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