Reply to Terrence Blake’s recent post over at Agent Swarm:
As usual Terrence you pegged it. It’s strange how I view it and actually I can totally agree with you and yet somehow there’s something that I’m not agreeing with and really that has to do with my work, The strange situation that I find myself in reading you and is also what I’m trying to sort out. It’s actually really great.
For indeed I would say the same thing as you, and add a few other authors to your list who really kind of saying the same thing. Yet I don’t think that Laruelle is merely repeating what these other people have repeated in a better way. I do not think that’s all that’s going on here. I would put it more in the framework of the question of why Laruelle appears in a religious context; as you kind of say his acolytes or his believers. Lol. I agree, yeah. I would say inasmuch as people are appropriating his discourses in such a way that it is organized around a proper ordering of his definitions, whether one would either believe or not believe, or that they would be ‘congregants’ or not, is a misappropriation of what Laruelle is really saying.
This further goes to my point about Laruelle himself, that he is missing the significance of what he saying (oddly enough,about the event, the object of the discourse) as a further dynamic in the whole discussion.
“…if we can talk about Kierkegaard or Nietzsche in the same or similar context, that they indeed mark sort of turning point, or at least a sort of speaking in a certain way about a certain particular thing, then it is because before this mark (that is such talk) people of such an experience, what I call the significant event, still felt or still thought in terms of a common human standard, within a stratified horizon of human experience where all human beings can participate in the same context of any world through the manipulations of discourse. I’m not sure what others may make of Laruelle’s ‘unilateral duality’, but to me such a term defies the stratification to which his ideas are typically applied. The idea that thus takes hold and thus usurps the meaning of Laruelle’s notions is that mode that says “if I can just explain it well enough, if I can shred up a given term into its proper real elements, if I can deconstruct a term so thoroughly that I can present it to anyone and they will understand, potentially” …(from “The Second Moment”)
This is the enterprise that you’re talking about, and indeed that’s exactly what Laruelle does, exactly the effort that he’s involved with, which is why I say he is in bad faith. For if we can take a certain lineage that involves those characters as you brought up, if not more and other ones, each of those authors attempts to situate a certain type of experience within a communication of discourse, and actually not only that, but each of them is putting it in such a way that it is clear to them, such that their project then extends into explaining to others in rebuttal and response what they already explained, yet ,in further differentiated terms as if they will somehow at some point be able to communicate what they’re really saying to these other people.
Think about phenomenology. Husserl, from what I gather, tried to put forth a science of phenomenology, and Heidegger had the same idea and difficulty with his students. You can also feel the frustration in Nietzsche’s writings and you can hear the despair in Kierkegaard. After Kierkegaard and Nietzsche pretty much that’s it. The rest of it is just a reiteration and a repetition by someone who is come upon a certain type of experience attempting to improve upon the initial explication or pronunciation of it…”
Strangely enough, the science that authors might propose seems untenable because of the very mode that they are caught in; which is to say, the mode of Enlightenment thinking, which is really evangelism under a philosophical guise. The science they ‘feel’ is untenable because they are involving ‘everyone’ in the possibility that ‘everyone’ does not as a free agent participate in. Just think if a molecular biologist had to get an OK from everyone who was involved, or who ‘proved themselves’ to be involved with biology: Nothing of molecular biology would have ever gotten anywhere since everyone thinks they know something of biology because they are ‘by definition’ a biological creature. The conventional philosophers tend to work upon a level that is supposing everyone and everything, metaphysically, but the fact is that they can never dismiss themselves sufficiently enough from their own thinking (and thus everyone else’s opinions as they are positioned upon a hierarchical transcendental scaffolding) to thereby gain an objective quality of being to thereby gain a single fact to base such a science upon, and yet they suppose this of themselves and their ability at every turn. This is the significant issue: That they cannot allow for a humanity that is truly ‘different’; the very notion of difference becomes all too often merely an ideal notion of essential thought, as this is justified in the common thing that is the being of human. They cannot enact a science that they feel should be available precisely because they are involved in a failure to understand the mode by which they are being allowed to posit ‘being’: They are involved in an effective distance whereby they cannot ever philosophically approach the object that is human; they are ‘caught’, involved in, saturated by (if I may bring in Heidegger) the destitution that is their spirit…”
So what I see in the period of time that goes between say the 1850s (though it extends back further, its just at that time that a certain manner of appropriation of the object has arisen to discourse) up until now or until Laruelle, is we have the extension of the failure of the discourse that is attempting to explain a particular type of experience. And what this failure is, is involved with the religious type of orientation upon the world, which is to say that if I have (one person, i.e. the philosophical author) had this experience then everyone else should be able to understand it and should be able to realize the significance of this experience also because we are all human beings, common in the potential for communication. But what do we find in Nietzsche? Irritation and frustration at that no one can hear him. And what do we find in Lyotard? We have an evolved situation of the same experience. Here though, the Postmoderns have taken a different tact. They noticed a failure and so they use the failure as a means to establish a whole new manner of speaking about it, a different manner, so to speak. This is why postmodern is often associated with irony, because while they were sitting there talking about deconstructing everything and grammatology and such things, they are/were really trying to indicate the same thing that Nietzsche and Kierkegaard were indicating but couldn’t effectively communicate. So we have the postmodern admitting that there’s a failure in communication and making another whole series of clausal structures based upon this different type of view of the same object.
So then what we have after the Postmoderns? We have another attempt, but this time the attempt is in the deconstruction itself. The ‘post-Postmoderns’, as I call them, Laruelle and Badiou at least, see the failure of the postmodern tact and so they think that they can improve upon what is occurred over the long +-200 year extension: If they can just deconstruct terms sufficiently enough. Laruelle is the most extreme example of this kind of deconstruction in the sense of attempting to convey the object of knowledge that is been going on since before Kant, but just reached a certain type of saturation with Hegel and Kierkegaard and Nietzsche.
Badiou admits the total failure, and calls this failure, the object that is failed to be communicated, ‘void’. And yet because it is still there (being there) and the failure involves communication, as communication is taken still as upon a stratified human horizon, his tact is to posit how it is possible that it still arises ‘apparently somewhere’. So his sensibility is that the void erupts into multiplicity, because the problem seems to be that there is this single object that is being spoken about in a very specific manner that is somehow not being apprehended in its specificity.
In contrast, Laruelle still supposes to be able to deconstruct the term (object: terms are objects) sufficiently enough to be able to make a solute communication. But what we find is that he’s crossed the line. We find that in the attempt to deconstruct the term so thoroughly as to be able to communicate that object, that object is now apprehended as a religious type of assertion. So, instead of viewing the blowback of multiplicity, Laruelle sees that the problem lies in a prior decision of how objects are apprehended and or how people/human beings are oriented upon them for how they can be situated in reality. He blames the incongruity upon the fact that there is some other order through which objects are appropriated, that is interfering in the direct communication of this said object…”
Now for me, because I understand what the object is (the subject that is the object or purpose of the discourse) when I read these authors, there is no miscommunication about what they are saying. It is obvious to me; this is why I say all these such and such authors are really talking about the same thing, and it is why I understand the problem that they all face as well why it does not take very long to figure out and understand the approach that they take…”
Laruelle’s ‘in the last instance’ is significant. Because somehow intuitively he knows or knew that this would be the last instance of the given of reality; that after his effort reality would precipitate out within this understanding such that it could be begun to be described as a religious institution itself (an actualized unilateral duality would begin to pronounce itself). But not just through his work; this is the long game…”
—-( Excerpts from the upcoming 2017-18 book tentatively called “Darkness: The Second Moment of Decisive Significance”)
CLEARING THE GROUND (1): Laruelle’s rearview mirror
Laruelle: the mountain of jargon that gives birth to a mouse of common knowledge. One of the evolutions of my thought on this blog is the passage from a relatively favorable attitude to Laruelle to a great disappointment. This evolution stemmmed from my return to Laruelle, after having dismissed his non-philosophy as unworkable turgid repetition […]