Posted by: glue | November 27, 2009


Avatar Emergency continued.  Part 5:  Hegemony.

This chapter places the proposals of flash reason in the context of contemporary political theory.  Avatar as an updating of prudence for the dromosphere marks it as the latest development of hegemony.  Machiavelli did for practical reason (ethics and politics) what Descartes did for pure reason (scientific method), by putting some distance between reason and Religion.  Machiavelli thought it possible for virtue to triumph over Fortune through a certain craft of thought. Virtue is the dimension of human experience ontologized in electracy.  This craft of decision was updated by Gramsci, who replaced the Prince with the political Party as leader.  Hegemony is revised for poststructural theory by Ernesto Laclau, whose description of the empty universal and its isotopy with Lacan’s object @ and the commodity sign show the point of application of flash reason in contemporary society.  Avatar shifts the role of Prince and Party to the distributed sage, whose witness and decision are correlated in the KaChing database interface.  Contemporary emancipatory politics proposes that it is possible to sustain democracy in the absence of a “people” (a unified body politic), through the transformation of the crowd into a multitude.

Bridge and Bachelors

The rhetorical unity of the multitude is achieved through the “bachelor” logic of Freud’s “Rat Bridge,” according to Laclau.  The electrate image category, that is, functions at every level, from language to society, to gather or form assemblages.  It is a “metaphysics,” after all.  Assemblages (the new abstraction, electrate logos) form not through the common sense of shared intentional content, but through the bliss sense (jouissance) of repeating signifiers, the prototype of which is found in the dreamwork or jokework of the Unconscious.  Freud is a logician of the new prudence.  The fullest development of flash reason in support of Moment, the temporality of judgment in the dromosphere Now, is by Jacques Derrida.  Laclau referred to Derrida’s differance as one of the keys to group formation through disjunctive relationship.  Derrida’s choral trace works with the musical slope of language, as distinct from the semantic slope cultivated by literate ontology.  The history of vanguard innovations across all the arts is the context for this non-objective reasoning, which ontologizes the urbanized body, what Cezanne called his “little sensations,” and Deleuze formulated as the capacity to be affected, derived from Spinoza’s conatus.  The next step is to design databases using choral ontologies to supplement the semantic ontology still informing most contemporary database design.  Aristotle still presides over semantic web ontology.

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