Wednesday, September 20, 2006


Since we have now discussed the main concepts we set out to discuss, and since the constallation assembled to produce the texts posted here now has been disbanded (the last two posts or so being the products of less than a third of the original hood of nothingness), we feel the desire to leave this particular shape of existence for history's termites and recyclers. After all, this blog has only been a vehicle for our movement along the flight-lines provided by ourselves and others, a hastily gathered chronicle of our journeys away from the present, an arsenal collected and hoisted, and sometimes dropped. We leave it like that, like a bunch of sharp and blunt objects in a seemingly neat box on the side of the road, while we move towards new battlegrounds.
Like the romantics say: La lucha sigue.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Creation II

Recently we have pondered upon the act of writing. Is it not a form of action, a most concrete and creative endeavour? To work with language in relation to a given concept, closing in on it, surrounding it, penetrating it and making it work in accordance to the flow you are following... Moulding new concepts out of the apparatus of language, making new lines of thought and action sprout from the ready-made assumptions no longer capable of containing the constant and rebellious striving ahead... The Maybe manifesting itself through gaps in the language of the Now, just as the constant thing Other, the true Utopia, can be glimpsed through the homogeneous logic-attempts of the machine-park's streets, buildings, corridors, factories and expressways, the impossibilities immanent in-spite-of the network, opening windows to future possibilities...

The art of theory is a many-headed production process, where the "individual" is merely an agent, working together with a whole system of interacting assemblages and shifting flows of meaning. You connect to a current, to a particular outlet of an immense machine of words, thoughts, experiences, and reality, feed your own creative energy into it and are in turn exposed to a manifold system of creation, making you traverse unknown and familiar terrains not yet existing, but waiting to be made.

However, this is not always the case. Obviously, theory can also be a most dull process of reproduction, of following-in-line, of repetition and safe-guarding. When it is used as a part of the State or in the ideological apparatuses of Capital, it is more like work, or rather labour; an introvert performance of a duty, a backwards-looking (or at least a motionless) part of a unity trying to keep itself intact. This type of theory/repetition can be found everywhere; in fact, it's the kind of language-thought-machine most dearly cherished by the megamachine, for apparent reasons. This type of theory is a kind of slave to the logic of the Now, serving it ideological excuses for its concrete actions, constructing plausible explanations to the contradictions inherent in society. Basically, we identify two kinds of theory-practices serving these purposes: the system and the critique. They work closely together and are in practice two parts of the same wannabe-whole.

The system is a closed construction, a park of concepts neatly fitting into one another, a network of logic that can expand only by stretching itself. It is an image of the network of Capital and State which we have touched upon before (Assemblage), and it is connected to it like a sister-machine. The system does not take kindly to dissenters or flight-lines trying to leave it; it punishes them by ridicule, silence, or open confrontation. The only way one can change the system is from the inside, i.e. not by opening it up to the outside through a process of creation, but by adapting yourself to its logic and filling up voids. This is when the critique enters the scene. The critique is a sketch or a plan of the system, illustrating its weak points and the gaps and holes existing in the network (because of it or in spite of it, does not matter). Thus, the critique remains within the framework, criticizing it in an attempt to make it stronger, scrutinizing the assemblage for weak points that need to be strengthened or gaps that need to be filled in. The system, thanks to this service, is able to reproduce itself and copy parts of its body into the absences found by the critique.

On the other hand, when theory is creative, it is a ballistic process, a matter of projecting, working forward. Creative theory does not concern itself with keeping Status Quo intact, with filling up gaps in the existing framework. Instead it aims beyond, constantly beyond. This however, does not mean that it, like Capital, is a mental slave to the concept of novelty. Creativity is not a matter of constantly reproducing innovations, but of creating Other-ness. And this process finds comrades-in-arms in many different camps, "new" as well as "old", "radical" as well as "conservative", "political" as well as "a-political."

It exists only through movement, but not necessarily of acceleration. One must understand that one can move in many different ways. Acceleration is a necessary component of Capital; it is a fundamental principle of the inner dynamics of the logic of the Now. Faster and faster it goes, higher and higher, always trying to mirror the ideal picture of rationality's straight arrow, but at the same time always repeating itself, closing itself, maintaining the walls and the borders, the straight channels and the square blocks. Acceleration in this sense is a speeding-up of circulation, nothing more.

The speed of creativity is not always fast. On the contrary, it can be performed without motion; through a "travelling without moving." It does not recognize its place inside borders, except when it tries to destroy them. It expands by taking unexpected turns, by inventing other passageways than the ones already in existence. "When forced to choose between two alternatives, we make a third one." It is fast in relation only to itself, to the flow it is a part of. It adopts its strategies to the moment and to the concrete surroundings. It distributes itself amongst a multitude of singularities, travels freely along the field of shared interests and connected creativity, not claiming individuality or subjectivity or even a place in the ranks, only co-anti-production.

The texts we have published here are not finished works of theory. They are experiments, ballistic clusters of words trying to form new windows and extend gaps already existing. Therefore, we will never take responsibility for what we may have written before, never "defend" old projectiles no longer on their way forward. We are not interested in critique or in completing an ideal construction supposed to "stand strong" on the platform of today's Truths and Absolutes (whatever forms these may take). Instead, we like to keep thrusting ourselves towards unmade terrain, and to keep producing away from the Now and its systems, machine-parks and wannabe-hegemony.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Quote: Paul Virilio

"When riches, accumulations and modes of production were freed from their enclosure, therefore, it was not to reach free enterprise, their socialization, but to reach their own vehicular power, their maximum dynamic efficiency. This is the 'futility' of wealth that dissappeared in the essence of dromological progress. Western man has appeared superior and dominant, despite inferior demographics, because he appeared more rapid. In colonial genocide or ethnocide, he was the survivor because he was in fact super-quick (sur-vif). The French word vif, 'lively', incorporates at least three meanings: swiftness, speed (vitesse), likened to violence - sudden force, abrupt edge (vive force, arête vive), etc. - and to life (vie) itself: to be quick means to stay alive (être vif, c'est être en vie)!

With the realization of the dromocratic-type progress, humanity will stop being diverse. It will tend to divide only into hopeful populations (who are allowed the hope that they will reach, in the future, someday, the speed that they are accumulating, which will give them access to the possible - that is, to the project, the decision, the infinite: speed is the hope of the West) and despairing populations, blocked by the inferiority of their technological vehicles, living and subsiding in a finite world."

Quoted from Speed and politics (New York 1986, originally published in 1977). Translated from the French by Mark Polizzotti.

Friday, July 28, 2006


Action to us is an unmediated, immediate process of movement, distribution, and change. Action is the connection between human beings and the concrete world of things, flows, borders, walls, channels, networks, assemblages and machine-parts. We do not consider the pre-programmed, ready-made theatre of everyday reproduction (working, consuming, pursuing reified ideals or fulfilling the social rôles given to us by the machine) to be action, since it is only a process of repetition, feeding the Now with the maintenance of the assemblage without actually changing any part of it. Action to us is a production process, a creation of interactions not pre-designed by the wannabe hegemonic logic of capital and State.

When humans act, they use authority to pursue their desires, they take possession of their immediate environment and re-direct the paths they are supposed to follow when traversing it. They take command over items; tools, words, machines, thoughts, buildings and vehicles, and make weapons out of them, thus trying to maintain their authority and keep the space created inside-but-outside of the assemblage their own. A rioting metasubject makes the street into a war-zone of new distribution of movement, meaning, and belonging; a factory-worker metasubject stops working and changes the factory building into common property no longer accumulating value but housing a refusal and a breaking of work logic; a metasubject of neighbours stops using the national currency, instead giving each other necessities and favours without the need of any kind of monetary equivalent, bystepping market logic and the rule of value; a revolutionary conscious group of Italians, a communist metasubject, stops paying for commodities and services, collectively expropriating food and other goods, collectively going to the cinema without paying, etc; an unemployed metasubject, trapped in the factory of workfare and the underpaid labour enforced - as a gift to the ideology of work - upon those keeping inflation down, gets enough of the modern slavery it performs, starts sabotaging and destroying, keeping down the pace, extending breaks, opposing the bosses and so on, in this way
acting against the assemblage, producing a difference and an Other-ness, utilizing the holes in the network of logic and domination and filling them with rooms of new relations between human beings and their existence.

This is, as mentioned above, an immediate and unmediated process. Immediate because it happens in relation to a given moment, under given circumstances, in relation to a given collective. It is too fast to be subjected to the programming of official organization or traditional rôles of interaction (unions, parties, etc) or the subjectivity of ideology ("we, the workers", "we, the students", "we, the unemployed") because it moves beyond such borders, and therefore it is always unmediated. Action, pure and simple. Local, diverse, heterogeneous, it is never interested in quantitative measurements; it does not matter how "big" the "results" are on the scale of the Now, nor does it matter many the participants are. They will always, as long as they are actually acting, be a cluster of diverse manifolds waging perpetual war against the Now. Of course, this kind of war can not be "won"; we are not interested in making capital kneel to our command or seizing the controls of the State machine. What we want to do, what all true action is striving for, is to make both capital and State, with all their attached sub-machines, channels, networks, divisions and ideology, to be superfluous and obsolete. They need to be destroyed, of course, but if no production of Other-ness supplements this destruction, they will only re-emerge and reproduce themselves out of the ashes, quite possibly strengthened by the process and ready for the next battle. Their obliteration can therefore only be achieved by the Other-ness produced within them, the refusal created in the holes in the assemblage, expanding until the external is no longer external, since no internal remains to oppose it; the megamachine will then only be a fossil. And the action will carry on, of course, since this is when real history begins.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


We often speak of ideology, and we do it in a very broad sense; the term is not simply referring to the different thought-packages bought and sold on the market of ideas (i.e. liberalism, socialism, fascism, etc) but to a whole system of interaction and production of existence. In a sense we are inspired by Althusser, since we like to discuss ideology as an imaginative relationship between a subject (or metasubject) and its concrete, real circumstances. It is a matter of viewpoint, lines of thought, notions of truth, rights and wrongs, and so on, but primarily of the production of subjects. Ideology is manufacturing the notion of individuality as well as the notion of belonging to a group, the borders between "individual" and "collective", between "me" and "society". The false dichotomy between the lone person and the group is one of ideology’s foremost victories, for without it, the mode of production we are witnessing would be impossible.

The subject-production is a separating business and the ways of separation are manifold and diverse. From the main axis of society, that is, division of labour, lines of difference springs through the whole social spectrum. We must point out that we have no problem with difference in a general way, on the contrary. Variations and the shifting of singularities are our closest allies, the multitudes of swarming rebellion our only hope. But these changing flows and anti-productions are something quite other than the separation of ideology and its counterparts in the physical machine-park (distribution of work tasks, organization of labour, formal hierarchies as well as informal ones, firm policies, and so on). Ideology maintains borders, keeps straight canals running, paints everything in black and white. It reproduces combat between polar opposites, reduces warfare to a question of winning or losing. It recuperates words and meanings, uses them as banners and unquestionable truths ("we must defend democracy", "the open society is threatened", "freedom needs to be obtained", etc). We are constantly confronted by these tendencies in diverse fields and are seldom surprised by the firm grip of striated thinking, at least not when we see it where it is bound to be at its strongest (news, politicians' talk, school-industry and capitalist propaganda, etc). Neither do we expect the supposedly rebellious "anti-movement" to be free of ideology; such an assumption would be utterly naive. But still, we are sometimes struck by the almost obscene one-mindedness penetrating every pore of human interaction.

For instance, much of the Left is operating under the banner of ideology, a fact that lies at the bottom of leftist self-strangulation and the "movement's" inability to produce something other than capitalist clones and cliché-ridden parodies of revolutionary romanticism. We need not mention the most obvious cases of this, since it should be clear to anyone; the belief in mass organization, manifestations, strict codes of analysis, etc, is swiftly declining, even though it always keep giving birth to new ways of safe-guarding Status Quo. It is a seemingly inescapable tendency working inside the leftist movement, a tendency dooming the "counter-culture" to being the simple inversion of the "mainstream culture." "Bad" capitalism becomes "good" capitalism, with an etiquette calling it "socialism", "direct democracy," or some other brand. Notions like "freedom", "justice" and "equality" become fixed ideals with very unclear and imprecise meanings, making the leftist struggle with an evangelic conscience telling him that the world needs to be saved and that only the righteous Left can save it. Ideology thus blinds honestly struggling people to the fact that they are only strengthening the logic they claim to oppose.

Also, the borders drawn by ideology spread discord and division in a way that cripples resistance. Among the struggling metasubjects, ideology directs attitudes and conflicts; for example, the ultra-feminist metasubject hates the "male chauvinist" metasubject (which, according to ultra-feminist ideology, includes all men - people with penis - that are acting according to their "male" ideology of conduct; one should not forget that "male" behaviour also is a product of ideology) and sees it as its rightful duty to attack it in every given situation, verbal or physical. In the same way, fascists and anti-fascists, Muslims and Jews, Stalinists and anarchists, are attacking each other. This division, this imaginative separation based in non-factual matters, is keeping (re-)production running and maintaining the dynamics of Status Quo.

Why is it non-factual? Because it is based upon imagined differences. That someone is trapped in a "different" ideology (not that they are really different; since they are all supporting the Now, they are rather variations of a theme: the theme of subjectivity) than yourself does not mean that you have conflicting real interests; ultra-feminists, chauvinist men, fascists, anti-fascists, Muslims, Jews, Stalinists, and anarchists could all be in the same actual position in the machine-park, for example producing surplus-value or distributing information on the market. Of course the differences in ideology are real and, needless to say, influential. But still they are fictive, and possible to change and remove with clear analysis and a recognition of the common collective interest. The positions in the machine-park are not. They can change only through a complete destruction and production, a making of Other-ness, of new ways of interacting and knowing. And this process, which if course is a slow and difficult one, is a dismantling of subjectivity, an erasing of the striated differences of the Now and an outlet of the diverse manifolds of the Maybe. Ideology, in the sense we experience it today, will not be needed when the contemporary mode of production is completely annihilated.

But let's not succumb to the ideology of utopian futurism. It does not matter what tomorrow could look like, as long as we do not take decisive action in and against the Now of today. We do not abide waiting around. The Other-ness will not present itself ready-made of the Day of The Revolution. It needs to be made and work, to keep expanding and growing. The gradual destruction of capitalist ideology is of course an important aspect of this process, one that needs to be maintained on an everyday basis. And let's not forget that the union of common interests is a very constructive force; once the fictive differences between metasubjects are seen through, mergings and concrete collective warfare produce solidarity and affinity that can destroy the old borders and separations.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Quote: Bruno Latour

"Let us start at the relatively 'easy' part, the ontological one. The first move is a counter-Copernican revolution that forces the two poles, Nature and Society, to shift to the center and to fuse into one another. This fusing, however, is no simple matter, and the properties of the two poles have to be completely redistributed, since it was their separation that defined them. The main property of the object pole was to guarantee that our world of knowledge not be human-made (whatever the definition of 'human' we chose: self, mind, brain, collective); while the main property of the subject pole was, on the contrary, to guarantee that our knowledge be human-made (whichever definition of human activity one sticks to: transcendental Ego, society, subject, mind, brain, epistemes, language games, praxis, labour). In addition, the very distinction between the two poles - the distinction which Kant made so sharp - warranted that that those two contradictory guarantees would not be confused, because the two transcendences - that of the object 'out there' and that of the subject/society 'up there' - are sources of authority only if they are as far apart as possible. They should not mingle with one another any more than the executive branch of government with the judiciary branch.

The word 'fact' sums up this threefold system of guarantees. A fact is at once what is fabricated and what is not fabricated by anyone. But the two meanings of the word are never simultaneously present, so that we always feel the it necessary to alternate between two assymetric explanations for the solidity of reality - constructivism or realism. "

Quoted from One more turn after the social turn (1992)

Thursday, May 25, 2006


The idea of the individual, i.e. the notion that rational subjects proceed through existence as isolated entities in some way separated from the external circumstances, is a cornerstone in the logic governing our perception of reality. Even though few persons would argue that the individual is completely above or beyond the natural and social world, we still need to believe in the rational free choice, the individual life-project, and the duty to take responsibility for our actions if we are to fit in smoothly in the systems of production and consumption which make contemporary society work.

These systems, however, does not work according to any basic assumption of individual freedom. On the contrary. Even the most idealistic of neo-liberals could not deny that the State, for example, or the big corporations, are functioning according to the combined efforts of many human and non-human actions, which means that one individual’s wishes and desires become unimportant in the perspective of the assemblage. Even the Market, the capitalist god, is something-beyond, something-bigger, than the lone subject (even though the market-worshippers often like to speak of it as the sum of many individual desires and nothing more, an idea that only illuminates the contradictory doctrines of liberal thought). Thus, individual freedom is always subordinated to a structure, to the functioning logic of an assemblage. And this assemblage is non-personal. It is more than a metasubject, since it easily subjects many diverse and conflicting metasubjects to its hegemony. In fact, these inner dynamics, the conflicting interests within the assemblage, is what makes it grow and expand. As we have stated before (and many before us): Capital is defined by its immanent antagonisms. But these antagonisms also provide the possibility to destroy Capital itself. This contradiction, full of more complexity than it superficially proposes, we will discuss in a moment. First, permit us to regard the logic of assemblage more closely.

The machine-parts
There are, from our horizon, not One machine. Even when we speak of the megamachine, this does not mean that there exists a single logic governing life globally. It is a convenient simplification to regard Capital as such a logic, but one must also keep in mind that Capital itself is not One. Rather, it is a constant striving to bring together conflicting unities in ways suitable to its own interests. It is a gathering-in of disparate productions: a wannabe-logic, if there ever was one. But it is still not hegemonic in any essentialist manner. It does not have any essence outside of the diverse productive functions, combining to make the whole work, both producing and subjecting to the network they are creating.

An assemblage is, consequently, the production of logic. It is not a question of which comes first: the production or the logic. Rather, they are both parts of the creative process; none precedes the other (this might be hard to grasp if one is locked in chronological thought, but on the other hand chronological thought has always been part of a conservative outlook and needs to be dismantled). This production of logic will never be completed, will never reach its ultimate destination. It will continue to create itself, to discard that which has become useless and to find new ways of providing itself with energy and spatial manifestation.

The manifold and diverse machine-parts contribute to the production in many different and sometimes contradictory ways. The factories produce commodities, consumer goods and other machine-parts, culture produces values, ideals, dreams and life-stories (as does “counter-culture”, by the way), science produces truth, technology, and frontiers, the State produces spatial limitations, judicial barriers, and apparatuses of physical control and supervision, human beings produce surplus value, dreams, and innovation (operating under the logic it also is creating), the food industry produces energy, surplus consumption and pathological eating-disorders, the branding industry produces meaning, prestige and lack of meaning, etc.

These different forms of production always overlap and feed off each other, forging bonds, splitting up, competing or co-operating. The fundamental point about the assemblage is that it is a closed system. The canals and sub-systems of circulation that it creates are always constructions, things that need to be made and kept operational. The streams of energy, the truths and meanings travelling through the assemblage and keeping it intact and growing, does not work outside of the assemblage itself. They only keep their productive capacity as long as they are kept inside the assemblage. They are dependent on each other and on their respective positions in the system to work as reliable parts of the whole. Soon, it is their only wish and their exclusive desire to keep producing the way they are supposed to. And that is why Capital uses brute violence and naked oppression only when no other opportunities of control present themselves. After all, the production of logic works much better if it is supervised only by its own production.

So far the assemblage of Capital as it is-becomes. What of the potential for destruction of the wannabe-logic inherent in the system itself, what of the conflict-lines and their supposed rôles?

In contemporary revolutionary theory, discussions often touch upon the fundamental question whether the system’s immanent antagonisms in themselves, as they are, are enough to provide the moving-beyond Capital’s logic. The most obvious answer, in our opinion, is of course no. The antagonisms as they are are nothing more than the motor of Capital’s operation and expansion; to stress these conflicts’ self-directing path to revolution in any deterministic or fatalist way would then be contra-revolutionary.

But still, the conflicts, the impossibilities contained in the assemblage’s logic, are the only possible points if departure of a striving without. Anything else would be idealism: to suppose the construction of Without from anywhere else than Within is indeed a transcendental outlook. We have discussed this topic briefly before (Utopia); the Maybe, the outside, is a constant thing Other. It is a distant thing, but still it is conceived here and now, it is a desire within the Now striving to move without. The striving, the battles fought within, are always subordinated to the logic of Now, since they always are operating due to the conflict-lines serving this logic. Thus, they are limited battles, wars erupting along the lines inside the assemblage. They can never be “won” as long as they follow these lines, as long as they do not contain a serious element of crossing-over, of refusal against the logic provided by the assemblage.

The important thing is therefore not just to engage in war, but to try to move the battle away from the most obvious battlefield, i.e. to make the act of war something that does not serve the production of logic within. For example, activism is a kind of warfare typical of the logic of Now: a group of people assuming the rôle of antagonists, shouldering the responsibility to change things, using radical jargon inherent in the system, acting according to the assumed logic of revolutionaries. In many ways, this serves the production process of the assemblage. Therefore, activism should try to move beyond this process, to refuse to be activism, to be something working against the pacifying channels and compromises of Capital. If it truly wishes to be a revolutionary activity, it should simply move away from the assemblage instead of closer to it.

This is of course a very difficult matter. We do not have the answer to how it should be done in any “pure” way. As we said, the refusal and the moving-without must start in the struggle, anything else would be impossible (the flight lines must begin in the conflict lines). Activists still serve a different purpose than for example cops do in the antagonism, and activism sometimes (but far from always!) focuses on the most dire and fragile conflicts, the ones of the greatest destructive potential. But this goes for non-activists, too. After all, most people are not activists. What is essential is that also these conflicts, the struggles outside of the activist field, are being reinforced, provided with fuel and articulated (and understood) in a way not serving the logic of Capital. Anti-production, we would call it; flight-lines will only start to sprout if they are produced; otherwise they will only remain assemblage-producing conflict-lines.