“On the Determination in the Last Instance,” from Le principe de minorité (1981)

Let us assume difference as absolutely indifferent to Being, even indifferent to this indifference par excellence which is Being: is this a skeptical principle of non-knowledge or rather the positive principle of an a-logical knowledge, of a gnosis before the universal horizon of the logos and which excludes the illumination of Relations? Is difference entirely undetermined, or does its empirical-and-logical indetermination still assume a real determination of difference before any ideal determination? What is the degree of reality of these breaks which have abandoned even the consistency of relations? What is the degree of these breaks which have also abandoned reciprocal determination which would assure them having a foothold in Being and having light in the Idea? Is there a determinability of Dispersions which do not pass through their reciprocal synthesis, their reciprocal determination in an infinite chain, and their Selbigkeit which would over-determine and re-affirm them? Are they determined in and through themselves without being so through the others, namely still for itself, or before being so through the others?

The Essence is undetermined (empirically and ideally); it is determinable (it can receive an a priori determination) but through itself alone; and finally, it is determinant in the last instance of the empirico-ideal objects of the world, society, history, experience, etc.: the entire sphere of Being. The Dispersions are undetermined not only from the empirical point of view but from the ideal point of view. However, they are determinable, or rather are already determined through themselves before any determination in a recurrent process which can only be, in their case at least, a secondary phenomenon. Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, Heidegger, and their disciples have taught us that a relation is determinant in general. Yet, on the one hand, the relation is no longer here the determination in the last instance but secondary and passive determination: relation is a determination that is itself produced and subordinate. And on the other hand, while we structurally distinguish these two types of determination, the one as real and the other as relative and ideal, we deprive the relation of its auto-determination, of its auto-encompassing through which it is not only a determination-attribute, but a determination-act, a determination-process or determination-cause. We constitute this ideal causality within an objective illusion and paralogism. The deposition of the omnipotence of relation in general, its power of determination in the last instance, to the benefit of a real determination, is the destruction of the idealism of the philosophies of contradiction and the philosophies of difference. All of modern thought (Kant, Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, and their disciples) identifies the determinability of “terms” with their placement in relation, when this is not their placement under relation. If there is no determination or individuation, there is no becoming-subject without entering under or into a relation (the Kantian category, the Hegelian Idea, the Marxist Relation of Production, the Nietzschean Relation of Force, the Heideggerian being-towards…, deconstructive difference as synthesis and differential relation, desiring-machines in the flow, the for-itself, the signifier and the symbolic order, etc.). The relation is the essence, the alpha and omega of Western thought, of its illuminations, its reason and super-reason, its meaning of history, its critique, its psychoanalysis, its deconstruction, etc.

We do not negate continuity but only its auto-position or auto-foundation. We dissolve the confusion of production and reproduction through which reproduction claims to render itself absolute, a confusion of becoming and Being. Continuity has a transcendental cause which is not itself continuous or ideal, a cause which is rather a “real” in all senses of the word: at once real and not ideal, and “real” rather than fictive and vicious. A relative break is never the cause of a continuity: this is nearly a contradiction in terms; it is always continuity which is the cause of itself. Relation viciously reflects itself and interminably reflects itself within its cause which already has the form of a relation. Thought no longer comes out from the so-called ideal causality, the primacy of idealizing breaks, the system of the cause of itself or infinite auto-position, the ultimate subordination of the cause to what it produces and from the condition to the conditioned, the dissociation of the cause (break) and essence (relation); thought no longer comes out from the confusion of essence (break) and existence (relation). If the point is to seize continuity and ideality in a pure state, extricated from their empirical forms and related to their genesis and truth; if the point is to assist in the birth of hypostases in general and the hypostasis of Being in particular (but Being is not particular, Being is the hypo-stasis par excellence, the universal hypostatic plane), it is an easy but ineffective procedure that gives it a cause taken from its nature. Causality and ideality exclude each other except precisely in Idealism which transforms the cause into an idealized limit, making the cause into a 0/0 relation and inscribes it within the network of its effects, namely other relations which fulfill it. Being is then this relative which is posed as Absolute, subordinating its real cause that it relativizes. The systems of Difference, and structuralism for example, are not characterized by the meaning of the discrete, as we believe it ordinarily, but to the contrary through the primacy in the last instance of continuity and Relations (of force, power, production, and signifyingness). In general, we confound discretion with differential, but the differential is only discrete in relation to macroscopic givens, and in itself it re-establishes the primacy of another, purer type of continuity. The differential passes to the microscopic, micrological, molecular dimension, but not to the genuine multiple. Once the ideal cause conditions continuity, we confound dominance and determination in the last instance. Because the differential relation is dominant or encompassing, we have made the differential relation the absolute. Idealism is within this permanent confusion of Dominance with Determination in the last instance, and this is a paralogism…

In the dispersive state, the breaks are no longer differential breaks. Not only have they never been infinitesimals, but they are also not even differentials which one could determine outside of the infinitely small. The breaks are no longer in general reciprocally determinable in relations. They are determined a priori through themselves, passively determined and autonomous in relation to active or synthetic determinations that they could receive from experience and with which they do not enter a determinant-determined circle, into the circularity of a Selbigkeit, a “reciprocal determination” or “co-belonging” that the rigorous use of unilateral determination excluded. Determination becomes unilateral and through itself when it is absolutely passive and non-synthetic, even excluding passive syntheses which machinate the subject in nearly all contemporary thoughts. If the breaks of the Essence determine in the last instance the breaks of Being, this Determination in the last instance must be already determined through itself and have no need for this service [office] and its work from the exterior of itself, in Relations, of the mediation of the ideal “causality.” No more does it have need of relations in general to determine the relations of Being or the Idea that it finds without mediation in its own real immanence. The dispersive of the Essence excludes from itself and outside of itself not only the binarity of signifying or structural elements but the connectivity of flow and the coupling of elements proceeding step by step; in general, it excludes all synthetic arrangements [agencements], from the most identifying to the most “differential.” For the relations, these breaks are supplements which do not re-turn to them under whatever form.

The unreflected breaks are not an apophantic object. They remain in themselves and do not exit from themselves, they do not become phenomenal or ontological, and they have no need to be alienated to acquire or exercise their power. They are positively or immediately deprived of any power. The breaks become the cause or Determination in the last instance outside of them without ever exiting from themselves, when the break/flow or differences-repetitions place themselves in relation with the breaks, what they are forced to do to only become what they are.

Because there is no dynamic production ex nihilo of continuity, and because in Being the breaks are always taken within relations and reprised in idealities, how do we explain the non-relation, the without relation of the One and Being, their really immediate “unity” without mediation and therefore without ontological unity? The point is not of a “relation” of “representation”: an absolute break is not represented by a relative break for another relative break and its continuum. One such representation is still a relation. The point is of a real immanence of ideality in the real, of a positive without-relation of the Idea (to) the One “in” the One. In their real immanence, Dispersions find in an equally immanent way the continuum of Relations and Divisions of Being. The Cause or Determination in the last instance has no need to act through a relation: it finds directly in its real immanence the material of all possible relations. Real immanence itself assures its union with the Idea: real immanence contains the ideal immanence of Being (and its transcendence) on the real mode, and not on the ideal and synthetic mode, because the continuum cannot be given in a continuous way in what excludes continuity. The dispersive breaks do not risk becoming relative again even when they are invested in the relative divisions of Being, and the dispersive breaks constrain the other relative ones to become their relatives. The breaks of Being are relative to one another, and relative, but not reciprocally (for they are uni-laterally so), to Essence. Essence is the real cause, without relations, of the relations of Being which are given to the Essence im-mediately: Essence never really enters the game of determination of the divisions of Being that are at once reciprocal, linear, and recurrent.

The Idea is thus im-mediately unary or dispersive. Outside of this positive absence of relation which is no longer even a kernel or chiasmus of the real and ideality, there is nothing more in Being than the interminable and pure game of the Representation as such where any continuum represents a break for another break or another flow, where both co-belong and cross each other.

translated by Jeremy R. Smith

taken from here

Foto: Sylvia John

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