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“Belief in the world”: The everyday politics of globalism

| 14 June 2002
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What are we? What is the future? What is
the past? What magic fluid envelops us
and hides from us the things it is most
important for us to know? We are born, we
live, and we die in the midst of the marvelous.
— Napoleon Bonaparte

This is not a world history. Though the human animal stands at its center, neither is it an anthropology. It is an inquiry into the formative aspects of the development of modernity through the lens, or the eye, of genealogy. No need here to rehearse what everyone knows. Let us just say — in order to get to the heart of things — that genealogy is about power.1 And so, at the most general, most useful level, this essay is about power and the formation of the modern world. Its particular concern is with the globalizing history of the West. But let us draw a third distinction. This is not a history of empires. Traditional categorizations — system, hegemony, sovereignty — are not at the heart of what follows. The globalizing history at issue is not one Thucydides would write. Nor does it owe much to Le Carré, Tom Clancy, or Frederick Forsyth. “Intrigue” would serve well enough to sum up their world: the world of brinkmanship, great cunning and high stakes. Our concern is more purposely mundane. It is with a certain strata, or plane of our history; the plane which marks the passage into bodies, through souls, of so many disciplines, regulations, rules. If this history can be revealed from the vantage of international studies it is doubtless because it shares with that field a common frontier: the problem, and problematic of security. Though this essay comes at it from below, dragging to it criticism and philosophy, what follows might indeed be seen in the light of that discourse. Albeit consulting an atypical range of authors, and concerned with so many issues traditionally ignored (prisons, schools, bodies, time … ), this work has developed nonetheless on the outer edge of the shadow of traditional international studies. And as such it must be read. Set in the light of what is disregarded there. For what I would mark out here are elements of a history which has yet to be revealed either there or elsewhere. Not a high politics of security, but a subterranean history which could, by another name, be a global history of power.

It is strange that it was Napoleon, a man better known as the embodiment of grand politics, who musing upon this world expressed it so clearly: “What are we? What is the future? What is the past? What magic fluid envelops us and hides from us the things it is most important for us to know? We are born, we live, and we die in the midst of the marvelous.”2 I remember reading this passage to a friend. “The mundane is fascinating,” he replied. What might be this magic fluid that envelops us? What does it conceal — what does it hide from us? I had been concerned up until this point with discourse: the storehouse of statements, signs, systems, constitutive of the effective knowledge, or “truth” of a culture.3 But now was suggested something more; a positive overcoding of our existence, a pollution of resonance, a dulling down of the marvelous. Between so many points along the arc of security — not the grand politics of states, but the minor politics of the everyday — could there be discerned, as a kind of geometry of correspondence, or space of coincidence, held doubtless in tension, but nonetheless constituting — unstable though evolving, between so many institutions — the blueprint of a general method4, an economy or organization, or otherwise a fluid, an ocean overlaying us?

Was this Bonaparte not the same who had dreamt of the world of detail? What had he seen in that dream? “I have believed in it ever since I was fifteen. I was concerned with it then, and this memory lives within me, as an obsession never to be abandoned … “5. Though not the first to discover it, we know he set out to organize it6, this Newton of the “small bodies”, the small movements, who wished to arrange around him “a mechanism of power that would enable him to see the very smallest event”7 — and by means of discipline, “‘to embrace the whole of this vast machine without the slightest detail escaping his attention.’”8 Might a globalism of sorts be discerned in this gaze bearing down on the mundane? Might a history of security working up from the detail not otherwise be, for the want of a better term, a globalizing tendency of power? Could the magic fluid that surrounds us — a concealment of the “marvelous” — be formed of so many refusals, humiliations, denials, of all kinds of infamies, intensities, desires? Might a politics of globalism not indeed be found resting upon that deepest level of the ordering of our world — how it was forged, who in it was judged, and how we with so many have been shaped?

No longer would it seem enough to write history from the points from which power announced its presence (the alliances, the reason, the diplomatics of state). A new method suggested itself: “One must conduct an ascending analysis of power, starting, that is, from its infinitesimal mechanisms, which have their own history, their trajectory, their own techniques and tactics, and then see how these mechanisms of power have been — and continue to be — invested, colonized, utilized, involuted, transformed, displaced, extended, etc., by ever more general mechanisms and by forms of global domination.”9 It was around the vicissitudes of the marvelous that I set out to gather, as a subjugated memory, or illicit history, the experience and the struggle around globalism and power. If I had been unsatisfied with seeing “globalization” as simply the next stage of capital — if I had been seeking, without knowing, something unnamable — it is doubtless because I myself am playing that strange little game whereby everyday of our lives we vie with something so essential, and yet invisible, and through so many practices which constitute us, and at the same time doubtless hide from us I know not what marvels — exclude or otherwise blunt so many things — practices, conceits, which set apart, or taken together, in correspondence with one another, living within each other, supporting or canceling out the need for one or other, might otherwise form a kind of fluid surrounding us.

A double sense began to appear around the word “contraction.” Not simply the contraction of the extension of the world (the very actuality of globalism), but a contraction as a function of an evolving political globalism, grounded in the practices and rationalities of security. Friends soon enough countered that globalism concerns the outward orientation of the mind of man, and that nothing could be so far from its essence as the narrowing down I imagined. It has been my attempt, however, to provide the basis for precisely this alternative conception. Globalism — to my mind — has got nothing to do with expansion, but rather everything to do with reduction. Not simply the reduction of the expanse of the world, but the reduction of the mind of man — a progressive securitization. We must explore that other side of rationality: the fear that drives knowledge, and which constitutes it, though everywhere enlightenment is given the ring of heroism. I aim to reveal how globalism is in fact a fearful rationality. It delimits and it reduces on the basis of this fear. Immediately suggested is that subjugated archive — of so many condemned, disgraced, disqualified. And indeed this will be my main point: that globalism is a technology of the State, reductive in its very essence of the vibrancy and resonance of life and the world, and it grows within people along the lines of a fearing of things (and a will borne of fear to provide means for the securing of things), and that in order to escape it — and to radically reorient our present — we’d do well to reread the history of our societies relative to this fear. For this fear is how we’ve enclosed ourselves in upon ourselves, and as such it is the wellspring for the fluid that surrounds us, shielding the marvelous, living its violence in us, hiding so much.10

I: Traversing oceans

If this fear, this concealment, has washed over existence it is to the extent to which we’ve forgotten, or lost trust in, an ocean that lies both within and around us.

Illustration 1. Click to enlarge

Illustration 2. Click to enlarge

Compare two visions. First, a drawing by Charles Baudelaire (Illustration 1). The scene is of rolling seas. At the center, on a mountainous wave, the keel of a large ship rises up from a dark valley. No hint of security. Second, find the fortress — the lazaretto, watchful of the liquid continent, permanent, stable (Illustration 2). In the sky, idyllic clouds frame the hills. The building’s façade at once calming and humbling. The message of this print is simple to discern. Serenity, calm, oversight, organization. So many windows say everything has its place. The building cut at right angles portrays strength and endurance. It is a vision of modernity, though it dates from the 15th century. But our former is not so easily assigned. What is this vision of the keel of a boat? The poem to which it’s attached gives us its context. Sketched below the final stanza of ‘Les Sept vieillards,’ (See Appendix) Baudelaire in this poem describes a typically fantastic vision. He is walking one day in the dank streets of the city when he sees amid the mire an old beggar of sorts:

Swarming city, city full of dreams,
Where the ghost in broad day flags the traveler!
The mysteries all around vent like steam
From the drains of the powerful monster.11

Not bent but broken, slipping in the mud and snow, an old yellowed beggar makes his way toward the poet, “pupils steeped in gall”; “not indifferent to the universe but hostile.” Suddenly there are two, borne from the same hell hole: spectral and indistinguishable, marching with the same rhythm. And then more! Minute by minute they multiply: there are seven! The poet watches aghast — but can he wait for an eighth? He turns away in horror, too terrified to see his “second self” next appear. From this procession from Hell he flees, returning where valor had already combated weariness in setting out at all. But then the twist:

… raging like a drunk who sees double,
Terrified, I closed the gate on my fence,
Sick with chills, spirit feverish and troubled,
Blessed by the mystery and the nonsense!12

He ends with the final lines,

In vain my reason wanted to take the bar;
The storm in playing took me to sea in a roar,
And my heart danced, danced, old large, mast-less barge
On a sea monstrous and without shores!

We come to our vision. Contrary to our fortress there is no serenity here. Worse even, there is positive danger. This ship is fettered. It is mast-less — it is impotent. But this is how Baudelaire likes it — not indifferent but violent! This is what he grabs joy from in this vision trudging toward him — this vision, no less, of fate (the eighth as his second self)! His carcass turns to run, but in a deeper place momentarily he finds epiphany and magic in this dirty old tramp, this muckworm! Back in his hovel, with Reason overwhelmed, his heart dances — O blessed nonsense! He is fearless. And the existence he sketches, thankful for its fragility, is borne out on an ocean that is limitless. Heaven bless this delirium — this overcoming of rationalism! Lost in the absurdity, raging like a madman, we imagine the Parisian dancing and understanding, in a positive glow, the words of Hölderlin on the fate of Hyperion:

But we are fated
To find no foothold, no rest,
And suffering mortals
Dwindle and fall
Headlong from one
Hour to the next,
Hurled like water
From ledge to ledge
Downward for years to the vague abyss.13

If Hölderlin laments the human misadventure, Baudelaire is ecstatic: Bring forth disaster! For there is teaching in the fall, as there was in his vision (opposing utilitarianism that seeks only pleasure, eschewing pain). In perfect opposition to our second representation — the fortress with its ninety eyes — we find here a celebration not of the powers but the limits to Reason’s Empire. Stripped of his ego (having witnessed his sorry destiny), the poet dances free, magically relieved of worry, his energies redoubled. In the lunacy he is free, and it is in this freedom that he holds on — not to land or fixture, but to the ocean of all experience. There is no direction to this journey. The greatest joy is that nothing is certain.14 How different in nature from the vision from surety and calm of the Genoese quarantine!

Illustration 3. Click to enlarge

And as if to underscore it — but also, to move to our point — regard a second example of this latter (Illustration 3). Here our two philosophies are brought together. In the distance the lazaretto. Flat across the landscape. In the foreground, choppy waters, and above clouds threatening. But it is the center that holds the message; a lake just like a mirror. An artificial bay, perfectly circular. A ship is sailing in, another sedately anchored. The narrow channel transitional — a passageway and junction. The interface from which thereafter the order of things will reign.15

If were possible, I would like to suggest that the essence of globalization might be found in this crossing. Set against Baudelaire’s ocean, contrast this building and this lake; a breathless moment in the procession of order, an idealized portrait. It is significant that this last be a fantasy of the mind. It is the cerebral dream, but we must oppose to it its opposite, which here in the etching lies just on the edge of it. All too well is betrayed what the main object is born for. To the dangers of the waters will be opposed the tranquility of the mirror. It is the Empire of Mind — which in Baudelaire fails — which is here celebrated with pride. Not unlike that other location of the sovereign eye that Michel Foucault would contrast with that other listless vessel, the ship of fools. Where general confinement — the Zuchthaus, the almshouse — would await the idiot cargo of boats and mussel shells, here a perfect calm awaits all mast-less travelers. It is the calm that at least one Florentine sought after his whole life. Leonardo Da Vinci, it is said, was consumed in his final years by a fear which surely he would have found met and answered here — a fear of uncontrollable waters; a fear which surpassed, for this first man of science, that of earthquake, famine and fire:

Among irremediable and destructive terrors the inundations caused by rivers in flood should certainly be set before every other dreadful and terrifying movement, nor is it, as some have thought, surpassed by destruction by fire. The food of the fire is disunited, and the mischief done by the destructive course of the river will be continuous until, attended by its valleys, it ends in the sea, the universal base and only resting place of the wandering waters of the river.16

Illustration 4. Click to enlarge

We can see readily enough in the astonishing representations he left to us the violent center of the core of his dream. A deluge overtakes a town (Illustration 4). Landscape, animal and man are swept up in its path. It comes from nowhere — it just comes. Rivers that burst their banks, oceans that overcome lands, heavens that break and rain down a flood: these are the dramas and the solitary visions which would take to the heart of this greatest intelligence. He studied these monstrous torrents his whole life.17 He worked toward, but never completed, a book on the nature of water. He was fascinated, it seems, above all with its encompassing properties. Water would always find a way around any obstacle. Wherever space opened up, were it there, it filled it. Its will was unassailable. But whereas he feared it, he also engineered around it, instigating one of the boldest of all human endeavors — the attempt, no less, to channel nature18 — perhaps in doing so influencing, in ways all too fateful, his compatriot and contemporary, Niccolò Machiavelli, who (so typical of him) turns the vision of horror into a light, illuminating human power:

It is not unknown to me that many have held and hold the opinion that worldly things are so governed by fortune and by God, that men cannot correct them with their prudence, indeed that they have no remedy at all; and on account of this they might judge that one need not sweat much over things but let oneself be governed by chance. This opinion has been believed more in our times because of the great variability of things which have been seen and are seen every day, beyond every human conjecture. When I have thought about this sometimes, I have been in some part inclined to their opinion. Nonetheless, so that our free will not be eliminated, I judge that it might be true that fortune is arbiter of half of our actions, but also that she leaves the other half, or close to it, for us to govern. And I liken her to one of these violent rivers which, when they become enraged, flood the plains, ruin the trees and buildings, lift earth from this part, drop in another; each person flees before them, everyone yields to their impetus without being able to hinder them in any regard. And although they are like this, it is not as if men, when times are quiet, could not provide for them with dikes and dams so that when they rise later, either they go by canal or their impetus is neither so wanton nor so damaging.19

Perhaps then, after all, it is not so much the lazaretto as the canal which ought to stand as our first monument to man’s maturity. Over and above confining, embanking and directing is indeed by far the more prominent activity of our modernity. Power cannot be — nor was it intentionally for so very long — the equivalent of King Canute holding back the wave. One cannot contain an ocean, no matter how many cells one builds. But I’m stepping ahead of myself. For the initial contrast I want to emphasize here is indeed that between the ordered tranquility of the idealized lake and the disordered abandon of the Parisian. For though these words and these visions of Machiavelli and Leonardo lead us to a theme central to any genealogy of globalization (the history of channeling; the organization of movements), perhaps it is in these starker figures that we find our higher aspect. It is the latter — the ocean of becoming on which the poet sails mast-less — that the State will rise up to traverse and to order. The ocean within which it itself, as an amalgam of so many listless souls, will soon enough mark out a location. Conversely, it is the lazar house, with its steady and regular signal, that will transform so many directionless vessels into tranquil vehicles, like those represented coming in safe from the high seas. In doing so it will take its place, along an arc of evolving institutions, in the production of the greater order — the State “standing out,” regularizing and dividing its internal elements, fortifying and bracing itself, reducing what is extraneous.

Not simply nature’s rivers, but every wandering water will be encompassed. Once again it is Baudelaire who leaps between the centuries, suggesting in a poem named ‘Le voyage,’ a possible series linking the dreams of the Renaissance scientist and the gaze of the Florentine technician, indeed much of the imaginary of the early modernity:

There are those whose desires are formed of clouds,
And who dream, thus the cannon conscripts came,
The vast voluptuous, changeable, unknowable crowds
The human mind can never name.20

Whereas the scientist will be consumed by the terrors of free rivers, it is his compatriot and friend — Niccolò Machiavelli — who will instinctually find in these inveterate nightmares a different ocean to control. The rivers of men. And more so than that, in this incredible turn of phrase, “so that our free will not be eliminated,” it is Machiavelli who will best understand the paradox and epiphany of the relation between man and power. He will establish free will as the heart of the latter, and run a series through that will between the latter and the former. With the ascendance of this series — the security grid which the infamous Machiavel would do so much to establish (if not yet the institutions, the language) — we find the transformation of the engineers’ vision. Waters become bodies. The crowd becomes the ocean. Upon the high seas an old ghost will appear.21 Within philosophy’s outlook no longer does the citizen stand alone at the center. The State stands behind him — the well-ordered Republic. It will seek to live within him. And to this end, despite its look outward, the renascentia romanitatis will turn the eye once again inward. To the old Delphic principle, “Know thyself”, will be added the injunction, “Order thyself.” And where the message is not heeded glorious fortune appears to assume the task. For Machiavelli’s concern was not simply with virtue. It is with the standing out in history of the political manifestation of authority. As the scientist assesses his instruments so the technician looks to his means — to the training of men, the cloud of their desires, and the management of their forces.22

Indeed, in this transformation — the taking up and the facing of this cloudstorm of men — might we not find the tremor of the scientist pass through to the technician? The two meld together: for Leonardo, the fear of being washed out to sea is negated in Machiavelli’s organization of the republican body. For Machiavelli, the attempt to measure and make regular one’s humors is mirrored in these studies Leonardo makes of water. Each establishes “being” at the very heart of their efforts — attempting in turn to ground it, to secure it, amid becoming. The scientist will traverse the ocean of knowledge. The technician will traverse the ocean of men. But though great navigators and journeymen, each in their separate ways, in each of their souls will live a certain calling to return. To measure one’s bearings and keep one eye on the shore. For though between them they discover two worlds, theirs is the will to encompass and know. Though so much will be owed to them, and history transformed by them, what emanates from them is the ontology of the fortress. It is the gaze of the lazaretto — a rejection of the greater ocean. A fear, one could say, of sailing mast-less.

II: Worldliness

But a generation later this caution will find an accuser:

1568: Los Teques

Never again will the river reflect his face, his panache of lofty plumes. This time the gods did not listen to his wife, Urquía, who pleaded that neither bullets nor disease should touch him and that sleep, the brother of death, should never forget to return him to the world at the end of each night. The invaders felled Guaicaipuro with bullets. Since the Indians elected him chief, there was no truce in this valley, or in the Avila Mountains. In the newly born city of Caracas people crossed themselves when in a low voice they spoke his name. Confronting death and its officials the last of the free men has fallen shouting, Kill me, kill me, free yourselves from fear.23

Of all the critiques of globalization I’ve read I never found one more powerful than this. “Belief in the world,” wrote Gilles Deleuze, “is what we lack most; we have completely lost the world; they have dispossessed us of it.”24 To my mind there is an unremarked aspect to globalization: the construction of the fortress of “being”, and the dilution, thereby, of the resonance of the world through the will to certainty of knowledge. Knowledge — the eye that will go out into the world and take within itself all encountered danger — will establish not only the conditions for the enfolding of the world in upon itself, but a distrust — as the very fuel of its journey — that will dispossess man from his world as much as it provides the conditions by which he will possess it. I will describe in a moment how this distrust and diminution developed. But for now the point to emphasize is the overall effect: the desertion from the world with the removal from the natural scheme of man in his self-consciousness.25 To my mind, globalism — the ascendance of that will to certainty, that distrust of the world — ought to be seen as a kind of nihilism that lives within things when they despair (that is to say, when they fear a relation to outside worlds, and head out into the world only with the goal of securing the frontiers of their own). This nihilism will ascend in polyvalent ways; but most particularly, and most virulently, through the distasteful history whereby institutions, power relations, modes of domination, etc., have arisen to exploit, deepen, and condition this fear.26 Globalism, for us here, is the march through the world not only of order but a kind of stupidity; a stupidity that seeks not connection but dominion, or otherwise the absence of that which it fears.

It is said that we fear what we do not sensually perceive. This may be true. But let us say, while noting that the eye is perhaps the least sensual of the senses, that the greater reaction of animal man to fear is not flight, but seeing.27 I am supposing a critical link between fear and mobility in this way: fear mobilizes the eye.28 Thousands of calculations done in a split-second, the sole object to comprehend the source of fear in time and space (to chart its trajectory; the extent of its danger relative to its growth in time). Is it increasing or decreasing? Does it move nearer or retreat? These questions demand something different from sense perception. They demand the lingering of the eye on the object in question. The eye and soul become a mirror and the screen of what assails; charting it, comprehending it, all in a few moments. From being ‘here’ the soul and the eye go ‘there.’ They are displaced, and in turn they displace time and space, bringing what is there near (anticipation as “forward thought” always involves bringing the event closer to hand — telescoping it, accelerating it29). Displacement precedes flight. Soon this way of conceiving becomes the only way. Doubtless in part it was in reaction to this mechanic — which perhaps I express badly — that Nietzsche would formulate, in his attempt to escape the fortress mentality, the task of reorientation in this way: that learning to see — which he took to be prior to learning to think, or to speak, or to write — involved, “letting things come up” to the eye; allowing things themselves to approach.30 Then it would be a question not of conceiving but experiencing.

Not so globalism. I am supposing that grounded in fear (knowledge’s incessant quest to contain everything; everything, that is, which it sees — i.e., that which is a danger, or which can be used against danger), globalism by nature sets the eye out into the world to bring it back within itself. In so doing it strips the world in every direction it looks, erasing its volume, detail, resonance in a glance (in a way of focusing which also cancels). The eye in going out into the world takes the world and reduces it. Where it has seemed adventurous, or even heroic, it is in actuality the very opposite. For heroism or adventure has always depended upon a certain risk observed by the hero. Globalism admits no risk. Even in the great voyages — those of Magellan, Drake or Spilbergen — it doesn’t go out to experience anything. It goes out to know something. That is, to bring it within the dominion of man. But to the extent to which dominion increases, man “stands out”31; that is, he sets himself apart from the world. It is here that we find the genesis of the dispossession Deleuze laments. And we have a clue to its nature in what gives birth to the will to knowledge (or which in the Garden of Eden was the consequence of it32): self-consciousness. That is, identification.

Schiller once said that the ancients felt naturally and the moderns had a feeling for what is natural. We might say that whereas the ancients trusted in their world, we have a knowledge of the globe. Indeed, it is my argument that globalism can be contrasted as a synthetic, that is, artificial33 philosophy, with and against “worldliness.” My argument concerns the alienating effects of security. Part of the thesis is familiar enough — the objectification of “the Other” which transforms him or her — or it — into a sign, or a non-entity. Rather less remarked are the effects on the objectifier — for the prison-guard, like an omnipotent and hence eternally lonesome God, suffers something also. The question at issue is not so much one of a lack of spiritualism, as is often supposed, but rather a diminishing materialism; where one’s relation to the world — either captive or captor — is crucially emptied of lived-experience, or better yet, connectivity and embodiment. If a distinction can be introduced between globalism and worldliness, I mean at least the following — each of which relate to this diminution of materiality:

1) Principle of exteriority. Globalism erases the world. It is a condition of being exterior to the world, and enclosing it within a glance. Worldliness, per contra, goes out within the world; it doesn’t aim to conquer or encompass anything. 2) Principle of certainty. Globalism is grounded on security. It has developed, that is, from knowledge, and from technologies of control swarming up in a serial fashion, and as such is a power formation in its own right. Worldliness has nothing to do with control. It opposes to “knowledge” the possibilities of experience.34 3) Principle of interiority. Globalism crashes boundaries, and in doing so pulls the world in upon a “negative horizon”35; that is, the true model of the globalized citizen is the one who goes everywhere without leaving anywhere. Worldliness has nothing to do with getting anywhere. If it transgresses boundaries, it does so with a different goal. It is a question of experimentation, not destination. Its opposite vision is the secluded channel surfer. 4) Principle of trust. It follows that worldliness has little to do with the will to know which rests at the heart of globalism. Whereas the latter develops in response to the paranoia of power, the former gives up on fear, letting happen what happens as its fundamental orientation. It is no longer a question of fearing what one might encounter en route (a fear that calls on the eye to advance before the body to render all things secure), but of allowing for things — most particularly the “inattributable” within things, to unfold as they will. It is a trusting, not a distrusting. An experimentalism based not so much on hope as a kind of “confidence — a belief-in-the-world.”36 “Embark philosophers!,” implores Nietzsche37: the world seen anew as a “mad zone of indetermination and experimentation from which new connections may emerge.”38 The ontology of mind gives way to sense and experience. Hope — a forethought — gives way to trust — a sensation.

Contrary to Cartesianism (or again, Platonism), a philosophy of sensation is not dependant upon a sovereign model of knowledge. Indeed it may be inimical to it.39 One must leave what one has thought behind.40 Experimentation, after all, is empty as a concept if certainty creeps in before experience occurs. After Nietzsche it may be Deleuze who has taken this furthest. In the Deleuzian world of indetermination, “making connections,” is about all that one strives for. Contrary to globalism — the fortress of knowledge — the Deleuzian ship is “mast-less”; departing from global theory which always concerns territory, and proposing instead an open relation to experience. To this end Nietzsche’s choice of metaphor for his basic anti-foundationalism is appropriate: “I would not build a house for myself, and I count it part of my good fortune that I do not own a house. But if I had to, then I should build it as some of the Romans did — right into the sea. I should not mind sharing a few secrets with this beautiful monster.”41

Contrasted with comfort, peace, safety, and security, the ocean of worldly experience may appear fearsome42, but it is nonetheless the world we inhabit, embody and are. To be afraid of this world is in the Deleuzian sense a “stupidity.”43 “Transcendence” — the false quest for conditions of experience — would only add to the basic failure to go out into the world as it is, and engage with that world as it comes. Inertia, to Deleuze, is deadly. And to return to our nautical theme, perhaps a few words from Montaigne can be adapted and bent to our meaning: “There are thousands who are wrecked in port.”44 The question becomes one of trust45 — and through trust the freeing of oneself from fear.46 Nothing ensures that the journey will not be arduous. Indeed a relation to risk — as already suggested — would seem supposed in the very possibility of experimentation. On the other hand the stupidity of security is summed up well enough by author Tom Robbins;

Would you complain because a beautiful sunset doesn’t have a future or a shooting star a payoff? And why should romance ‘lead anywhere?’ Passion isn’t a path through the woods. Passion is the woods. Its the deepest, wildest part of the forest; the grove where the fairies still dance and obscene old vipers snooze in the booze. Everybody but the most dried up and dysfunctional is drawn to the grove and enchanted by its mysteries, but then they just can’t wait to call in the chain saws and bulldozers and replace it with a family-style restaurant or a new S&L. That’s the payoff, I guess. Safety. Security. Certainty. Yes, indeed.47

Stepping away from trancendentalism48 (the attempt to formulate conditions of possibility for experience), theorists like Deleuze — and before him, Nietzsche — point the way to a new kind of experimentalism. It is an experimentalism, in fact, which is the reverse of Kantianism: the question is no longer one of seeking one’s higher subjectivity but rather ridding oneself of it — rather as Baudelaire will depicting himself as a mast-less barge — and hence engaging a level of experience prior to the division of things into subjects and objects, outside and inside. This level of experience, argues Deleuze, is the level where sensation engages the “plane of immanence” (or the field of becoming). This plane of “sense”, with a “logic” of its own sort49, is not in any way related to “common sense”50, and rests equally outside impression.51 It is, no less (though he finds it, as noted, from a reverse perspective), the thing-in-itself (Ding an sich) found materially, not phenomenologically: established not as reasoned experience for which there are “conditions” of possibility, but a sensual experiment to which there are no pre-established paths. “If the doors of perception were cleansed,” wrote William Blake, “every thing would appear to man as it is, infinite.”52 Rather as did the Romantics53, Deleuze challenges the idea that outside “identity” and established determinations (logical or pragmatic divisions), there is only absurdity, anarchy, or chaos.54 Per contra, for Deleuze there is a “sense prior to code.”55

Most importantly, this “uncovering” — of the plane of becoming and the multiplicity of experience that follows from it and constitutes it — opens the way to the possibility of a far deeper, more powerful way of suggesting unity among things and peoples. Not the false globalism of the false suns of rationality56, but a unity borne of a recognition of that place which each of us has in that broader plane of becoming that Deleuze names the “plane of immanence.” It has nothing to do with ego — or the eye of knowledge. Removed from hubris it constitutes something much more critical. As John Rajchman notes in The Deleuze Connections, it is as if ‘under the “second nature” of our persons and identities, there lay a prior potential Life capable of bringing us together without abolishing what makes us singular.’57 Nothing to do with “transcendence” — the elevated dream of a new global citizenship — but rather a descent. A “going under” in order to go over. Going under, in this sense, is a reinsertion into the world. And again, here, we must strike a note of difference between a nascent philosophy we’re describing in outline (worldliness), and the dominant philosophy we’re criticizing in kind (globalism). Where globalism concerns an empowerment of the self and a transcendence of limits engaging with a broader whole, worldliness involves a departure from the ego and a humility that sees itself as one among millions, though valuable — indeed crucial — to the resonance of the whole.

In a semi-fictional novel by Hervé Guibert there is a passage which recounts an encounter with Michel Foucault (renamed “Muzil”, for storytelling purposes), where the nature of the withdrawal from the self (and/or from certainty, from security — perhaps even “knowledge”), and the self-same reinsertion into the world, is made clear. It refers to a plan of one Dr. Nacier to make a name for himself through the design of a high-tech suicide clinic, replacing the death agonies of whoever might seek such a service. The doctor approaches Foucault as a moral authority to lend credence, and a certain protection to the idea. “Muzil” — or Foucault — dismisses the idea as worthless, but nonetheless is quite beside himself when he and his friend, Hervé, meet following the medic’s departure. He imparts:

“This is what I told your little buddy: that nursing home of his, it shouldn’t be a place where people go to die, but a place where they pretend to die. Everything there should be luxurious, with fancy paintings and soothing music, but it would all be camouflage for the real mystery, because there’d be a little door hidden away in the corner of the clinic, perhaps behind one of those dreamily exotic pictures, and to the torpid melody of hypodermic nirvana, you’d secretly slip behind the painting, and presto, you’d vanish, quite dead in the eyes of the world, since no one would see you reappear on the other side of the wall, in the alley, with no baggage, no name, no nothing, forced to invent a new identity for yourself.”58

As Baudelaire’s barge can make no moves on its own, so here, in this reverie, all parts of oneself would eagerly be sloughed off: like stepping out of one’s skin (the possibility of being born again). Nothing need suggest sadness in this moment. The anonymity embraced is not lonely, but rather “immanent.” It is but a giving up on the ego (that part of us so intent on the will to secure), where ” … impersonality is not an alienation or an ‘inauthenticity’ of das Man, but on the contrary the condition of singularization, a lightening-up of life and its possibilities.”59 Rather like Kleist’s marionette, at issue is the loss of “bad conscience.” To be free of oneself is the first stage of “breaking out” of the prison-house of rationalization; after which, perhaps, materially, in this world, “the marvelous” can once again appear.60 And being stripped of one’s ego would, it would seem, redeliver the innocence that was lost in self-identification.61

Precisely per contra to the model of globalism with its “individualization of biographical forms”62, the “world” aspect of worldliness aims to “get away from seeing ourselves in terms of identity and identification or as distinct persons or selves, however many or ‘dissociated.’”63 The ‘arts of disappearance’ so dear to Baudrillard64; “working on one’s suicide,” in the sentient phrase of Foucault65, concern precisely giving up on the fortress model of knowledge and passing over, without assurances, to something more akin to a “sense” prior to identification (again, not a “common sense”, but something more akin to a diagram, or a field). This passing over is no less than the reinsertion of the soul into the world — its liberation from the straitjacket of identity with all of its “performances.” Contrary to the current fashion of celebrating “difference,” the way pointed to in the works of Foucault, Deleuze, and Guattari, among others66 — with some irony, as they are seen as difference’s champions — is to conceive of the self as fundamentally empty67 (that is, as counterfeit68), and that by going down below us69, as it were, something ‘smaller’ than the most specified individual, larger than the most general category.” Rajchman, The Deleuze Connections, p. 54.] we find our place democratically in the multiplicity of the world which the hubris of identity (like the hubris of the brain in Bergson’s formulation70), conceals from us.71 This world is not simply that of “all peoples”, but rather of all things; no less, indeed, than the whole of existence. The political point attendant is that the divisions which otherwise lie at the center of so much morality (normal/abnormal, vital/pathological, citizen/delinquent, etc.), fall away as absurd — absurd, that is, to all except the various organs and institutions which regulate the dominant “order of things”, and thereby the lives of men. In the “world” imagined by Deleuze or Foucault — among others I might draw upon — there is no such thing as infamy because there can be no morality; only ethics, and the importance of “friendship.”

It is clear, then, that neither worldliness nor ocean life has much to do with being governed: “I have dreamed of the scented, mountainous archipelago, lost in a deep and unknown sea where shipwreck has cast us both, forgotten, far from the laws that govern the world.”72 What Foucault and Deleuze, among others, imagine is a political divination more akin to art than to judgment. Fighting against the suffocating sense of ‘given possibilities’ (the work of mourning of Antigone), Deleuze sees in art a struggle for mobility, for vitality, against stasis — that is, that which essentially may be thought of as depression.73 Whereas transcendental philosophy has continually sought after the correct means for experiencing the world, Deleuze swaps this around. In a striking phrase, John Rajchman sums up: “Instead of looking for ‘conditions of possibility’ of sensation, we might [look] to sensation for the condition of other possibilities of life and thought.”74 An “art of seeing” based on aesthetics and sensation — taking note of singularities and not simply “unities” (nation, “politics,” media, and so on) — allows sight and thus thought to “unground” itself from established discourse and concepts. “Intuition” is revalidated as the task of feeling-thinking75 becomes not one of seeking certainties but rather “intensities.” Where the judgment-model ossifies, the sensation-model moves. In moving — in becoming vital — thought then escapes the “melancholy” of idealization, lightening the mind, body, perhaps even the soul, in order that new connections can be sought.

One point of qualification: if I argue for “trust” above “hope” it is not because I take embarking upon the ocean as a Crusoe-like adventure. I am not unaware that the real Robinson — one Alexander Selkirk — returned from his exile not a self-sustaining gentleman, but a sniveling wretch, able barely to utter two words together.76 Shipwreck may not be for everyone. “Never a social revolution without terror,” Napoleon was fond of saying. Salvation, all told, is not the proper object of trust. Rather trust is a question of refusing to fear danger77 — of retaining one’s freedom of movement, one’s maneuverability — so that when connections break down, decompositions occur and new intensities are born, we can “catch the sea foam”78, and take our place in the new dance. Memory and hope, like asceticism, will keep one where one is. Trust and belief79 measured with “active forgetting”80 allows one to go beyond where one has been. This is not a patience that waits for divine revelation.81 Nor is it a piety that prepares one for the next world. It is a “play” that goes out to experiment, verify82, and create new possibilities in this world — the world that Eduardo Galeano calls the “Great Here and Now.” Perhaps through sensation the way can be opened to a post-metaphysical, or materialist metaphysics (a materialist ontology allowing an “expressive materialism”83): not a metaphysics which grounds Being in meaning, but becoming in bodies.84 Engaging the world materially — sensually, if that word can be used without coyness — is, then, becoming worldly. This is not a security model of life; it is a challenge, and simply an orientation to — and new way of seeing — the emergence of events85 (what in Foucault leads to “problematization”), to which we must aim “not to be unworthy.”

Striking a difference from the model of transcendence, to attack globalism, then, from the standpoint of genealogy might not so much be to correct an error. It might even not be a case of dispelling ideology.86 Rather, genealogy would fashion tools for making visible forces which are concealed by a dogma which fears and which reduces. To reveal — even through the act of thinking one’s way through a history or a dream of power — is to allow for new ways of experimenting, both in thought and in action.87 The globalism I here suggest is marching is the very opposite of “worldliness”, a value whose opposition I have attempted in some way to reveal. It is an opposition that I would like to establish as the effective political backdrop to this work. The politics of globalism, read through the lens of genealogy, opens the way to reframing — bringing back in, in such an age as ours — the very broadest, deepest struggles at the heart of the organization of things; struggles which too easily are forgotten; to which we become blinded as their seemingly sole and valid outcome — order — is established and takes the air of truth. Our attempt at seeing88 is aimed instead at clearing a ground upon which something more than the lyricism of protest may flourish. Indeed this initial effort to theorize the issue of worldliness versus globalism is aimed to provide the tools for a material, manifest struggle. To my mind, the politics of globalism is but a name — or it ought to be one — for the politics of the very possibility of a life. Not the life established by biology, checked over by medicine, regularized by education, drilled in the factory, recoded in the prison, sedated by television, stimulated by banality, disposed of at the mortuary — the life we will chart, in part, through this genealogy — but an indefinite life rising up as a combination of so many free flowing forces; forces that spring up everywhere, which everyone recognizes, but which we cannot now speak of, too dangerous is it to our established “identities.”89

III: Globalization in context

If globalism can be read as knowledge’s pursuit of security (as well as the ordering effect of power/knowledge through history), presaging the inward enfolding of space (the collapse of distance rendering the world proximate and hence global), the zone of coincidence between these two might be understood, perhaps, as the political project of globalization. A political reading of globalization might be established as revealing the melding of these two aspects: in a word, how the eradication of space (i.e., the technical collapse of the world), renders effects of security in the realm of knowledge (i.e., an ordered relation between things and of things); and conversely how the evolution of knowledge establishes order and proximity in space (allowing for the world to be represented on the map of the “I can”90). In this way globalization concerns not merely the evolution of knowledge, on the one hand, or the pollution of space on the other (and hence to raise the problem of either in isolation from the other would be inadequate), but rather the political collision between them, and their fusion into a whole greater than the sum of their parts. The characteristic of this whole would be: 1) the use of motion (the technical surpassing of the world), as a modality of discipline (or, in other words, “security”); and 2) the threshold at which knowledge no longer will only dominate space, but will — and must — invest itself within time and temporality (or otherwise, the “life” of the phenomenon it seeks to comprehend and order). The latter aspect is the deeper of the two. The former concerns, simply, the uses of speed, pace, rapidity and momentum within the arena of social governance and power. Though this is important, and has yet to be comprehended in depth 91, it is the lesser of the more explosive ideas I am revealing. The latter, per contra, concerns the predestined destiny of our current predicament (the information intense world of globalization), springing forth, no less, not so much from capital as from knowledge.92 One turns to the institution which above others that has established itself on the horizon as the filter through which knowledge must pass — the State.

So the history — political and cultural, social and technological — I would reveal is one that through knowledge passes through the evolution of the State-form.93, From Max Weber: Essays in Sociology (London: Routledge, 1991), pp. 82-3). What I have in mind here, above all, are the material aspects of our lives — indeed how the whole of our existence unfolds amid objects and relations which are fundamentally ordered. This is not merely a modern bureaucratic phenomenon. Moreover, it is not only an organic one. The State-form can be found all around us: in our buildings, parks, furniture, tools, kitchenware, assorted objects, the paint on our walls … It is the order that lives within things, and within us when amid things. What is most important about our second and third denominations — the State and the State-form — is the way in which they intersect with, perhaps spring from, the actualization of being from the immanence of becoming. Whereas Weberian states transform, the “state as general effect” (in our denomination, the State capitalized), persists outside changes here or there between office-holders or the governmental class. Indeed, the most remarkable phenomena is that though in truth the state is remade with every new day, the order of things as whole persists, both yearly, across generations, indeed across eras. That political struggle occurs is not underrated, of course. And often — truth be told — politics arises not around policy but the “general effect” of an order; even if all kinds of mechanisms rise up to take that emergence and deny it of its true and effective object (the radicalism that soon becomes naivety, sublimated by politics as the art of the possible). What this general effect denominates is the remarkable phenomenon — little focused upon indeed — of a state of things in general “standing out”, as it were, amid the ocean of becoming as a whole. It is the “globalism” I would reveal as the history of evolving securities working up from our lives.] And in this sense I offer something new (indeed challenging to many — if not most — other accounts): not simply a refocusing on speed as the political technology underpinning the march of modernity — though this must surely be a viewpoint the emergence of which has been one of the more exciting theoretical developments in recent years (with the actuality itself grounding, arguably constituting, the history and realization of globality94) — but a philosophical questioning of the nature of the broader movement; being the reign of knowledge over things, and the ways in which, historically — practically, lest we forget — the world, subjected to knowledge, has not only been ordered but accelerated and transformed. The added equation being the diminution, territorialization and codification, of all kinds of lines, flows, appearances, which had nothing to do with security and much more to do with becomings: the becomings to which, in the first place, knowledge, or fear, responds.

Without doubt, the first State does not appear to fulfill a social contract.95 Upon the landscape of events it appears as a terrible violence.96 As interface between it and the absolute, the army of men is established as a working force. Amid the continual flow of becoming, the first State appears to lay claim to its being. It marks a heavy point in relations of power — a node around which power will slow down97, The Foucault Effect: Studies in Governmentality (London: Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1991), pp. 87-104).], no longer in movement, but centered around itself. In the ocean of becoming — across the plane of immanence — the first State appears as a mark of human persistence. It reflects the will to permanence — and in this sense personifies life.98 But rather as the body must be trained in order to best perform, this marking out — this “standing out” of the State in the flow of becoming — has depended, and depends, on the uses to which men can be put. Millions have gone to the wheel to secure the existence of a life beyond their own. Seeming unending cycles of violence have followed — all kinds of cruelties as order (appearance) has been established. Thought of in this way, the truth of the first State is found in reduction in two ways: the imposition of order through the physical limitation of movement, and the staking out of an aspect of becoming and the alignment of other elements around this singularity. But as presence is not permanent, and moreover is threatened by the appearance of other “states” (not simple nations, but rather “states of domination”99 or local singularities100), something more than confinement — the simple amassing of gravity — is needed if the State is to endure in history and now.

If order at the transcendental level of the State is dependent, in this way, upon presence — or permanence — in the vast plane of becoming, and if this has depended not simply upon accumulation, but also upon transformation (i.e., a dynamic adaptation to the plane of becoming itself, and also — though at a far more obvious level — of the competition between nodes, states, or center points of gravitation in this cosmos), we must, one presumes, be able thereby to trace, as a tactical history of a transcendental and evolving State security, technological frontiers in the uses of men and their accommodation to this broader State purpose. No doubt it is not freely that men give up liberty to live and die in the name of something other. This “tactical” question — of methods of political control — is arguably the most important of all “fields”, as it were, of what we understand as “political.” It points far and way above (though in all truth it may better be seen below), the more familiar limits we accept of what we imagine as politics (i.e., politics conceived of in terms of institutions, governments, parties, personnel, etc.). This transcendental survival politics of the State would cut through, if not constitute in large part, the framework within which this closer strata of “the political” unfolds. Meanwhile, at that level of the Here and Now — of the politics of everyday life, and the evolution of worldly governance — we might mark, through successive moments, the evolution of certain strategic or tactical arrangements, intersecting and supporting that transcendental history of State security. Though doubtless an ominous undertaking (not least, one must say, because there is no recorded history, and barely anything either in the way of analysis, of this at once transcendental and material plane of the State), it is to this very problem — which to me is the deepest concern with the problem of order — that the following analysis responds, in some way identifying, in the context of this history of permanentizing, the ways and the means, the technologies and the strategies, used by power, organized in the field of becoming, to secure its own presence as mark of the life of man.

I am concerned, then, with the interrelation between the globalism of general safety (the globalism of the will to knowledge as power and order), on the one hand, and an effect of its evolution on the other (the collapse of spatial expanse and the rendering of the world proximate, rapid, immediate). What is particularly important is the extent to which this latter aspect — following on from the former — becomes self-sustaining and self-generating; moreover, bending back on the first aspect and producing effects of governance or order. The mechanism is a simple one: as the distance between things collapses (as what is distant is rendered proximate as the world folds in upon itself), the pace of life picks up. The self has to mobilize at ever-increasing pace (simply because we exist in a world based on private property — speed in this instance being the “hidden side of capital”101). The demand for speed demands new and ever complex forms of reflexivity (itself feeding into the global consciousness which feeds the acceleration). The end result is governance through exhaustion coupled with self-organization that allows for the structural disappearance of that field of tactical and strategic alignments under the sign of domination and order — the State. As man establishes a world (weltbildend), the reduction of phenomena which allows for survival gathers man within the process. Speed emerges as a general principle of safety (the eye that habitually passes out into the world; a forgetting of the local, of the immediate manifestations of power), and political technology (underpinning the mechanism — and constituting it — whereby man will be rendered governed). It is through the will to order at the lowest level (the gaze that sets the eye in motion through the world), that the impetus is released for the ascendance of the will to know that will clear space for — indeed, call out for — ever generalizing, globalizing mechanisms of control.

Taken as a whole, this mechanism explains how globalization ascends from the mundane: how in order to understand it at all we must redirect our focus from — while not losing heed of — the voice of the global master in the form of multinational corporations and institutions and look instead to how globalism ascends within each of us, and how ultimately it finds its pool of energy, its means of sustenance, there. If our fear is of universal knowledge, we’d do well to look to how the most mundane of all things — our bodies, our souls, the landscape of everyday life — was secured, involuted, invested and transformed. As a world phenomenon, what is at stake — no less — is the emergence to dominance of the State as a Being on the landscape that we compose, as the plane of becoming. In other words, how as a political form it has aggregated and transformed (in many ways diminished), what we are, and how we are. This latter is important, for as we have seen in our last section, the politics of globalism is about more than simply what is cancelled out in that coming to Being of the State. It is more than simply the right to walk unknown paths. It is the very possibility, which is at the very core of our destiny, to find our place unhindered upon that plane of immanence. For in transforming us, the State has transformed how we can engage with becoming — no doubt why, for philosophers like Deleuze, the notion of creating a “shock” within the doxa (within, that is, our familiar ways of thinking), is not an idle concept, but may be — as we shall see — the last condition that we have to partake in this great adventure that is living.

Posed another way, I am interested in two forms of erasure and their combined effect as an order. On the one hand, the erasure of space (the pollution of extension by speed and the steady ascendance to dominance of the vehicle). On the other, a more profound reduction: the erasure of resonance as order is established, through knowledge, in the world of men and things. That the two are related is as simple as noting that looking is in actual fact always a “moving.”102 On the one hand we have the folding in upon itself of the surface of the world — or the rendering known, and hence nil, the field of the very globe. As knowledge, or sight, passes over and through space, the horizon approaches, entering the known.103 No longer is there a zone of indetermination beyond the bounds of what is seen. For the vehicle will take the eye right over any boundary, bringing knowledge of the beyond into the eye of the mind. Hence the real time pollution of space always creates effects of certainty. On the other hand, I am concerned with the progressive and assertive project of canceling out a certain range of things — things not altogether useful to, or which immediately have a bearing on, the survival of the eye which looks. Whether that eye be an institution, or that out of which so many institutions have developed, the effect is the same. The reduction of all phenomena to the appropriable or the useable.

IV: Outline for further research

In the ambitious space of thought set out thus far — the conceptualization of globalism as the concealment of becoming, and globalization as the political project of the dull mind of order — we can establish at least four much more mundane questions demanding our attention. These can be taken as guides for immediate and future research: 1) The problem of the emergence of the state relative to the crowd and to knowledge. Here the effort must be to outline the means by which a basic level of knowledge of state forces developed through early modern and modern history, and to the extent to which these have allowed — indeed grounded — the transformation of political governance that must most concern us as a theoretical and political question (the displacement of spatial for temporal, or kinetic, modes of governance). 2) As an outcome, the progressive colonization of the soul of the citizen by the organisms of civil defense. This history is important relative to two developments: a) the evolution of decentralized systems which live within individuals and transform them in kind; b) the beginnings — through this process — of automated relations of governmentality that ground the temporal organization of state in the ascendant. Where everywhere the dominant ideology has it that markets are challenging the efficacy of the state, we must argue, per contra, that the evolution of modern governance has relied upon decentralization and dispersal as its basic economy — that the state has disappeared only to the extent to which: a) it has inscripted itself within the command structure of individuals; and b) to the extent to which autonomous systems of self-generational governance have allowed for its disappearance.

A key concern for me has been the impetus of order fed into the productive chain of the citizenry as a whole. This marks the conditions of possibility for the eclipse of the state, but also the grounding of a third aspect for further elucidation and research. 3) The displacement of the self — both as a philosophical question (the hijacking of the soul), and as a socio-technical, geo-chronographical phenomenon (the progressive displacement of perception and bodies through the reign of what Paul Virilio will call “the vehicle”). We must find here the context and explanation for the ever-forward-moving age in which we live. Again, we must read the eclipse of the state as somewhat more enigmatic than has been done until now. Revealing the ways in which we govern and mobilize ourselves — or are encouraged to — we must expose the lie, which is surely dangerous, that the old politics of discipline simply no longer applies. As spatial technologies of control have ceded to temporal or kinetic ones, it may be the case that we’re more governed than ever. 4) The coupling of control and motion in the “generalized arrival” of globalization. Finally, this narrative will reach a conclusion. We must examine the possibility that the speed revolution of transportation and communication is producing — in this age of telepresence — the effects of a physical incarceration while establishing the continued conditions of human productivity. Order and speed combine, I suggest, in the inert body of the ‘third wave’ surfer; clicking away but not going anywhere. An ultimate security, we must ask if a far broader genealogy to this figure might be discerned than we’ve so far allowed for.

V: Conclusion

In summary, a genealogy that takes as its focus a globalization that ascends from the ground up: working within things and in people, but producing — across a series — effects of a global phenomenon. This phenomenon is the securitization, or the ordering of the world. The globalization at issue, therefore, is the proliferation of disciplines that across so many fields produce effects of a general, or global safety. Ascending through institutions, power relations and apparatuses of domination, and with “security” as its rationality, I suggest the existence of an unremarked globalism — the standing out of “being” and the ordering of the world in turn. Rather than rest here I seek to highlight what is lost in this ordering. Conceiving globalism as the “standing out” (ek-sistence) of being, I have suggested ways in which the evolution of securities essential to that project — all kinds of disciplines, regulations, codes — has drawn strength from, indeed grounded itself in, a fearing of a broader, oceanic world of becoming. I suggested thereby that globalism is a fearful rationality, and may indeed be grounded in our very will to life. This is why — at least in part — we cannot view globalization as external or exogenous (for indeed this broader aspect grounds and makes comprehensible the more usual forms of globalization we’re used to discussing). Rather it is indigenous, working within us to the extent to which we lose faith in the ocean that we both are, and are inevitably upon. I suggested that the will to knowledge as life might be what makes up this dulling down — this reduction of things, and the closing in of things, though everywhere globalism is seen as an opening out. To this extent, knowledge is a primary route for globalization conceived as the enclosing of the world in upon itself.

To substantiate this point I introduced two visions. First, a pen drawing of Baudelaire: a ship on a wild ocean (a visual metaphor of the soul which is ungrounded, shaken up, or unseated). In contrast I placed the lazaretto, both in its aesthetic (that is, its visual manifestation), but also as a way of introducing what must be the orientation of immediate and future research — the history of the evolution of the State, and what is, in my view, its main function: the bringing to order of danger; or, “being’s” ascent amid the forces of becoming. The lazaretto, as transitional point between danger and order is in tension with the ocean that Baudelaire celebrates. Our second example of the former — an idealized depiction — makes our point clear. Contrasted are the barely subdued ominous waters outside, with the mirror-like calm of the lake within. Rather than see here the fine upstanding bearing of man, we reveal fear. The limitless is disallowed. Knowledge and control ensures a perfect calm. I suggested that this ordering, this making tranquil, is a condition of fear, and that this fear — of raging waters, of the limitless and unknowable — is found across the broad space of early modernity; indeed, that the rise of modernity may be the very wellspring of it. Humanism moors the ship of fools as a hospital. No longer will madness be free to roam where it will, and no longer will the ocean outside be the limitless limit of the state. While Leonardo dreams of a fearsome deluge, Niccolò Machiavelli, grounding the space of modern political theory, will respond by underwriting, legitimating, and providing basis for, the political project that will take root in the state: the ascent and the securitization of being through knowledge. I suggested that the flood, the deluge, the cloudstorm, be taken metaphorically (as suggested by Baudelaire) for that other ocean to be traversed — that to which Machiavelli’s mind responds. The early modern state, if it responds to anything, is above all — if sublimated below the surface — formed to respond to the ocean of men. In doing so it responds to the vicissitudes of the marvelous (becoming), where the crowd, like waters, are unlimited and overwhelming. The State will arise to disallow their free movements. The “letting go” we see in Baudelaire’s vision will no longer have a place in the proper ways of men.

I suggest that this suppression — the suppression of the marvelous, the limitless, the “letting go” appropriate to trust — be seen as the economy of globalism, with “worldliness” (a “belief-in-the-world”), as its contrast. I attempted to ground what each was to the other: the philosophy of the ocean contrasted with the philosophy of the fortress. Worldliness, I argued — seen in this vision of Baudelaire — concerns trust and believing, as well as a certain verve (“You tremble carcass .. ?”). Globalism, per contra, is that which limits, which reduces; not simply the expanse of the world, but the expanse of the free play of the mind and the body — indeed the soul — of man. Drawing particularly on the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze I aimed to suggest that this is very much still a “live” debate; that globalism, and globalization, is not at all inevitable, but rather depends on how ethically, and philosophically, we approach our lives. In suggesting the possibilities of “worldliness” our aim is to establish the elements of a counter-philosophy to globalism: one that escapes the traps and the “sadness” of what I take to be its main supportive structure; the fear borne of insecurity, and the security borne of that fear.

The tension between globalism as the securitization of the world (both the ocean-world of the crowd and the ocean of all existence), conceived as a fearing of things, and ‘worldliness’ as a counter-philosophy, and philosophical underpinning to my critical reading of globalism, are the two figures I have tried to establish. Against the melancholy and brutal march of security we must formulate a way of being-in-the-world not based on fear but on a certain form of believing underpinned by a transformation of our perception — in particular, seeking after the resonance of the marvelous, the everyday mundane, the fascinating all around us — and a transformation of our relation to being (particularly identity and ego). Globalization is a political project of state concerned with dulling down the otherwise resonant aspects of our lives. It works in a serial fashion, living within us, and it thrives on fear — a fear of the unknown, of the difficult, or the dangerous. Its opposite — around which the politics of anti-globalization might focus — is a trust in the world; a belief-in-the-world, that, if we seek to escape the circuits of violence and domination that globalism and globalization represent, must be now at the heart of our revolutionary thinking. I suggested that “being” as such (the identity model of existence) ought to be replaced with becomings (denoting continual connections, disconnections, reconnections), whereby the fear of death (the fear of being absent), could be ameliorated, or “lost” by a profound reconceptualization of the meaning of affirming life. Not a utilitarianism that seeks to survive in a bubble of nirvana, but a materially grounded living that embraces the epiphany and the pain of the adventure of life.

VI: Appendix

Seven Old Men
To Victor Hugo
By Charles Beaudelaire
Swarming city, city full of dreams,
Where the ghost in broad day flags the traveler!
The mysteries all around vent like steam
From the drains of the powerful monster.

One morning, when over the sad street hovered
Houses, extended by the fog diffractor,
Pretending to be the piers of the bulging river,
Adorned just like the heart of an actor,

Everywhere was a haze filthy and yellowed
As I, disputing with my already weary heart,
Stiffened my nerves like a hero, and followed,
The neighborhood roused by the heavy tipcarts.

Suddenly, a old man whose yellow rags
Matched the rancid color of the skies,
Whose look would make alms rain into his bag,
If not for the wicked shine in his eyes,

Appeared to me. One might say his pupils
Were steeped in gall; his glance sharpened the frost,
And his beard was rigid as a sword, the long bristles
Protruding, just like the beard of Judas.

He was not bent, but broken, his spine
Forming with his leg a perfect right angle,
So that his cane gave him, completing his mien,
A contorted shape which as he stepped dangled

Like a crippled quadruped or a Jew with three paws.
He became entangled in the mud and snow,
As if he crushed the dead under his slippers,
Not indifferent to the universe but hostile.

His likeness followed him: beard, eye, back, stick, tattered cloak,
Indistinguishable, from the same hell hole,
Twin centenarians, spectral baroques
Marching with the same step toward an unknown goal.

On what squalid plot was I about to abut,
Or was that my ugly fate to be so woebetide?
For I counted seven times, minute by minute,
This sinister old man multiplied!

How can one laugh at my inquietude
And not be seized by a fraternal shiver?
Dreaming in spite of so much decrepitude,
Those seven hideous monsters had an eternal air!

Could I live and see the eighth, my second self,
Inexorable, ironic and fatal,
Disheartening Phoenix, son and father to himself?
— But I turned my back on the procession from hell.

I returned, raging like a drunk who sees double,
Terrified, I closed the gate on my fence,
Sick with chills, spirit feverish and troubled,
Blessed by the mystery and the nonsense!

In vain my reason wanted to take the bar;
The storm in playing took it to sea in a roar,
And my heart danced, danced, old large, mast-less barge
On a sea monstrous and without shores!

Fourmillante cité, cité pleine de rêves,
Où le spectre en plein jour raccroche le passant!
Les mystères partout coulent comme des sèves
Dans les canaux étroits du colosse puissant.

Un matin, cependant que dans la triste rue
Les maisons, dont la brume allongeait la hauteur,
Simulaient les deux quais d’une rivière accrue,
Et que, décor semblable à l’âme de l’acteur,

Un brouillard sale et jaune inondait tout l’espace,
Je suivais, roidissant mes nerfs comme un héros
Et discutant avec mon âme déjà lasse,
Le faubourg secoué par les lourds tombereaux.

Tout à coup, un vieillard dont les guenilles jaunes
Imitaient la couleur de ce ciel pluvieux,
Et dont l’aspect aurait fait pleuvoir les aumônes,
Sans la méchanceté qui luisait dans ses yeux,

M’apparut. On eût dit sa prunelle trempée
Dans le fiel; son regard aiguisait les frimas,
Et sa barbe à longs poils, roide comme une épée,
Se projetait, pareille à celle de Judas.

II n’était pas voûté, mais cassé, son échine
Faisant avec sa jambe un parfait angle droit,
Si bien que son bâton, parachevant sa mine,
Lui donnait la tournure et le pas maladroit

D’un quadrupède infirme ou d’un juif à trois pattes.
Dans la neige et la boue il allait s’empêtrant,
Comme s’il écrasait des morts sous ses savates,
Hostile à l’univers plutôt qu’indifférent.

Son pareil le suivait: barbe, oeil, dos, bâton, loques,
Nul trait ne distinguait, du même enfer venu,
Ce jumeau centenaire, et ces spectres baroques
Marchaient du même pas vers un but inconnu.

A quel complot infâme étais-je donc en butte,
Ou quel méchant hasard ainsi m’humiliait?
Car je comptai sept fois, de minute en minute,
Ce sinistre vieillard qui se multipliait!

Que celui-là qui rit de mon inquiétude
Et qui n’est pas saisi d’un frisson fraternel
Songe bien que malgré tant de décrépitude
Ces sept monstres hideux avaient l’air éternel!

Aurais je, sans mourir, contemplé le huitième,
Sosie inexorable, ironique et fatal
Dégoûtant Phénix, fils et père de lui-même?
- Mais je tournai le dos au cortège infernal.

Exaspéré comme un ivrogne qui voit double,
Je rentrai, je fermai ma porte, épouvanté,
Malade et morfondu, l’esprit fiévreux et trouble,
Blessé par le mystère et par l’absurdité!

Vainement ma raison voulait prendre la barre;
La tempête en jouant déroutait ses efforts,
Et mon âme dansait, dansait, vieille gabarre
Sans mâts, sur une mer monstrueuse et sans bords!

This paper was presented as a guest lecture at the School of Philosophy, University of New South Wales, Sydney, 14 August 2002.
  1. Cf., Michel Foucault, ‘Nietzsche, Genealogy, History’, in Paul Rabinow (Ed.), The Foucault Reader (New York: Pantheon, 1984), pp. 76-100, Gilles Deleuze, Nietzsche and Philosophy (London: Athlone Press, 1983), pp. 1-3, pp. 87-9, and ‘Nomad Thought’, in David B. Allison (Ed.), The New Nietzsche: Contemporary Styles of Interpretation (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1997), pp. 142-9.
  2. Napoleon Bonaparte, letter to Josephine, April 05, 1796, cited in Stendhal, Promenades dans Rome, t2 (Paris: Delaunay, 1829), p. 227.
  3. Cf., Michel Foucault, The Archaeology of Knowledge (New York: Pantheon, 1972), Roland Barthes, Mythologies (New York: Vintage, 1993), Guy Debord, The Society of the Spectacle (New York: Zone Books, 1994), Jean Baudrillard, The System of Objects (London: Verso, 1996), Umberto Eco, Faith in Fakes: Essays (London: Secker & Warburg, 1986), also Michel Foucault, ‘Two Lectures’, in Michel Foucault, Power/Knowledge: Selected Interviews and Other Writings, 1972-1977 (London: Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1980), pp. 78-108.
  4. Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison (London: Allen Lane, 1977), p. 138.
  5. Attributed to Bonaparte, cited in Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison (London: Tavistock, 1977), p. 141.
  6. Ibid., passim.
  7. Ibid
  8. Jean Baptiste de Treilhard, cited in Ibid, p. 141.
  9. Michel Foucault, ‘Two Lectures’, in Power/Knowledge: Selected Interviews, 1972-1977 (London: Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1980), p. 99.
  10. Before I take this idea of concealment further let us clear some ground by recalling the warning of Michel Foucault with regard to the concept of liberation: “ … there is the danger (…) that it will refer back to the idea that there does exist a nature or a human foundation which, as a result of a certain number of historical, social or economic processes, found itself concealed, alienated or imprisoned in and by some repressive mechanism. In that hypothesis it would suffice to unloosen these repressive locks so that man can be reconciled with himself, once again find his nature or renew contact with his roots and restore a full and positive relationship with himself. I don’t think that is a theme which can be admitted without rigorous examination. I do not mean to say that liberation or such and such a form of liberation does not exist. When a colonial people tries to free itself of its colonizer, that is truly an act of liberation, in the strict sense of the word. But as we also know, that in this extremely precise example, this act of liberation is not sufficient to establish the practices of liberty that later on will be necessary for this people, this society and these individuals to decide upon receivable and acceptable forms of their existence or political society.” (See Michel Foucault, ‘The Ethic of Care for the Self as Practice of Freedom’, in James Bernauer and David Rasmussen (eds), The Final Foucault (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1988), pp. 2-3). Nothing can suggest a conservatism here. Foucault’s caution is directed to those who would advance, for one and all each, any program — no matter how well-meaning — dependant upon a conception of liberty. Freedom must be practiced, he argues. It is materially experienced, not “conceived.” Rejecting the juridical model of moral philosophy (the judge who assigns values, decides between competing claims), Foucault has no interest in authoring final statements on what it means to be free. To this end he replaces “liberation,” which denotes finality and a point of arrival, with “practices of freedom,” which per contra remains open to multiplicity and responsive to changing circumstances; most particularly those centered around the struggle for and against power.
  11. Charles Baudelaire, ‘Les Sept vieillards’, in Charles Baudelaire, Les Fleur du Mal (Brighton: Harvester Press, 1982), pp. 270-2.
  12. Baudelaire, ‘Les Sept vieillards’, pp. 270-2.
  13. Friedrich Hölderlin, ‘Hyperion’s Song of Fate’, in Michael Hamburger, Friedrich Hölderlin: Poems and Fragments (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1966), p. 79.
  14. “We plumb the Unknown to find the new!” Charles Baudelaire, ‘Le Voyage’, in William Rees (Ed.), French Poetry, 1820-1950 (London: Penguin Books, 1990), p. 168.
  15. Lazarettos were established mainly in the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries in many of the major cities of Europe, functioning in two main ways: 1) as a stationing hold for hulks — also known as lazarettos — that were used to confine plague victims (e.g., Venice, Spezia, Marseilles); and/or 2) as quarantines for traded goods which it was feared carried contagion (e.g., Genoa, Marseilles, Messina, Venice). Reverse lazarettos existed as safe-houses for ships trading goods to infected areas. As the hold of the plague eventually lessened (from the mid-17th century onward, for the most part), lazarettos took on a number of other functions; often as hospitals, sometimes as prisons. From the 17th century lazarettos were built in many ports in the Americas where they were used both as quarantine points in case of various fevers, and/or as slave hospitals. Many were redeployed for purposes of immigration in the late-19th, through to the mid-20th century (e.g., Ellis Island, New York, and Lazaretto Station, outside Philadelphia). It should be noted that the term “lazaretto” also referred to the sections of early modern cities established to house, or confine, the poor, sick and insane. In Milan, for instance, a voluntary lazaretto was established in 1498, though in general the separation of the plague-infected from others begins after the 1348 epidemic. Through the seventeenth century these mini-cities were often dumping grounds for thousands of beggars, delinquents, or other categories of undesirables (as with Milan, for instance, from the Winter of 1630).
  16. Leonardo Da Vinci, in Edward MacCurdy (Ed.), Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci, Volume 2 (New York: Pantheon, 1938), p. 12.
  17. Though Leonardo seems not to have been a religious man especially, his interest in floods must in part be attributed to his interest in the origins and history of the world: the deluge, of course, being essential to many brands of mythology — most famously Sumerian myth (see Tablet XI of the Gilgamesh epic) — and Christian scripture (see Gen., vi, 1-ix, 19, and Wisd., x, 4; xiv, 6-7; Ecclus., xvi, 8, xliv, 17-19; Is., liv, 9; Matt., xxiv, 37-39; Luke, xvii, 26-27; Hebr., xi, 7; I Peter, iii, 20-21; II Peter, ii, 5).
  18. It is well known that Leonardo proposed to bank and canalize the river Arno. Though never achieved, this may be seen as a transitional point in the ascendance of the modern age to the extent to which the target of these ministrations was a living, flowing entity (water, for Leonardo, was the very vehicle of nature — vetturale di natura). The oft-forgotten aspect to this story is that this project was begun after Da Vinci was appointed to the court of Cesare Borgia by the head of the Second Chancery of the Florentine Republic, one Niccolò Machiavelli. The two worked together for three years; the canal project conceived not only to tame the flood-prone Arno, but to open a sea route for ocean going vessels from inland Florence. A third aspect was the possibility of using the canal system to flood the city-state of Pisa, which at the time was at war with Florence. At the very least canalization would deny that city a reliable source of water. A series of mishaps and an inopportune flood, however, saw the project cancelled in 1504. Surely if it had gone ahead the republic would not have fallen, and Florence might have been elevated as the capital of a great empire. See Roger D. Masters, Fortune Is a River: Leonardo Da Vinci and Niccolò Machiavelli’s Magnificent Dream to Change the Course of Florentine History (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1998).
  19. Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998), p. 98.
  20. Baudelaire, ‘Le Voyage’, p. 159.
  21. We may remind ourselves in this regard that Quintilian, in Horace’s Odes, compared civil war to a storm on the sea sailed by the ship of state (navem pro re publica). If this philosophy is rediscovered — and albeit forged anew — it is not therefore unknown to the ancients. See Horace, The Complete Works of Horace (New York: F. Unger Publication Co., 1983), Ode 1.14.
  22. In addition to The Prince and The Discourses, see Niccolò Machiavelli, The Art of War (New York: Da Capo Press, 1965), especially, pp. 201-10, pp. 130-7, pp. 52-71.
  23. Eduardo Galeano, Memory of Fire, Volume 1: Genesis (New York: W. W. Norton, 1998), p. 144.
  24. Gilles Deleuze, Pourparlers (Paris: Minuit, 1990), p. 239.
  25. See Friedrich Kleist, ‘On the Marionette Theatre’, in Idris Parry, Hand to Mouth and other essays (Manchester: Carcanet New Press, 1981), pp. 13-18. This beautiful and resonant essay recounts a conversation between Kleist and a dancer friend; a discussion of the beauty of the marionette — it’s lightness and perfect movement — set against the strenuous effort and ultimate failure of the dancer in a human form to mimic simple forces in nature. The marionette becomes, in Kleist’s tale, a figure for original innocence (simplicity unconscious of itself) lost in man through his very weight and self-regard. There is no way back, Kleist tells us. We must forge forward, through knowledge, toward the kind of grace, or godliness, of more complete wisdom. As the narrative of this conversation develops his friend recounts a meeting with three young men who fancied themselves as swordsmen. The eldest in particular is non-plussed to find Kleist’s friend out-parry him. The boys then take the dancer friend of Kleist to meet his master. What follows is a beautiful moment where the dancer becomes conscious of his own incompletion against an opponent so light of movement, and so sure of foot, who looks deep into his soul — from which point thereafter, despite all his skill, this friend, the dancer, can make no progress on his rival. The grace and the “lightness” with which he cannot compete is all the more contrasted as the opponent in this case is a large bear.
  26. The fear of solitude was for Spinoza the condition explaining the formation of the civil state. See Benedict de Spinoza, Political Treatise and Theologico-Political Treatise (New York: Dover Publications, 1951), pp. 316-344 in particular.
  27. See Paul Virilio, War and Cinema: The Logistics of Perception (London: Verso, 1989).
  28. See Martin Heidegger, Being and Time (London: Basil Blackwell, 1962), ‘Fear as a mode of State-of-Mind’, pp. 179-182.
  29. See Heidegger, Being and Time, ‘Understanding and interpretation’, p. 191, pp. 183-188.
  30. Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols, ‘What the Germans Lack’, §6. A contemporary parallel would be the use philosopher Jean-François Lyotard has made of le différend (that which interrupts common sense; an incommensurability). For Lyotard such events introduced a vital “delay” in our ocular reception of things, allowing for vision to be redrawn and not simply rejected or replaced with “concepts.”
  31. See Martin Heidegger, Basic Writings (London: Routledge, 1993), pp. 126-7.
  32. Gen., ii, 17-iii, 5-7, 8-10, 17-24.
  33. In the sense of “artifice,” given in the works of David Hume. See David Hume, An Inquiry Concerning Human Understanding (New York: Bobbs-Merrill, 1955), ‘Of the reason of animals’, pp. 112-116.
  34. Worldliness — though the marionette as an ideal is “ignorant” — should not, of course, be conceived as “against knowledge” as such. Perhaps it might best be understood as being against studied “intelligence”; or that at least it employs a very different — to its own soul, more grounded — intelligence. “Wisdom” is not entirely appropriate either; it denotes too much in the way of a removed relation to things (a kind of assumed objectivity, which — at least in Deleuze, Nietzsche, and perhaps Foucault — is impossible). Perhaps the knowledge that Kleist and Deleuze and Foucault alike favor is best seen as a moment of presence (though no way a permanence). It is the kind of sense one has of something, in the moment of the event — fleeting, light.
  35. Paul Virilio, L’Horizon négatif: essai de dromoscopie (Paris: Galilée, Collection Debats, 1984).
  36. Rajchman, The Deleuze Connections, p. 6.
  37. Nietzsche, The Gay Science, Book IV, §289. It is well known that this be an echo of Pascal; though interestingly Pascal puts his thought in perfect tense: Vous êtes embarqué; which adds an absence of choice — “You are embarked.” Note that this is not simply a carrion call to take to the ocean. It is also a statement against theory (in that being already “embarked” there could be no objective land from which to observe and judge). The sovereign eye, therefore, is but an illusion; a point hammered home frequently by Nietzsche.
  38. Rajchman, The Deleuze Connections, p. 9.
  39. “’Reason’ is the cause of our falsification of the testimony of the senses.” Nietzsche, ‘Reason in Philosophy’, Twilight of the Idols, p. 480.
  40. Gilles Deleuze, ‘Letter to Serge Daney: Optimism, Pessimism, and Travel’, in Negotiations, pp. 77-8.
  41. Nietzsche, The Gay Science, Book III, §240.
  42. In Deleuze’s words, “Individuals find a real name for themselves, rather, only through the harshest exercise in depersonalization, by opening themselves up to the multiplicities everywhere within them, to the intensities running through them.” Deleuze, Negotiations, ‘Letter to a harsh critic’, p. 6.
  43. Nuire à la bêtise — to attack stupidity, is a project Deleuze equates with Foucault and with Nietzsche. See Deleuze, Negotiations, pp. 83-118.
  44. Michel de Montaigne, Complete Essays of Montaigne (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1958), 3.9, p. 764.
  45. Rajchman, The Deleuze Connections, p. 7.
  46. See Nietzsche’s dedication to ‘Book Five’ of The Gay Science (New York: Vintage, 1974), p. 277; “Carcasse, tu trembles? Tu tremblerais bein davantage, si tu savais, où je te mène.” — You tremble carcass? You would tremble a lot more if you knew where I am taking you. Attributed to Turenne (1611-75), one of France’s most fearsome generals. These words are the more striking as they were directed to himself.
  47. Tom Robbins, Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas (New York: Bantam Books, 1995), p. 318. Byron has an elegant way of expressing the same thought:
    There is pleasure in the pathless woods,
    There is rapture on the lonely shore,
    There is society, where none intrudes,
    By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
    I love not Man the less, but Nature more,
    From these our interviews, in which I steal
    From all I may be, or have been before,
    To mingle with the Universe, and feel
    What I can ne’er express, yet cannot all conceal.
    Roll on, thou deep and dark blue ocean — roll!
    Lord Byron, The Poems and Dramas of Lord Byron (New York: Arundel, 1879), ‘Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage’, Canto CLXXVIII, p. 234.
  48. The stakes are raised so much higher if we guard against a Kantianism that locates consciousness outside of the “world in itself” (i.e., simply as “phenomenal experience”). The Deleuze-Guattari/Bergsonian critique suggests, per contra, that consciousness is part of matter, an thereby can never be represented as such but always finds its place (and its life — i.e., its arc of transformation) in relation to materiality. In this way, the politics of “being worldly” is not simply a politics of consciousness, but a politics of embodiment.
  49. See Gilles Deleuze, The Logic of Sense (New York: Columbia University Press); see Wittgenstein on “grammar”, Merleau-Ponty on “flesh”, and Foucault on “the outside”, or the “Euclidean skin”, according to Lewis Carroll. See Rajchman, The Deleuze Connections, p. 8, p. 143, fn. 5.
  50. What Michel Foucault might posit as “discursive regularities”; see The Archaeology of Knowledge, pp. 62-3, pp. 74-6, pp. 141-8, pp. 191-5.
  51. Citing Cézanne that, “sensations are things in themselves, not in us.” See Rajchman, The Deleuze Connections, p. 134.
  52. Blake, ‘Marriage of Heaven and Hell’, in Kazin, The Portable Blake, p. 258.
  53. Along with Blake the works of Friedrich Hölderlin and Novalis are worthy of mention. Lewis Carroll, though not of that movement, has had, perhaps, the greater effect on Deleuze’s thought on this subject (see The Logic of Sense, and Dialogues). Largely ignored we might find in these writings instructive points of reference in pursuit of a materialist, sensual politics.
  54. See Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, What is Philosophy? (New York: Columbia University Press, 1994), pp. 160-1.
  55. Rajchman, The Deleuze Connections, p. 8.
  56. A unity, to adapt Debord, which is little else but the “official language of generalized separation.”
  57. Rajchman, The Deleuze Connections, pp. 81-2. It should be understood that this possible space of recognition — at least in the philosophy of Deleuze — is not at all an image of a “collective identity”; it is not something which can be constructed, and it has nothing to do with “identity interests.” Also, to the extent to which individual experience can ever allow for group experience, this group identification will always decompose as new becomings (or “lines of flight”), emerge within that whole. To the extent this philosophy impinges on our discussion here, it is not a case of establishing some primordial unity among all things. Though on the material plane of becoming we are all — and with everything around us — in relations of connection or decomposition, the best we can hope for is an ongoing worldliness (which would be revolutionary in itself, so we ought not to be pessimistic, or underplay it), rather than an overarching and “once and for all” grand recognition which might be one mother of a party but would no doubt lead to many other parties and many more “lines of flight”, so long as the world keeps turning (see Proust, Spinoza). The new appreciation for becoming, however, and wonder with the marvelous (the great wresting of humanity from the concealing fluid of globalism and security), might well — in my own reckoning — powerfully “relativize” the intensive alienation which everywhere works to underwrite violence, sadness, resignation and bitterness which seems so endemic to the societies in which we find ourselves.
  58. Hervé Guibert, To The Friend Who Did Not Save My Life (New York: Atheneum, 1991), pp. 16-17.
  59. Rajchman, The Deleuze Connections, p. 86. A theme repeated throughout Nietzsche, one is reminded of his injunction: “In my language: light feet are the first attribute of divinity.” See ‘Four Great Errors’, Twilight of the Idols, p. 494.
  60. It is indeed telling, as Idris Parry has noted, that Thomas Mann will give the main lead of his Doktor Faustus — one Adrian Leverkühn — this very essay of Kleist to read, from which Leverkühn concludes; ‘There is basically only one problem in the world, and it’s this (…) How do you break through? How do you get out into the open?’ As we have seen, something akin to a breaking through is experienced by Baudelaire, and it is into the open — upon the sea of becoming — that he both journeys and finds himself. In Kleist’s essay this “breaking through” might be seen as the breaking down of identification (conceived of as self-consciousness). It is intelligence, or the eye of knowledge, that disconnects, in Kleist’s narrative, man from his place in the natural scheme. And hence dispossessed he faces the problem of his fall; a fall he might recognize, as he is now self-conscious of himself. Self-consciousness is not for Kleist what it would be for Blumenberg — the seat of self-assertion; the defensible station of modernity. On the contrary, knowledge creates a kind of wall around man within which he is imprisoned (see again Gen., iii, 3; “And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life.”). The task is to break through, or in Kleist’s words, to see if Paradise is not open “around the back.” The figure of the bear in his narrative gives a representation of something akin to where we must head; a natural yet intelligent figure, as graceful as the marionette, yet powerful and alive in this world. Breaking through would be to become the bear — able to deflect the assaults of the world with the greatest calm and grace. It is a journey fraught with difficulty (the journey away from man’s bad self-consciousness); but one all-too-necessary. It is fascinating — through perhaps we shouldn’t infer too much from it — that Ortega y Gasset would respond to Kleist’s overall problematic with the sentient phrase: “These are the only genuine ideas, the ideas of the shipwrecked. All the rest is rhetoric, postering, farce.” (cited in Parry, Hand to Mouth, p. 11).
  61. See Kleist, ‘On the Marionette Theatre’, pp. 13-18
  62. Ulrich Beck, Risk Society: Toward a New Modernity (London: Sage, 1992), p. 130. Borrowing from Duns Scotus and the concept of “haeccities”, Deleuze holds to a distinction between individualization and “individuation,” where the latter denotes no specification but rather an “individuality of a day, a season, a life.” Gilles Deleuze, ‘Desir et plaisir’, Magazine littéraire 325, October 1994, p. 62.
  63. Rajchman, The Deleuze Connections, p. 81.
  64. Jean Baudrillard, ‘On Nihilism’, in Simulacra and Simulation (Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, 1995), pp. 159-164; also The Perfect Crime (London: Verso, 1997), p. 39; “ … perhaps the function of disappearing is a vital one. Perhaps this is how we react as living beings, as mortals, to the threat of an immortal universe, the threat of a definitive reality.”
  65. Michel Foucault, ‘Passion According to Werner Schroeter’, in Sylvère Lotringer (Ed.), Foucault Live: Collected Interviews, 1961-1984 (New York: Semiotext(e), 1996), p. 318. In The Use of Pleasure Foucault will give this a less conspicuous ring; “déprise de soi” — a withdrawal from oneself.
  66. These should be seen as being grounded in a far broader series touching Nietzsche, Bergson, Heidegger, Spinoza, Schopenhauer, William James, Maurice Blanchot, David Hume, Duns Scotus, Herman Melville, Hölderlin, Kleist, Sade, Lewis Carroll, Roussel, Mallarmé, Francis Bacon, René Magritte, Antonin Artaud, and perhaps Blake and Novalis as well.
  67. See Deleuze, ‘Desir et plaisir’, pp. 59-65.
  68. See ‘How the “True World” Finally Became a Fable’, Twilight of the Idols, p. 485-6.
  69. “ … in Deleuze’s logical universe, there [exists
  70. See Henri Bergson, Matter and Memory (London: George Allen and Unwin, 1911), p. 28 (among other points of reference); “Now, if living beings are within the universe just ‘centers of indetermination,’ and if the degree of this indetermination is measured by number and rank of their function, we can conceive that their mere presence is equivalent to the suppression of all those parts of objects in which their functions find no interest.” See also Gilles Deleuze, Bergsonism (New York: Zone Books, 1991), and Cinema 2: The time-image (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1986); “We perceive only what we are interested in perceiving, or rather what it is in our interests to perceive.”
  71. In Foucault and Deleuze the question of difference is essential, to be sure, but it is not — as it has become in cultural studies — a question of “identity” or identification. Rather, difference is something which can only be released (and realized) once the determinations of memory, custom, guilt and habit (aspects demanded by identity), fall away. The “strong” difference of identity (and its associated interests), is not one that in the last analysis Deleuze (still less Foucault) found useful. See in this regard the thoughts of Foucault on the gay liberation movement and gay identity in general; ‘An interview: Sex, Power, and the Politics of Identity’, The Advocate, August 7, 1984, p. 28. See also David Halperin’s remarkable Saint Foucault: Toward a Gay Hagiography (New York: Oxford University Press).
  72. Charles Cros, ‘Phantasma’, in Rees, French Poetry, 1820-1950, p. 222.
  73. Rajchman, The Deleuze Connections, p. 127, p. 132.
  74. Ibid, p. 127.
  75. See Eduardo Galeano, The Book of Embraces (New York: W. W. Norton, 1992), p. 121.
  76. See Eduardo Galeano, Memory of Fire, Volume 2: Faces and Masks (New York: W. W. Norton, 1998), pp. 7-8.
  77. See Nietzsche, The Gay Science, ‘Joke, Cunning and Revenge’, §27;
    “No path, abysses, death is not so still!” —
    You wished it, left the path by your own will.
    Now remain cool and clear, O stranger;
    For you are lost if you believe in danger.
  78. Michel Foucault, ‘The Masked Philosopher’, in Lawrence D. Kritzman (Ed.), Michel Foucault: Politics, Philosophy, Culture (London: Routledge, 1988), p. 326.
  79. See William James, A Pluralistic Universe (New York: Longmans, Green & co., 1909). Obviously this is not belief as we normally might think it — as the regimented training of the mind to block out what is contrary to given proposition or axiom; it is more a sense of joy, or beauty, though there is nothing to produce it beyond simple presence. It is the sensation of the marvelous; an opening of the eyes and the heart to singularity and multiplicity — in a word, becoming.
  80. Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morality, Book II, §1.
  81. “ … the question is not one of “anxiety,” absence, and Being, but of “intensity,” possibility, and singularity.” Rajchman, The Deleuze Connections, p. 126.
  82. Ibid, p. 5.
  83. Ibid, p. 11.
  84. See in this regard the fascinating efforts of Manuel De Landa (A Thousand Years of Non-Linear History (New York: Zone Books, 1997), Intensive Science and Virtual Philosophy (London: Continuum, forthcoming), as well as other occasional essays). The possibility comes around that we can reconcile the condemning, yet nuanced incredulity of Nietzsche (“Perhaps we will recognize then that the thing-in-itself deserves a Homeric laugh, in that it seemed to be so much, indeed everything, and actually is empty, that is, empty of meaning”), with a materialist philosophy which reveals the landscape of matter-energy. Despite the best efforts of scientist-policemen like Alan Sokal, it is almost certain that the humanities would benefit from more thought — and in particular, radical imagination — as to the possibilities of putting to work, in the social and political realms, insights, in particular, from molecular physics, biology and chemistry. The works of Deleuze and Guattari point in this direction; most especially in Deleuze’s work where the possibilities of new styles of thought opens ground not simply for the rearticulation of narrow or restricted social issues, but indeed being and becoming as a whole. It should be noted, however, that the works of Michel Foucault and Eduardo Galeano stand as testament to the fact that we do not need science to develop molecular perception.
  85. See Deleuze and Guattari, What is Philosophy?, p. 156.
  86. Though an excellent example of just such an effort is Mark Rupert’s Ideologies of Globalization: Contending Visions of a New World Order (London: Routledge, 2000).
  87. Rajchman, The Deleuze Connections, pp. 44-45.
  88. John Rajchman, ‘Foucault’s Art of Seeing’, October, 44, 1988.
  89. “The problem is that identity is violent as such — there is a violence (or ‘barbarity’) in our constitution as ‘subjects’ or ‘selves,’ and we must rethink our notions of contract and institution accordingly.” Rajchman, The Deleuze Connections, p. 103.
  90. Maurice Merleau-Ponty, cited in Paul Virilio, The Vision Machine (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1994), p. 7.
  91. Outside, that is, the works of Lewis Mumford, Paul Virilio, Armand Mattelart, and Anson Rabinbach.
  92. It is unfortunate that historical analyses of globalization have almost exclusively focused on accumulation and capitalism without understanding: a) the ways in which energy flows are themselves part of the history of ordering; or b) how nothing can be accumulated, still less traded, in isolation from a complex symbolic and disciplinary history underpinning promises, signs and values. The work of Karl Polanyi on early markets is instructive here (see Polanyi, Conrad M Arensberg and Harry W. Pearson (eds), Trade and Market in the Early Empires: Economies in History and Theory (New York: The Free Press, 1957), particularly Chapter xiii).
  93. We must clarify what is meant by this term “the state.” Thus far I have introduced three denominations: 1) the state; 2) the State (capitalized); and 3) the “State-form.” As to the first, I understand this in terms conceived by Weber: as the amalgam of dominant institutions. It is crucial, no doubt, but more important to us are the second and third understandings. Above and below the Weberian state there seems to me to be two further aspects, though closely interlinked and feeding off one another. I have in mind on the one hand the matrix of institutions, social forms, organizations, or otherwise established and ordered relations and rationalities that both frame and enframe the status of things in general. This is the meaning I wish to denote by using the term, “the State.” It is the “overall effect” — a transcendental, not unlike myth, which may, nonetheless, have little to do with faith (see the works of Ernst Cassirer and Georges Sorel). Though I have in mind a sense that Michel Foucault worked with (if rarely named), a formulation by Martin van Crevald is instructive: “The state, then, is an abstract entity which can be neither seen, nor heard, nor touched.” (Martin van Crevald, The Rise and Decline of the State (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1999), p.1). On the other hand, the term “State-form” denotes, at least as used here, specifically ordered material relations of this more generalized effect. Specific in the sense of being actualized, yet differentiated from Weber’s “compulsory association which organizes domination” (see H. H. Gerth and C. Wright Mills [eds
  94. Let us introduce this term to denote the condition of globalization in a technical sense (i.e., the collapse of distance and the rendering of the world a single place). See David Harvey, The Condition of Postmodernity (Cambridge: Blackwell, 1990), pp. 240-307.
  95. See Deleuze and Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus, pp. 424-473, and Anti-Oedipus, pp. 139-271.
  96. Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morality, ‘Second Essay’, §17.
  97. Here I would like to develop a mode of analyzing suggested by Michel Foucault (see Michel Foucault, The History of Sexuality, Volume 1 (London: Allen Lane, 1979), pp. 92-7). For Foucault, existence is properly to be understood as a field of force relations — of materiality and effects which pass through and around us, and of which we become temporary or permanent vehicles, accelerators, or otherwise disqualifiers (points of blockage, disavowal, inertia, etc.). Everything that exists is in this mobile field of relations. Whether a social institution or a peasant, it is the same. The difference between these two (an institution and a peasant), is that the institution is more or less successful at slowing down the movement of elements around it. It represents an asperity, singularity — or point of resistance: a dead center of time where relations and elements are gathered and become amalgamated. The mandala is a useful point of reference in visualizing what I mean. Genealogy reveals how “regimes of truth” allow for the slowing down that establishes the singularity. In revealing the relation between material flows (or the dynamism of the broader field of force relations), and truth, it allows for the “paring off”, as it were, from a given nodal point (or institution), of aspects of its volume or mass (i.e., the mass of gathered elements drawn toward it, slowed down around it, amalgamated within it). Revealing truths allows for these aspects and elements to once more “pass-by”; to become dislodged from the inertia that is the institution. Genealogy allows for the loosening up of the flow of forces through the whole of the social field. This orientation has more than a few political implications, the most general of which is that genealogy is concerned with power to the extent to which it fights not for empowerment — which denotes blockage and permanence — but a certain lightness of being which goes with becoming (or, in other words, the conditions of being part of the unfolding of the world in matter-time, or the time and temporality of the material flow of the things). As such, genealogy is the method of deconstruction that rightly would go with the project of becoming worldly suggested in our last section of this introduction.
    This orientation established, it should be borne in mind that the additional question to which genealogy must now respond (necessitating, perhaps, a leap beyond — or the firing of an arrow ahead — of where Foucault himself left off), is a certain “freeing up”, or “paring down” occurring as a cultural phenomenon. If the leakage of freedom from a system was what Foucault and Deleuze, among others, feared most, perhaps we have now to reorient this fear, or reverse it, and fear its opposite: the fragmentation of systems, or their “hollowing out” — not in the sense of fearing the ocean of relations which would everywhere exist in the absence of the State-form (it should be clear, or become clear, that I advocate for that ocean: it is to us the very field of worldliness), still less the political use of the figure of this ocean (the politics of fear and urgency created, for instance, by the specter of global competition), but rather a fearing of the ascent of a political State which has no center; which, in other words, has learned to reverse its relation to the great flux of becoming from one of suppression to one of facilitation. How it is that the State has invested the ocean of becoming is a question of such import, but it goes necessarily beyond what I can pose and establish here. Nonetheless, an effective account would be necessary for any substantive account of globalization; where the disappearance of the political State and the ascent within the lives of individuals of a false fear of becoming (not an embrace of connections, but the political use of the fear of others), have been so important to underwriting the rise of the global age of states as a whole. The vision we would be struggling to make apparent is no longer a mandala — this will have given way with the decentralization of the state that I will here, in part, describe. It might be something more akin to a cloud or a deluge — that to which the first State appeared to order. Without center but massively powerful. As Foucault seems to want to suggest (a suggestion picked up and carried forward by Virilio), perhaps this transformation — from state as location and law to state as diffracted and diffused — is the most important transformation in the history of the Western world. (See Michel Foucault, ‘Governmentality’, in Graham Burchill, Colin Gordon and Peter Miller [eds
  98. Not an indefinite — rather the definite.
  99. Michel Foucault, ‘The Ethic of Care for the Self as a Practice of Freedom’, in James Bernauer and David Rasmussen (eds), The Final Foucault (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1988), p. 19, Michel Foucault, ‘The Subject and Power’, in Hubert L. Dreyfus and Paul Rabinow, Michel Foucault: Beyond Structuralism and Hermeneutics (New York: Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1982), pp. 208-226.
  100. Gilles Deleuze, Expressionism in Philosophy: Spinoza (New York: Zone Books, 1990), pp. 39. A singularity, for Deleuze (following Spinoza), is simply being standing out in becoming (multiplicity). The qualification that states may not simply be nations — countries, other “nation states” — is a reference to a position that Deleuze-Guattari held over other forces contending the positionality of the state (e.g., multinational corporations, non-governmental organizations, etc.). While important, I at least don’t feel compelled to take this qualification to mean that the State is somehow met on a par by these other forms. I have never subscribed to the idea that globalization, grounding the emergence of new “forces”, like multinational corporations, is a challenge to the State. The other “states” I have in mind — to strike a difference from Deleuze-Guattari, who seem to me naïve on this point — are not multinationals or the like, and not other nations either, for this would be too mundane. The “states” I refer to here are rather best thought of wholesale ways of life. Perhaps — though we must be cautious — “civilizations” or “world systems” would be a profitable way of approaching the forms I have in mind; though to my preference these forms concern not so much circuits of capital or accumulation, which, though important in this world do not account for the more primordial aspect of power I would aim here to divine. Perhaps it is more the ordering — or the disciplining — technologies of a given formation (its given arrangement, or dispositif, of power), that would ground, to our mind here, what we would understand by a “world system” or a civilization. We would be talking about certain “tactical formations”; forms which are borne, in all likelihood, from a singular strategic context — the State “standing out”; Being establishing its presence.
  101. Virilio and Lotringer, Pure War, p. 37, pp. 50-1.
  102. Paul Virilio, War and Cinema, and Virilio, The Vision Machine. The eye passes through the world. Empowerment of the self (self-mastery through knowledge), presumes the outward journey as the soul is freed from its binds and leaps into the unknown unafraid. Is there a primordial pact between knowledge and speed? Knowing the world and obliterating it / passing through the world, and thus knowing it? Why is the eye the center of our energies? It is the interface between us and that world — not the physical world of things, but the world that is within us, that we project outward in looking: in other words, the world of the dream, though how that dream was ordered remains to be revealed.
  103. “Land-clearing, the cultivation of the earth for subsistence, the receding of forest darkness, are in reality the creation of a military glacis as field of vision (…) the permanent invasion of the land by the dromocrat’s look (causes) distances to approach.” Virilio, Speed and Politics, pp. 72-3
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We negate and we must negate because something in us wants to live and affirm — Friedrich Nietzsche