Dispatches From The Event Horizon

25th January 2019 |

Ce n’est pas la technique qui represent le vrai danger pour la civilisation, c’est l’énertie des structures.

Louis Armand

Beguiled by the idea that a multiple-scenario universe means “alternative realities” that can simply be tuned into or out of as a matter of convenience, or as a solution to whatever local or global crisis they choose to evoke, the mutant children of Buckminster Fuller & Ayn Rand have in turn bequeathed social & ecological practices deeply at variance with their progressivist & emancipatory claims. In this uncanny region, between “Spaceship Earth” & Atlas Shrugged, there is no such thing as immaterial labour: every action is aggregated into the production of the Real, whether curated or elective, secret or flagrantly commodified. In so doing, the inherently adversarial structure of this collectivity of fractured viewpoints is made to accord with a principle of dynamic maximisation: what the poet William Blake phrased as “Enough or too much.” The question we are confronted with here is, how is it possible to anticipatethat ideal mode of operation – that advantageous balance between contending forces – of a World System contiguous with the socalled “dominion of Man”? 

From the Epic of Gilgameshto the Greek city state, to Malthus, to our contemporary cybersphere, the concept of a natural “homeostatic” order has evolved technologically into entirely unforeseen formulations.

Where the “Eridu Genesis” evokes the prototypical Great Flood as corrective to human excess, the City State evokes a technē politikē(colonisation), while Malthusianism conjures in-built eugenic mechanisms in the balance between population & productivity. It’s sobering to consider that when Aristotle sought to define sustainable population growth in the Politics, the size of the average Greek city state was 3-4,000 inhabitants, with Athens & Sparta representing the exception at approximately 10,000 inhabitants apiece. By the advent of the Industrial Revolution, the city state was obviously no longer the political unit on which growth was factored, yet mercantilism & the emerging predominance of corporate entities in political & economic life in Britain & elsewhere would nevertheless continue to draw on the city state as a model for human resource management. 

In the early 1800s, one of the socalled fathers of British socialism, Robert Owen, proposed a reorganisation of the State on the principle of the semi-autonomous industrial polis, for which the Scottish mill town of New Lanark, which Owen managed, was to serve as the paradigm. New Lanark housed a permanent workforce of approximately 1,200 & Owen envisaged a national grid of some 400 similar entities, interspersed by agricultural zones, supporting a UK population of some 5.5 million people. By simple multiplication, this would today represent an industrial polis of merely 14,000, against a current UK population of 66 million. A simple comparison of this kind exposes the need not only to factor in those economies of scale consistent with two & a half centuries of urban industrialisation, it also raises questions about the politicalsustainability of a social-economic system driven by an undisguised tendency towards obsolescence. With increased efficiency in core production through automation, matched to an inflationary growth of consumption, there nevertheless occurs a significant contraction in the industrial labour force against a rapid expansion of the general population. And here arises the basic paradox of any constructed mercantile social system exposed to increasingly globalised economic pressures: what Moldbug calls Patchwork (“a global spiderweb of tens, even hundreds, of thousands of sovereign & independent mini-countries, each governed by its own joint-stock corporation…”).[1]It isn’t simply a question of whether such a system is technically viable, or even desirable, once the social problem of human obsolescence is addressed (for example, by broad-based consumer credit, service industries, & so on). The real question is: If cybernetics – through analogous “distributed system” of communication & control – radically evolves the mechanisms of population growth as conceived by Aristotle, thus producing what on the face of it appears to be the conditions for widespread “emancipation” from onerous labour, does it provide a political idea of what this growth is for?

If cybernetics appears to re-engineer the limits of collective human action by altering the ratios of environmental self-sustainability, this movement is nevertheless “compensated for” by the seemingly irrational tendency of free market capitalism to generate ever-increasing amounts of waste. The incongruity between efficiency & profit-incentive has grown to such dimensions as to define an entire globally-evolved system of entropy: one which threatens an immanent “homeostatic” readjustment on a planetary scale; while, in a monstrous iteration of the commodity fetish, increasingly assuming the characteristics of an autonomous agency. That is to say, like the approaching “technological singularity” its evolution appears symbiotic with, the global system of entropy more & more assumes the character of a phenomenon independent of human control. This cybernetic doppelgänger has not only become detached from any technē politikē capable of halting let alone regulating its excesses, but appears driven by an inherent catastrophism. This, at least, might be described as the conservationistviewpoint – alarmed, if not by the environmental consequences, at least by those for the maintenance of a Liberal-Humanist status quo. From a broadly accelerationistperspective, this movement is that of a globally-transformative, even revolutionary, force – heralding the “society to come.” In anticipation of the latter, numerous templates have been proposed, from Moldbug’s joint-stock patchwork feudalism to open-source eco-social platforming,[2]to distributed crypto-cybernetic systems of non-government, to full luxury communism. The price appears modest: the “sixth mass extinction” – the End-of-Life-as-we-know-it, the End-of-the-World even, or simply the End-of-Humanity & (who knows?) the beginning of a next evolutionary phase.

What does not appear in this prognosis is the End of the Corporate-State Apparatus. 

Politically the cybernetic revolution left no alternatives on the table. What we call the global order is a full-spectrum capitalist technocracy, whose market-harmonisation belies a system of exploitative & grossly unequal social & environmental relations – disguised behind such false dichotomies as democracy & totalitarianism: dichotomies that have more in common than their ruling classes have with the mass of their populations, or than their consumptive social systems have with the environment’s capacity to support them. Such naked irreconcilables have in turn contributed to a return to political resistance on the margins of the “permitted”[3]: from the Black Bloc & the CyberGuerrilla Column, to populist “anti-movements” like Extinction Rebellion & the Gilets Jaunes. Yet by their representation, or non-representation in the political imaginary, such forms of resistance are always made to entail a paradox: as simultaneously a desire to subvert the Corporate-State while resurrecting the benevolent welfare state; on the one hand an abolition or an opting-out, on the other a reconstitution. (Subversion, in any case, is always an operation from “within.”) 

The extent of this paradox can be gauged by examining the logistical obstacles that the cybernetic revolution has placed in the path of autonomous political action. Take for example Britain’s largest sustained experiment in “alternative living,” the Eel Pie Island commune located in the Thames at Twickenham (London), which dates from the 1960s, current population 100, only marginally less than the 130 recorded at the community’s height. By comparison, Freetown Christianiain Copenhagen sustains a resident population of 900.[4]Consider both of these in relation to that paradigm of vertically-integrated, globally-decentred neo-liberalism: Amazon, whose UK workforce – distributed around the country in a series of logistical hubs redolent of Owen’s semi-autonomous microstates – currently totals just 27,500, in an industry which in 2017 alone accounted for 586.3 billion of GDP & spans the datasets of a global demographic numbering in the billions. According to conventional manufacturing statistics, meanwhile, the UK is presently ranked 8thlargest globally by output, while new technology & “smart factories” mean that this output corresponds to a domestic workforce of only 2.6 million (against national unemployment figures of 1.49 million, or 4.5%). None of these structures – communal, corporate, statist – is self-sufficient: their autonomy consists solely (& somewhat paradoxically) in comprising integral units in what amounts to a multidimensional global “patchwork.” It’s no surprise, either, that the island of Britain produces only 50% of the foodstuffs it annually consumes, purchased at the expense of its strategic advantage in manufacture – while a £40.7 billion deficit means its economy will never of its own accord be “in balance.”  

These figures, of course, offer no real augury of coming events when arrayed before the spectre of the Anthropocene – against whose immanent derangements of the World Order neither fiscal policy nor “technological solutions” appear likely mitigation strategies: neither for the Corporate-State Apparatus, the ecosystem at large, nor the mass of humanity. Given that the scenario is one of NO EXIT, the outcomes are more likely to be infrastructural collapse, resource wars, mass eugenics, famine, epidemic, & other apocalyptic niceties – rather than any proactive conversion of the Corporate-State to debt-reduction, environmental responsibility & sustainable communitarianism (were such a thing in fact even possible with populations reaching 512.7 million in the EU, 325.7 million in the United States, 264 million in Indonesia, 209 million in Brazil, 144.5 million in Russia, not to mention the 1.34 billion in India & the 1.386 billion in China, etc., etc., etc.). The political task posed by the Anthropocene can too easily be obfuscated by sheer statistics, magnifying the convulsions of that Great Anonymous, as Victor Hugo wrote, which is always found “in human crises & in social births.”[5]If such a debilitating movement presents itself on the one hand as a fait accompli, it simultaneously evokes on the other precisely those statistical complexities solely accessible to cybernetic understanding. We can see how such a situation might appear emancipative within the frame of reference of a Humanist project that imagines it has succeeded in transcending its worldly conditions by means of pure technē

But in speaking this way, can we even know, first of all, what the Anthropocene is? 

If we accede in the idea that the Anthropocene defines a geologicalepoch, materially inscribed as the historical accumulation less of human actions per se than of technology as defined against by history of industrialisation, we make it appear as if the agent of the present crisis (or rather the crisis of the present) isn’t the ideological system that produced it, but some calamitous non-human agency that can only be appeased if not brought under the yoke. In short, a Götterdämmerung, marking the great revolutionary event of “our” time: in which we must either succeed in overthrowing the planetary gods or sacrifice ourselves to them – whether it be the revolt against the “World,” or against capitalism. Like all false choices, these too are ideologically inscribed – here masking the movement of Capital as both technological transcendence of this World, & as the promise of the one to come. Put otherwise, in the contest between neo-liberalism & its discontents, Capital has effectively come to designate both the “concrete form” of this crisis & its only possible “negation.” The return of the geologic “real,” called the Anthropocene, is presented as nothing but Capital’s reification as planetary agency– inscribing a global destiny as inexorable as plate tectonics. This is neo-liberalism’s fait accompli.

The problem of the Anthropocene, so conceived, is thus the problem of the fait accomplias such: here, the logic capture of the worldin all its “alternative” scenarios. In this it approximates a singularity: the singularity of History, we might say – or as Hegel & Marx (ventriloquised by Fukuyama) would say, the Endof History. Jena 1807, Paris 1848, the Fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 were all, doubtless, premature signals[6]– though the point is surely moot since, in positing itself as such an End, this fait accompli always arrives “before its time” & will be the last thing anyone will be able to remember. It marks the return of the proverbial repressed from beyond the event horizon: the uncanny doppelgänger of a “universal anachronism.” Time out of joint. This anachronism, like that endlessly extruded present of “post-ideology” that neo-liberalism still pretends to be, inhabits our World View like a vertically-integrated crisis balanced on the tip of a needle. The tipping point is right there in a Future that doesn’t exist that already happened that must be deferred at any cost. “Beyond” lies the unpresentable, the impossible: that most ideal of all Possible Worlds to which the word “Future” corresponds solely to the extent that it represents an endto the spectral existence of History & an endto a certain politicalpossibilityof History.[7]This neo-evangelist mesmerism by ultimateends goes beyond mere Hegelian “theory” & “bewitches” the teleology of Power itself, which henceforth perceives its hegemony as not simply destined – as that which must necessarily befall every possible present to come (as though it were an emissary of this Non-Future itself) – but as the very manifestation of non-futurity (its essential “being,” so to speak, & not simply its “signifier”).

In the final instance, however, this most extraordinary fait accompli– the singularity of the World refracted through the manifestationtranscendenceof its own End (“world without…” etc.) – reveals itself as nothing other than the spectacle of Power (History) converging with its ideal image (technicity). In this cosmic micro-drama, the supervening spectre of Capital – as both “production of phantasms” & “phantasmatic mode of production”[8]– returns not in place of the Real(its transcendental signified) but as the production of the Real “as such.”Yet its anachrony means that this movement of totalisation describes a feedback loop, an interminable circuit of sign-substitution in which the Return of the Real is “suspended” like a premonition. The premonition of the “as such.” Call it metaphor-of-metaphor, irreducible along the vector of its algorithmic freefall. Event horizon. Blackhole metaphysics. History & World, sign & concept, all convergent in this “ideal” (because unpresentable) anachronism: of which Capital nevertheless produces an “image.”[9]Just as, in its desire to inhabit the “as such,” we might begin to imagine that Capital itself produces this very irreducibility – as both “sameness within self-difference” & “sameness as the non-identical”[10]– & that it is the persistenceof this irreducibility, in spite of the appearance of an insistent dialecticism, that causes it to assume the form of areturn“in the Real.”

Let us suppose that it is this irreducibilitythat signifies in the Anthropocene as that which fails to accomplish itself– here, as Capital’s totalising movement. 

The “return of the Real” as fait accompli thus acquires the form of a return of the Impossible (Capital’s impossible “ideality” reified as the “future impossibility” of the World), so that we might say that – in the Anthropocene – Capital returns in its “pure” form. In this sense, both the Impossible & the End-of-Capitalism consists not, as Žižek suggests, in a conceptual failure to imagine a world without capitalism, but the contrary: in Capital’s own failure to ideally produce itself(the dream of communism). What appears in this formulation to be somehow revelatory is that the very logic of Capital is vested in this fundamental incommensurability – not as dysfunction but as dynamic interval, source of every operation of power, of value, of information – which its desire to internalise by paradoxically reifying, under the sign of an absolute self-sufficiency, causes to resemble the insuperable alienationof the Freudian Ego-Ideal. An alienation which, in the Grundrisse, Marx correctly surmises to be the constitutive condition of the socalled “individual.” Its movement, in other words, “isn’t something that happens to a transcendental subject: it produces a subject.”[11]

This is why we must guard ourselves against the kind of thinking that would reduce the problem of the Anthropocene, & of Capital in general, to one of “concrete situations” versus “mere abstractions.” 

In producing a subject alongside the representation of an Ego-Ideal, the logic of Capital disseminates itself in a broadly isomorphic movement that gives rise to what we might call, somewhat paradoxically, the consciousness of the Real. This “consciousness” is nothing other than ideology itself. Not one ideology or another (capitalism, socialism, communism, etc.), nor any privileged ideology above all others (in the presumptive form of an ideology-of-ideology, for example: Judeo-Christian-Islam), but the very possibility of a system of signification, or what we should be unafraid to call meaning. It disseminates itself in this way because, at root, Capital is ambivalent with regard to supposed “ideological content”: it is concerned solely with the leveraging of value, & its structures have evolved accordingly & in such complex multiplicity that they can only be described as universal. It is this universality that must somehow be reconciled with the perception of Capital as monolithic, a vision of “globalisation” fixated upon an image of One World: the convergence of all possibility upon a singular End. Yet if this convergence only appearsto be mediated by the socalled Anthropocene, this is because the “consciousness of the Real” to which the logic of Capital gives rise is notthe reflection of an Ego-Ideal. To this anthropomorphism, too, it remains fundamentally ambivalent (since it “itself” is not a reflection of but a generalised reflection-effect): there is virtually nothing, therefore, which separates this consciousnessfrom technicity.

What, then, is this Anthropocene in which consciousness of the Real manifests as a global technicity?

Quantum research has arrived at the somewhat belated supposition that reality is information; which it qualifies by adding that information is in turn produced by consciousness. That is to say, by some form of observational event, some mechanism or valency productive of a determinate state from a superposition of probabilities. If we ask “What is the state of the World?” it appears we are posing both a theoretical question & a question about the Earth’s material condition. One might appear political, the other geological (or even cosmological), yet both are addressed first of all to their own descriptive systems; & the “World” to which these systems correspond is both codependent & ideological. Not in the constructed sense of a mass hallucination nor in the purely doctrinal sense of a “world view,” or even an epistemology: if ideology is the consciousness of the Real, it is so in a manner that is profoundly uncanny with regard to conventional notions of what “reality” is. This is because the “symbolic order” to which consciousness corresponds is emergent[12]& not determined by what we imagine a “rational” causality to be. 

Ought we to posit the Anthropocene, therefore, as the negative consciousness of a Non-Future that represents its own failed transcendence? A consciousness that doesn’t correspond either to an objective correlative of human agency or to any type of emancipationfrom “capitalist subjectivity” – but rather its definitive inscription as the “thought of the impossible”? 

What would the subject of such a thought be? 

If the limits of the World are the limits of ideology, then there is nothing abstract about ideological operations. Yet by the same token, the work of abstraction defines the real. When we ask “What is thestate of the World?” we are firstly asking about the state of the descriptive system in which our frame of reference is situated. In other words, we are asking about the relation of subjectivity to consciousness. It isn’t that ideology thereby projects itself as some kind of subjectivism onto the World, but rather that this World – as the (non-) correlation of subjectivity & consciousness – describes a mobile semiosphere, a poiēsis,whose holographic “surface of sense” may be said to affect what has been called “global weirding.”[13]This “weirding” can be considered as indeed a patchwork of discrete valences, producing a compositeimage of reality that remains uncanny with relation to “itself.” It “is,” in other words, the event horizon of all information pertaining to a Worldthat does not appearas“the World”: a World, as Wittgenstein says, that is everything thatis the case– not (only) as it is perceived, but as it consists in its “possibility.” 

Global weirding isn’t a glitch in the World, it is the mode of operation of a World that has become impossible: what is glitchedis rather the relationship between the way these operations signify & the ideological character of the descriptive systems applied to them – since the World, in either is possibility or impossibility, is emergent information & not some transcendental entity.[14]

One of the disconcerting features of ideology is that, rather than describe a delirium as Deleuze & Guattari suppose, it describes instead the constitutive condition of any descriptive system: what Lacan calls the symbolic order is contiguous with that “fundamental fantasy” of experience which in Freud elides with Reason itself. Consequently, an unwelcome thesis proposes itself here: that in place of the Blakean “eternal contraries,” the “irreconcilable antagonisms” of class conflict, the dialectical supersessions of History & technology, there is in fact only a smeared-out topology of superpositions – Possible Worlds, socalled, brought into being or abolished under the critical mass of consciousness. Fundamentally irreconcilable to anything more “Real,” more totalisable, than their own status as information.

When we speak of “the World,” then, we are speaking of a global patchwork of “delocalised” subsystems[15]in which “other worlds” are ending all the time. But is that enough to affect a politics beyond vague appeals to terms like “salvage,” “sustainability,” survival,” “supersession”?

By themselves, such patchworks do not perform a demystification of the “ideological construction” of the global any more than a pixellated universe represents a disillusionment of “smooth space.” Patchwork, like pixellation, makes the perception of smoothness possible. It does so by defining a minimum interval or minimum difference from which the “fabric of the World” is thereby comprised. Just as “alienated subjectivity” constitutes the minimum political unit: not because it is in any way more fundamental, for example, than the commodity, but because the very logic & structure of commodification originates in it, just as the very logic & structure of the social originates in it. That both of these possibilities occur simultaneously goes some way towards accounting for the inherent “weirdness” of the political: a weirdness that permits classical market capitalism to give rise not only to global neo-liberalism but also to the thought of its transcendental recapitulation as world socialism. This is not the same thing, however, as the concerted effects of “weirding” produced by such ideological antagonism.[16]

Such weirdnessnowhere permeates contemporary political discourse more than on the question of the Anthropocene, in which the movement of History as Marx notoriously conceived it has moved beyond the tragic & farcical into the domain of the sublime. A sublimity encapsulated in the title of Pablo Servigne, Raphaël Stevens & Gautier Chapelle recent critique of globalisation, Un autre fin du monde est possible[17]– a quasi-Situationist détournement of those optimistic 1968 slogans about alternative futures without Capitalism. This isn’t quite the same thing as McKenzie Wark’s reflection, vis-à-vis Rosa Luxembourg, that “It used to be ‘socialism or barbarism’ … Now it’s ‘barbarism or barbarism.’”[18]

In one form or another, the End-of-the-World has always served as a teleological reference point. “Barbarism à la mode,” let’s say. But if the recurrence of this trope in the present owes a specific historical debt to a European “civilising” project, this is mostly due to the very considerable resources it directed towards constructing an idea of One World – a “World” in which, to paraphrase Hegel, it would be able to see itself everywhere & always reflected.[19]An image of the sublime destined, like so much Romantic poetry, to be sabotaged by its own worst metaphor: that pathetic fallacy of transcendent “Man.” Discontented with what it saw, it became desirous of alternative worlds, alternative civilisations, alternative natures (all to its own specifications, of course). And if the entire project of western Humanism can thus be regarded as an education in rational barbarism – wresting the End-of-the-World from the grip of “irrational gods” via compulsory mass industrialisation, etc. – then there is nothing at all uncanny about the present “world crisis.” Indeed, it is the business of Humanism to endow every crisis of its own making with a productivist, materialist vector,[20]thereby providing the occasion for its next magical act of transcendence. Call it: the eternal return of the Posthuman. As Lautréamont might’ve said, the End-of-the-World is necessary, progress implies it.


[1]Mencius Moldbug (aka Curtis Yarvin), “Patchwork: a positive vision (part 1)” (Thursday, 13 November 2008): http://keithanyan.github.io/Patchwork.epub/Patchwork.pdf

[2]Michael James, “Global Wyrding & Deeply Adaptive Patchworking“: syntheticzero.net/2018/11/08/global-wyrding-deeply-adaptive-patchworking-transcript/

[3]Corresponding to this return of resistance is a certain return of the repressed, which might otherwise be stated as a return of the “Real” – both in the political & psychoanalytic sense.

[4]The models of sustainability that these communities represent differ & need to be compared with those of the urban environments from which they are annexed: Metropolitan London, for example, has a population of 14 million over an area of 1,572 km(Eel Pie Island is .036 km2); while Copenhagen’s population is roughly 600,000 over 88.25 km2(Christiania is just over .07 km2) – densities of 8,900/km2& 6,800/km2respectively.

[5]Victor Hugo, Les Misérables(1903).

[6]See Francis Fukuyama, The End of History & the Last Man (London: Hamish Hamilton, 1992) xii & following.

[7]Jacques Derrida, Spectres of Marx, trans. Peggy Kamuf (London: Routledge, 1994) 100.

[8]Derrida, Spectres of Marx, 97; cf. Guy Debord, Sociétédu Spectacle (1967) & Jean Baudrillard, Simulacres et Simulation(1981).

[9]“Every concept is necessarily & essentially inscribed in a chain or a system, within which it refers to another & to other concepts, by the systematic play of differences. Such a play – différance – is no longer simply a concept, but the possibility of conceptuality, of the conceptual system & process in general.” Jacques Derrida, “The Voice that Keeps Silence,” Speech & Phenomena,& Other Essays on Husserl’s Theory of Signs, trans. David Alison (Evanston: Northwestern University, 1973) 140.

[10]Derrida, “The Voice that Keeps Silence,” 82.

[11]Derrida, “The Voice that Keeps Silence,” 82.

[12]That is to say, it possess properties unaccounted for by either its parts or its causality.

[13]James, “Global Wyrding & Deeply Adaptive Patchworking“: “complex, multifaceted, networked, & nonlinear changes & disruptions have been collectively & broadly described in many journalist circles as “global weirding”since the mid-2000s.” See also Mark Fisher, The Weird & the Eerie(London: Repeater, 2016).

[14]The potential of the uncanny to disturb systemically, is a symptom of the system itself, which we have learned to understand operates cybernetically – by breaking down. The socalled weird isn’t a mode of subvertingthe system of Capital, but the operational norm of the system itself. If we take the apparent “weirdness” of Hunter S. Thompson’s gonzo journalism, it isn’t “fake news,” & it isn’t in fact a parody, it’s rather a form of direct reporting of the predominant Capitalist Realism of the times. The contemporary Chinese literary genre chaohuan or “ultra-unrealism” is an example of how this situation continues to be misrecognised: it isn’t the world of capitalism that’s somehow become “ultra-unreal” – quite the contrary – it’s those cultural & political discourses bound to certain historical representations of themselves & which persist in misconstruing their relationship to it that are “unreal”: these are the “ideological social forms” that produce this experience of ultra-unrealism. 

[15]Ognyan Oreshkov, cited in Philippe Guérin & Časlav Brukner, “Observer-dependent Locality of Quantum Events,” arXiv:1805.12429v2 [quant-ph] (31 October 2018): 2.

[16]In his notes on engineering a corporate anti-society of the future, Moldbug has this to say: “Patchwork is something new. It will not feel like the past. It will feel like the future. The past – that is, the democratic past – will feel increasingly grey, weird, & scary” (“Patchwork: a positive vision [part 1]”). But this is par for the course. Democracy has always provoked fear in such visionary egoists of corporate statism (“All exit & no voice”), just as did the workers’ movements, the civil rights movements, the women’s liberation movements: anything at all that entailed collective political representation against the abstract prerogatives of the marketplace. Yet emancipation speaks with a forked tongue. As Margaret Thatcher once declared: “there’s no such thing as society. There are individual men & women & there are families. And no government can do anything except through the people, & people must look after themselves first” (Margaret Thatcher, interview with Woman’s Own [31 October 1987]: 8-10). (This remark was later clarified in a statement to the Sunday Times (10 July 1988): 45 – in which Thatcher adds “society as such does not exist except as a concept. Society is made up of people. It is people who have duties & beliefs & resolve. It is people who get things done.”) Yet it is precisely the weirdnessof such advertisements for the obsolescence of government that serves to legitimise their appeal to the emancipation of the self-interested individual, while simultaneously excluding the individual from the function of governance. (Détournement, as Debord was pleased to observe, tends in rapid order to the lowest ideological denominator.)

[17]Pablo Servigne, Raphaël Stevens & Gautier Chapelle, Un autre fin du monde est possible (Paris: Seuil, 2018).

[18]Victor L. Shammas & Tomas B. Holen, “Leaving the Twenty-First Century: A Conversation with McKenzie Wark,” Continental Thought & Theory 2.3 (December 2018) 297-328: 299.

[19]Hegel, G.W.F. Phenomenology of Spirit, trans. A.V. Miller (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1978) 14. Cf. Martin Heidegger, “The Question Concerning Technology,” Basic Writings: From Being and Time (1927) to The Task of Thinking (1964), ed. David Farrell Krell (London: Routledge, 1993) 308.

[20]From Revelation to ricorsoto self-supersession.

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