Task: Destroy Worlds (Not Create Conceptions)

Skull Matchbook

The conspiracy against this world will be known through its war machines. A war machine is itself “a pure form of exteriority” that “explains nothing,” but there are plenty of stories to tell about them.[1] They are the heroes of A Thousand Plateaus – Kleist’s skull-crushing war machine;[2] the migratory war machine that the Vandals used to sack Rome;[3] the gun that Black Panther George Jackson grabs on the run,[4] and the queer war machine that excretes a thousand tiny sexes.[5] “Each time there is an operation against the state – insubordination, rioting, guerilla warfare, or revolution as an act – it can be said that a war machine has revived.”[6] War machines are also the greatest villains of the book, making all other dangers “pale by comparison”[7] – there is the constant state appropriation of the war machine that subordinates war to its own aims,[8] the folly of the commercial war machine,[9] the paranoia of the fascist war machine (not the state army of totalitarianism),[10] and worst of them all, the “worldwide war machine” of capitalism “whose organization exceeds the State apparatus and passes into energy, military-industrial, and multinational complexes” that wages peace on the whole world.[11] Continue reading “Task: Destroy Worlds (Not Create Conceptions)”

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The Fold, explained

Graham asked about the fold. Here is a simple non-explanation that perhaps helps more than an immanent description of the term.

The fold follows from Deleuze’s general development of a materialist metaphysics that holds the potential to differ as the original and ongoing movement of the cosmos. One term Deleuzians are perhaps more familiar with is actualization, which occurs when a single potential (singularity) is selected from the virtual and made concrete. To give an example, Darwinian natural selection is this type of selection, as it picks a genetic mutation but neither exhausts that particular potential nor prevents other potentials from being selected in the future. As Steven Jay Gould says, rewind and replay the evolutionary history of a species 100 times and you will get 100 different results.

In summary, Deleuze tends to make concepts: 1) open-ended and inexhaustive, e.g. always have the potential to differ and grow despite a certain consistency of operation (Holland calls this the “underdetermination of concepts”); 2) non-exclusive and unlimited, e.g. every application is creative, generative, and an ongoing process and therefore always allows alternate routes to be taken, as in every actualization enables counter-actualizations (cf. Deleuze’s preference of potential to the possible); 3) exist in exteriority to one another and are therefore infinite, e.g. a general rule of Deleuze’s metaphysics is that the relation between two terms itself is a third term, so there is nothing “necessary” or “intrinsic,” only determinants within differing sizes of infinitely.

The fold is Deleuze’s form of connection. Continue reading “The Fold, explained”