CFP: Affirmation, Negation and the Politics of Late-Capitalism

The apocalyptic tenor surrounding recent financial crises has both explicitly and implicitly drudged up the undying leftist dream of a post-capitalist society. While Zizek has rightly noted that it is easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism, both his politics of refusal as well as Badiou’s politics of affirmation and varying configurations of post-modernist politics of the Other have left something to be desired in terms of anti-capitalist debate. Furthermore, the anti-humanist philosophical project of speculative realism, while noetically incisive, has had oddly little to say about anti-capitalist struggle–or any political struggle for that matter.

Papers are sought which investigate the varying degrees to which the thinking against or without the human (humanism/agency, etc.) is a viable political project in the age of Late Capitalism. How can a hyper-negative or darkly vitalist politics work within a capitalist frame without merely sinking into the common apathy of broadly marketable attitudes? Can capitalist life be truly haunted in a way which is politically generative? Can the speculative realist grasp of the object illuminate the machinations of capital?

Topics could include:

Agency and Capitalism

Hauntology and Capitalism

Xenoeconomics as a Politics

Nihilism and Capital

Crisis and the Structure of Capitalism

Speculative Realist Politics and Capitalism

Abstracts of 250-300 words should be submitted by November 30th.
Final papers of 2000-3000 words should be submitted by January 1st.
Discussion (virtual or actual) will commence on January 31st.

Please send correspondence to speculativeheresy [at] gmail [dot] com

Cross Post at will.

5 thoughts on “CFP: Affirmation, Negation and the Politics of Late-Capitalism

  1. Hey this is great guys! I’m finishing up the translation of Guattari’s L’Inconscient machinique, and I’d have to say that this book is perfectly focused on the issues at hand in this call for papers. Do you think an application of this theory could be a viable topic?

  2. Taylor,

    I have to say I’m thrilled about the translation, as my own work is to a large degree dedicated to developing a practicable formulation of schizoanalysis. The thoughts I’ve had regarding xenoeconomics, speculative realism, et cetera, have only dovetailed with this project, and I think my paper will reflect this. So the application of schizoanalysis will certainly make an appearance in my paper, at least. Thanks for the translations, they are an wonderful resource and I always look forward to them.

    Reid

  3. Thank you Reid!

    I have to say that your comments definitely make me feel much more confident that Guattari still has something to contribute with his solo work, which I feel still has been overshadowed by his work with Deleuze or by Deleuze himself. In any case, the Machinic Unconscious is what Gary Genosko called a “workbook” for A Thousad Plateaus….I’d have to agree, but also have to add that it’s almost more of a primer for a new science and investigation. I have a very strong feeling that Laruelle’s Au-dela du principe de pouvoir is in line with much of what Guattari addresses in the Machinic Unconscious…in fact, they were published within 6 months of one another.

    I won’t have time to focus on that book of Laruelle’s (which may be the most important politically other than Introduction to Non-Marxism), but I do want to try to quickly construct a viable and general framework for schizoanalysis (2000 words isn’t much space for such a task)!

    And Reid, if you’re interested in schizoanalysis and Laruelle, Erik del Buffalo, one of Laruelle’s commentators, has written a book on Deleuze, Laruelle, and Guattari with the main focus on schizoanalysis as a discipline (and what non-philosophy can do to help, etc.).

  4. I agree that Laruelle and Guattari are the two central voices today on this question. By comparison, I tend to think Badiou and Zizek are far too overt, even misleading — too Hardt and Negri, if you will… :)

    For my part, I think capitalism functions through a “fibroproliferative” ungrounding — “capital” is a swarm of parasites, all intentionally generating crises, death and decay from within, and like a cancer it distributes violence and debt in order to work, in order to make the Earth “work” for capital. To set up a direct exchange with the Earth itself, it digs beneath, it burrows: it knows that everything will and must break; it must be annihilated, molecularized and evaporated — finally, become simulation: an absolute deterritorialization… This is even the capitalistic desire for the machine, a subversion of the machine within desire itself: the will to life turned into a raging boner for the pure and horizonless functioning of the machine… Capital becomes spirit, chaos becomes transcendence, and finally wealth becomes holy, the good in itself — our highest hope, our reason.

    That we could be so misled is not surprising. They went to some lengths, and we must go much further to be sure of escaping. This is Deleuze’s strange question about whether we can sure we’re still trapped up within a given regime, or whether we’re simply using signs from that regime innocently…

    One last thought: the revolutionary, the “innocent” one who has actually earned the right to claim he’s never heard of Oedipus, what concepts does his reality require us to create? Or again: what is a post-capitalist regime of signs, a post-Oedipal image of thought?

  5. Sounds like you’ve already got an abstract and more already composed there. I like that you’re still working with A Thousand Plateaus. You know, even if I might admit A Thousand Plateaus is more “fun,” I think I prefer Anti-Oedipus (because I’ve invested more time in it!)…though I would be the first to admit I have found it so intricate that it might be considered the most difficult book for me to keep up with (one cannot absolutely deterritorialize quickly enough).

    I like the fact that Ben has been writing on Laruelle’s relationship to Lacan…and it makes me wonder if Guattari in fact can add something to this dialogue as a first means of approaching the relationship to Laruelle…

    It’s strange, but even though del Bufalo’s book focuses primarily on the relationship between Laruelle and Deleuze (and Guattari) via schizoanalysis, in the third chapter of Philosophie et non-philosophie, Laruelle lists schizoanalysis as just another decision among others. Which is something that has to be addressed insofar as Deleuze is not the sole creator of schizoanalysis (and Guattari wouldn’t claim himself to be either, since they’re an assemblage). However, even Deleuze would admit that the idea of schizoanalysis, everything considered, is something more fundamental to Guattari’s own work. Is there still something to be gained from trying to think Guattari apart from Deleuze, doesn’t a problem hide behind the shadow that Deleuze has cast over Guattari’s own theoretical creations?

    I’m not saying dump Deleuze, but I wonder if we have to throw Guattari out with the bathwater (if we are to respond to Deleuze(and-but-not-Guattari), as Laruelle has done).

    If anything, I don’t think such a relationship has to be foreclosed at all in advance. But I need to spend much more time reading his Beyond the Power Principle…I saw something in there that struck me as a component of passage.

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