc. Not that there's anything wrong with this response. However, it elides the internalization of a type of normalizing sexual discourse, indicative of a Tension between the War/Loving machine. Our lives are regulated in so many ways, most of which we are unaware of, or we blindly accept without second-thought...
If you think that pederasty, or homosexuality is abnormal, without realizing that these are types of pathology were basically invented by medical discourse, these labels have not always existed, then you have already internalized, and been constructed by the invisible hand of Bio-Power. The incendiary panopticon that subsumes daily life.
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sodapopinski51
capandschiz
sodapopinski51
Recently I gave a talk at the Association for the Psychoanalysis of Culture and Society (APCS). It was an attempt to do a post-modern Marxist reading of The Sopranos (don't laugh just yet). For the most part these conferences devoted to Television are sorry excuses for serious intellectual work as professors are sitting around talking about the last episode of Seinfeld as "An Event" which I personally think cheapens the concept of Event, but I digress.

Interestingly enough, one of the members of the audience asked a really great question about Psychoanalysis becoming Hyperreal. She said that at an APCS Conference a few years ago the keynote address was given by the actress who played Dr. Melfi, the psychiatrist (or maybe she's a psychologist?) on the Sopranos. The audience member's point was that the Hyperreal, the mass-produced represented, mediated, depiction of Pyschoanalysis has become widely accepted as a truthful interpretation of Psychoanalysis, actually supplanting Freud, Jung, and Lacan. There is also a new show on HBO (which happens to have a slew of excellent shows I might add) called In Treatment that seems to make her point!

I was wondering if any of you cared to comment, or take a Deleuzian approach to the question of understanding, perhaps critiquing Psychoanalysis as it may have become (or is becoming) Hyperreal... any ideas?
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