Sunday, January 13, 2008

Subjectivity is always-already distributed

[To define ourselves in relation to others, ultimately, causes us to invalidate them, simply because we can’t fuck two people at once, even if we pretend that we can. Hence, in essence, we favor one over the other, because that is what comparing does, and this is what defining ourselves in relation to others amounts to, in practice. Relating isn’t about self-defining, but collaborating. Relating is about showing face rather than putting on a mask—which is what self-defining is, unavoidably. Failing to self-define who we are causes us to project ourselves onto others. Self-defining is the result of inquiry; self-defining is how we become aware of our own bias, assumptions and denials. Self-defining is a necessary step in the transcendence and inclusion of ourselves, as a person or a collective of people. Self-defining in relation to others is a boundary violation, from which suffering is born, because no one other than us can define who we are.
We continuously define ourselves by talking, but most of the time we do so without taking ownership of it, because self-defining comes at the price of bearing our own responsibility. Exclaiming that we don’t matter or that we are just an illusionary construct is a cheap way to absolve ourselves of our own burden; refraining from self-defining is counter-productive to relating, meeting, merging and being seen. -- Second-Tier Community—Or the Myth of Unity January 13th, 2008, posted by christoph]
[As Badiou so nicely articulates it, ontology will be the science of multiplicity qua multiplicity without any identical terms or unities pre-existing these multiplicities. The aim will be to explain how we move from these inconsistent multiplicities to consistent multiplicities…
This leads to a paradox in which social agents simultaneously produce society and are produced by society. The social is nothing but the activity of the individuals that produce it, yet the relations composing society exceed the intentions or mastery of any single individual…
Luhmann treats social systems as autopoietic systems that are operationally closed and which reproduce themselves in time…It is not the outside that determines the system, but rather the organization of the system itself determines itself…Luhmann’s theoretical premises lead to a very pessimistic view as to the possibilities of social change through any sort of activism, because each system and sub-system is operationally closed and only relates to its environment through the mediation of its own code.
That is, under this model we will not have any ultimate unities or identities, but rather it will be multiplicities all the way down, where one multiplicity constitutes another multiplicity as a unity for itself…
The idea of a discrete subjectivity is a myth or optical illusion of sorts… As thinkers such as Lacan and Deleuze and Guattari teach us, subjectivity is always-already distributed in the sense that subjects are always already individuated within a social field…Territories of Music: Distributions, Productions, and Sonorous Individuations by larvalsubjects 8 December 2007]
[Individually we know so pathetically little, and yet socially we use a range and complexity of knowledge that would confound a computer. -- Knowledge and Decisions Thomas Sowell]
Does the Myth of Unity correspond to Ontology as the science of multiplicity? [TNM]

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