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Tag Archives: Lack

Theories of Lack and Capitalist Meaning Structures

Long title, short thought.

The reason why the theoretical affirmation of “lack” at the ontological level, even if it be the constitutive effects of an illusionary lack deemed to be necessary for language use or subjecthood, (something that can be said to have rigourously begun with Hegel), is  to be cautioned against, is that as these philosophies arise out of the reflection of the Capitalist values that pervade…the guiding purchase of THE completing object. The danger is to normalize these values of pur(chase) through the descriptive ontologies that assert lack as necessity. The attempted domestication of Capitalist-value lack through such descriptions works to entrench it as the only imaginable, part of the very grammar out of which we reason our freedoms. If I am stalwart on a Spinozist renunciation of lack, primarily in the pragmatic prescriptions for freedom, it is because only an ontological schematic which sees beyond this valuation of lack (rather than simply theorizing it into existence through an efficacy of reflection/expression), would open up the conceptual space for liberations outside of purchase, or the gritted embrace of a circulation existentialist jouissance amid desire (see how it burns).  Rather, it seems the pragmatic, constructive assemblages of affective bodies, ground-up articulations of bodies in assemblage, that seem most open to the kinds of imagined communities human beings may make possible, even at an asymptotic limit. Only by refusing the programmatic valuation of lack itself in the conceptual space we design is its surpass possible, in redescription…a redescription that only maintains its claim through performance.

This being said, I do NOT see Capitalism as an evil, or even a degredation (while acknowledging the cruelties specific to its forms), but rather the path open to community yet imagined through the increase in affects possible. Part of this possiblity is the critique of the fundamental value of (pur)chase as the engine of exchange. It is in reasoning out of one plentitude, to another plentitude that I believe such possibilities reside.


Dust…Beware Fantasies of Being

For tho’ he had vanished, tho’ entombed not,

Thin, as if the awe of a fugative, was the dust.

Lines 255 and 256 of the Antigone stand in the way of any purely immanent, plentitudnal reading of the world’s ontology. A thin layer of dust has made the body of Polynikes “disappear”. In order to understand this one must see this naturalistically. A dust storm has billowed up in the night. At dawn, the body which could not be buried has literally become invisibile in the thinnest of layers. This layer is a co-incidence of the contingent into Fate, caught up in imaginary relations: the imagination of Lack.

So invisible it was that Hölderlin, Heidegger’s “prophet of future Being”, refused to, or mis-translated it into absence, in a parentheses of negatives:

Nichts feierlichs. Es war kein Grabmal nicht.

Nur zarter Staub, wie wenn man das Verbot

Gescheut. (265-67).