On Expenditure’s Status

08/23/2021

Expenditure is neither virtual nor actual because if it was either of the two then it would be limited. Bataille says,

In opposition to this, ‘the center of the sadistic world’ is, according to Blanchot, ‘the demand for sovereignty affirming itself through an immense negation.’ At this point, the essential bond that subjugates man in a general way is revealed, the bond that robs him of the strength to reach that place where sovereignty would be achieved. For, in fact, the essence of the erotic world is not just the expenditure of energy, but also negation pushed to the extreme; or, if one prefers, the expenditure of energy is itself necessarily this negation.[1]

Thus, sovereignty is expenditure. The “realization” of sovereignty is the negation that is expenditure. Now, Bataille says in Eroticism that “But de Sade’s sovereign man has no actual sovereignty; he is a fictitious personage whose power is limited by no obligations”.[2] Sovereignty, it seems, cannot be a state of being because it would be limited by the world. Thus, if expenditure is sovereignty, then expenditure too would be limited by being virtual or actual.

Expenditure is a cosmological shock that annihilates the composition that is the human subject.

Bibliography

Bataille, Georges. Eroticism. Translated by Mary Dalwood. New York, NY: Penguin Group, 2012.

— — — . The Accursed Share: An Essay on General Economy, Volume II: The History of Eroticism, Volume III: Sovereignty. Translated by Robert Hurley. New York, NY: Zone Books, 1991.

References

[1]: Georges Bataille, The Accursed Share: An Essay on General Economy, Volume II: The History of Eroticism, Volume III: Sovereignty, trans. Robert Hurley (New York, NY: Zone Books, 1991), 179.

[2]: Georges Bataille, Eroticism, trans. Mary Dalwood (New York, NY: Penguin Group, 2012), 174.

How sweet terror is, not a single line, or a ray of morning sunlight fails to contain the sweetness of anguish. - Georges Bataille