Audre Lorde told us that we can't use the master's tools to destroy the master's house. Seems like sage advice, until we remember that we can't even use tools, that the very distinction between subjects and objects, the logic of instrumentalization of tools themselves is one of the masters tools. And then all of a sudden we are talking about discourse, about how thought is a tool, a technology which is always drifting between the external and the internal.
So should we try and invent our own language, avoid being inscribed with these tools? the trap of language seems like a serious one. But then we think of Arendt and the parable of Heidegger the fox, the fox who was so afraid of the traps of language that he built his own den, thought himself wise but really had just build himself another trap, a trap of his own making. See the problem is there is no escape from language, from thought externalizing itself and that externalization becoming an apparatus, something which captures and directs the living.
So we are left with our own messy contingency, our always already ensnared condition. The contours of the apparatus which ensnares is language and the realization that we are always already conditioned, that "even my conditions have conditions". This endless conditioning means we cannot seek to become unconditioned, which is only an impossible dream. just as the dog may dream of the wolf, we are infinitely separated from this dream of undomesticated spirit and besides, its is through the endless open-ended and indeterminate encounter with our own and others externalization which constitutes that becoming which is life. The trick then is a process of haeresis, of a heretical indeterminate turning against, the misuse and profanation of the dominant structures of language and thought.
The intersections of profanation and haeresis here are key, the point is not to try and escape, create your own language, use your own tools... is that ever even possible? Probably not. Rather, it is to open up new spaces by using these tools against themselves, to use the masters tools in a way they were never intended, not to destroy the master's house but to abscond with the master's tools, using them in a way they were never intended to create our own houses, houses which will allow us to escape, to abandon, flee and desert the master's house.
It is to recognize how structures of thought become sacred, how they enclose and ossify the endless unfolding and becoming that is life. It is a process of living that is always against the grasping ossification, the haeresis of becoming.
this was meant to be a response, a rearticulation or a gut reaction to beginning ii but I fear that mistakes were made. The genius of beginning ii is how it is not a treatise but a blog post, a work that stages the encounter and unfolding that happens with writing, the sweaty palms and the chair on the sidewalk, the bringing into writing the body that is un-enclosable, the fleeting synchronic snapshot of the blogger that simultaneously resists this ossification. For if we are to value living, the ungraspabable becoming and the partisan warfare + autonomous constructions necessary to secure the conditions of existence for this form of fugitive life we must always bring the self in in a way that does not reify, capture or individuate but in a manner which highlights its indeterminate, contingent entanglement - with the keyboard, with language, with others.
In this manner, the blog post serves as an excellent articulation of this politics. Life as a river, the self as a feed, apprehended synchronically but unfolding endlessly, a diachronic indeterminate becoming.
When I was younger, I dreamed of the collapse of civilization, of the final crisis. There were plans made: how would i get across the country (on my bike), whose land project would I go to, what project would I live on. The sense of the coming apocalypse seemed so real.
But, I have renounced this apocalyptic and linear conception of time in favor on one hand, of the recognition of our continually falling-ness, the unfolding disaster and on the other, the immanent becoming, the manner in which affirming the messy contingency and indeterminacy of life in the present can call into being the messianic time: not hope in the future but the new world disclosed through struggle, the sense of immanent possibility, the eternal return made possible through ritual. It is a process of being guided by the light of the subterranean fire, of the movement of spirit that like fire is a flickering process that cannot be grasped because it will scorch your hands.
And while I have renounced the notion of revolution as event, I have not lost but merely re-interpreted what collapse means. Collapse is not the decisive event, the fall of civilization that is one day to come. Rather, like the latin implies it is a coli - labi, a falling together, a sense of being bound together in a continuous downward movement, the affirmation of the falling-together as a refutation of the static and life-negating aspects of this civilization. It is not to wait for the ruins of this civilization but to look for the possibility of a life together in the ruins that surround us, a heretical assertion of the possibility of a life in common in the face of the disastrous ruination brought about by the ossificatied and sacred apparatus.
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