On the Origins of the Woman: Kant’s Philosophy
The concept of the woman originates with Kant on the level of philosophical capture. Now, Plato and others have done the good lawful action of capturing and domesticating base matter (I am referencing the Platonic (and thus, occidental) conflation of the Sun with truth which one is blinded from, just as one is blinded from the highest ‘form’ of something). The court of philosophy is happy with Plato and others but Kant is an outstanding and law-abiding citizen. In fact, Kant is a policeman.
Women are base matter which is libidinal matter (more on this in a moment). The reason the domestication of libidinal matter didn’t start with Plato but with Kant is because of the element of noumenon in his philosophy. Base matter has always been libidinal matter, for Land, but has this always been recognized? No. With Kant, the genealogy of libidinal materialism is born.
Drive as the permutation of libidinal matter. Women are the death drive. But the death drive isn’t the desire for death, it is that hydraulic baseline that heads towards zero (more on this in a moment). No telos is present in the will to chance; essence dissolves in chance.
Our concept of ‘woman’ is not an essentialist one. One isn’t permanently a woman. ‘Woman’ isn’t a biological category. Woman doesn’t = XX (chromosomes). Rather, one is becoming-woman. But more on this later.
On Women: A Recourse to Kant, Rand, and Materialism-as-Womanhood
In his essay Art as Insurrection, Nick Land goes over Schopenhauer’s notorious essay On Women and speaks of women as matter. Land says, “Woman is matter, formless, and unpresentable, arousing and thus tormenting” [emphasis mine]. Woman is libidinal matter, that is, informe, or pre-ontological chaos; woman = 0. A woman is entropic, and thus disordered and chaotic. This is why becoming-woman is the death drive: “The death drive is not a desire for death, but rather a hydraulic tendency to the dissipation of intensities”.  Now, do not confuse this view of death as the occidental conception of death as stable peace because death as zero-intensity is actually the height of intensity, the libidinal summit. “[O]nly intensity matters”.
Thus, womanhood (whatever the fuck that means!) is materialism. But again, let us not confuse materialism for the traditional physicalist (that is, theological) idea of materialism. Materialism is no such thing. Materialism is not ontological because matter is chaos (= 0). Land says, “Materialism is not a doctrine but an expedition, an Alpine break-out from socially policed conviction. It ‘is before anything else the obstinate negation of idealism, which is to say the very basis of all philosophy’. Exploring acategorical matter navigates thought as chance and matter as turbulence ‘beyond all regulation’. It yields no propositions to judge, but only paths to explore”. Materialism is not a belief to be held, but an energetic impulse toward nonknowledge (= 0). It is in this way a disease which one contracts and dies from (but ecstatically!). Materialism is not a belief because “[b]elief is not a possession but a prison”.
Matter is not a thing, not an object. And neither is a woman. Any objectification of a woman is a theological gesture that is an inhibition to zero. Is misogyny thus an attitude of the restricted economy? I think so, but before we look at that, we must recourse to (Bataille’s) Nietzsche.
A statement that has for such a long time (since September or October of 2020) caught my attention and my thoughts was a statement of Nick Land’s in an (maybe the best) essay from Fanged Noumena titled “Shamanistic Nietzsche”. Land says, “Bataille’s Nietzsche is not a locus of secular reason but of shamanic religion; a writer who escapes philosophical conceptuality in the direction of ulterior zones, and dispenses with the thing in itself because it is an item of intelligible representation with no consequence as a vector of becoming (of travel)”. So, back to Kant (it seems I haven’t been able to escape him since I first picked up The Thirst for Annihilation all the way back in 2019! Though I cannot say I understood the book in any capacity back then)! Land says, in regard to the uniqueness of Bataille’s reading of Nietzsche, “Against the grain of shallow phenomenalism that characterizes Nietzsche readings, Bataille pursues the fissure of abysmal scepticism, which passes out of the Kantian Noumenon (or intelligible object) through Kant and Schopenhuaer’s thing in itself (stripping away a layer of residual Platonism), and onwards in the direction of acategorial, epochal, or base matter”. So, this recourse to Kant is also to his defanged noumenon!
The whole issue with the Kantian conception of the thing in itself is that it is something. We repeat, why must it be an object? Why is the noumenon not objectless waste? Why is it not NOTHING? This is the issue with Kant: the object. The noumenon is caged like a stray, wild dog, and Kant is head of the dog pound. The-noumenon-as-object is not just an implication of Kant. It is not just an inferred deduction from a nostalgia of the lost object which was lost in the “transcendental event” as Land calls it. In terms of the noumenon in the negative sense, its status as an object is implied, the noumenon is an “unknown something” [emphasis mine] as Kant says (A256/312). But, in terms of the noumenon in the positive sense, its status as an object is explicitly stated by Kant; Kant says (A253/B307), “If, however, by noumenon we mean an object of a non-sensible intuition … then this would be the noumenon in a positive sense of the term”. This is the defanging of the noumenon: the-noumenon-as-object. Thus, this is the fanged noumenon: the-noumenon-as-objectless-waste, that is, the noumenon as base matter. Kant’s philosophy, transcendental idealism, cannot for a moment handle base matter. This is to say, Kant’s hand gets bit off when it tries to handle the wild dog that is the fanged noumenon.
So, this is our issue with Kant, and Nietzsche certainly agrees…
In his devastating critique of Kant’s noumenon (“Thing-in-itself and Appearance” found in The Will to Power (§553–569)), Friedrich Nietzsche does nothing but extend the gestures that have just been made.
In §555, Nietzsche argues that the thing-in-itself cannot be conditioned, it must be in-itself if you will. But the issue is that knowledge is a form of conditioning because it is a relation. Thus, even if things-in-themselves existed, we could never know that they exist.
In §558, Nietzsche repeats our critical gesture against Kant which necessitates a libidinal materialist way of thinking. Nietzsche says, “The ‘thing-in-itself’ is absurd. If I abstract all the relations, all the ‘properties’, all the ‘activities’ of a thing, the thing itself does not remain; for thinghood was only invented by us to meet certain logical needs, for the purposes of definition and comprehension”. The thing-in-itself is absurd to Nietzshce because its thinghood is not. This opens upon a new way of thinking about the noumenon. A materialist way of thinking about the noumenon is the noumenon as objectless waste that is base matter. Land says, “Matter cannot be allotted a category without being retrieved for ideality, and the Nietzschean problem with the Ding an Sich was not its supposed dogmatic materialism, but rather that it proposed ‘an ideal form of matter’, as the transcendent (quarantined) site of integral truth, a ‘real world’. There are no things-in-themselves because there are no things”. This is the issue with claims to knowledge, that is, to hierarchy: shamanic zero, εποχή. When one claims “I am smarter than this person as well as that person,” what is taking place is truth trying to assert its supremacy over untruth on the level of competitive (capitalist) subjects. This is a theological impulse because that which we think of as ‘truth’ today is something analogous to God, that is, transcendental. But let us do a strikingly materialist gesture, let us repeat Nietzsche’s question to philosophers: Why not untruth? With this, the ground knowledge stands upon trembles, and so does the being of knowledge. The being of knowledge, quivering in unison with a transcendental (idealist) fear of the ocean, screams “Eloi, Eloi, Lama Sabachthani” as the ground it stands upon falls in. And all is quiet… there is only a violent silence (this is the violent silence of eroticism; there is neither subject nor object anymore). In this case, knowledge leads to nonknowledge and we can answer “it is” to Nick Land’s question “What if knowledge were a means to deepen unknowing?”. In fact, this is why epistemology itself is theological and thus patriarchal and misogynistic (but more on this in a moment). Let’s also not forget that logic “is from the start theology”.
Quickly recoursing to The Thirst for Annihilation, we can note that there is no true nor apparent world because those concepts of truth and appearances are of “accumulative reason” [emphasis mine].
Idealism is thus misogyny! Traditional materialist and physicalist ways of thinking are too! But let’s not confuse this for slave morality. There is no moral prescription here about what one ought to do in the face of patriarchy, because ethics is lost in expenditure… ethical action does not exist if it is teleological action (which it always is). The ontological fragmentation taking place when one is being a misogynist is enough to display how much negation (of sovereignty, the whole man (this negation is the morality of the decline which is slave morality)) misogyny contains. For if there is an ethics in Bataille, it can never be on the normative, that is teleological level. If there is an ethics to be derived from Bataille, it is a meta-ethic: the Sun as the locus of ethics, and thus zero as the non-place of the ethical… Women are so profoundly evil, that is, women are so sacrificially ethical. They efface the rational good which is the useful. Recoursing to the ethics of theorists like Ayn Rand, we see nothing but a useful and productive logic displayed. For Rand, for example, one’s standard of (teleological) action is one’s life because life is the standard of value. Life, for Rand, is self-propelled action. Thus, Rand is the thinker of the subject (= 1) par excellence. Not only is Rand’s conception of life and death extremely occidental, but it also falls into so many critiques. And considering how important life is to Rand’s philosophy, something such as a Baudrillardian (of the Baudrillard from Symbolic Exchange and Death) critique of Rand’s philosophy would be truly damning for objectivists. In fact, Rand’s conception of death as non-action, as non-existence, is so increasingly problematic (as we head towards zero)… Death is not so clean as the idea of non-existence as the binary opposite to existence. Death is base. Because there are scales (hylarchic laws?), death is not metaphysical (and ‘is not’ is washed away by the great chaotic (squirted, in the case of the cosmic vulva) waters of zero, of the cosmic vulva, the thehom of tohu wa-bohu whose God is dead). This is the Bataillean critique of Ayn Rand, and its only refutation could be found in proving that there is something rather than nothing (by way of something other than hylarchic laws: drive, the sun, expenditure, death, etc.) as “[t]o take One as originary is to presuppose everything”. But let’s follow Rand for a second. Rand says, “The fact that a living entity is, determines what it ought to do”. Rand is saying here that a living entity must uphold its life as it is alive. Now, of course, this just directly falls into the is-ought gap, but here is the issue: the death drive. The issue is the fact that one cannot uphold their life. Land says, “The hypothesis of self-preservative drives, such as we attribute to all living beings, stands in marked opposition to the idea that the life of the drives as a whole serves to bring about death … [self-preservative drives] are component drives whose function is to assure that the organism shall follow its path to death, and to ward off any possible ways of returning to inorganic existence other than those which are immanent in the organism itself. We have no longer to reckon with the organism’s puzzling determination (so hard to fit into any context) to maintain its own existence in the face of every obstacle. What we are left with is the fact that the organism wants to die only in its own way. Thus these guardians of life, too, were originally the myrmidons of death”. Now, this is not a recourse to a merely psychoanalytic theory of the drives but an immensely cosmological theory of the drives. The death drive as the hydraulic base-line, that is, the hylarchic law of existence: ‘for something to exist, it must tend toward zero’.
Pardon what seems to be misogyny in this essay. It isn’t. Misogyny isn’t possible when you view things how they are, that is when you don’t view things at all.
I do not mean to compare women to dogs… though both are fanged from the perspective of Arthur Schopenhauer (it is interesting to note that he was more fond of his dog than he was of women).
On Misogyny and the Theology That is Heteropatriarchy
In The Thirst for Annihilation, Land speaks of Henry Miller, the author of the great text The Tropic of Cancer, as one of those madmen who headed towards zero. But, Land says, “This is not to suggest that Miller is without inhibition. He is, for instance, notorious for his misogyny … women frighten him … hesitancy at the brink of dissolution”. This is to suggest that misogyny is an inhibition to expenditure. Thus, it wouldn’t be wrong to posit patriarchy as a system that helps constitute restricted economy. A misogynist, that is, a patriarchal way of thinking is a restricted economic way of thinking. But patriarchy always has a theological element to it. God-as-the-Father, that is, God-as-omni-phallus does nothing but institute One (1 = phallic rod) effacing the cosmic vulva (= 0) that is Zero (= the wound that is the vulva which is not the result of castration but the death of God). Thus, within theology, which has its object as God (thus, God is a thing but transcendent (more on Spinoza’s God in a moment)), there is only the phallus (= 1) which is the negating (negation in the theological sense) law of identity. Saying something is, is saying something is not (this is the negativity of identity. Thus, identity must be squandered, and thus logic too! Land says, “Were God to ever sacrifice his erection for a taste of death the principle of identity would dissipate into scorched dust, and being would relapse into the dark”. Now, patriarchy is heteropatriarchy in its current form because “[homosexuals] are consigned by morality to the same howl-choked dungeon as desire, irresponsibility, and profound contact with the real”. Thus, homosexuality is another mode of escape out of the restricted economy, but this also means that queerness isn’t just some label one has upon themselves, micro-labeling is Zero being torn apart into One, or some action one does. No! One, the subject, becomes (in the sense of becoming) homosexual, that is, Zero. The state of queerness is not a state of being at all, as “[t]o [be] queer may mean to be involved in acts of pleasure that offer no return to the closed economies of societal meaning that are driven by utility and the mandate of closed, concise, clear endpoints. Rather, to live in the world queerly may mean to live in the world transformatively, with an eye always toward how relations of bodies and pleasures can be multiplied and intensified”. Queerness, then, is not the deviation from heterosexuality because “[i]dentity politics has no purchase here: to be queer is not to be homosexual. In fact, these queer pleasures are not even properly ‘sexual at all’. To be queer, then, is not necessarily to be involved in same-sex sex acts: it is to be involved in acts or pleasures that offer no clear or useful meaning”. Queer theory is ripped out of identity politics (discontinuity) and thrown into the general economy of sex and death (continuity). Queerness is the libidinal summit, that is, the intense and impossible (to reach) peak of eternal recurrence. Heteropatriarchy polices the anarchic energy of queerness. People who “come out” as transgressors of heterosexual law, that is, people who come out as queer (not straight), are immediately put into a negative position by our heteropatriarchal society. Coming out as queer is like a terrorist attack on straight society (see Jasbir K. Puar’s truly amazing book Terrorist Assemblages: Homonationalism in Queer Times pages 216–220). Queerness is a radical heterogeneity. The lesbian (both woman and queer) is thus the most libidinal figure of heterogeneity. And we are all becoming-lesbians…
Lesbian Desire and the Libidinal Economy of the Drives as an Materialist Economy
For Land, drive underlies our composed reality. So, if women are nothing more than libidinal matter and drive is the permutation of libidinal matter then “[d]esire could thus be said to be nothing but becoming a woman at different levels of intensity”. In this way, desire comes up from “the lesbian depths of the unconscious,” and desire “desires for/as feminizing spasms of remigration … without limit”. The libidinal economy of the drives is nothing more than the economy of queer womanhood, a materialist economy wherein “[e]verything populating the desolate wastes of the unconscious is lesbian”. This allows us to again answer the question of “What is a women?” with a violent silence.
This is also why we all come out of women (= 0): “Libido” is “the raw energy of creation”. The libidinal matter that we all are as bodies which circulate within the general-libidinal-economy as pulsions and intensities (to recourse to the language used by Lyotard in his evil book Libidinal Economy) heading (accelerating) towards the white-hot libidinal summit. And our bodies come out of the cosmic vulva, out of Zero.
We may recourse to Lyotard and Libidinal Economy in a moment but I can never be so sure about where my writing will go. If we do though, remember that only intensity matters. Any synthesis between Bataille’s work and Lyotard’s Libidinal Economy will be through Nietzsche, Land, and intensity. The libidinal summit as that point in which the libidinal band (the Sun) is white-hot and all dispositifs dissolve as the ground they are ‘set-up’ upon becomes too shaky.
On Feminism, Reformism, and Spinoza
I am to first repeat a notion from an essay I read about a year ago by Andrew Kingston titled Bataille and Feminist Theory (which has been lost to time). Bataille is a thinker of sexual difference, but in a radically different way. In Bataille’s work, femininity-as-loss is what collapses the binary of the masculine and the feminine, because expenditure breaks down the difference between One and Two into Zero (to reference Vitanza and Land). Eroticism entails not only the dissolution of subject and object but also the dissolution of binaries. To repeat a gesture from Stephen David Ross’ The Gift of Beauty: The Good as Art, “[a]ll binaries are restricted economies”. The general economy and restricted economy are not in a binary relation, that is, a binary opposition. For, as I said in my last essay, expenditure is not a thing and thus has no relation to anything. But Ross suggests a notion we should explore: Spinoza as a thinker of general economy. Described in Spinoza is “an absolutely infinite general economy composing infinite numbers of infinite kinds”. The restricted economy is clearly described by Spinoza, as Ross notes, when Spinoza says (proposition VI of Part III of The Ethics), “Each thing, as far as it can by its own power, strives to preserve in its being”. Production and accumulation are how each thing preserves itself, its being. This is the movement of living matter within the restricted economy. Ross sees that the general economy, in Spinoza’s work, “pertains to God’s abundance”. Now, is this a recourse to theology? Is Spinoza to be rejected here? Well, I can not lie. There is a theological impulse in his work when it comes to his denial of chance, but when it comes to Spinoza’s conception of God, we can note that there is not a theological impulse but rather an atheological impulse. Spinoza’s God is like Bataille’s dead God because “Spinoza’s substance is a desert God. God as impersonal zero, as a death that remains the unconscious subject of production”. Now, the inclusion of ‘production’ may be problematic but maybe not. I say that this may not be problematic because expenditure is the unconscious subject production in that production is just the conscious restriction of the unconscious solar flow. Restricted economy, which is of production, still “abides” by the laws of general economy, which is of expenditure. Spinoza’s God can also work within a libidinal materialist philosophy if we cast Spinoza’s God as the dead God of (libidinal) matter. Spinoza’s beautiful cosmology may have future importance for us when it comes to any potential synthesis between Deleuze-Guattari and Bataille.
Back to feminism, the issue with feminism is not necessarily the analysis it does (we have demonstrated in this essay that we fundamentally agree with the existence of (hetero)patriarchy and the misogyny face by women within their daily lives), but rather that it is idealist, and thus misogynistic in its own regard. Nick Land, in his essay “Kant, Capital, and the Prohibition of Incest” (found in Fanged Noumena), argues, “it is difficult not to be dispirited by the enormous reluctance women have shown historically to prosecute their struggle with sufficient ruthlessness and aggression”. This reluctancy to use violence does not apply to all forms of feminism (and Land notes this when he looks at Monique Wittig, a theorist of lesbian feminism), but fundamentally, present-day “feminists” have fallen into the trap of reformism, “revisionist Marxism” (“radical” liberalism with a twist), crypto-liberalism, and/or liberalism proper. Feminist who doesn’t advocate for violence does nothing to help women’s issues no matter how much they beg to differ. It is this idealist movement away from the violence that plagues the political landscape of the present day. Land says, “If feminist struggles have been constantly deprioritized in theory and practice it is surely because of their idealistic recoil from the currency of violence, which is to say, from the only definitive ‘matter’ of politics. The state apparatus of an advanced industrial society can certainly not be defeated without a willingness to escalate the cycle of violence without limit … A revolutionary war against a modern metropolitan state can only be fought in hell” [emphasis mine]. This is the servility of not only present-day feminism (of which I am not one; I, like Bataille, do not waste my time with idealism, as one cannot expend, waste, within an idealist framework) but also any form of reformism is shown here. They are fundamentally servile in their horrified recoil from violence, while all they do is whine. They want change so badly, but all they can do is put up infographics on their Instagram stories… Do they really want change then? Reform will not work, revolution might not either, acceleration is happening whether we like it or not (capital controls and constructs (as well as deconstructs) us; it has taken the driver’s seat, and humanity is its anthropocentric passenger), and insurrection has no intention of any working (which is why it is one of the most base modes of escape). Voting is capitalist and can do nothing but reinforce capitalism, because fundamentally capitalism is restricted economy, and always has been as capitalism is just “the tendency for increasing commodification”. A “socialist” or “communist” society achieved through reform is not socialist nor communist at all if one argues socialism or communism is the change of the present state of things as Marx does, as fundamentally this reformist socialism and reformist communism (I don’t know how people can even believe or advocate for such things, though I am not a communist (I advocate for no society (compositional social form)) is still within restricted economy. If any feminist, reformist, etc. advocates for a method predicated on a recoil from violence, they are advocating for an anti-queer, anti-black, and anti-woman method as restricted economy (which is the locus of all discriminatory social logics) is not only maintained but perpetuated by them. Only a materialist way of thinking politics which accelerates without reserve (thus, it is an unconditional accelerationism (having a political end would do nothing but throw us back into the restricted economy) can achieve anything, but only because it achieves NOTHING. The realm of the political itself is restricted economics. I can do nothing but laugh at those who do nothing but perpetuate those issues they protest and this laughter causes me to lose myself, and all political issues are solved with this laughter (which is not at all productive because these political issues, that is, political problems, where never issues nor problems in the first place.
Transgression and Solar-Libidinal-Economy
Desire, for Bataille, heads towards transgression and thus desire heads in every which way as transgression does not “exist”. Land argues that because of the decomposition (of composition) found within the movement beyond the limit that is transgression, transgression has no subject. Desire is thus, for Bataille, free-flowing in every direction. But its flow is a dissipative flow, for Land’s Bataille at least. Desire is without telos because it heads towards NOTHING, which is nowhere at all. This is also why desire has a queer anti-logic for Bataille: “To be queer is not to respond to the law of desire: it is to have no idea who or what you are, or where you’re going” [emphasis mine].
If we are to outline a Bataille-Lyotard (the Lyotard of Libidinal Economy) synthesis then we must extract Lyotard from any ideas associated with production.
Like Land’s Bataille, Jean-François Lyotard sees desire “as a material process that involves systems and energy”. The ‘libidinal economy’ is, for Lyotard, “a flow of resources around a system where resources take the form of an energy that … takes the form of libidinal feelings and desires (Lyotard calls these intensities)”. Thus, we are to construct a general-libidinal-economy (this is not a neologism, Victor J. Vitanza uses it in his book Negation, Subjectivity, and the History of Rhetoric on pages 161 and 381) and a restricted-libidinal-economy (this is a neologism of mine). Bataille’s Sun is analogous to Lyotard’s ‘libidinal band’ which is “the space where intensities first occur”. The libidinal band expends intensities in every which way, just as the Sun expends energy across the cosmos (in this way the general economy is not encompassed by the libidinal economy, as the general economy is on the level of the universe). The libidinal band is formless (think of Bataille’s concept of informe here) and is in constant instability (disorder; expenditure). The libidinal band and the Sun are both “analogous” to Freud’s primary process, as Lyotard and Land argue respectively. The secondary process is for both representation and composition/dispositifs. This is the general-libidinal-economy: the white-hot (like the Sun) libidinal band expending intensities in every which way with no dispositifs insight (as one cannot see, they are blinded by the libidinal band(’s intensities) (the Sun(’s rays))). James Williams, explaining Lyotard’s Libidinal Economy further, says, “Once feelings and desires have appeared in the economy, they are given recognizable shape by the way they are handled by various structures or set-ups; Lyotard calls these dispositions and figures” or ‘dispositifs’. Dispositifs “channel, control and exploit the energy of intensities. For example, it could be said that the nuclear family is a disposition controlling and exploiting desires and feelings called lust, love, affection and so on”. Thus, the restricted-libidinal-economy is the totality of dispositifs (compositions for Land and Bataille) as all dispositifs channel, control, and exploit, and therefore utilize intensities (libidinal energy). The restricted-libidinal-economy could then be of/is Lyotard’s concept of ‘the bar’ which is that bar that allows for dispositifs to capture intensities, just as the general-libidinal-economy is of/is the libidinal band. But, our synthesis doesn’t stop there, Williams notes, “However, in the same way as the desire that is exploited by the disposition of the nuclear family can also destroy it, through adultery for example, all dispositions are at risk from new unpredictable and unmanageable intensities … New flows of energy constantly challenge established ways of handling energy … the exploited intensities also attack the disposition within”. This is the restricted-libidinal-economy following the laws of the general-libidinal-economy, that is, of the libidinal band. All dispositifs head towards zero… Compositions decompose. This is a general outline of a potential synthesis between the Lyotard of Libidinal Economy and (Land’s) Bataille (of The Thirst for Annihilation).
The E-Girl Economy
The ‘e-girl economy’ is a neologism of mine that was written in an essay from earlier this year. Those essays which I wrote from early January to early February of this year (Libidinal Materialism Contra Lacan | Toxic Love, Haunted by Her (Bataille), la mort éternelle, The E-Girl Economy, ANGUISH, ALONE, and finally Elaborations on ALONE (you can find these all on my medium)) are all essays which embarrass me. Written out of lonely anguish derived from my breakup in December, these essays displayed a subtle (e.g., Haunted by Her (Bataille), la mort éternelle, The E-Girl Economy, ALONE) as well as explicit (e.g., Libidinal Materialism Contra Lacan | Toxic Love) libidinal materialist (anti-)logic. Now, I have been over my ex-partner for a couple, if not a few weeks now, but I want to use (an impossible operation, I know!) the last of that heterogenous energy that resides in my unconscious from that breakup here.
So, what is the e-girl economy? It is the general-libidinal-economy on the level of bodies. What does this mean?
When Land speaks of capitalism (hereinafter referred to as ‘capital’) as a machine which not only composes (and decomposes) subjects forcing them to follow its praxeological laws (of action), but also as a machine who controls its own motor (as it controls the subjects who think they controlling the motor), we must take note. Land says the hub of capital “is the virtual zero of impersonal metropolitan accumulation” and that “[a]t the peak of [captial’s] productive prowess the human animal is hurled into a new nakedness, as everything stable is progressively liquidated in the storm” [emphasis mine]. For Land, libido is no longer “the energy of love,” but rather “a raw energy that loves only as an accident of impersonal passion”. We must derive two conclusions: 1. Within the present-day conditions of capital, zero has become real but not actual(ized), i.e., ‘virtual’ and 2. Within the present-day conditions of capital, libido has become a force that tries to make zero actual rather than virtual (because it is desire-as-force for Lyotard (see Lyotard: Writing the event by Geoffrey Bennington)). Firstly, what do I mean by ‘virtual’? Following what Fisher says in his essay What is Hauntology? and his book Ghosts of My Life, something that is virtual repeats itself via structuring things while not really being there. It is not really there, not actual, but it is still “real” (still causes effects). A good example which I have seen put forward (and Fisher puts this forward as well) is the specter (this is a concept from Derrida’s hauntology, but that is besides the point and maybe for another time) of communism. Communism has, supposedly, “existed” as primitive communism in the past and will supposedly exist in the future (as the end of history (we know the whole communist shebang!)) and yet, even though it currently does not exist and hasn’t for thousands of years (supposedly), it still caused so many effects, such as the Red Scare for example (it was a scare for a reason!). So, when Land speaks of ‘virtual zero,’ he is talking about how capital, which is the highest form of the refusal of expenditure (of zero), has erased zero’s actuality from its cultural hub (it has its own cultural impetus), but zero still haunts capital as it is always heading toward the “actualization” of zero. This is why I use the term ‘e-girl’: because zero, in the present day conditions of capital, is virtual (think of virtual in the sense of computing and not hauntology here) and women = 0. Virtual zero = the libidinal matter that is the e-girl. But back to the e-girl economy as the circulation of virtual bodies within the general-libidinal-economy.
For (Vitanza’s libidinal materialist) Nietzsche, “the force or desire or will to power is here with us, in our bodies”. Thus, the intensities which the libidinal band expends are bodies. Thus the libidinal band of Lyotard is the libidinal anus (just as Bataille’s Sun is the solar anus) which shits out waste matter (bodies). Libidinal-bodies-as-e-girls (this is the ‘e-girl form’ (another neologism of mine) of libidinal bodies, but they are formless) circulate throughout the general-libidinal-economy pulling all things within the restricted-libidinal-economy every which way, including brokenness, destitution, suicidal despair, and death.
E-girls are the primary process. E-girls are the real.
The E-Girl Economy (= 0)
: Nick Land, Fanged Noumena: Collected Writings, 1987–2007, ed. Robin Mackay and Ray Brassier (Falmouth, UK: Urbanomic, 2011), 160.
: Ibid., 283.
: Georges Bataille, Œuvres complètes, tome V (Paris: Gallimard, 1973), 29, quoted in Nick Land, The Thirst for Annihilation: Georges Bataille and Virulent Nihilism (an Essay in Atheistic Religion) (London, UK: Routledge, 1992), 197.
: Nick Land, Fanged Noumena: Collected Writings, 1987–2007, ed. Robin Mackay and Ray Brassier (Falmouth, UK: Urbanomic, 2011), 211.
: Ibid., 207.
: Ibid., 209–210.
: Ibid., 210.
: Immanuel Kant, Critique of Pure Reason, trans. Marcus Weigelt (New York, NY: Penguin Group Inc., 2007), 262.
: Ibid., 259.
: Friedrich Nietzsche, The Will to Power: Selections from the Notebooks of the 1880s, trans. by Kevin Hill and Michael A. Scarpitti (London, UK: Penguin Books, 2017), 322.
: Ibid., 323–324.
: Nick Land, Fanged Noumena: Collected Writings, 1987–2007, ed. Robin Mackay and Ray Brassier (Falmouth, UK: Urbanomic, 2011), 210.
: Ibid., 206.
: Ibid., 298.
: Nick Land, The Thirst for Annihilation: Georges Bataille and Virulent Nihilism (an Essay in Atheistic Religion) (London, UK: Routledge, 1992), 25.
: Nick Land, Fanged Noumena: Collected Writings, 1987–2007, ed. Robin Mackay and Ray Brassier (Falmouth, UK: Urbanomic, 2011), 90.
: Ayn Rand, The Virtue of Selfishness (New York, NY: Penguin Books USA Inc., 1964) 17.
: Nick Land, Fanged Noumena: Collected Writings, 1987–2007, ed. Robin Mackay and Ray Brassier (Falmouth, UK: Urbanomic, 2011), 283–284.
: Nick Land, The Thirst for Annihilation: Georges Bataille and Virulent Nihilism (an Essay in Atheistic Religion) (London, UK: Routledge, 1992), 125.
: Ibid., 88.
: Ibid., 195
: Shannon Winnubst, “Bataille’s Queer Pleasures: The Universe as Spider or Spit,” essay, in Reading Bataille Now, ed. Shannon Winnubst, 75–93 (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2007), 90.
: Ibid., 91.
: Nick Land, The Thirst for Annihilation: Georges Bataille and Virulent Nihilism (an Essay in Atheistic Religion) (London, UK: Routledge, 1992), 26.
: Nick Land, Fanged Noumena: Collected Writings, 1987–2007, ed. Robin Mackay and Ray Brassier (Falmouth, UK: Urbanomic, 2011), 172.
: Stephen David Ross, The Gift of Beauty: The Good as Art (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1996), 243.
: Benedict de Spinoza, A Spinoza Reader: The Ethics and Other Works, ed. And trans. Edwin Curley (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1994), 159.
: Stephen David Ross, The Gift of Beauty: The Good as Art (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1996), 244.
: Nick Land, Fanged Noumena: Collected Writings, 1987–2007, ed. Robin Mackay and Ray Brassier (Falmouth, UK: Urbanomic, 2011), 269.
: Ibid., 79.
: Nick Land, The Thirst for Annihilation: Georges Bataille and Virulent Nihilism (an Essay in Atheistic Religion) (London, UK: Routledge, 1992), 55.
: Shannon Winnubst, “Bataille’s Queer Pleasures: The Universe as Spider or Spit,” essay, in Reading Bataille Now, ed. Shannon Winnubst, 75–93 (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2007), 91.
: James Williams, Lyotard: Towards a Postmodern Society (Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers, Inc., 1998), 40.
: Ibid., 40–41.
: Ibid., 41.
: Nick Land, The Thirst for Annihilation: Georges Bataille and Virulent Nihilism (an Essay in Atheistic Religion) (London, UK: Routledge, 1992), 113.
: Ibid., 119.
: Victor J. Vitanza, Negation, Subjectivity, and the History of Rhetoric (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1996), 250.
Kant, Immanuel. Critique of Pure Reason. Translated by Marcus Weigelt. New York, NY: Penguin Group Inc., 2007.
Land, Nick. Fanged Noumena: Collected Writings, 1987–2007. Edited by Robin Mackay and Ray Brassier. Falmouth, UK: Urbanomic, 2011.
— — — . The Thirst for Annihilation: Georges Bataille and Virulent Nihilism (an Essay in Atheistic Religion). London, UK: Routledge, 1992.
Nietzsche, Friedrich. The Will to Power: Selections from the Notebooks of the 1880s. Translated by Kevin Hill and Michael A. Scarpitti. London, UK: Penguin Books, 2017.
Rand, Ayn. The Virtue of Selfishness. New York, NY: Penguin Books USA Inc., 1964.
Ross, David Stephen. The Gift of Beauty: The Good as Art. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1996.
Vitanza, Victor J.. Negation, Subjectivity, and the History of Rhetoric. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1996.
Williams, James. Lyotard: Towards a Postmodern Philosophy. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers Inc., 1998.
Winnubst, Shannon. “Bataille’s Queer Pleasures: The Universe as Spider or Spit.” Essay. In Reading Bataille Now, edited by Shannon Winnubst, 75–93. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2007.