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Immanence as the common ground of nihilism and capital

I have diagnosed nihilism and capital as being two major cosmopolitical issues. If one conceives of cosmopolitical parties, they ought to be concerned with these issues (as I advocated here). Cosmopolitics is a post-human era, which is a something that cannot be found anywhere but in the anthropocene. I have also suspected that there is a common structure to both cosmopolitical issues - they are both part of the history of the human age in the planet. My suspicion had to do with the idea that capital could be understood as an agent of the extraction of the intelligence of everything and therefore of nihilism (see, for instance, this). 

I now suspect that the common structure is that of totality and, accordingly, that of general equivalence and, at the bottom of it, of immanence. What could it mean to exorcise totality? To try and think beyond the idea that nothing is going to be left out – thinking is the endeavor of encompassing, of capture, of betraying the Other as Other. Totality is a figure of immanence – of successful immanence that ended up imposing itself throughout the history of metaphysics.

If totality is a figure of immanence, so is the universal. In fact, the very Christian effort to conjure a God to be murdered is precisely the saga of flattening what exists. The resulting universality is precisely a realm of equivalences – there is no otherness to the bat or to the e-ink because they are subjected to the same prefigured mode of understanding; they are going to be understood. In a world of universals, everything is replaceable and could be made redundant and if they have any right – human rights, animal rights, the rights of things – they have this right because of their equivalence with anything else. Everyone is equally entitled because of the abstract position occupied in an immanent space (the electoral college, a country with its citizens, or a universal with its instances). The immanent space is a flat, immanent space. The gradual flattening of what exists gave rise to the dismissal of multiple transcendent items – but the message could be that there are no transcending principles (or laws, or commander) but still there is something that transcends that is made explicit by the gradual dismissal of any other transcendent. 

What contrasts with this saga is a different geography of existence - neither flat, nor shaped by the transcendent items of the history of metaphysics. What transcends is addition, interminable outdoors, continuous excess that reshapes everything. The outdoors that transcends what exists reshapes it through a perceptual structure (see my forthcoming book Indexicalism). There is no addition-free completeness - no final or total order. The immanent democracy is always hostage to the natural, cognitive, hermeneutic and technological (transcending) excess.

 

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