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Thursday, 30 April 2015

General economy and ecological conditions

Beckett predicates questions of life and death as three-penny issues. They invite, as Hegel has shown in detail especially when read under Bataille's eyes, a focus on servitude, on being mastered (or master), on restrictions - in the sense of Bataille's restricted economy. Bataille summarizes the connection by holding that death and pain are agents of servitude - and therefore he urges a greater generality than the one that could be attained by Hegel's Phenomenology. The Phenomenology is stack in the restricted imaginary of life and death, reaching or not reaching what mediation (some kind of servitude) enables, taking commonsense to absolute knowledge or failing to do so. There is a route, a guide - and a single-track guide oriented towards survival (success is measured thereafter). There is no general cartography provided - no general economy.

In the Anarchai group we've been discussing Derrida's piece on Bataille in L'écriture et la difference. Derrida makes clear how Bataille is based on Hegel and departs from him. Bataille inaugurates a thought (and a writing) that is more general than the constraints of servitude through the possibility of death (and life). It is guided by expense: without reserve. Consume it and no servitude will ever shadow your thoughts. I was wondering if Bataille's claim could be understood under the lights of Povinelli's post-carbonic imaginary (her new geontology). Carbon imaginary turns around life and death (and the inanimate and the living) and could be seen therefore as restrict economy. It we are to break with it, we can appeal to what is expending without concern - with no reservations, with no savings. In this Bataille-oriented reading of Povinelly, Gaia is not a living agent or a population of connected organisms but an ecological condition and this can be taken as a spending agent. Gaia is intruded on us as something not passive, but capricious, who can be sovereign and not limited by fear of death (or attachment to life). Gaia is therefore Medea, as Peter Ward has suggested. Gaia would be an ecological condition that is sovereign for it belongs in general economy, and not in the restricted, carbon-based economy of life and death...

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