Direction 2.28: Appropriation of the Rhetoric of Power

The impetus of this blog page “The Direct Tangents of Constructive Undoing” concerns the question: In the explication of his project called ‘Non-Philosophy’, why is Francis Laruelle so bogged down in high-speak jargon?

Now, be prepared; this series of essays is gonna drop some super bombs on your ideal reality. Granted, probably next to zero people are following along ( though I write as if some one person is), but the explanation is simple, as I said earlier: people care nada. Most people do not care about anything but their own idea of what is correct. If I can coin a term I just picked up from another blogger: the sheeple make up 99.99 % of the population, the cattle-people, and of that .01 that may care, hardly another .001 of those will be able to burden themselves with such a weighty, hard-hitting conceptual explosion. They only want to do their skill set and proclaim their ethics upon the world from their porch while they drink margaritas and bar-b-que steaks on their days off. There is no getting through to most people.

OK. Now that I’ve alienated what audience I had left, as i eat my steak and drink fruit smoothies, you fraction of a minutiae, you one people, you zero-percenters, get to see if you can hold on, because I am speaking to you. It is among you that the point of this discussion may find root. What I have to offer should be heard by academics, but I’ve probably insulted them too much already and their career typically doesn’t allow such boldness. One must remain timid, pliable; which is to say, conventionally acclimated.

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One might be easily drawn to the conclusion that Laruelle is an academic, and has been involved in academic circles so has been long acclimated to such linguistic weather. Sure. I am sure that this is the case. The idea behind this, though, is that academia hold the path to answers and that these answers, as well as the route, can only be understood through jargon. This is one explanation: it was the only language he knows/knew ( he is still alive at this point in time).

Yet the nature of his non-philosophy belies this explanation, for its message, the message that necessitates the ‘project’ aspect of his proposition, is saying as much as I am. Whether he sees it or not, there is a contradiction involved in his using the jargon to speak, or attempt to convey a reason and a proposal for action, against the proposal that is implicated by his use of such jargon. Hence, non-philosophy and philosophy, respectively.

The point of his project, though, is exactly that he sees the contradiction, and is in an effort to make it consistent. This is his project. To be clear: he must assert the project because it has to be more than a theory because the theory contradicts itself in its presentation.

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What we are seeing here is a trick of mirrors. See, what I am offering here is a description of what Laruelle is up to all the while showing through my description what he is actually saying; I am presenting a picture of what he must mean by not only explaining his ideas, but presenting the moment of understanding as the process of reading this essay.

What we have with non-philosophy is a juxtapositioning of rhetoric, as this juxtaposition thus indicates the rhetoric of power. One would not be wrong in calling it also a discourse of power, but more so its significance is found in a particular rhetoric that usurps meaning unto itself.
In the same way feminists speak of hegemonic discourse, such as, colonialist discourse, or as Paulo Freire might call the discourse of oppression, Laruelle’s proposition is based in the notion that there is a manner of speaking that appears on the scene as reality, as if it is indicating a true reality, but that it really is indicating mere one particular reality. By his non- philosophy, he is saying that this particular rhetoric is the only way of speaking that can be used, but that indeed, it is being used (by non-philosophy) in the attempt to convey another reality: one that is not subject to the rhetoric in power, but one that has no other rhetoric to use for its conveyance.