Frames /sing

kvond

What Larval Subjects Loves to Hate

An Economy of Hatred

Larval Subjects, in his usual unconscious fashion, presents a very interesting twin of “hatreds”, a twining that perhaps reveals something about the economy of hatred itself…

[A post titled “Two Things I Hate”]

First, users who reduce others to vehicles of their own jouissance or enjoyment. I don’t care whether it is the sadistic serial killer that reduces the other person to their flesh (Dexter excepted), evacuating their own subjectivity, turning them into a vehicle for their own jouissance, or the child predator, the politician who cynically manipulates his flock evoking religion or nationalism, or Bernie Madoff, or the player. They’re all equivalent as far as I’m concerned. There is something horrifying in this evacuation of subjectivity.

Second, the creatures of ressentiment  who seem to delight in tearing others down, in finding ways to torture them, who have orgies of hate together when they get ignored seeing themselves as victims rather than being the assholes that they are. Racists, jilted white men, insecure nationalists, misogynists and homophobes, trolls, Christianists and religious zealots of all sorts that are convinced they’re victims, gossips, etc., etc., etc. All of them stink with the stench of ressentiment, filled with a hatred of all that is affirmative and great, doing all they can to tear these things down. In all these cases they seem obsessed with tearing down others in the spirit of revenge for their own unrealized and unactualized desires, functioning as police to those that would do what they dream of doing but are too fearful to pursue.

The Whiff of Sulfur

What is interesting, or what strikes me as significant is how the performance of the second hatred, the way in which Larval Subjects delights in essentializing others who veritably “stink” carries out the program of the first. That is, by seeing a near animal class of “ressentiment” kinds, Larval Subjects makes these types “vehicles of [his] own enjoyment”. While he does not manipulate these types as his “flock”, the investment is in making all these kinds odiferous to the palate of his nose. This is what hate does, it designs pockets of an imagined-to-be  deposited enjoyment in the body of others. What Larval Subjects hates (in the second class) are the hidden enjoyments ressentiment-kinds are able to vampirically draw out of “what is affirmative and great”. When we hate the homophobe, we are hating that they enjoy their own hatred of other kinds. When we hate the nationalist, we are hating the enjoyment they have in their nationalism. When we hate victim-types, we hate the enjoyment victims have in being a victim. But ever when we hate what we are hating is not only how, in what form, but even more so, the inappropriate intensity of the enjoyment of others. It is that transgressive intensity that produces the “stench” that Larval Subjects abhors, expressed by the body itself. In short, when we hate we hate that the others enjoy.

And in so doing, in the very framing of our hatred, we insure that we are able to secret enjoy ourselves through the vehicle of these “others”.

What is interesting about this “I hate the enjoyment of others” is that one often works unconsciously to make sure that our hatred deposits are ever perpetuated. There MUST be ressentiment others in order for us to continue our secret (from ourselves) extraction of enjoyment. Not only do we invest in imagining them, seeing their kind (or as it were smelling their kind, everywhere), most inordinately, we work unconsciously through real actions to, in feedback fashion, construct these kinds to insure our opposition to them. When we hate what we are opposed to we work to make sure that our hatred can be maintained.

Now is there room for hatred of a kind? The most religious and philosophically minded of us might say no, that hatred is a passive and unconscious relation. And with this I am inclined to agree. Yet through the powers of hatred much can be organized and put into action. What is important perhaps is realizing the economies that are employed in hatred, and the investments we have in what we hate (how we perpetuate both the fantasy image and the real situation). Futher, perhaps, there are ways to tap down into the thymotic forces upon which hatred draws so that what customarily has been classified as hatred can be seen in another, more retributive light. The way in which our thymotic sense can act forcefully without the reactive and unconscious jealousies of the pleasures of others.

Addendum [Larval Subjects responds]:

Larval Subjects has reposted his once deleted post, and I can say to this little bit about “class”:

It is very “classy” for Kvond to copy a post I deleted a half an hour before he wrote it and post it on his blog, but such is the nature of the internet.

Of course I have no control over when or where authors decide to delete their material once sent out to the public in an attempt to resculpt their message. Heavens, Harman chose to delete an entire blog”s worth of material in order to reconstruct his e-past. But I will say that I had copied Larval Subject’s post and began commenting upon it before Larval Subjects decided to delete it (obviously), and that by the time I had posted my thoughts on his hatreds for the Madoffs and internet trolls of the world, I then, subsequently, found that he had deleted it. Was it my responsibility or “class” (interesting choice of word) to then delete my commentary on the gentlemanly threshold of Larval Subject’s sensitivities? I felt that the post had revelatory value beyond even Larval Subject’s person, and retained it.

More than once Larval Subjects has seen fit to try to control the message by deleting material that I have written, and more than once I have had to repost on my own blog space comments that he has censored (and he has subsquently appologized for at least some of his deletions). He has this right of deletion, but of course I have my own right of expression. That he now invokes “class” as the order of his attempt to restrain my expressed thinking about his hatreds, is perhaps significant. As for the “energy” I have expended in writing about Larval Subjects (these Object-oriented types are very concerned about “energy”, both in terms of expenditure and suckage), it seems only fitting to the community of blogged philosophy that when some persons ally themselves upon an ethic of the essentialization of others (trolls, vampires, minotaurs), and then raise that ethical opposition to the level of “hatred” as Larval Subjects clearly does, some “energy” really does seem in order to be expended. While I do not “hate” high-minded hypocrites (not even close), I do sometimes enjoy unmasking them (knowing, in fact enjoying, full well that when I am hypocritical the favor should be returned). 

At least now, as Larval Subjects has been somewhat forced into reposting his hatreds, and owning up to them a bit, others can decide the appropriateness of Larval Subject’s “warrior class” contempt for the weak, no doubt not even a psychoanalytic source for his hatred of trolls and others, as he apparently sees himself as something of a contemptuous positive “warrior”…

“[a] warrior that has contempt for the weak because of an affirmation of his own qualities of strength, prowess in battle”

As for Larval Subject’s mystification why…

“At any rate, I am thoroughly baffled as to why Kvond would want to defend all those sad soles that gnash their teeth at others, striving to make the lives of these others miserable, drawing self-worth only from the way in which they make these others cower through brute force, politics, or rhetoric”

Where Larval Subjects sees the “gnashing of teeth” of so many condemned, weak souls, attempting to draw down his greatness, I see only interested parties, each with their own “projects”, some of which we will mix with well, some less so. I do not see, or try not to see essentialized types, and I do not when I can, engage in hatred.

Addendum Deux [Larval Comments on Comments]:

Larval continues his defense of his hatreds of others, something he feels well-justified in. But what I find of interest in his update is how the master prevaricator tries to sidestep his embrace of his contempt for others (what he also calls his hatred). This is how it is with Larval, whether one is talking about Kant or Bateson, or talking about his own words, he continually tries to perform slight of three-card-monty hand. Here he claims that in the above I have simply quoted him out of context:

I do not endorse the warrior as a model, but cite Nietzsche’s example of the warrior from the first essay of the Genealogy. Someone else, Alexei, had argued that Nietzsche does not give an account of negation coming from a place of affirmation, and I cited this as evidence to the contrary. Nietzsche complicates this significantly in his genealogy, but nonetheless holds that negations can be based on affirmation.

What he neglects to mention was that the reason that Nietzsche came up on the first place was that Alexei, rather perceptively, reinforced my point that Larval Subjects was acting as a passive resenter when building his list of hated persons, and it was to Nietzsche that Alexei turned. When Larvus then jumped in to claim that indeed Nietzsche embraced a kind of hatred as affirmative, that of a warrior who has contempt for those that tug at his cape, it was rather explicitly clear that Larvus was taking refuge in this image against the criticism that he was merely passive and reactive and (jealous) in his hatreds. In affirming the activity of Nietzschean contempt, he was effectively renaming his own hatred.

So we are left with one of two consequences.

1. Larval Subjects indeeds sees himself as a Nietzschean warrior who can affirmatively hold contempt for those below him (and he was not simply playing the good professor, as he loves to do, and making a textual point, a textual point that matters very little since Alexei was talking about Larval Subject’s “hatred” and not “contempt”).

2. Or, Larval Subjects has returned to the original position, and simply hates some folks because he thinks hatred is justified (in such a case Alexei’s Nietzsche’s point is re-engaged: only the resenting slave can hate).

Larval Subjects again repeats his mystification at why I resist his (delicious) hatred…

What Kvond neglects to mention is that the pathetic souls I am referring to are rabid nationalists, homophobes, misogynists, racists, etc… Namely all of those who seem to take delight in causing misery to and in hurting others. I fail to see why these should be hatreds one is ashamed of owning up to. I continue to find it baffling as to why Kvond or the person who wrote me offline would want to defend such people. Is this really where we’ve arrived with the project of critique?

Again we find the ever slippery Larvus attempting to prevaricate. In his list of those evil types are “rabid” human beings (of course), but also he LEAVES OUT internet “trolls” which he had included in the original list of those he has hatred for. In fact, the presence of trolls in the list was the very reason why Levi claimed that he took the post down in the first place (when he could have just as easily deleted the word “trolls”). One should know that Levi had been for some time talking about internet trolls, and Grey Vampires and Minotaurs, joining Graham Harman in seeing them as a kind of diseased sort:

I took the post down because of the reference to trolls and because I did not care to have a repeat of arguments over trolls and what constitutes trollishness.

This is the original list of people Levi hates:

Racists, jilted white men, insecure nationalists, misogynists and homophobes, trolls, Christianists and religious zealots of all sorts that are convinced they’re victims, gossips, etc., etc., etc.

This is the new, cleaned up list:

rabid nationalists, homophobes, misogynists, racists, etc…

This is classic Levi, ever shifting where he stands, sometimes it seems because he can’t keep track of it himself.

That being said, even in qualifying this new, abridged list of hated persons, even the “rabid” types…No, I do not hate these persons, nor do I advocate other people hating them for very much the same reasons that I originally posted. Hatred is something to be avoided, if possible.

Advertisements

19 responses to “What Larval Subjects Loves to Hate

  1. Alexei July 4, 2009 at 6:41 pm

    I haven’t looked at Nietzsche’s writings in ages, but isn’t hatred the mode of ressentiment par excellence? I could be totally wrong (I never liked Nietzsche much, and never spent much time thinking about him), but I always thought that one of the distinguishing features of Noble morality — at the level of affect at least — was an absence of hatred, and a respect for one’s enemy/opponent. (you find this again in Schmitt). Only a slave can really hate.

    • kvond July 4, 2009 at 7:04 pm

      Alexei,

      I think you are very right (as I recall the adventures of slave morality), and it is to the point that I was trying to make. Hatred for Nietzsche is essentially a form of jealousy and passivity. In this actually he shares much with his twin Spinoza.

      The question is, as Larval hates the ressentimentors (as he imagines them), is this not a form of ressentiment? And ultimately, is not this an objection to enjoyment itself.

      This is of course no small order of question (and Larval Subjects isn’t even the subject here). What weighs in the balance are the entire politics of metaphysics which follow.

      For instance…

      An interesting parallel to hatred perhaps can be found in the mere oppositional nature of what apparently qualifies Speculative Realists. As Larval himself says, it is not upon what SR philosophies agree upon so much as what they are against…

      The speculative realists are more united by what they oppose, than by the philosophical claims they share in common. In short, all of the SR positions share the thesis that the human and human phenomena have no special place within being and are opposed to the thesis that we must start with an analysis of something pertaining to the human (mind, history, language, power, signs, etc.) to properly pose questions of ontology.

      http://larvalsubjects.wordpress.com/2009/07/04/speculative-realism-does-not-exist/

      In the context of Larval Subject’s hatreds an oppositional framework for philosophizing sound interesting, and makes one wonder if it might be the enjoyments of human-first philosophies that drives some of this oppositional philosophizing.

      [This union of oppositional fronts for SR is accomplished in violation of Harman’s recent dictate that one should not like a philosopher because you like his/her conclusions.]

      The human-being should not enjoy itself as centralized, a sin of its egotism no doubt. And I find myself in resistance to just those kinds of pleasures. There are very good reasons for being suspicious of them. But, if we are to change the minds of those we disagree with, it is for us to not only point out some categorical error they have made (some supposed illicit, perhaps Kantian correlation), as if policing their thought structures, but one must also create theoretical pleasure domes into which their human-centric enjoyments can move.

      But there is much else behind at least Larval Subject’s rejection of a certain body of philosophical reasoning, for instance some things linked to what he calls the Minotaurs of textuality (that enjoyment), the continental preclusions of objection outside the text. The pleasures of the Minotaur are to be renounced…but should they be resented?

  2. Alexei July 4, 2009 at 7:57 pm

    Meh.

    I personally have no problem with a bunch of people who share little more than a particular theoretical orientation getting together and working through a problem space. I don’t even think they need to make room for what they perceive to be the dilettantish preoccupations of other thinkers. That’s what Plato did when he founded the Academy (and instructed everyone to burn democritus’s work, whenever they found it), what Aristotle did with his Lyceum, what the romantics did, what Russell and Moore, The Logical Positivists, and the Frankfurt School did. Great. There’s nothing wrong with opposing something per se. It’s just a good idea to know what you’re talking about when you oppose something. I mean, shadow boxing is fun, but it makes you look ridiculous when you do it in public, and you’ll sound delusional if you start telling onlookers that you’re engaged with some great evil in the process.

    Ultimately the only defense that bad readings of texts ever have is something like the minotaur complaint, which is just a fancy way of saying someone has lost sight of the forest for the trees (and which is only legitimate when a given claim has — already — been shown to be false on factual grounds, and someone insists on defending with respect to the text that proves it wrong in the first place). That whole bestiary is just a nice way to disarm anyone who disagrees. BEsides, as someone else has mentioned, the folks who complain the most about being hounded by unfounded allegations are the first ones to hurl them at others…

    These remark aside, I agree that the significant problem to be dealt with emerges when some kind of opposition becomes a form of no-saying (which is strangely ever-present in LS’ posts: so-and-so says X, but — no — it must be Y; the Law commands, but — no — it creates desires to the contrary, and therefore produces what it forbids, etc.). Ultimately it’s just not interesting. And frankly, who really cares? I know what I know, and work on a few things besides. With some luck, maybe I’ll be big in Japan.

  3. kvond July 4, 2009 at 8:35 pm

    Alexei: “That’s what Plato did when he founded the Academy (and instructed everyone to burn democritus’s work, whenever they found it), what Aristotle did with his Lyceum, what the romantics did, what Russell and Moore, The Logical Positivists, and the Frankfurt School did. Great. There’s nothing wrong with opposing something per se.”

    Kvond: I agree with your references, but SR does not seem to fit nicely with such examples. The logical positivists largely agreed with each other on positive grounds (not on oppositional grounds), and were just trying to work the exact nature of such a position. SR rather (which operates more like an internet brand name) is composed of a kind of pure oppositionality, each of the thinkers disagreeing radically with each other almost as much as they are with what they are opposing.

    So when Graham says against those that like Foucault:

    “I also fear that people often like him because they agree with his conclusions, which in fact is not one of the best reasons to like a philosopher. That’s treating a philosopher like a useful screwdriver or hammer instead of as a philosopher: “He advances my political agenda.””

    I am unsure how this differs from how or why he likes Meillassoux. Instead of an outright “political agenda” it seems to be something of a metaphysical one. We all agree correlationalism must GO! As there is no unifying assumption or base, it is really something more of a political (in the microworld of published philosophies), or maybe even commercial, movement.

    Alexei: “Ultimately the only defense that bad readings of texts ever have is something like the minotaur complaint, which is just a fancy way of saying someone has lost sight of the forest for the trees…That whole bestiary is just a nice way to disarm anyone who disagrees.

    Kvond: I see something more than this “disarming”. It is also an attempt to rally emotional support through the essentialization of others. It is the process of degrading those that object to. There is no coincidence that fantastical monsters are those chosen. Perhaps you would see this as trite, but of course just this kinds of thinking is what inspires Graham to feel justified in violating all sorts of boundaries of electronic communication and discourse. Graham at least sees energy suckers as people to be defeated at all cost.

    Alexei: “These remark aside, I agree that the significant problem to be dealt with emerges when some kind of opposition becomes a form of no-saying (which is strangely ever-present in LS’ posts: so-and-so says X, but — no — it must be Y; the Law commands, but — no — it creates desires to the contrary, and therefore produces what it forbids, etc.). Ultimately it’s just not interesting. And frankly, who really cares?”

    Kvond: Interesting observations, and they dovetail some with my own contention that when we too vigorously oppose something we end up producing the very thing we oppose. What is missing of course is dialogue itself, and the realization that investment guides position. There is a great deal of oppositionality in Larval Subjects, something I feel is exposed in his list of hatreds. Not only is he quite opposed (apparently), but also quite sensitive to be being opposed (which in turn expresses itself in a kind of odd sort of quixotic academic sycophancy).

  4. Alexei July 4, 2009 at 9:10 pm

    Well, i don’t want to nitpick examples too much, but I don’t think the positivists did actually agree with one another on positive grounds, as you’ve put it. Any consenss seems to have come out of a shared misreading of the tractatus — and even that didn’t really last that long. But the details don’t really matter. As far as I’m concerned, being against something is as good as any other rallying call. But at some moment in time, once you’ve gathered the tribe, you need to get on with the positive work. At that point, being ‘against’ isn’t enough — and taking shots at stuff one doesn’t even care to understand is simply philistine. One might as well simply burn the book and get it over with. On that point I think you and I are in agreement.

    As for Harman’s work, I don’t know what to say, really. I’m not impressed (but who am I anyway, and who cares what I think?). What I dislike about it the most, is that it pattenly refuses to engage with anything but its own concerns. It’s hermetic, and strangely authoritarian: accept these premises or quit reading (there’s one point in the Guerrilla Metaphysics after criticizing Husserl’s 5th or 6th Investigation — when the one most relevant to Harman’s work is actually the 3rd one, the one dealing with mereology — where Harman says something like either show that the argument isn’t valid or accept it, where I throw up my hands and say, well there goes any real engagement). But past that, I don’t know. There’s a terrible tendency, to be sure, to try to make someone else’s work ‘relevant’ to our own (Serres discusses this in terms of the figure of the parasite in his book by that name). But if we hate the conclusion, why would we bother with it (save to destroy it)? Again, I see no way around this issue. One has to find something compelling in order to take it up. Whether it’s a theoretical orientation, a method, or a conclusion doesn’t seem to matter much to me. But that doesn’t mean one should uncritically or dogmatically accept these things. And I know no good philosopher who is uncritical in this respect.

    At any rate, you’re right. There is a conspicuous lack of any actual intellectual intercourse (as my bad translation of Marx’s German Ideology would have it), any real dialogue. So much the worse for the interwebz and the hopes of blogging I guess. Frankly, I’m too bored with arguing with folks who don’t really want to argue, who simply be recognized as a ‘fellow intellectual,’ or as ‘a better intellectual,’ to even feign interest in polemics or discussions. that’s a mug’s game.

    For my part, I’m beginning to think that a new erotics is needed. Maybe a new Mysterium, a new mythology of intelectual pursuit is needed.

  5. kvond July 4, 2009 at 9:27 pm

    Alexei: “For my part, I’m beginning to think that a new erotics is needed. Maybe a new Mysterium, a new mythology of intelectual pursuit is needed.”

    Kvond: I like this very much. Perhaps it can be connected to Sloterdijk’s notion of a Thymotics.

    Alexei: “What I dislike about it the most, is that it pattenly refuses to engage with anything but its own concerns. It’s hermetic, and strangely authoritarian: accept these premises or quit reading”

    Kvond: Hmmm. I agree that it is quite hermetic in foundational assumptions (aside from assigning itself the very important position of overthrowing the evils of Correlationism), it cannot think outside of Husserl/Heidegger. I found it of lingering interest until I realized that dialogue really isn’t on the agenda. But when I finally read his essay on “Vicarious Causation” I truly realized it was all rather hoaky. The hoard of scientific causation was simply tossed out without any substitution other than a rather creative imagination of Husserl/Heidegger pyrotechniques, leaving one to realize that one is reading a kind of science ficiton, or really philosophos-fiction. I kind of feel that he betrayed the trust of an earnest reader. For all Harman’s criticism of others (for instance his recent dismissal of Foucault because Foucault never talks about non-human to non-human object interaction), he is remarkably thin in talking about objects at all, except in only the wildest and most anthropomorphic of ways.

    Alexei: “So much the worse for the interwebz and the hopes of blogging I guess. Frankly, I’m too bored with arguing with folks who don’t really want to argue, who simply be recognized as a ‘fellow intellectual,’ or as ‘a better intellectual,’ to even feign interest in polemics or discussions. that’s a mug’s game.”

    kvond: I do think that the blog-world needs to be worked through. It is a rich resource and process. You are right though, “fellow intellectual” seems to be a running aim here, strangely, it is just the kind of preoccupation that drives the professionals of philosophy.

  6. Alexei July 4, 2009 at 9:43 pm

    I know next to nothing about Sloterdijk, so maybe there’s an interesting connection to be worked through there between an new erotic of understanding (something Walter Benjamin went on about in a few places), and tymotics. Might be an interesting subject indeed.

  7. kvond July 4, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    Alexei,

    This is my wide-ranging post on Sloterdijk:

    https://kvond.wordpress.com/2009/03/18/an-achillean-economy-the-economy-of-thymotics-and-anger-sloterdijk/

    It includes two links to reviews of his “Anger and Time”. In the context of the present discussion is his critique of Leftist politics which work on “banking” anger and resentment. He argues for a non-internalized righteous anger, an expressiveness.

  8. Alexei July 4, 2009 at 10:13 pm

    A friend of mine actually translated Zorn und Zeit (as Rage and Time) for Columbia UP. It should be out shortly (although I gather you read German, so that probably doesn’t matter). Given your interest in things Greek, the first chpater of the book might interest you, since it starts with a really neat reading of Achilles. Anyway, I’ll definitely take a look at your post. Maybe there’s some more work to be done.

    • kvond July 4, 2009 at 10:16 pm

      Wonderful news! (I do not read German at all). It is definitely in conjunction with the reading of Achilles that my interest lies. I look forward to your friend’s publication. Do you have any idea when it’s coming? Google shows no results, and I really would like to look at that chapter in particular.

  9. Alexei July 4, 2009 at 10:34 pm

    I’m not sure when it’s planned for release. I was under the impression that the translation had been finished some 6 moths ago, but a quick look at CUP’s website doesn’t have it listed either. This might have something to do with the fact that a new edition was just recently published in Germany, and if SLoterdijk has expanded his book, the transaltion might also need to be amended. Who knows. In any case, I don’t expect CUP will release any news until december.

    • kvond July 4, 2009 at 10:36 pm

      Sorrowful. But thanks for the guess. Knowing me I suppose I’ll be onto other interests by then. But perhaps I’ll cycle back to it in a few years.

  10. jl44 July 5, 2009 at 10:47 am

    Is this post on hatred by Levi a recent one?

    If so he seems to have taken it down.

  11. kvond July 5, 2009 at 11:26 am

    Its from yesterday, July 4. If you google ” “Two Things I hate” Larval Subjects ” you can see the original post time in the preview that Google offers.

  12. jl44 July 5, 2009 at 12:00 pm

    Thanks for that.

  13. john doyle July 5, 2009 at 8:24 pm

    I too went to look for the post on Larval Subjects, discovering that Sinthome has taken it down. I presume he had second thoughts, either about the ideas expressed in the post or about presenting them for public scrutiny.

    • kvond July 5, 2009 at 8:27 pm

      I suppose we must be thankful for the small window into the nature of his hatreds, however briefly opened. I don’t think we are mislead into taking them as honest expressions.

      One more contextual contribution for his dysaffinity for “trolls” (and, as we might imagine, Grey Vampires and Minotaurs as well).

  14. Pingback: Two Things I Hate « Larval Subjects .

  15. Pingback: Humanities and Ponzi: Just What Secures the Investment of Thought « Frames /sing

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: