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Fight or Flight? - De File — LiveJournal
Does Collecting Make You Feel Dirty?
Fight or Flight?
Turning from Ina onto First, my head still full of Multitude and its theoretical antecedents, my thoughts raced from Negri's "taking leave" to the equivalent concept in Deleuze and Guattari's "lines of flight." Either one is sexy enough to make me drop my boxer briefs. But at what price would that pleasure come? You can talk all you want about how "institutions" are hopelessly modern and therefore incapable of solving postmodern problems, but they continue to exist. And the Religious Right just finished a long march through them here in the United States. Do you think people like Tom Coburn worry about the flaws intrinsic to the politics of representation? I can see the value in a fantasy of perpetual flight, but only so long as no one forgets that it's a fantasy.

Mode: bedward
Muse: my indigestion

4 comments or Leave a comment
tommix From: tommix Date: November 11th, 2004 02:53 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I had mentioned to Carlos, regarding the elections, that Bush's victory was the U.S.'s moribund grasp for the last vestiges of nation state sovereignty, alla Hardt and Negri. So perhaps that the election worked through modern institutions to prop up this belief in nation states, rather than something scary to both the right and the left, namely empire, doesn't imply that institutions are still in play the way they were, the way we want them to be, or the way they will function in the future.

Tighty-whities all the way!
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: November 11th, 2004 05:10 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Clarification needed. Do you mean the negative in "doesn't" imply? If so, you'd be taking more of a Hardt and Negri line. But "the way they will function in the future" seems to complicate that.
tommix From: tommix Date: November 11th, 2004 06:05 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I am taking the Hardt and Negri position -- that traditional institutions are being replaced, superseded, repositioned by empire -- but my mention of future institutions was a little sloppy on my part. I was simply arguing that the use of institutions now could be more of a nostalgia for institutions, or fear of institutions dying off, and this doesn't imply that institutions will function the same way in the future. I'm not trying to say that there will be institutions in the future that resemble past or current ones, but rather that a potential "return of repressed" institutions could very well rear their heads.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: November 11th, 2004 07:06 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
That's what I thought you were saying. My reply to your comment was garbled too. Something got deleted. Anyway, I like the dream but am not sure of the reality. Isn't a vision of the withering away of institutions just a displaced form of the vision of the withering away of the state? What confuses me in either scenario is my sense that the only thing that can take the place of either states or institutions in the world as presently arranged is the market. But the market, as we all know, requires propping up by states and institutions. It's like a torus knot. I realize, mind you, that early 90s Mondo 2000/Wired fantasy, as extended through the heterotopia of file sharing, seems to hold the promise of a world where exchange is decoupled from the market. Since the concrete manifestations of that alternative have, however, been entirely parasitic on the market up to this point, I have a hard time envisioning it becoming truly self-sufficient. I think it's worth pointing out that the first two Star Trek series opt for a state that has transcended the market. That's what makes its worldview eerily communistic. Deep Space Nine, however, is another matter. In the latter you see the return of the repressed in the form of merchants who keep the station functioning. All in all, I think I'd rather be under Captain Picard's command.
4 comments or Leave a comment