The Metropolis as Control

metropolisThis post contained an draft version of a dissertation section. A more recent version is now available on the works page.

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9 thoughts on “The Metropolis as Control

  1. I see that with the Agamben tag, perhaps you had this essay in mind to elaborate on? With your reference to holes in the meshwork, it does seem evident that there is a purpose behind placing them at the disposal of Empire’s managers. On the other hand the Tiqqun collective examined the limits of police state subjectivity in economics, especially those who are today conducting a run on their own monetary reserve systems; a situation only partially ameliorated by technology because cameras are vulnerable once their positions have been fixed. In the panoptic prison model, the one set of eyes peering out from a central tower can only maintain watch to the limit of guard’s peripheral vision. The fact that so much emphasis is placed on the technology of surveillance suggests that there are entirely unintended gaps in need of being choked off.

    “I think that a confrontation with metropolitan dispositifs will only be possible when we penetrate the processes of subjectivation that the metropolis entails in a more articulated way, deeper. Because I think that the outcome of conflicts depends on this: on the power to act and intervene on processes of subjectivation, in order to reach that stage that I would call a point of ungovernability. The ungovernable where power can shipwreck in its figure of government, the ungovernable that I think is always the beginning and the line of flight of all politics.” G. Agamben – Metropolis

    http://www.generation-online.org/p/fpagamben4.htm

    1. I did have that Agamben piece in mind. It’s quite smart, though I really wanted him to clarify confession/subjectivation more than he was able to at the end.

      It is interesting to imagine where the limits go from being convenient excuses for expanding Empire (capitalism is crisis), and become points of revolution (lines of flight).

  2. Exactly, I like your post.

    “…as The Social collapses around us…”

    This is the part…

    When we decode the metropolis – and when the realizations are disseminated and new codes are realized by more and more people – what are peoples’ reactions? Anywhere from hopelessness, to hatred, to disgust, etc. Many won’t share this critical understanding of metropolis because it takes away the meaning and morality of their activities. It’s difficult to survive physically and emotionally in the metropolis. Having a critique on top of that adds fuel to their personal battles with self destruction.

    So the logic of these rejection reactions are pragmatic — it’s done for the preservation and wellbeing of person. To accept a reality that they live inside a monster, a big maggot machine crushing them in the most infinite detail, is something people don’t want to face. They would rather learn about some things that offer a sense of well being and purpose to their life, and I don’t fault them. I am much better off when there is purpose and a sense of well being. Are we to fault for not presenting this with a happy attitude and some charm?

  3. Building from what you say about gateway cities and central-place cities —

    When these morph into metropolises, the metropolis mesh terrain takes on heightened qualities from its legacy as a city. Metropolises developing from a gateway city differ from starting out as a central-place city. Although in the metropolis mesh, the distinctions of both are blurred as the metropolis takes on functionalities of both and captures both.

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