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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Ayn Rand:A Great Post Modern Philosopher and Nietzsche's Heir

And the secret is: Ayn Rand has destroyed Capital. Atlas Shrugged is her fictional novel and non-fictional treatise, text, whatever, on Capital.

Capital stripped bare by Speculation itself, like the bride by her bachelors. What becomes of Capital once the veil of Profit is lifted? What becomes of Labour once the veil of Capital is lifted? (Baudrillard - Cool Memories II 38)

Contrary to the historical slogan which says that the 'emancipation of the workers will be achieved by the workers themselves', we have to accept that Capital will be put to death by Capital itself or (not at all). (CM II 38)

Baudrillard in Forget Foucault asserts that Foucault did not heed Nietzsche by going to the end. He asks himself the question why Foucault stopped at the edge. And both Rand and Foucault ignored Nietzsche's warning: Beware of disciples.

Rand was more capitalist than any capitalist. She was excessively so. Nietzsche recommends the "being worse than worse". Rand was worse. 

She took every conceptual and formulated ideal she had and pushed it to the edge and then beyond until it fell over into the abyss. Sex (Nathaniel Brandon), business empire (NBI and The Objectivist Newsletter), the virtue of selfishness, free and unregulated capitalism as the economic system of choice for free individuals. Her novel Atlas Shrugged is more novel than a novel. She pushed it to the extreme of what a novel was, and it was more so. Her characters are pushed to the edge, each one "worse than worse" in their attributes. Time has caught up with it. It no longer seems prophetic.

And my god, this is pure Nietzsche. Even the great and intellectually powerful Foucault said towards the end of his life, that he had not acknowledged Nietzsche early enough for his great debt to him. 

But it will be Baudrillard who will go all the way with Nietzsche. Baudrillard will tell us how to end the evil of anything. Push it to the limit and beyond, worse than worse, and then it will suicide. This is what DeLillo has Eric Packer do by imploding the speculative currency market.  Eric Packer wants all the yen there is.

But by god Rand did it. Fictionally, and with her life as she lived it. And through Greenspan, her acolyte, she has destroyed Capital. Deregulate Capital and Global Speculative Capital appears on the scene.  Marx never foresaw this. It is excessive Capital. More Capital than Capital. Worse. 

It is not possible to continue to see Capital as anything other than what it has become in the last decade. We are now seeing it all the way to its Death. 

I cannot believe she pulled it off.

But like Nietzsche's God, its ghost will be around for quite some time.

Friday, September 23, 2011


Trailer from www.zeitgeistfilms.com

All - yes ALL - neo-liberals, liberals, and radicals are required to know who ZIZEK is. It would help if conservative and the religious right also knew. Keanu Reeves in The Matrix knew, why don't you.?

After Baudrillard comes Zizek!

Zizek on Belief



And for other radical films instead of Hollywood:

The fact that Zizek's film premiered at 2005 Toronto Films means that Cronenberg knows very well who Zizek is.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Brigitte Bardot and Robert Pattinson - Cheesecake and Beefcake - Complicit Exploitation

Rob and Bardot = Jouissance
People know what they do. They even often know why they do what they do. But what they don't know is what they do does. - Michel Foucault

Utilizing the postmodern semiotic theory of Jean Baudrillard, Beever explores the root and meaning of terrorism.

He argues that, among the many forms of violence, the proliferation of the image is a subtle and violent virulence of signs: the exploitation of the signified through the proliferation of the “murderous image”.  

Violence on this level is the violence endemic to terrorism. 

This project explores Baudrillard’s conception of symbolic violence as the virulence of signs and helps us come to terms with the semiotic foundation of terrorism.

Make Me a Calendar
No Face Lift - Tsk tsk.
Brigette Bardot in first scene of Godard's Contempt


More Bardot

Complicit Rob, eh.
 You want to be taken seriously? Stop this crap. 

Friday, September 16, 2011

Why the Wall Street Demonstration Will Fail


Cronenberg's eXistenZ is serious filmic social theory of the nature of our postmodern landscape. Cronenberg, like Baudrillard, would like to oppose the reality he describes, but points out that terrorist resistance to it is merely absorbed into the system and cannot defeat it. Ironically, terrorism and resistance are "game-themes" in eXistenZ, suggesting that they broach no threat, but are actually required by the system in order to provide a pretext to continue information emission. Baudrillard, too, would like to be a terrorist- to lash out violently against those who are in control, but such a role is no longer possible in a world where death and violence have no impact and are met by glassy eyed apathy as the result of data-glut. It seems that the only hope is awareness of the effect that media have on communication and human relationships. Cronenberg, like Baudrillard , McLuhan, and Shenk, urge us to be aware of what constant exposure to information and simulacra do to the human psyche and to culture. The content of the media is irrelevant. It is the quantity of data and simulacra to which we are exposed and the methods by which we are subjected to that information that result in data smog, mental disorders, and violence. The most effective strategy to resist the system is to behave like an irreverent child, declining to constitute ourselves as subjects, refusing to process the data and abstaining from responding to it. By passively ignoring the data input thrown at us by the parental system, it will cease to exist as it does now. We can turn off the tv, shut down the computer, and stop playing the game.

DeLillo has Vija Kinski elucidate Baudrillardian theory to Eric Packer in Cosmopolis:

A specter is haunting the world, they cried.

"You know what capitalism produces. According to Marx and Engels."

"Its own grave-diggers," he said.

"But these are not the grave-diggers. This is the free market itself. These people are a fantasy generated by the market. They don't exist outside the market. There is nowhere they can go to be on the outside. There is no outside."

The camera tracked a cop chasing a young man through the crowd, an image that seemed to exist at some drifting distance from the moment.

"The market culture is total. It breeds these men and women. They are necessary to the system they despise. They give it energy and definition. They are marketdriven. They are traded on the markets of the world. This is why they exist, to invigorate and perpetuate the system."

He watched the vodka slosh in her glass as the car bounced back and forth. There were people banging on the windows and hood. He saw Torval and the bodyguards sweep them off the chassis. He thought briefly about the partition behind the driver. It had a cedar frame with an inlaid fragment of ornamental Kufic script on parchment, late tenth century, Baghdad, priceless.

She tightened her seat belt.

"You have to understand."

He said, "What?"

"The more visionary the idea, the more people it leaves behind. This is what the protest is all about. Visions of technology and wealth. The force of cyber-capital that will send people into the gutter to retch and die. What is the flaw of human rationality?"

He said, "What?"

There were cars burning in the street, metal hissing and spitting, and stunned figures in slow motion, in tides of smoke, wandering through the mass of vehicles and bodies, and others everywhere running, and a cop down, genuflected, outside a fast food shop.

"The future is always a wholeness, a sameness. We're all tall and happy there," she said. "This is why the future fails. It always fails. It can never be the cruel happy place we want to make it."

Monday, September 5, 2011

Remembering 9-11: A Memorial on the 10th Anniversary

The cover of the first edition of DeLillo's 1997 Underworld. DeLillo himself chose the image for it. Scary huh?  That's not an airplane up there but it sure looks like one now that we know the future context and perceive the image with precession. Actually it is a bird. A bird, a gull maybe, like the one Eric Packer sees into that dawn of his last day alive.

August 1974 Philippe Petit walks a tightrope between the Twin Towers.

Man On Wire youtube

Now we are approaching the 10 year anniversary of the loss of the twin towers.  Interviewed recently for his one-man show of his life story, Petit said that the towers still exist -- in his mind. "I don't see time begin and end. In my head, the twin towers are still alive.... On the subject of the towers disappearing, of course it was an immense -- sadness is not the word -- it was something alive that was pulled out of me," he said. Years after the attack, he holds onto that 1974 memory. "Nothing can change that. The memory of this adventure is an intimate, romantic, poetic, joyful feeling that will continue...for the rest of my life." LINK

Spider Dan has climbed an amazing list of towers:
The list of towers "Spider Dan" has climbed before reads like an encyclopaedia of famous American towers. Starting off with the Sears Tower, Chicago in 1981, he has also conquered the World Trade Centre (North Tower) New York, the CN tower in Toronto and the Hancock Centre, also in Chicago. 

These buildings are seductive.  They are what Baudrillard calls Fatal Attractors.  Seduction is coupled with challenge and duel, reversibility, a different order than the Order of Production.  Just like mountains, like Everest. They are objects beckoning the subject. They are Strange Attractors from Baudrillardian theory. Just as particles in a particle accelerator with opposite charges seek each other, play with each other, and when they collide....pouf!

These are beautiful films but the suggestiveness of the Twin Towers is inescapable. Add the bomb and explosion in 1992 and it seems incomprehensible our government did not perceive the seductiveness of the Twin Towers.

Vija: "You live in a tower that soars to heaven and goes unpunished by God."
She found this amusing.
"And you bought an airplane. I'd nearly forgotten this. Soviet or ex-Soviet. A strategic bomber. Capable of knocking out a small city. Is this right?" (Cosmopolis 103)

Baudrillard might say that the World is thinking this 9-11 Event that's coming.

Collapse of Twin Towers
It is probable that the terrorists had not foreseen the collapse of the Twin Towers (any more than had the experts!), a collapse which - much more than the attack on the Pentagon - had the greatest symbolic impact. The symbolic collapse of a whole system came about by an unpredictable complicity, as though the towers, by collapsing on their own, by committing suicide, had joined in to round off the event. In a sense, the entire system, by its internal fragility, lent the initial actions a helping hand. ( The Spirit of Terrorism 8)

But governments lie within the Order of Production not the Order of Seduction. The meaning of the Event of 9-11 lies in its secret. The 24/7 media coverage of circulating information drowned us in bits, but information is not knowledge. Information cannot be separated from its medium of dispersal. Information is not knowing. The circulating bits of information reveal and conceal the meaning of any Event.  The media circulating information becomes the Event. The secret of 9-11 is that governments are powerless to stop terrorism except to put the domestic population under more and more surveillance to create the empty "floating sign" of a security it cannot provide.

What does this have to do with DeLillo's Cosmopolis?