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Sunday, 3 June 2018

The supplement

The idea of a supplement in the Grammatology can be traced back to Levinas in T&I and can be found resonating in the notions of recurrence and substitution in Autrement qu'être. I can be substituted because my subjectivity can be supplemented, something can take my place not because I am incomplete, but because the other can supply a subjectivity to me, the other can be a surrogate which is not someone who takes an established role - not a complement - but an uncontrollable (an-archic) other that replaces, substitutes me. Therefore, my decisions can be taken for the others, I can be substituted and it is only as a recurrent me that I am me - I'm not me all the time, but I come back to myself, I come back to my burden as an existent.

Derrida understands the supplement as the exterior that replaces an element in something that is neither complete not faulty - such is Nature for Rousseau: something that can be supplemented, something that can have a replacement that adds a different element but not because it is faulty of incomplete. Rousseau would arguably prefer to clearly distance himself from the idea that Nature requires any prothesis. But it admits of protheses. Rousseau's Nature is neither complete nor incomplete, it is not missing something and it is not self-sufficient - it is not a totality and it is not something that can become a totality if the missing piece in the jigsaw were found. The supplement comes to what is neither complete nor incomplete: it is neither the completeness to come or the completeness achieved. It is maybe para-complete like a self-transcending totality, a potential infinite of sorts. In any case, something like this: it can be supplemented but it needs no complement. It is not complete, but it is not in need of a complementation - it is not final, finite; but it is not yet-to-be-finished or still to be terminated.

In this sense, the supplement connects totality and finitude by connecting totality with termination, with what is already done, with fully ready (and with the fully present). This is the connection between what is in process - and never fully terminated - and the supplement. Supplementation is never awaited, but it is never pre-empted.

Bodies without organs and inorganic bodies - the necropolitics of accelerationism

Writing about the molecular unconscious in the fourth part of the Anti-Oedipus, Deleuze and Guattari notice clearly that the body without organs and its intensities are matter itself. The unconscious is physical - they intend to give a fully materialistic account of what takes place unconsciously. Matter is not organized in organs, it is pure body - and it transmit intensities. Intensities goes from bodies to bodies - temperature is contagious, as colors in the wet paint, as rhythms is transmitted through different media. The machinic molecular unconscious describes the physical world but also the schizo who is doing no more than (almost) aimless production and therefore decodifying the existing codes of registration and consumption. Decodification of flows is to approach the body without organs in the sense that intensities replace codes and the molecular is made explicit. Such is the flow of capital, such is the movement of the body without organs - of the schizo - that decodifies what is molar, what is established, say by the attachment to the land or the orders of the State.

The connection between capital and the body without organs - capital is the relative limit while the body without organs is the absolute limit of a process of schizophrenization that melts codes, norms, rules, traditions and attachment - is the basis of D&G's accelerationism. If capital is not the ultimate flow and can be superseded (and decoded) by something that flows faster is because there could be something that turns the organic into the inorganic further. This sets the necrophilic stance of (any) accelerationism: it is about turning the organic codes into a flow of intensities (be it capital, information or any hyperflow) and therefore into the inorganic. Accelerationism is the ultimate necropolitics, it is from its inception a love of the inorganic, of the inorganic body, a focus on the bodies and not in any organ. Arguably, D&G are following Marx in the Manuscripts when he claims considering that the body expands to the inorganic ingredients of the land when no exploitation takes place anymore. But the melting of the distinction between the organic and the inorganic appears in accelerationism as being a process of dying, a process of destructing the organic, killing it. Capital is a killer, could be the message, and one has to kill faster if one is to resist it. But the worst in accelerationism if viewed like this is to claim that the organic (but maybe not life itself) is what needs to be overcome as it is the ultimate locus of traditional and established codes. In doing that, accelerationism forces revolution into a chapter of a necropolitics.


Sounds from the discussions in Hiperorgânicos including our debate on accelerationism and hyperstition (Erick Felinto, JP Caron and me)