"The skeletal structure of the exodus [abrupt deviation in the axis of discourse] is faithfully reproduced, though in the Lilliputian dimensions, by the countless jokes I have examined before. Let us recall at least one of them. A gentlemen in financial distress obtains a small loan from an acquaintance. The following day, his benefactor chances upon him in a restaurant eating salmon and mayonnaise. The gentlemen reprimands him resentfully: "Is that what you've used my money for?" "I don't understand you", replied the object of the attack; "if I haven't any money I can't eat salmon mayonnaise, and if I have some money I musn't eat salmon mayonnaise. Well, then, when am I to eat salmon mayonnaise?"
This is Paolo Virno on the strategy of exodus from his latest work to be translated Multitude: Between Innovation and Negation (discussed at length in an excellent post by Steve Shaviro). I really just don't get the strategy of exodus. Of course I understand the idea of (line of) flight, displacement from existing structures, the evasion of factory labour, and (god help me) the flight of the Israelites from slavery (if only I'd paid more attention in Sunday school now I would be more likely to be an internationally-famous theorist). I'd simply like to hear about more concrete examples, especially in the current context - in particular what we might call self-consciously political strategies rather than 'objective' instances of exodus (ie form of economic migration).**
Even in terms of the joke it's hard to see it as a simple instance of successful displacement, but rather a recognition of the imposition of the impossibility of displacement. Within the framework set-up by the self-styled donor what the recipient registers is that they can never eat salmon mayonnaise (although of course they are - perhaps that's the displacement). It reminds me of "jam tomorrow, jam yesterday, never jam today".