Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Make a Difference

the philosophy of difference must be wary of turning into the discourse of beautiful souls: differences, nothing but differences, in a peaceful coexistence in the Idea of social places and functions
Deleuze, Difference and Repetition, p.207

One makes a difference only in a world made of differences. To try to imitate the revolutionary today is as ridiculous as when the French revolutionaries imitated the Roman or the Spartan. As for changing the very fabric of the humans, we should leave this to the only total revolutionaries left : the Raelians ; let them clone the new human race
Bruno Latour


Savonarola said...

I'm always struck by the nonchalance with which the partisans of managed difference (as in Putin's "managed democracy") make the leap from supposed ontological description to (anti-)political prescription. There's no coherent, or theoretically legitimate reason given why a campaign of revolutionary terror has "less" difference than a rail-network, why there's "less" difference in imitating Marx than in imitating Tarde, etc. etc. The lineage is long and goes back to Nietzsche's spurious enlisting of the will-to-power into the refutation of socialism, the Paris Commune and their supposedly "homogenising" or "levelling" practices. Of course, the likes of Latour would like to ignore the rather formidable institutional "creativity" that accompanies and follows most revolutionary activity, preferring the caricature of a kind of political black hole of identity, terror and death...

Benjamin said...

what's interesting is that Deleuze seems to concede the exact problem and then simply invoke Marx as affirmative and hey presto affirmationism back on track. This, of course, will feature in the new book. The irony is that it is difficult to criticise because this kind of move is so underdetermined. The temptation is just to gape at the legerdemain - 'see, look, no reason to make that move'