Wed, 22 Jan 2020 10:40:02 +0000 de-DE hourly 1 32 32 Bichler/Nitzans “Capital of Power” Wed, 22 Jan 2020 10:39:59 +0000

At first glance, it seems that Deleuze's concept of structure involves a complex form of the so-called creorder, a term that appears at the forefront of the methodological findings of the economists Bichler/Nitzan. (Cf. Bichler/Nitzan 2009) If the structure is updated in each of its moments in processes, then Bichler/Nitzan occupy this process with the term "creorder" (ibid. 2009: 19f.). They consider this to be a highly artificial term that is intended to indicate that a structure/order must permanently construct and reconstruct itself in (historical) time, just as a form must also be constantly transformed. According to Bichler/Nitzan, in the context of the Creorder, the meaning of the relationship between Heraclitic becoming and Parmenid being lies precisely in the fact that the fusion of verb and noun yields the term "Creorder": "To have a history is to create order - a verb and a noun whose fusion yields the verb-noun creorder. (Ibid.: 305) On the one hand, the so-called creorder may be completely vertical or hierarchically ordered, as is the case in ultra-bureaucratic systems, for example, but on the other hand it may also be horizontal, as could be the case in radical democracies, or it may be located in between order and disorder. The fluctuations within the so-called creorders can be almost imperceptibly slow, until one finally gets the impression of a complete stability of order, or on the contrary, they can lead to rapid acceleration (increase of outputs per time unit) and growth excesses, which finally undermine order, whereby the respective transformative temporal patterns process continuously or discretely or in between, for example in the sense of a Dedekind operation. In this context, it is important to note, with Hartmut Rosa (Rosa 2005: 118), that this is not only produced, distributed and consumed ever more rapidly, but also more and more, whereby a progressive compression or scarcity of social and individual time resources only occurs when the growth rates of the production of goods, services, information, distances travelled etc. exceed the temporal acceleration rates of the processes corresponding to them, otherwise the technologically forced acceleration processes would tend to lead to the release of social time resources. And finally, one may imagine the temporal accelerations as well as the fluctuations in growth rates to be uniform or random, singular or multifactorial, but no matter what characteristic finally characterizes this kind of processual structural order, the so-called creorder always implies for Bichler/Nitzan a paradoxical duality, namely that of a dynamic creation of an inherently static structure (the paradox of a system/set that has the ability to relate to itself).

Now, most hierarchical systems do indeed seem to possess an extraordinarily high degree of stability, whereby, for example, their accelerative potential appears at least restricted or limited, whereby in economics, according to Bichler/Nitzan, this is done either through material limitations and/or symbolic restrictions, in and with which the permanent effort of the system is expressed to regulate or even eliminate all kinds of conflicts, class struggles and resistances, or at least to prevent an open outbreak of conflicts. According to Bichler/Nitzan, however, capitalism has decisively and substantially relaxed and flexibilized this kind of restriction by means of two forms of self-accelerating deterritorialization, which further dynamize all principles of movement and solidification (without ever being able to get rid of the fact of conflictuality; i.e, conflicts remain stored in the structure): a) through the permanent revolutionization of scientific and ideological ways of thinking and mentalities, in the course of processes of acceleration and growth and b) through processes of intensive monetary capitalization, which bring about the incessant translation of qualities into quantities with increasing speed of change (variable rhythms, sequences and metrics). And in this, capitalization proves to be the generative matrix of capitalism itself, enabling extreme acceleration and rapid growth of economic entities, factors which in turn must be related to each other if one wants to make powerful statements about the compression of economic time. In this context, capitalization today is a purely monetary oriented formation and calculation of (synthetic) capital, i.e., with the help of efficient mathematical calculations, power-oriented capitalists try to reduce the risky, in the future

to discount, calculate and realize expected profits. At first glance, it seems that this kind of conceptualization in Bichler/Nitzan corresponds to Deleuze's attempt to incessantly shatter that objective illusion that forgets the process behind the structure. However, in Deleuze's depictions, the structure itself possesses a real differential, the actualization of which, in turn, can still be found in the microparticles of social reality and its semioses and math.

The economists Bichler/Nitzan have presented a controversial approach which, in contrast to labour value Marxism, which they wrongly identify with Marx's theory, emphasises the complexity of the monetary calculation of the future by (dominant) financial capital (as power). According to Bichler/Nitzan, capital can by no means be understood primarily as a mode of production, consumption and circulation, but rather as a symbolic mode of quantifying monetary capital as power, a determining regime of dominant capitals perfectly capable of permanently defining, shaping and regulating the various attractors, trajectors and vectors of the system in terms of power politics. (Cf. Bichler/Nitzan 2009: 42ff.) In fact, Bichler/Nitzan see at the center of the current financial regime the dominant capitals, which they define as symbolic institutions of quantified and quantifying capital power by perpetually perpetuating the claim to power of the private owners of economic units in the processes of capitalization and discounting. We are dealing here with economically quantifiable entities whose logic is to be regarded as the expression and measure of social power. Bichler/Nitzan do not speak of capital affirming power or being influenced by power, of power increasing capital or, conversely, of capital increasing power; on the contrary, at this point one has to abandon the idea of an external relation between different entities, since this cannot grasp the problem of power. Consequently, Bichler/Nitzan do not speak of capital and power, but of capital as power. Accordingly, the complex codes of old societies, after having been destroyed in protracted political struggles, have been replaced by a universal axiomatic/logic, namely the power logic of capital itself, whose calculi were constructed from the outset not by those of subjective utility, nor by calculi of production or consumption, but purely and comprehensively by calculi of finance qua capitalization. (Ibid.: 158f.) According to Bitzler/Nitzan, the constantly changeable syntheses of financial quantities, one could even say the pure flows of finance, which are constituted, articulated and at the same time coded by capitalization (an axiomatizing performance of capitalization that puts the flow and code of money capital into a relationship), do not reflect the qualities of capitalist goods or the productivity of capital, but rather represent and condense the power of the dominant capitalist private owners, who, however, continuously shape, regulate and control the economic, political and cultural magma of society actively in their own interest with the help of their symbolic power politics. The logic of capitalization thereby incorporates an anonymous, differentiated and invisible "mechanism" by which and through which the dominant capital controls the entire society by exploiting its property rights - to put it in purely formal terms on a simple formula: capitalization for Bichler/Nitzan implies the calculated (discounted) present value of the risk-adjusted profits expected from an economic unit in the future. "Capitalization represents the discounting to present value of risk-adjusted expected future earnings (and each of its symbolic components - the expected future earnings, the risk that capitalists associate with these earnings, and the normal rate of return that they use to bring them to present value - is a manifestation of organized power)"(Bichler/Nitzan 2013)

Accordingly, the symbolism of capitalization implies the calculation of the essential components of capital, including the profits expected in the future and the risks that the capitalists associate with these imaginary profits, the average interest rates and, finally, the future returns in relation to the current capital gains, and all these components, more precisely the management and control of all these symbolic components, represent, for Bichler/Nitzan, manifestations of organized capitalist power in a very structural way.

The power of these economic units (commodity, company, etc.) expressed in quantifications or prices, which is achieved through capitalization and discounting, is decisive for Bichler/Nitzan in his analysis of the current financialization regimes. And the primacy of power that Bichler/Nitzan ascribes to capital is ultimately based, for the two authors, on the dispositif of private property, which implies both institutional exclusion and deprivation; the dispositif of private property contains both a positive and a negative component, and both together promote the possibility of legally and consistently demanding and receiving monetary amounts from those who are excluded or indebted, in order not to have to exercise the right by force. And all too clearly, the architectonics of power has a quantitative and a qualitative dimension: whereas the qualitative dimension includes factors such as institutions, macroeconomic evolution and social conflicts, with the help of which the dominant capitalists in particular shape, underpin and regulate the social order, i.e. through processes with which they shape the so-called social trajectories of the system in permanence in order to generate their incomes in relative security, the quantitative dimension includes, in addition to capitalization, processes of machinization, i.e. the functioning of the universal algorithm and object-oriented computer languages (binary code), which in turn drive and encode, integrate and condense the countless qualitative processes, and this takes place under the dominance of the transactions of monetary quantities flowing in computer networks. Finally, any monetary stream of expected profits is considered a parameter of capitalization, which today potentially permeates every aspect of the social field, no matter how singular - dominant companies capitalize human life, social networks, social habitats, bodies and genetic codes, affects, wars and much more, if they can generate income and returns.

For Bichler/Nitzan, the dominant capitals with their hyper-active strategists constantly conjure up future events, developments and scenarios, and this is always done with the perspective of "safe" calculation of future money capital flows. But in a certain sense, for Bichler/Nitzan, too, capital has always had its future behind it, or it has to go backwards into the future, so to speak, because it does not know 100% what it is getting into with its calculations - caught completely in the forced corset of capitalization - and does not know where the journey is going and how deep one can actually fall, although this has happened a thousand times before. And all this happens precisely by taking current money capital, the sum of which one knows, as a (past) reference point to extrapolate future amounts and profits (which one does not know), trying to discount expected future profits to current money sums, while a (fictitious) benchmark provides the right "level" for the growth of profits. And this is true for time clusters over longer periods, where these processes represent something like the principal movement of the differential and financial accumulation of capital. In other words, capitalization includes, from the formal-economic point of view, a technology of calculating the ("discounted") present value of the expected future income derived from an economic unit (money, commodity, enterprise, etc.), and this in turn documents the power to be realized and realized in prices, the claim to power of the owners of dominant capital over other social actors. For Bichler/Nitzan sui generis, the concepts of capitalization and discounting apply as expression and measure of capitalist power. (Bichler/Nitzan 2009: 183f.)

In elaborating their concept of capitalization, Bichler/Nitzan make a further necessary definition, which however challenges an even more precise analysis of capitalist profits: According to this definition, the expected future profits (present future) expected at a given point in time (ex ante) must be compared with the profits that have become current and are only considered known ex post and on which one has speculated (future present). These two profit streams prove to be identical at best. Bichler/Nitzan write: "By definition, ex ante expected future earnings are equal to the ex post product of actual future […]"(Ibid.: 188) And this relation is what Bichler/Nitzan call the hype coefficient. By definition, Bichler/Nitzan specify that a (variable) relation between the ex ante expected future returns and the actual flows.

As we shall see, this formalization resembles the distinction that Elena Esposito makes in her analyses of financial derivatives as the difference between the present future (expected future) and the future present (future that actually occurs). According to Bichler/Nitzan, the following equation can now be applied:

(Kt=capitalization in time) Kt = EE = E × H, where (EE) stands for the expected future profits, (E) for the current level of profits and (H) for the hype coefficient (H=EE/E).(Ibid.: 189)

While the so-called material capital in its one-dimensionality remains more and more related to the past, to the capital stock and the past monetary amounts corrected by write-offs, the multidimensional monetary capitalization proves to be purely future-oriented. Capitalisation is thus characterised by four essential parameters/variables: a) current stock of profits, each of which already originates from speculation with the future, b) hype coefficient, c) expected future profits, d) the so-called risk coefficient (ibid.: 183ff.). According to Bichler/Nitzan, the interplay of these elementary symbolic variables of capitalization condenses, condenses and represents the power of the dominant capital, indeed it indicates capital as power, whereby financialization and the capitalization on which it is based form the actual movement of capitalist economy from the outset. According to the above equation, the capitalization of an asset/assets or a share of assets depends very much on two factors that define the profits/returns: a) the current assets, which can always only be determined ex post, and which always result from the management of the future The returns on these assets are unknown at the time when the assets are capitalised, but they become known with and in the time when income and profits are fixed, recorded and announced, b) the hype coefficient, which encompasses the collective error of capitalists as a class and already occurs at the time when assets are priced out (on the basis of ex ante expectations), whereby one can of course only determine ex post whether the expectations have been realised or not, i.e, this error is potentially present at the time when prices are assigned to the assets in question, but only comes to light when profits are fixed or announced. If the hype coefficient is expressed in a number, it articulates the question of whether capitalists have been overly optimistic or overly pessimistic about their future profits: If the expectations were overly optimistic, then a hype coefficient greater than 1 is to be assumed; if they were overly pessimistic, then it is to be set less than 1; only if the capitalists' projections were perfectly correct, then the hype coefficient is to be set equal to 1. (Ibid.: 188f.) What is at stake here is not a particular entity or the strategies of individual capitals, but something like the universal value of an entity defined by a capitalized and capitalizable asset.

For Bichler/Nitzan sui generis, uncertainty in capitalism is hidden in the discount-interest-rate scheme. (Ibid.: 196f.) (The discount is considered a form of interest. Whereas interest is always drawn retroactively, the discount is deducted ex ante from the so-called nominal value of a claim that is due within a certain period of time. It is to be calculated as a percentage of the nominal value related to one year). Bichler/Nitzan extend the derivation of the capitalisation formula with the definition of profitability (r), the ratio between the quantity (E) (earnings/profits) and (K) (K is here considered to be the dollar value of the invested capital):

r = E/K applies. (Ibid.: 197)

It is easy to see that this is an equation, an unknown and a solution. By a simple rearrangement of the variables of the equation, one achieves the following: If the profitability is calculated on the (known) basis of the profits and the original investment, then the investment can be calculated as the relation of profits and interest rate, so that one obtains the following formula: K = E/r. (ibid.)

The result appears as a formula which, according to Bichler/Nitzan, articulates and compresses exactly those social and economic practices with which the capitalists as a class have made and still make most of their price fixations since the 14th century. Mathematically, the two equations above seem identical, if not circular (see the Cambridge controversy), but in economic reality they contain a considerable

there is a considerable difference: while the first equation contains an ex post representation - it leads to the calculation of the interest rate, where the original investment and the resulting profits are known - the second equation implies an ex ante valuation: with it it it seems possible to calculate the value of the monetary capital in terms of future profits; these are unknown profits, just as the capitalists know nothing about the interest rate that may represent these profits. Therefore, at this point one is confronted with the impossible task of solving an equation with three unknowns, although this procedure hardly seems to have been a problem for capital in real-historical practice, because the capitalists as a class have (and still do) conjured up the familiarity of two quantities in order to finally calculate a third, an unknown quantity. But of course the question immediately arises as to how this is actually practiced and what this process means for the differential accumulation of capital (ibid.: 196f., 383f.): the fundamental problem is the prediction of future profits, whereby calculations prove to be wrong per se due to uncertainty, but the errors implied by this do not prove to be infinitely wrong either, according to Bichler/Nitzan, because over a sufficiently long period of time the calculations actually seem to oscillate closely around the curves of currently given values and figures. This results both from empirical analyses and from the insight adopted from chaos theory that over longer periods of time the results of games such as roulette have a certain mathematical descriptiveness. Also the interest rate/discount rate (rate at which it is fixed what a fortune of profits should really yield in the future) can be assumed to have a certain constancy and stability. If the interest rate reflects, among other things, the confidence that capitalists have in their own predictions and calculations, it is easy to conclude: the greater the uncertainty, the higher the interest rate must be. (Ibid.: 196f.) In the context of internal accounting, economists often state the fundamental difference between equity and debt as a question of confidence. And in economic reality, the degree of trust between the various owners of monetary capital depends largely on the "normalization" of their power. What explicitly counts with regard to the quantifiable calculation of power is the future-oriented possibility of the capitalization of money capital on the money and capital markets. If the past represents the realization of an expected profit, then the future represents the promise of a profit. And in this context, entries in double-entry bookkeeping appear as looking backwards, so to speak, and therefore as relatively insignificant, whereas capitalization, on the other hand, can be understood as a symbolic valuation/estimation or calculation of the future, which, moreover, by definition cannot circulate. More than that, if one calculates the risk-adjusted and discounted value of future profits, there is no, and if at all, a rather negative relation to the costs of the assets currently circulating.

However, some caution must be exercised in this kind of identification of quantifying capital and power, and this especially with regard to the Marx criticism made by Bichler/Nitzan (Marx allegedly neglected the aspect of power in addition to a false division of capital into real and financial capital), especially when the two authors attribute an incredible "scientific story" (ibid.: 313) to that identity of capital and power which they themselves call "figurative identity". To illustrate this with a simple example: If in a country the market capitalization of a dominant company is 1000 times greater than the average market capitalization of the medium and small companies, then the owners of the dominant company in the sense of absentee ownership (separation between ownership and company management) also possess 1000 times more power than those of the medium and small companies, according to Bichler/Nitzan. (Cf. Kliman 2011b: 67) Why, and this is what Marxist economist Andrew Kliman also asks in his criticism of Bichler/Nitzan's concept, why in heaven's name 1000 times as powerful and not 100 or 2000 times as powerful? (Ibid.) For Kliman the matter is clear, Bichler/Nitzan get rid of the problem by describing power exclusively with the categories and models of market capitalization (of the dominant companies).

The market capitalization of a dominant company, which is 1000 times greater than the average of the companies, however, as Kliman rightly points out, gives its owners or shareholders far less power than the owners of the companies with average market capitalization. There is also the danger here of transforming the relational relationship of power and its intrinsic relations of forces, as worked out by Foucault, into the description of a container that represents power, which one fills, as it were, with variously powerful capitals, in order to arrive at a description of capital as power; this would then be equivalent to the reintroduction of an old ontology, which one in turn liquefies by citing a statement that says: the power of power is the power or the capital of capital is capital. Kliman sums up at this point that the identification of capital and power is certainly not correct, but as Bichler/Nitzan themselves would admit, this is only a "figurative identity". (Bichler/Nitzan 2013)

For Bichler/Nitzan, term earnings volatility does not automatically imply the prospect of pole position in the markets. Indeed, according to the two authors, the problem of volatility should be immediately linked to the problem of power. The goal of all capitalization strategies of dominant capital is not primarily geared to higher income per se, but rather demands above all the attainment of a larger share of the mass of the total profits of an economy. According to Bichler/Nitzan, many of today's dominant owners are not particularly broadly diversified in their portfolios; instead, they pursue a highly focused policy - and in contrast to the so-called passive, reflexive individuals who populate the CAPM markets of financial mathematicians, one should imagine these kinds of owners as hyperactive and exploiting resources of all kinds, because they never accept profit opportunities as just given, but try to actively create them, they even fight obsessively for higher profits within the framework of a differential accumulation (beat-the-other) and as a result they always try to tame volatility and its extreme asymptotic swings, at least for themselves.

These processes are now also taking place within the framework of so-called market states, which are completely focused on their competitiveness on the world market and have to fear other market states as their enemies, and are therefore also constantly concerned about weakening their competitors. And power-obsessed owners of money capital not only accept the risk, but actively design and shape it, which would relativize the imagined close relationship between profit volatility and profit growth. Instead, at least according to Bichler/Nitzan, with some dominant capital fractions the concentration of all economic processes on the problem of profit growth in the context of the elimination of competitors would turn into a pure obsession, and this entirely in the sense of power-oriented control, calculability and differential computation of money capital flows. Bichler/Nitzan thus describe organized capitalist power as an attempt to permanently advance the active design of economic processes that serve to translate undefined uncertainty into quantifiable risks. Uncertainty arises here not only because of the paradoxes of capitalist future management addressed by Esposito, but also precisely because of the conflictual logic of differential accumulation, which is dominated by the large capitals. At the same time, according to Bichler/Nitzan, these quantifiable power games with their entropic tendencies always imply order, as the "measure", so to speak, that defines the extent to which uncertainty can be kept within limits. Bichler/Nitzan write: "Partly objective, partly inter-subjective, this degree is captured inversely by the 'risk coefficient'" (Bichler/Nitzan 2009: 210)

While the risk premium is defined as the designated return in terms of current volatility, the risk coefficient is about the confidence that capitalists and their various factions have in their own predictions. Of course there is now a relationship between volatility and confidence, but the correspondence is by no means easy to understand: For volatility in itself does not generate uncertainty; rather, it is specifically power-oriented temporal patterns of volatility that constantly produce uncertainty. Bichler/Nitzan add another aspect to their economically based power analyses: while in financial theory one believes that the affirmation

of higher risk is always rewarded with a higher risk premium, which also appears to imply a high volatility of profits, empirical analysis shows that, for example, at certain temporal intervals, General Electric's profits increased ten times more than General Motors', but the volatility of GE's profit growth was actually lower than GM's (ibid.260f.) It seems that the empirical analysis in this case beats the hypothesis of an idealistic theory, because the factor of volatility proves to be secondary to that of profit in this case. And in this context, it would then also be necessary to ask how such economic conglomerates such as BMW, General Electric, DaimlerChrysler or Philip Morris can be classified at all, since these companies today operate in the most diverse sectors of the entire business spectrum, ranging from financial intermediation to the trade in raw materials and their processing to entertainment, marketing and distribution. The diversification of these groups seems so extensive that we are dealing with a general economic problem. According to Bichler/Nitzan, production always implies a kind of "socio-hologramic activity", and it is carried out by an integrated sector of industry, whereas in contrast the large corporations are financialised structures/entities - BMW, for example, would not need to produce any cars at all, the company would only have to control the production of the cars. Similarly, corporations such as Mitsubishi Trading or Deutsche Bank, with their power to integrate various forms of power, control key aspects of automobile production and only this control allows them to demand "undifferentiated parts of the total societal profit". This way of classifying companies is thus not only based on establishing a relation to production, but on an analysis along the broader line of monetarily quantified power, of which production is only one aspect (ibid.262) With their distinction, based on Thorstein Veblen, between industry - the production of articles of daily use for human needs - and the so-called business, the trade of monetary values with the sole aim of increasing these monetary values, for Bichler/Nitzan business not only functions independently of industry, but in part even hinders its production processes. When Bichler/Nitzan argue that today it is not industry in the Veblenian sense, but precisely business that represents the essence of postmodern capital, and this in complete contradiction to the assumptions of neoclassical and Marxist theory, then on the one hand they may be right in their criticism of certain theoretical approaches (neoclassicism and dogmatic Marxism), but on the other hand, by concentrating on power-theoretical aspects, the authors themselves only reiterate the duality of real and nominal economy, which they, for example, call the "duality of power". Marx, for example.

Although Bichler/Nitzan constantly point out that Marxism and Marx himself made a separation of real and nominal capital in principle and not just analytically, they themselves make a genuine division in advance of their analyses: Firstly, they mention the so-called creative/productive capital, which the American economist Thorstein Veblen, to whom they refer, called "industry"; secondly, they introduce an area of economized power, which in the current capitalist epoch is characterized by the naked form of business and sabotage, the so-called strategic sabotage, the very conscious rejection of social innovations and inventions purely for the sake of maintaining power. For both Veblen and Bichler/Nitzan, industry is to be understood as collective knowledge, which in Marx's sense roughly corresponds to the General Intellect, which is highly cooperative, integrating and synchronizing production processes, while in contrast, the so-called Business does not function collectively and collectively at all, at least according to Bichler/Nitzan, but rather works under the dominance of the large capital with systemic prevention and legal restriction qua private property, operates with strategic sabotage, which permanently shakes or upsets social democratization, innovative resonances and social conditions, in that dissonances are installed as the power of the dominant capital and thus processes of oligopolisation are driven forward, which in most cases leads to non-linear relations between industrial capital and the so-called financial business.

. Bichler/Nitzan make a further dualization with Mumford's distinction between democratic technologies and power technologies, whereby with regard to the latter they speak of a mega-machine of capital controlled by the capitalization mode. The two authors concentrate their approach primarily on aspects of capital power over … (transitive power, the influence of actor A on the actions of actor B): over employees, over other capitals or companies, etc., while forms of intransitive self-referential power or Foucault's bio-power are hardly mentioned, which only generate the social period and the respective reference points for actions, struggles and mutual influence.

Bichler, Shimshon/Nitzan, Jonathan (2009): Capital as Power. A Study of order and creoder. Florence.

  • (2013): Differential Accumulation. In:
    Kliman, Andrew (2006): Reclaiming Marx's "Capital": A Refutation of the Myth of Inconsistency. Lanham.
  • (2011a): The Failure of Capitalist production: Underlying Causes of the Great Recession. London.
  • (2011b): Value and Crisis: Bichler & Nitzan versus Marx. In: Journal of Critical Globalisation Study. In:
    Rosa, Hartmut (2005): Acceleration. The change of time structures in modernity. Frankfurt/M.

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Metadata as a Problem for Thinking Tue, 21 Jan 2020 10:22:04 +0000

I should have said this before, but the word itself is a monstrosity. Whosoever would attach a Greek prefix to a Latin root should be driven out of the city, egads. But let's overlook this superficial fact, at least for the time being. We saw before that metadata is an engineering problem. But metadata is a problem for other reasons too; metadata is a problem for thinking.

The notion that metadata might be a problem for society emerged onto the world stage with the Snowden revelations, although people have been worried about such issues already for some time. The conversation then was about the collection of so-called metadata -- telephone call records, who called whom, and so on -- and the lawful or unlawful ends to which such data might be used by state and commercial actors.

Here I'm not so much interested in whether metadata is a problem for society, but rather how metadata relates to thought and whether metadata might be a problem for thinking.

Data has long been a problem for thought. Data comes from the world, after all, and it's unclear where the mind sits vis-à-vis the world. In a phenomenological sense, data are all the things given up to experience. Data is furnished through specific structures of cognition. Such structures are social as well as cultural. But they're also physiological, limited and conditioned by the human senses. There's no such thing as raw data, of course, but at the same time data remains fairly primitive in the phenomenological sense. Data isn't raw in the sense of unstructured, but it remains raw to the extent that it becomes the ingredients for thinking. Much of the history of philosophy is an attempt to account for this fundamental incompatibility, the incompatibility between thinking, on the one hand, and, on the other, a world thought. To date, no one has solved this problem, probably because it's not a problem to be solved, so much as an encounter to be experienced. "Metadata" thus implicates the mind-body relation itself, the fundamental dualism of human consciousness. If data has a meta, is it us?


While the philologists will certainly object, it seems only natural and right to connect the Greek "meta" with English terms like "media" and "middle." The dentals "d" and "t" frequently slip and evolve into one another. And as Liddell and Scott attest, "meta" in the genitive and dative means "between" or "among." In the accusative it means "into the middle of" and thus generates a kind of sequence or succession, as is the essence of the accusative more generally. For this last reason, "meta" in English has come to mean "after" or "beyond," or even something like the "external" or "outside," as in the expression "going meta." Although that risks going too far; the essence of "meta" is not "beyond" so much as "between" or "among." So if we define media as middle, as I want to do, then a cluster of terms begin to coalesce around meta/media/middle.

(Philosophers love to recount the old anecdote about how Aristotle's "Metaphysics" got its name. The volume was apparently filed on the shelf *after* Aristotle's Physics, and since the Greek "meta" means "after," the volume was christened "After the Physics," or, for short, "Metaphysics." Whether apocryphal or not, the anecdote has long served to boost the biases of secular rationalism, as if to suggest that metaphysics in western philosophy can be explained away as a mere mishap of librarianship. At the same time, the anecdote also misses the essential point: "meta" might mean "after" but, more importantly, it means "amidst.")

The "meta" in metadata is also a problem for thought in a less obvious way. As I just suggested, the "matter" terms are, in a sense, the "media" terms. The meta is, in a sense, the middle. And the middle has long been a problem for philosophy. The middle is often the thing that philosophy can't think, or won't think. Indeed feminists have long made this very point, that "in between" states are perennially marginalized in philosophy. Some of the foundational principles from logic are most to blame here. I'm thinking of the law of non-contradiction and the principle of the excluded middle, both of which try to do it do away with middles as such. If you wonder why philosophy has always had such a hard time with ambiguity, multiplicity, or superposition it's because the state of being-in-between has been excluded from the foundations of logic since the beginning, or at least since Aristotle. (Attempts have been made to remedy this through things like paraconsistent logic but the results are rather unappetizing.) Because of this, many have turned away from philosophy, toward fields better equipped to think the middle as such, whether in feminist theory or media studies or in some other field altogether.

Shifting away from "amidst," eventually "meta" came to mean an external frame or set of conditions that constitute things. And to think the "meta conditions" came to be synonymous with thinking as a whole. Under secular modernity, the question "what is x?" was answered by outlining the conditions of possibility that pertained to the generation of x. A thing was defined via the conditions of the thing; thing = conditions. Perhaps no better example of this paradigm may be found than in the work of Immanuel Kant, who laid out the general conditions for thinking anything whatsoever (what Kant termed the transcendental conditions). With Kant, thinking fully mediatizes. To think is to think the meta, to think the media.

Now the relation between "digital" and "metadata" comes into view. I've said before that the digital entails some sort of cut that both separates and defines. (English terms like slice and section, but also the German Schnitt, the French tranche all contain this dual sense, both hewing off but also forming a piece.) So the digital means the cut, the mark, or better yet the frame or border that defines a space. And if "metadata" means framing -- information in formation -- then metadata are the purest expression of the digital. Such data is the digital in a very literal sense, because digital means the introduction of a frame. To assign metadata is to "be" digital. In the end, that's all the digital is.

Or consider Kant again and his famous expression "7 + 5 = 12" from the first Critique. We can now say that the left side of the expression, "7 + 5," has more metadata than the right side, "12." It has more discrete structure; it displays an increased digitality. It also literally contains more information, since two integers plus an operator is larger than a single integer. Thus "12" is quite literally the synthetic term for Kant, since it integrates three analytical terms into a single one. (Whether all mathematics is synthetic, as Kant argued, remains to be seen.)

So meta means amidst (being in the middle), but it also means frame, as in the conditions of possibility framing any knowledge whatsoever. Is this a contradiction? And does it matter? I wrote before on the problem of meaning in AI. Meaning seems to be contained not so much in one side or the other, in the frame or in the middle, but in the friction and vacillation between the two. Humans do it well. Digital machines not so much. Again, the obvious culprit is that digital tech has, for 2500 years at least, separated the middle from the meta, favoring the latter over the former. And for this reason modern digital computing has more or less given up on meaning. The formalist turn in mathematics during the early 20th C already set the stage for modern computing by asserting that mathematical truths were uncoupled from anything "real." All that matters for formalists is whether symbols are manipulated correctly on a page. So by mid-century, few were scandalized when Claude Shannon put forth his famous definition of information in which meaning played absolutely no part.

Metadata isn't a problem for digital computation. As I've said, "digital" and "metadata" mean practically the same thing. Yet metadata remain a problem for thinking, since to think is to recognize the essential tension between media as middle and media as frame. To think is to recognize the middle, full stop.

(And if, by contrast, digital tech were to include the middle, it might perform better, but then again it would cease being digital.)

taken from here

Foto: Bernhard Weber

The law of the tendentious fall of the general rate of profit in capital Bd.3 Mon, 20 Jan 2020 13:54:41 +0000

In the opinion of Georgios Stamatis, Marx, in presenting the law of the tendentious case of the general rate of profit, equates value and price, among other things, in order to disregard the effect of the so-called Wicksell effects (including the observation of the relationship between the rate of profit and the rate of interest) on the course of the general rate of profit.1 Marx further presupposes that parameters such as productivity, the technical composition of capital, the consumption of raw materials and the stock of means of production have shown a constant tendency towards growth in the course of the internal history of capitalism, possibly also the real wage rate. And Marx further assumes that the percentage increase in productivity at the level of the total complex of capital is less than the percentage increase in the technical and organic composition of capital. At the same time, capitalist competition constantly forces companies to accelerate the processes of research, technological innovation, and thus leads to the introduction of new (industrial) production methods. And finally, individual capital is less interested in the absolute mass of profit realised after a given production period, but more in the amount of money it receives in relation to its initial investment, ergo the profit rate (and the profit rate in relation to the interest rate). And the result is an ever-increasing technologically-based capitalization of production, which Marx sees expressed in the increase in the organic composition of capital (value ratio of constant (c) to variable capital (v) including the price indexation of the change in value of constant and variable capital of the same quality).

The relation between added value (m) and constant capital (c) + variable capital (v) implies the profit rate p = m / c + v. If we extend Marx's formula for the profit rate by 1/v, we arrive at the following formula:

p= m/v


                    c/v +1

Consequently, the profit rate as a relation between absolute quantities is transformed into a relation of relations, whereby this relation of relations remains related to the general average profit rate. (Cf. Heinrich 2006: 330) Marx identifies the two main determinants of the profit rate in the value added rate (m/v) and the value composition of capital (c/v). (MEW 25: 221ff.) The profit rate implies the relation of a flow quantity - the profit in an accounting period - to a stock quantity, the advanced constant and variable capital. While in the case of credit the return is determined ex ante in a contract, namely as interest, the empirical determination of the profit rate and its general tendency of movement can only be the result of a complicated statistical ex post calculation, whereby the transformation of data sets taken from the national accounts (national economic accounts) to Marxian quantities requires an exact determination of what can be assumed as quantities for calculating the profit rate based on the empirical data series. Firstly, the so-called surplus must be limited and recorded, which is included in the profit rate above the fraction line, i.e. the profit before or after deduction of depreciation and taxes and taking into account derived income and income from employment of self-employed persons. And secondly, it would be necessary to clarify what capital is to be determined as advanced capital, whether net fixed assets or gross fixed assets are to be recorded. Last but not least, the calculation of the profit rate requires that price changes be taken into account when determining the capital stock, which is usually the result of investments made at very different times. Furthermore, a distinction must be made between the profit rate as a relative figure and the profit mass, an absolute figure.

Marx's law of the tendential case of the general rate of profit wants to say that under very specific conditions, which for him were those of classical industrial capitalist production, the capitalist methods of production correspond to a long-term tendency to increase the organic composition of capital, which in percentage terms is higher than the increase in the rate of added value, so that the general rate of profit, if we take it as the ratio of the rate of added value and the organic composition of capital, must fall in the long term. (Cf. Stamatis 1977: 115ff.) The necessary and sufficient fall of the general profit rate is primarily the consequence of an excessively increasing capital intensity or productivity, which is accompanied by an increasing savings rate of capitalists (increasing ratio of means of production to added value), through which the increasing intensity of means of production realizes.

However, in certain historical phases we are simultaneously dealing with so-called counter-tendencies which can lead to a higher percentage growth of the rate of value added than that of the organic composition of capital: 1) extreme increase of the rate of value added; 2) reduction of the wage and the fact of overpopulation; 3) expansion of capital abroad; 4) share capital etc. (MEW 25: 242ff.) Finally, there can also be a strong reduction in the price of machinery and technology, which leads to a fall in the organic composition of capital, which in turn can increase the profit rate.

Marx attempts to capture modifications of the material properties of production processes with the relation technical composition of capital, the relation between means of production/raw materials and wage-dependent labour, whereby this relation is to be understood as a technological set-up of production processes in physical units. Because we are dealing with processes of exploitation at the same time, there has always been a specific relationship between constant capital (means of production) and variable capital (wages), which Marx writes in terms of the law of the case of the general rate of profit, especially in values. (Cf. Stamatis 1977: 189f.) The technical composition of capital expressed in values is what Marx calls the value composition or organic composition of capital (c/v). While the value composition of capital also takes into account the indirect effects and variations of the parameters that determine it, the organic composition of capital refers purely to the direct changes in (c) and (v). For Marx's description of the long-term developmental trends of the capitalist mode of production, the assumption of an increasing technical and, to a lesser extent, organic or value composition of capital (this is due to the increase in productivity, which results in falling prices for constant capital) is of great importance, whereby Marx justifies this with the compulsion, mediated by competition, to increase the internal productivity for individual capitals. (Ibid.: 221f.) Here Marx distinguishes two types of competition, namely a) the intra-sectoral competition, which captures the individual capitals within a sector, and b) the intersectoral competition between individual capitals of the different sectors. The saving of labour through the increased use of machinery (in the form of the immediate release of labour or in the form of a greater output with the same labour input) thus tends to lead in capitalism to an increase in constant capital in relation to variable capital, i.e. to an increasing organic composition of capital. And Marx further assumes that the increased use of machinery, technology and apparatuses - as a result of the scientificization of production - is the significant structure of the increase in productivity under capitalism and thus at the same time the decisive method for reducing the costs of production. (Ibid.: 236f.)

However, under the conditions defined by Marx, which constitute the logical framework for the law of the case of the general rate of profit, more efficient machinery and technology is only used for the purpose of reducing the costs of individual capital if, for a coming production period, the additional expenditure of constant capital (the monetary capital invested in machines and raw materials) is thus less than the savings of variable capital, i.e. the monetary capital invested in the remuneration of labour. Technological innovation is applied when, at least for the individual capital, ∆ c1 < ∆v1, thus reducing the previous cost price of the goods. (Cf. Heinrich 2003: 338) This initially leads to the realisation of extra profits for the technologically dominant company until the production level in an industry has generalised again. The dominant company can also realise further extra profits by increasing its material output. Two trends should be taken into account here: On the one hand, the new production methods, which entail an increase in productivity, lead to a reduction in the price of food, which is necessary for the reproduction of labour, over and above the saving of labour (however, in the course of capitalist development all goods, whether raw materials, machines and food, become cheaper, because more or higher quality products are produced for a given working time), which results in an increasing value composition of capital. At the same time, the new technologies and production methods can also lead to a reduction in the price of the elements of the

in a declining value composition of capital, although the reduction in the price of the elements of constant capital at the level of total capital only leads to a declining value composition if the increase in productivity in the production of means of production (Division I) is permanently higher than that in the production of consumer goods (Division II). In order to justify the tendency of a long-term increase in the value composition of capital and thus the fall in the profit rate, it would have to be shown that the reduction in the price of the elements of constant capital associated with the increase in productivity cannot compensate for the other aspects which, in the so-called counter-trend, lead to an increasing value composition of capital - technical or immediate increase in constant capital relative to variable capital, reduction in the value of labour. (Stamatis 1977: 221f.) It is therefore necessary to consider how the relationship between constant capital and variable capital behaves, for example, whether variable capital decreases more strongly than constant capital increases, so that inversely the value added increases more strongly than constant capital, namely to the extent that variable capital decreases, which would mean that we would indeed be dealing with an increasing profit rate. However, constant capital can also increase more strongly than variable capital decreases, and yet a generally increasing profit rate (and profit mass) can still be observed, namely in a period in which at least the technologically dominant companies are making extra profits, namely when their total costs of (c) plus (v) per product unit are lower than the average costs in the industry and their products are sold at the old, still valid social price or at least at the limit of the old price. Price reductions (above the individual, but below the social "value") may be necessary to realize the larger material product quantities. The individual capital must take into account both the relative added value or total costs per product unit and the increase and realization of their quantity in their calculations, plans and calculations. In addition, the technologically dominant capital can also gain advantages by laying off workers without increasing the value added rate. It can even reduce the profit mass, which in turn is compensated by the extra profit. We are dealing here with individual strategies for reducing production costs per unit of product, but with regard to the development of the general profit rate and its tendency to fall, we must focus on the generalisation of new production methods in so far as they have lowered the general value level, whereby with the elimination of the extraprofit u. The abolition of the extra profit may actually lead to a fall in the general rate of profit, because the increase in constant capital or capital intensity has its full effect at the level of capital as a whole, depending on whether or not the new technologies improve the conditions for the exploitation of an entire industry.

Marx imagines the process, which tends to lead to the fall of the general profit rate, as follows: If one assumes that for a given production the quantity of goods necessary for the reproduction of labour remains the same, as does the length of the working day and the intensity of labour, and that the value product created per working day by the labour force remains constant, then it follows that with increasing productivity the rate of added value m/v rises because of the reduction in the price of goods, but this increase still means that the individual labour force uses a larger quantity of means of production (raw materials and machinery) in the same given period of time than in earlier production periods. The saving of labour through the use of machinery thus leads directly to an increase in constant capital in relation to variable capital, i.e. to an increase in the technical composition of capital and, to a lesser extent (due to the cheapening of machinery) to an increase in the value composition of capital. Marx assumes that the greater quantity of means of production per worker also corresponds to a greater value of these means of production, which, as we have seen, is problematic, since the increase in productivity makes all goods cheaper - ultimately also the means of production. (Ibid.: 249f.) Although it may be the case that in a particular industry a slight increase in productivity requires a high expenditure of additional constant capital, as was previously the case in traditional capitalist industries such as the steel industry or the chemical industry, on the other hand, in some industries, such as

today in the computer industry, where the new computers are hardly more expensive than the old models, a high increase in productivity can be achieved with relatively little additional constant capital, and it may even be the case that an industrial robot represents less value than the old mechanical equipment and therefore a higher profit/profit is achieved even with constant added value per constant and variable capital employed. Trenkle/Lohoff argue at this point that while it could be profitable for individual capital to replace labor with industrial robots (instead of two workers at old mechanical apparatus, there would then only be one worker at an industrial robot), on the other hand this leads to a "melting of the value mass" at the level of total capital. (See Lohoff/Trenkle 2012: 105f.) We have already commented on this above.

Let us recapitulate with Stamatis the fundamental provisions of the capitalist form of productivity increase, which imply the tendential fall of the general profit rate: Each increase in productivity leads to a percentage increase in the technical composition and therefore in the value composition of capital, while at the same time, in the wage sector, one can observe a decrease in the value of the means of reproduction, plus, if the rate of growth of productivity is higher than that of the real wage, a decrease in the value of labor. However, the resulting increase in the relative rate of value added is far from sufficient to compensate for the increase in the value composition of capital, so that ultimately the general rate of profit must fall. Now, however, there are certainly "new" capitalist production methods (which Stamatis discusses in detail, see Stamatis 1977: 305ff.), to which Marx himself briefly refers in the Grundrisse in connection with the presentation of the problem of the basic pension; methods which increase the relative rate of added value due to specific increases in productivity, while at the same time the value composition of capital remains the same or even falls (among other things, due to the reduction in the price of machinery, which may indeed be the case in the digitalised industries today): By definition, this increases the overall rate of profit. Even with an increasing technical composition of capital and, to a lesser extent, of its value composition, the profit rate can therefore increase if productivity grows more strongly than the value composition of capital in percentage terms - and this seems to be crucial for the introduction of these new capitalist production methods to occur at all. Insofar as cybernetic systems make machines run faster and at the same time reduce their technical wear and tear, the value of such innovations is to be assessed from the outset as lower than that which they replace (cheapening of constant capital). And it must be taken into account that machinery, as hardware, is today subject to efficient control by software, which translates and iterates the beat of the clock. And in these processes even specific reserves of production are taken up and taken up, which are to be considered as parts of collaborative work and cooperation (affects, cognition, language etc.) or as a free service for capital. For Marx, on the other hand, it was the classical production methods of industrial capital and the associated specific form of productivity increase (especially in the thermodynamic and chemical industries) that led to an increase in the technical composition and, to a lesser extent, in the value composition of capital, and at the same time to an increase in the rate of added value, albeit less than that of the value composition of capital. And thus, in the final analysis, the ratio between the relative increase in the rate of value added and the relative increase in the value composition of capital determines whether the rate of profit rises or falls within the framework of the general conditions, parameters and variables that Marx gave with the construction of the law of the tendential case of the general rate of profit. (Cf. Heinrich 2013) In the case of a falling profit rate, however, it must then apply sui generis that the rate of added value increases in percentage terms more slowly than the value composition of capital. It would therefore have to be shown that the value composition of capital rises faster than the value added rate, or, in other words, that total capital grows faster than the absolute value added mass. (Cf. Stamatis 1977: 249f.) The elasticity of the value-added rate in relation to the value composition of capital, which indicates by how much the value-added rate increases when the value composition increases by one percent, must assume a certain magnitude for the profit rate to eventually fall, and this is precisely the case when the percentages of

increase in the value added rate compared to the percentage increase in the value composition is lower than the ratio of constant to total capital. (Ibid.: 143ff.) Marx now believes to know that the value-added rate tends to grow more slowly than the value composition of capital, i.e. over a longer historical period, the elasticity of the value-added rate is therefore lower than its critical value. (Ibid.: 282f.) One can see here, if one then takes into account the formal and mathematically well-founded attempts at justification of Stamatis, that with regard to the affirmation of the law of the tendentious case of the general rate of profit it is by no means sufficient to state that constant capital increases in relation to variable capital, but constant capital must always increase in a certain dimension (and the greater the increase in productivity, the more so). And finally, we can see that while it is possible to specify the direction of movement of the individual variables that ultimately determine the profit rate, the relative speed of movement of the variables is always at issue. And one could even calculate, within the mathematically formulated conditions of the law, by how much % the constant capital would have to increase in order for the profit rate to fall; but whether the constant capital really increases by so many percentage points in the singular historical courses of the differential accumulation of total capital is not so easy to determine on the basis of empirical studies, which are also based on statistical data, constructions and methods based on the concepts of economics. (Cf. Heinrich 2013a) And it can now be summarized that Marx's law of the tendential fall of the general rate of profit can be determined from a formal-logical point of view, as Stamatis demonstrated with mathematical precision work, but this does not say anything about a possible historical validity of the law. According to Marx, under very specific conditions, which must be given, the increase in productive power leads to a tendency for the profit rate to fall, which in turn should be confirmed by empirical studies and analyses, whereby the hypotheses and reasons for the empirically determined development should also be named. The purely functionalist approach of the law, which substantiates the description and hypotheses of the conditions under which a specific functional relationship exists between the rate of added value and the value composition of capital, should therefore always be extended to include the substantiation of the conditions of the empirical development of profit rates through the internal history of capital. The law itself deals less with the variation of the levels of effects and counter-effects on the rate of profit than with the production of effects and counter-effects under very specific conditions, which Marx points out from the limits in which variations are possible, and these limits are determined by the capitalist structure as an overall complex.

The matter becomes even more complicated and complex if, as Ernest Mandel did in his analyses of late capitalism in the 1970s, the profit rate is understood as a synthetic indicator in which, in addition to the important parameters of the value composition of capital and the rate of added value, the relationship between fixed and circulating capital, the turnover time of capital, the rate of accumulation and the exchange relations of the means of production and consumer goods departments are also included in the analysis as variable factors for determining the profit rate. (Cf. Mandel 1972: 104ff.) Both the development of the value-added rate and that of capital efficiency remain dependent on the relative development of wages. Not only as a measure of the profitability of capital, but also as a synthetic indicator, the movement of the profit rate should, according to Mandel, also be examined empirically, in its historical cyclicality, in order to be able to demonstrate, for example, over-accumulation tendencies in the internal history of capital, for example, due to a falling return on capital. According to Mandel, in his description of the law, Marx could still assume a pure movement of the equalisation of average profit rates between industries (intersectoral) and on a national scale, as well as a uniform national configuration of wages in the individual industries, which was ultimately crucial for determining the indicator value-added rate. With the internationalisation and globalisation of capital accumulation, however, according to Mandel, the possibilities for regulation within the nation states have been reduced, which means that the parameters of profit production today increasingly vary along the

the globalised competition of capital and the dynamics of capitalisation/financialisation. (ibid.: 42ff.) Thus, both the differences in the capital turnover times of internationally operating corporations and the network structures of capital among themselves, and not least the internal value flows and the material conditions of these corporations themselves, would have to be examined anew.

In this context, let us consider a final problem, which has gained in sharpness through the attempt of the Japanese economist Okishio to refute Marx's Law. (Cf. Stamatis 1977: 160ff.) With regard to the problem of the temporalization of accumulation, we can assume that, when new investments are realized, production is carried out with means of production and wages that were still bought at "old" prices, which initially implies that a change in the technical composition is only reflected with a time lag in a higher or lower organic composition of capital, which in turn influences the emergence of new prices for production outputs (due to higher productivity). The production of goods imposes their updating as goods in circulation, without the quantities sold being able to be predicted in advance, whereas, conversely, circulation (qua economic mathem) has to update these goods depending on the volume of the products. At the same time, it must be taken into account that technological changes also affect other production facilities and branches of production. If individual capital now wants to change immediately to new prices, this would anticipate the process of updating value, in so far as production based on a set of "old" prices and the generation of a new set of prices must be taken into account, which companies in circulation are confronted with. Let us consider a single sector of the economy with different levels of productivity: at a given time, innovative firms have invested in more efficient machinery than other firms in order to make an extra profit, at least temporarily. These companies immediately face the following problems: As these new technologies become established, the gradual devaluation of goods makes it less profitable to recover their previous investments. Although the newly achieved extra profit can partly eliminate this problem, investments in fixed capital, i.e. capital that remains in the production sphere for several production periods and only passes on its value to the product at intervals, exacerbate this problem. This stock of fixed capital has usually been purchased at fixed commodity prices, while its "value" has to be updated over several production periods or may have to be realized in transit with possibly new commodity prices, so that the operative parameters of capital utilization on the different time scales would have to be reduced to a common time interval in order to obtain a meaningful relation with respect to the price variables used to empirically determine the profit rate (electricity and stock variables). Thus, according to Marx, when a company uses a new technology for a coming production period, the value of the labour used is reduced. If one follows Okishio's interpretation, however, this process does not lead to pressure on the profit rate, but rather to an increase in the profit rate, due to the reduction in the price of machinery associated with increased productivity and possibly the reduction in the value of labour, at least for the technologically dominant individual capital. (ibid.) This, in turn, is completely different for the American economist Kliman, because in his view it is impossible to reduce the costs of a future production period in which new technologies are used, since the machinery is still paid at the "old" prices. And in this respect, new prices can only be the result of a future production period, because capitalist production processes must be imagined not primarily in terms of their simultaneity, but above all as successive successive phases. For Kliman, Marx's description of prices and profit rates clearly focuses on the temporal aspect, whereby the prices of the inputs of production already differ from the output prices. One could now do anything with mathematics, Kliman concludes with a side blow to the so-called simultaneousists, but if the assumed conditions are already unrealistic, one could also reach completely unrealistic conclusions. (Cf. Kliman 2006) However, and this may be objected to Kliman without hesitation, technological change (which Kliman also accepts) does not necessarily lead to

to a case of the profit rate, because with regard to new production periods, even if one assumes fixed input prices, the quantities of inputs necessary to produce a constant output are always shrinking - and this continuously because of the immanent increase in productivity. In addition, at this point the question would also have to be raised at what rate of interest a company can borrow outside capital, and this in turn would have to be set in relation to the standards of profit rates, which can of course drastically change the conditions for the utilization of individual capital. And finally, its conditions of exploitation, insofar as its outputs are included in those of other capitals, would significantly affect the overall process of the exploitation of plural capital within the framework of differential accumulation. And last but not least, the quantitative result of the calculations depends on the choice of a certain time interval (because of the permanent turnover of capital, empirical methods are extremely difficult to obtain useful results if, for example, investments that have not been completely written off are taken into account: one should therefore work with a prospective approach). The existence of such temporal intervals does not only remain relevant for theoretical analysis, but also tends to be established in practical terms through the compulsion of companies to prepare monthly and annual accounts via the cycle of networked production and their synchronisation effects. In the end, however, the operative parameters on the various time scales can hardly be summarized or reduced to a single time interval in order to be able to make a meaningful approximation of the relationship between the variables used for the empirical calculation of the profit rate (electricity and inventory variables).

Against the thesis that a reduction in the price of constant capital could lead to a reduction in the general profit rate, a number of Marxist authors put forward the following argumentation: First, the increase in the material volume of constant capital is purely logically related to the reduction in the price of constant capital. One reason is the saving of labour in Division I, the division of production that produces constant capital, i.e. the corresponding proportion of this labour is continuously decreasing with the development of productivity. Similar to relative value-added production, the saving of variable capital does not grow in proportion to productivity, but only by the proportion of living labor that can be saved in Division I, which is decreasing step by step. A decline in the number of labour required in Division I naturally also leads to a decline in production in Division II, which produces consumer goods. While at the same time the counter-tendencies to the fall in the profit rate are weakened more and more, the increase in the value composition (c/v), which leads to the fall in the profit rate, remains unaffected by the absolute reduction in the labour force in Division I, in so far as the value composition is not an absolute quantity but a ratio which increases precisely because of the tendency of the variable capital to shrink in favour of the constant capital share. The decrease in the price of (c) cannot therefore ultimately overcompensate for the decrease in (v), or at least this is to be seen in relation to the mass of profit, which means that the tendency to reduce the price of constant capital cannot stop the general fall in the general profit rate. The prerequisite for this argumentation remains, of course, that the profit rate is written down as a relation of absolute values (profit mass in relation to the sum of capital advanced) and not as a relation of relations, which certainly amounts to hypostatization, with which the differential nature of accumulation and the corresponding differential profit and interest rates are not considered at all. In addition, this argumentation does not take into account the new production methods brought into play by Stamatis, in which each increase in productivity does not lead to an even greater increase in the technical composition of capital, which goes hand in hand with an increase in the capitalists' savings rate (increase in the means of production in terms of added value); on the contrary, the growth rate of productivity will now actually increase more strongly than the percentage increase in the technical composition of capital, whereby the composition of the employed

work remains constant or falls. It is now possible that even if the value composition of capital remains constant or falls, productivity increases, and this is not primarily due to the productivity of labour, but rather to the degree of efficiency in the use of constant capital, which is called capital productivity. We come back to this issue in more detail at the beginning of the last section of this book.

In the context of permanent technological upheavals, the question now is how and in which time horizons an average and general rate of profit can take place at all after a "disruption" caused by technological progress qua individual capital. And this in turn means that the dynamics of capitalist production at the level of the total complex must be grasped as a non-linear non-equilibrium problem, which makes the validity of ceteris paribus approaches, as Marx actually does with the law of the tendential case of the general rate of profit, rather doubtful. On the contrary, it can be assumed that one has to take into account much more differentiated approaches and methods of mathematically oriented economic theories, which determine their problems roughly analogous to Ehrenfest's theorem in physics, which states that only under very specific conditions the classical equations of motion of mechanics, which always include equilibrium, apply to mean values in quantum mechanics. One could now follow up on this and finally assert that, in the case of economics, imbalanced systems do not necessarily lead to growing disorder and lack of stability, even if they produce entropy over the long term, but that it may be possible to relocate them into highly structured and stratified local environments and milieus in order to control and regulate them in this way. If one understands entropy as a thermodynamic quantity, then schemata and content are not to be treated decoupled, so that a system is only a system because it works and not because it conquers something. Entropy as a measure of disorder has its maximum disorder in the state of thermodynamic equilibrium, as a state of pure potentiality without regularity, and this ultimately means the death of the system. It would then be considered a static system that no longer translates any energy from one form to another. If we now turn to a non-thermodynamic thinking of entropy, we are always dealing with monstrous quantities (negentropy) that are both discrete and infinite. The economic mathem and, beyond that, the algebra of concepts refers to this kind of quantification, and this should be understood with Deleuze as an important way of thinking. Since the emergence of symbolic algebra in the 19th century, we have been dealing with numerical bodies that contain a case-by-case rationality; we assume local or disparate universes in which differences insist as different differences. Moreover, it would be questionable whether, in the final analysis, all economic processes are not inherently unstable and, as soon as they tend towards an (ideal or hypothetical) equilibrium, they start to shift discreetly again, so that the historical-singular, the extraordinary and tenacious power of survival of the capitalist economy is dependent on the next stone being thrown into the pond (extraprofit qua innovation), so to speak, even before the waves of the various profit rate curves, including averaging, have processed through all sectors of production. Thus, the structural dynamics of capitalist production with its close interlocking of technological, symbolic and discursive change could indeed be described as that of non-linear, dynamic, heterogeneous systems, which above all process the future by borrowing from it or anticipating it. Allergings are not completely indeterministic systems, because these systems are highly organized, at least on the microscopic level of organizations, and on the macroeconomic level they undergo average formations of profit rates, which, however, cannot be separated from crisis-like accumulation breaks at all. Here we assume from the outset the possibility of determined chaos. (Cf. Deleuze 1992a: 96f.) Regardless of whether this kind of chaos of capitalism can be defined more precisely as a permanently "re-updating network" or as "pure contingency" (Ayache), it is at any rate certain that we are dealing with non-linear structuring and restructuring of capital (as an overall complex), which in reality takes place in an infinite number of frequencies of superimposition of productions and circulations, whereby

coherent pathways are created and dissolved again in order to add new pathways, entirely in the sense of Deleuze's mechanical processes, the connective and disjunctive syntheses, which ultimately have a very specific death immanence.

And at this point, it can again be connected to the prefix "not" of non-economy, insofar as this does not express a negation, but rather an alienation - the "not" would be to be understood with Laruelle in the course of his turning to a non-euclidean geometry. (Cf. Laruelle 2003) Consequently, Laruelle generalizes philosophy in the same way that non-euclidean geometry generalized the Euclidean model. By assuming a possible pluralistic mode of existence of philosophy as such, Laruelle depotentializes philosophy and treats it as another pure material. By analogy, the traditional axioms of economics and, to some extent, of Marxist economic criticism would have to be questioned, so that, at least with regard to Marxism, one would not only arrive at a "critical" description of the reality of capitalism, but finally also at new theoretical drafts of the organization of a post-capitalist economy. If the change of axioms from Euclidean to non-euclidean geometry occurs immanently on the one hand, on the other hand something is shifted decisively here, insofar as the non-euclidean geometry rejects the classical axiom of geometry (parallels cannot meet ad infinitum). Analogously, new problems, concepts and axioms to be constructed in the context of a non-economy are to override the axioms of economic equilibrium thinking. And, of course, newly invented hypotheses are presupposed to be true, even though they initially have the status of "as if" or minimum-transcendental material, because their correctness depends not only on their empirical content, which they also have to prove, but also on the immanent strength and impact of the new concepts, constellations and theorems themselves, which must be developed on the basis of problems and hypotheses and not deduced. Thus Laruelle writes: "As a result, it is philosophy and its logical organon that lose their prerogatives by being turned into a simply real-transcendental organon. Thus, it is necessary to take the expression 'non-philosophy' quite literally, so to speak. "It is not just a metaphorical reference to 'non-Euclidean'." (Laruelle 2013b) Only in such a context could the question of the validity of the law of the tendency of falling profit rates be asked anew and adequately.

In his theory, Wicksell distinguishes between the market interest rate and the natural interest rate. The latter defines the rate of return on real capital, whereas Wicksell understands market interest to be the current interest rate on the capital market. Now the Wicksell effect describes the following: If the volume of credit is increased by an appropriate monetary policy of the central bank (e.g. by increasing the money supply M3) and as a result the market interest rate is reduced, the demand for credit increases, which in turn increases the investment activity of companies and the natural interest rate remains the same for the time being, but slowly moves upwards, because investors will always choose from the given investment alternatives those that yield the highest return. As investment activity grows, however, there will also be an increasing number of investments with a comparatively low rate of return, which will tend to cause the natural interest rate to fall again. After all, investors only invest until the natural interest rate has reached the level of the market interest rate again (= Wicksell effect). And as soon as the market interest rate exceeds the natural interest rate, the investments lose their attraction for the investors.

Bichler, Shimshon/Nitzan, Jonathan (2009): Capital as Power. A Study of order and creoder. Florence.

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Shaikh, Anwar (1992): The Falling Rate of Profit as the Cause of Long Waves: Theory and Empirical Evidence. In: Kleinknecht Alfred/ Mandel, Ernest/ Wallerstein, Immanuel (Ed.): New Findings in Long Wave Research. London.

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“Sie nannten uns politische Gefangene” – Inhaftierte Gilets Jaunes erzählen ihre Geschichte Sun, 19 Jan 2020 17:33:17 +0000

Während hierzulande in der radikalen Linken viel über Repression geklagt wird, die Erfahrung eines Knastaufenthalts aber, von den Folgen der Aktionen gegen G20 in Hamburg abgesehen, eher eine Ausnahme ist, sieht sich die Bewegung der Gelben Westen einer fast beispiellosen Repression ausgesetzt. Zahlreiche Verletzte (Dutzende haben ihr Augenlicht durch Gummigeschosse verloren, etliche Schwerverletzte durch den Einsatz von „Offensivgranaten“), mehrere Tote bei Verkehrsunfällen bei demonstrativen Aktionen und auch durch direkte Polizeigewalt (wie die 80jährige Frau aus Marseille, die durch den Beschuss mit einer Tränengasgranate getötet wurde, als sie die Fenster ihrer Wohnung im vierten Stock schließen wollte) auf der einen Seite, auf der anderen Seite abertausende von Personenkontrollen und Festnahmen, die bisher über 400 von ihnen ins Gefängnis brachten. Eine soziale Bewegung, die zum größten Teil aus Menschen besteht, die vorher nicht politisch aktiv waren, muss sich nun mit dem Knastsystem auseinandersetzen. Als Gefangene, als Familienangehörige, als Freunde und Unterstützer der Inhaftierten. Von diesen Erfahrungen berichtet der folgende Artikel, der auf 'basta! magazine' erschien und von mir (frei und sinngemäß) übersetzt wurde.

Zu Beginn des Schuljahres fragte die Lehrerin meinen Sohn, was seine Eltern beruflich machen. Er antwortete: "Mein Vater ist ein politischer Gefangener – Ein Gilets Jaunes!"

Mehr als 400 Gilets Jaunes, die zu einer Gefängnisstrafe verurteilt wurden, sitzen im Gefängnis oder haben ihre Strafe bereits verbüßt. Einige haben sich bereit erklärt, Basta! von ihrer Begegnung mit der Gefängniswelt zu erzählen, eine Erfahrung, die die Menschen prägt und die Familien der Inhaftierten oft destabilisiert. Gleichzeitig hinterlässt sie tiefe Spuren in der Bewegung.

In etwas mehr als einem Jahr wurden fast 440 Gelbe Westen zu Haftstrafen von einem Monat bis zu drei Jahren eingebuchtet. Diese Repression, die auf der Ebene der Justiz und der Gefängnisse durchgeführt wird, hat ihr Leben und das ihrer Angehörigen erschüttert und die gesamte Bewegung beeinflusst. In Montpellier, Perpignan, Narbonne, Le Mans und anderen Städten traf 'Bastamag' mehrere Gefangene und ihre Unterstützer, die uns von ihren Erfahrungen berichteten.

"Ich hätte nie gedacht, dass ich ins Gefängnis komme!"

Am 11. März 2019 traf das Urteil des "Tribunal de grande instance Montpellier" Victor* wie ein Vorschlaghammer. Eine Haftstrafe von einem Jahr, davon 4 Monate zur Verbüßung und acht Monate zur Bewährung. Außerdem eine Geldbuße von 800 Euro.

Dieser Gilets Jaunes aus Montpellier wurde wegen "Gewalt gegen die Ordnungskräfte" und "Teilnahme an einer Gruppe mit dem Ziel der Gewalttätigkeit" angeklagt. Die Bilder seines Prozesses geistern unaufhörlich in seinem Kopf herum.

"Es dauerte nicht einmal zehn Minuten. Ich verstand nicht, was los war. "Sobald er aus dem Polizeigewahrsam entlassen wurde, wurde der Klempner und Vater in das Gefängnis von Villeneuve-les-Maguelone gebracht. Für fünf Tage in der Abteilung "Ankünfte" untergebracht, erhielt er ein kleines Set mit dem Minimum an Bettwäsche und Hygieneartikel. "Am Anfang war es schrecklich. Ich wollte meine Zelle nicht verlassen, um nicht mit den Wachen und den Häftlingen konfrontiert zu werden. "Er wird drei Monate später aus dem Gefängnis entlassen.

Mehr als 2200 Gefängnisstrafen, ohne oder auf Bewährung...

Victor ist einer der 440 Gelben Westen, die nach der letzten Auswertung des Justizministeriums vom November mit einer Einweisungsverfügung zu einer Haftstrafe verurteilt wurden, die zwischen einem Monat und drei Jahren beträgt. Dazu wurden 600 Verurteilungen ohne Inhaftierung im geschlossenen Vollzug ausgesprochen, die in die Verpflichtung zum Tragen einer elektronischen Fußfessel oder der Inhaftierung im offenen Vollzug umgewandelt werden können.

Zusätzlich zu diesen über 1.000 Verurteilungen wurden 1.230 Gelbe Westen zu Bewährungsstrafen verurteilt. Eine solche gerichtliche Unterdrückung einer sozialen Bewegung ist in den letzten Jahrzehnten beispiellos. Lediglich die Vorstadtrevolten im Jahr 2005 waren Gegenstand häufigerer Inhaftierungen, hier wurden 763 von 4.402 Personen, die vor Gericht gestellt wurden, anschließend in Haft genommen.

Wie Victor hatte die große Mehrheit von ihnen keine Vorstrafen oder Kenntnisse der Gefängniswelt. "Mit 40 Jahren und als Vater von vier Kindern war ich überhaupt nicht bereit, ins Gefängnis zu gehen! "sagt Abdelaziz, ein ehemaliger Sanitäter in Perpignan. Dieser lokale NGO-Anführer der „Koordination gegen Rassismus und Islamophobie“ war seit dem Frühjahr 2017 im Visier der Ordnungskräfte, nachdem er ein Video über Polizeigewalt veröffentlichte. Am 5. Januar 2019 fand eine Demonstration vor dem Gericht von Perpignan statt. Demonstranten drangen in das Gebäude ein, Fenster wurden zerbrochen und es kam zu Zusammenstößen. Vier Tage später, bei Tagesanbruch, wurde Abdelaziz von Polizisten überfallen. "Sie suchten meine gelbe Weste und das Megafon meines Vereins, um mich als Anführer der Aktion darzustellen. "Die Polizei wirft ihm vor, einen Polizisten geschlagen zu haben, was er entschieden bestreitet.

"In Polizeigewahrsam sagten die Polizisten zueinander: 'Schau, wir haben Abdelaziz!'. Ich war wie ein Tier, das man gefangen hat." In Untersuchungshaft genommen, wurde er bei der Verhandlung im Februar schließlich zu drei Monaten Gefängnis und fünf Monaten auf Bewährung verurteilt. "Zwei weitere Gilets Jaunes, Arnaud und André, die zur gleichen Zeit verhaftet wurden, erklärten sich bereit, sofort vor Gericht zu erscheinen, in der Hoffnung, dass der Richter nachsichtiger sein würde. "Sie wurden zu acht und zehn Monate ohne Bewährung verurteilt.

In Perpignan wird Abdelaziz zu einem zweiten Häftling in einer eigentlich für eine Person vorgesehenen Zelle gelegt. Am Anfang ist das Zusammenleben noch respektvoll und von gegenseitiger Rücksichtnahme geprägt. Aber es verschlechtert sich mit der Ankunft eines dritten Gefangenen, der auf einer Matratze auf dem Boden schläft. "Die Haftbedingungen waren schrecklich. Unsere Toiletten sind 50 cm vom Essplatz entfernt, ohne Trennwände. Es gibt Fliegengitter hinter den Gittern unserer Fenster, obwohl es verboten ist. Die Überbelegung liegt bei über 200%. Einige Zellen sind mit vier Menschen in einer Einzelzelle vollgestopft. Kürzlich beging ein Häftling in seiner Zelle Selbstmord. Ich habe eine Beschwerde gegen das Gefängnis eingereicht“

Auch Émilie*, die Gefährtin eines Gilets Jaunes, der seit Juni letzten Jahres in einem Gefängnis im Südwesten Frankreichs inhaftiert ist, erwähnt sehr harte Bedingungen. "Es gibt drei von ihnen auf 9 Quadratmetern. Er muss regelmäßig die Zelle wechseln, weil das Zusammenleben nicht gut läuft.“

Ihr Gefährte wurde zusammen mit 30 anderen Personen im Rahmen der Ermittlungen bezüglich des Brandes an einer Mautstelle und eines Feuers beim Gendarmerie Postens von Narbonne Süd am 1. Dezember 2018 verhaftet. Ihre Bitten um Zugang zu einer "Raum des Familienlebens", einem Raum, der es Paaren und Familien ermöglicht, sich mit mehr Zeit und Privatsphäre zu treffen als an „öffentlichen“ Orten im Besuchertrakts des Gefängnisses, sind seit drei Monaten unbeantwortet geblieben. "Am Ende umarmten wir uns im Besuchsraum. Es ist nicht erlaubt: Die Verwaltung hat es uns für zwei Monate die Möglichkeit des Besuches im Knast gestrichen“

'Bastamag' erhielt auch die anonyme Aussage eines Häftlings, der eine Strafe von mehr als zwei Jahren in einem Gefängnis in Nordfrankreich absitzt. Zusammen mit vier anderen Personen in einer 14 Quadratmeter großen Zelle beklagte er die ungesunden Zustände: "Ein Tisch, vier Minischränke, eine Toilette in beklagenswertem Zustand, ein Waschbecken ohne heißes Wasser für Geschirr und Körperpflege, kein Kühlschrank, verschimmelte Wände, eine defekte Steckdose, Fliegengitter im Fenster.“

Er prangert eine "missbräuchliche Langsamkeit" der Gefängnisverwaltung an, die zu Verzögerungen von "zehn Tagen, um einen Wäschesack zu bekommen, drei Wochen für eine Kochplatte, einen Monat für ein Radio und Briefe, die bis zu zehn Tage brauchen, um uns zu erreichen", führt. "Was die Besuchszimmer betrifft, kritisiert er den "Mangel an Privatsphäre im kollektiven Besuchszimmer, die missbräuchliche und systematische Verweigerung von Familienkontakten und die wiederkehrenden Computerprobleme bei der Buchung von Treffen in den eigentlich für „Familienzusammenführungen“ vorgesehenen Räumen im Besuchertrakt. ".

In Montpellier hat Victor "Hunger kennen gelernt". Im Gefängnis reicht die kostenlos zur Verfügung gestellte Nahrung nicht aus. Das Bild von Gefangenen, die "gefüttert, untergebracht, gewaschen" werden, sei ein Ablenkungsmanöver. Um die unzureichende Verpflegung zu verbessern, müssen alle Gefangenen "Kantine", d.h. zusätzliche Waren kaufen. Und alles muss bezahlt werden: extra Essen, Zigaretten, Toilettenpapier, Seife, TV-Miete, Zeitungen... Es ist daher sehr wichtig, Geld durch "Zahlungsanweisungen" von Verwandten oder durch Arbeit in der Haft zu erhalten. "Ich verstand mich gut mit meinem Zellengenossen, zuerst teilte er sein Mittagessen mit mir. Sobald ich meine 'Kantinen' hatte, gab ich anderen Gefangenen in Schwierigkeiten etwas ab“

Für Bruno, einen Gilets Jaunes aus Le Mans, "waren die Bedingungen nicht allzu schlecht: In seiner Zelle gab es sogar eine Dusche". Der 51-jährige Spediteur wurde im Januar 2019 zunächst nach dem Inbrandsetzen einer Mülltonne zu 3 Monaten auf Bewährung verurteilt, am 16. Februar wegen "Beleidigung", "Rebellion" und Werfen einer Flasche erneut festgenommen und wird anschließend im neueren Gefängnis der Croisettes eingesperrt. "Was ermüdend ist, ist die immer gleiche Routine. Aufwachen, Kaffee, Nachrichten, Morgenspaziergang, Mittagessen, TV, Mittagsschlaf, Nachmittagsspaziergang, Abendessen, etc.. Das ist sehr anstrengend. Jeder Tag ist gleich.“

Um die Zeit totzuschlagen und von den Strafminderungen zu profitieren, meldete sich Bruno für einige der Aktivitäten an, die im Gefängnis angeboten wurden: "Ich ging in die Gefangenenschule, mit Englisch-, Mathematik-, Französisch- und Geschichtsgeographieunterricht. Und auch zu Aktivitäten mit einer Musikgruppe. Emilies Gefährte wiederum "hat sich für alle Aktivitäten und Arbeiten angemeldet. Er nahm auch an einem Workshop über das Schreiben in der Gefängniszeitung teil…,wobei das die Verwendung der Phrase Gilets Jaunes verboten war!“

Wenn wir rauskommen, wenn die Bewegung dann noch existiert, dann sind wir dabei!“

Trotz dieser sehr schwierigen Bedingungen betonten viele der befragten Gilets Jaunes den Respekt der anderen Häftlinge. "Mein Name war die "gelbe Weste im Erdgeschoss B2", erinnert sich Victor. Während der Spaziergänge stellten mir einige Gefangene Fragen über die Bewegung. Einige sagten: „Wenn wir rauskommen, wenn die Bewegung dann noch existiert, dann sind wir dabei!“

Eine ähnliche Atmosphäre gäbe es auch in Perpignan. "Sie nannten uns 'politische Gefangene'". Die Mehrheit der Häftlinge unterstütze die Gelben Westen. „Sie wussten, dass wir für Gerechtigkeit und Würde demonstriert hatten", sagte Abdelaziz. Die Häftlinge, die meist aus Arbeitervierteln kamen, strebten genau danach. „Sie werden oft eingesperrt, weil sie illegale Handlungen unternommen haben, um Geld zu organisieren um ihr tägliches Leben zu verbessern.“

Zeitweise erstrecken sich die Unterstützungsbekundungen sogar auf das Gefängnispersonal. "Eine der Wachen nannte mich "Kamerad"," erinnert sich Victor. Abdelaziz ist bei diesem Punkt noch nachdrücklicher: "Drei Viertel der Wachen unterstützten uns, der Rest waren Fachos. Einer von ihnen nahm sogar am Anfang an der Bewegung teil." Mit einem Lächeln im Gesicht erinnert sich Victor an die Ermutigung des Psychologen, der für seine Betreuung zuständig war. "Er sagte mir schließlich, dass es richtig war, zu den Demonstrationen zu gehen.“

"Jetzt aber, wo das Image der gewaltgeilen 'Ultras' über die Gilets Jaunes vorherrscht, gibt es keine guten Behandlungen mehr."

Dieser diffuse Respekt der Wächtern ist jedoch nicht überall verbreitet. Bezüglich des Gefängnis im Südwesten Frankreichs, in dem ihr Mann in Untersuchungshaft sitzt, spricht Émilie* von "Wärtern, die alles tun, um ihn zu einer Gewalttat zu provozieren, um ihn zu bestrafen."

Im Norden Frankreichs prangert der anonyme Gefangene Misshandlungen an.“Manche halten uns sogar für Hunde, andere geben uns körperliche oder verbale Schläge“.

In der gleichen Stadt analysiert eine anonyme gelbe Weste eines lokalen Kollektivs: "Am Anfang gab es noch 'bewegungsfreundliche' Wachen. Aber jetzt hat sich das Bild von den 'Ultra - Gilets Jaunes' durchgesetzt, und es gibt keine gute Behandlung mehr: Diejenigen, die noch im Gefängnis sitzen, sind besonders betroffen.“

Die Gefängnisverwaltung wiederum verteilt keine Geschenke und versucht, die Moral der inhaftierten Gelben Westen zu untergraben. Als er im Januar ankam, hatte Abdelaziz im Ankunftstrakt sieben weitere Gefährten getroffen. Aber das Wiedersehen war nur von kurzer Dauer. "Die Verwaltung teilte uns in die verschiedenen Gefängnistrakte ein, um die Solidarität zu brechen und uns daran zu hindern, uns zu organisieren. Am Ende sahen wir uns nicht wieder, nur durch Zufall in der Krankenstation.“

Um der Isolation zu widerstehen, ist die Verbindung mit der Familie und den Angehörigen von wesentlicher Bedeutung. Jeden Abend, um 21 Uhr, hatte Victor sein Ritual, seinen "Hauch von frischer Luft". "Ich habe meine Frau und meine Kinder angerufen. Es war meine einzige Verbindung zur Außenwelt, abgesehen vom Fernsehen. Gut, dass wir ein Handy hatten.“ Normalerweise verboten, werden sie sogar toleriert. "Wie bei Cannabis: So erkaufen sie sich den sozialen Frieden innerhalb der Mauern.“

Die Situation der Familien

Auf der anderen Seite der Mauer sind die Familien, angefangen bei den Kindern, von der Inhaftierung stark betroffen. "Mein Kleiner hat mich um 6 Uhr morgens in Handschellen aus dem Haus gehen sehen. Der andere hat wieder ins Bett gemacht, als ich weg war", sagt Abdelaziz. "Zu Beginn des Schuljahres fragte die Lehrerin meinen Sohn, was ihre Eltern beruflich machen. Er antwortete: "Mein Vater ist ein politischer Gefangener – Gilets Jaunes!" »

In Abwesenheit der Gefangenen - vor allem der Männer - stehen die Frauen an vorderster Front, um „das Haus zu führen“ und die Gefangenen zu versorgen, auf die Gefahr hin, dass sie von finanziellen Problemen erdrückt werden. "Meine Frau musste sich 3.000 Euro leihen, um die Miete und die Rechnungen mit einem Gehalt weniger zu bezahlen", sagt Victor. Was Emilie betrifft, so gibt sie "all ihre Ersparnisse" für teure Reisen zu den Besuchszeiten, Mahlzeiten und Anwaltskosten aus. "Normalerweise wären wir in diesem Sommer auf die Märkte gegangen. Wir haben ein großes Defizit. »

Karine, Kindergärtnerin in Narbonne, "denkt darüber nach, Privatinsolvenz anzumelden.". Ihr Begleiter, Hedi Martin, war zu Beginn der Bewegung ein einflussreicher Youtuber. "Er hatte seine Arbeit für die Bewegung aufgegeben. Seitdem hat er keine mehr gefunden. Wir haben über 5.000 Euro an Anwaltskosten bezahlen müssen: es hat uns ruiniert.“

Hedi, der auch in den Brand an der Mautstelle in Süd -Narbonne verwickelt war, war ein Monat inhaftiert, danach musste er sechs Monate eine elektronische Fußfessel tragen. Außerdem wurde er im Januar 2019 zu sechs Monaten Gefängnis verurteilt, weil er einen Aufruf zur Blockade einer Raffinerie verbreitet hatte. Ein Symbol der Repression gegen lokale "Anführer".

Sich organisieren, um Gefangene zu unterstützen

Aber nicht alle Häftlinge haben das Glück, unterstützende Angehörige zu haben. Die Unterstützung der Bewegung ist daher entscheidend. Candy*, eine Gilet Jaune aus Saumur, ist einer der Trägerinnen dieser Unterstützungsbewegung. Nach dem Ende der Demonstrationen in ihrer Region engagierte sich diese Hausfrau beim Schreiben von Briefen an Gefangene. Im August letzten Jahres gründete sie die Facebook-Gruppe "Ein kleines Wort, ein Lächeln: wo man unseren Verurteilten schreiben kann". Ohne sich aus dem Haus zu bewegen, hinter ihrem Computer, hat sie Tag und Nacht Artikel und soziale Netzwerke durchsucht, um die Identitäten der Gefangenen herauszufinden und sie mit dem Einverständnis ihrer Angehörigen weiter zu geben.

Von Toulouse bis Reims, über Caen, Lyon, Fleury-Mérogis, aber auch Dignes, Bourges, Marseille, Béziers und Grenoble wurden etwa fünfzig Adressen von Gefangenen in siebzehn Gefängnissen gesammelt. Die Gruppe, die von drei Moderatoren geleitet wird, vereint mehr als 2.500 Personen, "darunter einen aktiven Kern von etwa Hundert".

„Die Leute schreiben jede Woche an die Gefangenen und veröffentlichen ihre Nachrichten und Bedürfnisse", erklärt Candy, "Die Leute schreiben Briefe und lassen sie nicht alleine: es ist das Herz, das spricht! Wir sind wie Paten geworden und haben ein großes Netz der Solidarität geschaffen.“

"Wir merkten bald, dass wir über das Schreiben hinausgehen mussten. Manche Menschen sind isoliert, ohne Familie. Wir konnten sie nicht in dieser Situation lassen. In Toulouse wurde ein junger Gefangener vier Monate lang allein gelassen, ohne Familienbesuche oder einen Rechtsanwalt, der sich um Besuche oder Zusatzeinkauf kümmerte. Wir haben uns um ihn gekümmert. Einige bieten Geld für den Zusatzeinkauf für Gefangene an, wenn deren Familien das nicht leisten können.“ Andere sammeln Kleidung. "Jede Geste zählt. Seit kurzem organisieren wir die Unterbringung von Menschen, die aus dem Knast kommen und ihr Zuhause verloren haben.“

"Jetzt müssen wir die Leute besser informieren, um uns gegenseitig zu unterstützen."

Über die sozialen Netzwerke hinaus ist in einigen Städten die lokale Bewegung stark mobilisiert worden. "Jeden Sonntagmorgen konnte ich den Klang der Motoren, Hupen und Nebelhörner hören. Die Gelben Westen kamen, um Lärm zu machen", erinnert sich Abdelaziz mit einem Lächeln. "Ich würde meinen fluoreszierenden orangefarbenen Pullover durch die Gitter schwenken, damit sie uns sehen können."

In Montpellier erinnert sich Victor mit Rührung an das Feuerwerk, das am Sonntagabend über dem Gelände stattfand . "Es war mein Moment des Glanzes. Ich würde einen Spiegel herausziehen, um die Explosionen durch das kleine Loch in meinem Fenster zu sehen. Alle Häftlinge haben geschrien, es war verrückt. Montpelliers Anti -Repressionsgruppe "l'Assemblée contre les violences d'Etat" ist weitgehend damit beschäftigt, die Anwaltskosten zu übernehmen oder Treffen vor den Gefängnissen zu organisieren, wie in vielen großen Städten, die mit der Repression vertraut sind, wie z.B. Paris oder Toulouse.

In anderen Städten hingegen war die Mobilisierung sehr begrenzt. "In Narbonne hat die Verhaftungswelle wegen des Brandes im Croix- Sud die Bewegung getötet. Viele Leute hatten Angst. Der Rest spaltete sich auf und solidarisierte sich nicht mit dem Angeklagten, weil die Aktion nicht pazifistisch war. "Wir waren nicht friedlich", erinnert sich Hedi. Karin fügt hinzu: "Hedi war bekannt, also hatte er das Privileg, das für ihn gesammelt wurde. Aber für die anderen gab es fast nichts. "Zusätzlich zu ihren langen Arbeitswochen hat Karine im vergangenen Juni mit ihrer Mutter und Freunden das "Cool- actif 11 soutient vous" geschaffen, um isolierte Gefangene zu unterstützen.

"Ich bedauere, dass wir zu Beginn der Bewegung von der Justiz getäuscht wurden. Wir wussten nichts über Repression und Gefängnis. Jetzt müssen wir die Leute besser informieren, um stärker zu werden." Nach und nach hat sich ihr Kollektiv den Anti-Repression Gruppen, die es in Toulouse oder Montpellier schon länger gibt, angenähert. "Wir wollen mehr als nur die Gefangenen unterstützen und die kollektive Verteidigung zu fördern: Nicht zwischen 'guten und schlechten Demonstranten' unterscheiden, sich weigern, in Polizeigewahrsam zu reden, sich mit Anwälten vernetzen." erklärt die Kindergärtnerin. Die "Gelbe Westen -Familie" eigne sich auf ihre Art und Weise den Kampf gegen die Repression wieder an.

Viele Gefangene "sind isoliert, vergessen und ohne Unterstützung von außen".

Die Mobilisierung ist jedoch im Verhältnis zum Ausmaß der Verurteilungen nach wie vor gering. In einem im Oktober veröffentlichten Brief erwähnt der antifaschistische Aktivist Antonin Bernanos, der sechs Monate in der Untersuchungshaft des Gefängnisses de la Santé festgehalten wurde, "viele Gilets Jaunes, die hinter Gittern vor sich hin vegetieren würden, oft isoliert, vergessen und ohne jegliche externe politische Unterstützung". "Von fast 400 Personen konnten wir nur etwa 10% der Gefangenen kontaktieren", sagt Candy.

Karine ihrerseits hat nicht auf alle ihre Briefe eine Antwort erhalten. "Einige Häftlinge sagten uns, dass sie in der Erwartung des Prozesses nichts mehr von den Gelben Westen wissen wollten. Insbesondere beim Prozess um die in Brand gesteckte Mautstelle in Narbonne Mitte Dezember, bei dem 31 Angeklagte erschienen, von denen 21 zu einer Gefängnisstrafe verurteilt wurden. Vor der Justiz isoliert, haben diese Häftlinge mit der Bewegung der Gelben Westen gebrochen.“

Dies ist auch der Fall bei Hedi, der zugibt, "alles gestoppt zu haben, sobald das gerichtliche Chaos begann". Hinter dem rasanten Redefluss dieses Computerfreaks verbirgt sich eine gewisse Bitterkeit. "Alles, was wir hatten, ging in diese Bewegung: unser Geld, unser Auto, unsere Möbel. Aber wir haben das Boot verpasst. Wir mussten wieder in das normale Leben zurückkehren. Es ist wie ein Überfall. Ich bin innerlich tot. »

Der harte Schlag kam mit der elektronischen Fußfessel, die er von März bis Ende November nach seiner Untersuchungshaft tragen musste "Ich stand unter Hausarrest. Meine richterliche Kontrolle verbot mir, zu den Treffen an den Kreisverkehren zu gehen, zu demonstrieren, das Staatsgebiet zu verlassen. Ich stand von 22.00 Uhr bis 6.00 Uhr unter Hausarrest, mit einem polizeilichen Meldetermin einmal pro Woche, einer Arbeits- und Aufsichtspflicht.“

Sie zerstören dich wirtschaftlich und psychologisch. Viele Paare zerbrechen daran."

Diese Isolation führte ihn in eine Depression. "Ich fühlte, wie die Last immer größer wurde. Ein Seelenklempner hat mir einen Stopp verschrieben. Viereinhalb Monate lang habe ich mein Haus nicht verlassen. "Wie bei den Verwundeten sind die posttraumatischen Folgen der Inhaftierung heimtückisch und durchdringen den Alltag, erzeugen Rückzug, Bitterkeit und Wut. Die Partner und die Familie sind als erste betroffen. "Sie zerstören dich wirtschaftlich und psychologisch. Wenn sie es darüber hinaus schaffen, die Familienebene zu durchbrechen, verliert man alles. Viele Paare zerbrechen daran., erklärt Karine.

Victors Nächte werden von wiederkehrenden Albträumen heimgesucht, in denen die Polizei ihn verfolgt und nach einem Mord befragt, von dem er nicht mehr weiß, ob er ihn begangen hat. "Ich wache morgens verwirrt auf. Aber es kommt nicht in Frage, der Bewegung den Rücken zuzudrehen“, trotz seiner achtmonatigen Verurteilung, seiner zweijährigen Bewährung, seiner Verpflichtung zur Arbeit und zur regelmäßigen Meldung bei den Behörden. "Ich gehe weiterhin zu allen Demonstrationen. Immer in der ersten Reihe, aber mit den Händen in den Taschen und dem Gesicht unbedeckt! Ich kann die Bewegung nicht loslassen, nach all der Solidarität, die um mich herum war." Abdelaziz geht jeden zweiten Samstag, „so weit weg von der Polizei wie möglich.“

Zusätzlich zu seiner Inhaftierung wurde Bruno zu einem zweijährigen Demonstrationsverbot auf nationalem Territorium verurteilt. Seit der Verabschiedung des "Anti-Aufruhr"-Gesetzes im April 2019 ist diese zusätzliche Strafe bei Verurteilungen wegen "Gewalt" oder "Aufruhr" häufiger geworden. Er hat deshalb buchstäblich aufgehört, bei den Samstagsprozessionen mit zu laufen. Nicht mehr und nicht weniger. "Ich bleibe 300 Meter weit weg, ob vor oder hinter mir, und bin sehr vorsichtig, aber ich bin hier. Ich gehe überall hin, wo ich hingehen kann, zu Picknicks, zu Vollversammlungen, zu Informationsständen." Er ist auch an der "Anti- Repressions- Koordination" von Le Mans beteiligt.

"Das System weiß nicht mehr, wie man den sozialen Ärger eindämmen kann. Bis zu dem Tag, an dem es noch mehr explodiert."

Die Einkerkerung hatte einen tiefgreifenden Effekt auf die befragten gelben Westen. Alle haben ihre Sicht auf das Gefängnis geändert. "Ich dachte, es wäre Krieg, dass nur die Bösen dort hingehen. Meine Verwandten dachten, ich würde vergewaltigt werden oder sterben. Aber vor allem habe ich die beschämenden Bedingungen erkannt", sagt Victor. Die Begegnungen zwischen den Welten, die auf den Kreisverkehren begannen, setzten sich in den vier Wänden fort. "André, der mit mir eingesperrt war, hat früher die RN (ehemals Front National) gewählt", sagt Abdelaziz. "Jetzt ist das vorbei. Er hat seine Sichtweise auf die Häftlinge, die meist Menschen mit Migrationshintergrund aus Arbeitervierteln sind, geändert. Sie sind Menschen wie alle anderen. »

Dank der unermüdlichen Unterstützung seiner Familie und der Bewegung ist Victors Entschlossenheit ungebrochen. "Nicht alle hatten so viel Glück, aber ich bin gestärkt daraus hervorgegangen. Sie haben mich ins Gefängnis gesteckt, um mich zu vernichten, es hat das Gegenteil bewirkt: ich habe meine Augen noch mehr geöffnet. Das System weiß nicht mehr, wie es den sozialen Ärger eindämmen kann, so dass es sogar Menschen mit einem 'kleinbürgerlichen Leben' einsperrt. Bis zu dem Tag, an dem es noch lauter explodiert."

Er bereut die Tat, die zu seiner Verhaftung führte, nicht. "Ich habe die Konsequenzen getragen. Ich habe immer noch diese Wut: Bis jetzt haben wir nichts gewonnen.“

*Diese Vornamen wurden geändert

The concept of capital at Deleuze/Guattari or the anarchy of machines Sun, 19 Jan 2020 14:38:39 +0000

The flow of subjective labor and the flow of objective capital. At the point in time, more precisely, in the passage of time (which has extended over longer historical periods), in which per se contingent encounters (those of the flows of money capital and labour) have "taken hold" (Althusser), as soon as quasi-stable forms of the relations of goods, money and capital have been established, which as an economic basis ultimately determine the social field, by indicating a pattern of self-similarity - exactly at this point the conceptual decision between the ontological conceptions of becoming and being, in order to bring about a description of the capital relation, for instance, becomes insignificant, because the being of capital is from now on his becoming and the becoming is from now on his being. Althusser formulates this in the context of his idiosyncratic conception of knowledge as follows: "Legislation requires that the greatest weight be placed on its conditions, that is, on the fact that 'there is this and not that' […], as well as on the history or 'having become' of these conditions; in short: of encounters that could not have taken place […] and yet did take place, thus forming the 'facts' and state of the problem. What does this mean other than that it is necessary to think not only of the contingency of necessity, but also of the necessity of the contingency in which it is rooted? (Althusser 2010: 40-41) At this point Althusser already describes the problem of a current philosophical variety, namely speculative realism, which revolves around the conceptual bridge between the necessity of contingency and the contingency of the (apparently) necessary. Here it is important to remember that the necessity of contingency is not a necessity that traverses and governs contingency, for instance a necessity that contingency would have, rather it is the necessity that contingency "is", you eat in alio, i.e. necessity does not consist of an abstract ability to be this or that.

Furthermore, with Althusser, it can be stated that the "there is" in capitalism indicates the following: a) that on the one hand, the flow of labor is no longer coded in the medium of serfdom or slavery, but rather presents itself, so to speak, naked and free in a double sense, whereby the "objectivelessly free worker" (MEW 42: 414), who is separated from the means of work and food, must first and foremost rent out his labor force, b) that the objective social wealth no longer comes about through the medium of land ownership or through the accumulation of commercial capital and/or that of money in the military and tax state (as in the days of mercantilism or absolutism). In established capitalism, pure, homogeneous and politically independent monetary capital is formed incessantly, which must be constantly reinvested to create positive conditions of production. Historically, capitalism as an objective formation of society, with all its non-simultaneity, first appears in Europe when the two flows of homogeneous monetary capital and the unqualified flow of labour meet and interlock and connect in a specific way, without encountering world empires such as those that were still to be found in Asia at that time. According to Kojin Karatani, this meeting of the two flows takes place within the framework of a world economy that was no longer regulated solely by political coercion, but early on by the exchange of goods, money and capital (Karatani 2012: 138), although it must still be taken into account that the absolutist state also paved the way for industrial capitalism.

Capital absorbs physical and cognitive work in the form of a symbolic inscription, as variable capital, whereby it remunerates a part of the work performed with the wage, which is a stream of means of payment, while at the same time, with the conclusion of the wage contract, it makes use of the work, which imbues a surplus. At the same time, capital generates a specific relationship with itself, which is essentially articulated as capitalization or as a pure flow of finance. Deleuze/Guattari summarize this as follows: "In the one case, a powerless sign of exchange value, a flow of means of payment relative to consumer goods and utility values, a bijective relationship between money and a pre-set selection of products […]; in the other case, signs of the power of capital, financial flows, a differential quotient system of production that testifies to prospective strength or long-term calculation - not to hic-et-nunc realization - and functions like an axiomatic of abstract quantities. (Deleuze/Guattari 1974: 293-294) No one is ever robbed, because everything is based, as Deleuze/Guattari say, purely on the incompatibility of two types of money flows: The flow that is so derisively called "purchasing power", and which has thus ever already been disqualified, which indicates the absolute powerlessness of wage earners, insofar as here money serves purely as a means of payment, with which the wage and income-receiving actors buy a quantity of the goods produced by themselves, whereby at the same time specific forms of subjectivation and power relations are mobilized, while the infinitely flowing money capital, as fictitious and/or speculative capital, creates a self-regulating and forcing financing disposition or or a financing structure that accesses virtual value production in the future or claims or loans the future itself.

For Deleuze/Guattari, the credit and the asymmetrical creditor/debtor relationship appropriate to it precede the exchange de facto and de jure, whereby quantities of different forces and their associated potentialities are negotiated and articulated in the credit relationship. (Cf. Lazzarato 2012: 73) This is a power differential that is valid for all societies. And in this, the money capital flows with their commanding power provide an enormous reservoir of options, future-oriented decisions and power potentials, which are articulated, among other things, in processes of quantifying capitalization. While money as purchasing power formulates a reterritorialization with regard to the factors of wage labor, consumption, family, etc., the money capital flows permanently produce the fact of deterritorialization, insofar as they are driven by deterritorialized and deterritorializing forces that produce time as potential future, option and possible decision. This includes the shaping of space by time, which historically requires a developed transport, information and communication industry with which capital can be constantly and rapidly exploited. Bodies, objects and writings must ultimately circulate with the translations of the media in order to realize capital "in" these communications. Today, cybernetic information in the media provides a unit as a pure abstract with which both the content and expression of the economic can be algebraically quantified, and this not merely as counting, measuring or coding, but as an abstract-symbolic formalization. On the technical side this includes the algorithmic abstraction of the networks, on the monetary side the abstraction of the derivatives or synthetic securities. And finally, it is important to note that there is unambiguously no common measure between the flow of monetary capital and the flow of purchasing power of wage earners, whereby the distinction between the two flows appears in completely incompatible forms in the context of today's debt problems. On the one hand, consumer debt has been an important stage in the expansion of the American economy over the last two decades, but consumer credit is and will remain finite; wage dependent or precarious individuals are socially subjugated by consumer credit because they now need constant flows of income to meet their daily needs and repay their debts. Without a job, at a certain point the obligations, e.g. credit card debts, can simply no longer be met. On the other hand, capital-to-capital lending seems at least potentially infinite, it allows for the infinite postponement of any final calculation, without ignoring the problem of updating the products in money and the question of security/repayment of the loans for a single moment. As Karatani writes in this regard: "Credit enforces capital's movement endlessly at the same time that it hastens capital's self-reproduction and eliminates the danger involved in selling. (Karatani 2003: 219)

Deleuze/Guattari are probably the only theorists whose political-economic philosophy ascribes an enormous importance to the concept of flow, which in turn has a direct connection to Deleuze's view of the mathematics of the differential quotient, in contrast to other political philosophies based on the contract (Hobbes) or the spirit of the law (Montesquieu), a theory of the state (Plato) or the problem of legitimation (Durkheim, Habermas). (Cf. Deleuze/Guattari 1992: 299ff.) In fact, one can imagine an extraordinarily large number of different types of streams and rivers, which in their diversity and directionality, their counter-currents and turbulence - just think of the fluid mechanics of Lucretius - are always controlled or codified in some way or another.

Thus, there is the river and the dams or dikes that control and channel the river, there are economic flows, such as that of money and money capital, which are subject to some control, regulation and steering by institutions, distribution networks and, in general, accumulation regimes or governmental rationalities. Material flows of substances such as oil and electricity need to be coded through networks in order to make electricity flow, for example. There is a commodity flow alongside marketing for the commodity world and there is the coded transport of the commodity flows. There is the flow of traffic, which one tries to encode with the help of highways, circulation and speed control. Social flows of migrants, the unemployed and the homeless within the narrow framework of the control of state borders, as well as the regulation of the flows to their fatal standstill in biopolitical dispositives. Somatic flows, body fluids and blood.

We will come back to the concept of (economic) flows in more detail, but it may already be indicated here that the concept of multiplicity/rhizome in the context of a conceptual image of flows denotes a continuum that Deleuze, in recourse to the physicist and mathematician Riemann (and the shift made by Bergson), defines as a continuous multiplicity, which can be determined via their "dimensions and independent variables", whereby the continuous (virtual) a-numerical diversity, in contrast to the discrete multiplicity, can only be divided and measured if, at the "price of a change in nature", the corresponding principle of measurement also changes with each dividing step. (Cf. Deleuze 2007: 56) In this sense, also the a-centric rhizomes are to be understood as folded, mobile and unclosable heterogeneities without beginning and end, and this under exclusion of the One, i.e., under the condition of subtraction (n-1), which eliminates from every observation what wants to represent itself as One. At this point, one could also think of the multiplicity of the communis, which has absolutely nothing to do with the social nature of capital.

In Deleuze/Guattari's thinking, the concept of flow is closely intertwined with the concept of machine. According to the two authors, machines are characterized first of all by the parameters of functionality and (exopoietic) production - and not necessarily with regard to the attainment of a specific purpose or goal by means of production, whereby the teleological aspect becomes secondary for the "being" of the machine. (Deleuze/Guattari 1992: 696ff.) Instead, one should assume that the respective machines always process very specific types of flows in order to immanently produce both their own universes of meaning and their materials - energy flows, money flows, flows of things and objects, flows of bodies, etc, for without the flows, the machines remain at best something like sleeping machines; in terms of both their ontological relevance (being as such) and their existence, it therefore seems indispensable that machines always couple themselves to other machines by cutting off or removing flows in order to transform them in turn, while the flows in turn modify or modulate the machines by forcing the machines to adopt new structures or coding procedures, whereby machine parts shift, which now function differently in order to readjust the uniform functions of the machines. In this way, the transmissions of the machines as translation machines or as cutting and interface machines find new paths in principle, so that the machines ultimately produce extraordinarily new kinds of flows, possibly also to produce revolutionary subjectivities or protosubjectivities (cf. Deleuze/Guattari 1974: 15ff.) The endeavor of machine analysis in Deleuze/Guattari's work includes is to show that machines continuously need at least one current or flow in order to function as lubricated or disturbed or to be able to do what they do, whereby the flows form the prerequisite and result of the manifold functions of machines; machines not only couple themselves to the flows of other machines in order to extract them, but they also transform, modify and modulate the flows and thus produce new concatenations of flows. (Thus, the computer produces a stream of light on its screen that causes the neuronal synapses to fire). At this point, the concept of the machine differs from the concept of structure, because Deleuze/Guattari compose the concept of the machine much more sophisticatedly than the problematic interaction of elements and relations within the conceptual constellation of structure and process.

And what here, as a further difference between the concepts of structure and machine, seems by no means uninteresting, simply consists in the fact that, in relation to each coded stream, the machines themselves give rise to events, i.e., each folding of the machine is an event, through which it modifies and translates something, and finally Guattari locates this (ontological and problematic) more of the machine in relation to the structure or the system in a so-called core of consistency that leads to an ontological plurality. (Guattari 1995: 121) This core conditions the real (energetic-spatial-time) operations of the machine, precisely because it insists on the opening of the machine to an outside, so that the machine always moves simultaneously on the levels of complexity, folds and chaos.

With their operations, the machines encode all kinds of heterogeneous flows, whereby encoding involves both the shaping and schematizing as a transformation and translation of the flows, as well as the inscription of the flows on surfaces, the translation of points in time into points on surfaces (spatialization of non-metric multiplicity). In this context, it would be important to emphasize that the coding of flows can also include their transcoding, although it is quite rare to find only unformed or unformatted flows, because every flow, no matter how and how fast and where it flows, has at least a minimal structure (and materiality). When machines couple to the currents of other machines, most of them, especially if they are autopoietic machines, have at least minimal sensitivity, which is purely selective or gradual: One should therefore understand transcendental empiricism in the Deleuzian version as a structural genesis precisely with regard to the forms of sensibility of a particular machine. And finally, the operations of a machine can never be completely defined or fixed and, consequently, inflexible machines in particular would be doomed to extinction, because they would eventually exhaust themselves in and with their own stupid functioning, and this in a completely regulated or regressive way, because these kinds of "stupid" machines usually contain a tight or too tight code that ironically indicates and rigidly regulates how the flows have to flow through the machine. Finally, to the extent that machines always remain coupled to the flows of other machines and at the same time produce their own flows, which in turn are drawn off from other machines, one could speak of an ecology of machines.2

It can now be said that in the analysis of machines, one can assume above all heteropoietic, problematic transformation machines that are characterized by heterogeneous entities, aggregates and relations that translate one another, machines whose unit only appears in the deduction from each unit, n-1. Fuchs 2001: 133). Although these kinds of machines resist the purely static identity of a structure, but rather unfold structures and are folded by them (as qualitative multiplicity itself can never be traced back to a single unit), these machines should nevertheless not be understood as unprojects, as Peter Fuchs assumes with his definition of the rhizome. (Cf. Fuchs 2001: 127f.) Would it not make more sense to understand these machines as structured and structuring, folded and folding (mobile) networks, in which in particular relations are integrated that produce something in their specific interplay that acts as a stream of activity within the concatenation of events that are definitely closer to the verb than to the noun? Thus, these intense manifolds remain marked by something that can be defined neither by properties nor by axioms; instead, they are marked by their differential relations. And this in turn means that the relations are not only external to the terms, but are also jointly responsible for the constitution of the terms, while in the course of an anti-essentialist way of thinking the structural is shifted into the ever-changing circumstances or circumstances that are in turn to be problematized and whose conditions are to be represented. (Cf. Deleuze 1997: 134f.) And finally, the conceptual constellation of differential relations defines a problem. In contrast to allopoetic machines, autopoietic machines permanently couple themselves to their environment in order to produce their own parts, constellations and spaces (of neighborhoods and cracks), namely as continuous determinant processes and not purely as determined processes that finally form to create a fixed product. In order to exist simultaneously as object and relation, for Deleuze/Guattari the machine must therefore always prove a producing production, the production of production or the difference that makes a difference. And each machine is at the same time the product of another machine, whereby it always represents something like a black box for other machines. Machine processes thus generate differential productions, which produce material or products for other productions, whose products in turn serve as material for further productions. Consequently, the pure thisness of an object is permanently transferred into a new process of machine production, whereby the constitution and function of the machine is characterized by a continuous production of production plus the coagulation of production into product. (Cf. Deleuze/Guattari 1974: 9f.) Marx, on the other hand, introduced a strict distinction between production and product, because the view of the product (one cannot usually infer from the taste of yoghurt the production conditions under which it was produced) alone does not give any indication of the production process on which it is based (ibid.33), which in the capitalist economy has to run as smoothly as possible, whereas in the libidinous economy products are always productions only in so far as the product is connected to production under the condition that production is constantly disturbed and interrupted in order to flow even better - the phenomenon of manic depression or bipolarity as well as schizophrenia. Here, the rule of the continuously disturbed production of production characterizes Deleuze/Guattari's wish machine as a primary production whose program is the affirmation of the continuous by structures that flow, communicate and connect incessantly.3

Following the Anti-Oedipus of Deleuze/Guattari, the English philosopher Nick Land in the 1990s attempted to grasp the production of production with the concept of materiality, in so far as he conceived of processual thinking itself as a function of matter, whereby so-called representative thinking appears only as a strongly depotted function of matter. Matter is regarded by Land as both productive and synthesizing at the same time, is regarded by him as a primary process, whereby Land regards everything that unfolds at the level of the conceptual representation of a theory as secondary and derived. To this materialistic eschatology (technology dissolves in nature), already hinted at by Deleuze/Guattari, the (material) synthesis in its connection and concatenation of heterogeneous terms is regarded as primary and productive, so that matter itself generates its very own representations, whereby any other representations fall back to the status of a transcendental illusion. (Cf. Land 2011) At the same time, matter in its machinistic consistency mutates into the necessarily dark and appears enriched with sinister techno-visions, only to finally dissolve completely in the nocturnal ocean of a post-capitalist technosphere. In the face of mutual infiltration to the point of fusion, whether nature dissolves into technology or technology into nature, it is still necessary to insist on the disturbed identity between nature and technology. The technological object today is characterized both by the substitution of natural substances and by machinic automation vis-à-vis the subjects, and yet the trans-classical machine, which provides information, functions like a brain: although it cannot be mapped onto either matter or the creative subject, it simultaneously makes possible, as an autonomous field, a reassessment of logic and ontology, of nature and technology, by conceding the transclassical machine a capacity for reflection without eliminating the human being altogether. What is at issue here is reflexive hyper-objects that think beyond subject and object, that refer, in a way yet to be discussed, to quasi-transcendental capital and the unsubject value, to that undetermined reason that exists and therefore makes it possible for technology and cybernetics, with their seemingly infinite feedback loops, to seemingly take possession of everything and anything inculsive to nature. And so as not to fall into the fashion of an unadulterated affirmation of an ever-exciting technological accelerationism, which Land describes as an incessant process of the liquefaction of capitalist structures ("Meltdown: planetary China syndrome, dissolution of the biosphere into a technosphere, speculative bubble in its final stage, ultravirus and a revolution stripped of all Christian socialist eschatology. ibid.: 442), the concept of deterritorialization, when applied at this point as the pure immanence of change in the sense of a permanent revolution. A libertarian-constructive concept of political deterritorialization would have to be differentiated in such a way that at least four types of political events would be designed that precisely describe the deterritorialization: 1) relatively negative processes, which, strictly speaking, bring about a change in the political situation only in order to maintain the established order, 2) relatively positive processes, which do not reproduce the established order, but in their ambiguity do not create a new situation, 3) absolutely negative processes, which do not favour a political situation, but undermine all social determinants, 4) absolutely positive processes, which in addition create new political situations.

Let us return to the conception of machines by Deleuze/Guattari. Deleuze/Guattari report that machines can always be described more comprehensively as a sum of elements and their relations, namely as assemblages, ensembles or structures that are characterized less by their internal relations - relations between the various components that are capable of quantification - but primarily by their external and non-numerical relations. (Cf. Deleuze/Guattari 1992: 698f.) Deleuez/Guattari define machines as structures that are formed by recursion and communication in order to create complexes such as workers/working machines that are machinized in factories in order to process in redundancy. And the subsequent thesis, which states that entities relate to each other precisely when they produce singular transmissions, makes it evident that the effects arising from this are always to be assessed more strongly than in the case of merely monocausal effects, the reason for which may be only the way in which a single entity translates those interpenetrations that it also receives. And it would be to follow Manuel De Landa when he speaks of the fact that a relation can change without entities modifying themselves. (Cf. De Landa 2006) Although entities can never be completely defined by the relations they enter into, at the same time an entity never remains separated from specific sets of relations, but is always integrated into a whole history of relations, so that entities are by definition determined by a multitude of relations and cannot change as long as these relations in the set of multiple multiplicities do not change their order, sequence and metrics. Nevertheless, an entity cannot be determined solely by the relations it enters into, because it always seems possible that an entity moves from one particular set of relations to another in order to integrate into another set of relations. One should therefore understand the machine as an empty signifier, from which an entity can indeed escape when it jumps out of a context or out of a relation, insofar as it is itself afflicted and afflicted, but on the other hand, no entity can be imagined as absolutely isolated, it is and remains integrated into differential, problematic relations, although it ever already produces contingent encounters with other entities over the period of its own existence, as the late Althusser would perhaps say in the context of his materialistic and aleatoric theory of encounter. These kinds of encounters thus do not belong to the expression of an internal relation defined, for instance, by an axiomatic theory (set theory), rather they remain what De Landa calls "relations of exteriority". (ibid.) And these external relations or encounters would be understood as necessarily contingent rather than logically necessary. They arise from a singular history that could have taken a different course. De Landa further distinguishes between the characteristics of an entity and its capacities, i.e., its potential to affect and be affected; capacities that depend on certain heterogeneous forms of organization but can never be reduced to them. (Ibid.: 11) The potentials of an entity remain as real as its characteristics.

Finally, one sees oneself forced to always assign to the specific types of machine (cognition machine, money machine, affect machine, war machine, etc.) also so-called abstract machines, which are characterized by non-formal functions and informal matter. (Cf. Deleuze/Guattari 1992: 706) Thus, today's machines of capitalization could also be described first and foremost as abstract machines. If several such abstract machines interlock or translate each other, a diagram is usually involved, which comprises a kind of plan, which however does not contain any hypotheticalbut always provides factual possibilities that can possibly be condensed into algorithmic functions. On the level of the machine, the diagram thus describes the way in which machines are ordered, rhythmized and organized in order to subsequently connect to other machines and thus to create consistency themselves, e.g. in the sense of the mathematical group theory conceived by Abel and Galois, a configuration of fields by means of successive adjunction of symmetrical objects, which thus arises from a connection given by the temporal successive executions of symmetries. (Cf. Deleuze 1992a: 231) Nevertheless, it would be wrong to conceive of the diagram merely as a drawing, plan or (problematic) structure; rather, it already contains in its seed a (material) arrangement of structure, e.g. Rather, it contains already in the seed a (material) arrangement of structure, e.g. directional vectors, which are capable of initiating a rhythmic development, namely that of the unfolding/convolution of a machine itself, which moves through time as (event): the vector-space becoming of the machine and its singularities within a differential topological field, whereby the field of directional vectors as well as the attractors define the "virtual" trajectors (of the curves), of which never all are updated. In order to construct the diagram of a machine, it is therefore necessary to consider the factual possibilities of how, when and where a machine performs its transformations and modulations, attributing each of its components as a mathematical variable: the dimensions (attractors, vectors, trajectors) of a purely topologically constructed space, in which each singular point (points with which the curves change direction) is "defined" by dimensions (of average points, objective zones of uncertainty) representing a particular or possible stage of the machine; empirical studies may serve in this context to determine the various trajectors of a system corresponding to a particular path in topological phase or vector space Diagrams would thus be understood in this sense as topological vector-spaces, to which specific problems and potentials always belong, which in turn can be influenced by certain dimensions (attractors, trajectors, bifurcation) in a singular situation. The results of non-linear processes are not written as straight lines, but as curves, which in turn refers to non-causal relationships. In contrast, a large number of current numerical and hyperstable machines, which are dominated by powerful attractors, seem to constantly tend to form cruel mechanisms of solidification in order to attenuate any disturbances or irritations, so that one would have to say that the diagram always has aleatory and determinant structures at the same time, such as those of a Markov chain.4

In conclusion, at least eight decisive dimensions of a schizoanalytic critique of the machine-like would have to be recorded. (See Deleuze/Guattari 1992: 696ff.): a) There is no being that is not already integrated into the field of plural economic-material machines, into the economy of desire and the affective field of all possible discursivities and non-discursivities, b) Transcendence always contains an illusionary moment, which in turn is to be seen in close correspondence with Deleuze's critique of naturalization and its representation, c) one would have to show that the social field is always rhizomatic or immanent and that it tends to develop through repetition (intensive populations), and d) how nevertheless molar formations (statistical aggregates) can arise within this immanence, e) one should develop practices and strategies to combat these molar organizations and produce lines of flight; f) there is no concrete machine that cannot be characterized by a specific composition of its heterogeneous parts, where the most abstract dimension in a structure/machine implies that of pure material and pure expression, g) there is a typology of processes that always involve specific components, processes that stabilize and territorialize an identity, or repetitive and differentiating processes that undermine or deterritorialize an identification. De Landa adds another dimension: h) The degree to which an expressive medium consolidates or encodes a territorial identity, or just encodes it.

One of the central theses of Anti-Oedipus is that libidinous and political economy are structurally one and the same thing, which means nothing other than that the desire to be a part of the political economy is the same, which means nothing other than that the desire always remains a constituent part of the political-economic infrastructure of capitalism. (Cf. Deleuze/Guattari 1974: 15f.) Although there is no structural difference in the functioning of the structures, dispositives and machines of the two economies, a distinction can be made with regard to the respective active and passive syntheses of the two regimes. Already in the first two chapters of Anti-Oedipus, Deleuze/Guattari develop a sophisticated theory of the three syntheses of the libidinous and the socio-economic unconscious: while the desiring machines produce an immanent synthesis (local and unspecific connections, including disjunctions and polovocal conjunctions), the socio-economic machines represent transcendental syntheses (global and specific connections, exclusive disjunctions and segregative, biunivocal conjunctions). While these two types of syntheses are structurally the same machines, they are not the same regimes or order, which for Deleuze/Guattari means that the socio-economic machines represent on a molar level what the desiring machines produce on a molecular level. (Ibid.: 44f.) Socioeconomic formations always oscillate between the two poles of integration and separation, which in turn depends on how the desiring machines use their opportunities to make immanent connections and generate new regimes of social order (active schizophrenic line of flight). In the same breath, it is necessary to ask how socio-economic machines overcode desire by means of transcendental representations or transcendental organizational plans. Consequently, there is a movement from representation to production and vice versa. And it should be borne in mind that there is always the possibility that the desiring machines can be undermined or even destroyed by the requirements, regularities and axiomatic methodologies of the representative institutions, structures and machines, and that the desiring machines even manage to desire their own suppression.

In Anti-Oedipus, Deleuze/Guattari develop a triadic typology of social formations within the framework of a universal history (primitive societies, state, capitalism), which, according to the authors, exists only as contingency. (Ibid.: 177ff.) While pre-capitalist societies were mainly based on forms of coding that operated purely at the level of representation, capitalism is primarily based on decoded flows of labor and money capital that operate at the levels of production, circulation and consumption. Deleuze/Guattari find a theory of decoded flows, incidentally, not only in Marx, but also in Keynes, because for Keynes, according to the authors, the theory of the stock markets on which the unleashed flows of money capital circulate is essential, although Keynes also introduced the desire into the economy of banking practices, insofar as Keynes regards the stock markets as reflections of the psyche of the actors. Keynes thus described a new model of regulation and stimulation of the economy, the practical application of which by the political powers in the years following the Great Depression gave rise to entire laboratories for the production of axioms, especially those of the New Deal and Fordism. It must not be overlooked, however, that Keynes condemned financial reindeer to the depths of the abyss and thus ultimately maintained the distinction between real and nominal economics.

At this point, we can first of all note that Deleuze/Guattari have explicitly constructed a model that presents capitalism as a machine autoreferential system, the authors supplementing the model with the concept of the capitalist socius, which settles itself down on production as an immediate economic instance, thus constituting a surface on which the forces and agents of production are distributed, until the socius itself finally attempts to absorb the surplus production and attribute its products to itself alone.5 Thus this kind of pillion rider actually wants to claim that he is the ultimate cause of the capital movement itself. The capitalist socius, however, would be more of an effect in the sense of Deleuze/Guattari, but once established, it functions as if it were lubricated, if it succeeds in homogenizing the disparate social practices in order to simultaneously re-code even the encoded money-capital flows through the permanent adjustment of axioms and to unify them into something like a coherent whole. For Deleuze/Guattari, the production of the connective syntheses (of capital) cannot take place without the

circulation of the disjunctive syntheses, and this happens precisely as a recording of the flows on the surfaces of the pillion rider, who thus presents himself as an enormous field of actualization - because there the various products are realized as extensive quantities. (Ibid.: 321) The full body of capital finally congeals into the place of all our factual encounters as well as into a social hyperspace on which desires are registered, distributed and controlled; it is a fluid and fractal surface on which, however, especially the money capital flows. And as such it naturally includes the time of life, time of day, working time, leisure time, but also times that remain essentially alien to subjective experience, such as the time of light, the time of electronic networks and the hyper-volatile time measures of synthetic finance. Guy Debord has spoken of the fact that so-called "concentrated capitalism tends more and more to sell 'fully equipped' blocks of time, each of which forms a single unified commodity that has a certain number of different commodities integrated into it. (Debord 2013) In differential processes of accumulation, capital, as an apparently all-encompassing productive force, thus generates its own temporal reality in the form of symptoms that are ultimately supposed to encompass the last nano-subjectivities, for example the mobile and flexible worker of contemporary neoliberalism, who appears primarily as a product of the deterritorialization of capital, as, incidentally, the consumer also represents it today.

Once capital as a social relation is fully established, it begins to function as the only real quasi-ground of any kind of production, while at the same time remaining tied to a virtual unit (organless body) as its absolute limit, which Deleuze/Guattari conceive at this point not only as a concentrate of anti-production, but also as an amorphous stream of matter. (Deleuze/Guattari 1974: 365f.) It is the organless body that functions as an abstract matter machine of repulsion and contraction, as the virtual continuum of variation, as the dissolution or liquidation of the psychosocial organization in the direction of a non-realizable, purely virtual de-organization, in this sense of an anti-production, which is a deadly story, so to speak, if capital simply does not manage to produce a different kind of recording surface than that of the organless body with the help of the various procedures of stratification on the capitalist socius. The organless body still operates according to the regimes of order, but it itself consists of a field of pre-current potentialities, whereby order is found here at best in the form of tendencies, inclinations and forces, which, however, do not express themselves by being actualized. In this respect, Deleuze/Guattari can indeed speak of the organless body as anti-production, which is by no means completely opposed to production. (Ibid: 425) Production, in turn, makes selections in a social field by means of particular paths, on surfaces that record and map the potentiality of the producing system, while the organless body continues to insist as anti-productive, as an open, as a purely virtual surface of potencies. The total de-updating of the organless body would again correspond to a desire that refuses to make any selection of paths at all in order to reach the zero point of death, which is pure virtuality or hyper-chaos. Not a nothing, but a vacuum that "contains all possible particles and draws all possible forms that appear to disappear immediately, without consistency or reference, without consequence. (Deleuze/Guattari 1996: 135) The infinite speeds of the autopoietic flows in the machine phylum thus tend to involve the dissolution of every form, although due to various spatio-temporal-energetic discursivities, with which the possibility of realizing ordering principles is given, within the framework of an asignificant semiotics, compressions of the fluxions are constantly taking place. While the asignificant discursivity represents the current mode of infinite velocity, the virtual mode is characterized as a place of recomplexation through non-discursivity, i.e. chaotic hypercomplexity shows itself as a source of unpredictable but creative catastrophes and events and is updated at the points of bifurcation, as spatio-temporal discursivity of heterogeneous processes and semiotics.

It seems that one of the decisive moments of capital in the context of its permanent functionalization of deterritorialized monetary capital.

In this way, the flow of money capital is precisely that of having created its own full body as a so-called correlative, which constitutes a surface over which the objects, forces and agents of capitalized production are distributed, a socius, which in turn appears as a quasi-cause from which capital seems to emanate. But for Deleuze/Guattari, even capital itself is never the material reason for what it produces, but rather generates a purely social relationship, through which the systems of production, distribution and circulation, and even consumption, are organized, structured and conceptualized.6 And the hyper-transformative process of the decoded money machines in capitalist mode remains linked in a specific way to the establishment of a certain anti-production system, the representative mode, which constantly attempts to regulate and recode the unleashed capitalist money-capital flows through an axiomatic of replicative structures. Thus, for example, the anti-production of the state constantly strives for the realization of an imaginary equilibrium between the flows of money capital, and this not necessarily in the sense of inertia, because in a given social field, for example in the course of neoliberal governance, state anti-production can contribute to the generalization of entirely new relations in accumulation, circulation and distribution.7 However, there is also an anti-production of capital itself, which is no longer oriented towards dualism productive/unproductive, but instead is fully integrated into production, and this partly also an anti-production of capital itself, which is seen as cruel destruction, which today reaches all areas of capitalist "socialization", because capitalization tries not to leave anything open or to leave out anything, be it life, wars, genes, environment, knowledge, affects, etc.

Let us now turn to the concept of flow in Deleuze/Guattari in a little more detail. First of all, every kind of current has a specific tempo, rhythm and directional direction, and in the course of time the material often changes. If the process is usually defined by a distance between two states or dispositions, as a line or path between two points or two nodes in a (variable) network, and beyond that as a process in a further process, then in the analysis of flows one speaks of a pure movement or a positive chaos without a point of origin or destination, flows whose specific characteristics, be it rhythm, direction or tempo, are to be understood purely relationally. Thus, it seems really possible to consider the flow independently of the definition of positions or points, independent of the lines between two fixed points, which in turn are usually marked as unchangeable elements. (Cf. Deleuze/Guattari 1992: 298f.) The decisive point is that flows do not flow along lines, but according to the criteria of n-dimensional, virtual, continuous and non-numerical manifolds, each of which has only one centre. (ibid.) And no matter whether we are dealing with vortices, spirals or whirlpools - it is always a matter of special shapes of the flows, which are indicated by a curved, continuous declination. (Ibid.: 496) Thus, flows would be understood as directed and rhythmic, a-metric and irreversible, they can flee in all directions and, as dynamic-temporalized flows, they are in balance and imbalance at the same time, they can connect or unite, they can originate from a collision or an encounter in which a current meets a counter current and bounces off, resulting in congestion and, consequently, new localizations in an open topological space. (Ibid.) Pure flows have a real and at the same time ideal status, they are effective and efficient, they escape the codes, the quanta of flows being considered signs and/or degrees of deterritorialization. The corresponding topological space refers to a vectorial and smooth space, traversed by uncountable and delirious lines, which corresponds to a smooth time, in which distributions, swirls and scatterings are linked to contingency, to the unpredictable distribution of events that function without centres, even following lines that deviate from the diagonal. It also seems possible that in the vortex several currents flow together, thus creating a figure of the manifold, in which nature and culture mix indistinguishably; there are multiple currents, whereby turbulence can arise from many eddies, up to cascades, differentiating and at the same time towering unstable eddies with blurred edges, which in turn can be seen as branch lines of smaller eddieswhich generate even smaller eddies, and this in an open, topological, smooth space in which the most diverse currents are distributed. The theoretical figure of turbulence always appears to be integrated into hypermodern power dispositives, which today establish order/equilibrium less by measurement than by the "order of contingency", for example, in that the manifold discourses of finance constantly add new axioms (stochastic models) to economic reality in order to manage problems that arise anew for a moment, whereby this is by no means done exclusively to describe the economic, but quite explicitly to format or performatively shape the financial economy itself: Axiomatization here means that new forecasting procedures and security techniques are constantly being installed simultaneously on the basis of probability theory up to the systems-theoretically inspired access to chaos theory or to Zipf's laws of power. (Cf. Baecker 2011)

From a purely economic perspective, for Deleuze/Guattari the flows represent transactions, productions or emissions within the money-capital chains, in that money flows from one pole to the other pole (here the concept of flow would first be identified with that of process), in order to be quantified therein as flows of inputs and outputs. In this context, the term pole refers to actors or groups (companies, firms, associations, etc.) that act as accumulators and nodes for the incoming and outgoing flows of money, which are credited to bank accounts or offset against each other, coded on graphematized recording surfaces. Today, the money capital flows circulate in topological networks in which the various poles are permanently shifted to a certain extent (but the digitized trading of financial derivatives in real time also requires the spaces of global cities). These are multidimensional poles or machines that record or encode the flows in order to transform them within the framework of flexible schemata and allow them to continue flowing. And with this the process actually mutates more and more into a flow, as we have described above. We will come back to this problem later in the chapter "Deleuze and the synthetic security".

In this context, Deleuze/Guattari clearly affirm the hypothesis that attributes the emergence of money (beyond money as an offering) to the (universal) state as an apparatus of appropriation, which by no means invents money as a means to strengthen trade, for example, but rather to control trade through its tax system. With the legitimization of money by the state, it ultimately became possible for the state to intervene in every single commodity-money transaction, in order to finally benefit from it in the form of taxes and to skim off money itself. This also included the first step in decoding money, which finally led to the existence of money as a pure flow of money capital under capitalism, to a pure (conceptual) abstraction. And at this point, as we have already seen above, Robert Kurz, with regard to the emergence of modern money, refers to a "proto-industrial, military complex", whose elaborate logistics since the 15th century required a "financial need for armament" (tin). (Cf. Kurz 2012: 119) And this finally led "to the development of the modern tax state with a permanent civil service apparatus and economically oriented state administration. (Ibid.) It is about the connection of manufacture, weapons technology, absolutist state as well as the mechanism of money collection, which in the harmony of proto-capitalist money and bureaucratic state apparatus only got the free money capital flow rolling by the state machine separating itself from the feudal body and at the same time gradually liberating money from all its earlier connections, and at the same time, by the fact that the state machine was able to create a free money capital flow. among other things, from the logic of sacrifice and the private systems of obligations inherent in it, in order to set in motion the (quasi-transcendental) principle that allows money capital to permanently generate additional money in the course of self-referential and differential accumulation until it finally dominates the state apparatus. Proto-capitalist money as the material expression of a process of buying and selling goods, which is taking place on an ever greater scale in real history, is thus to be understood in connection with a militarized state machinery that operated money collection as a tax state, whereby it was primarily due to this hunger for money that goods produced in manufactories became commodities from the 16th century onwards, until this process, which at first mainly concerned circulation, finally became self-supporting and in the sheepresulted in the creation of a new production system (agricultural production and mining, etc.). (Ibid.: 144) While the doubly free worker was a consequence of the change in agrarian structures, the circulation of commercial capital led to money increasingly losing its attachment to the absolutist state, money being the most deterritorialized term, which broke away from the mutating despotic state machine and set in motion an autopoetic mechanism based on purely abstract quantities and multilinear progressions.

According to Deleuze/Guattari, capitalism is to be understood as a qualitatively new stage in the decoding and deterritorialization of the flows of workers, but above all of money capital. (Cf. Deleuze/Guattari 1974: 286ff.) These two decoded flows express themselves in two forms of money, namely as payment and financing. Whereas payment is always to be found in circulation, where money merely functions in its function as a means of circulation and is booked to bank accounts, so-called finance money functions in a completely different way, because it constitutes what Deleuze/Guattari call the capitalist form of infinite debt, a monstrous deterritorialization of money itself (although financing, for example, has its own territory in the apparatuses of the banks). This is where financial capital flows as a continuous flow of money capital, which the banks create as debts to themselves in order to deepen it - and thus the banks establish so-called negative money (debts as debts of the banks to themselves) in order to generate positive money from it (including credit that the banks make available to companies). (Ibid.: 305) It is precisely this formatting of money and money capital that manifests the true economic power in the internal history of capitalism, immense deterritorialized and deterritorializing money flows, which ultimately also constitute the full body of capital. Now Deleuze/Guattari say that there is no common measure between these two forms of flows: Money in its function as a means of payment and circulation realizes exchange values, while money as a symbol of the logic of financing or capitalization means a pure movement of the creation and destruction of monetary capital, which relates to itself. And finally, it is the banks that participate in both money flows, they are located at the (digital) interfaces between payment and financing, they function as so-called converters or oscillators, which today primarily generate the flows of financing, i.e. mutating money capital in continuous variation, whereby the conditions of the constitution of the money capital flows always include those of their return flows. Even if there is no common measure between the flows of financialisation and the purchasing power of wage earners, it is above all the banking system that guarantees a fictional homogeneity, but which is always under the dominance of the flows of money capital. At this point, Deleuze/Guattari make a threefold division of the monetary functions: a) the creation of credit money by the central banks (and commercial banks must be added), b) money as a means of payment generated by the infinite concatenation of the relations between banks and private borrowers, c) synthetic money capital flows that serve purely for self-propagation and whose quantum is determined solely by the number of economic transactions. The capitalists as a class are at best able to regulate the distribution of added value, while they have little influence on the course of the flows of money capital themselves.

How do Deleuze/Guattari describe the filiative structure of capital itself? For this we should first briefly sketch Deleuze's understanding of non-mathematics in the sense of a problematic, i.e., a non-axiomatic mathematics of the differential. Deleuze brings into play mathematicians like Abel, Galois, Riemann and Poncaré. (Cf. Deleuze 1992a: 209, 230, 231, 233) For his conception of the immanent idea he uses the differential/calculus as a model, because in its purely symbolic form it indicates the problem of pure change, making a strict distinction between differential and axiomatic relations, which first of all allows the problem as such to be thought of independently of its solutions. Finally, it is about the intrinsic conditions and constellations of the problem itself, with which the own fields of solvability are to be constructed in a progressive procedure. With the concept of the idea, Deleuze describes in his writing Difference and Repetition a virtual multiplicity whose always problematic self-determination has its starting point in an indefinite quantibility, which can be written with the mathematical symbols dx and dy - symbols that constitute the internal character of the problem as such. It is important to note that dx and dy as symbols are neither a generality (concepts of understanding as variable quantities; quantitas) nor a particular expression (values of perception as fixed quantities; quantum), but rather remain upstream of those concepts. Thus only relations of the universal are conceivable in which none of the terms can be determined by an independent variable. Dx and dy (ideational quantifiable quantities) are regarded as undetermined and unstretched, while only the corresponding differentials (if x changes to dx, then y to dy follows) express the determinability of quantities. (Ibid.: 225f.) The derivative dx/dy represents the unchangeability of the function. One thus resolves the parameters identity, meaning and value into the zero values of dy and dx, whereby the relations have no individual value and finally no existence independent of the relation, they are at most updated by the differential. These are essentially indeterminate elements, which Deleuze integrates into a (virtual) method of difference with its three moments of indeterminacy, determinability and determination, through which he finally defines them. The symbolic elements, which have neither an external identity nor an internal meaning, are finally defined solely by their reciprocal relation; this indicates that the elements can only be represented within the framework of differentiation itself. (Ibid.: 222f.) Thus the differential dx/dy is determinable as a reciprocal relation, and this within a purely symbolic relation, which implies a serial structure of differential elements: series striving towards their interfaces, which in turn represent excellent points through which the structure (of the differential relations) shows itself in all its potentiality. Deleuze thus introduces the third type of symbolic relation in addition to the real and imaginary relation. He writes: "The third type, however, is established between elements which themselves have no particular value, but which are determined in the relation. For example ydy + xdx = 0 or dy/dx = - x/y. Such relations are symbolic, and the corresponding elements are in a differential relationship. dy is completely undefined in relation to y; dx is completely undefined in relation to x: each has neither existence, nor value, nor meaning. And yet the relation dy/dx is completely determined, the two elements determine each other in relation. It is this process of mutual determination within the relationship that makes it possible to define the symbolic nature. (Deleuze 1992b: 21) From the reciprocal differential relations the determinability of the indeterminate elements results. Deleuze sees in the figure of thought of the differential a principle of alternating determination, which for him has the function of a reciprocal synthesis. (Deleuze1992a: 234f.) Elie Ayache has summarized the crux of the calculus as follows: "The differential is such that neither of the two entities (dy, dx) that are seemingly related by the differential are present in the differential. The differenzial is only the relation, not the actual entities. It is only the power of producing, or generating, the co-variation of the two mathematical entities when they come to be actualized. It is a place of repetition and retrieval (extraction) rather than a finished result. It is the place where the function (to be actualized) is determined, that is to say, differentiated, the place where it could have been otherwise yet it is faceted and cut to be this way, the place where the rift separating the variables and orienting their relative differences (in other words, their future co-variation) is first opened and the function is first shaped. (Ayache 2010a: 293-4)

At this point, the use of the Leibnizian calculus becomes possible only because Deleuze separates the logical structure of the calculus from the existence of infinitesimal quantities assumed by Leibniz . This anti-quantitative reading of the calculus only makes it possible to understand the differential(t)ical relation as the basis of the problematic nature of ideas beyond the limitations of Kantian subject-oriented thinking. The reciprocal synthesis of the differential quotient has no reflection-logical component, rather Deleuze traces the synthesis back to the question of genesis; he also understands the reciprocal synthesis of the differential quotients as a source for the production of real objects, which immediately leads to the question in which form real objects can be determined at all, in order to be able to speak meaningfully about the world of phenomena and events. At the same time the differential, however, allows us to think less about the objects themselves and more about their relations and transformations in time (dx/dt, where x can stand for all sorts of things.) Thus objects are defined as quasi-objects by determining that relationality.

Now, the processuality of capitalist machines releases complex, differential and problematic relations that have historically arisen through the contingent coincidence or external conjunction of generally decoded flows, the capital-money flows with the labor flows. (Cf. Deleuze/Guattari 1974: 287ff.) Since capitalism generated its internal history, a continuous conjunction of the money-capital flows can be observed, taking place in ever more powerful thrusts of deterritorialization, while the "doubly free" workers and employees are today comprehensively decoded in favor of the functional modes of the informational machines. With Deleuze/Guattari, the currently given capitalism could be understood as an effect of the differential relations of capital itself, which have just arisen from the historical-singular conjunction of the flows of money capital and labor. Only with the interaction (of the differentials dx/dy) are the two flows determinable within a symbolic relationship, in that as decoded flows they constantly pursue their conjunction on the threshold of smooth space and thus drive their "true" destiny, which Deleuze/Guattari finally describe as the filiative form of capital, to designate it with the mathematical symbol x + dx. (Ibid.: 292) This formula symbolizes the production of added value, which not only has to be produced, but always has to be realized or absorbed. Just as in the reciprocal synthesis of the differential quotient in the context of the constitution of the immanent idea, the genesis of relations should also be expressed, so the capitalist differential quotient reflects the flows of monetary capital and labor in capitalist reproduction processes: There is a direct transformation of the surplus value of code, the differential quotient of capital, into pure surplus value of flows, the differential quotient of production, whereby this mode of operation of the capitalist differential quotient is assumed by Deleuze/Guattari with Jean-Joseph Goux, is not heading towards an end of capitalism, so that every break, cut or crisis always only shifts the internal limit of capital itself (after that it runs like clockwork again, write Deleuze/Guattari), which thus manifests itself in the variations of the differential quotients. (Ibid: 293) Deleuze/Guattari write "This is the differential quotient Dy/Dx, where Dx is derived from labor and constitutes the fluctuation of constant capital, Dy is derived from capital and constitutes the fluctuation of constant capital. (Ibid.: 292) The abstract capital machine appears as an immanently flowing system that carries out its operations in: time, which can be represented on the mathematical level as the differential quotient, the gradual rate of change of the two flows in their relationship to each other, and this under the dominance of the continuously flowing flows of money capital. Accordingly, capital does not represent an object, but is to be written down as a relation of flows, speeds and moving quantities. The flows can be cut into discrete units, but in themselves they form continuously flowing, intensive quantities, which are initially able to swell and fall without external control by apparatuses, and precisely for this reason new problems to be mastered by capital constantly arise, which, according to Deleuze/Guattari, requires a permanent reterritorialization of currents by means of stratified axiomatics, enforced by centripetal capture apparatuses that have historically developed from the inflation of Hegel's state apparatus to Foucault's governance machine to the power mechanisms of central banks. According to Deleuze/Guattari, the abstract capital machine has a real/virtual status and determines any updates in the last instance, which of course also means that the real is not equal to the current, because the virtual-real never quite arrives in the current. With the introduction of new technologies or new compositions of technological codes, the extraction of human added value has been joined by the extraction of machine added value in the course of the internal history of capitalism. The equivalence relation, which characterizes the commodity form, always requires supplementation by the non-equivalent conjunction of capital, the relations between decoded money capital flows, which are first and foremost qualities (outside of this relation the flows remain purely virtual). "This conjunction is at the same time the disjunction of the abstract quantity, where this becomes something concrete. (ibid.: 320) The parameters dy and dx represent, in the mutually dependent relations, the pure quantities of labor current and capitalization current, whereby the latter, however, has a potency that is unequally greater than the labor current, so that Deleuze/Guattari speak at this point exactly of a relationship between potency (capitalization) and given quantity (labor).

Let us now turn to the concept of the code. Deleuze/Guattari, in their presentation of the code, often refer to the functioning of the genetic code, understanding it less as a structure than as a kind of blind combination, a passive synthesis that under certain circumstances also forms a domain for opportunities or even functions as a medium of real de-organization. In the economic context, code first of all denotes a (binary) scheme and/or a form of graphematized inscription or symbolic recording of money flows. (Ibid.: 318f.) In capitalism, this happens in companies within the framework of double-entry bookkeeping, for example as a money-money transaction that takes place in the bank accounts of two companies. A payment cheque is an incoming flow, whereas a cheque issued to settle an invoice is an outgoing flow. The (asymmetric) code is used to translate flows, it is necessary to control the systems of the flow communicatively, and both semiotic and probabilistic components come into play here. Thus, it can first be stated in general terms that the relationship between flow and code is subject to the rule of reciprocity, because it is impossible to access a flow in any other way than by an operation which just codes the flow, while conversely the flow challenges specific codes. There are no flows without withdrawals, separations and incisions, without the corresponding machine poles that encode the flows using their specific recording surfaces, while codes themselves are transformed by the machine poles creating new conjunctions to make the flows flow further and differently. In this context, the operation of decoding refers to the respective translation services, but the process of decoding can also imply the complete destruction of codes that have until then ensured the translation or mediation of flows. Coding thus operates through processes of recording, and in capitalism this takes place within the framework of economic maths, whether these are numbers on a paper bank statement or charts/formulas/markings on a computer screen.

Encodings are to be understood as assignments in which any content or context is erased. Payments or non-payments take place, no matter who makes them for what, the only thing that remains decisive is the updating of the schemes themselves, which either/or set this. Binary codes act as overarching schemas, with which operations are treated in such a way that functionality is created when necessary. (Cf. Fuchs 2001: 159ff.) And these tertium-non-datur schemata exclude contextualizations such as Gotthard Günther has investigated, i.e., third possibilities by definition. Thus, these kinds of semioses function as nonsignifying signs; what is decisive is not what they mean, but that they release meanings in the first place, in order to functionalize the respective flows in their indifference to all specifics in accordance with the rules. Consequently, the code itself does not release any specificity of content, it does not fall back on something like conceptual consistency, but in its function as economic mathematics the code always reckons with the regularities presupposed by it, without paying attention to the meanings of content at all. If binary codes do not fix one of the two sides, but rather introduce contingency into the systems with their recordings, which they in turn inhale by functioning as pure yes/no oscillation machines, they always remain related to the respective systems and their preferences and dependent on them. Thus, the decisive code through and with which the economic system in capitalism functions is the profit/non-profit code, which quickly makes one understand that the capitalist system must constantly process and filter its environment in terms of whether or not it is profitable. And so it seems only logical that today the structural processes of capitalization encompass almost everything conceivable - money, credit, labor, institutions, knowledge and opinion

This also means that the economic system remains in a sense blind to other systems as long as they do not serve pure exploitation. In fact, the coding here is increasingly shifting to one side, so that we tend to deal with the reproduction of the same profit production, sheer production and circulation of capital, sheer positivity of the ever-same. And with symbolic money, which is structured quite differently from other symbols, the number of apparently equally probable money capital flows and their relations is regulated with the help of an algebraic syntax, which is equivalent to a quantifying computation of value added, whereby the code itself indicates entropy, which is expressed, among other things, in the fact that there are as many prices as derivatives on the derivative markets.

In the financial regimes, money capital flows are coded in addition to binary digital codes via stochastic models by calculating permanent volatilities on the markets, and insofar as money functions via these codes, we are dealing here with objective functionalities. At this point, discursivity is clearly dominated by economic mathematics, whose circuits of actualization-virtualization remain unpredictable, so that with regard to the futurization capacities of capital, an open outcome can be expected permanently as long as synthetic money is valid. As a symbolic algebra, the code permits the transmission, transformation or reproduction of information, it enables its synthesis. Payment systems function in a similar way, although here the information is not predetermined, but is produced anew with each recording. Just as capitalism, on the one hand, drives decoding forward, on the other hand it must permanently code or axiomatize, because in general the nightmare of every society remains an uncoded flow. Finally, one should not imagine the relationship between current and code in such a way that first the current appears and then the code follows, for example by putting itself over the current, but rather it must be assumed from the outset that what flows on and through the capitalist socius in each case, can only ever appear in correlation with the code, whereby capitalism actually manages - this is its essentially new quality today - to substitute the codes with constantly replicating and expanding axiomatics, so that the machines are able to interiorize themselves into their own structure as a force field. (Cf. Deleuze/Guattari 1972: 299)
According to the classical definition, the axiom means an operative statement that does not require proof or derivation by other statements. Subsequently, the axiomatic contains a system of axiomatic propositions. (The provability as a property of axioms has been questioned by philosophy at least since Kant). In modern mathematics, for example, the theory of extensional sets (Cantor) and its rigorous axiomatization by Zermelo-Fraenkel is considered an outstanding achievement, which Badiou, among others, uses for the explication of ontology in his book Being and Event (Badiou 2005); for Deleuze, however, this is a thoroughly "royal" mathematics, against which he sets a completely different kind of mathematical deduction, namely problematic deduction. With regard to the former, one might think, for example, of the "royalist" definition of the line as the shortest distance between two points, while in Archimedean geometry the straight line appears as a case of the curve (in Euclidean geometry, too, the line is purely static without any relation to the curve). In a minor or problematic geometry, the figures appear inseparable from their immanent variations, affections and events. Or think of the history of the differential calculus, the problems of which Leibniz and Newton had recognized in the hypothesis that the integral, with regard to the determination of a space, should be understood inversely to the question of the determination of the tangent by curves, before the problem was then rigorously retranslated into arithmetic terms in the 19th century. (Cauchy, Weierstrass, see: Smith 2013b) At the same time the continuous manifolds were transformed into discrete sets of numbers, the geometric idea of approximating a limit was arithmetized and axiomatized. The set theories of Cantor and Dedekind also move within this framework up to the definition of set theory by Zermelo Fraenkel (set as a finite set of axioms). However, it must also be seen that the non-quantitative view of the differential calculus today reaches its limits,

when a new level of abstraction is reached with the numerical digital code.

Deleuze/Guattari base their analysis of modern capitalism on the term axiomatics, among other things, by showing how capitalism emerges as an "axiomatic of decoded currents". (Deleuze/Guattari 1992: 628) This is done with the permanent addition or subtraction of operative statements that concern "purely functional elements and relations" and remain essentially unspecified, so that the choice of an axiom with regard to economic analysis initially means that essentially important, e.g. technical terms remain undefined, since the attempt to define all terms would allegedly lead to an endless regression. Axiomatics, as an operative method that requires no justification or proof, tries to create stable structures or systems by adding or subtracting hypotheses, norms, commands or even further axioms, which can be managed with unspecified elements and relations within the framework of a functionalization, whereby this kind of pure functionality is always accompanied by further deductions of theorems and axioms. (Ibid.: 630) In economics, axioms should be read simultaneously as operative statements in the context of the immanent virtualization-updating circuits of capital, but they should also be considered in relation to external models of realization such as the state. In this context, axioms do not offer any surfaces or points of reference for exegeses, interpretations or commentaries; rather, as money writings, they indicate the "immanent semiological form of capital" (without totalizing instance or transcendent institution). (Ibid.: 640) They comprise a set of statements, computations and rules that penetrate all machines of capitalization in order to calculate, control and structure the economic procedure in and with them.

Especially in Thousand Plateaus, Deleuze/Guattari present axiomatics as an essential operation of contemporary capitalism (within their construction of a contingent universal history and a general semiology, see ibid.: 640ff.) Capitalism constantly repairs or regenerates itself with the help of axioms and tries to overcome its antagonisms by adding further axioms, e.g: "You should believe in the market system so that capital accumulation can continue unceasingly", which, however, contains a rather simple axiomatic; or when, for example, Keynesianism or the gold standard goes into crisis, outdated axioms of economic science are replaced by those of neoliberalism or more complex axioms of neo-Keynesianism are added, which in no way modify the basic axiomatics of capitalism, but above all complicate its operations. Axioms imply that capitalism deals with the quantities of money and social labour in a very flexible way, which is why we are now faced with a tendency to replace codes comprehensively with axiomatics, because the latter represent a much stronger force for appropriation than codes, which are always subject to reductions, for example, by reducing them to a higher unity through transcendence or externality. The limitation of the political codes, which always only indirectly bring about the regulation of the relations between the flows of money capital and the flows of labour by establishing control and conflict regulation through qualitative withdrawals, recording and directing the flows - this limitation is today overcome and overcome by the hyper-capitalist form of neo-liberal axiomatisation, namely by paying homage to the pure market-relatedness of all social institutions and conflicts, and this precisely with the help of axioms, i.e, a set of equations, variables and parameters that have no reference to fixed definitions or quantities, which makes it possible to permanently recombine the respective variables and coefficients and thus to fix them at least in the short term, whereby it can also happen that a flow becomes the object of several axioms or has no axiom of its own at all and feeds on external axioms, so to speak. And any parameter that should allow a secure or standardized foundation of values can also be resolved, see the Bretton Woods Gold Standard resolution. And this happens as a continual temporalization of axiomatics in the economy itself. This is why there is a constant demand for the addition/subtraction of axioms, because without the flow of axiomatics it would hardly be possible to establish the manifold relations and connections between the various flows of money capital. Despite the enormous power to deterritorialize the flows of money capital, which is precisely because of the extremely smooth

axiomatization works, there are constant tendencies towards reterritorialization, e.g. through the formation of control functions of all kinds, through processes of subjectivation and state governance, the latter as part of the "realization models of a world axiomatic that goes beyond them. (Deleuze/Guattari 1992: 630) And Deleuze/Guattari wisely add that in capitalism one does not get rid of the state, even if one tries to transcend it. However, and it is important to point this out, the impression must not be given here that axiomatics is the moment that determines capitalism in the last instance; rather, capital/capitalization itself is and remains determinable by no single axiom or set of axioms, and precisely for this reason constantly demands new axioms.

Securities, with their integration in the flows of money capital, which flow continuously from one pole to the other pole or multilinearly in multidimensional networks, are to be understood, among other things, as a stock, i.e. as legally codified property (we shall see that this need not be the case with derivatives), which implies availability through an account or the "value" of an investment. Holdings define the current value/price of, say, a derivative at a given point in time, while the flow of monetary capital is characterized by the constant fluctuation of holdings over time. (Cf. Smith: 2013a) An input adds a quantum to the respective stock, while the output subtracts a quantum from the stock. A security as a stock calls for accumulation or destruction of its value in time, it rises or falls in price, while the current indicates the rate of change of the stock. And securities have a price at any given time, which can be written down as a number, while the money capital flows change the price of the stock in time. Mathematically speaking, the security as a position forms the integral of the money capital flow, while the differential quotient denotes the variation of the money capital flow. (A flow quantity such as the gross domestic product indicates in the dimension billions of euros per year how large the goods and services provided in an economy are in one year, which, however, says absolutely nothing about the already existing wealth of an economy - stock quantities. The interest rate, for example, is the ratio of a flow of payments to a stock figure: the interest rate of an accounting period to the size of the credit at the beginning of that period. In this case, if you mix up flows and stocks, you are not mixing pears and peaches, but pears and pear trees. The fact that flows and stocks are not directly comparable does not mean, however, that they cannot be put into perspective). It is above all the analysis of monetary capital flows that today allows us to understand more precisely the role of synthetic inputs and outputs on the stock markets: While monetary capital flows are in continuous variation, we know about them only through special writing systems. Finally, the relation flow-code-stock can be summarized once again in the words of Deleuze/Guattari: The flow carries the connective synthesis of production, the code contains the disjunctive synthesis of recording or inscription, and the stock represents the conjunctive synthesis of consumption. (ibid.)

"Turbulence" refers to a state of movement of liquids or gases, in
the velocity at each point (described by the position vector r) at any time t
v (r, t) has the character of a vertebra; [...] the location, size and orientation of the vertebra(s) is (are) in constant change here. This variability makes it impossible to predict v precisely; turbulence is a matter of chance". (Entry "Turbulence". In: Serres/Farouki 2004: 997)
"To the machine, the subject of history is in the structure. To be precise: If one considers the subject of structure in its alienation context of a system of de-totalized totalization, it should rather be referred to an 'ego-like' phenomenon, whereby the ego is in contrast to the subject of the unconscious, insofar as the latter corresponds to Lacan's principle: a signifier represents the subject of the unconscious in place of another signifier. As such, the unconscious subject belongs on the side of the machine, next to the machine: fracture of the machine; incision on this side and on the other side of the machine. The human being is trapped at the intersection of the intersection of machine and structure. Connected to this is the paradigm shift between machine and computer." (Guattari 1976: 43f.) Subjectivity, whose definition does not go beyond the principle of the reciprocal determination of the ego, is and remains in the included in the structure. According to Guattari, the structural process of de-totalized totalization embraces the subject and does not allow it to escape, while the machine, by its very nature, is eccentric to subjectivity
    behaves. And if, it can be further concluded, the factory is a form of organization that can assume the capital relation, then, according to Guattari, with today's procedures of horizontal shifting and outsourcing of production in particular. Processes of individualization, but not necessarily linked to those processes that grant the subject the status of autonomy, but if they do take place, capital will not leave anything undone in order to integrate them incessantly, for example by transforming individuals into solid wealth individualists through operational participation.
    Deleuze gives three conditions for the existence of a structure in general, a) at least
    two heterogeneous series, one of which functions as a signifier and the other as a signifier, b) each of these series consists of elements that coexist through their relations to each other, and c) according to Guattari, when the two heterogeneous series converge to form a paradoxical element X, the two heterogeneous series are to be related to the order of the machine. (Cf. Deleuze 1993: 62f.) Machines can thus not be defined merely as the sum of individual parts, but always assemble entire ensembles - relations of different objects or components - that permanently absorb, transform and produce flows, without ever being able to reduce them to objects or components themselves. Such a relational function of interlocking objects/elements can by no means be conceived only in the context of mechanical or electronic machines; instead, they could certainly be extended to cognitive, affective and social machines. And, according to Guattari, almost all (autopoietic) machines contain a kind of liveliness or protosubjectivity, a kind of capacity for expression in the form of a reserve or potentials that can only be discovered when one remains on a specific machinic level.
    The history of technology is at each level of a specific type of machine
     coined. On the other hand, dispositives should be understood as social machines; they themselves are not primarily dependent on the techne, because technological machines represent only a very specific case of machinism. Deleuze/ Guattari see the definition of machinic enslavement, which guides capitalism, as guaranteed by the coupling of subjects to the machines, whereby the latter themselves function as elements of the machine dispositives, as input/output elements or today as relay stations or of the computer, which stores, processes and transports information, communications and signs, whereby, as Hans Dieter Bahr also correctly writes with regard to the (informational) machines, "the most enormous economic, social, legal, bureaucratic, cultural, natural, historical functions are among their inputs, but also among their outputs" (Bahr 1983: 281). Functions that can by no means be reduced to the binary distinction useful or useless. Thus, the functioning of machinic enslavement also knows no distinction whatsoever between human and non-human objects, between subject and object, or sensual and intelligible, whereas the type of social subjection formulated with Deleuze/Guattari, on the other hand, presents both individuals and machines as self-contained totalities (subject and object), whereby here the so-called molar access to the subjects consists primarily in the discursive mobilization of memory, conscience and imagination, one thinks of the guilty feeling indebted subject. In contrast, the functioning of machinic enslavement involves the permanent mobilization and modulation of pre-individual, precognitive and asignificant components of subjectivation; it allows affects, perceptions and sensations that are far from being individualized and therefore cannot be attributed to any subject to function as molecular components and elements of the machine. If social subjugation addresses the molar, individualized dimension of the subjects, then machinic enslavement activates the molecular, pre-individual, pre-linguistic and pre-social dimensions of subjectivation, which naturally also implies that today, quite contrary to industrial capitalism and the times of disciplinary society, not only the bodies but also the consciousnesses are controlled by specifically industrial and post-industrial time objects, and thus the actions of judgment, evaluation and  and decision making can be industrialized. Thus, with regard to the permanently indebted subject, Maurizio Lazzarato has vividly described the machinic enslavement that replaces confidence-building processes with socio-technical operations, using credit cards or ATMs that place individuals in the socio-technical apparatus of the banking network (Lazzarato 2012: 123), whereby individuals connect as operators to socio-technical machines by dialling and writing themselves into the texts of the electronic networks by means of secret codes and keystrokes, thus activating their programs and written commands, which are in turn used as components, programs that can be used to control and control the operation of the network. programs which, among other things, also carry out data acquisition, which serve as inputs for machines for marketing analysis, which in turn are machines for product innovation
    feeding, in order to make the individuals happy with new products in feedback loops. Divides are thus constantly controlled by machine recurrence and the cybernetic mechanisms of feedback.
    In this respect, one should also take a closer look at the
     The euphoria of the euphoria that is to be expected for any concepts of emergence and self-organization should be very cautious, because at first there is nothing liberating about them at all, because they are complementary to the overemphasis on the Deleuzian moment of self-organization that Massumi or De Landa, for example, practice in phases, there is always the reactionary equivalent of a Hayek or Kelly, authors who both conceptualize the market as a miraculously self-organizing system, these theologies of self-organization proving, of course, to be nothing more than the postmodern version of Adam Smith's invisible hand.
    In Capital Vol. 1, commodity, money and capital forms belong to the level of expression, while the complex relationships of labor belong to the field of content. For Deleuze, the reality of content as well as of expression has its own logic: there is a form and a substance of content, just as expression has a form and a substance. The correlation of the two real levels implies a model in which the content is articulated and expressed (expression) by a given code or axiomatic, in such a way that both levels continue to exist independently of each other as different levels, whereby the correlation of the levels, including their elements and relations, is never to be understood as the effect of a totalizing structure, but rather as that of a virtual structure, which is not, however, everything possible, but rather "that which is possible, was possible or will be possible at a given time in a given place" (Zechner 2003: 103

Übersetzt by DeepL.

Foto: Stefan Paulus

Kunst und Dervivat. Die Performance des Neuen Sat, 18 Jan 2020 13:57:37 +0000

Vortrag, gehalten an der HBK Saar

Kurze Einführung zum spekulativen Kapital. Wann immer ein professioneller Trader einen Trade beginnt, so versucht er, die involvierten Risiken zu bewerten. Prinzipiell kann man heute drei Strategien des derivativen Handels unterscheiden: Arbitrage, Hedging und Spekulation. Arbitrage intendiert die Realisierung eines möglichst risikolosen Gewinns durch die gleichzeitige Exekution von finanziellen Transaktionen auf mindestens zwei oder gar mehreren Märkten. Beim Hedging benutzt man Derivate, um das Risiko (der Spekulation), das aus der zukünftigen Veränderung von ökonomischen Marktvariablen resultiert, zu minimieren. Spekulation bedeutet, dass Derivatverträge gekauft oder verkauft werden, um Gewinne aus der zukünftigen Operationalisierung der Differenz zwischen den fluktuierenden Preisen des Underlyings und den Preisen des Derivats zu erzielen. Generell sind dem Spekulanten diverse Möglichkeiten anheim gegeben, um mit einem wesentlich höheren Leverage als ein traditioneller Investor zu arbeiten, der das Underlying oder eine Sicherheit zum jeweiligen Marktpreis handelt. Der Spekulant handelt in erster Linie die Preise der Derivate selbst.

Eine Position zu hedgen impliziert, sich gegen zukünftige Verluste abzusichern, man denke an eine Versicherung gegen fallende Preise. Heute kauft und verkauft man Forward-Verträge, Optionen, Swaps und Futures, um einen zukünftigen Preis zu bestimmen und zu realisieren. Optionen sind Derivatverträge, die das Recht beinhalten, Underlyings bis zu einem bestimmten Zeitpunkt zu einem festgelegten Preis zu kaufen oder zu verkaufen, ohne dass man die Option auszuführen braucht, das Underlying zum vereinbarten Preis und Zeitpunkt auch wirklich zu handeln. Ein geringer Aufwand jetzt kann spätere HOHE Gewinne garantieren. Eine weitere Strategie besteht in der Konstruktion eines Portfolios, das heißt in der Diversifikation und dem Bündeln von multiplen Positionen, deren Risiken sich gegenseitig neutralisieren sollen. Die Venture-Sammler an den Kunstmärkten arbeiten oft auf Grundlage der Portfoliotheorie. Sie kaufen viele Werke von jungen Leuten. Dies hilft die Risiken zu diversifizieren. Weder die Portfoliodiversifikation noch das Hedging, bei dem die Operationen der Deckung dahingehend laufen, dass man den Kauf von Risikopapieren mit dem Kauf gegenläufiger Derivate kompensiert, garantieren jedoch die in den Modellen unterstellte paradoxale Stabilität des Risikos.

Die Kapitalisierung inhäriert den berechneten (diskontierten) gegenwärtigen Wert der in der Zukunft zu erwartenden, risikobereinigten Gewinne einer ökonomischen Einheit. Die Preise von Derivaten basieren auf den Marktkalkulationen zukünftiger monetärer und volatiler Gewinnströme, die aufgrund von Marktzinsraten und den Erwartungen der Marktakteure diskontiert werden. Oder, um es anders zu sagen, sie resultieren aus der Diskontierung der zukünftig erwarteten Gewinne mit dem aktuellen Marktzins und einem von der Qualität des Wertpapiers sowie der konjunkturellen Situation abhängigen Risikoaufschlag oder -abschlag (gewichteter Zins). Spekulation und Messung im ökonomischen Bereich vollziehen sich heute am effektivsten durch das Schreiben und Auspreisen von Derivaten. Die Standardauffassung der Finanzökonomie definiert den Derivatvertrag als ein Asset (Vermögenswert oder spekulatives »Investment«), dessen Wert von etwas anderem, das als Basiswert bezeichnet wird, abhängig ist, wobei mit dem möglichen zukünftigen Wert des Underlyings spekuliert wird. Das Derivat ist also kein Ding, das man wie ein Buch in den Händen hält. Es ist essenziell relational, ja es ist eine Relation von Relationen. Dabei ist es die Aufgabe des Spekulanten, die Volatilität des Derivats in Relation zur Volatilität des Underlyings im Lauf der Zeit einzuschätzen. Bei Derivatvertrag »wetten« also zwei Kontrahenten darauf, was mit der Relation zwischen dem unterliegenden Asset und dem Derivat in der Zukunft passieren wird. In gewisser Weise wird auf die Relation selbst gewettet und ein Tango mit der Zeit gespielt. Das ist aber nur insoweit wahr, als auch die Prinzipien der euklidischen Geometrie nicht immer falsch, aber eben nur manchmal wahr sind. Es wird nämlich auch mit dem zukünftigen Wert des Assets selbst spekuliert, das heißt es gibt einen Bezug des Derivats auf sich selbst, und nicht nur auf das Underlying. Das Entscheidende der Replikation des Derivats ist seine Größe und die Geschwindigkeit der Volatilität. Hier zeitkomplex?

Laut McKenzie Wark fungiert das Kunstwerk heute als ein Derivat seiner Simulation. (Wark 2016) Wir würden eher sagen, es fungiert in seiner Verbreitungsweise und Diskursivierung ähnlich einem Derivat. Um es noch genauer zu sagen, Kunstwerke sind risiko-gesättigte Finanzanlagen, weil die Ökonomie mit ihnen arbeitet, oder, um es noch einmal anders zu sagen, das Kunstwerk fungiert auf dem Kunstmarkt potenziell als eine risikoreiche Finanzanlage, die zur Absicherung gehedgt oder diversifiziert werden muss. Wenn man die Werke eines Künstlers kauft, dann kauft man riskante Positionen. Und wenn man Werke sammelt, dann sollte man das Risiko auch diversifizieren. Das Werk ist dann Teil eines Portfolios, das verschiedene konkrete Arten von Risikoprodukten enthält, mit denen das allgemeine Risiko des Portfolios gemanagt werden soll. Das Portfolio von mehreren Werken ist dann effizient, wenn es bei kleinstem Risiko den höchsten Profit einbringt. Es ist ein Mix, der dem langfristigen Hedge gegen Risiken entspricht, die stets auch verschiedene Arten des Absterbens von simulierten Werten inkludieren - dies kann ein fallengelassener Künstler, das Sterben seines Diskurses, von dem die Arbeit abhängt, oder die Überproduktion durch den Künstler selbst sein.

In der Sprache der Finanzmärkte bedeutet hedging, eine Anlage gegen mögliche künftige Verluste abzusichern. Eine gängige Methode besteht darin, Investments zu streuen. Die Investoren-Sammler von heute diversifizieren also ihr Portfolio, indem sie nicht einen oder wenige Künstler, sondern viele verschiedene Künstler kaufen. Der zweite Weg der Diversifizierung liegt im Erwerb von Garantien auf Zukunft, in Form von Derivaten, Futures, Optionen oder Swaps. Derartige Papiere gibt es für Gegenwartskunst kaum. Man kennt allerdings Strategien und Manöver, die nahezu denselben Zweck erfüllen. Eines besteht darin, die Werke mit historischen, theoretischen oder philosophischen Bezügen aufzuladen. Auch wenn die Verbindung zwischen Kunst und Philosophie nicht dazu gedacht war, für die Aufnahme der Werke in Lager zu werben, hat das philosophische hedging doch, ob gewollt und genau diesen Effekt.

Die Finanzanlage »Kunstwerk« weist heute aber auch gerade durch die Zirkulation und die Ausstellung ihre Authentizität und zugleich ihren simulativen Charakter nach. (Ebd.) Dies kann auch ein Kunstwerk leisten, das ganz auf die Simulation des Künstlers bezogen ist. Und das Kunstwerk kann zum Accessoire der globalen Celebrities mutieren, indem es an die Kunstwelt, die Mode und die Popmusik angeschlossen wird. Manche denken, dass das Kunstwerk eine rare und singuläre Ware sei, aber diese Ware fungiert längst wie ein Derivat, das zwar noch Kontakt mit dem Underlying, das heißt mit seinem eigenen Körper und dem des Künstlers unterhält, wobei das Underlying aber hinter die Simulation eines Multiversums von Bildern, inklusive dem des Künstlers als Popstar, zurückfällt. Warhol entdeckte, wie gerade die Simulation Herkunft erzeugt, und wie das Kunstwerk ähnlich einem Derivat fungieren kann, das in ein Portfolio von simulierten Werten integriert ist.

McKenzie Wark fragt: War vielleicht gerade die Dematerialisierung des Kunstwerks durch den Minimalismus, der das industrielle Modell in der Kunst zum Verschwinden gebracht und dem finanziellen Modell in der Kunst den Weg geebnet hat? (Ebd.) Wenn das Kunstwerk vom Produkt einer handwerklichen Arbeit zum finanziellen Instrument mutiert, dann benötigt es, um auf dem Kunstmarkt bestehen zu können, keine spezifischen Produktionsmittel zu seiner Herstellung mehr; in der Tat konkurrieren Kuratoren heute mit Künstlern um den monetären Einfluss wie die DJs es im Feld des Audios mit den Produzenten tun. Kuratoren und DJs sind eine Art Portfoliomanager des »Qualitativen«. Der nächste Schritt nach der Dematerialisierung des Kunstwerks mag die des Künstlers selbst sein, dessen Platz von algorithmischen Funktionen eingenommen werden könnte. Kommentatoren, Meinungsmacher und Wissenschaftsbetrieb unterstützen aktiv die ganze Bandbreite der Simulationen, die das Kunstwerk als Derivat seiner verschieden Arten von Zeichenwerten verankern.

In diesem Kontext werden jedoch Kopie und Original nicht ununterscheidbar. Aber ihre Beziehung wird zumindest reversibel, ja die Kopie kann dem Original sogar vorausgehen. Man sieht oder hört eine Reproduktion und will danach gerade deshalb das Ding sehen oder das Stück hören, von dem die Kopie gezogen wurde. Di doch e Kopie hat nun die Herkunft des Originals kreiert, nicht umgekehrt. Die Kopie kann dem Original nicht nur vorausgehen, sie kann es auch authentifizieren. Hier gilt es das Verhältnis zwischen Kunst als Rarität und der ubiquitären Information zu bedenken. Diese Ubiquität kann eine Art verteilter Herkunft sein, von der das Kunstwerk selbst das Abgeleitete ist. (Ebd.)

Kunstwerke sind heute also auf jeden Fall im monetären Sinn riskante Anlagen, und seit Black-Scholes lassen sich die Risiken im Finanzbereich repräsentieren, indem man sie auspreist. Somit können auch die Risiken der zeitgenössischen Kunst bis zu einem gewissen Maß gemanagt werden. Die Spekulation auf Kunst und Künstler bezieht sich heute weniger auf individuelle Urteile als auf die Benchmark, die in der Konkurrenz eines Sammlers mit anderen Sammlern gesetzt wird. Kunst mutiert damit zum Sub-Gebiet der modernen Portfoliotheorie, des Risikomanagements und der Strategien der Diversifikation. Theorie, Philosophie und Kritik zählen dann oft nur noch am Rand. (Vgl. Heidenreich 2016) Seit Museen sich nicht mehr vorrangig dem Erhalt ihrer eigenen Sammlungen widmen, sondern sich bemühen, möglichst „gegenwärtig“ oder „contemporary“ zu werden und wechselnde Ausstellungen zu kuratieren, verlieren sie die Macht, eine längere historische Dauerhaftigkeit der Kunstwerke zu verbürgen. Kunst muss sich deshalb nach anderen Garanten von Dauerhaftigkeit umsehen. Hier liegt dann noch die Funktion der Philosophie. Autoritäten aus der 2.500-jährigen Geschichte des Denkens aufzurufen erhöht das historische Gewicht eines Texts. Indem sich Kunstwerke mit dieser Geschichte des Denkens umgeben, färbt etwas davon auf sie ab. Ein Werk, das sich auf Hunderte von Jahren beruft, kann kaum in fünf Jahren nichts mehr wert sein, das ist die Hoffnung des Sammlers.

Wenn dem Risiko eine Bewirtschaftung der Zukunft inhäriert, dann bedarf es, um die Kapazität des Risikos auszupreisen, einer Machttechnologie wie die der Derivate (sie sind zudem spekulatives Kapital). An den Finanzmärkten findet die Kapitalisierung - die Diskontierung zukünftig zu erwartender Gewinnströme und der entsprechende Handel mit finanziellen Assets - als Prozess der kontinuierlichen Bewertung der Risiken qua Derivate statt. Da jeder zukünftige Renditestrom von Derivaten kontingent ist, kann ohne die Kalkulation, die darauf ausgerichtet ist, das Risiko hinsichtlich einer zukünftigen Generierung von Renditen zu bewerten, keine Kapitalisierung stattfinden. Kapitalisierung erfordert also einen bestimmten Modus der Identifizierung, der Kalkulation und der Bewertung von ökonomischen Ereignissen, die zuerst einmal klassifiziert und dann als Risiko-Ereignisse objektiviert werden müssen, um ihre zukünftige Profitabilität prognostizieren zu können.

Selbst wenn es noch keine Derivate auf Kunstwerke gibt, so wird ihr (simulierter) Wert doch in ähnlicher Art und Weise gemessen. Jedes Kunstwerk funktioniert ähnlich einem Derivat als kalkulierte Erwartung auf den zukünftigen Output des Künstlers und die darin enthaltenen Geldströme; Künstler werden gemäß ihrer impliziten Volatilität ausgepreist und sie verlieren mit dem Alter oft Wert. Kein Investor schaut auf den inneren Wert des Kunstwerks bzw. des Kunst-Assets, was immer dieser Wert auch sein mag, sondern er bezieht sich auf die Wahrscheinlichkeit, dass ein mit Rendite gesättigter Preis durch den Handel von Kunstwerken in der Zukunft realisiert wird. Finanzielle Potenz bedeutet Forderungen auf zukünftige Zahlungen zu besitzen. Liquidität spielt hier eine Rolle, die nicht in Beträgen, sondern in Strömen gemessen wird. (Ebd.) Kunstwerke sind reale Assets (Vermögenswerte), die zirkulieren, und ihr Preis steigt oder fällt in Relation zum Preis von anderen Assets wie Häusern oder Land. Ausgestellt, hier und dorthin verschifft, von Leuten konsumiert - all das ist Teil ihres Risikomanagements. Dabei wird die Differenz, zwischen dem Kunstwerk, das als Teil der Assetindustrie bewertet wird, und dem, das die handwerkliche Arbeit in der Kunst repräsentiert, permanent beobachtet.

Zur Musik. Es gibt eine Techno-Euphorie, die vom Glauben an die befreiende Macht der Technik angetrieben wird. Die Medienkunst war ein Versuch, einen technophilen Modernismus zu kreieren, der ohne technophobische Grenzen auskommt. Der unbeirrte Glaube der Medienkunst an die Technologie wurde jedoch vom Kunstmarkt absorbiert, dem es schnell gelang, selbst noch die Installationen auszupreisen. Die Aufbewahrungsorte der Kunst arbeiten heute gemäß den Marktgesetzen und sind deren Fluktuationen unterworfen. Dass manche Künstler sich der mechanischen Reproduktion nach wie vor widersetzen, macht die Techno-Phobie die singulären Kunstwerke als Finanzanlagen attraktiv, und die Massenmedien unterstützen dies, indem sie dem Authentischen einen Wert zusprechen, obgleich das Verhältnis von Kopie und Original längst reversibel geworden ist. Die Beziehung zwischen Modernismus und den originellen Repräsentationen des Massenmarktes ist die einer reziproken Stabilisierung, weniger die einer Identität oder eines Antagonismus. (Ebd.)

Der Markt für Kunst macht etwa fünf Prozent des Markts für Luxusgüter aus, dessen Umsätze bei einer Billion Dollar jährlich liegen. Gegenwartskunst nimmt davon etwa 13 Prozent ein. Es handelt sich um ein kleines, aber risikoreiches Marktsegment. Wer Kunst als Investition betrachtet, legt seine Sammlung nach den Regeln des Portfolio-Managements an. Positionen werden breit gestreut, Risiken gründlich bewertet. Interpretation, Kennerschaft, Geschmack oder Kritik haben in dieser Welt nichts mehr verloren. Sie gehören zu einer anderen Zeit. Kunst zu transportieren und öffentlich zu zeigen ist riskant. Versicherungskosten sind hoch, Einnahmen gering. Besser also, das Werk bleibt in der Kiste.

Derivate wie die oben genannten gibt es zwar für Kunstwerke oder Musik nicht, aber es gibt zumindest materiell-diskursive Konstruktionen, die in diese Richtung zielen. In der Techno-Musik werden diese Prozesse auf einem monetär meist niedrigen Level durch die praktisch gelebte Ideologie der Kreativität vorangetrieben. In einer Zeit, in der tendenziell alle Aspekte des Lebens quantifiziert, gemessen und spekulativ gehandelt werden, erlangt der nebulöse Term »Kreativität« eine überragende Aktualität; er ist Teil einer neuen diskursive Formation der Finanzialisierung. Die technoide Musikproduktion scheint ganz auf Innovation ausgerichtet zu sein, womit von den Akteuren dieser »Kreativwirtschaft« ständig Kreativität, die den Willen zum Wandel impliziert, eingefordert wird. Der Absatz der Musik-Waren soll gerade durch die kreative Erzeugung von Differenz im Wettbewerb gewährleistet werden, aber gerade der über den Wettbewerb sich durchsetzende ökonomische Zwang zur profitablen Produktion führt durch die Differenz hindurch zur Reproduktion bestimmter Mechanismen der Standardisierung (die standardisierten Muster der Techno-Tracks; Raves, Clubs und Galerien, die Kodwo Eshun als das Nervensystem des Techno bezeichnet, müssen bestimmte räumliche, zeitliche und ästhetische Kriterien erfüllen, um zu funktionieren), die den organisierten Trend, der das Neue als Markenzeichen setzt, konterkarieren, um wiederum die Kreativität als dominanten Trend anzuschieben. Adorno sähe hier das Identifikationsprinzip im Spiel, das Lebensformen, Produktionsformen, Moden und Dinge aufgrund der anhaltenden seriellen industriellen Produktion der Konvergenz unterstellt. (Vgl. Adorno 1966) Gerade die fortwährende Austauschbarkeit, Kommensurabilität und Quantifizierung von Waren (in Relation zum Geld), denen zudem das Parergon der Kreativität zugeschrieben wird, setzt die Immergleichheit des Zirkulationsprozesses fort, der selbst ein Resultat der Kapitalreproduktion ist. Adorno beachtet aber noch zu wenig, wie Konvergenz gerade durch Divergenz hergestellt wird. Hingegen ist Adorno darin wieder zuzustimmen, dass eine derart gelingende Integration den Antagonismus letztlich nicht eliminieren kann.

Die Finanzialisierung setzt einen Trieb, ja ein spekulatives Ethos für das »Neue« in Gang, einen Appetit für die Performance des »Neuen«. Um ihre Qualität für Investoren zu demonstrieren, müssen Künstler und Unternehmen heute nicht nur zukünftige Profitabilität versprechen, sondern auch die zukünftigen Innovationen beglaubigen, i. e. das konstante Revolutionieren ihrer Produktionsmittel, der Outputs, der Distribution und des Verkaufs; es entsteht eine Ökonomie, die geradezu pathologisch von der Performance des Kreativen getrieben wird. Das Konzept der Kreativität funktioniert hier ähnlich einem Asset, das als ein Instrument der Macht fungiert, welches über die Bewertung und den Vergleich der Outputs der Akteure diese permanent dazu auffordert, noch etwas kreativer zu sein als bisher, womit im Endeffekt keiner mehr kreativ genug ist. Kreativität operiert hier als ein flottierendes Signifikat, dessen Signifikanten sich endlos fortwälzen und reproduzieren, um das Signifikat zu beglaubigen. Dabei wird im Kunstbetrieb das einzelne Werk nicht nur in Bezug auf das Neue und die Kreativität, sondern immer auch in seinem Verhältnis zu anderen Werken bewertet, insbesondere auch zu anderen Werken, von denen es abstammen könnte und somit besitzt es selbst einen derivativen Status (der allerdings von dem des Derivats zu unterscheiden ist, da dieses gerade heute eine determinierende Kraft gewinnt und die sog. Realökonomie zum Abgeleiteten degradiert. In der Verwischung dieser beiden Bedeutungen scheint auch das Problem der Analyse von McKenzie Wark zu liegen). Für die Künstler wird damit die Bearbeitung der Unterscheidung zwischen kreativ und derivativ prekär, insofern andere Künstler, die Konsumenten und die Kommentatoren permanent als produktive Testinstanzen fungieren, die die Bewertung und Unterscheidung von kreativ und derivativ vornehmen, um andauernd neue Rankinglisten zu fabrizieren. Der Wert eines Assets hängt nun von dem eines anderen Assets ab. Warhol und später die digitalen Industrien haben die Unterscheidung zwischen kreativ und derivativ immer weiter verwischt, obgleich sie nach wie vor existiert. Jeff Koons und Damien Hirst haben den Kitsch, postindustrielle Techniken und das Leverage der Finance in ihre Arbeiten integriert. Sie handeln mit ihren Kunstwerken zwar keine Derivate, zumindest folgen sie aber deren Logik. Derivate sind extrem flexible und in-exakte Instrumente, um Risiken zu schneidern und zu bewerten, und sie sind selbst Waren oder Kapital; es geht darum, das Risiko zu managen und selbst kleine Investments (wie man sie eher im Techno vorfindet) zu hebeln, eine Logik der präventiven Zukunft zu entwickeln, um die zukünftige Unsicherheit in heutige Risikoinstrumente und Waren zu verwandeln, die man profitabel einsetzt, ohne dass die Unsicherheit eliminiert werden kann.


Pierre Klossowski hat in seinem Buch Die lebende Münze die industrielle Produktion als das Prinzip einer Produktion-bis-um-äußersten, die einen Konsum-bis-um-äußersten erfordert, bezeichnet, nämlich die Produkte auf kurzfristigen Verschleiß hin und in Serie zu produzieren, um folgerichtig den Konsumenten, der diese Kurzfristigkeit aufgreifen muss, daran zu gewöhnen, die Idee eines haltbaren Gegenstandes ganz zu verlieren. Die Zerstörung der Haltbarkeit durch die maschinelle Innovation, mittels derer nicht nur die Maschinen, sondern die Konsumprodukte immer schneller durch andere abgelöst werden, ist also schon Teil der industriellen und seriellen Massenproduktion des Fordismus. Diese verstärkt die Flüchtigkeit des Objekts und soll potenziell jeden Gedanken an die Haltbarkeit der Objekte eliminieren, womit diese in ihrer Waren-Endlichkeit zu Quasi-Objekten mutieren, das heißt, sie sind kalkulierbar und quantifizierbar und kurzfristig austauschbar geworden und sind damit als Objekte nichtig. Die Objekte mutieren zu Nicht-Dingen. Sie sind nichts, oder, anders gesagt, jedes Objekt ist nun potenziell Müll, ja das Objekt ist Müll. (Nur der Preis hält das Objekt noch am Leben).

Für Klossowski ist damit, so muss man einfach folgern, der Müll keine unvermeidliche Nebenwirkung der industriellen Produktion, sondern ihr Hauptzweck, insofern die fabrizierten Industriewaren dem Wachstumszwang des Kapitals unterliegen, was ihre schnelle Untauglichkeit und Unbrauchbarkeit, ihren umgehenden Konsum und ihre Entsorgung unbedingt einfordert, sodass man eben zu dem weiteren Schluss kommen muss, dass der wirkliche Zweck der Waren nämlich nur darin besteht, Müll zu sein. Wenn das Marketing heute jedes Produkt mit dem Attribut neu versieht, ja als brandneu oder als eine noch nie dagewesene Sensation propagiert, dann fällt im optimalen Fall der Augenblick des Erscheinens des Produkts mit seinem Verschwinden zusammen, zumindest ist das Produkt einem schnellen Zerfallsprozess ausgesetzt, weil es - in Serie hergestellt - nur die Vorstufe eines noch neueren Produkts sein kann. Das Produkt trägt damit per se den Makel oder den Mangel des Überholten und Defizitären bereits in sich, seine Halbwertszeit tendiert gegen Null. Und Müll ist demnach nicht nur das, was auf den Mülldeponien der Welt vergammelt, sondern konsequenterweise auch das riesige Warenangebot in den Regalen der Supermärkte und in den Online-Shops von Amazon - Warenmüll ist das kommende Abjekt, das als solches gar nicht wahrgenommen wird. »Abfall ist das finstere, schändliche Geheimnis jeglicher Produktion. Es soll vorzugsweise ein Geheimnis bleiben.« (Zygmunt Bauman, 2005. 42)

Um heute die Effekte, die Potenziale und die Gefahren der digitalen Angebote (Meme) nachzuvollziehen, muss man die gefährliche Macht der Quasi-Objekte verstehen, die einzig und allein da sind, um mit steigender Geschwindigkeit zu zirkulieren und dann schnell zu verschwinden. Es geht hier um die rigorose Transsubstantiation des Seins in den Prozess und die Relation. Damit drohen selbst noch die alltäglichsten Dinge ob ihrer Kurzfristigkeit dem schnellen Verfall ausgesetzt zu sein, obgleich man weiterhin in den schlechtesten Gewohnheiten gefangen bleibt, weil man keine Zeit für Entscheidungen findet, wenn man dem Allerneuesten hinter her hechelt. In diesem sich beschleunigenden Kontinuum der Vermüllung durch die Zirkulation der Quasi-Objekte sollen die Phasen der Unterscheidungsfindung, der Unterbrechung und des Nachdenkens immer weiter reduziert werden, was einer zunehmenden Kontrolle und Vereinnahmung der gelebten Zeit entspricht. Horizontale Kommunikation und vertikale Kontrolle. Waren, die zwar produziert wurden und zirkulieren, aber nie konsumiert werden, nehmen zu. In den reichen Ländern wird heute ein Viertel der genießbaren Lebensmittel weggeworfen - nicht der der Rest des Produkts ist dann Müll, sondern die Ware selbst.

Fordert uns an dieser Stelle gerade die Sharing Economy nicht zum umdenken, werden viel fragen. Aber vielleicht sieht es auch hier ganz anders aus, denn mit der Sharing Economy gelingt es den Subalternen noch, beispielsweise aus einem Gästezimmer oder einem unbenutzten Raum in der Wohnung eine Einkommensquelle zu machen. Möglichst alles, selbst noch der recycelbare Müll, soll fortan als Einkommensquelle dienen, und dies bezieht sich sogar auf das, was bisher noch gar nicht produziert worden ist. Und oft genug zeigt sich gerade darin der nekrophile Zug des Kapitals und seiner Kulturindustrie: Erst wenn eine Sache längst tot ist, kommt sie so richtig in Mode und wird dann als eine zukunftsweisende zeitgenössische Singularität verkauft, womit sich anzeigt, dass die Retro-Industrie gerade in einem Zeitalter, das auf die Vermarktung der Waren mit Blick auf die Zukunft setzt, im kulturellen Bereich längst zum Standard geworden ist. Dabei wird auf der Suche nach dem Originellen und Einzigartigen der Unterschied zwischen Historischem und Zeitgenössischem permanent verwischt, sodass am Ende lediglich die schreckliche und geschmacklose Rekombination der Waren, Zeichen und Stile übrig bleibt. Wenn in diesem Sinne jede Ware Retro ist, ist nichts mehr Retro und die Zeit wird weiß. Und so poliert man selbst noch gewöhnliche Industrieprodukte wie Jeans mit schier nach Lebendigkeit ringenden Gebrauchsspuren, die das historisch Heroische der Arbeit ausstellen sollen, und irgendwelchen sonstigen historischen Details auf, und noch der industriell hergestellte Kuchen schmeckt angeblich wie der Kuchen zu Omas Zeiten. Die Zirkulation der hybriden Waren läuft heute insofern immer wieder auf dasselbe hinaus, insofern die ihnen hinzugefügte Erzählung, die von ihrer Authentizität oder Singularität labert, gerade das verschleiert, was die Waren in Wahrheit meistens sind, nämlich seriell gefertigte Wegwerfprodukte, gerade einmal dazu da, nach dem Kauf sofort wieder auf Ebay weiterverkauft oder gleich in den Müll geworfen zu werden. Es kann sich dabei durchaus auch um einzeln hergestellte Objekte und Accesoires handeln, die, werden sie mit einem fiktiven Wert versehen und beispielsweise in der Wohnung gesammelt, den Hauch des Atmosphärischen schaffen, eine leichte Wolke, die vorbeizieht und wieder im Nichts verschwindet.

Das 24/7-Modell eines panisch gewordenen Konsums im Sog einer »Verschwendung« von Waren, die hauptsächlich nur in ihrem Design ständig variiert werden, ohne dass es zur wirklichen Neuheit kommt, ein Modell, das zudem auch die individuelle Verausgabung rein zum Zwecke der Selbststeigerung (des Gleichen) setzt, ist die Karikatur einer Überschreitung und jener Verschwendung, die Bataille noch als ein allgemeines ökonomisches Modell gegen das (re)produktive Recycling-Kapital propagiert hat. Die Überraschung liegt nicht darin, dass die Ungewissheit, was als nächstes kommt, bei dieser Art der Warenproduktion präsent bleibt sondern, dass kaum einer erkennt, dass es sich letzten Endes um die aufdringliche Wiederholung des Gleichen mittels der minimalen Differenzierung handelt, sodass von Ausnahmen abgesehen, es immer wieder auch dieselben Unternehmen und Ketten sind, die einen großen Teil der zahlungsfähigen Nachfrage auf sich ziehen. Der Verlust der Haltbarkeit führt heute dazu, dass in der Tendenz auch die symbolischen und kulturellen Distinktionsmerkmale, die die Luxuswaren von den Billigwaren unterscheiden, verfallen. Daran ändert auch die für das Kapital heute konstitutive Spekulation, wie wir das an verschiedenen Stellen schon vorgeführt haben, nichts, sie findet verstärkt auf den Kunstmärkten statt, aber auch dort nicht in erster Linie unter dem Gesichtspunkt der Kulturalisierung der Kunstobjekte, sondern ihrer eineindeutigen Monetarisierung, wobei auch die Sichtbarkeit auf der Strecke bleibt, wenn Milliardäre ihre gekauften Kunstobjekte dem Publikum gerade nicht zur Ansicht anbieten, sondern mit schwer geschützten Bunkern die Ansicht verwehren.

Es sind gerade die digitalen Geräte, die heute den Platz als ständige Begleiter des Menschen einnehmen, sie verlangen im Sinne des Überwachungskapitals geradezu begierig nach der permanenten Mensch-Maschinen-Kommunikation und sie sind deshalb wie etwa das Smartphone am besten direkt am Körper anzubringen oder als digitale Brillen vor die Augen zu kleben. So fordern die Geräte unentwegt danach auf bedient zu werden, und deswegen müssen sie eine Vielzahl von Optionen und Bedienungsmöglichkeiten bereitstellen, die das andauernde Navigieren im digitalen Space erforderlich, ja attraktiv und zugleich im positiven Sinne nervenaufreibend und unruhig machen. Allerdings führt diese Art der unruhigen Optionalität nicht zur Freiheit des Konsumenten, sondern zu dessen ständigen Versuchen, die Anpassungen und Adaptionen an die funktionalen Erfordernisse und Bedienungsanleitungen der technischen Geräte, die eine Diversifizierung der Abläufe anbieten, geradezu mit Furor zu leisten, was die Konsumenten zudem noch aktiv mit ihren Comments im Internet befördern, ohne aber im Geringsten zu spüren, dass sie selbst eine Anwendung des 24/7-Taktes und seiner Kontrollsysteme bleiben. So gesehen verlangt der Gebrauchswert der digitalen Geräte die modulare und effiziente Bedienung, die Navigation ihrer Funktionen und Zustände, die ja permanent weiter moduliert werden – der Konsument ist damit selbst so etwas wie die lebendig gewordene Bedienung. Es werden aber nicht nur ständig alte Produkte durch neue ersetzt, sondern der Konsum der neuen Produkte fordert die andauernde Beschäftigung mit ihnen geradezu heraus. Und im Konsum treten das Bedürfnis nach dem Besitz des Produkts und die Affirmation seiner Ersetzbarkeit ständig miteinander in Konflikt, und doch gilt es, die digitalen Anreize schnell zu erkennen, um sich in die Kette beständig heißer vorgegebener Verheißungen einzuklinken, die zumindest eine verbesserte Funktionalität in der Anwendung des Produkts versprechen, auch wenn sich letztendlich für den Nutzer beim Gebrauch der Geräte kein Nutzen einzustellen vermag. Das verlangt einen Konsumenten, dem die durchaus variable Konformität wie ein nach Maß geschneiderter Anzug passt, und der den Verhaltensvorhersagen von künstlichen Maschinen folgt, welche möglichst ein Verhalten des Konsumenten antizipieren, das zuverlässig zu den »gewünschten kommerziellen Ergebnissen führt« (Zuboff 2018: 235). Der Konsument ist damit definitiv die Ratte in der Skinner-Box, indem er einer Konsum-Konditionierung unterworfen wird, die nicht nur mit den Zyklen der technischen Produkte identisch sein, sondern vor allem Profite für das Überwachungskapital generieren soll. Dabei will man die Zeit der Entscheidungen der Konsumenten, wenn sie die digitalen Geräte bedienen, nicht nur verkürzen, sondern am besten gleich ganz automatisieren, sodass vergessen werden kann, dass jede eingeführte Neuheit Teil der nackten Wiederholung des 24/7-Taktes ist. Der Dauermodus des Als-ob, den beispielsweise das Smartphone bereitstellt, lässt die Verstandesfunktion mit ihrer regulativen Kapazität auf ein fatales Residuum implodieren und klebt sie als notwendiges Detail an die Daten-, die Bild- und Informationszirkulation der Geräte. Adorno hatte diesbezüglich schon eine böse Vorahnung: »Ausgegangen wird von der Gedächtnisschwäche der Konsumenten: keinem wird zugetraut, daß er sich an etwas erinnere, auf etwas anderes konzentriere, als was ihm im Augenblick geboten wird. Er wird auf die abstrakte Gegenwart reduziert. Je bornierter aber der Augenblick für sich selber einzustehen hat, um so weniger darf er mit Unglück geladen sein.« Nichts anderes bedeutet das Ende der Geschichte auf der Ebene des Subjekts.

Für die schamlos unzufriedenen und zugleich infantil-grotesk Genießenden erscheinen die digitalen Geräte inklusive ihrer Gadgets und Apps den auf Kurzfristigkeit angelegten Takt vorzugeben, handelt es sich doch um kurz-terminierte Wegwerfprodukte, die dem ständigen Austausch unterliegen, man denke an die heutige Hyper-Präsenz touchscreen-gesteuerter Geräte, die man aber wahrscheinlich bald durch Rechner, welche auf ein Winken, Blinzeln oder Räuspern reagieren, ersetzen wird, um den Nonstop-Betrieb des Konsums auf beschleunigte Weise fortzusetzen. Die Intelligenzmaschinen des Überwachungskapitals passen die unzähligen Apps (über 300 für Googles Android-Plattform) über das Wetter, Dating, Musik, Gesundheit etc. ständig an und infizieren sie zudem noch mit einer großen Anzahl von Trackern, um persönliche Daten zu extrahieren, algorithmisierte Profile zu erstellen und Geld mit zielgerichteter Werbung zu verdienen.



Metadata = Data Thu, 16 Jan 2020 10:43:14 +0000

In thinking about the problem of metadata, I was reminded of an old discussion -- addressed already in Protocol but worth repeating -- easily summed up by the expression "metadata = data."

What I mean by this formulation is that no media-infrastructural mechanism exists to distinguish between data and metadata. First and foremost, one can't distinguish them formally: there's no information type α called "data" separate from another type β called "metadata" through which one might distinguish the one from the other.

Computer Scientists are, in this sense, monists. They never invented two categories of things, only the one category (the bit) which has to do double duty as everything under the sun. Such is the great strength of digital computation -- as Alan Turing said, the universal machine can do the work of any other machine -- but it's also the great limitation of digitality. How does a machine know if anything is different from anything else, if it only has one thing?

The answer is: artifice. Scientists superimpose an artificial *structure* to data; structure means that one "kind" of data remains separate from another "kind" of data. Yet while structure and form are necessary conditions of digitality, they are not rigorous mathematical instruments, and thus can't be deployed as a categorically different type.

So "metadata = data" is true formally. It's also true practically: every bit of data may have some adjacent bit of "metadata"; yet in most cases that meta bit is simply the kernel of a larger data glob, which itself will likely have its own metadata. The nested structure of network packets are a good example: the "metadata" of ASCII text are HTML tags; but an HTML page itself is assigned new "metadata" in the form of an HTTP header; then that entire thing (ASCII-HTML-HTTP data all wrapped up) gets a TCP/IP header as metadata, which gets a frame header based on the physical network medium.

So, in a sense it's metadata all the way down, or, if you prefer, all the way up as well. Or not "all the way" since things peter out at the level of electrons (down there) and semiotic signs (up here). But, regardless, the designation "metadata" is a relative designation rather than an absolute one -- a little like the drawing of a rabbit, which, if you see it differently, might also be a duck. Anything called "metadata" will most certainly be mere "data" if you move your perspective a little bit. And likewise anything called "data" will most certainly do double duty as some kind of "meta" wrapper for something else further down the chain.

What does this mean for states and companies? Clearly claims like "we don't listen to the calls we only look at the metadata" ring hollow. (First, we already know it's a false claim; they listen to the calls as well. Not to mention that there is a tremendous amount of information embedded within so-called metadata, so much, in many cases, that the data "contents" can be interpolated to a high degree of probabilistic certainty.) The question is how and why this claim rings hollow. The answer is that, following the nesting architecture above, it's always ambiguous where the data stops and the metadata begins. Likewise we know that any kind of "data" can simply be spun as "metadata" if you move your frame a little bit. The data-metadata distinction quickly becomes ideologically vague, and therefore a strategic vulnerability that may be exploited by state and commercial actors.

But these are all implementation problems best left to the engineers... In a future post I'll try to move on to other problems, problems having to do with the question of framing, the so-called critical stance, and the question of meaning. Is metadata a problem for thinking?

taken from here

Understanding France’s General Strike in the Context of the Yellow Vests and Global Class Warfare Wed, 15 Jan 2020 14:05:13 +0000

Originally published by Radical Education Department. Written by Gabriel Rockhill. Image above by Patrice CALATAYU ( CC BY-SA 2.0 )

This article was published in a slightly different version here in CounterPunch.

Emmanuel Macron, a former investment banker, came to power in 2017 as a purported centrist bulwark against the right-wing extremism of the National Front, and his administration thus needs to be understood as part of a broader historical shift of electoral politics to the right. His proposed overhaul of the pension system, which would be financed by measures like increasing the minimum retirement age from 62 to 64 and basing one’s pension on average earnings across an entire career (effectively lowering average pensions), aims at dissolving the 42 different retirement programs that currently exist into a unique system that sharply reduces benefits for many workers. These different programs, which include benefits such as early retirement, were the result of hard-won struggles by those employed in physically demanding or dangerous jobs. The proposed change would thus, in practical terms, be financed on the backs of workers, who would be expected to work longer with less pay and security, rather than being paid for by increased taxes on corporations or the wealthy (Macron’s government notoriously abolished the French solidarity tax on wealth or the ISF in 2017).

While it is true that Prime Minister Édouard Philippe has recently announced that the government is willing—because its hand has been forced by the movement—to temporarily withdraw the reduction of the retirement age, he proposes to do so while maintaining the rest of the counter-reform and imposing a budget cut of 12 billion euros on the pension system. Far from a real compromise, this amounts to nothing more than an act of political theater aimed at presenting the government as open to negotiation and compromise (while luring the union leadership into the trap of a “passive revolution”), thereby preparing to depict the workers as stubborn, irrational and anti-democratic if they do not stop the strike. Moreover, when one reads between the lines of Philippe’s proposal, it becomes increasingly clear that it would change almost nothing in regard to the original plan. As Damien Bernard has explained, “the text of the government’s bill sets a ‘long-term’ equilibrium age that will allow, in the pension system based on points, to increase the retirement age according to life expectancy, but also according to the budgetary parameters inherent in the points system, meaning at constant GDP budget, a general reduction in pensions.”

Workers for the French National Railway Company (SNCF) and Paris’s public transportation system (RATP) rely on the existing “special” pension plans, and they have been at the forefront of the strike, which has become the longest “continuous period of industrial action in the history of the country’s state rail company.” The strike has been joined by other unions, including France’s two largest (the CGT and the CFDT), as well as by both public and private-sector workers in the transportation industry, education, healthcare, law, sanitation, culture, energy and communications. Across the country, trains and subways have ground to a near halt, numerous flights have been grounded, France’s eight major oil refineries have been on strike, more than a hundred schools and universities have been closed and some are being occupied, and over 1.5 million people are protesting in the streets. With an approval rating of 61% after over a month of actions, this is now the “the longest general strike since May 1968, when the entire economy was ground to a halt by students and workers in an all out revolt against the government.”

This open-ended strike has developed in the context of the Yellow Vests movement, which began in earnest in the fall of 2018, and which grew on the heels of other important social movements of recent date in France, including the major mobilizations for the anniversary of May 68 in 2018 and the Nuit Debout movement in 2016. Arising outside of the classic systems of representation, such as political parties and unions, the Yellow Vests movement has introduced innovative combative forms of struggle and expanded political ambitions well beyond the narrow confines of circumscribed “demands.” Many Yellow Vests, or gilets jaunes, are participating in the current strikes, and a number of commentators have referred to a “giletjaunization” or a “Yellow Vest Effect.” Indeed, there is a process of increased autonomy, expanded solidarity and radicalization in which workers are organizing themselves across multiple sectors, sometimes independently of union and party leadership, and there is an escalation of the struggle beyond the immediate demands to cancel the planned counter-reform. In the insightful words of Yves Saintemarie, a retiree and participant in the strike: “It’s not just a question of pensions. It’s about people in general living in poverty and precariousness. I am a ‘Yellow Vest’ and a trade unionist, and it is imperative that our struggles converge; we must bring down this government that kills us.”

“The Government Is Putting a Rope around Our Necks”

For the current strike, workers have been blocking roads and shutting down tourist sites. Firefighters have hosed down governmental buildings in protest. Oil workers orchestrated a 96-hour blockade of France’s petrol facilities, which stopped products from entering or leaving refineries, petrol terminals or depots, thereby cutting off fuel transportation throughout the country. Electrical workers have restored power to poor neighborhoods at reduced rates while simultaneously cutting electricity in government buildings, police stations, shopping centers and company headquarters. Members of the Paris Ballet joined the strike and organized a free, public performance of “Swan Lake” on Christmas Eve to express workers’ solidarity. These creative acts, and others like them, embody the direct action “organize your own” approach, which has been so widespread through the course of the Yellow Vests movement, and they also demonstrate the importance of blockades and the control of transportation and energy networks for contemporary social movements.

Macron’s administration is rightly frightened by the current strike due to the relatively recent history of successful mobilizations. In 1995, it only took three weeks for a massive strike to force Prime Minister Alain Juppé to curtail his planned austerity cuts, which then significantly weakened President Jacques Chirac’s ability to impose neoliberal counter-reforms at the time. If the current movement succeeds in halting the overhaul of the pension system, it will be more difficult for Macron to push through other neoliberal policies. It is perhaps not surprising, then, that his administration’s response to the protests has been perfectly in line with the double-faced nature of pseudo-democratic rule under global capitalism: a combination of mendacious political rhetoric, on the one hand, with a refusal to change course and the use of brutal state repression on the other. This dual strategy, which seeks to maintain hegemony within the acquiescent sectors of the population while unleashing repressive violence on the other sectors, has been a constant in his administration, as has been clearly illustrated in his incessant use of extreme state violence against the Yellow Vests.

Macron’s assault on pensions is, of course, simply one more step in his ongoing attack on social services in order to impose the agenda of the transnational capitalist class. Under the grotesque euphemism of “austerity,” this project consists in implementing policies that distribute wealth upwards, transferring more costs of social reproduction onto the working class and increasing the rate of exploitation. Macron is simply one elite technocratic implementer among many on the global stage, as the recent statement by European Commissioner Thierry Breton clearly illustrates. This business tycoon and former Finance Minister of France has explained that the European Commission judges that Macron’s pension plan is just as “necessary” as other counter-reforms across the continent, meaning that other European countries should be subjected to the same kinds of anti-worker measures.

The credibility crisis of the Macron regime is thus connected to a broader legitimacy crisis for the international system of pseudo-representative governments working for the capitalist class. As William I. Robinson has explained in books like Global Capitalism and the Crisis of Humanity, the transnational elite has sought to establish a neoliberal consensus in the era of globalization, which has required the mobilization of a social base that consensually supports it. Although the ruling class has succeeded in integrating the upper-echelons of society and organic intellectuals through ideological and material rewards, the system of global capitalist accumulation has simultaneously undermined the basis for wider hegemonic rule by stripping the popular classes of the material base necessary for their consent. In this regard, the widespread discontent with Macron’s “government of the rich” is indicative of a broader crisis of legitimacy for the global elite technocracy, which is tasked with maintaining or increasing capitalist accumulation while pacifying or subduing all of those who suffer from it.

The current strike in France is thus part of a series of radical social movements that have been sweeping the globe, from Chili and Haiti to Lebanon, India and beyond. Some commentators have identified these uprisings as a new cycle of revolutionary struggle, which is reinvigorating and further developing the battles of the square movements that rocked the world a decade ago. Although a full analysis of this revolutionary sequence far surpasses the framework of this article, the movements in France need to be understood as part of a transnational movement on the part of the subordinate classes as the illegitimacy of capitalist rule becomes increasingly apparent through record global inequality and the unprecedented destruction of the biosphere. The stakes are very high, and there are a number of tactical similarities between these movements, which have sought to shift the balance of power. These include, both in France and elsewhere, autonomous organizing outside of the traditional forms of political and economic representation; the expansion of solidarity networks that go beyond established frameworks, particular vocations or one’s job status; the use of targeted actions, “savage” protests, days of struggle and blockades rather than the occupation of public squares; and a combative radicalization that directly confronts state and corporate power.

The situation in France should thus be understood as part of a transnational struggle against the global ruling class. If the corporate-backed government succeeds in crushing dissent, or if the union leadership is content to accept minor concessions, which already appears to be a possibility, this could be a setback for the momentum of global class struggle if the movement does not leapfrog over the union leaders. If the strike is able to continue to develop and expand, and it sets its sights on the “government that kills us,” then important victories might very well be on the horizon. These could contribute, moreover, to the international struggle against an increasingly inegalitarian world.

– GR

taken from here

Kinetic Revolution: Understanding the Transversal Reality of the “Philosophy of Movement” Wed, 15 Jan 2020 09:39:42 +0000

 This is roughly where physics is at with what is now called quantum gravity theory in physics. In quantum gravity theory, space and time and all the laws of nature are not, as Einstein thought, a priori features of nature. They are emergent, metastable processes of indeterminate quantum fluctuations of energy. This is an extremely radical and relatively recent idea to which Lucretius is a precursor, in my mind. Physicists do not have an agreed-upon and experimentally supported unified theory of quantum gravity yet, but its where most of the  work is being done in theoretical physics and quantum cosmology today. I think Lucretius was an important precursor to this new worldview and thus strikingly contemporary and prescient.

read the interview here

Only us: Ecology-against-the-State Tue, 14 Jan 2020 13:09:42 +0000

“We, and no one else.” – There is an overwhelming scene in Todd Haynes’ latest film, Dark Waters (2019), which shows how toxic chemicals used in the production of Teflon were spilled into the Ohio River. The lawyer, who went from being on the side of the multinationals to that of farmers and local residents exposed to toxic substances that cause cancer, says:

The system is rigged. They want us to believe that this system will protect us, but it’s a lie: we protect ourselves and no one else. (1)

Such disarray overlaps with a shared feeling: we feel it, we experience it every day, that governments, not to mention multinationals, do not protect us – and, even more, do not seek to protect us. The COP25, the latest of the summits devoted to climate change, resulted in a total lack of measures. A few years ago, the governments assembled would at least have led people to believe in measures, intentions or long-term plans (reduce CO2 emissions by 2173, and all-solar programmed for 2456, just after the colonisation of Neptune). But these pretenses have fallen; there remains only the political truth of our time: there is nothing to expect from governments. This truth conceals another, more surprising one: governments, too, no longer expect anything from us.

The depopulated – To explain this socio-political schism, one could hold to remembering that these governments represent, without notable difference, the financial interests of some without any relation whatsoever to the good of all. In France, for example, pension reform is a windfall for insurance companies; in the USA, Trump’s policy is even clearer: it is his interests and those of his family that matter; in Brazil, the interests of those who want to transform the forest into an extraction and building construction domain – each will complete the list according to their national misfortunes. This analysis must, however, be extended: there is nothing to expect from governments because they are convinced that the global environmental, social and economic situation will inevitably become unsustainable; and this situation leads to its converse: that nothing is expected of us – us citizens, residents, students, workers, the unemployed and disabled, the retired, etc. – to change anything about the future of the climate, of the programmed bio-economic disaster.

It is indeed increasingly difficult not to know that the ecosphere will become uninhabitable for human beings, condemned to disappear with the other extinct species en mass, on infertile lands and at the edge of asphyxiated oceans. Macron knows it, Trump knows it, Putin knows it. They are not in denial, they know, and the take the consequent political: to not reduce CO2 emissions, but to enlarge their bunker, to increase the size of the protections of their private property and the salary of their bodyguards, to adapt their golf course to rising sea levels (which Trump does in Florida). Whether they are neoliberal-authoritarian, national-populist, or colonial-religious, States today have the task not to educate or take care of populations, but to organise the survival of a minimal techno-industrial apparatus for a privileged class. It no longer seeks to maximize its interest in the future, but to optimize its survival in the present.

Once this point is understood, the current political measures take on their full meaning: the end of university as an instrument for training the middle class, renowned for its ability to consent to social compromises; the end of the search a general consensus in benefit of an “interventionist” police force equipped with shields where blood does not adhere; the end of universal health systems giving way to private clinics (for the poor); the end of pensions and hopefully end of pensioners, who die in misery; the end of speeches pretending to be ideological, replaced by lies that do not even intend to convince – because the State no longer needs them. There is neither the need to convince, nor is there the need for us to act for the future or even for progress. It will certainly be said that we are always asked to respect order, the law, private property, but – precisely – this is not asked of us. There is no waiting, no negotiation with what would be a recognised otherness, that of a subject-people or an object-population, there is only the immediate imposition of force on a rejection: after the people, after the population, now comes the time of the absence of population, of the depopulated.

Capital, sovereignty, and the avatars of the Great Desertion. – Without taking into consideration the hypothesis according to which the barbaric radicalisation of the State-Capital ensemble stems from a decision regarding the anticipation of a global disintegration of living conditions, we risk only seeing in the ongoing reconstruction of the modes of governmentality but a simple twist in the history of the accumulation of capital and the maintenance of sovereignty. Bt this would be a story at half mast, incomplete. On the one hand, capitalism has really become schizophrenic, but not à la Deleuze and Guattari: how to wager – with Musk and Bezos – on the exploitation of asteroids and interplanetary colonisation while all the while checking that the architect has indeed planned a sauna in New Zealand’s climate shelter? Can one accumulate capital properly while one accumulates tinned food? By deserting the surface of earthly soil, capitalism renders its tendency to deterritorialise a little too real.

On the other hand, the State has problems with the maintenance of its sovereignty. If this consists in deciding on the state of exception, it is difficult to grasp what this state calls upon when the concern for the population is equal to zero, and when the territory becomes inseparable from a representation of it in terms of a flooded, burnt, or infested area, with hordes that will soon be looking for a little petrol. Once autonomous of the territory and the population, sovereignty changes meaning: the “absolute and perpetual power” (Bodin) of the sovereign no longer relates, formally at least, to a social body, to a community, to a demos or a Republic, but it detaches itself from it and ends up opposing it without nuance. The State exits its location. It is not only that sovereignty reveals itself to be a power without disguise, a monopoly of violence released from any discourse of justification, it is that the object-population is no longer to be subjected, or to be normalised, it is – at best – to be pushed back beyond the borders which the self-welfare State needs to maintain as much as possible its mode of existence. It is safe to wager that one day each citizen will receive by e-mail a notice announcing their new refugee status.

The State of self-welfare (against what?) – So if one asks what could be, for our day, an analogon of this “society against the State” that the anthropologist Pierre Clastres theorised, a society capable of avoiding on the one hand the formation of a sovereign entity separated from the social body and on the other hand the accumulation of capital, in other words, a society whose indivisibility – as Viveiros de Castro says – is first and foremost “negative” (2), in that it seeks to avoid any hierarchy (the hieros of the State and of capital), then it is in the context of the contemporary socio-political schism, of desertion of capitalism – underground or in space – and the formation of the State-against-society that such an analogon will have to be thought of. If this society against the State, which can be described as “primitive” in that it designates what must be thought first, primitively, before any other social consideration, if this “primitive society” therefore “will always exist: as an immanent exterior of the State, a force of anti-production always threatening the productive forces, a multiplicity that cannot be internalised by the great world machines”(3), what can it be empirically when – a singular reversal – the State expels society and constitutes as an exterior, when the productive forces threaten with anti-production what could have opposed it, and the world machines no longer even seek to internalise multiplicity? Should not this change be read in the institutional acts which seem nevertheless to continue – out of habit, like a sort of reflex, in the manner of a zombie – to include, to maintain in certain dimensions, the reproduction of the workforce , asking us for “little gestures” for the environment (assuming someone still believes in it)? The self-welfare State and its depopulated or absent population is the configuration from which perspectives as opposite as the “politics of multiplicities” (Eduardo Viveiros de Castro) and the “mass” revolutionary hypothesis (Frédéric Lordon) must be evaluated.

Thinning out. – The State is about to depart, unless it has already left – from its old functions at least, from its relation of interest for the citizens (even if the administrative machine still functions, more or less, in an acephalous mode). It is true that its heavy status keeps it on the ground, but its spirit is elsewhere, and jealous of the CEOs. The Great Desertion is underway as the desert grows. But the desert is not a dead place, it is rather a place where life returns, the space where the oldest replays its contacts with the most recent (4). When the view clears, the depopulated learn to count themselves. And then face reality: there is only us on Earth. We, humans, those other than humans, ghosts and stones, animals, foreboding machines: so much power, so much cosmological breadth, so much love and anger. All in all, we should make it.

Frédéric Neyrat, Paris, December 29, 2019

(lundi matin#223, 30/12/2019)

1. Cf.

2. Eduardo Viveiros de Castro, Politique des multiplicités : Pierre Clastres face à l’État, Éditions Dehors, 2019, p.96.

3. Eduardo Viveiros de Castro, Politique des multiplicités, p.27.

4. Cf. Barbara Glowczewski, “Le désert en éveil”, LM # 219, December 2019 (

taken from here

Foto: Stefan Paulus

Marx and the ecstatic labor force Tue, 14 Jan 2020 10:29:39 +0000

Quite in contrast to mechanics, which defines the concept of force as the result of mutually canceling forces in their relationship to each other, Marx also seems to have always been intent, in his critique of political economy, on breaking the beautiful appearance of the balance and stability of the system, this wonderfully harmonizing syntax of forces, which at some point seemed quite strange to theoretical mechanics itself, until, in view of the historically newly emerging possibilities of quantification created by the machines themselves, it began to take an interest in possible differences by relating any existing states of equilibrium to earlier ones. Marx, on the other hand, was interested from the outset in breaking up the concept of rest and equilibrium (rest, which in theoretical mechanics is understood as the resultant of mutually neutralizing forces and their magnitudes), and then in the representation of reproduction schemes in the second volume of Capital, who are, after all, imbued with equilibrium, to include more strongly in their analyses the aspect of the temporal and unstable dynamics of capitalism, a dynamic that cannot be thought of without the concept of the limit, which with Hegel is the limit ever already exceeded, the immanent infinite of capitalism itself (and not the absolute limit). In theoretical mechanics, the relation of force and change of speed refers to the use of a uniform motion machine, whose essence (motion does not move itself) lies in the geometric form of motion, the immovable or the law. (Cf. Bahr 1983: 225) Theoretical mechanics thus equates force with causality, and in this way Aristotle had already identified the ontic with the logical, although the question raised much later by Galileo, how an effect can exist if the cause is only a residual force, to which Newton again replied that the difference between the action of force and movement/inertia was a purely perspective one, which was then radicalised in the succession of Hume and Kant to the effect that force is only what is given to the sensations, which themselves should be endowed with a minimum of force for unification. Ultimately, it seems indifferent whether one thinks of force from rest or from motion, and this because one has to consider the position of the observer, who relativizes the difference between rest and motion, making it impossible to adhere to uniform or circular motion, unless one defines circular motion with Newton as the result of two balancing forces. Modern physics, in turn, makes reality accessible through machines or apparatuses which, in the context of experiments, discourses and dispositives, translate into empiricism/theory, or even produce the so-called "unempirical things", which have a multitude of differences or potentials (Souriau) "behind" them. The problem of force has thus been shifted and postponed more and more in the manifold discourses on machine systems, but it was already shifted into the machine (or ontology of the machine) itself before the birth of modern physics. (Ibid.: 199ff.)

Finally, Marxen's own conceptual differentiation of the machine into power machine (working machine or engine), transmission machine and machine tool (MEW 23: 398f.), which is implicitly directed against an axiomatized concept of machine, reintroduces the teleological moment into the machine discourse by referring to the machines in terms of their tool character (tool as an extension of the human organs or as an expression of protosubjectivity) and thus in a certain way relativizes the turning away from teleology, which was ultimately necessary to gain the concept of abstract labor as a mere expenditure of muscle, brain and nerve etc., in order to then in a further step tie the explanation of added value to an ecstatic force - labor force. Although Marx assumes this transcendence of labor in some passages of the text, he must constantly confront the externalization of labor with its integration into the capitalist machinery (qua real subsumption of living labor under fixed capital), and indeed until, through the discussion of the different types of machinery, the difference between the corporeality (and cognition) of human labor and the machinery finally falls apart. Thus, the aspect of the axiomatization of the machinery comes more and more to the fore, including the mathem of ratios, which is the cooperation within a company through the numerical division, distribution and organization of the working body (many work the same way). (Cf. Bahr 1983: 268f./ Lenger 2004: 162f.) This is about an axiomatic theory that machines and their symbolic machine operations write and is today continued with the ubiquitous existence of the information machines, their object-oriented languages and algorithms, whereby at the same time every phenomenon in nature appears indistinguishable and undecidable from the machine, because the latter is interpreted by the machine and even produced in the first place. (Bahr 1983: 227)

If in the terms of transmission and transference not only the machine as "in-between world" (ibid.267), but if the concept of the mechanism, which implies the replacement of the productive by the reproductive (distribution), is only here completed, then for Marx, following Friedrich List (and this explicitly directed against Ricardo), the question arises all the more urgently how an asymmetrical, a-mechanical and at the same time historically situated concept of force can be thought of and how this can be linked to the productivity of living labor, namely the "idea of a force that expends itself, whose output has no energetic equivalence to its input.« (ibid.) And Marx tends to externalize the ecstatic labor force as the only productive source of surplus value against the immanence of the capitalist reproduction process and, in the same breath, to link the question of surplus value production more and more to the problem of technological innovation, to research and science, sectors that in Marx's time initially still seemed to lie outside the immediate sphere of influence of industrial production. Marx's description of the progressing machinization in the course of its structural differentiation into a tripartite machine thus ultimately leads to the insight that the human labor force itself degenerates into a machine part, and thus every increase in labor productivity is tantamount to a machine rationalization in production, a rationality that consists in the proximity of the various elements of production. (Ibid.: 268) Thus, value-added production would be understood primarily as the result of the elimination of the unproductive, and this is due to the condensation of human working time and the functional time of machines; these are strategies of acceleration that individual capital must inevitably employ if it wants to produce either a higher number or qualitatively better products per unit of time (a higher output per unit of time) with less or the same amount of living working time or machine time, in order to score points with other enterprises in and through the procedures of competition. With the increase in the rate of turnover of capital and the related scientificization of production, the difference between res extensa and res cogitans is increasingly eliminated in the context of the productive division of the labor body, as the analysis of clocked time now controls the composition of the various partial objects of living labor and cognition. The mechanism itself turns into a fluid machinism regulated by the mathesis of the clock, integrating the analogous areas of force, energetics and transmission, thus making recursive processes possible, which technically occur as orders of numerical flows, before cybernetic calculating machines and their binary symbolism write and read the production processes themselves, in order to control them simultaneously via the corresponding feedback processes.

In Capital Vol. 1, Marx insists on emphasizing the component of force with regard to the conceptual definition of labor, whereas in the floor plans he accentuates labor more strongly than property. If labor is defined as the "epitome of all physical and mental abilities" (MEW 23: 181) that exist in the physicality of the worker and are inseparable from his person, then this refers to the general capacity for work. And it must be noted that the production of labor itself requires labor, since its information value, to which it has essentially been transformed today, must be preserved physically and cognitively, and this through training, nutrition, qualification, etc., in order to enter the circulation as labor and not as work. As Paolo Virno observes, the worker is all the worker's abilities, all kinds of assets, be it language, affects, imagination, memory, etc. (Cf. Virno 2008: 150f.) In this context, the capacity to work is to be understood as virtuality, which in capitalism always implies the universal usability and rentability of the assets, adding in the same breathshould add that labor capacity exists only as an integral part of the capitalist production process. It invents with it and is invented by it. And the labor capacity can only take on the meaning of an asset when it sells itself. If the labor capacity is not sold, then it shows that labor is literally nothing, and in this respect it is above all not a first, a foundation on which a metaphysics of labor could be built and established.

In this context, it is worth pointing out, with Peter Ruben, the connection between the physical and economic concepts of force: "Classical physics defines force (K) by the relationship of work to the distance (s) along which work is performed: K = A : s." (Ruben 1995: 18) Such work is carried out, for example, by the transport worker without the use of additional work equipment, whereby Marx describes the transport work, which is productive, i.e., adds value to the products, as a means of forming goods. (MEW 24: 151) Moreover, Gabriel Tarde has linked the dimension "virtuality of a force" to that of money when he writes of the force that it is "the possibility of a certain quantity of movement in infinite directions; money is the possibility of a certain quantity of value that can be gained through infinite purchases. (Latour/Lepinay 2010: 59) Ruben, on the other hand, locates and at the same time spills over again the problem of dimensions that create added value when he argues purely content-logically with respect to the value of labor and quasi substantiates labor. Thus he writes: "This determination of dimensions represents the principle of a correctly determinable logic of value, provided that the dimensions are thematized as contents in the sense of the intentional logic conception and the two operations of relationship formation and unification (product formation) used are logically determined. (Ruben 1995: 19) Moreover, if Ruben fades out the dimensions of machinization, innovation and invention as fundamental economic dimensions alongside labor, time and utility value, then it is necessary to state again at this point that the conglomerates of labor to be integrated and incorporated via the machines must always be considered as economic dimensions, and precisely in the sense that the techne - the relations of production - begin to dominate over the forces of production.

As a rule, capitalist companies hire for a given period of time more or less qualified workers, whose ownership is exclusively based on the freedom to offer these companies their labour assets on special markets. By concluding an employment contract, firms transform the potential work capacity of the "independent" actants into their own potency, the updating/realization of which involves the performance of a certain quantity of work by the workers in a given period of time.1 Once an employment contract has been concluded, which legally establishes work as an exchange and labor as a "thing", the class opposition between worker and capitalist becomes significantly evident: those actors who are the economic owners of monetary capital (they do not have to function as such), whether it is debt or equity capital, and who thus have access to the materials (machines, buildings, raw materials, etc.) of the capitalist system, are the "independent" actors.Those actors who are the economic owners of monetary capital (they do not have to act as such), regardless of whether it is debt or equity capital, and who thus have the materials (machines, buildings, raw materials, etc.) for production, also appropriate the subjective components of the wage earners, because, insofar as they are separated from the means of production, they simply have to rent out their working capital, which remains linked to their persons, for certain phases. The freedom of wage earners, which allows the temporary letting of their physical and mental property, i.e. of the body and mind (cognitive, linguistic and affective abilities), finds a strange kind of counteracting in the letting: with this particular lease, wage earners are confirmed as owners of property by simultaneously affirming themselves (to a certain extent negotiable) as possessive wage earners, i.e. precisely in so far as their separation from the means of production has taken place and continues to take place. What the wage earners sell, however, is not their labour, but rather they rent out their labour, and this on the basis of the fact that the economic ownership of means of production, i.e. the way they are distributed, gives certain capitalist actors the power to combine labour and means of production in the production process according to specific technological conditions and to use them productively as an appropriation of overtime. This power thus refers less to the legal fact of law than to a specific way of distributing the means of production economically. And it is labour that the capitalists rent at its value, whereby its use as labour, which is to be understood in certain respects similarly to the consumption of a raw material in the production process, produces a greater value than labour itself represents. (MEW 26.1: 369f.) Ruben here rightly refers to Kant's remarks on the wage contract, which he understands as a contract of employment: "The wage contract (locatio operae), i.e. the granting of the use of my powers to someone else for a certain price (merces). The worker according to this contract is the wage servant (mercennarius)." (Kant 1966: 101) And then Ruben specifies that the wage contract does not, of course, stipulate the affirmation of the use of my powers to someone else, but that the wage-earning employee uses his powers "only in the other place and in the name of someone else". Ruben writes: "The contract of employment is essentially an agreement on the value of the work or service that the worker performs for the producer […] And the wage income is therefore the value stream opposite to this value stream (value creation). (Ruben 1998: 41) Hence, with the labor contract, an economic discourse qua captioned is opened, which describes wage labor very precisely, which means nothing other than that the labor force, within the framework of a semio-economic determination of form, is mutated/fixed for a fixed period of time into the quasi-ownership or possession of the enterprise, whereby the enterprise is simultaneously the debtor/owner of monetary capital as well as of machines, buildings and raw materials, etc. The wage bill is a part of the capital account, which can be written down as variable capital together with constant capital etc. in an accounting-symbolic way, but which itself says nothing about the effective composition of machines and labour. This means two things: work is done as it is written down in the wage contract and not until the minimum necessary for the reproduction of labour is reached (question of the equivalence of the exchange value of labour), and it is precisely this written regulation that legitimises the potential for exploitation, in that capital uses the temporal difference between (value-creating) labour, which arises from the utility value of labour, and the exchange value of labour. It should be noted that from an economic point of view, the interaction between ownership of means of production and productive wage labour is a single production relationship, whereas law distinguishes here between ownership as a relationship between person and thing and contract as a relationship between persons. (Cf. Althusser/Balibar 1972b: 311) With the authentication of the employment contract, the wage-earner has hardly any possibilities to shape working conditions, but the company tends to have all (objective as well as subjective) possibilities, because in the employment contract, work, more precisely, service is not only defined as "abstract" time, as time of genetic abilities, of the informational competences and qualifications of the worker, but above all also as the real time of the wage-earner's presence at a significant workstation/space at any time within a fixed time interval, which corresponds to a very specific assignment of real time by the wage-earner. "But by ceding real time", writes Lyotard, "the wage-earner remains pinned down by the deictic indicators of the employer's rate (Yes, he is here) and the calendar (Yes, he arrived at eight o'clock). Real time cannot be shifted." (Lyotard 1989: 292) The signifier of the contract of labor is thus the use of labor force determined by capital, while the signifier is wage, the surplus value is finally that part of the signifier which assumes the signification of a monetary reality that is completely removed from labor force. The exchange value of labour coagulates in the contractually secured wage, which at the same time carries with it the implication that the utility value of labour is reflected in products whose price sum is potentially higher than the wage sum, whereby these products with added value must be sent into circulation for realisation. While Marx in this context emphasizes above all the aspect of the separation of workers from the means of production, Foucault, in his concept of bio-power, placed the emphasis entirely on the power to intensify the labor force. In the nineteenth century, bodies and their time were transformed through a set of political techniques, techniques of power, into workers and working time, to serve as living machines for the production of profit. Foucault here already refers toto a posthuman anthropology that emphasizes the possibility of producing a productive body of work that is constantly being transformed and tamed by power.

Finally, it should be summarized that the conclusion of an employment contract does not mean the sale of the commodity of labor, as is commonly assumed in almost all varieties of Marxism, but rather the wage-earner agrees to the obligation, for a period of time fixed in the contract and for a fixed wage, to place or rent out his labor assets entirely in the service of the production of a company, for production processes that the company plans, organizes and operates on its own economic account. However, filling a position or position (the job exactly defined in terms of qualification, time and space), which at the same time means putting the worker to work, is also associated with the existence of costs for the company, of which wage costs are only a part. Ruben concludes compellingly: "Goods are economic things that have values. Values are dimensions that represent products (combinations) of the basic dimensions of labour, utility value and production duration. And because the factor of a product is not the product itself, labor is not a value (nor is labor). But if labour is not a value, it cannot be a commodity. To be a good is a sufficient objective condition for having value. (Ruben 1995: 20) While for Ruben labor is an economic dimension or factor, as Marx repeatedly showed, labor is by no means to be understood as a factor that can be added or multiplied with other factors of production such as capital and land, so that one finally arrives at a homogeneous concept of capital that includes everything that generates income (wage, profit, pension, interest, etc. as different types of income). In the capitalist system, labour is expressed only in the withdrawal of the difference between labour and labour power, and if it is not hypostasized as the first principle, as in traditional Marxism, it often appears as the great silence in many economic discourses, up to those of systems theory. But even the labour force, which is becoming quite obvious today in the context of digitalised network knowledge, is no longer to be understood simply as a factor of value production, but as "production of factored labour" (Kroker 2004). The labour force, into which even labour itself flows for its constitution and reproduction, is coupled from the very beginning to the production of fixed capital, so that the juxtaposition of capital as "thing" and labour force as factor does not make any real sense either, in so far as capitalist production always proves to be the same process ever since differential series of machinisation (including labour force) without beginning and end, i.e. reproduction. And affects, discourses and knowledge are today applied as capital fixe, which almost forces the digital worker to permanently re-create, regulate and train his working capacity in order to make his "creativity" constantly available to capital, thus carrying a standby availability like a light stone - and this paradoxically still under the dominance of dead labor. Kroker writes here of human labor as "the inertia of the (Heidegerrian) 'standing reserve'" (Ibid.: 144)]. In post-Fordist capitalism, this standby availability includes a transversal precarization that tends to encompass all social strata and produces a fragmented social body, with which the times of work and those of non-work are no longer separated by any well-defined border, so that ultimately there is no longer any significant difference between employment and non-employment, so that the collective labor bodies implode. While the employment contract still contains the claim of maintaining the labour force, which is guaranteed by the indirect wage even if the job is lost, precarisation aims at the ubiquitous establishment of a "working life", which is inherent in an existential risk that is always articulated as potential work. Insofar as human skills, competencies and qualifications (genetic, affective and linguistic) are today to be understood as part of the capital fixe, the worker as a machine put into service by the employment contract, of course (provided he remains as a source of added value), represents more than just a condition for the symbolic writing of variable capital (in relation to constant capital) in the accounts. Regarding the definition of labour as so-called human capital, Foucault writes.."If capital is defined in such a way that it allows for a future income, which is the wage, then it is clear that it is a capital that is practically inseparable from the person who owns it. In other words, the worker's competence is a machine, but a machine that cannot be separated from the worker. This does not mean that capitalism transforms the worker into a machine and therefore alienates him. (Foucault 2004b: 312) Foucault here explicates the worker as an income-generating machine competence, and this within neoliberal governmentality, which considers the worker as a machine/flowing complex that is always ready to "support" the formation of an enterprise unit. Thus, there is no alienation, but rather, in the context of the technical recomposition of the machine body in the enterprise, the labor capacity is permanently integrated in material, affective and cognitive terms, i.e, divided, reorganized and controlled (and as a labor body, labor is not merely a parasite of capitalist property, as Luhmann assumes, for example; Luhmann 2004: 216f.). Finally, labor mutates into a part of capital or machine competence and is thus simultaneously considered a technologically regulated and at the same time to be regulated form of life that is condensed by codes, rules, habits, qualifications, competencies and affects. And the less labour is still available today, the more the demand for labour is supposed to congeal into a ubiquitous model, whereby the so-called producers are put into the role of consumers of "labour" via the various mediation services of the job centres, which corresponds to the networking and at the same time the control of body, language, affect and knowledge in the dispositive of the (digitalised) service, which however does not include internment for the purpose of wearing out and training the labour force, as was the case in the capitalism of the factories of the 19th century. It does not, however, include internment for the purpose of wear and tear and dressage of labour force, as was still the case in the capitalism of the factories of the nineteenth century, nor does it require a kind of internalization of labour discipline that regulates the subject in itself, as was the case throughout modernity. Today, it is rather a matter of installing the dispositive of a service which, in the course of the computerization of the body and its cognitive abilities in toto - language, affect, knowledge, etc. - still allows the extraction of added value, but based on service providers who no longer produce anything in the classical sense, but rather consume the service as pure information. At the same time, even the less fragile life and work designs today break with the omnipresence of the cuts with which life and service is divided, divided and scattered into intervals, and thus at the same time professional continuity is replaced by a kind of unlimited postponement - truly a persistent state of suspense that perpetuates the never-ending arrival of "lifelong learning" in the systems and institutions of education and training. These modes of education, living and learning remain permanently integrated into the ubiquitous flows of money, data and information, from which both wage earners and the pseudo-self-employed precarious can be absorbed and carried away as if they were rising and falling waves. "The man of discipline," writes Deleuze, "was a discontinuous process of energy, whereas the man of control is more wavelike, in a continuous beam, in an orbit. Everywhere, surfing has already replaced the old sports." And he continues: "Individuals have become 'divisive', and the masses have become samples, data, markets or banks." (Deleuze 1993b: 258) Individual here in the sense of separateness, divisibility, and this is decisive, an information-regulated dispersion and at the same time division of the individual by means of the dispositives of public opinion polling, data collection and financialisation, by means of machines that not only ask the world-shaking, everyday questions, but at the same time, ergo quasi-tautologically, provide or pretend to provide the corresponding answers. (Günther Anders speaks here of the divisum, a serial individual that is divided and broken down into a plurality of functions. Consequently, he takes the concept of the divisum one step further, since he attributes it to the division of labor itself: "The distribution of labor to several divides the individuals who always work in this way. The 'division of labor' makes individuals into 'dividends'. Different 1980: 177). And the fact that companies have a soul is really the biggest horror story in the world, Deleuze logically criticizes and in the same breath calls marketing an ugly instrument of social control (in the context of "demoscopic" social espionage one should add.

At the same time, in the current phase of neo-liberal capitalism, we must assume that dualisms such as unemployment work or legal wage contract are permanently shifted or liquefied, so that employees and/or workers and welfare recipients tend to be understood as one, i.e. the boundaries between wage work, unemployment and welfare are characterized by extreme permeability. (Cf. Lazzarato 2012: 41f.) The production of added value always remains divided into plural monetary capital flows or This means that the worker is not only deprived of the "surplus product" by the payment of wages (it is not the "entire" work that is compensated - specifically the working time that he spends individually per hour, day, month), but the worker also experiences with the wage he receives for renting and using his working capital how much socially necessary working time he needs to reproduce his labour (goods, rent, culture, etc.).) - may his real work last longer or shorter. The real purchasing power of the worker is also dependent on external factors such as the realization of capitalist goods in circulation, on factors such as the price of raw materials, the productivity of the food industry, the basic rent/rent etc., factors that co-constitute what is called in economic jargon purchasing power or solvent demand. Finally, it should be noted here that the wage contract first appeared on the historical stage during the war, when soldiers were hired by the municipalities, and only later did the contract appear in production, where it prevailed with the establishment of the factory in the 19th century; among other things with the help of this instrument, the capitalists were able to consolidate and even exponentially increase the architecture of their power with a certain constancy and flexibility at the same time - despite the fiercest social struggles over wage levels - because the instrument of the wage contract forced the workers to act more and more flexibly and efficiently in the long run, which also advanced the fragmentation and division of the political body of the working class

1 "What the owner of money faces directly in the commodity market is in fact not the work, but the worker. What the latter sells is his labor. As soon as his labor really begins, it has already ceased to belong to him, and therefore cannot be sold by him. (MEW 23: 181.)

translated by deepl.

Foto: Stefan Paulus

Elie Ayaches and Suhail Malik’s heterodox concepts of finance: the frenzy of contingency Mon, 13 Jan 2020 14:59:17 +0000

The heterodox positions of Elie Ayache and Suhail Malik on contemporary finance are often perceived in the haze of accelerationism, although not widely discussed. Let us first turn to the prosition of Suhail Malik. For us, the contingent price movements of the underlying assets/underlyings and the likewise contingent derivative pricing itself are to be understood as interdependent processes of capitalization of promises to pay in the context of differential capital accumulation. What is the situation with Malik? The contingent price movement of the derivatives that relate to themselves must first of all include the factor of finiteness, insofar as the pay-off of the derivative on the due date means the expiry of the respective derivative contract. (Malik 2014: 410) Maturity, however, at the same time implies a constitutive shift that is inherent in the differential pricing of derivatives per se, and therefore it must ultimately be viewed from the perspective of the immanent features of the derivative itself, and not from an exogenous perspective that derives from the movement of the underlying assets. Here, the contingency that is apparent in the constantly possible revision of derivative contracts, finiteness, dominates. Finally, the "moments" of finiteness and contingency always remain tied to the price movements and "laws" of capital, whereby the way in which capital shapes the economy in monetary terms makes it possible to exchange derivatives and their future money flows, while capital's hunt for profit remains decisive.

Although the indefinite variability of the price of the derivative depends on the likewise variable finiteness of the contract (pay off, schedule, duration, etc.), it remains inversely related to the indefinite market variability of the derivative price movement. Derivatives shift prices according to a differential logic of temporalization: the market price found at the end of the maturity of a derivative contract (options, futures, etc.) does not correspond to the price fixed in the contract itself, which means that without the temporal non-coincidence between the market price (spot price) and the fixed price (strike price) there can be no derivative at all, but only the purchase/sale of ordinary goods. Whoever, for example, buys derivatives on commodities, does not acquire the commodities themselves, but on a second level trades a speculative capital that always fluctuates in price, as a result of which prices refer to prices and not to the underlying base values of goods. The dual variability of derivatives, which is primarily that of the immanent price movement of the derivatives themselves, is what Malik calls the "plasticity of the derivative contract" (ibid.: 406ff.), a term that operationalises in particular the endogenous derivative pricing (in its contingency). Here, plasticity is to be understood as a constitutive condition for the definition of the derivative price movement. A trader who hedges or speculates on the futures markets can sell or dissolve the contract at any time, or at least subject it to revision, by realising a deal opposite to the original contract during the term of the contract. The trader takes a long position and a short position on the deal in question. With this type of positioning, which is called "flat" and where no delivery of the underlying is necessary, the trader can realize either losses or gains. Here, the trader takes a recombinant subject-object position, which is characterised on the one hand by the subjective opportunism of being able to switch constantly from one position to another, and on the other hand by the objective relativity of the derivative pricing itself (under the dominance of the latter). Finally, it should be borne in mind that it is precisely the fact that one can hold more than one position on the same asset that inflates the nominal sizes of transactions on the financial markets far beyond their current credit exposures.

According to Malik, four facts can be identified that are important for the economics of differential pricing of derivatives. (Ibid.: 404)

The derivative contract includes conditions that relate to the price movements of the external referent (underlying).

2) The constitution of derivatives involves complex modes of intrinisically temporal binding and splitting of the present, although the uncertainty of the future plays the decisive role, so that the risk must always be assessed, with which all price decisions are continuously revised.

3) Derivative pricing creates a new mode of optionality that allows pricing to be intrinsically arelates to operations on its own markets, by means of counterperformative acts that make explicit the singular conditions of the exogenous reference of the underlying asset for pricing purposes.

    4) Derivative pricing definitely requires the moment of contingency with which the endogeneity of the pricing of the derivatives themselves is extended to any pricing process - and this fourth dimension is what Malik calls the "a priori financiality" of capitalization.

Differential price movement differs from betting in that the price movements of derivatives imply endogenous operations with an indefinite plasticity (at least until the expiry date of the respective contracts), for which the exogenous referent (the underlying) can even be operationalized. (In the case of betting, however, the exogenous betting event remains independent of the wave itself). Derivative pricing, which not only takes place in an indefinite process, but also shapes, integrates and even determines the price movements of the underlying assets. What is ultimately priced out on the derivative markets is the pricing process of the derivatives themselves. According to Malik, this process should be described as an immanent process constituted by the "Infrawager" (ibid. 417f.) and this means that the terms of derivative pricing are not primarily dependent on externally determined conditions, but on the internal movements of their own parameters, coefficients and variables. According to Malik, the reality of the ingrain manager, which manifests itself in and with derivative pricing, exists within a twofold contingency: the contingency of abstraction (variability of the derivative contract and general fungibility of the underlying) and the contingency of revision (indefinite plasticity of the differential price movement itself, i.e. potentially constant shifting of the price). (Ibid.: 420) These contingent conditions of pricing always remain tied to the institutional-material power practices of financial capital that are found in the derivative markets, as well as to the monetary architecture of quantitative capitalization.

Malik considers the pricing of derivatives to be immanent and contingent, installing a speculative dimension with regard to the unknown future. From this perspective, the derivative constitutes the third component of contingency, the thetic contingency. The thetic contingency demonstrates the de-identification of the price movement not only in relation to the underlying, but within the derivative price formation process it includes the de-identification of the price in itself, i.e. every price is possible, but it could also ever be different. The temporal shift in the price movements of the derivatives is by no means to be understood as a purely temporal extension of the present (anticipation), but it contains the endogenous splitting of the present itself. At the same time, the price movement is part of the futuristic contingency, which, however, cannot do without the updating of the derivative. Maturity, in turn, is the point in time when the price of the derivative is convertible with the price of the underlying, or, to put it another way, equivalence requires a common price for the derivative and the underlying asset at that point in time. This equivalence could be described as the valuation of the derivative contract, which is always realised as money. Valuation is the conclusion, exhaustion and conclusion of the process of pricing the derivatives; it articulates the elimination of the difference between strike price and spot price at the end of the contract period.

1) Because of its exogenous reference value, the value already expressed in money compared to the derivative price is initially the determinant term for establishing the fact of the purchase or sale of derivatives. 2) The valuation of the derivative and the underlying is finally carried out by the derivative pricing and this is constantly modified in the course of the (implicit) volatility. Ultimately, at least in the financial markets, it is the price that virtualizes the value at any given point in time, and this is manifested in the derivative pricing, i.e. the price manifests the reality of the derivative pricing (manifest without manifestation). Thus, with regard to derivatives, we cannot assume any "anchoring" of the price by the value. And this further means that precisely because of the endogenous constitution of the price qua infrawager, value on the financial markets is not primarily determined by external factors such as trade, scarcity, demand, utility, utility value, abstract labour, etc.

Malik describes the a priori nature of the derivative price  as "Arkhéderivative" (ibid: 445ff.). And this under the condition of the presence of triple contingency: variability of the derivative contract (contingency of abstraction), variability of the derivative price (contingency of revision) and absolute volatility of the price formation (thetic contingency). According to Malik, absolute volatility in particular represents the power of capital today.

However, Malik does not succeed in establishing the a priori of financiality or absolute contingency, although he desperately tries to link his ontology of price to the theory of capital power as conceived by Bichler/Nitzan. On the other hand, it would have to be shown that the counterperformativity or volatility of price movement has always remained tied to the material existence of the derivative (and this implies certain presuppositions and conditions, indeed determinations, which are not primarily based on contingency, but are those of the quasi-transcendental nature of capital). There is a positivity of settlement, and this proves the unbeatable existence of the derivative as an important operator of capitalization. In order for a derivative contract to be realized and to make profits as much as possible, it must be written on paper, and this in turn must be given and exchanged. The derivative contract is thus identically one and resists contingency in a certain sense and will not change in terms of future possibilities and conditions. It at least retains its material identity in order to be exchanged. And this has ever happened under certain economic conditions. It is imperative to object to Malik with Laruelle and Ayache. (Cf. Ayache 2010a) So a derivative contract is written and its operation or programming at best amounts to a certain amount of money being paid out in the future if a certain economic event specified in the contract occurs. The pay off depends first of all on the material coding in the contract, and this must be exchanged on paper for the amount of money paid out if the event occurs. However, the conditions that determine the exchange of the derivative for money do not necessarily have to occur. Thus, the derivative does not imply any condition at maturity, although its ex post movement or its future is registered to it. And to that extent, again, the contract is contingent, but not probable. The real and undivided derivative contract could be exchanged for money in the market today and it could do so at a different price at maturity. And the spread between the two events cannot be bridged by probability. Finally, it must be concluded that derivatives are not only an inherent technology of time and a technology of power (Malik tries to put together the triadic contingency (time) and the criticizable theory of capital as power), but are first and foremost a form of money capital.

Against Malik one must further object that ontology in this context tends to philosophically overdetermine the theory of capital. If, for example, Frantz Fanon writes that ontology does not allow us to understand the being of the bogeyman, ontology, even if conceived as a deconstruction, similarly does not allow us to understand the "being" of financial capital. Although Malik himself repeatedly emphasizes that the ontology of finance (qua contingency, différance, etc.) must be linked to the concept of capital power as developed by Bichler/Nitzan, the ontology, as it is currently offered as speculative realism on the theory markets, virtually prohibits the radical question of the deontologization of capital and its practices of power. Malik's permanently presented indication that derivative pricing qua contingency constantly devalues the question of truth should have led him to a more precise problematization of ontology himself. In this context, however, it must be pointed out that Malik clearly distances himself from the accelerationists or speculative realists, whom he accuses of reinstating universal normativism under the guise of enlightening rhetoric that only further obscures the problem of modern finance.

The questionability of shifting the weight of economic analysis entirely to the conceptual-discursive side is far from over with the philosophical deconstruction of certain concepts, as Malik demonstrates. Moreover, it is a revenge that the concept of contingency is not assigned the right "place" in the analysis - it is "centralized", so to speak, instead of being of the update virtualization interconnection to be discussed. Moreover, contingency is also to be treated as an aspect of economic mathematics, which in turn means that linguistic hegemony in economic criticism must be radically broken up. Thus Malik's coupling of contingency to the concept of capital power comes across in Bichler/Nitzan as a strangely arbitrary enterprise. While Malik situates ontology entirely on the "surface" (pricing), without, at this point, however, correctly taking care of essentialisms such as utility or work, many Hegelian Marxists, of which even Marx was not always free, locate ontology as a conceptual process that runs under the surface (structure of signs), which is the actual or significant (abstract work) and which in turn expresses the phenomena on the surface as an inversion. Thus, in both theories the absolutely necessary analysis of the relationship between concept and economic mathematics is dragged out from the outset, while the philosophical distinction between essence and appearance is still maintained (in Malik's case as a deconstructive process). While Malik constructs, even overemphasizes, the anti-essentialist aspect of economic theory in an almost comical way, because it is purely conceptual and as a fixed structure of a negative deconstruction, the labor-value Marxists base their essentialism on categories such as abstract labor, substance, etc.

2) Elie Ayache

The French theoretician and trader Elie Ayache also claims that derivatives trade contingency, inasmuch as the difference that is produced by their trade, which always remains related to the future, simultaneously marks a difference in the present. In the minimal definition (relative contingency), the term contingency means that something could be as it is (was or will be), but is also possible in another way. (Luhmann) In contrast, Ayache understands the concept of contingency as absolute, unconditional and independent, as irreplaceable, as the thing in itself, so to speak, in so far as things are what they are, but they could also always be different. For the traders of derivatives on the financial markets, it is a matter of determining a tradable price from the many possibilities offered by the price movement of derivatives in the face of uncertainty. When traders write derivative contracts, which Ayache calls contingent claims, they create forms of contingency, where the difference that is made in the future makes a difference now, because the price itself is a differential.

Derivative traders not only observe the time series of price movements of the underlying assets underlying the derivatives, but also, and above all, the movements of the derivative prices themselves. In reality, therefore, derivatives trading and its price fluctuations deviate greatly from the methods of historical statistics. Derivatives traders are not primarily interested in the statistics of the underlying assets and their prices. Instead, the fluctuating prices of the derivatives create a surface called the market, on which the prices are written and the price movements of the derivatives are separated from the underlying movements of the underlying assets.

An important question for Ayache is how to fix the price of a derivative that is consistent with the trader's strategy. According to Ayache, any dynamic trading strategy should be equivalent to pricing a derivative. (Cf. Ayache 2010a) What complicates the matter is simply that the price of a derivative is determined and shifted by a dynamic concatenation of derivatives and their prices - derivatives related to derivatives related to derivatives. The term market refers to the simulative space that enables the translation of contingent claims, the medium through which contingent claims move during their term until a questionable value is updated and then there is no future. For Ayache, the market also refers to a surface that is based much more on space than on time. A surface for the inscription of prices that are nothing more than a set of meaningless, quantifiable signs that communicate with each other. The instantaneously generated market prices of synthetic derivatives are thus distributed over a surface that isolates traders from observing the underlying assets.

What is a contingent claim for Ayache? It is something that replaces the compulsory transfer between the possible and the real, as envisaged in stochastics, by means of a written contract that has a real, material status, but is at the same time a contingent form that constantly crosses reality. (Ayache: 2010b: 45) Money is used to realise the contingent liability, where it exists in parallel with the contingent liability; it acts as a physical reality against which the liquid contingent liability of the derivative is redeemed; and this can occur during the term of the contract or at maturity. The price of derivatives is produced in the indefinite processes of counter-updating/virtualization; it is the result of the permanent translation of contingent claims. (Cf. Ayache 2010) The difference between stockprice and strikeprice also implies contingency. Although an underlying asset is always current, the derivative keeps the value de facto unstable due to its constantly changing price. The real value of the value is affirmed by the updating of the derivative at maturity. The updating of the price remains dependent on the programs of contingent receivables within the framework of various schedules and time periods. Ayache calls the "last minute" instability of the value, which is precisely what makes the price productive, volatility. (Cf. Ayache 2010b) Absolute volatility always remains beyond the chronological time order. It is purely virtual and does not appear in (chronological) time. The dimension in which continuous virtualization qua price unfolds is for Ayache equal to the virtual dimension of time, is space. Here, absolute volatility is closely related to the term price, inasmuch as contingency in price finds the translation of its differential character, i.e., inasmuch as volatility sees its indeterminism confirmed. Consequently, the term price has a virtual component on the one hand, but on the other hand it also refers to the empirical aspect of derivative pricing. The price, which indicates anticipations and is thus future-oriented, thus remains at the same time in the actuality of the market. (Cf. Ayache 2005:13)

Money is material and it counts, while the probability theory that most traders work with just doesn't count. Money realizes a difference inherent in the synthetic derivative precisely when an event occurs. Usually, the difference inherent in contingent financial claims is defined in relation to the underlying assets, and thus contingency is integrated into a corset of identifiable probable cases under the rule of One. The One stands for the totality of cases. However, if the cases are to be prices in the markets, then the contingent prices of the derivatives must also be understood as cases, with a certain independence from the underlying prices. Of course, there are the terms of the derivatives in relation to their underlyings, but a derivative contract is created before its term. And long before the contract expires, the prices of the derivatives relate not only to the underlying assets, but to the volatility of the derivative prices themselves, to the volatility of the volatility, and so on. The rule of price fixing then consists of continuously recalibrating the risk assessment models in relation to new prices. Instead, Stochastics still assumes that traders will move from one day through a passage - with a certain probability - to the next day. The unlikely assumption that today's probable cases are commensurate with tomorrow's is always interpreted as a backwardation. At the same time, however, it takes the construction of a number of possible future cases under the aegis of one (probability) to calculate the current value of the derivatives as the discounted expectation of future cases/prices. This, however, already indicates the limits of the stochastic measure of volatility for Ayache, while the determining parameters of the derivative have to be constantly reinvented and fixed in the context of a dynamic "replication". There is no reiteration of prices already known or planned or fixed by risk models, precisely because one is referring to a future that will never be present in this way (uncertainty). Thus, there are no constant transitions between probability-based cases to report from one day to the next; rather, we sleep in the intervals; these intervals are irritating variables because the connecting link between the cases is missing; these intervals are empty intermediate times in which anything possible could happen. For Ayache, contingent claims in the financial markets represent the conversion of debt, insofar as they are future-oriented and pastoriented. Rather than reassigning certain instruments to current models in ongoing hedging, it would be much more important to upgrade to to take the next level of hedging to the next level by using parameters that are used in a particular stochastic model to create a "hedging ratio" that is contrary to the model, while a second option, which differs in price from the first option, is hedged according to itself. Thirdly, it should then be considered that each time one observes a deviation of the option price from the price predicted by the current model, this should be interpreted as a signal to upgrade the current model to the next stochastic level, using the deviating option price as a hedging instrument against the next stochastic factor.

In this way, Ayache's questionable position on derivative markets could certainly be summarized at certain points, insofar as one can actually speak of a metaphysics of the market as an incorporeal surface effect, which, however, cannot do without materiality. It is precisely in the infinite of the synthetic derivatives themselves that a threat to the economic system could lie, because really no properties of the assets (cash flow, risk, time, etc.) can be fixed in a specific period of time (the determinacy of time remains empty), i.e. the corresponding elements of an asset, which are nothing more than those properties, already insist in a repeating difference, whereby postponement would then also no longer provide a solution, because ultimately the difference between fixation and change itself would disappear. If a thinking is connected with différance that refuses to decide between the alternatives of uncertainty and security (calculation), between opening and closing, by stopping the gap sui generis, then in Ayache's case thinking tips over into total uncertainty or opening. In this context, the structure would then be radically functionally subordinated to the process, although the hyper-fungible framework of variables remains highly problematic because it borders on infinitely exchangeable simultaneity. The system of capital ever already sets itself up as its own environment, it now mutates in all its purity into a system that presupposes itself, whose only temporary fixations insist contingent and which itself rotates only a gap away from chaos. And hyper-chaos equals absolute space, i.e. the mobility of moving elements, which continuously leads to new constellations. Absolute space is an open space, which is concerned with symbolic designation, as the designation of the relations of Indici and the co-designation of bodies/writings. But whether one assumes that the system is subsequently ultra-stable or ultra-susceptible to crises, insisting on its permanent variability, it is still the capitalist system, which sets itself up as the same reproduction (in time), but in which the elements of the bourgeois economy and the forces of production are increasingly subtracted from the relations of monetary capital and its power relations. Pure competition, on the other hand, would take place on a surface called the market, without any need for the forms of value or capital. The limits of the system would be as fluid as its standards, the principle of pure opportunism would prevail, to which all reterritorializing considerations are ultimately a cross, because they only restrict competition/contingency in the financial markets. If neither properties nor functions, nor functions of functions are fixed, then ultimately there is only the nth superfunction as the absence of every finite or centre. (Schwengel 1978: 204) Accordingly, it would now be purely a matter of the emptiness or the empty space of existence, of pure competition without any antagonism, for which, finally, the ontology of the set can actually be used again in Badiou's work, with which the multiple is freed from every unit, namely through the empty set, the multiple from the multiple to infinity. Finally, in order to represent contingency, torsion or the Möbius strip would remain as a topological principle to think of reversibility and simultaneity, moments that cannot be distinguished from the pure process. Deleuze had laid the trail here by referring to Nietzsche, who grasped what is really infinite as a process of (creative) repetition, which, however, can also easily turn into a nihilistic process of eternal continuation, so that then, in fact, only an optional messianic or technological miracle would help to escape for the sake of continuation for continuation.

In this context, it also remains questionable whether Ayache's affirmative reference to the event theories of Badiou and Deleuze can be interpreted in such a way that it does not lead to a messianic or technological miracle. In Badiou's work, the empty set appears as the universal, deprived of all qualities, which might be identified with the value at the most abstract level: volatility as absolute contingency. However, the philosophical decision to turn to quantity theory is not contingent; rather, it reflects certain traditions, and in a certain sense even reflects the quasi-transcendental of capital at a certain level, here the commodity form or commodification. We demonstrated this in the discussion about Peter Rubens' Warenanalye. At this point, let us come only briefly to Deleuze: the concept of the (Nietzschean) dice roll presented by Deleuze consists precisely in the fact that the dice roll is unique, as there is only one event, which in turn is the event of the One, the roll for all rolls. The singular dice roll consists in the affirmation of chance and in all rolls the same roll returns, but always a little bit different. (Cf. Deleuze 1992a: 151f.) This really does not seem to be a case for stochastics, according to which chance consists of a controllable series of throws. In fact, Deleuze's conception of the event does not at all correspond to the simulation of a previously imposed rule. But does it correspond to the contingency of derivative markets? We will look at this question in more detail in the next section. According to Ayache, when Deleuze speaks of the empty space over which the singular cases are constantly redistributed, then this should correspond to the permanent recalibration of contingent claims, whereby the writing of contingent claims entails a direct translation of contracts into prices, without necessarily having to immerse oneself in the medium of probabilities and possibilities. Stochastics would therefore always be understood as backward looking, whereas contingent price corresponds to a purely future-oriented approach. And this duality, according to Ayache, has long been known to the theory of quanta, which deals with backward and forward related equations.

There is no doubt that the dromological production panic in the financial markets corresponds to a way of thinking that breaks with the figure of the stubborn predictability of events, even with the schizophrenia inherent, for example, in the paradox of Zenon's arrow of time (raging standstill). When the arrow of time itself begins to spin, oscillating complementarily like quanta in space and time, alternating between waves and particles, the price movements on the surface of the market also begin to oscillate as a series of constantly varying exchanges, as permutations of space and time, which cannot be thought of without their material effects. Networks with variable nodes are created, which serve as reservoirs of time consumed and time to come, but they are still reservoirs of capital, which as an autoreferential system requires system-preserving operations that guarantee the deterritorialized flows, while at the same time feeding on the reservoirs. If money was a decisive operator of modernity to produce syntheses in capitalism, then with synthetic monetary capital operators are created that move in real time as multidimensional sets of techno-medial prostheses on the surfaces of the markets and their fields, which Ayache constantly reflects upon. Undoubtedly, synthetic assets include the translation of the added value of code into the added value of flows, as mentioned by Deleuze/Guattari, which works through constantly new, virtualizing pricing, in order to finally generate that machine added value that needs the actants but is not the result of their exploitation. The deterritorialized flows, however, remain bound to the integral, whose digitality serves to link the flows to the code profit/non-profit. Indeed, there are interfaces between the immanent accelerationism of financial markets and the various regimes of post-Fordist capitalism, but factors such as the techniques of governmentality and reterritorialization are left out of most contingency-oriented authors' considerations. The market is treated as a neutral social form, so to speak, without referring to its constituent capitalist conditions and the status of its relative autonomy. It is regarded as a social machinery whose essential characteristic is its already unstable immanence, whereby not only the state but also capital mutates into external parasites, or only serves as a loose corset for the absolutely contingent financial machines that self-referentially accelerate the production of returns at all levels, and this with a self-synthesizing potentiality that can no longer be distinguished from its intense materiality. The market as a virtually circulating structure of pure competition, which is identical with the virtually fixable process (supply and demand), this unity always remains absent, insofar as it is still radically determined in the last instance by the reality of capital. Assuming a homogeneity of capital, the market can be conceived either as an executor or as a deviation of the law of value. In the first case, its constitutional processes would then be organized through naked repetitions, insofar as, with respect to the execution, only modifications of the laws would take place that would not bring about any qualitative changes, while with the deviation, apparently, its own laws would be set, which, however, would ultimately only be repetitions of the determinations given by capital. Open whole as capital would mean understanding capital neither as subject nor as totality, but rather as surplus production that is already endangered, which traces the emptiness in order to conceive of an all-together as a radical determination of capital instead of Badiou's Ultraeins, which reflects the contingency of the markets, whereby the market always has to produce the unity of the forms of capital, but cannot. The market itself is a capital entity, i.e. the relations between companies and state intervention are controlled, regulated and reproduced in the market and today especially in the financial markets. Thus, the market is a complicated technological hinge between the economy and the state, and it is also an arena of action in which differences are played out, with market procedures being preceded by the legal equality of the actors as a condition.5

And with regard to the Kant-complex in Ayache, we are interested here in the peculiar emphasis on the transcendental effectiveness of synthesis, which, however, is no longer than the synthesis of empirical data or Rather, the self-synthesizing potentials of the contingent material machines of the financial are ultimately indistinguishable from the virtual-real, the continuous variation of dimensions, properties and prices of assets, which is set in motion by the transversal "ontology" of the virtual that is the financial market itself. The virtual is part of the real object, the market, insofar as this one part remains in the virtual and remains embedded in it as in an objective dimension, which is the absolute contingency. And there is no analogy whatsoever between the actualizations in the markets and the virtual (both are real), there is no etheric medium of transition, so that the separating interval is to be thought of as a discontinuous jump and at the same time as continuous, so that one never knows where the virtual begins and the actual ends, except that in a single real world the heterogenesis of becoming from the become and vice versa takes place. And finally, matter would have to be understood as an intensive machine-based production of self-differentiation or as a body without organs, whereby it can only be posited as absolute indifference by death itself, the moment of absolute indifference. That kind of materialization would then actually be one with the real zero-time of capital, in which the virtual of capital is compressed in such a way that at some point it disappears into its own black hole. But it is always also about material processes, about processes bound to the hardware, it is about real processes in time that remain coupled to framing (see footnote to Kittler), to the quasi-transcendental nature of capital as an overall complex. Ayache apparently presupposes, however, that the respective product of production is primarily of interest as a depotted effect of the primary production of contingency, which constantly dissolves the binary difference between representation/structure and process in such a way that finally simultaneity in markets is achieved, an acceleration and intensification of material-contingent processes up to degree-zero, as Nick Land says, or at least an infinitesimal approximation to the zero time of capital. But why this still requires subjects, although the process is contingent in one way or another, is the question that should be addressed to Ayache. At least in these permanently performative processes of desubjectivation, the Hegelian automatic subject called capital is dispersed, although there is always the danger that as a contingency theorist one becomes the victim of completely different strategies that suddenly command one's own tactics, for example those of a cynical neoliberal capitalism.

Here, the subjectivity of the trader would indeed consist in writing the derivative as creatio ex nihilo -- of a trader, who is probably incredibly fascinated by the image of a presuppositionless tabula rasa and at the same time remains trapped within it, only to finally beam himself into the most open of futures with his restless writing. If there were indeed a future of absolute contingency, the "Blank Swan" would always remain in search of what is not. Against the concept of absolute contingency, reference should be made at this point to the concept of modal theoretical contingency in Elena Espositio's work, which describes the presence of contingent optionality under certain conditions. Conditions that in the last instance are to be identified as those of capital as an overall complex (which in turn the systems theoretician Esposito cannot think of). The "markets" constitute a double mechanism, a mechanism for disciplining and regulating the states and corporations that obey the neoliberal imperatives of production and reproduction at the level of organization, and a global mechanism that represents the fluctuation of profit rates. It is also a mechanism that produces the knowledge to maintain the conditions of capital accumulation and expanded reproduction, for the organization of financial funds. These are the basic functions of the markets, which cannot be reduced to pure speculation.

Only on the basis of the existence of several alternatives in the (divided) present, which are by no means unconditional, but always remain embedded in the capital context, is derivative pricing possible, which is also possible in another way under certain conditions. Finally, through all the praise of contingencies, contingency theorists have forgotten that derivatives - capitalization of future promises of payment or income flows - represent a specific type of monetizable market risk and their value as capital is the result of differential price movements within the context of capitalization. Derivatives are used to cut the risk out of the underlying and package it in a new form of capital that now has a price. In this way, derivatives transfer and price risks, whose quantities are therefore always measured in money. Because of the "mediation" of the speculative exchange of derivatives with money, every particular, concrete and case-specific risk can be considered interchangeable with any other. This opens up the dimension of abstract risk. The abstract risk, measured in money, serves as the mediating factor that enables different concrete risks to become interchangeable with each other.


Ayache, Elie (2005): The "non-Greek" non-foundation of derivative pricing.


- (2008): The French Theory of Speculation. Part I: Necessity of Contingency. In:

- (2010a): The Blank Swan: The End of probability. London.

- (2010b): The Turning. In:

- (2010c): The End of Probability. In:

Malik, Suhail (2014): Ontology of Finance. Price, Power and the Arkhéderivative. In Collapse Volume VIII, Casino Real. Ed. MacKay, Robin. Falmouth.303-480.

Sotiropoulos, Dimitris P./Milios, John/ Lapatsioras, Spyros (2013a): A political economy of contemporary capitalism and its crisis. New York.

- (2013b): Marxist theory, financial system and crisis of 2008. In:

codes of Concrete Spirit Mon, 13 Jan 2020 09:45:32 +0000

Compressions and fusions in cross-cultural dialogue simulates desert and jungle at the same time.
"When she finally crawled into bed she felt the presence of the featureless black box in the room, emanating waves of
anticipative anxiety."
"Body is black box", it breaks out stunningly quiet.
This x does not mark destination - it is insertion of a topological key-frame for the formation of a new logic. Zero.
Then, at time t=0, an intense electromagnetic pulse with a suitable radio frequency is switched on for a short time
interval, making the spins behave in a way that resembles spinning in xy [italic] plane.
Logical monsters excrements outfields. Inside the black box it is executed only a finite number of times for any given
value of n.
Time is-as a sequence of a reactive process.
T is like a clock, counting the number of steps executed. T (as Time) is character of induction.
Are there (any) witnesses of all apparitions fluctuating through XYZT? Is It itself an ink issued line, string or poison
containing conduct, sharp edge, corner of exit as continuously ? As if the question mark suggests the figure of this
All those lines (intersecting, signal punctuating) are done in such a way that they end up to be experienced as created
in that very instant, momentum of dis-positions. 321_ the tail is curving toward the corner, then a sudden rinse, you
feel outed – input,
Encapsulation is-as prehension. Poison is collective production according to which production of things appear.
I (as one can) recall a moment,
once being on a field of very, very dry red scorpions. They were cracking by each step. As you turned around from the
top of the field, it seemed as if it’s all of a twist, or more precisely, all of (an) un-twist.
For all t=1,2,3…, the automation A[t] receives the generation X[t-1] as its input from A[t-1] and then applies the
variation operator v and selection operator s, producing the generation X[i+1] and sending it to A[t+1] to continue
finished at: 14:39

[intoxicating – extoxication]

(Novel ‘XYZT’ by Kristen Alvanson, Urbanomic, 2019)
Authors: Darko Vukić and Velimir Popović

La rue ou rien – Über die jüngsten Entwicklungen in Frankreich Sun, 12 Jan 2020 16:15:08 +0000

Die Kämpfe in Frankreich gegen die „Reform der Rentenversicherung“ treten in eine entscheidende Phase. Zwar ist es nicht gelungen, die Arbeitsniederlegungen auszuweiten, der Traum vom „großen Streik“, der allgegenwärtige linke Wunsch nach einem Generalstreik, ja nach einem grundsätzlichen Umsturz sind und bleiben Utopie. Nach wie vor tragen die Hauptlast des Arbeitskampfes die Beschäftigten der staatlichen Eisenbahngesellschaft und der Pariser Verkehrsbetriebe, in den strategischen Raffinerien wurde die Produktion zwar gedrosselt, aber nicht eingestellt. (Das Herunterfahren auf Null würde bedeuten, das selbst nach der Wiederaufnahme der Arbeit eine Woche vergehen würde, bis die Anlagen wieder funktionsfähig sind. Dies gilt aber nach dem Streikrecht als illegal, was ein wesentlicher Grund für die CGT, die hier den Großteil der gewerkschaftlich Organisierten stellt, sein dürfte, davon die Finger zu lassen). Hinzu kommen sporadische Arbeitsniederlegungen der Lehrerschaft, sowie symbolträchtige Aktionen wie das zeitlich begrenzte Abschalten des Stroms für bestimmte Bereiche, das Herunterfahren eines Atomkraftwerkes oder die bildträchtig inszenierten Arbeitsniederlegungen eines Teiles der Rechtsanwaltschaft.

Von einem grundsätzlichen Ausfall der öffentlichen Verwaltung kann jedoch ebenso wenig gesprochen werden wie davon, dass sich die Beschäftigten der Privatindustrie an den Arbeitsniederlegungen beteiligen würden. Zwar beteiligen sich ab und zu Delegationen aus einigen Betrieben an Treffen und Demonstrationen, aber dabei bleibt es dann aber auch.

Trotzdem scheint sich Macrons Machtblock dieser Tage bemüßigt, erstmalig von einigen nicht unwesentlichen Punkten der „Rentenreform“ Abstand zu nehmen. (1) Dies dürfte sowohl taktischen Überlegungen geschuldet sein, das Lager der Gewerkschaften zu spalten (was in den vergangenen Jahren ein erfolgversprechende Option war), als auch politischen Ermüdungserscheinungen nach einem Jahr der Revolte der Gilets Jaunes. (2) Auffällig ist auf jeden Fall die zahlenmäßig anhaltende Bereitschaft der Bevölkerung, sich an den jeweiligen Aktionstagen an den Straßenprotesten zu beteiligen (und dies mitten im Winter), als auch die Modifikationen, die die Gewerkschaftsdemos erfahren haben. Waren es in der Bewegung gegen das 'loi travail' 2016 (3) noch die rebellierenden Schüler*innen und die antagonistischen Splitter, die mit der Übernahme der Demonstrationsspitze den Raum öffneten für direkte Aktionen und Auseinandersetzungen mit den Bullen, so findet sich dieser Tage im cortège de tête eine Melange von Gilets Jaunes, Basisgewerkschaftler*innen und eben jenen antagonistischen Splittern wieder. Letztere zahlenmäßig aber deutlich schwächer als in den letzten Jahren vertreten, auch finden bestimmte militante Taktiken, seien sie eher passiver oder offensiver Gattung (verstärkte Transparente, vollständige Atemschutzausrüstung, oder Molotows) sich deutlich weniger in den Demonstrationen wieder. Inwieweit dieses konfrontative Milieu sich dauerhaft behaupten kann und was sich daraus an politischen Perspektiven ergibt, muss allerdings an anderer Stelle untersucht werden.

Mit dieser aktuellen und auch ganz praktischen Situation beschäftigt sich auch der folgende Artikel über die Demonstration in Paris am 11. Januar, der auf 'acta zone' erschien (5) und dessen sinngemäße Übersetzung folgt.

Ein Bericht über die Ereignisse in Paris vom Samstag, den 11. Januar

In dem Moment, in dem Édouard Philippe die "vorläufige Aussetzung" der so wichtigen Maßnahme bezüglich des zentralen Eintritt ins Rentenalters ankündigte und damit den programmierten Verrat der CFDT (4) erreichte, verdeutlichte die Pariser Demonstration das Ausmaß der Ablehnung dieser Reform durch die Menschen und die Entschlossenheit eben jener, bis zum vollständigen Widerruf der geplanten „Reformen“ zu kämpfen.

Heute war ein Tag der Konvergenz mit den Gelben Westen. Tatsächlich übernahmen die Gelben Westen, die sehr zahlreich anwesend waren, von Beginn der Demonstration an die Führung. Da die Polizei beschlossen hatte, die ersten Reihen des Umzugs im Spalier zu flankieren, wurde die Atmosphäre schnell spannungsgeladen. Die Bereitschaft zur Konfrontation war weit verbreitet – im Gegensatz zum vergangenen Donnerstag - und fand bereits wenige Minuten nach dem Beginn der Demonstration ihren Ausdruck. In der Tat brachen die ersten Zusammenstöße auf der Höhe der Hector Mollat aus - die große Mehrheit des Umzugs konnte die einschüchternde Präsenz der „Ordnungskräfte“ einfach nicht mehr ertragen.

Damit begannen fast zwei Stunden Kampf zwischen Reuilly- Diderot und der Bastille. Banken und Immobilienbüros wurde verwüstet, Steine flogen, Mülltonnen wurden angezündet, Eier geworfen und das Kopfsteinpflaster an vielen Stellen aufgebrochen. Die Antwort der Bullen waren Beschuss mit Gummigeschossen und massiver Tränengaseinsatz, wobei die Bullen es weitgehend vermieden, in direkte Konfrontation mit den Demonstranten zu gehen, wohl möglich um nicht das Risiko einzugehen, die Bilder der Polizeibrutalität zu reproduzieren, die die Demonstration vom letzten Donnerstag kennzeichneten?

Obwohl es keine verstärkten Transparenten gab (was unter diesen Bedingungen wahrscheinlich sinnvoll gewesen wäre), blieb der Frontblock relativ geschlossen und bewegte sich intelligent genug, um zu verhindern, dass die Polizei die Demonstration spalten konnte. Nach langen Minuten der Stagnation und des Austauschs von Wurfgeschossen, beschlossen die Demonstranten, trotz des anhaltenden Beschusses vorzurücken und griffen eine Einheit der BRAV an, die sich dann mehrere Dutzend Meter zurückziehen mussten.

Am Rande des Place de la Bastille wurde in der Nähe von Wohnhäusern eine Werbetafel in Brand gesetzt: Die Flammen, optisch ein beeindruckendes Schauspiel, waren aber schnell gelöscht. Als der Umzug vor der Oper an der Bastille vorbeizieht, wird den streikenden Opernmitarbeitern unter lautem Applaus Tribut gezollt. Es folgte ein Moment relativer Ruhe.

Doch sobald die Ordnungskräfte den Demonstranten auf dem Boulevard Beaumarchais wieder auf die Pelle rückten, stiegen die Spannungen sofort wieder an, und erneut wurden Banken angegriffen. Die Bullen waren ab da massiv auf der Route präsent um den materiellen Schaden auf dem letzten Teil der Demonstration zu begrenzen. Sie wurden ausgiebig ausgepfiffen: Man hörte sowohl das traditionelle "Alle hassen die Polizei", "Polizisten, Vergewaltiger, Mörder", aber auch Parolen zum Gedenken an Cédric Chouviat, einen 42-jährigen Lieferwagenfahrer, der bei seiner Verhaftung von Polizisten getötet wurde.

Sobald die Demo auf dem Place de la République ankam, brachen die Kämpfe wieder aus. Eine Gruppe von Bullen wurde neben einer Apotheke in die Enge getrieben und von einem Hagel von Wurfgeschossen getroffen, der sie zum Rückzug und zur Flucht in die Vendôme Passage zwang.

Die an den Samstagen und Donnerstagen stattfindenden Demonstrationen haben am Anfang des Jahres eine Konfliktualität der Straße wiederbelebt, der während der Demonstrationen im Dezember nicht stattfand (oder schnell erstickt wurde). Dies lässt sich wahrscheinlich durch die kollektive Intelligenz und die Fähigkeit zur Anpassung an die (selbst im Wandel begriffenen) Taktiken der Repression erklären. Aber auch und vor allem durch das Bewusstsein über die Unfähigkeit der „traditionellen Demonstrationen“, die Machtbalance im Kräftemessen mit einer Regierung zu beeinflussen, die entschlossen ist, ihr Programm des sozialen Rückschritts mit Gewalt und gegen jede Opposition durchzusetzen. Erst als die Gelben Westen im vergangenen Dezember das bürgerliche Herz der Hauptstadt verwüsteten, fühlten sich die Vertreter des herrschenden Blocks wirklich bedroht - zumindest genug, um zu Zugeständnissen gezwungen zu werden. Diese Lektion darf nicht vergessen werden.

Heute wird (erwartet), dass sich die Regierung aus den Plänen zur Veränderung des âge pivot (Eintrittsalter in die Rente) zurückzieht, um die sogenannten "reformistischen" (d.h. kollaborierenden) Gewerkschaften aus der Bewegung heraus zu lösen und damit die Dynamik des Streiks zu brechen. Diese Aussetzung ist nur taktischer Natur, die dem Gesetz nicht die gegen die Bevölkerung gerichtete Substanz nimmt und die Notwendigkeit seiner vollständigen Rücknahme nicht ersetzt.

Lasst uns den Druck in der nächsten Woche aufrechterhalten, auf den Straßen, an den Blockaden, lasst uns die Initiativen vervielfachen - bis zum Sieg!


(2) Dossier zu einem Jahr Revolte der Gilets Jaunes

(3) Textsammlung zur Bewegung gegen das 'loi travail'

(4) Eher klassisch „sozialdemokratisch“ orientierte Gewerkschaft, hat mittlerweile der CGT den Rang abgelaufen, was die Anzahl der Mitglieder angeht

(5) Der übersetzte Orginaltext von 'acta zone' findet sich hier:

Adorno and Laruelle: The non-identical and the real Sun, 12 Jan 2020 11:22:10 +0000

Adorno speaks of the "non-identical being the own identity of the thing against its identifications" (Adorno, Negative Dialectic: 164). The cognition of the non-identical identifies differently from the identifying thinking, it emphasizes to say what something is, while the identifying thinking acts up as representation of the something that now evaporates to the specimen. And the further the identity thinking moves away from the identity of the thing, the more ruthlessly it moves onto its fur, Adorno writes. (Ibid.: 112) Identifying thinking is that of the majority; it makes the non-identical a problem. Consequently, the representational-logical belief in the power of language, which reflects existing phenomena or even captures them, is the metaphysical substrate of all philosophies. Adorno, on the other hand, makes strong a something that exists on the side of existence and that remains external even to dialectics; he postulates the precedence of objects. In this process, the attempt to overcome the identification logic of capital in the form of an immanent critique must fail, because this critique must begin with the affirmation of precisely the positivity that Adorno seeks to overcome by showing how this positivity is always already broken at the preceding non-identical. The non-identical cannot be defined precisely as a boundary arising from the immanent movement of the concept; rather, it represents something like a marking of that which does not fall into the immanent movement of the concept or is absorbed by it. Adorno's Negative Dialectic is an attempt to drive thought into real areas, but not to subsume or incorporate the real/reality, but to achieve a "togetherness of the different" (thinking and the real) of whatever kind. In this she touches upon Laruelle's conception of the real.

Adorno's non-identical shows similarities with the Laruellian Real. The non-identical that must be thought refers on the one hand to the empirical in the sense of a lived experience, on the other hand to a surplus that resists commensurability, statistics and accounting. Laruelle, however, ventures an even more radical break with continental philosophy as a whole, replacing its bivalent and trivalent conceptions, which always refer to the relation "reality and discourse", with the concentration of "philosophical problematics" on the axiom of the One or the Real, freeing the two terms (One/Real), which he usually uses as synonyms, from any determination by philosophical being. The One is neither to be understood as being nor as being, nor should it be equated with existence. Rather, the One is the result of a transcendental setting, it is given-without-givenness and, at the same time, defined as a negative possibility that stands for every "tangibility" of objects and for the rigor of thinking itself. In short, it is about the One that is not (negative possibility) but is real (given-without-givenness). If one wants to make a distinction between the One and the real at all, it must refer to the "dimensionality" of the determination-in-the-last-instance. While the One appears at the level of language, insofar as a non-philosophical decision is indicated here, the Real does not at all appear as part of language and its ontological claim, which consists in capturing the Real, rather the Real shows itself through its radical indifference towards language and thinking. The One is qua immanence its own real ground and is determined by the knowledge of its own syntax. The real in its uniqueness is attributed to the laruelle of identity, and yet there is a stronger relationship to the non-identical Adorno at this point than, for example, in Derrida's work, who allows the non-identical to merge completely into the movement of différance. Poststructuralist philosophy and non-philosophy are both modes of thinking, but while the former thinks according to and through difference, the latter thinks according to the One or in One.

Laruelle does not conceive the distinction between the real and the transcendental (language, theory) as a split that constitutes a duality, but he tries to think it with the term unilateralism. The act of unilateralism involves a non-relative and non-relationalistic relation of difference. It is an act of singularity produced by the singularity, a radically solitary act of unilateral self-differentiation. It is also about the radical loneliness of the self in the autogenerative and autoreflexive process of subject production, and this always occurs parallel to the transformable and multiple subject. An a closed reality of sheer work, where the organic and the sensual of the self merge, independent of the authority of language. An instance of the unassailable imprisonment in its own self. This instance is the reality of the self, which remains without mediation from the other and language. This irreducible loneliness describes the limits of mediation by the other and the other.

The mode of unilateral differentiation and the generic demand for the One contain two theoretical figures that place non-philosophy in correlation with the real and identify it itself as a radically non-dichotomic thinking. This is the immanent procedure of what Laruelle calls "dualysis" thinking, which consists in the radical affirmation of the transcendental and the real as duality without the attempt to unify or split the two terms, that is, in a duality in which each of the terms correlates unilaterally with the other.

The minimal form of relationism, however, is digital binarism. Duality always implies dualism, it consists in the assumption that there is no possibility of thinking the two beyond their relation of two. But if one considers that the Two does not imply a division or binarism, that its simultaneous work does not imply an exclusion of one term from the other, then thinking is situated beyond duality. Thinking beyond relation and relationism requires thinking in the terms of singularity. The situation of non-relationality is always also that of radical loneliness. It can only refer to the instance of oneness. Relations are thus thought beyond a simple relationism. The reality of a certain relation is understood in its singular positivity. Therefore a non-dichotomous thinking is localized in the One and constituted by it, as One as one of the first names of the real.

Thinking in singularities opens the idea of a completed unilateralism in the stage of an infinite reiteration. It is also about an attitude based on empirical experience that recognizes the self-transcending movement of the real (radical immanence) as its own right, or rather an instance of the non-reflective empirical that we want to see in its singularity. Thus, the real is not an abstraction or idea, or something that exists independently in the outside for itself, but rather the real is a status that can be seen by other realities. Non-philosophical thinking correlates with the real, according to the real, which is an unassailable authority in the last instance, and thus it does not correlate with the systems of thinking at first. The real forces the concept in the last instance. The non-philosophical process of describing and rigorously explaining reality is to be seen as an effect of the real, inasmuch as the process pays attention to the procedures of the real that exist "behind" the discursive phenomena that represent it, and this process forms its own syntax that is in accordance with the real. This is only possible by disorganizing the philosophical material and reducing it to a transcendental material or by transforming it into a philosophical chora with which thinking works. As a radical concept, thinking must correlate with the real in an immanent way, rather than with the conceptual apparatus of a school of thought. As something that cannot be caught up with or is absent, the real always receives the same meaning, the meaning of being identical to itself (A=A), and thus nothing can emerge from the world qua real, whereby the real remains eternally frozen in static and unchangeable concepts. The real is thus meaning per se and consequently it is to be understood as an instance of the transcendental.

Non-philosophy, similar to the process of scientific thought, describes the real as rigorously as possible, acknowledging that the real remains afflicted by its own immanence. Anything else would imply, in fact, to subject the real to a philosophical decision again, and this in terms of conformity in the context of a particular cosmology. It is thus a matter of the uncontrollable and intangible real beyond reality, which seeks to explain it. It is about the real that dictates the generation of truth and not about scholastic axioms that seek to grasp the real. In this respect, the non-philosophical gesture is an empty position, a non-position that in philosophy makes use of a non-conceptual material, namely the chora, which is ultimately heretical and faithful only to the specificity and singularity of the theorized reality. The real and the fiction should be thought in their singularity in their specificity, freed from a mutually dependent dependence of one term by the other term. "Interrelatedness" would then be understood as a totalizing unit of binaries and multiplicities in an all-encompassing One, which can be a system or an anti-system. A cosmology, a philosophical universe that demands consistency with doctrine, even if it wants to be an antisystem. Oneness and radicality in the sense of non-relationality and immanence, on the other hand, are the constituents of non-philosophical, non-dichotomous thinking. The One is an identity that is non-setting, non-decisive and non-positioning in itself; it remains without existence, without topology or essence. And the Vision-in-One is an experience that is non-decisive, non-reflective, it demands the completely singular immanence. The reality of the subject of thought in terms of reality is always experiential. Nonetheless, thinking that is correlated with the real relates this reality to its own theoretical vision (as vision-in-one). It remains singular, and this is the method of thinking according to the Real or Vision-in-One. It recognizes itself in the last instance. In the laruellesque sense, however, it remains unreflected, that is, it is inseparably founded in the rest of the undefined real, and thus it remains singular and separate from the network of philosophical decisions. Fiction and the real are not placed in any relation that would condition their mutual significance. Freed from the compulsion of the philosophical decision to set fiction as the antithesis of the real or in a mutual binary relationship, the real remains unconditioned in relation to fiction or the processes of the imaginary, of signification.

The self is limited in its autotransformation by the rules of the real. In most cases, one of the terms is excluded in the differentiation or it is totally included by the other, whereby an appropriation or colonization of the subjected term takes place. This usually leads to the ontological possibility of a continuous change (of the self), its incessant mobility in the context of an open horizon of overwhelming and omnipresent possibilities. It is precisely here that postmodern optimism overlaps with neoliberal optimism, and this with regard to the preaching of the inexhaustible, the never-ending possibilities of possibilities. The futurist fundamentalism is common to them, the spell of the negative and the finite. Already Kroker/Weinsein speak of the infinite (as opposed to the quantum-theoretical infinite) as the postmodern ideology per se. They write: "I could stay here forever and keep talking to you. That's the attitude of those people who hang around Mc Donald's: the ideal speaking community that already exists but has been overlooked by Critical Theory." (Kroker/Weinstein, Datenmüll; 65) What is meant here is of course Habermas. All considerations of the flexible and unstable nature of the post-metaphysical subject should be understood as a stabilizing gesture in the context of uncertainty (which has accompanied the rise of the precariat in recent years). Marx, on the other hand, was aware of a non-identity that he described as a non-rising remnant outside of work, which binds it to the person of the worker, who is still something apart from his (flexible) work for himself. Adorno is also concerned with this priceless "remainder" that eludes the system. He formulates it more sharply in Laruelle: "The human-in-human, the radically foreign in the human is a pre-linguistic humanity, and this as an experience that precedes every decision, every demand for a set thought of philosophy or the capitalist system. The human-in-human is an instance of the real. The real is an identity that is nothing but singular, and not singular and universal, mixed, so to speak, in relation to an imaginary, philosophically or systemically produced world. This would precisely be the precondition for the mutual conceptual constitution of the two oppositions (real and language) or their dual conceptual condition, their discursive coexistence, which makes the exclusion of the one from the territory of the other possible and necessary. This way of thinking is generated by the constitutive relation of the terms, by the necessarily binary and oppositional way of being, as a mutual constitution of a twofold structure. It seems impossible for this way of thinking to break the trust in reality as we have known it so far, although at least a traumatic intervention could break the image of the world. The multiplicity of an event constituting the instance of the real is an aspect of the real that does not appear in postmodern thinking. The real always remains in relation to the singular. One is one of the first names of the real. At the same time, the equation real = one fights against the status of the absolute non-relationality of the real. The real is not simply out there or touches it only as a boundary.

In terms of the inherent non-relationality of thought and the real, both occurrences possess singular, independent and non-thetical modes of operation. Each event and each thinking takes place in a mode of correspondence with the instance of the Real, which is unique and non-cosmological. In this sense, thinking is an experience or instance of the real de jure: the experience of thinking as an event and not as conceptual content belonging to the order of the transcendental. The Real and the One are to be understood here as synonyms that denote the same instance, the same thing: the singularity of the theorized reality and the instance of theory. The attempt to thematize reality in its singularity and in its correlation with the real does not seek to grasp the real, for instance to call the truth of the real real as real, as its accompanying reflection. Rather, the recognition of the singularity and the correlation to the real is a theoretical confirmation of the radical immanence or identity. This radicalism stands for the unique act of thinking that correlates with the unique instance of the real, theorized reality, in contrast to the scholasticism of philosophy, as an ultimate instance of legitimacy. Non-philosophical thinking is the operation that avoids ontology, but operates according to the real, as a non-thetical, as an absolute reflection or as a reflection without a mirror. It argues against divisionism. The real and thinking can neither form equality nor reciprocity, since they are not equal. Mutual equality and possible mutual mirroring are impossible - according to the non-ontology it is not a question of two that can form a relation of reciprocity. Thinking participates in the One. On the other hand, it is interpretation or signification that dilutes the density of the incomprehensible real in order to populate it with signs and make it livable, and this with the tool of language.

translation by deepl.

Foto: Bernhard Weber

Global Governance Sat, 11 Jan 2020 14:52:10 +0000

It is easy to see today that in the course of implementing neo-liberal strategies, the state is being increasingly restricted in its function as the guarantor of social peace and compromise between the classes, while the various modes of operation of the social police are being intensified step by step. It must be taken into account that the social police is not exclusively executed by the repressive state organs, but also requires new operational organs, control techniques and governmental arts, including civil society institutions, institutionally supported social technologies and a variety of privatized evaluation mechanisms. Today, the state must register the population comprehensively and thus freeze it, but it must also constantly mobilise it and increasingly police the control of the labour markets, the labour force and the population as a whole. Why is this so?
The current imperialist world system, as we have briefly outlined, generates constantly shifting frictions and conflicts between the nation states, the financial system and the multinationals within an interlocking matrix, the central nervous system of which is the financial system. In the capitalist core countries, the state is forced to increasingly fulfil its function as a social police force precisely because certain effects of globalisation have, at least in these countries, favoured stagnation of economic growth and crisis processes, thus weakening the possibilities of pacifying the class conflict via the welfare state. On the other hand, the state itself can only function effectively as a social police force if it, as a national and collective (idealistic) total capitalist, supports the maintenance of internal economic growth as much as possible. Imperial globalization is increasingly eroding the conditions that allow the state to function simultaneously as a social police force (caring and repressive at the same time) and as a national, idealistic all-capitalist (balancing class conflicts via the welfare state).
However, governments cannot completely abandon their role as national, idealistic all-capitalist and therefore they must also try to drive economic growth with all possible means so that the social cohesion of the capitalist society formation is not endangered. However, there are a number of limits to this today. The multinational and financial capital, by continuing to execute the processes of liberalization and global money capital flows, reinforces the tendency of economic depression of the "real economy" (not at the level of total capital) and the impoverishment of parts of the population in the capitalist metropolises. Thus, on the one hand, the state lacks the means to organize social arrangements, and on the other hand, social conflicts may, at least in the future, at least tend to become more acute there, so that the states must act more strongly as social police today, simply for reasons of prevention and cybernetisation of social conflicts. Although one should assume that the neo-liberal strategies of flexibilisation of the labour force, propaganda of creative work and libertarian singularisation of cultural policies, especially among the middle classes, should correspond exclusively to soft control systems, self-technologies and flexible governance policies characterised by social networks, mutual surveillance in citizen factories, psychologisation and physiotherapy, urbanisation and the event industry, this is not the case. While these soft phenomena, techniques and practices have not disappeared, quite the contrary, they are increasingly being overlaid by the mechanisms of social policing. Here we understand the concept of the police in a broad sense, similar to Foucault, as a repressive administrative system whose control systems penetrate deeply into the working and living conditions of the population, and thus as a specific form of governance. However, the expansion of privatized power and governmental techniques does not mean that the state becomes meaningless or is absorbed into a network of governing bodies, as Foucault assumes. The fact that many state institutions and facilities (schools, universities, hospitals, etc.) now function like private companies not only points to the weakening of the political autonomy of the state, but also requires, precisely because of the way in which the workforce is organised, a more intensive implementation of the social police in the social field, especially since governments can no longer implement expansive monetary and fiscal policies, for example to guarantee full employment or the welfare state to

be maintained at a satisfactory level for the population. Ultimately, governments can only react with "workfare policies" on the domestic markets, which means that the state, precisely in its function as a social police force, is becoming immensely more important.
In the long phase of neo-liberal restructuring since the 1980s, the "welfare state" was gradually replaced by the "workfare state", i.e. a new political model of the ruling classes, which transformed the old social policy and subordinated it to the aim of making labour turnover on the labour markets more flexible and at the same time more restrictive, absorbing the decline in industrial employment by a low-wage sector in the service sector and redistributing income in favour of profits and to the detriment of wages. The neoliberal austerity policy is a strategy for reducing the costs of companies, in particular by reducing wage costs, increasing profits per unit of work and thus increasing profit rates. It is accompanied by an economy of financialisation (and institutional changes), which increases the mobility of capital and the power of the financial sector, managers and shareholders, while at the same time curtailing social rights and cutting wages for large sections of the population, whereby even in the metropolises a part of the population falls out of the official labour markets altogether and has to be regarded as part of the global surplus population. Significantly, the ECB's policy in the case of Greece has shown that for states that temporarily lack sufficient liquidity to service their government bond holders, the drastic reduction of the welfare state is a necessary condition for their financial solvency. Greece is a laboratory in which the neo-liberal experiment in austerity policy is clearly evident, namely as the governance of civil civil war, which relies on wage cuts and redundancies in the public sector, the extension of short-term temporary work and the removal of protection against dismissal, the increase in VAT and the raising of the retirement age, privatisation measures, etc.
The contradiction that exists today on a global level between the freedom of movement of promises of payment and money capital flows on the one hand and the limited and regulated mobility of population flows on the other hand, requires, especially with regard to the latter moment, effective and efficient apparatuses of control and regulation (differentiated migration policies), which are currently, as a result of the specific reorganization of the state apparatuses, certainly inherent in a fascist tendency. Especially against the background that the strategies of total economic war, which are currently enforced with the means of capitalization, leave the governments of many countries no other option than to unconditionally comply with the structural adjustments demanded by capital, which also include cold strategies that the IMF has implemented since the 1970s, especially in crisis countries. Today, global financialised accumulation is accompanied by a continuum of bloody and bloodless wars that spread from Europe to Turkey, the Middle East and Afghanistan.
In the efforts to reorganize the state, constant frictions and frictions can be observed, because the state must continue to function in its two functions of social police and - albeit in a weakened form - of the ideal total capitalist, especially if the service for the multinational and financial companies is to continue to be provided. On the other hand, the multinationals still need the great state powers in order to survive on the world markets. The leading imperialist state must be able to fulfil three functions of global governance (for the multinational companies and the world economy as a whole) beyond its national policies: The function of global sheriff, global banker and driver of capital accumulation. (Cf. Screpanti 2014: 157f.) All three functions are still assumed today, albeit to an increasingly weaker extent, by the USA. The execution of the function of global sheriff by the leading state requires enormous military power (the US military budget is 716 billion dollars in 2018), in particular to discipline those countries that try to resist globalisation and US dominance and do not open their markets to multinational capital without further ado. The second function, that of the global banker, includes the possession and use of the entire arsenal of financial instruments, such as the implementation of

a currency that acts as a reserve and reserve currency on the globe, inter alia to ensure the maintenance of international payments and foreign reserves. The supremacy of the US financial industry and the dollar is based on the closely interwoven global network of private banks, hedge funds and financial markets, with Wall Street and the City of London as its core locations. The structural dynamics of this network were also responsible for the financial crisis of 2008, because it was not so much a developing crisis in the real estate market that caused Lehman Brothers, for example, to stumble, but rather the anticipatory actions of the banks in response to their imbalances that caused the interbank market to collapse, as well as the downgrading of securitised mortgages and the derivatives related to them. The latter triggered a wave of demands for additional funding in the form of new collateral required for the downgraded mortgages, and billions of dollars of collateral caused even corporate giants such as the insurance company American International Group (AIG) to falter. The government interventions following the 2008 financial crisis thus reaffirmed the dominant role of the dollar and the US Federal Reserve. The third function is that of a driver of national and international capital accumulation and economic growth. Since capital accumulation is still driven by exports, especially in the emerging markets, but also in countries such as Germany and Japan, a strong economy must exist on the world market that can absorb imports to an enormous extent and even grow itself by increasing its imports. This has so far been the case with the USA, which has financed this process by increasing its private and public debt. Moreover, the size of GDP and its weight in world markets has allowed the US to implement expansive monetary and fiscal policies that were hardly limited by external limitations in world markets. The US is still able to finance its own trade deficit because the dollar is the international reserve currency. Under these conditions, the expansionary monetary policy of the USA led to the creation of an aggregate demand for its own population and the rest of the world. Moreover, the possibility of an almost limitless expansion of the money supply by the US Federal Reserve allowed the Fed to make the necessary military expenditures to continue to assume the role of global sheriff. Finally, the implementation of these three functions serves above all to satisfy the interests of US capital. Today, however, US imperialism can fulfil them less and less.
The international financial system, which is still under the dominance of the US financial industry, today "controls" globalised production, the transnational division of labour (global production networks) and state policies, which in relation to the latter leads to new demarcations, restructurings and interactions in political activities, while finance escapes any effective regulation even at the level of domestic markets. However, the global insecurity captured by financial capital creates the conditions and the need for security governance by capitalist states. With every sign of the exhaustion of the economic system, instability becomes a permanent phenomenon to which one reacts, among other things, with the further militarization and technologization of the state apparatuses. All the state reconstructions and reorganizations are today economically and financially transformed, but conversely, the management of monetary capital still requires centralized institutions that can make efficient decisions to repair unstable situations.
The relationship between state and capital today leads to constant friction between the geopolitical ambitions of states and the economic interests of multinational capital. Thus, the geopolitical ambitions of the great state powers generate inter-state rivalries, but on the other hand, multinational companies need precisely a pacification of the rivalries between states, a regular exercise of the three functions of governance as smoothly as possible, and above all the use of the economic and military power of the great imperialist states to keep the world markets open and to discipline especially the countries on the periphery. The dominance of the multinational companies partly realizes the capitalist idea of a minimal state, which does not mean that the state is abstinent, but rather that the state's power to play the national ideal capitalist is somewhat reduced,

while at the same time adapting to the operations of the large multinationals and finance by intensifying its role as a social police force.1
Where the accumulation of capital as such is threatened, as was the case after the financial crisis of 2008, the governments of the core countries have no alternative but to keep the accumulation of capital going by all possible means, because otherwise they themselves would have to cease their operations - and in the era of fictitious and speculative capital this means nothing more than the massive support of the financial system and its returns and at the same time the further promotion of austerity policies. The Social Democratic idea of reviving Keynesian regulatory policy is now completely unfounded, since it consisted of improving the profitability of capital invested in the "real economy" within a nation-state framework, while reducing the returns on financial assets. While it is true that in countries that are still among the few winners of the crisis, especially Germany, some social law standards can be maintained and even individual welfare state improvements (minimum wage) can be implemented, their selective nature and very limited impact indicate that there is no longer any basis for a comprehensive reformist programme of social democracy today. And since the reasons for this are to be found in the historical dynamics and crisis logic of capital itself at the global level, this basis cannot be restored by attempting to strengthen national sovereignty.
In general, it can be said that the state can reach capital primarily through money, but this always involves a delay, so that the state will never operate in the real time of capital and will never catch up with it, which once again places a barrier in the way of Keynesian strategies that aim to solve the problem of accumulation by increasing aggregate demand. In the phase of dominance of financial capital, in which the dynamics of money capital flows have shifted to the financial markets in the absence of sufficient profit rates in the "real economy", not only state and politics have largely become dependent variables of financial capital, but also parts of industrial capital. While the fictitious and speculative capital invested in the financial system circulates around the globe in nanoseconds, industrial locations cannot be relocated in real time despite transnational production structures, digitalized logistics chains and flexible supplier networks. Or, to put it another way, while for the accumulation of financial capital the world market has become an immediate environment that can be traversed in nanoseconds, parts of industrial capital and middle capital remain restricted to national territory despite the possibility of export in principle.
The process of financialized capitalization began in the 1980s, when the barriers and limits to capital mobility were progressively dismantled, so that global capital flows rose from about five percent of world GDP in the mid-1990s to over twenty percent in 2007. They have thus grown three times faster than the global flow of goods. However, this free monetary capital mobility applies only to individual capital and not to (national) total capital, which as a superordinate total complex sets the conditions for individual capital. Since total capital is not a thing and cannot be sent abroad as the dominant production relationship, i.e. it is immobile and nationally constituted, it is sometimes argued that the above description lacks justification. (Cf. Milios 2018) But: Although the nation-state constitution of total capital still leads to borders within the global circulation spaces, which are indicated, for example, by the diversity of national currencies or the lack of a common international currency, the virtual-transcendental character of total capital does not allow it to be thought of primarily spatially. Today, multinational companies are able to break through these boundaries and thus also modify the effectiveness of the respective national total capital. This type of local reduction and location fixation also affects the state in its modes of action and access, which remain largely confined to the nation-state territory and are therefore in a structurally conditioned position of dependence on multinational capital and finance. However, the state is far from being able to exercise all its decision-making powers through capital

and precisely as long as capital accumulates at a certain level and at the same time drives overall economic growth in a country, states still have the capacity to act in terms of economic policy.
In the context of its "self-fulfilling prophecy", the social influence of neoliberalism, particularly with regard to the calculation and monetarisation of risks, is aimed at maintaining and at the same time controlling a situation of general insecurity by simultaneously spreading political strategies that consist of generating fear and insecurity as widely as possible in the population and at the same time making the economic conditions of certain parts of the population increasingly worse (as a punishment for insufficient attention to and handling of risks, so to speak). What is at stake here is a new governance of civil warfare, conducted through constant security campaigns against the allegedly omnipresent insecurity. This will not restore the old sovereignty of the state, but will result in a state of flexibilised biopolitics and social policing, which, while still resorting to soft forms of social peace (urban politics, cultural institutions, places of care, etc.), will be accompanied by warlike, thanatotic policies. In these, the population functions as an object of biopolitics in so far as it is totally subjected to the logics of financial capital and the repressive policies of the state, so that in this respect there is no longer any difference between the time of peace and that of war. This type of peaceful war is fractal, that is, war reproduces itself indefinitely and always with the same model, but in different ways and at different levels of reality.
The relative loss of sovereignty of the nation states, their subordination to the economic and financial policies of big capital, the reduction of parliaments to executive organs and new forms of governance have been intensifying in their interpenetration and in their multiple aspects since the 1970s. After the worldwide crisis of 1973, the legal-political model of the state and its Keynesian policies no longer allowed the economic crisis processes to be cushioned or even controlled, so that the neoliberal strategies of capital, which also implied a reconfiguration of the modalities of the organization, governance and administration of the states, simply did not come out of nowhere. It should be borne in mind that the Keynesian-inspired economic policy interventions were not primarily based on the sovereignty of the nation states, but were relatively sovereignly implemented mainly due to Fordism based on industrial mass labor and mass consumption.
Poulantzas and his analyses of authoritarian etatism and interventionist states published in the late 1970s show that the economic functions of the state clearly have a dominant position in state policy, and this is expressed in the fact that state interventions are designed to reorganize all state apparatuses in terms of their economic functions. (Poulantzas 1978: 153) In addition to state interventions by means of monetary and fiscal policy and their integration into the reproduction processes of capital, examples include the economic restructuring of the education and health care system, urban planning and the qualification and reproduction of the workforce, the creation of new space and time matrices in the apparatuses, the strengthening of repressive ideological measures and the high-tech new surveillance mechanisms.
David Harvey calls the provision of state services for capital the "fixed capital of independent form" or the "secondary capital cycle" (cf. Wiegand 2013: 42). If the state provides these systems and infrastructures, larger amounts of money, machinery and labour are tied up over longer periods of time, the productivity of the economy is usually increased, effective demand is stimulated and, under certain circumstances, individual companies also generate added value here (in the case of user charges), although the state expenditure required for this in the form of taxes and levies is largely paid from the revenues of the economy. This, in turn, counteracts to a certain extent the positive effect on the economy, because the state taxes profits and income and thus burdens capital with deductions. However, the permanent issue of government bonds, which is not possible without the financial capital, can open up new capital cycles, i.e. long-term investments in

this will allow for a higher degree of long-term investment in physical and social infrastructure. The investments made in the secondary capital cycle, which are mediated via the financial system, are thus part of the general circulation of capital. For Harvey, investments in physical (secondary capital circulation) and social infrastructures (tertiary capital circulation: education, research, health, etc.) are at least potentially productive, but this is not primarily because these government expenditures cause individual companies to produce added value, but because they increase the productivity of the economy as a whole and thus improve the conditions for the primary industrial capital cycles. In addition, government investment remains integrated into the circulation of financial capital through the issue of government bonds.
However, the state also creates new markets that do not emerge spontaneously. Rather, the markets for water, education and health must first be created by means of material, technological and legal structures provided by the state. This kind of expansion of state functions can increase the state's dependence on economic cycles and accumulation processes, whereby the significance of state intervention now also lies in shifting the dominant discourses of economic policy towards a new technocratism that is seen as a guarantor of growth and prosperity. This influence of the economic is also evident in the various state apparatuses themselves, whether at central, regional or local level, all of which are infiltrated by committees and bodies that permanently set economic efficiency targets.2

Translated with (free version)

Translated with (free version)

Translated with (free version)

Foto: Stefan Paulus

Winter is Coming: Chile Sat, 11 Jan 2020 12:53:57 +0000

Seit Oktober 2019 halten heftige Unruhen Chile in Atem. Die Proteste richten sich gegen das neoliberale System, welches unter dem Pinochet Regime vor mehr als 30 Jahren eingeführt wurde. Wir hatten die Gelegenheit, mit Paulo aus Santiago de Chile zu reden, welcher sich als Teil der Bewegung sieht, und mehr über die Proteste zu erfahren. Das volle Interview auf Englisch findet ihr unten in den Referenzen.

Die Ausschreitungen starteten als die Preise für den öffentlichen Nahverkehr erhöht wurden. Scheinbar eine kleine Sache, jedoch war die Preiserhöhung eher der Tropfen, der das ziemlich volle Fass zum überlaufen brachte. Die Situation weist interessanterweise damit Parallelen zu Frankreich und den Gilets Jaunes auf, welche in Erscheinung traten, als die Benzinkosten erhöht wurden.

Jedoch gehen die Gemeinsamkeiten weit über Oberflächlichkeiten hinaus: Das Auflehnen gegen den Neoliberalismus, das komplette Ablehnen von Sprecher*innen, Führungsfiguren und Parteien, die Kompromisslosigkeit, Wut und Entschlossenheit mit der gegen das System gekämpft wird. All dies eint die Menschen, welche auf komplett verschiedenen Seiten der Erde für etwas Besseres kämpfen.

Diese komplett verschiedenen und doch so ähnlichen Situationen zeigen uns, wohin das Paradigma des Neoliberalismus führt: Ungleichheit, Armut, Vereinzelung, Verdrängung. Sie zeigen uns jedoch auch, dass es Hoffnung gibt. Hoffnung auf etwas besseres als Staat und Kapitalismus.

Lasst uns aus diesen Protesten lernen, vor allem aus den Abwehrkämpfen gegen die radikale Rechte. Selbst im angeblich stabilen und krisenfesten Deutschland, könnte es in den nächsten Jahren zu einer ähnlichen Ausgangslage kommen [1]. Angesichts der deutschen Zustände – Rechtsterroristische Netzwerke in Bundeswehr, Polizei und Inlandsgeheimdienst – sollten wir soviel wie möglich von den Kämpfen gegen rechte Einflussnahme in anderen Bewegungen mitnehmen.

Interview mit Paulo

BPA: Die Proteste haben mit einer Preiserhöhung des öffentliches Nahverkehrs angefangen, richtig?

Paulo: Ja, als das passiert ist, haben wir gesagt “Stop! Wir haben kaum Geld und ihr wollt, dass wir noch mehr ausgeben. Wir wollen das nicht mehr akzeptieren! Es ist zuviel.”
Wenn du den Lebendsstandard in Chile mit dem von Deutschland oder anderen Ländern in Europa vergleichst, kostet Essen und der Nahverkehr ähnlich viel wie in Berlin, aber das durchschnittliche Haushaltseinkommen liegt nur etwa bei 500€. Bildung und Krankenversicherung sind auch sehr teuer. Wir haben kein Geld aber müssen überall viel ausgeben. Wir leben wie Sklaven. Das ist der Grund. Unser komplettes Leben haben wir in diesem scheiß System verbracht und wir wollen das nicht mehr akzeptieren.

BPA: Du meinst Neoliberalismus?

Paulo: Genau. Es hat angefangen unter dem faschistischen Regime von Pinochet, mit einigen Wirtschaftswissenschaftler*innen, welche die Chicago Boys genannt wurden. Die und andere Faschist*innen haben dieses System in Chile eingeführt, wie eine Art Experiment. Die Diktatur ist jetzt vorbei, das System aber bleibt bestehen. Und da wir dieses System bekämpfen wollen, wird die Polizei eingesetzt und fängt an uns zu töten.
Du kannst Videos von der Polizei finden, wie sie Kokain nehmen [2] um danach die Riots zu zerschlagen. Sie haben auch angefangen Schusswaffen zu benutzen. Mehrere hundert Menschen haben deswegen ein Auge verloren, zwei Betroffene sind jetzt komplett blind. Einige Leute sind verschwunden, einige wurden ausgeraubt und viele Frauen haben sexuelle Übergriffe erleben müssen. Die Polizei hier ist komplett verrückt. Der Staat macht nichts dagegen.

BPA: Wie positioniert sich die chilenische Protestbewegung zum Staat und zu den Parteien im Allgemeinen?

Paulo: Die Bewegung will weder mit dem Staat noch mit Parteien etwas zu tun haben. Wir einfachen Leute haben angefangen zusammenzustehen, Graffiti in den Straßen zu malen, Konzerte mit Antifa Gruppen zu organisieren und Geld für Nichtregierungsorganisationen zu sammeln, zum Beispiel für das Cruz Roja [3].
Es beginnt sich ein neues solidarischeres Miteinander und Füreinandner aufzubauen. Früher wussten wir Leute nichts über Selbstorganisation oder übers Demonstrieren. Aber mit der Zeit ist zu sehen, das der einzige Weg ist, alles niederzubrennen. Wir haben keine andere Wahl. Wer den pazifistischen Weg geht, wird von irgendeinem Cop niedergeschossen. Also ist es wichtig die eigene Integrität und Rechte zu verteidigen. Der einzige Weg das zu tun, ist mit direkter Aktion.
Es ist wirklich schön die Macht der Menschen zu sehen, weil sie wirklich an sich selber glauben und wissen, der einzige Weg etwas zu ändern, ist zu kämpfen. Sie haben keine andere Wahl, sie spüren keine Furcht mehr.

BPA: Arbeitet die Bewegung mit Sozialist*innen, Anarchist*innen oder Kommunist*innen zusammen? Wie passt die radikale Linke in die Bewegung?

Paulo: Ich würde sagen, die Bewegung ist anarchistisch. Nicht wie die linke Seite im Staat, sondern normale Menschen ohne Geld, die sich selbst organisieren. Als die Bewegung angefangen hat, wollte niemand etwas mit Politik zu tun haben, weder links noch rechts. Am Anfang war es nur die Bewegung des Volkes. Aber wir Menschen in der Bewegung haben uns nach links entwickelt. Als die politische Rechte aufgekreuzt ist, haben wir sie aus der Bewegung gedrängt. Dasselbe ist mit den Kommunist*innen passiert. Wir haben angefangen zu sagen: “Hey, wir wollen dich hier nicht mit deiner Flagge.”

BPA: Du hast die politische Rechte erwähnt. Gab es da Gruppen welche versucht haben die Bewegung zu beeinflussen?

Paulo: Ja, manchmal. Rechte haben angefangen faschistische Truppen zu formen, welche größtenteils aus reicheren Leuten bestehen, um die Demonstrierenden zu verprügeln. Aber die Leute sagen, wir wollen eure faschistische Scheiße hier nicht mehr und sind komplett gegen den Faschismus.

BPA: Wenn die Faschist*innen größtenteils reiche Leute sind, wer sind die Demonstrierenden?

Paulo: Die Bewegung besteht aus sehr vielen Menschen. Normale Leute, Frauen, Hooligans aus den großen Fußball-Clubs, auch die Armen und Verbrecher*innen, wir nennen die “Flaite” [4]. Die Armen sind immer in den Protesten. Die sind es hauptsächlich, keine Reichen. Auch haben wir keine Anführer oder Gewerkschaften, nur Selbstorganisation.
Für diese Organisation nutzen wir hauptsächlich soziale Medien wie Instagram oder Facebook. Es ist sehr einfach so Wissen zu teilen. Zum Beispiel haben wir einige Techniken aus Hong Kong übernommen.
Etwa, wenn die Polizei einen mit Tränengas beschießt, tust du Wasser über die Granate und dann einen Behälter darüber um sie zu löschen. In der Vergangenheit wussten wir das nicht. Aber jetzt gibt es Bilder, Diskussionen und Videos in den sozialen Medien, und die Menschen fangen an das nachzumachen.
Auch sind die Antifaschist*innen eine wirklich wichtige Bewegung in Chile geworden. Früher wussten viele Leute nicht viel über Anarchist*innen oder Widerstand. Aber wir beginnen zu lernen. Anarchistische Solidarität ist zusammenzustehen. Kämpfe gegen den Staat, unterstütze den Feminismus, unterstütze Gays, unterstütze einen anderen Weg zu leben.

Referenzen und Fußnoten

Interview auf EnglischDownload



[3] Eine Art ehrenamtliches Rotes Kreuz


taken from here

The Climate-Migration- Industrial Complex Sat, 11 Jan 2020 12:44:07 +0000

Thirty years ago there were fifteen border walls around the world. Now there are seventy walls and over one billion national and international migrants. International migrants alone may even double in the next forty years due to global warming. It is not surprising that over the past two decades, we have also seen the rise of an increasingly powerful global climate-security market designed to profit from (and help sustain) these crises. The construction of walls and fences to block rising sea levels and incoming people has become one of the world’s fastest growing industries, alongside the detention and deportation of migrants, and is projected to reach $742 billion by 2023. I believe we are witnessing the emergence of what we might call a “climate-migration-industrial complex.”

This complex is composed of private companies who profit by securitizing nation-states from the effects of climate-related events, including migration. This includes private detention centers, border construction companies, surveillance technology consultants and developers, deportation and transportation contractors, and a growing army of other subcontractors profiting from insecurity more broadly. Every feature of this crisis complex is an opportunity for profit. For example, even when security measures “fail” and migrants cross borders illegally, or remain beyond their visas to live without status as “criminals,” there is an entire wing of private companies paid to hunt them down, detain them, and deport them just across the border, where they can return and begin the market cycle all over again. Each step in the “crimmigration” process now has its own cottage industry and dedicated army of lobbyists to perpetuate the laws that support it.

Here is the incredible double paradox that forms the backbone of the climate-migration-industrial complex: right-wing nationalists and their politicians claim they want to deport all undocumented migrants, but if they did, they would destroy their own economy. Capitalists, on the other hand, want to grow the economy with migrant labor (any honest economist will tell you that immigration almost always leads to growth in GDP), but if that labor is too expensive, then it’s not nearly as profitable.

Trump is the Janus-faced embodiment of this anti-immigrant, pro-economy dilemma and the solution to it — not that he necessarily knows it. With one hand, migrant labor is strategically criminalized and devalorized by a xenophobic state, and with the other, it is securitized and hyper-exploited by the economy. It is a win-win situation for right-wing capitalists but a crucial element is still missing: what will continue to compel migrants to leave their homes and work as exploited criminals in an increasingly xenophobic country?

This is where the figure of the climate migrant comes in. What we call “climate migrants” or “climate refugees” are not the victims of merely “natural disasters,” because climate change is not a strictly natural process — it is also highly political. The causes of climate-related migration are disproportionately produced by rich Western countries and the effects are disproportionately suffered by poorer countries. The circumstances that determine who is forced to migrate are also influenced by the history of colonialism, global inequality, and the same conditions that have propelled economic migration for decades. In short, the fact that climate change benefits the perpetrators of climate destruction by producing an increasing supply of desperate, criminalized, physically and economically displaced laborers is no coincidence. In fact, it is the key to the Trump “solution.”

Another key is the use of climate change to acquire new land. When people are forced to migrate out of a territory, or when frozen territories thaw, new lands, waters, and forests become open to extractive industries like mining, drilling, fishing, and logging. Trump’s recent (and ridiculous) bid to buy the thawing territory of Greenland for its oil and gas reserves is one example of this. Climate-stricken urban areas open up new real estate markets, as the gentrification of New Orleans after hurricane Katrina illustrated. In other words, climate change might not mean the end of capitalism, but rather could actually signal its resurgence from current falling rates of ecological profit. During colonialism, everything and everyone that could be easily appropriated (oil, slaves, old-growth forests, etc.), was gobbled up. The workers who are left today under post-colonialism demand more money and more rights. The minerals left are more expensive to extract. This is why capitalists have increasingly retreated to financial speculation, and now to monetizing their own crises.

If only there were new ways, the capitalist dreams, to kick start the economy and cheaply dislodge huge numbers of people from their land, devalorize their labor, and then appropriate that labor extremely cheaply. In other words, if climate change did not exist, capitalism would have to create it. Luckily for the capitalists, it does exist, because they did create it. Climate migrants now form what we might call a “disposable climate labor army,” conscripted out of a standing reserve of global poverty from wherever the next climate-related disaster strikes, and deployed wherever capitalism demands precarious, securitized, and criminalized labor to be exploited.

We need to rethink the whole framing of the climate migration “crisis.” Among other things, we need a more movement-oriented political theory to grapple better with the highly mobile events of our time — what I call a “kinopolitics.” The advent of the Capitalocene/Kinocene makes possible today the insight that nature, humans, and society have always been in motion. Humans are and have always been fundamentally migratory, just as the climate and the earth are. These twin insights might sound obvious today, but if taken seriously, they offer a complete inversion of the dominant interpretive paradigms of the climate and migration crises.

Humans and Earth have always been in motion, but not all patterns of motion are the same. There is no natural, normal, or default state of the earth or of human society. Therefore, we have to study the patterns of circulation that make possible these metastable states and not take them as given. This is what I have tried to work out in The Figure of the Migrant (2015) and Theory of the Border (2016). Unfortunately, the dominant framework for thinking about the climate and migrant crises is currently upside down. It starts from the perspective of a triple stasis: 1) that the earth and human society are in some sense separable and static, or at least stable, structures; 2) that the future should continue to be stable as well; and 3) that if there is not stability, then there is a “crisis.” Mobility, then, is a crisis only if we assume that there was or should be stasis in the first place. For example, migrants are said to destabilize society, and climate change is said to destabilize the earth.

From a kinopolitical perspective, we can see that the opposite is, in fact, true: Humans were first migratory, and only later settled into more metastable patterns of social-circulation (made historically possible by the social expulsion and dispossession of others). Migrants are not outside society but have played a productive and reproductive role throughout history. Migrant movements are constitutive and even transformative elements of society, rather than exceptional or marginal phenomena. The real question is how we ever came to act and think as if societies were not processes of social circulation that relied on migration as their conditions of reproduction. The earth, too, was first migratory, and only later did it settle into metastable patterns of geological and atmospheric circulation (e.g. the Holocene). Why did we ever think of the earth as a stable surface, immune from human activity in the first place?

The problem with the prevailing interpretation of climate change and migration is that the flawed paradigm that has defined the “crisis,” the notion of stasis, is also proposed as the solution “Let’s just get things back to normal stability again.” In short, I think a new paradigm is needed that does not use the same tools that generated the “crisis” to solve it — i.e. capitalism, colonialism, and the nation-state.

Today’s migrant “crisis” is a product of the paradox at the heart of the capitalist, territorial nation-state form, just as the climate crisis is an expression of the paradox at the heart of anthropocentrism. The solutions, therefore, will not come from the forms in crisis but only from the birth of new forms-in-motion that begin with the theoretical primacy of the very characteristic that is dissolving the old forms: the inherent mobility of the migrant climate and the climate migrant.

Thomas Nail is associate professor of philosophy at the University of Denver, working on a series of books on the philosophy of movement. His most recent book is Theory of the Image (Oxford University Press, 2018).

taken from here

Analog Hall of Fame: Scale Fri, 10 Jan 2020 10:16:54 +0000

I said before that no one has yet patented a Meaning Machine. While that's true in the abstract, I want to talk about the two most common ways to hack around the problem. First is labor and second is scale.

k-means clustering of random data points

Meaning is the "hard problem" of computation, at least today. How do we know that data means something as opposed to something else? What's the difference between noise and signal? Is artificial intelligence (AI) able to discern meaning? And, perhaps more esoterically if not also pedantically, is meaning an analog technology or a digital technology? (For the final question, I take meaning formally as an analog technology, in that meaning entails a kind of Gestalt synthesis of complex arrangements of terms; yet practically speaking meaning is always the result of an interaction between the analog and the digital, and thus cannot be reduced to one or the other.)

Today there are two basic solutions to the "hard problem," the problem of meaning. The first solution is to outsource the problem to humans, effectively to make humans shoulder the burden of the Meaning Machine. To the extent that significance is measurable, it's because a human put it there and marked it as measurable. In other words, if you find meaning, it's the result of human labor.

Call it the Labor Theory of Meaning. And I mean labor very loosely here: any discernible action whatsoever is "labor" in the information economy, from emailing and tweeting, to click trails on websites, to larger things like authoring texts and tagging images and videos. A Mechanical Turk worker is a laborer in this sense, but so is anyone who has ever touched a computer or smart phone (as well as many who haven't). In the past, labor was characterized by its difficulty. Labor is still difficult today. Although even more difficult is not to perform labor, because it's very difficult not to be discernible.

(And "any discernible action whatsoever" really does mean any discernible action whatsoever. If one can discern a cell dividing or an electron leaving an atom, that division and that ionization qualify as "labor" under the current regime -- which is one explanation for why and how digital machines have become coterminous with the lowest kinds of discernibility we yet know, namely genetic codes and atomic states. Alternately, at conditions of indiscernibility -- entropy, randomness, contingency -- digitality ceases.)

The second solution to the problem of meaning we might call the Scale Theory of Meaning. At the Googleplex they say things like "quantity generates quality." If you want qualitative significance, they say, well then simply scale up! Raise the quantity to a few million data points, use a clustering algorithm like k-means, and qualities will naturally emerge. In other words Hume's problem (that causality is merely constant conjunction) is solved by a specific technology: scaling up. Don't forget that it has to be "big" data for them; little data is useless because it's low scale and therefore meaningless. Hence one of the basic dialectical contradictions of info capitalism: meaning is "up here" as the result of an analog event (integrating, synthesizing, organizing), even as the digital atoms remain "down there" (bits, keystrokes, sensor inputs). Both are necessary for the analog-digital dance to work properly. The Scale Theory of Meaning has been successfully implemented by Google, Amazon, and the last decade or two of info capitalism since the advent of Web 2.0.

Is there something wrong with the Scale Theory? No and yes. First it's important to acknowledge that scale is a technology, and an effective one at that. Scale is not simply a modifier for other tech, as with the Large Hadron Collider or Big Pharma. No, here scale is the tech. So the analog is an operation of synthesis. But it's also the operation of scaling-up. (Digitality, by contrast, entails down-scale operations like analysis and differentiation.)

What's wrong with the Scale Theory is that it's built on the backs of the Labor Theory. Scale hasn't solved the meaning problem, it has just outsourced the problem to millions of little agents. People still fabricate meaning; the machines simply glean it at scale. Remove the humans and you lose the meaningfulness. No humans, no signification. So the Scale Theory works, but only because it cheats. Scale obfuscates the true source of meaning, and sells the sleight of hand as "emergence."

To be sure, I'm not trying to evangelize humans or defend anthropocentrism here. Certainly we could expand this to mean "anything with an intentional sensory apparatus," which would include animals and plants and other kinds of nonhuman agents. If "human" gets used as a kind of convenient shorthand, it's only because I'm interested in the generation of coherent structure. But any structure of coherence will do.

If you run a clustering algorithm on a data source and find something meaningful in the data, that's only because some coherent structure put it there in the first place -- a person, an animal, a law of nature. To confirm this, run the same clustering algorithm on random data points; you'll still get perfectly valid outcomes just like before, except the outcomes will be meaningless.

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In other words, measurement and meaning are two different things. A number alone can not tell you what it means. Why? Because meaning has been systematically excluded from the science of arithmetic since the ancients. To understand meaning you have to switch from a mechanical frame to a metaphysical frame, a frame that involves discrete numbers but is much larger than them. (Scientists and philosophers alike hate this about meaning; yet I suspect they actually just hate metaphysics and are taking out their frustrations on signification.) In short, scale/clustering won't confirm for you the validity of its own (valid) output.

This is true for companies like Google who rely on big data, but it's also true for AI. Remove the training data and the AI is effectively dead. Or, at best, it reverts back to the old-fashioned "symbolic AI" era of the 1960s -- and we know how that turned out. Today's AI is an extractive technology, in other words, and without meaning injected at the atomic level there's nothing to extract.

(People will object: yes but AlphaGo succeeded with no empirical training data! Perhaps, although I would define "no training data" a bit more rigorously. In fact, scientists furnished AlphaGo with a rich spectrum of concepts and relations from the history of human thought. There's no better training data than Leibniz's monad, the grid structure, and the Philosophical Decision, not to mention the rules for Go. But if AlphaGo can still win without being furnished with the foundations of digital philosophy, I'll eat my shoe.)

These kinds of humanist objections are already well known. Silicon Valley doesn't particularly care about the meaning problem. They don't much care about the labor problem either. They get their labor for free. And so they get their meaning for free as well. For Big Tech, correlation *is* causation, or at least it's measurably meaningful when parsed at scale. And that's all that matters. Scale is an analog technology, and an effective one at that, because it allows scientists -- and everyone else -- to merge multiple data points into one or more "emergent" qualities. The multiple becomes the one. Hence scaling-up is a version of the fundamental law of the analog, the Rule of One (2→1). And, for this, scale deserves a place in the Analog Hall of Fame.

taken from here

Foto: Stefan Paulus

Meillassoux at the Googleplex Thu, 09 Jan 2020 09:37:27 +0000

I've been thinking about the old maxim "correlation is not causation." Skeptics tend to push a strong interpretation of the maxim. The skeptics say significance doesn't emanate from behavior; the phenomena of the world refuse to furnish their own meaning. Working scientists on the other hand tend to be more pragmatic. Scientists usually understood it more as an admonition than a prohibition. A scientist might say that assigning causes to effects is okay, just be sure that the linkage is valid. Correlation might be causation, says the scientist, provided that two measurements are indeed causally related.

How different clustering algorithms perform against six sample data sets

For a long time prior to the Twentieth Century, the skeptic's prohibition was dominant. In the Eighteenth Century, David Hume famously argued that there's no way to link definitively a set of input events with a set of consequences. If two things tend to happen together we might say there is a "constant conjunction" between them, but, beyond that, there's no way to say they are linked through a cause. So while "correlation is not causation" has a specific, practical meaning (don't extract inappropriate conclusions from data), it also has a more general Humean meaning (data will only ever be constant conjunction, nothing more).

Later, with the turn to probability and statistics in the Twentieth Century -- consider for example the importance of probability in quantum mechanics -- the Humean consensus began to unravel. It's not that Hume's problem was solved. On the contrary, no human has yet invented a cause-effect detector. Rather, Hume's problem was rendered obsolete by practical circumstance. People simply stopped caring; they stopped worrying about whether truth was logical. In fact they stopped caring about truth.

Today's data scientists and AI researchers are, in a sense, radical Humeans, in that they still haven't produced any scientific proof (mechanical, logical, or otherwise) for linking a cause to an effect. Nevertheless such scientists act as if they are anti-Humeans. They assert positive conclusions based on correlation and correlation alone.

Overheard at the Googleplex: no, we don't believe in "cause" any more, at least not in the metaphysical sense; but, if we did believe in it, correlation most certainly *is* causation. Indeed, Google's whole business model -- along with Amazon and scores of companies like them -- relies on the fact that correlation is causation, or at least that correlation is meaningful. Wendy Chun has traced this development back to a paper by Paul Lazarsfeld and Robert Merton from 1954 where they put forward the notion of "homophily," or the tendency to prefer those similar to oneself. Since then, "being similar" -- which is to say correlation -- has swelled in significance, and the notion that correlation might be mere arbitrary conjunction has nearly collapsed. If a data point is "near" another data point, such nearness is considered significant. Nearness is enough now. Similarity equals significance.

(As Chun and others have pointed out, network science has also been frequently used to model segregation in populations. So this isn't just an abstract discussion unconnected from real political consequences. The same is true for cellular automata simulations, for instance in Axtell and Epstein's book Growing Artificial Societies [1996].)

Technically speaking, things like "meaning" or "cause" are excised from the data paradigm; they are just nonsense words in that discourse. Under the data science paradigm, meaning has become a pragmatic question. "Meaning" means, roughly, "does it do the things we want?" If so, the outcome is retroactively termed "meaningful" or "caused" or "intelligent" or what have you.

All this raises the hackles of humanists, since humanists are supposed to care about things like meaning. And indeed humanists have raised lots of objections when it comes to the foundations and implementation of data science. (For the most part, many scientists simply ignore these objections, which is frustrating. We read them but they rarely read us.) I would summarize the meaning problem in the following way. First, no one in the history of humanity (!) has yet figured out a way to mechanize meaning. If they had we'd know about it already. Of course machines are very good at doing certain things. They can store and retrieve numbers. They can add and subtract. They can implement logical operations. But no one has yet patented a Meaning Machine. (The reasons for this are complex: the success of formalism in early-twentieth-century mathematics is one part of the story; Claude Shannon's information theory is another; the definition of the monad in Leibniz or Euclid is yet another.) So we have a problem with meaning and signification more generally, namely that machines aren't very good at it, at least not by themselves.

These objections aside, it struck me that someone like Quentin Meillassoux would have an even stronger rejoinder to the data science model. I don't know if he has written about it, but for Meillassoux correlation is certainly not causation, and in fact correlation isn't even correlation! His is a kind of hyper-Humean position in which, first, the data of nature are contingent -- no surprise there -- but also, second, the very laws of coherent nature are contingent as well (even prior to the thorny question of "interpretation").

Consider Meillassoux's so-called principle of unreason, that "there is no reason for anything to be or to remain the way it is" (After Finitude, 60). The reference here is to the principle of sufficient reason (PSR), one of the mainstays of philosophy going back to Leibniz and indeed further to the ancients. The PSR is typically given as a lurid narrative of origins: "a reason why"; I take the essence of the PSR slightly differently to mean the coincidence of being and thinking, or, if you like, the coincidence of being and relating. Not so much "a reason why," the essence of the PSR entails an even more basic claim, that being and thinking ought to coincide at all. (I want to reduce the PSR in this way because I consider cause, reason, and relation all to be of the same basic type, the type called "thinking.") Meillassoux's principle of unreason directly attacks the PSR by claiming that there need not be a reason why, not a cause at all. In fact it's even more extreme than that: no reason why, but also the impossibility of ever having a coherent reason, of ever finding necessity within being. Thus if the classical position entails "a reason why," Meillassoux's position is "for no reason."

(Meillassoux is a virtuoso on the page, most certainly, although his project is just garden variety nihilism taken to the n-th degree. One's affection for Meillassoux will thus hinge on one's interest in nihilism. Personally I'm a fan, except that nihilism doesn't work all by itself. Nihilism must always be supplemented by a complementary expression of re-enchantment and intensity, be it romanticism, poetic creativity, the force of will, or something else.)

I take two things from this. First, while Meillassoux most certainly endorses a strong mathematical model (see After Finitude, 3, 11, 26, and passim), the version of mathematical absolutism he proposes undercuts the ability for data science to make definitive claims. If a clustering algorithm can't show causation, and can't even show correlation -- no matter how neatly it clusters a set of data points -- then what is it good for? (Two cheers for Meillassoux.)

Second is something I've said before but it's worth saying again: the digital does not exist without the principle of sufficient reason. The coincidence of being and relation -- whether proven or taken on faith -- is a natural precondition for the digital. This is evident in the foundations of arithmetic and in many other places. Which means if you're seeking the digital, look for evidence of the PSR, that is, look for a substrate in which relation coheres. In the reverse sense, if you're seeking to eliminate the digital, look for some condition in which relation does not cohere. There are many examples of the latter, the most well known being analog anti-philosophy, the non-standard method, and dialectics.

At the same time Elie Ayache's The Blank Swan might be worth considering since he specifically discusses new technologies (via fintech), and since he has taken Meillassoux in new directions. I'm not yet sure...

taken from here

Foto: Bernhard Weber

Globale Governance Wed, 08 Jan 2020 12:21:12 +0000

Es ist heute leicht einzusehen, dass im Zuge der Implementierung neoliberaler Strategien der Staat in seiner Funktion als Gewährleistungsorgan des sozialen Friedens und des Kompromisses zwischen den Klassen immer weiter eingeschränkt wird, während die verschiedenen Funktionsweisen der sozialen Polizei Schritt für Schritt intensiviert werden. Es ist zu berücksichtigen, dass die soziale Polizei nicht ausschließlich durch die repressiven Staatsorgane exekutiert wird, sondern auch neue Einsatzorgane, Kontrolltechniken und Regierungskünste erfordert, zu denen unter anderem auch zivilgesellschaftliche Einrichtungen, institutionell abgestützte Sozialtechnologien und eine Vielzahl von privatisierten Evaluationsmechanismen gehören. Der Staat muss heute die Bevölkerung umfassend registrieren und sie damit erstarren lassen, er muss sie aber auch ständig mobilisieren sowie die Kontrolle der Arbeitsmärkte, der Arbeitskräfte und der Bevölkerung insgesamt immer intensiver polizeilich absichern. Warum ist das so?

Das gegenwärtige imperialistische Weltsystem generiert, wie wir kurz skizziert haben, ständig sich verschiebende Reibungen und Konflikte zwischen den Nationalstaaten, dem Finanzsystem und den multinationalen Unternehmen im Rahmen einer ineinandergreifenden Matrix, dessen Zentralnervensystem das Finanzsystem darstellt. Der Staat ist in den kapitalistischen Kernländern gezwungen, gerade deshalb verstärkt seine Funktion als soziale Polizei auszufüllen, weil bestimmte Effekte der Globalisierung zumindest in diesen Ländern die Stagnation des ökonomischen Wachstums und Krisenprozesse begünstigt und damit die Möglichkeiten, den Klassenkonflikt über den Sozialstaat zu befrieden, geschwächt haben. Andererseits kann der Staat selbst als soziale Polizei nur dann effektiv funktionieren, wenn er als nationaler und kollektiver (ideeller) Gesamtkapitalist die Aufrechterhaltung des ökonomisches Binnenwachstums so weit wie möglich unterstützt. Die imperiale Globalisierung lässt die Bedingungen, die es dem Staat erlauben, gleichzeitig als soziale Polizei (fürsorglich und repressiv zugleich) und als nationaler, ideeller Gesamtkapitalist (Ausgleich der Klassenkonflikte über den Sozialstaat) zu fungieren, zunehmend erodieren.

Wohl können die Regierungen ihre Rolle als nationaler, ideeller Gesamtkapitalist nicht ganz aufgeben und auch deswegen müssen sie das ökonomische Wachstum mit allen möglichen Mitteln anzutreiben versuchen, damit die soziale Kohäsion der kapitalistischen Gesellschaftsformation nicht gefährdet wird. Dafür gibt es aber heute eine Reihe von Begrenzungen. Das multinationale und finanzielle Kapital verstärkt, indem es die Prozesse der Liberalisierung und der globalen Geldkapitalflüsse weiter exekutiert, die Tendenz zur ökonomischen Depression der »Realwirtschaft« (nicht auf der Ebene des Gesamtkapitals) und zur Verarmung von Bevölkerungsteilen in den kapitalistischen Metropolen. Damit fehlen dem Staat zum einen Mittel, um das soziale Arrangements zu organisieren, zum anderen können die sozialen Konflikte zumindest tendenziell dort auch in Zukunft wieder verschärft auftreten, sodass die Staaten heute schon allein aus Gründen der Prävention und der Kybernetisierung der sozialen Konflikte stärker als soziale Polizei agieren müssen. Obgleich man doch annehmen sollte, dass den neoliberalen Strategien der Flexibilisierung der Arbeitskräfte, der Propaganda der Kreativarbeit und der libertären Singularisierung kultureller Politiken speziell bei den Mittelklassen ausschließlich weiche Kontrollsysteme, Selbsttechnologien und flexible Governancepolitiken entsprechen sollten, die sich durch soziale Netzwerke, gegenseitige Überwachung in den Bürgerfabriken, Psychologisierung und Physiotherapie, Urbanisierung und Event-Industrie auszeichnen, ist dem nicht so. Zwar sind diese weichen Phänomene, Techniken und Praktiken nicht verschwunden, ganz im Gegenteil, aber sie werden durch die Mechanismen der sozialen Polizei zunehmend überlagert. Wir verstehen hier den Begriff der Polizei ähnlich wie Foucault in einem weiten Sinne, nämlich als ein repressives Verwaltungssystem, dessen Kontrollsysteme tief in die Arbeits- und Lebensweisen der Bevölkerung eindringen, und somit als eine spezifische Form der Governance. Allerdings wird der Staat durch die Ausweitung der privatisierten Macht- und Regierungstechniken keineswegs bedeutungslos oder geht in einem Netz von regierenden Instanzen auf, wie dies Foucault annimmt. Dass viele Einrichtungen und Institutionen des Staates (Schulen, Universitäten, Krankenhäuser usw.) inzwischen wie private Unternehmen funktionieren, verweist nicht nur auf die Schwächung der politischen Autonomie des Staates, sondern erfordert eben gerade aufgrund der Zurichtung der Arbeitskräfte eine intensivere Implementierung der sozialen Polizei in das soziale Feld, zumal die Regierungen keine expansiven Geld- und Fiskalpolitiken mehr durchführen können, um etwa die Vollbeschäftigung zu garantieren oder den Sozialstaat auf einem für die Bevölkerung zufrieden stellenden Niveau aufrechtzuerhalten. Die Regierungen können schließlich nur noch mit »workfarepolicies« an den einheimischen Märkten reagieren, womit der Staat eben in seiner Funktion als soziale Polizei immens an Bedeutung gewinnt.

In der langen Phase der neoliberalen Umstrukturierung seit den 1980er Jahren wurde der »Welfare State« nach und nach durch den »Workfare State« ersetzt, d. h. durch ein neues politisches Modell der herrschenden Klassen, mit dem die alte Sozialpolitik umgestaltet und dem Ziel unterordnet wurde, die Fluktuation der Arbeitskräfte an den Arbeitsmärkten flexibler und zugleich restriktiver zu gestalten, den Rückgang der industriellen Beschäftigung durch einen Niedriglohnsektor im Servicebereich zu absorbieren und die Einkommen zugunsten der Profite und zu Ungunsten der Löhne umzuverteilen. Die neoliberale Austeritätspolitik ist eine Strategie zur Senkung der Kosten der Unternehmen, indem insbesondere die Lohnkosten reduziert, die Profite pro Arbeitseinheit angehoben und damit die Profitraten gesteigert werden. Sie wird von einer Ökonomie der Finanzialisierung (und der institutionellen Wandlungen) begleitet, welche sowohl die Mobilität des Kapitals als auch die Macht des Finanzsektors, der Manager und der Shareholder erhöhen, während zugleich eben die sozialen Rechte beschnitten und die Löhne weiter Teile der Bevölkerung gekürzt werden, wobei selbst in den Metropolen ein Teil der Bevölkerung aus den offiziellen Arbeitsmärkten ganz herausfällt und als Teil der globalen Surplus-Bevölkerung zu gelten hat. Signifikant hat die Politik der EZB im Fall Griechenlands gezeigt, dass für Staaten, die vorübergehend nicht genügend Liquidität besitzen, um die Halter ihrer Staatsanleihen zu bedienen, die drastische Reduktion des Sozialstaates eine notwendige Bedingung für ihre finanzielle Solvenz ist. Griechenland ist ein Labor, in dem sich das neoliberale Experiment der Austeritätspolitik in aller Deutlichkeit anzeigt, nämlich als die Governance des zivilen Bürgerkriegs, der auf Lohnkürzungen und Entlassungen im öffentlichen Sektor setzt, auf die Ausweitung kurzfristiger Leiharbeit und die Aufhebung des Kündigungsschutzes, die Erhöhung der Mehrwertsteuer und die Heraufsetzung des Rentenalters, Privatisierungsmaßnahmen usw.

Der Widerspruch, der heute auf globaler Ebene zwischen der Bewegungsfreiheit der Zahlungsversprechen und Geldkapitalströme einerseits und der begrenzten und regulierten Mobilität der Bevölkerungsströme andererseits besteht, bedarf gerade hinsichtlich des letzteren Moments unbedingt effektiver und effizienter Apparate der Kontrolle und der Regulation (differenzierte Migrationspolitiken), denen gegenwärtig in Folge der spezifischen Reorganisation der Staatsapparate durchaus eine faschistische Tendenz innewohnt. Vor allem vor dem Hintergrund, dass gerade die Strategien des totalen ökonomischen Krieges, die mit den Mitteln der Kapitalisierung gegenwärtig durchgesetzt werden, den Regierungen vieler Länder keine andere Möglichkeit lassen als den vom Kapital geforderten strukturellen Anpassungen bedingungslos nachzukommen, die eben auch kalte Strategien umfassen, die der IWF schon seit den 1970er Jahren insbesondere in Krisenländern implementiert hat. Heute wird die global finanzialisierte Akkumulation von einem Kontinuum blutiger und unblutiger Kriege begleitet, die sich von Europa über die Türkei und den Nahen Osten bis nach Afghanistan ausbreiten.

In den Bestrebungen der staatlichen Reorganisation sind ständige Friktionen und Reibungen zu beobachten, weil der Staat weiterhin in seinen beiden Funktionen der sozialen Polizei und - wenn auch abgeschwächt - des ideellen Gesamtkapitalisten fungieren muss, insbesondere wenn eben der Service für die multinationalen und finanziellen Unternehmen weiter bedient werden soll. Umgekehrt bedürfen die multinationalen Unternehmen nach wie vor der großen Staatsmächte, um an den Weltmärkten bestehen zu können. Der führende imperialistische Staat muss über seine nationale Politik hinaus drei Funktionen der globalen Governance (für die multinationalen Unternehmen und die Weltökonomie insgesamt) erfüllen können: Die Funktion als globaler Sheriff, als globaler Banker und als Treiber der Kapitalakkumulation. (Vgl. Screpanti 2014: 157f.) Alle drei Funktionen werden heute nach wie vor, wenn auch in zunehmend abgeschwächtem Maße, von den USA übernommen. Für die Ausführung der Funktion des globalen Sheriffs durch den führenden Staat wird eine enorme militärische Macht benötigt (der Militärhaushalt der USA hat im Jahr 2018 die Höhe von 716 Milliarden Dollar), um insbesondere diejenigen Länder zu disziplinieren, die der Globalisierung und der US-Dominanz zu widerstehen versuchen und ihre Märkte nicht ohne Weiteres dem multinationalen Kapital öffnen. Die zweite Funktion, die des globalen Bankers, inkludiert den Besitz und die Anwendung des gesamten Arsenals der finanziellen Instrumente, beispielsweise die Implementierung einer Währung, die als Reserve- und Leitwährung auf dem Globus fungiert, um u. a. die Aufrechterhaltung des internationalen Zahlungsverkehrs und der Währungsreserven zu gewährleisten. Die Vorherrschaft der US-Finanzindustrie und des Dollars beruht auf dem weltweit eng verflochtenen Netzwerk der privaten Banken, der Hedgefonds und der Finanzmärkte, dessen Kernorte die Wall Street und die City of London sind. Dieses Netzwerk zeichnete in seiner strukturellen Dynamik dann auch für die Finanzkrise von 2008 verantwortlich, denn es war weniger eine sich entfaltende Krise am Immobilienmarkt, die beispielsweise Lehman Brothers ins Straucheln brachte, sondern es waren die antizipierenden Aktionen der Banken auf ihre Schieflagen, die den Interbanken-Markt zusammenbrechen ließen, sowie die Herabstufung verbriefter Hypotheken und der auf sie bezogenen Derivate. Letzteres löst eine Welle von Nachschussforderungen in Gestalt von neuen Sicherheiten aus, die für die in ihrer Bonität zurückgestuften Hypotheken verlangt wurden und in ihrer Milliardenhöhe brachten sie selbst Unternehmensgiganten wie den Versicherungskonzern American International Group (AIG) ins Wanken. Die staatlichen Interventionen nach der Finanzkrise von 2008 bekräftigten derart noch einmal die dominante Rolle des Dollars und der US-Zentralbank. Die dritte Funktion ist die des Treibers der nationalen und internationalen Kapitalakkumulation und des ökonomischen Wachstums. Da die Kapitalakkumulation vor allem in den Schwellenländern, aber auch in Ländern wie Deutschland und Japan, nach wie vor durch Exporte forciert wird, muss eine starke Ökonomie am Weltmarkt existieren, die in enormem Ausmaß Importe absorbieren und durch die Erhöhung ihrer Importe sogar selbst wachsen kann. Dies war bisher bei den USA der Fall, die dieses Procedere über die Ausweitung ihrer privaten und öffentlichen Verschuldung finanziert haben. Die Größe des BIP und dessen Gewicht an den Weltmärkten hat es den USA zudem erlaubt, expansive Geld- und Fiskalpolitiken zu implementieren, die durch externe Limitationen an den Weltmärkten kaum begrenzt wurden. Die USA können bis heute noch immer das eigene Handelsdefizit finanzieren, weil der Dollar eben die internationale Leit- und Reservewährung ist. Unter diesen Bedingungen führte die expansive Geldpolitik der USA zur Kreation einer aggregierten Nachfrage für die eigene Bevölkerung und den Rest der Welt. Die Möglichkeit einer nahezu grenzenlosen Erweiterung des Geldangebots durch die US-Notenbank Fed erlaubte es zudem, die notwendigen Militärausgaben zu tätigen, um die Rolle des globalen Sheriffs weiterhin zu übernehmen. Die Umsetzung dieser drei Funktionen dient schließlich vor allem dazu, die Interessen des US-Kapitals zu befriedigen. Der US-Imperialismus kann sie heute allerdings immer weniger erfüllen.

Das internationale Finanzsystem, das nach wir vor unter der Dominanz der US-Finanzindustrie steht, »steuert« heute die globalisierte Produktion, die transnationale Teilung der Arbeit (globale Produktionsnetzwerke) und staatliche Politiken, was bezüglich der letzteren zu neuen Grenzziehungen, Restrukturierungen und Interaktionen in den politischen Aktivitäten führt, während die Finance jeder effektiven Regulierung selbst auf der Ebene der einheimischen Märkte entkommt. Die durch das finanzielle Kapital kaprizierte globale Unsicherheit schafft nun aber gerade die Bedingungen und die Notwendigkeit einer Sicherheits-Governance der kapitalistischen Staaten. Mit jedem auftretenden Zeichen der Erschöpfung des ökonomischen Systems zeigt sich die Instabilität als ein permanentes Phänomen an, auf das man unter anderem mit der weiteren Militarisierung und Technologisierung der Staatsapparate reagiert. All die staatlichen Rekonstruktionen und Re-Organisierungen sind heute ökonomisch-finanziell überformt, doch umgekehrt benötigt das Management des Geldkapitals nach wie vor zentralisierte Institutionen, die effiziente Entscheidungen treffen können, um instabile Situationen zu reparieren.

Das Verhältnis zwischen Staat und Kapital führt heute zu ständigen Reibungen zwischen den geopolitischen Ambitionen der Staaten und den ökonomischen Interessen des multinationalen Kapitals. So generieren die geopolitischen Ambitionen der großen Staatsmächte zwischenstaatliche Rivalitäten, andererseits benötigen die multinationalen Unternehmen aber gerade eine Befriedung der Rivalitäten zwischen den Staaten, eine möglichst reibungsfreie reguläre Ausübung der drei Funktionen der Governance, vor allem den Einsatz der ökonomischen und militärischen Macht der großen imperialistischen Staaten, um die Weltmärkte weiter offen zu halten und insbesondere die Länder in der Peripherie zu disziplinieren. Die Dominanz der multinationalen Unternehmen realisiert zum Teil die kapitalistische Vorstellung eines minimalen Staates, was aber keineswegs dessen Abstinenz bedeutet, vielmehr wird lediglich die Potenz des Staates, den nationalen ideellen Kapitalisten zu spielen, etwas reduziert, während er sich gleichzeitig den Operationen der großen multinationalen Konzerne und der Finance mittels der Intensivierung seiner Rolle als soziale Polizei anpasst.1

Wo die Kapitalakkumulation als solche bedroht ist, wie nach der Finanzkrise von 2008 der Fall, bleibt auch den Regierungen der Kernländer keine andere Alternative als die Akkumulation des Kapitals mit allen nur möglichen Mitteln in Gang zu halten, weil sie sonst selbst ihren Betrieb einstellen müssten – und das bedeutet in der Epoche des fiktiven und spekulativen Kapitals nichts weiter als die massive Stützung des Finanzsystems und seiner Renditen und gleichzeitig die weitere Forcierung der Austeritätspolitik. Die sozialdemokratische Vorstellung von einer Wiederbelebung der keynesianischen Regulationspolitik entbehrt jetzt jeder Grundlage, bestand diese doch darin, in einem nationalstaatlichen rahmen die Rentabilität des in der »Realökonomie« investierten Kapitals zu verbessern, während die Renditen der Finanzanlagen abgesenkt werden sollten. Zwar lassen sich in Ländern, die noch zu den wenigen Krisengewinnern gehören, insbesondere Deutschland, durchaus einige sozialrechtliche Standards aufrechterhalten und sogar einzelne sozialstaatliche Verbesserungen durchsetzen (Mindestlohn), doch ihr punktueller Charakter und ihre sehr eingeschränkte Wirkung verweisen darauf, dass für ein umfassendes reformistisches Programm der Sozialdemokratie heute keine Grundlage mehr existiert. Und da die Ursachen hierfür in der historischen Dynamik und der Krisenlogik des Kapitals auf globaler Ebene selbst zu suchen sind, lässt sich diese Grundlage auch nicht durch den Versuch einer Stärkung der nationalen Souveränität wiederherstellen.

Ganz allgemein lässt sich sagen, dass der Staat das Kapital vor allem über das Geld erreichen kann, was allerdings stets eine Verzögerung mit sich bringt, sodass der Staat niemals in der Echtzeit des Kapitals operieren und es auch nicht einholen wird, womit ein weiteres Mal keynesianische Strategien, die die Behebung des Akkumulationsproblems über die Erhöhung der aggregierten Nachfrage anvisieren, ihre Schranke finden. In der Phase der Dominanz des finanziellen Kapitals, in der sich die Dynamik der Geldkapitalflüsse in Ermangelung hinreichender Profitraten in der »Realökonomie« an die Finanzmärkte verlagert hat, sind nicht nur Staat und Politik weitgehend zu einer abhängigen Variable des finanziellen Kapitals geworden, sondern auch Teile des industriellen Kapitals. Während das im Finanzsystem angelegte fiktive und spekulative Kapital in Nanosekunden um den Globus zirkuliert, lassen sich industrielle Standorte trotz transnationaler Produktionsstrukturen, digitalisierter Logistikketten und flexibilisierter Zuliefernetzwerke nicht in Echtzeit verlagern. Oder, um es noch einmal anders zu sagen, während für die Akkumulation des finanziellen Kapitals der Weltmarkt zu einer unmittelbaren Umgebung geworden ist, die in Nanosekunden durchquert werden kann, bleiben Teile des Industriekapitals und des mittleren Kapitals trotz der prinzipiellen Exportmöglichkeit auf das nationale Territorium beschränkt.

Der Prozess der finanzialisierten Kapitalisierung begann in den 1980er Jahren, als die Barrieren und Grenzen für die Kapitalmobilität immer weiter abgebaut wurden, sodass die globalen Kapitalflüsse von etwa fünf Prozent des weltweiten Bruttoinlandsprodukts Mitte der 1990er Jahre auf über zwanzig Prozent im Jahr 2007 gestiegen sind. Damit sind sie dreimal schneller angestiegen als die weltweiten Warenströme. Allerdings gilt diese freie Geldkapitalmobilität eben nur für die Einzelkapitale und nicht für das (nationale) Gesamtkapital, das als übergeordnete Gesamtkomplexion die Bedingungen für die Einzelkapitale setzt. Da das Gesamtkapital kein Ding ist und als dominantes Produktionsverhältnis nicht ins Ausland geschickt werden kann, es also immobil und nationalstaatlich verfasst ist, wird zuweilen argumentiert, es fehle der obigen Darstellung die Berechtigung. (Vgl. Milios 2018) Aber: Die nationalstaatliche Verfasstheit des Gesamtkapitals führt zwar nach wie vor zu Grenzen innerhalb der globalen Zirkulationsräume, die sich etwa in der Verschiedenheit der nationalen Währungen bzw. im Fehlen einer gemeinsamen internationalen Währung anzeigen, aber der virtuell-transzendentale Charakter des Gesamtkapitals lässt es nicht zu, dieses in erster Linie räumlich zu denken. Die multinationalen Unternehmen können heute diese Grenzen durchbrechen und modifizieren damit auch die Wirkungskraft des jeweiligen nationalen Gesamtkapitals. Diese Art der lokalen Reduktion und Standortfixierung betrifft auch den Staat in seinen Handlungsweisen und Zugriffsmöglichkeiten, die weitgehend auf das nationalstaatliche Territorium beschränkt bleiben und sich daher in einer strukturell bedingten Position der Abhängigkeit gegenüber dem multinationalen Kapital und der Finance befinden. Dabei wird der Staat aber längst nicht in all seinen Entscheidungsbefugnissen durch das Kapital determiniert, und gerade solange das Kapital auf einem gewissen Level akkumuliert und zugleich das gesamtwirtschaftliche Wachstum in einem Land vorantreibt, besitzen Staaten durchaus auch noch wirtschaftspolitische Handlungskapazitäten.

Der soziale Einfluss des Neoliberalismus geht im Kontext seiner »self-fulfilling prophecy« gerade hinsichtlich der Kalkulation und Monetarisierung der Risiken dahin, eine Situation allgemeiner Unsicherheit aufrechtzuerhalten und zugleich zu kontrollieren, indem zugleich politische Strategien, die darin bestehen, Furcht und Unsicherheit zu erzeugen, möglichst breit in den Bevölkerungen gestreut und gleichzeitig die ökonomischen Bedingungen bestimmter Teile der Bevölkerung immer weiter verschlechtert werden (sozusagen als Strafe für eine unzureichende Beachtung und Bearbeitung der Risiken). Es geht hier um eine neue Governance der zivilen Kriegsführung, die durch konstante Sicherheitskampagnen gegen die vorgeblich omnipräsente Unsicherheit geführt wird. Dabei wird die alte Souveränität des Staates nicht wieder hergestellt wird, sondern es entsteht ein Staat der flexibilisierten Biopolitik und der sozialen Polizei, der zwar immer noch auf weiche Formen des sozialen Friedens zurückgreift (Stadtpolitik, kulturelle Einrichtungen, Betreuungsstätten usw.), die allerdings von kriegerischen, thanatotischen Politiken begleitet werden. In diesen fungiert die Bevölkerung insoweit als Objekt der Biopolitik, als sie den Logiken des finanziellen Kapitals und den repressiven Politiken des Staates total unterworfen wird, sodass in dieser Hinsicht keinerlei Unterschied mehr zwischen der Zeit des Friedens und der des Krieges besteht. Diese Art des friedlichen Krieges ist fraktal, d. h. der Krieg reproduziert sich selbst auf unbestimmte Zeit und immer mit demselben Modell, aber unter verschiedenen Modalitäten und auf verschiedenen Ebenen der Realität.

Der relative Verlust der Souveränität der Nationalstaaten, ihre Unterordnung unter ökonomische und finanzielle Politiken des großen Kapitals, die Reduktion der Parlamente auf Vollzugsorgane der Exekutive und neue Formen der Governance intensivieren sich in ihrer gegenseitigen Durchdringung und in ihren vielfältigen Aspekten schon seit den 1970er Jahren. Das juristisch-politische Modell des Staates und seine keynesianischen Politiken erlaubten es nach der weltweiten Krise von 1973 nicht länger, die ökonomischen Krisenprozesse abzufedern oder gar zu steuern, sodass die neoliberalen Strategien des Kapitals, welche auch eine Rekonfiguration der Modalitäten der Organisation, der Regierungsführung und der Administration der Staaten implizierten, eben keinesfalls aus dem Nichts kamen. Dabei gilt zu bedenken, dass die keynesianisch inspirierten wirtschaftspolitischen Interventionen nicht primär auf der Souveränität der Nationalstaaten beruhten, sondern hauptsächlich aufgrund des auf industrieller Massenarbeit und Massenkonsum beruhenden Fordismus relativ souverän durchgesetzt werden konnten.

Mit Poulantzas und seinen Ende der 1970er Jahre veröffentlichten Analysen zum autoritären Etatismus bzw. zum interventionistischen Staat lässt feststellen, dass die ökonomischen Funktionen des Staates eindeutig eine dominante Stellung in der staatlichen Politik besitzen, und dies äußert sich darin, dass die Interventionen des Staates darauf angelegt sind, sämtliche Staatsapparate im Hinblick auf ihre ökonomischen Funktionen hin zu reorganisieren. (Poulantzas 1978: 153) Beispiel sind neben den staatlichen Interventionen mittels Geld- und Fiskalpolitik und deren Einbindung in die Reproduktionsverläufe des Kapitals die ökonomische Umstrukturierung des Bildungs- und Gesundheitswesens, des Städtebaus und der Qualifikation und Reproduktion der Arbeitskraft, die Erstellung neuer Raum- und Zeitmatrizes in den Apparaten, die Verstärkung der repressiv-ideologischen Maßnahmen und die hochtechnologischen neuen Überwachungsmechanismen.

David Harvey nennt die Bereitstellung staatlicher Leistungen für das Kapital das »fixe Kapital der selbstständigen Form« bzw. den »sekundären Kapitalkreislauf« (vgl. Wiegand 2013: 42). Stellt der Staat diese Systeme und Infrastrukturen bereit, so werden über längere Zeitraume größere Geldmittel, Maschinen und Arbeitskräfte gebunden, die Produktivität der Ökonomie wird meistens erhöht, die effektive Nachfrage stimuliert und unter Umstanden erzeugen hier einzelne Unternehmen auch Mehrwert (bei Nutzungsentgelten), wobei aber die hierfür notwendigen staatlichen Ausgaben in Form von Steuern und Abgaben zu einem großen Teil aus den Revenuen der Ökonomie bezahlt werden. Dies konterkariert wiederum in gewissem Maß die positive Wirkung auf die Ökonomie, weil der Staat eben Profite und Einkommen besteuert und damit das Kapital mit Abzügen belastet. Allerdings können über die permanente Emission von Staatsanleihen, die ohne das finanzielle Kapital nicht möglich ist, neue Kapitalkreisläufe eröffnet werden, das heißt damit können in höherem Maß langfristige Investitionen in physische und soziale Infrastrukturen stattfinden. Die im sekundären Kapitalkreislauf getätigten Investitionen, die über das Finanzsystem vermittelt werden, sind damit Teil der allgemeinen Kapitalzirkulation. Für Harvey sind die Investitionen in physische (sekundärer Kapitalkreislauf) und soziale Infrastrukturen (tertiärer Kapitalkreislauf: Bildung, Forschung, Gesundheit etc.) zumindest potenziell produktiv, aber dies nicht in erster Linie deswegen, weil durch diese Staatsausgaben einzelne Unternehmen Mehrwert produzieren, sondern weil diese die Produktivität der Ökonomie insgesamt erhöhen und damit zugleich die Bedingungen für die primären industriellen Kapitalkreisläufe verbessert werden. Zudem bleiben die staatlichen Investitionen über die Emission von Staatsanleihen in die Zirkulation des finanziellen Kapitals integriert.

Der Staat schafft aber auch neue Märkte, die keineswegs spontan entstehen. Vielmehr müssen die Märkte für Wasser, Bildung und Gesundheit mittels materieller, technologischer und rechtlicher Gefüge, die der Staat bereitstellt, erst geschaffen werden. Diese Art der Ausweitung der staatlichen Funktionen kann die Abhängigkeit des Staates von ökonomischen Konjunkturen und Akkumulationsprozessen verstärken, wobei die Bedeutung der staatlichen Interventionen jetzt auch darin liegt, die dominanten Diskurse der Wirtschaftspolitik in Richtung eines neuen Technokratismus, der als Garant für Wachstum und Wohlstand gilt, zu verschieben. Dieser Einfluss des Ökonomischen zeigt sich auch in den verschiedenen Staatsapparaten selbst, sei es auf zentraler, regionaler oder lokaler Ebene, die alle mit Ausschüssen und Gremien, welche permanent ökonomische Effizienzvorgaben tätigen, infiltriert werden.2

1Die offensiven Strategien des Kapitals und seiner Repräsentanten setzen heute unter anderem darauf, die Politiker durch Lobbyarbeit sowie durch die monetäre Unterstützung und Kontrolle der Parteien zu beeinflussen. Dies geschieht am intensivsten in den entwickelten Ländern, wo auch wichtige Organisationsteile der multinationalen Unternehmen sich befinden. Man findet hier oft enge personelle Verbindungen zwischen dem Regierungspersonal und den Repräsentanten der Unternehmen. In den USA ist diese Verflechtung so weit fortgeschritten, dass viele Beobachter von einer Dominanz der Kapitalrepräsentanten gegenüber dem Staatspersonal sprechen.

In den Ländern der Peripherie hingegen, wohin die multinationalen Unternehmen Teile ihrer Produktionsstätten ausgelagert haben, gibt es vor allem zwei Möglichkeiten, politischen Druck auf die dortigen Regierungen auszuüben. Die erste Strategie wird durch Verhandlungen vorangetrieben, vor allem wenn es um ausländische Investitionen und Technologietransfers geht, und mit der zweiten Strategie wird schlicht und einfach mit dem Abzug von Investments gedroht. Viele dieser Länder sind von der industriellen Produktion noch weitgehend abgeschnitten und deshalb einfach hungrig nach Kapital. Insofern diese Länder in einem starken Konkurrenzkampf um ausländische Investments stehen und selbst die finanziellen Mittel kaum besitzen, um zu investieren, werden sie besonders leicht von den multinationalen Unternehmen dominiert, denen sie günstige Zugangsbedingungen zu ihren einheimischen Märkten offerieren müssen: Niedrige Löhne, die Legalisierung der Super-Exploitation, Umweltpolitiken zur Externalisierung der Kosten der Luftverschmutzung und anderer Problematiken sowie günstige Steuerbedingungen.

2Die strukturelle Anpassung des Staates an die Kapitalinteressen führt dazu, dass die Exekutive, die Bürokratie und die Verwaltung gegenüber der Legislative und den Parteien weiter an Einfluss, Bedeutung und Macht gewinnen. Warum ist das aber so? Auf einer ganz allgemeinen Ebene lässt sich zunächst folgendermaßen antworten: Weil es sich sowohl bei der Kapitalisierung als auch bei der Bürokratisierung um autokatalytische Prozesse handelt. Man bezeichnet eine chemische Reaktion als autokatalytisch, wenn das Produkt einer Reaktion ein Katalysator für dieselbe oder eine ähnliche Reaktion ist. Beispielsweise haben Kreditoperationen exakt diese Eigenschaft, weil der Kredit eine Operation ist, die wiederum Grundlage für weitere Kreditoperationen ist, wobei die Notwendigkeit dieser autoreferenziellen Bewegung auf den Zins zurückzuführen ist. Ohne den Zins gäbe es zum einen keine Kreditoperationen und zum anderen erzeugt er das Begehren für Kreditierungen immer wieder, zumal diese Prozesse Risiken implizieren, die wiederum durch weitere Kreditoperationen gemanagt werden müssen, sodass das Kreditsystem trotz seiner Unendlichkeitsvision operational geschlossen bleibt. Es expandiert dennoch chaotisch, aber eben in autokatalytischer Form, wobei stets eine »Cre-Order« des Chaos existiert, und zwar durch die differenzielle Akkumulation, die von diejenigen realisiert wird, die involviert sind. (Die Kapitalisierung ist ebenfalls operational geschlossen, und wenn Probleme auftauchen, dann heißt die Lösung noch mehr Kapitalisierung.) Und ähnliche Mechanismen tauchen eben mit der Bürokratie auf, denn neue bürokratische Regeln oder neue bürokratische Organisationen werden durch die Bürokratie selbst erzeugt und erfordern ein spezifisch bürokratisches Management. So ist auch die bürokratische Logik im obigen Sinne geschlossen: Bürokratien erzeugen ein Interesse an sich selbst und somit neue Bürokratien, ja darüber hinaus erzeugen die Irrationalitäten der Bürokratien das Bedürfnis für die Schaffung von Generationen neuer Bürokratien.

Foto: Stefan Paulus

Logic and the Politics of Prevention Wed, 08 Jan 2020 10:06:01 +0000

In general, prevention is immanent to a specific time schedule. If the present future, which refers to what is expected of the future, and the future present, which designates that future that will actually occur, are not congruent, then, if one looks at it economically at first, through the use of performative mathematical calculation methods and derivatives (present future), a future present always becomes real, with which the difference to that future that is expected and, to a certain extent, fixed, and whose potentials may also be used, is updated. This also means that the future is not a separate and contingent possibility that can or cannot occur, but is always already present in the here and now. Prevention builds on this time scheme and modifies it: something should be done before a negatively assessed, i.e. undesirable event occurs, whereby it is assumed here that future undesirable states and events can be predicted from the analysis of the indicators of a current state. On the assumption that future developments will also worsen in any case without preventive intervention, it follows that some form of risk minimisation must definitely be brought into play. (Ibid.: 85ff.) It is thus assumed that the predicted undesirable developments will probably also occur without preventive countermeasures and that, consequently, interventions at the earliest possible stage promise the greatest possible risk minimisation. Prevention therefore not only aims to create, but in particular to prevent and avoid. Basically, prevention means working on the virtual: It aims to control the becoming in its supposedly chaotic event-like nature (cybernetics) in order to avoid or anticipate all possible impending dangers. Future events that have not yet happened thus acquire an undeniable presence in the present.

In order to be able to implement preventive measures, selected and negatively evaluated phenomena must first be cut out of reality and isolated in order to establish positive relations between these and the predicted events, which are often of a probabilistic nature, whereupon a field of action is finally designed which serves to prevent future states. In the process, anything possible can be imagined and crystallized as a threat. Be it physical or mental illness, drug consumption, social conspicuousness, terrorist attacks or riots, risks lurk everywhere, imbalances and crises threaten and that is precisely why prevention is needed. This follows the principle of maintaining latency, aiming entirely at the elimination of the negative that seems to be threatening from everywhere and nowhere. Preventive measures themselves can have moments of both repression and production: Prevention both punishes and rewards, threatens and irritates, discourages and educates, accumulates and eliminates; it installs technical control systems and uses social networks.

Important terms to further clarify the term "prevention" are risk and uncertainty. Contingent is that which appears uncertain and at the same time changeable, i.e. what will be could always be different. The clou of this insight, which prevention applies, is precisely that every coming state can also be influenced by preventive action, whereby it is assumed that the contingent always includes the threatening and therefore preventive action is necessary. The contingent must by no means be made absolute, but must be integrated into a field of possibilities constituted by power relations.

Furthermore, the concept of risk must be explained, which should prove to be calculable in the face of incalculable uncertainty. It is precisely risk that is then something against which preventive measures can be taken, which here fall back on a specific pattern of rationality or on the way in which certain objects and their relations are ordered, in order to calculate, compare and evaluate them and then to influence them by means of specific risk technologies within the framework of risk management. First, two strategies for dealing with risks can be presented, namely, firstly, prohibition or control, with which the risk is to be limited by an arsenal of preventive rules (risk avoidance), and secondly, risk management, through which a field of possibilities is constructed, rationalised and economised (risk management). Prevention and prohibitions are thus complementary to each other. Both strategies can overlap and complement each other, so that they can be used in multiple

combinations occur.1

It was the systems theorists Baecker and Luhmann who, in the early 1990s, proposed that, with regard to their risk management, banks should in future work with the distinction risk/risk rather than risk/security. While the term risk is evaluated negatively and the term security positively in order to achieve security by means of specific risk avoidance strategies, the risk/hazard distinction induces risk as the positive term and hazard as the negative term. (Cf. Baecker 2011: 20) Thus, the business of hedge funds and banks can confidently turn to the production, management and calculation of risks and their structuring. The production of risks corresponds to their calculation, just as the social management of contingency itself is considered part of the risk problem. The self-observation of the system from the perspective of risk, which occurs as an adaptation of the financial markets to risk in a very real way, is absolutely necessary in order to be able to carry out and assess the financialisation of the various types of investments. Thus, the concept of risk is again independent of that of danger, insofar as a risk is not determined by the presence of a fixed danger that may emanate from an individual or a concrete group, but as the result of a combination of abstract formulas that reflect the occurrence of undesirable or desired events as probable.

Let us further illustrate the problem of risk determination by the phenomenon of capitalization. In order to set this capitalization in motion, the uncertainty involved in any investment or speculation, the fundamental unpredictability in the calculation of a risk that is in some way predictable, must be transferred. In practice, this movement appears as an already volatile spread between fundamental uncertainty and calculable risk, a spread that has an extended time horizon and should also make it possible to smooth out its volatility. The future returns expected by companies must, since they are unknown, at least be weighted and determined with specific risk factors, which in turn require a risk profile and special risk management. Today it is essential for the financial system to transform uncertainty, since the future cannot be predicted, into a complex risk calculation, and this means that the prices of volatile promises to pay (such as securities and derivatives) can only be determined if future expected profit and income flows for these securities are weighted with specific risk factors and subjected to risk management (portfolio theory), the risks are consequently quantified and fixed in figures in order to be able to make appropriate discounting.

With Foucault, the creation of risk profiles can be interpreted as a process of normalization. By creating profiles, market participants are distinguished from one another and thus individualized on the one hand, and compared with one another and thus homogenized on the other. Today, we are dealing with extremely flexible processes of normalization in the financial markets, whereby each market participant without exception is considered a risk factor that must be statistically recorded and permanently evaluated. However, the process of risk allocation and assessment is by no means based on an invariant norm. Rather, normalization here is to be understood as a variable process within a highly interwoven network characterized by constellations characterized by diversity, flexible rules of modulation, feedback, power and exclusive hierarchies, with new "differential normalities" (Foucault) being constantly created. This applies, for example, to the debt system, whose logic of time is changed from the logic of fixed repayments to the logic of variable payments, from the probable to the possible, to a speculative time in which past, present and future can be subjected to permanent revision (and this even still applies to the private debts of households). Diversities are reduced to a few indicators by means of specific quantifications in order to achieve new homogenizations, units and adaptations. This does not imply the elimination of difference; on the contrary, the verse uses difference as its real substrate to continuously generate standardized organizational systems, statistical systems and power technologies that modulate or even absorb differences.

These specific forms of normalization refer to market populations that are, on the one hand, hierarchical (not everyone has access) and, on the other hand, heterogeneous and, precisely for this reason, must be integrated by means of flexible procedures that use technologies to standardize and, at the same time, use difference (ranking, rating, scoring, etc.). This type of risk distribution or allocation to certain risk subjects and risk groups is strictly quantifying phenomena, which are represented by a-significant signs, numbers, tables, models, statistics, charts etc.

Derivatives capitalize a volatility that they create themselves. All processes of pricing derivatives require the dimensioning and construction of concrete and abstract risks, the former being comparable through the latter. Financial machines allow the construction, distribution and spreading of various concrete risks among market participants (who are in heterogeneous market populations and in competitive relationships with each other) and the bundling of concrete risks, which then receive a single price and a single cash flow as a single risk, i.e. including an abstract risk that is traded as a derivative and exchanged for money. The abstract risk subsumes the concrete forms of risk and provides the production of connectivity and liquidity, both of which are essential to the derivatives markets. Time and volatility are constitutive for the form of the abstract risk, in so far as the derivative is written at a certain point in time and has a maturity in which its price can change. Capitalization requires a certain mode of identifying, calculating and ordering economic entities, socio-economic events, which must first be distinguished and then objectified as risk events. Since every future stream of returns is unknown, no financial capitalization can take place without the calculation of how the respective concrete risk is to be assessed with regard to a future generation of returns.

Ultimately, regardless of the financial markets, but following the logic of capitalization, just about anything that deviates from predetermined target values within a cybernetic feedback system or, to be more precise, what can be identified as the sign of such deviations at all, can become a risk signal. These can be social norms, subjects or actions, whereupon normal distributions are constructed by means of statistics and statistical mean values are collected, which estimate the progressions to which the preventive measures then refer. And forecasts construct the future today precisely as the management of subjects, who themselves are in turn divided into risk categories in order to assign risk profiles to them. At this point, the financial system and the preventive policing of social situations overlap, which here marks the subject rather than the population. It is precisely by identifying the subjects as potential risks that new risk subjects are constantly being produced in the present, on which the boundaries of future risk existence can be drawn between winners on the one hand and losers on the other. In particular, individuals and households that are dependent on credit to secure their subsistence and are thus exposed to financial risks are hit with full force by the fluctuations and cycles on the global financial markets. At present, due to the possibilities offered by genetic engineering, individualised prevention policies reach deep into medical prevention, nanotechnology and positive feature planning or optimisation of individual subjects. This form of neoliberal eugenics works less with disciplinary techniques and is fed by neoliberal selection procedures, new technologies, and the logic of self-enhancement in order to implement its program of gentle human breeding.

If we now observe the political field and the state, we are dealing with a kind of permanent policing and securitization of insecurity, whereby the procedures involved presuppose that new threats, dangers, and risk factors are constantly being identified, which in turn make preventive state action necessary and legitimate. Such preventive policy is then also implemented and, especially in the case of state action, can extend to the liquidation of supposed class enemies or "people's pests". This hyperrationalism of anticipating reason is at the same time a totalitarian pragmatism. It pretends to eradicate a risk, as if one would destroy vermin or pull out weeds. Today, to be suspicious

there need be no concrete symptoms of abnormality, it is simply enough to have a characteristic that is considered a risk factor by the experts and technocrats responsible for the definitions and modes of preventive policy. The aim is not only to anticipate individual undesirable actions, but also to construct and analyse the objective conditions under which dangers arise, in order to then design new intervention strategies. The result is a veritable laboratory of risk factors, which creates a potentially infinite multiplication of the possibilities for intervention, provided that prevention raises suspicion to the scientific rank and mode of a calculation of probabilities. In any case, this type of prevention requires extensive governmental data collection and processing (statistics and probability calculation) in order to constitute and at the same time control the population, and to translate uncertainties of any kind into calculable probable risks, so that specific apparatuses of the security state can be built on them. Preventive policies thus require a new type of monitoring, namely that of systematic investigation in advance, with the intention of anticipating and preventing the occurrence of any undesirable events such as deviant behaviour or resistance. And this surveillance can take place without any contact with the source of danger to be analysed and without any direct representation of it. Thus, the state codes constantly pump contingency into their own systems, but only to contain them. The regime of prevention continues to revolve around the problem of the state state of emergency, which is to be actively created and, of course, also established in the long term. Finally, the logic of state prevention can lead to anticipated cleansing and its enforcement.2

Correspondingly, the law-preserving right is constantly being rewritten, at least partially suspended, in order to avert allegedly dangerous political events that could threaten or even destroy the existing legal order. In the name of an unquestioned and allegedly unalternative exceptionalism, the security state claims the rule of life and death and radicalizes the mechanisms of disciplinary adjustment and post-disciplinary control. The discourses of imagined catastrophes (the threat of terrorism and today in particular the "refugee crisis"), which the state is constantly pumping into the media space, today seamlessly serve its own proto-fascist security policies, whereupon they continue to proliferate in the right-wing populist movements, which in turn fuel the state discourses and drive the state security policies before them. In the process, this kind of prevention policy becomes the motor of a repressive normalism that not only tries to exclude, but to pathologize any kind of deviation and anomaly. Normalistic control mechanisms, which operate by means of data collection, statistics and stochastics to prepare, predict and control future unstable situations, begin to overlay the laws and existing normative regulations. Today, this requires special software applications, algorithms, big data and other technologies that accelerate the granularization of normality fields and normative values that, as we have seen, could ever change. So if you want to prevent, you must never stop monitoring, forecasting and controlling. Thus, prevention has long been about more than just avoiding risk; it is also about detailed active risk management, which is both catastrophic and based on probability theory. However, further transformations are taking place, because, analogous to the insurance or securitisation of debt in the financial system, the statistical calculation of the probable is being converted to the algorithmic recording of the possible, i.e. of possible futures. Risk management, biometric engineering and digitisation are techniques that activate a new mode of governance and modality of power, which are geared towards possible, projected futures and allow an increasing use of pre-emptive measures, in particular to prevent possible damage in the future.

As new political risks and social vulnerabilities could constantly emerge, the current security state will inevitably have to take on a paranoid form, with a permanent insecurity of the sense of security, in order to reassure it politically. The threatening future has to be integrated into all possible political decision-making processes, and this is how you quickly move from the criminal case to the criminogenic

situation, from pathological case to pathogenic situation, and such situations must be constantly controlled and monitored. Poulantzas sums up: "In a certain sense, every citizen becomes a priori suspect, because he is potentially criminal" (Poulantzas 1978: 172). In the course of this kind of preventive criminalization, citizens are also themselves called upon to denounce each other, which they are happy to do wherever their authoritarian formation is successful. Such mechanisms of preventive criminalization are at this point based in principle on the construction of an abstract and at the same time virtual enemy, which has been concretized somewhat in the figure of the universal terrorist, who is omnipresent and at the same time non-individual in social space. Imagine a space that is now a smooth space, so that the terrorist can appear in any place he wants, in order to become the total enemy, so to speak, but which is not over-coded by an exclusive enmity, but is instead considered a univoke figure that can be molecularized, divided and scattered into countless multiplicities of possible, equally hostile figures. This type of preventive governance, which we are presenting here, which ultimately aims entirely at controlling populations, is exercised through mechanisms of population division. The object of class war now concerns the reproduction of class, gender, "race" and subjectivity. The war against populations is generated by a virtual-real continuum between economic-financial operations and a new type of political-military operation that is no longer limited to the peripheries alone. To sum it up, the war against populations does not only address terrorists, but in its plural form has long been an instrument of control, normalization and discipline of a fragmented, globalized workforce.

The technologically configured state counterinsurgency aimed at the population is synonymous with a very specific war that cannot be separated from the endless pacification of conflicts. Today, military operations, controlled and monitored by algorithms, no longer have a target that is directly determined by human decisions, but the military "target", as a result of a computer-controlled operation, is composed of a sum of metadata from whose pattern an enemy is calculated. Algorithms create certain connections and patterns in the haze of data clouds (clouds), and anyone who carries and reproduces these patterns is considered dangerous and can be liquidated by drones, for example. Search engines, such as Google or the Chinese Baidu, operate with algorithms that can predict three hours in advance where a crowd ("critical mass") will form as a result of search entries. And the program code now has the preemptive function of detecting all possible conflicts and disturbances.

Poulantzas also addresses prevention in his analyses, in particular the preventive surveillance of the population through police-administrative procedures. Here, and this is decisive for him, a transition takes place, from punishing actions that are punishable because they violate existing laws, to the construction of a suspicious case, "which is covered by a flexible, elastic and particularistic administrative regulation" (Poulantzas 1978: 202).

It is therefore not surprising that so-called endangered persons, as laid down in the Bavarian police task law (PAG), will in future be subject to residence orders or bans, be monitored with an electronic anklet or be placed in preventive custody for a long time. The police can also temporarily deprive them of their assets and, of course, their communications may be monitored without interruption. At the same time, enemies of the state, most of whom belong to the left-wing scene, are sorted out.

Take a look at some of the current police strategies. With the use of specific software, it is now possible to make permanent risk prognoses, whereby prevention measures in the context of police work are being perfected more and more through digitalisation. However, it is also the policy of the security authorities who are actively promoting these measures. It is now less a matter of the police investigating crimes that have already been committed, but rather of preventing future crimes, for which they are given the appropriate technological apparatus on the one hand and ever more rights of intervention on the other. Since the 1980s, police powers, which are laid down in the Code of Criminal Procedure

situation, from pathological case to pathogenic situation, and such situations must be constantly controlled and monitored. Poulantzas sums up: "In a certain sense, every citizen becomes a priori suspect, because he is potentially criminal" (Poulantzas 1978: 172). In the course of this kind of preventive criminalization, citizens are also themselves called upon to denounce each other, which they are happy to do wherever their authoritarian formation is successful. Such mechanisms of preventive criminalization are at this point based in principle on the construction of an abstract and at the same time virtual enemy, which has been concretized somewhat in the figure of the universal terrorist, who is omnipresent and at the same time non-individual in social space. Imagine a space that is now a smooth space, so that the terrorist can appear in any place he wants, in order to become the total enemy, so to speak, but which is not over-coded by an exclusive enmity, but is instead considered a univoke figure that can be molecularized, divided and scattered into countless multiplicities of possible, equally hostile figures.

This type of preventive governance, which we are presenting here, which ultimately aims entirely at controlling populations, is exercised through mechanisms of population division. The object of class war now concerns the reproduction of class, gender, "race" and subjectivity. The war against populations is generated by a virtual-real continuum between economic-financial operations and a new type of political-military operation that is no longer limited to the peripheries alone. To sum it up, the war against populations does not only address terrorists, but in its plural form has long been an instrument of control, normalization and discipline of a fragmented, globalized workforce. The technologically configured state counterinsurgency aimed at the population is synonymous with a very specific war that cannot be separated from the endless pacification of conflicts. Today, military operations, controlled and monitored by algorithms, no longer have a target that is directly determined by human decisions, but the military "target", as a result of a computer-controlled operation, is composed of a sum of metadata from whose pattern an enemy is calculated. Algorithms create certain connections and patterns in the haze of data clouds (clouds), and anyone who carries and reproduces these patterns is considered dangerous and can be liquidated by drones, for example. Search engines, such as Google or the Chinese Baidu, operate with algorithms that can predict three hours in advance where a crowd ("critical mass") will form as a result of search entries. And the program code now has the preemptive function of detecting all possible conflicts and disturbances.

Poulantzas also addresses prevention in his analyses, in particular the preventive surveillance of the population through police-administrative procedures. Here, and this is decisive for him, a transition takes place, from punishing actions that are punishable because they violate existing laws, to the construction of a suspicious case, "which is covered by a flexible, elastic and particularistic administrative regulation" (Poulantzas 1978: 202). It is therefore not surprising that so-called endangered persons, as laid down in the Bavarian police task law (PAG), will in future be subject to residence orders or bans, be monitored with an electronic anklet or be placed in preventive custody for a long time.

The police can also temporarily deprive them of their assets and, of course, their communications may be monitored without interruption. At the same time, enemies of the state, most of whom belong to the left-wing scene, are sorted out. Take a look at some of the current police strategies. With the use of specific software, it is now possible to make permanent risk prognoses, whereby prevention measures in the context of police work are being perfected more and more through digitalisation. However, it is also the policy of the security authorities who are actively promoting these measures.

The football syndrome: speculative business Tue, 07 Jan 2020 10:57:46 +0000

1) Soccer, porn and pop are the cultural industries of today.

2) Clubs, players and coaches are now highly speculative financial investments. The Neymar deal with a redemption of 222 million raises world football to a new dimension. One rather does not want to imagine the number nor can one distinguish it from other numbers at the moment, most likely to think of it as an abstract number, whereby the variable X represents an abstract symbol for a number, perhaps
one can at least think of an entity called number or a lucky number, which makes the one big throw repeat in innumerable variations, but even that does not meet the fantasy of the number. The fantasy of the number series (the set of natural numbers, pure quantity, which forms an infinite … )

If you click on a club profile, the first figure that springs to mind is the total market value of the club. This corresponds roughly to the market capitalization of a company, although very few clubs are public limited companies. All players have a constantly floating market value, which is determined by a conglomerate of player advisors, clubs, commentators and ultimately the players themselves, i.e. a kind of collective rating agency. The player-entrepreneur is the advanced form of neo-liberal human capital as characterized by Foucault. The professional player is an income-generating machine competence, and this within the football industry, which regards the player as a streaming financial and sporting complex, ready for a limited period of time to support the formation of the corporate unit "football club". Football players are neither wage-earning workers nor highly paid slaves; they are (like the club) exposed financial assets for the future.

Both players and clubs must be capitalised. It is therefore necessary to compare the future profits expected at a given point in time (ex ante) with the current profits that have become known only ex post and on which one has speculated. The increasingly short-term contracts, youth work and all speculation about a player's development potential indicate that the player's future exploitation as a financial investment is a good thing. Accordingly, large financial backers invest in clubs whose player material, which stages the events, is equal to the productivity of the club (in interaction with management, coaches, medicine, etc.).

In a special way, the professional football player is a derivative. The price of the professional soccer player Ronaldo is continuously co-determined by the price of a multitude of derivative products, i.e. products derived from him, which symbolically charge Ronaldo's hair and/or body design. The market success of the goods promoted by Ronaldo will increase his own price (as a commodity), while commodities, because they carry his name and thus an image, in turn mutate into derivatives themselves. Both types of commodity derivatives are there for each other, among other reasons because Ronaldo has managed to swing himself up to living money. Obviously Ronaldo's commodity supports the goods he advertises, and vice versa: both types of commodity increase their price in pure reciprocity, in that they both authenticate themselves as derivatives in the media gutters of the picture industry.

3) The DFB provides the institutional framework for the flourishing football business in Germany. The organisation and marketing of football includes the stimulation and control of so-called thymotic energies, of ambition, energies which, however, today, and Sloterdijk forgets this, have (gone) swimming in a lake of wellness-feeling. The officials of the DFB, whom Sloterdijk calls the indispensable parasites of the sport, follow the organizational secrets, as the Olypmian Committee has long given them, namely to create as many functions and posts as possible in order to rise into the ranks of the nouveau riche and nouveau important (Sloterdijk), The accumulation of wealth, if necessary through corruption, for which the media, Televesion and clubs are being used, the latter the matrices of the sporting movement, surrounded by applauding fans who are now slowly getting fed up.

4) Football is a global event machinery that broadcasts football matches on TV around the clock. Nowhere is the victory of constructivist media theory, which says that the media create the event and not the other way around, better realised than in football. Empirically, this can be seen in the fact that the big clubs generate a large proportion of their revenues through broadcasting rights that are awarded worldwide.

The desire for overcompensation spurs on professional football. In contrast to modern theatre, where from the very beginning only losers appear, talking about their problems and getting more and more tangled up in the process, in modern football arena it is all about the desire to make the basic distinction: victory or defeat.

The staging of the uncertainty occurs with the promise that in the end a satisfactory solution will have been found for at least one of the parties, whereby tactics are necessary for both sides to produce this satisfactory solution in the course of the game itself, by breaking down and updating (virtual) sequences into molecular modules and pathways that can be recombined quasi mechanically at any time through lightning-fast decisions, calculations and changes of tactics. In the mass media spectacle, the new is always a means to build up and release tensions or to maintain a permanent arc of tension, whereby just enough novelty is allowed as a deviation so that the effect of recognizing the old schemata is not disturbed. The new alone should bring into play unthreatening uncertainties, but without the freshness of an alienation.

5) The football stadium is both spectacle and panopticon. By means of comprehensive video surveillance of the spectator area (seats are better to monitor than standing room), the police, who have their own operational rooms as well as stadium guards, now have control over the stadium. They are supported by an analytical apparatus that divides football fans into three categories: Category A = normal fan; Category B = prone to violence; Category C = prone to violence, they seek confrontation. This power-knowledge complex creates specific power relations inside and outside the stadiums. In the course of the transformation of the stadiums into a mainly commercially usable space, pyrotechnics, for example, have also been illegalized.

6) The neoliberal player stands for the requirements of a flexible labour market. Human capital should possess endurance, flexibility and autonomous motivation, occupy the spaces, anticipate game situations, play in a team-oriented manner and yet be creative. The magic formula is called team. Performance potentials are realized in a team, but at the same time, one's own elegance must be asserted, and this is what makes the star. The football industry today is always a casting industry.

7) The Ultras are both a result of state-produced delinquency and a political issue. They are fans who do not want to be conventional fans and yet they are.

Every form of local patriotism produced by fans and consumers is, like the football club itself, part of a ranking that the cities organise as capital locations in international competition against each other.

8) Football pays homage to success, which is synonymous with luck and positive thinking. This corresponds to the permanent life logging of the player, a careful observation of the body, which should lead to higher performance. The control becomes gaseous, it excites and is insidious at the same time. The player is a perfect self-quantifier, but one who always helps the team.

9) A vision: There is the intimate dialogue of the football subject with the ball as quasi-subject, whereby it seems to be exclusively and solely the ball, which constantly hits the strings and chooses its own paths and tracks, so that the ball alone seems to occupy the positions, running paths and places, shifting them in every second of the game, thus creating the continuum of the infinities of possible paths and encounters, touches and relations that the ball itself creates, becomes unspeakably alien to the football subject, this chaos of infinities, only laboriously limited by strategies, tactics, abilities and skills - players, referees, television cameras, soundscapes and Euclidean geometry, yes, and even the stadium itself plays along, the spectators with their collective perceptions oscillating between event and event - (the stadium panorama creates the orbit of an exaggeration of collective affects).

10) One position: "It is the fact that the Monday paper is always the least readable, because the aggressive sports section with its slurry of football front reports, half-naked photos of players and penny-pinching wisdom keeps the miserable rest in its claws. Football commentaries are not an opinion, but a crime. It is the boldness off the peg, which is dressed up from the daily garbage collection of the feuilleton, KiKa and H & M and hallucinates the "adventure me" and even the "adventure life" in football…

It's the overnight rental visas of accepting media work, the grenade-headed zombies from politics, church and business who chum up to football in order to be pop or cool or both. Because if you don't do well, you won't get elected, your quotas will drop, your chair will wobble and no one will buy your products. Never before has the commitment to mediocrity been so convincing: it is the affirmation bubble of polytropic fun bourgeoisism, which is the worst thing in the world precisely because it doesn't dream…it occurs to me that this is modern bourgeoisism."