It's Toughest of All to Accept, Research Time, 18/05/2018

A brief few paragraphs to have a go at a quick classification. Following on from what I talked about yesterday, here are some substantive ways that the animating concepts of Deleuze and Guattari’s political philosophy set them apart from what’s still the mainstream.

I mean, I do consider the academic ghettoization of the many different philosophies smacked with the “Continental” label to be shameful territorial pissing. One of those paths of thought so smacked is Deleuze and Guattari’s. That annoys me, because their ideas include solutions for a lot of the conceptual problems that are roadblocks for mainstream North American university philosophy.

If you follow their ideas all the way to their natural conclusions, they tend to take out the whole road along with the barricades. But aside from a little rubble, the way forward is clear.

You know she won't live. But then again – Who does?
So what are those ideas?

One. Evaluation is always context-dependent. That goes for moral, mathematical, scientific, empirical. Anytime you examine a process, try to make sense of it, identify a value – that assessment is always specific to a contingency, a particular way the world is.

It’s never necessary and universal, because even the existence of the universe it contingent. It need never have been. Period.

Think about this example. You might think that a context-independent, universal, necessary truth is that chattel slavery of humans is wrong. But if there never were humans at all, would this truth have come to exist?

If the Cambrian extinction had never happened and the Earth’s biosphere developed in totally different directions, any question to do with humans wouldn’t make any sense because there’s be no humans. Ever. Not in future, present, or past. They’re inconceivable. Vague fictions at best – certainly not the sort of things you’d expect to find any truth more solid than the canon of a tv franchise.

Two. Nothing has an endpoint that sums up its existence. Processes stop. Death doesn’t bring anything about a life into a neat little bow. Death just ends it. Authors do that, but they do it by stitching events into narratives. That’s not a life – it’s a story.

Three. Anything that can change can blow to pieces and destroy itself. So everything can destroy itself.

It’s not a comforting world, if you need certainties to comfort you. I recommend cultivating strength of character. Not a perfect process, never really complete, always more work to be done. But then that's true of everything.

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