January 2, 2022
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The Theses of Machinic Materialism and its Distinction from Dialectical Materialism
François Laruelle
Selections from Nietzsche contre Heidegger: thèses pour une politique nietzschéenne (Paris: Payot, 1977), p.122-136.

The Theses of Machinic Materialism
“Machinic materialism” is “Nietzsche’s” latent philosophy, produced at the same time as the inventory of the Continent of Politics. It comprises three main theses. First, a materialist, or more precisely libidinal thesis; then a syntactic or machinic thesis in the narrow sense that makes différance the type of break that displaces the specific and negative breaks of the dialectic (and structuralism); and finally a thesis that is the synthesis of the first two and poses their hierarchy, a machinic thesis in the broad sense of the term, because it is enough in one sense to characterize both the libidinal matter and the syntax of différance, and therefore the specificity or, rather, the différantiality of the libido. Thus, “machinic materialism” is a complex expression.

1. Thesis 1: The Materialist or Libidinal Thesis.
This thesis poses the “primacy” of libidinal matter (realistically, politico-libidinal matter) as the immanent cause of the process of any such production, the primacy over any form not only of consciousness but of presence, or that which returns to the same, i.e., to idealism, the primacy over matter that would remain taken in of presence. There is a relation of “domination” or hierarchy, affirmed by this materialist thesis, between the “dominant,” which is necessarily the libidinal-machinic matter, and the “dominated,” which is the sphere of “representation” in general, metaphysical matter included. Its object is therefore the Libidinal Break, in the strict sense, that the Eternal Return of the Same/the Will to Power [ERS/WP] introduces into the conception of the unconscious and materiality in general. The libido (soon to be determined as machinic) is posed as the matter (under the previous condition) irreducible to its previous four, simple or blended forms, and what it occupies the positions of: biological (against the Freudian unconscious), sensible (against classical materialism), practical (against historical and dialectical materialism) and symbolic (against the materialism of the signifier).

It is essential to recognize the provisionally abstract yet necessary character of this thesis by expecting the third that will transform it retro-actively into a hierarchy of sovereignty. For the moment, it is really a thesis and, as such, it poses a content of meaning that is still nothing but a primacy that takes the place – through reversal – of a former primacy characteristic of metaphysics or idealism. Nevertheless, it already necessarily contains the positive conditions of its re-elaboration as the affirmative synthesis (because it is itself a necessary condition of the third): on the one hand, the primacy that it poses is not only the primacy of matter over consciousness or thought, but over any kind of matter that belongs to representation. On the other hand, the relation of exteriority is no longer restrained and surreptitiously thought on the mode of representation as when it is formulated in this categorial, imprecise and static way by Dialectical Materialism.

Let us reprise these two points.

On the one hand, the content of its terms changes in relation to the terms of Dialectical Materialism [DM]. On the side of matter, it is undoubtedly a primacy of matter as libidinal, but there, there is no ontic, conceptual-scientific specification of the generic or specific qualification of matter, no ideological restriction of the category “matter” with a given state of science. Because the libido as machinic (cf. thesis 2) functions below/beyond any natural or technical energetics, here, there is no scientific concept ideologically transposed into a philosophical category. It is the internal functioning of the thesis, the reduced and immanent material cause that possibilizes, produces and destroys it as a position as well. This has nothing to do, save for the victims of the “most dangerous misunderstanding,” with thermodynamics.

On the side of thought, the primacy of matter is not only decided in relation to a vague, undetermined concept of consciousness or thought, but, by definition or by (tendential) functioning of the Body-of-the-Other that is of a generality superior to any philosophical category, in relation to any possible form of representation, to any category taken from the element of transcendent power, therefore, as well, in relation to any specific, a fortiori ideological concept of matter. The theses do not compare to categories: they hierarchize functionings that are themselves politico-libidinal and specified provisionally in the theoretical mode (in Machinic Materialism [MM], they bear on the functioning of this problematic).

On the other hand, the relation of terms also change in relation to DM’s theses: the hierarchized instances only change content because their relation of exteriority and conditioning also changes and becomes radically materialist. The thesis affirms that the exteriority of matter as libidinal is exterior to the objective appearence [apparance][1] (a concept that displaces and obviously decomposes, as we will see, the concept of “reflection” from the past materialism) of Being as the relations of power. It is clear that this exteriority is quite irreducible[2] and no longer lets itself be thought from the ideological relations of representation or consciousness, or the “simple” exteriority to consciousness and thought, and that it implies a complete re-elaboration of what functions under the name Being or Body, and that can no longer belong to the order of presence, identity, the same or the Idea – such, at least, that they function before their relationship with these new Productive Forces.

With this thesis, one major theory of Dialectical Materialism – thought as the reflection of matter – undergoes a displacement that renders it finally thinkable outside of the element that one can no longer ideologically think it from perception and representation, what DM was incapable of drawing it. This means that the metaphor of the reflection is decomposed, critiqued and re-marked, not only within its idealist meaning or its “specular” use (the theories of knowledge), but, what is more decisive, in the roots of metaphor: reflection is no longer taken from the exterior model of perception or representation as the transcendent and “proper” element of reflection that DM is content with (a vicious circle), but this machinic thesis poses it necessarily towards the principle of representation that is therefore nothing but the reflection or objective ideological appearence throughout. It is the drive in its reactive and negative function that projects a reactive image or a falsifying reflection, but an objective one, one that even constitutes the element of objectivity, the pellicle or milieu in which representation and perception are developed. Here again, Machinic Materialism occupies the positions of Dialectical Materialism and produces a “turn-around” [re-virement] in one of its central theses, not that it negates it: it only negates what can be negated, according to a thesis concerning the negative that Nietzsche made a weapon of against the dialectic. Thus, and more than ever, the spirit of the “theory of knowledge” is liquidated by the materialist thesis thought rigorously.

2. Thesis 2: Syntactic or Machinic in the Narrow Sense.
Then, identical to the first and nevertheless splitting itself from it to be subordinate to it, the ERS/WP problematic contains one thesis bearing on syntax, the machinic or différantial thesis that introduces a new conception of production, reproduction and consumption. This thesis poses the “primacy” of active-affirmative différance over the contradiction or, rather, over any specification of contradiction through the differential form (Althusser) or through negativity, which both remain taken by representation. Henceforth, it is différance that individuates contradiction, a thesis that reverses and differs the central dialectical-metaphysical thesis of DM, a thesis that displaces the negative and poses its true change of function by posing the derived and subordinated character of negation. Negation is not from the outset destroyed or passed too quickly under silence as in contemporary DM: the negative only loses its constituent function of the “motor” of production. Moreover, it is henceforth subordinated like its effect not to a position that would immediately become once more the motor, but to an affirmation that displaces the op-position of the positive and the negative. Only at the level of this thesis considered abstractly, it seems once more that the negation would solely be reversed in favour of différance. The appearance is born when différance occupies the position vacated by negation, but the real labour of the transformation of DM contained within this thesis involves a re-inscription of the negative.

Therefore, it is nothing but an appearance, but one that is re-enforced by another one. It is that the unity of the hierarchy between thesis 1 and thesis 2 would come back, first, to their common origin within the first affirmation contained within the problematic of the ERS/WP: the affirmation of becoming is as much the affirmation of the primacy of becoming over Being (over presence and absence), the subordination of lack and the negative by the Other as différance, as it is the affirmation of the primacy of matter over representation. However, in the first synthesis considered in isolation or abstractly, the Body-of-the-Other, functioning as repression and negation, appears as a nude and autonomous power of the negative. It is in the second synthesis or, rather, in the third as the “recapitulatory” one, that the labour of the negative is subordinated to affirmation, included within it, and turned against it: nihilism turned against nihilism. Therefore, we cannot clearly state this thesis, not more than the first, without surmounting its abstraction within the synthesis of the process that, to be concrete alone, completes by displacing the reversal of primacy into a reversion from negation to affirmation. Generally, the three theses stated here assume the reflection of the problematic of the ERS/WP within them in totality and do not let themselves be divided in accordance with the syntheses or affirmations that are locatable within them.

The simple reversal of the dialectic through the substitution of one motor for another on the basis of the same position and the same function would obviously remain sterile. And like thesis 1, thesis 2 must already contain the positive conditions of its re-affirmation by thesis 3 because it is unthinkable without being anticipated in it. Thus, the conditions that make up the Politico-Libidinal Break is not limited in reversing Dialectical Materialism, but with positively displacing and transforming its positions, and must let itself be already perceived in the simple provisional reversal. This is because différance is not – even without another determination – the contrary of negation; différance differs negation that, on its side, is only opposed to it by specifying it. And it is enough to put it in the center of the process of production, by deriving the Body-of-Being or Being-without-being [L’Être-sans-étant] as the Body-in-différance [le Corps-à-différance] from it, to enter a space that no longer has anything to do – if not, precisely, insofar as it is the “terrain” of the highest and most powerful production – with the terrain of DM.

3. Thesis 3: The Machinic Thesis in the Broad Sense or the Functional Synthesis of Sovereignty
Finally, liquidating what there are of the exterior, unthought relations drawn from representation between the theses of classical “Dialectical Materialism,” we must add that these two theses, once subordinated to the third, each affirm a relation of hierarchy without presence,[3] without the mediation of generalities of representation. Therefore, a différantial “domination,” not a mastering or a simple “primacy,” but a sovereignty either of libidinal matter, or of affirmative différance, for, in turn (this is the entire content of thesis 3) they form a non-metaphysical or non-representative hierarchy, the hierarchy of a disjunctive inclusion or a duplicity that is also without presence, ad one that eliminates the contingency of the still exterior relation posed by the Leninist-type thesis. This hierarchy of inclusion affirms the sovereignty of the materialist thesis over the syntactic thesis, the sovereignty of the libidinal thesis over the machinic thesis, but in such a way that, as the formulation of the first thesis indicates it, the second (dominated) thesis contributes (circles) in intrinsically determining the first (as both its means and its effect), whereas the latter affirms the becoming-material or becoming-libidinal of syntaxes. The fusion of the libido and its a-dialectical syntaxes is, as well, the consumption and destruction of the invariancy and transcendence of syntaxes that are posed abstractly, for by introducing the category of différance – both materialist and syntactic – we do not intend to broil or blunt the contradiction, but of intimately uniting it with the material cause that determines it.

It is the exigency of a materialist affirmation to imply a generalization of DM that would be rigorous: under différantial conditions, rather than specific conditions. It is less the contradiction that is in question than its Marxist mediation through the specifying form, i.e., through its becoming-mediate through form. This is simultaneously because materiality and the dialectic are generalized by the destruction of their “specific” mode: one as libido rather than as practical materiality, indeed as signifying and even economic materiality; and the other as the topology of différance, in which contradiction is a metaphysical restriction without transcendent conditions at worst, without transcendental conditions at best (Althusser) of the specific form, therefore, of presence. There are no transcendent relations of a libidinal content and a machinic form or method that would be separated. Différance is intrinsically material (the third synthesis: the Body-of-the-Other or the ERS as différance), but the libido is already determined from the syntactic perspective as machinic. The relaunching of materialism as libidinal and différantial comes back by assuring the disjunctive inclusion of positions displaced by materialism and the dialectic on more radical bases. These relations of subordination will be analyzed during the confrontation with Heidegger where their complexity and ambiguity will unknot: for example, why does the term “différantial” designate the first thesis (différance as politico-libidinal materiality around that production revolves around) as much as the second (différance as the non-specific and non-technical, but machinic break of the libido)? This ensemble of relations that are formulated by Nietzsche in the old language of the ERS/WP ruptures not only with the metaphysics of self-consciousness, not only with the Freudian theory and practice of the unconscious of representation, or with the onto-theo-logical image that Heidegger gave of Nietzsche, but also with the contemporary forms of Marxism’s materialism and politics-through-representation.

This inclusion is a topological knot: it closes materialism but to open it. In turn, it makes up the object of a material production or synthesis. We relaunch this body of theses in their rigorously internal relation as the re-inscription of theses from “Dialectical Materialism” and invest it into theoretical practices (hermeneutics, whether textual, deconstructive, or Marxist). There is a combat for or against the ERS/WP problematic and its political and materialist stakes have become clearer. The conflict around the interpretation of Nietzsche-thought is not a simple strategy of power as drive, even if it is without a goal as it has its criteria in the politics of the unconscious.

Machinic Materialism and Dialectical Materialism
1. On another angle, let us come back to the status of the theses in Nietzsche-thought to explain the paradox there is in the reduction of its functioning to a system of theses.

We have defined the specificity of Nietzsche-thought by a non-dialectical though machinic or différantial circle; by the materialist project of a Libidinal Break; and by a discovery of a specifically political continent. Therefore, we have defined it by a new syntax, a new materialist form of critique, and a new object. And through a new object as well, but it is not an object: “to break the history of humanity in two,” a breaking that is the very history to-come, and the object of a production and re-production. Because this complex apparatus of the ERS/WP functions as a materialist and specifically political problematic of the libido, it is capable of investing itself into any such theoretical practice relative to history, to ideology, or, for example, to textuality, and to put it in relation with its revolutionary destruction.

This Politico-Libidinal Break grounds a new materialism in complete rupture with Dialectical Materialism, which it occupies and displaces the positions of. Rather than “laws” in the way of the former dialectic, it also contains theses, interventions, partaking that explain the content, scope and effects of the Break. Formulating the content and the form of the Nietzschean problematic by means of theses nevertheless seems to emerge from a forced enterprise or induces political effects that do not seem able to be Nietzsche’s traditional effects. Rather than being shocked, we would do better to think that the introduction of the style of the thesis (a practical style otherwise, or a practical intervention in theory) illustrated by Leninism and Dialectical Materialism, can here have something legitimate when it would only be on the historical plane with the common position taking between Lenin and Nietzsche (too) against philosophical energeticism, i.e., against the confusion of a state of natural-technical science and philosophy, with the implications for philosophy that this position taking contains. However, the eventual historical relations with the subject of which the greatest prudence is necessary is not our object.

Then, not uniquely truly, what specifies Machinic Materialism in relation to Dialectical Materialism? Far from posing theses on the statuses of which, as theses, it does not interrogate itself,[4] Machinic Materialism is content with making them function naively and bringing their effects, making its theses into an “auto”-critical system, the rigorously articulated content of a theoretical process of production and critique. Theses do not therefore constitute any moment – otherwise locally and provisionally as a matter of principle – a metalanguage for a problematic of/as the ERS/WP. Rather, they are the ones that function in their hierarchies according to the law of this problematic that is to reflect itself in each of them. Therefore, we will not question ourselves on their mode of being (function or possibility) of positions, but the law of this reflection on the positional “form” of theses is the same as what bears on the content of meaning or the categories that they articulate. As we will see, the first two theses pose in an abstract but necessary way firstly the primacies of the metaphysical or onto-theo-logical type, whereas the third poses their concrete synthesis as their sufficient material reason or re-inscribes their primacy as sovereignty, the same for their formal and unreflected status of position is reprised, re-inserted in the a-thetic dispositive of the third that expresses the real functioning of the problematic of MM. We know that it has topological properties, rather than topographical properties. How are thinking positions possible from the Body-of-the-Other that, to be here specified in a theoretical mode and for theory, do not in the least exclude in its internal functioning any positionality? This term thesis is therefore, like the term problematic, provisional. It must be re-thought and re-marked from the third thesis that rather expresses the synthesis of the first two, a syn-thesis that is the property of the Body of the Other as being (in-the-Other) of the thesis, a body-for-positions.

Thus related to the functional matrix of the ERS/WP, that reproduces them throughout without letting itself be dominated by them, the theses of MM lose – absolutely in the principle and tendentially in their a-thetic becoming or decoding – the exteriority and transcendence that they conserve in the Leninist and dialectical version of materialism and those that render them susceptible to all ideological investments. Each trope of the process of the Nietzsche-unconscious undoes a bit more what institutes them as theses, re-producing and displacing them as affirmations rather than as positions, or again – it’s the same thing – as syntheses rather than as theses. Therefore, they do not solely bear on the politico-libidinal content of the Social Body, but also bear on themselves insofar as they are nothing other than this problematic that affects itself.

Therefore, they displace the theses of DM as they are and contest it on its own terrain and through its own exigencies: concerning its materialism, they split and displace from the supplement of a libidinal materiality; on its dialectic, they split and displace from the supplement of a différance without constituent negation. MM is sufficiently powerful to affect “itself” by the conditions of its destruction (as position, form, invariant, law, essence, etc.).

2. It is Heidegger who is the first to have thought the Nietzschean doctrine as the ensemble of positions or theses composing a unique problematic that he calls “the fundamental metaphysical position” (Nietzsche, vol. I, p.347-366 of French translation[5]). Two points are now essential for the discussion of the second section:

a) Conforming to his “own” problematic, Heidegger projects the unique Nietzsche-thought in the form of a chiasmus or a circle of affection of thought by its object (Vol. 1, p.347) that he calls the “fundamental metaphysical position” or in a complex position formed by the synthetic relations of Being and becoming in a state of co-belonging (Zusammengehörigkeit). Here, the decisive point would be that Nietzsche’s local or partial positions with regard to being are made from a unique position with regard to being as a whole or Being. Thus, Nietzschean theses would form a problematic that itself would be, as it happens, a thesis of the superior rank. In any case, we admit the character of unity of Nietzschean theses, the subordination of theses to syntheses that are hierarchies where they really function, which are their concrete effectuation as a process.

b) However, MM is radically distinguished from Heidegger on the second point. This is capital. Namely, the Nietzsche-problematic in its unity and synthetic complexity is not in turn a position or a thesis, and therefore is no longer a metaphysical position and moreover does not form a foundation for local theses. Therefore, we state against Heidegger and to occupy/displace his positions the following thesis: in the Nietzschean problematic, theses are themselves subordinated to syntheses. Hence:

1. The syntheses (of the process of production) are not theses. They are theses that are deductions of locally coded position to an a-thetic process from side to side, and it is a-thetic because synthetic: the process of MM.

2. The previous thesis that subordinates the theses to syntheses is itself a deduction coded from this a-thetic process of the ERS/WP and must be re-inscribed within what is no longer a foundation, but the synthetic and non-positional process of material production that is libidinal in the last instance.

The explanation of point b will constitute the analysis of the Heideggerian form of the “misunderstanding.” It is from Heidegger’s recognition of the synthetic, even machinic syntax of the complex relations of Being and becoming (of existence and essence) that we will go to his ignorance of what makes this syntax function: that of the motor of the ERS and its determination (WP or becoming). Against his technical-capitalist interpretation of their a-thetic, i.e., revolutionary functioning, what will result from this restoration is the syntheses of the ERS/WP and the subordinated character of their theses by the unity of a thought that is no longer fundamental but problematizing and productive throughout.

This conception of the problematic as machinic-material renders it compatible with its provisional disarticulation in theses that pose hierarchies or primacies reabsorbed and critiqued within the syntheses of affirmation or sovereignty that exclude this “foundation” function that Heidegger wrongly attributed to the ERS/WP. In its positivity and “effectivity,” the process of the ERS/WP does not draw its unity from Being comprised as being-in-totality or a totality related in the last instance to being (I, p.352)[6] – but of Being-without-being as the Body-of-the-Other. This is why it forms a process that is throughout questioning and productive that crosses towards Being-without-being as the meaning (= functioning) of Being, what Heidegger calls the directing (metaphysical) question (I, p.352) and also the fundamental question (thinking from nothingness – I, p.355). Nietzsche only takes a position towards Being because he is included in it as the produced subject subjugated by the machinic Spaltung, and as this is not towards Being as being in totality or foundation, he no longer takes a position strictly speaking: this is the destruction of theoretical theses and political positions in the superior synthesis of consumption, jouissance and affect. To better assure the intrinsic political definition of the subject, Nietzsche resorts to a topology that eliminates the positionality of the Marxist topography [topique].

3. To only use the thesis by subordinating it to a process of a-thetic production, substituting the “readings” of Nietzsche (history, doctrine, exegesis, and signifying scene) with a style of productive rather than practical intervention, it is the very category of political intervention in the Marxist fashion with its practical representation of politics in exteriority that must be put back in question as much as the Marxist dualism of substances (theory/practice) and the simply qualitative (“specific”) distinction of practices.

From the point of view of the style of intervention, Nietzsche-thought is quite capable of impressing a history with this category and make it function conforming to the problematic by withdrawing it from the dogmatism, gestuality and activism that continue to characterize it within Marxist politics. For reasons that hold to the circularity of a thought that modifies its object by modifying itself, or a thought that is affected by a history and a production by affecting itself by its object, a specific style of intervention will correspond to the (provisional) primacy of each of the three syntheses. Whether the “totality” of the problematic is reflected in the first, second or third synthesis, thought does not make the same political use of the weapon of the ERS/WP, and makes a more (in the first two syntheses) or less (in the third synthesis) abstract use of it. In Nietzsche’s relation to his abyssal thought (cf. Klossowski: “The Euphoria of Turin” in Nietzsche and the Vicious Circle), one easily distinguishes three styles of intervention in accordance with three synthetic phases of its object or three possible relations of the Body-of-the-Other to the impulsive multiplicities of power, but which each bring into play the overall process of the ERS/WP. Their distinction crosses the Marxist distinctions of substances in general (theory/practice) and practical substances which are simply qualitative (economy, politics, ideology, theory) in a sling:

a) In terms of the primacy of the first synthesis (repression by the Body-of-the-Other of representation or the coding of political multiplicities), one determines a first use of the ERS/WP as programmatic. As a “conspiracy” programme (Klossowski) and a violent “paranoiac” intervention against the cultural values (in the Nietzschean sense), an intervention that will eventually be theoretical, is to immediately make it already political and libidinal in “culture.” However, the programmatic use of the ERS/WP is turned against any political programme (or religious, artistic, etc.) that can only be a massive “investment” of the drives by the most reactive cultural codes. The programmatic recourse to the ERS/WP, the intervention and taking-part in favor of the problematic of the Libidinal Break or Machinic Materialism – despite or because of their negative and critical style, in all cases militant because it corresponds to the primacy of repression or being-towards-death – does not tolerate the reactive flight into programmes. Here, rather, the Body-in-the-Other functions as the critique of cultural values, among others against the Marxist representation of political agents and their production.

b) In terms of the primacy of the second synthesis (the transpropriation of impulsive or political multiplicities towards the Body-of-the-Other that inscribes them on its surface and in its space with topological properties) there is a problematizing use in the strict and rigorous sense of the ERS/WP, a use that is no longer hypothetical and militant or categorical, but the use of the Political Body towards which thought is always-already found.  It is a use of permanent strategy and parody through which the Idea of the ERS/WP, through its transcendental generality or ubiquity, allows us to foil the local adversary, to trap it, and, to destroy it in the reactive functions of coding (first point of view assumed by it), to inscribe the adversary in the impulsive game of the Relations of Power, and to in turn affirm the adversary as a libidinal “random member.” The intervention (theoretical or practical in the traditional sense) begins its libidinal “conversion,” its re-version to the Body of the Other in this phase. This turning-around of theory and practice in general, and the ERS in particular, is not a simple reversal, but just as much already a return and a critique (a selection or re-production) that displaces or re-inscribes them in the strange space of the Other, in this place that never takes place to be the place of the Other, a place-in-the-Other. It is in this turn-around that the classical political intervention, characterized in the generic or specific mode by Marxism for example, inscribes its becoming-chance (first synthesis) in the severity of a destiny, its contingency in the necessity of history.

c) Finally, the ultimate point of view of the subject or affect contains the possibility for the theory of surmounting itself as a theory, and for any such (practical) representation of politics to destroy itself as representation (thus, also, as a thesis, position, primacy, etc.). The inclusion of repression in reversion to the Body-of-the-Other makes theory and any other practice function as an impulsive multiplicity or as an immanent production of power, always tending more – with each trope of the process – towards the limit of the complete destruction of technical values and powers that have become fascist and nihilist, the limit to-come of the Libidinal Break. The highest affirmation of Machinic Materialism – the sovereignty of the libido against its ultimate theoretical (and other) codings – signifies that the Libidinal Break is not only of the order of the historic past or present, is no longer intra-historically locatable (towards 1881), but that it re-turns, suspended as to-come, in a manner that is at once destructive and affirmative, in the most current intimate form [for][7] of history. This mortal experience of the to-come in the reduced Stimmung is the very opening of Being as the Continent of Politics, the becoming of Being as radical production, resistance or subversion.

When we say that it is possible to invest the problematic of Machinic Materialism in the manifest content of the Nietzschean text or of a nondescript theoretical practice, it is these three styles of intervention that are rigorously grounded in their object and thought of this object that we must effectuate. These are the three types of effects that are produced there, the latter supposing the two others that are included there, rendered necessary and abandoning their former mode of being, that of “primacy” and “point of view.” The ERS/WP as a programme, as a problematic and as a project, or against as a concept, as an Idea and as affect – let us recall that each of these “points of view” envelops the totality of the theses of Machinic Materialism even if the latter is the only one capable of relating the Libidinal Break or the “abyssal thought” to itself for a process of auto-critique. However, outside of these revolutionary effects in the practices where it is invested, the Nietzsche-problematic already displaces, occupies, and cleaves not only the political positions and the content of categorial meaning of Dialectical Materialism, but its position of dialectical materialism as it is. Indeed, one will agree that it is urgent to know what place of power it remains ideologically fixed, and towards what non-place it must displace, relating it finally to itself from the Other of a material production that is more irreducibly critical.


[1] Compared to Derrida’s différance and différence, here, apparance and apparence correspond with appearence and appearance. – Trans.

[2] It is distinguished from the Marxist specification of the universal that returns to a dialectic of representation (of practices) by genera/species. We understand this specificity of the exteriority of matter in relation to representation as supplementary (a relation that is both internal/external) to the forces: the WP is a supplementary quality to the relations of power and the cause that determines them.

[3] To abridge, we have here and there employed the “Heideggerian” term presence and the motif of “representation.” During the discussion with Heidegger, even in Heidegger’s terms [chez], one will see that these terms, are not neutral entities as to power, technics and politics. Presence designates the dominant relations of power of the technical, organizational and fascistic type (at the limit, at least, of their Western destiny and already somewhat in their Greek use).

[4] Save perhaps for Althusser in Philosophy and the Spontaneous Philosophy of the Scientists (Maspero/Verso) which proceeds to a critical genesis (production) of theses.

[5] Laruelle’s citations are to the French translation of Heidegger’s writings on Nietzsche, as the next footnote will indicate. At the time of translation, the content is hard to access. Because of this, unfortunately, the respective location to Krell’s translations are omitted. – Trans.

[6] Nietzsche by Heidegger, French trans., Volume 1.

[7] This is perhaps a typo on the part of Laruelle for forme – Trans.

Translated by Jeremy R. Smith

taken from here




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