Vitalism wants to have done with the will to nothingness, but believes it can do so by placing its faith in creative evolution, and by insisting that solar extinction is merely a local and temporary setback, which life will overcome by transforming its conditions of embodiment, whether by…
"[M]ust we abjure every existing instrument, technique, or method enveloped by capitalist social forms? No doubt, it is relatively easy to identify those modes of contemporary information technology whose stupefying, anti-social consequences render worthy of abolition. But there are other technologies that are perhaps not so easily abolished. Consider antivirals. Every aspect of their development is implicated in capitalist institutions and enveloped by its social forms. Does this mean antivirals are intrinsically capitalist and hence ought to play no role in a post-capitalist society? A negative response recommends itself here: while technological function is socially mediated and enveloped by the value form, this need not be a saturated mediation: it need not exhaust the functional potentialities of the technology in question. Some might retort that talk of repurposing is a distraction at best, an alibi for reformism at worst, because the development of antivirals (like every other contemporary technology) is necessarily linked to that of capitalist social relations, the proliferation of lethal viruses being a direct consequence of industrialised livestock production and globalisation. Were it not for these two factors, the objection goes, we would not be so susceptible to increasing varieties of pathogens and human welfare would not be mortgaged to the development of antivirals. The dismantling of capitalism, according to this line of argument, would radically diminish if not wholly eliminate our increasing dependence on antivirals as well as other technological artefacts.
Now, it is undoubtedly true that there is a direct correlation between the proliferation of life-threatening viruses and the conditions of globalised capitalist society. It may also be true that dismantling the latter is the surest means of eradicating the former. And there is no doubt that the redistribution of antivirals on the basis of need rather than wealth is a more pressing political concern than speculating on their role in post-capitalist society. Nevertheless, the urgency of the former does not obviate the importance of the latter. The absolute or indeterminate negation of capitalist society and all its works would eradicate the pathologies generated by capitalism only at the cost of cancelling the emancipatory potentials latent in technologies whose functioning is currently subordinated to capital. The abstract negation of functional context is also the negation of emancipatory possibilities whose release depends upon the re-contextualisation of function. Such abstraction in-determines instead of determining the fusion of cognitive and practical orientation required for the realisation of communism. It abolishes the capitalist present at the cost of cancelling the post-capitalist future locked up within it. Foreclosing the future, blinkered negation cannot but wish to re-instate the past."
- Ray Brassier, ‘Wandering Abstraction’ (via spiritandteeth)
"On one level, Deleuze and Guattari tell us, the sea is the archetype of smooth space. Yet ‘it was the first to encounter the demands of increasingly strict striation’. Maritime space was striated as a function of two astronomical and geographical gains: bearings, obtained by a set of calculations based on exact observation of the stars and the sun; and the map, which intertwines meridians and parallels, longitudes and latitudes, plotting regions known and unknown onto a grid. Slowly, and beginning in the fifteenth century, the striated progressively took hold, turning an intensive, directional, non-metric multiplicity into an extensive, dimensional, metric multiplicity."
- de Beistegui, Immanence - Deleuze and Philosophy (via spiritandteeth)