From: Tom Maria Blancato <tblan@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 24 Jun 1997 22:27:44 +0400 (EDT)
On Tue, 24 Jun 1997, andrew favell wrote:
> Tom, to be honest I think 'objectivity' is a myth, just like 'neutrality'. I
> tend to agree with Maturana and Varela who suggest that 'objectivity' be
> kept within quotations. So yes, you are quite correct in assessing that I am
Maybe, maybe not. The more specific approach you lay out seems to try to
structurate within itself a greater objectivity, a machinic objectivity?
Maybe, maybe not. I'm not so much looking at *you* but at the "D and G"
influenced conceptual framework, or how it appears to me at times. It is
to be found in any lanuage of forces, flows, rhizome, etc. This is simply
a supplanting of a static/hierarchical (phallic) metaphysical (that is to
say, modeled on the physical) framework, naive tendencies to posit big,
centering circles on diagrams, totalizing figures, "ground" and "basis"
relations, etc., for one that is adjusted *out of* the desiderata of
polemos. Hence, many reversals, within the same basic setting and reaction
formation, on might say. (A rhizomatized Freud is still a Freud, *in some
ways*.) Points are replaced with lines, grounds replaced with
multidirectionality, ego-points with rizomes, etc. But each such item,
"rhizome", "force", "line", etc., involves basically thinking of the
physical examples of such and using that as the *ground* or basic
reference point and modeling zone. It is a transferring of first person
experiences into third person phyiscal structures, biological structures,
machinics, etc. And one *can* do that, I would agree, though in a very
radical way the question of violence occurs in precisely that space, in
the difference between the third person and the first person, etc., I
*think*, but I'm not sure. Anyhow, if I am angry with you, it is between
me and you, and any language of "forces", "lines", "coupling",
"disjunction", machine, "desire", etc., will always be strictly separated,
in certain ways, from that experience. We may be given to reflect on *our*
machine, *our* rhizome, this machine, etc., and that can be fruitful or
interesting. I'm not saying it isn't possible, just that it *still*
represents a limited field of investigation and conceptualization.
Going on, here, but not necessarily connecting too well with you, let me
just follow my thoughts a moment: the problem seems to be that "action"
occurs in the "you and I", while it is given to *thought*, ostensibly, in
this upgraded "it" (Micro-Desire 95). But when we are angry, or feeling
friendship, "it" is, we are, in a manner that seems to me to elude
virtually any "it" thing, no matter how tendrilly, bubbly, tuberescent,
etc., "it" may be. Yet, "it" can very informative. Anyhow, I'm talking
more about a thoughtaction that *locates* the energy of thought *here*,
between you and me. My posts/responses to you, I think, *think* a bit more
than yours, and in particular, my relation to you *thinks* more, is
brought more into consideration, etc. Which is part of my point.
The rallying cry for getting action in immanence going is: "just do it,
don't think too much." What happens between *you and I* just happens, is
more swift, less reflected on, we can't coinhabit refleciton, and if we
do, it must be via some system of "it", even the "it" of "our contract".
The Other of "just do it" is structurally worked into the conceptuality of
the transcendent system, even if it calls itself "anti-transcendent"
thinking. And "transcendent" is something that should be questioned a
little: things "transcend" all the time, variously. When *you* read
"transcendent", you read: total, violent wrong, etc. I don't read that as
I've freed up violence and can can admit that there is transcendence,
though I tend to focus on ensendence.
Where does this "system of it" lead? Into what does it grow? If *people*
are organized this way, they are labeled (pigs, queers, doctors, bankers,
lawyers, thives, criminals, philosophers, etc.) These are various
meaning-centrations, person-wholes. At certain extremes of breakdown
(*"does it work?"*), we have psychosis, with its elements of *racisms*
(nigger, jew), bigotries, social psychosis (fascism), etc. This is the
location of the fascination (how responsible it really is is another
matter -- and I am given to listen through concrete walls to make this
point) with "schizophrenics" in D and G. If what is organized is
*physicalistic*, biolistic, then we see a modeling on life forms, forces,
weights, unities, singularities, movements, multiplicities, edges,
machines, laws, etc., which are systematically devoid of the first person
intentionality, intentions, conditions of intersubjectivity (ostensibly),
etc. and this issues from a certain "homo erectus" (the "first" standing)
in effort to be "objective", a series of reactions marked by a certain
flight, but not given to giving this flight thought. Likewise, of course,
the systematicity can develop on the order of intentionality, hence
various "spiritual" systems. All these developments have, *we are now
given to think*, their *violence possibilities* and their *histories of
I'm given to think through concrete walls... that is to say, I hear "it's
working, it's working, it's working!" but I retain, and those who suffer,
many of whom can not speak for themselves, that it's *not* *working*."
Hence what *would* be working must first undergo "it's not working, it's
not working, it's not working" and wait for "oh, it *is* working!" *Not*
that that's my modus operandum, i.e, sheer reversal.
Anyhow, the possibilities I pointed to above can now reveal themselves to
have their histories of violence, and we can think about this less
reactively and without rushing to conclusions and *actions* and
*theoretical*, political, philosophical, etc., responses. These histories
of violence should, at such a point, lead not to *practical adjustment* of
given programs, program forms, which are not violence-cogniziant, but
rather to a direct awakening, *within the thoughtful, effortful,
"serious", artful consciousness* of question concerning violence itself,
an art of nonviolence, a working through the quesiton, variously. This is
a *fundamental* possibility that has already found its fruition anciently
in religions which broached the area of *nonviolence* *directly*, as a
certain opening of an issue, a general "topica", way of living, general
This question in turn systematically disturbs most of the forms of
programs mentioned, *since the are emminentaly questional along these very
lines! just *think*!, either divesting them at times of their "psychic"
energy, or even structurally calling them into question, while engendering
alternative structurations not formed in reactivity or inheritance,
building-on, etc. (One might use an unpleasant term like "enconstruction"
here for strategic purposes, actually.) But this happening is not simply
"deconstruction", but rather takes one to the opposit of an *abyss*: an
abbyssal rainforest, a great fecundity, as *inaccessible* as an abyss but
for different reasons: the sheer power of its force, its vitality, its
biolence, its multiplicity, etc. Readings that develop on such a basis
would be enstructions capable of deconstrction as well as contruction, yet
as "en", something that one "enacts" with a certain freedom not to enact
or of alternative action. Post-deconstructive construction, not
*reconstrction*, but *enconstruction*. But *not* via taking the sense of
"structure" and putting it before a firing squad.
To sum up: you say you're not objective, but use a framework that aims at
an objectivity, which may be alright. But this bird's eye view suggests
that your response to the *problem of objectivity* can be *massaged* into
more of what it really is: a question of violence, an attempt at a
standing in nonviolence, and it needs to learn to speak its name, or else
the various systems I've pointed to develop, and circle and spin off from
their "source", which is a nonviolence shadowed by a desire that has not
yet been desirous of directly asking the question about *violence*. In
this regard, I'm suggesting that to some extent you are attempting to use
one such "spin off", and that while you may enjoy successes here and
there, you may not be doing what you "really" ("oh, so it was nonviolence
all along!"...heheh) want, and moreover, on a broader level, the "big
picture" seethes with mounting and often very insidious and especially
heinous violences. "It's working, it's working, it's working!" It's not
> I'm not sure if my 'admission' of nonobjectivity addresses all of the above.
I'm not sure if your comment about your "'admission' of nonobjectivity"
does either. So there. :P
> >Nope. In order to communicate at all presumes shared definitions.
> I'd venture that to communicate at all does not presume shared definitions,
> but the negotiation of those definitions/meanings and tracking their
> vicissitudes thru time and usage.
Blah blah. (Please don't be offended, I don't mean it in a nasty way.)
Just becuase I said that it presumes shared definition doesn't mean I
meant: "a totally clear, completly shared language which needs and
provides no space for negotiation, etc. See, here you appear to be simply
reacting to the problems of a certain *violence*, totalism, naivete, etc.,
and developing your alternatives. Which is fine, but it still seems
alienated from its "real" desiderata and other ways of fruition that could
develop were this *other* thing opened up with the same rigor as matters
of negotion in communication, the nature of language as ad hoc and
cocreated, the constitution of breakdowns, divergences in language, etc.
Again, all very good themes in themselves.
> >falling into the business of cunjunction/disjunction, claims, etc., is
> >basically the failure of therapy, in part. Therapy cuts a path, in a way,
> >through the matters of "claims", staking out territory, avoiding
> >counterterritorial attack, etc., and rather puts the emphasis on
> >*helping* and *healing*. In this regard, it lets a certain truth about
> >intersubjectivity and shared meaning come out.
> I don't see how dis/con-junction constitute a 'failure in therapy' nor a
> failure in any other endeavour that is always a negotiation.
It is always a negotion, but never, or only rarely, *simply a negotiation*
or simply about negotiation. Would you be helping a disagreeable pair of
Nazi Captains in their arguments over whether to gas or shoot? It's a
gross, horrible example, I realize.
Now, still, how, you say, can I say that therapy "falls" into talk of
"negotiation" and "dis/con-junction"? Hey, husband and wife are not
"negotiators", they're people with names and histories. Their "being" is
more original than that, they are him and her, those one's you know, and
to each other, a "you and me" who make love, etc. It's not that
negotiation isn't important here, it's just that the *language* of
negotiation, the centration of negotiation as a model, isn't up to the
primary task here, which would to take us smack dab into a area whose
first face presents itself as "inner child", "Carl Rogers", "Mr. Rogers",
"morality and the history of religion", Dr. Freud, various myths, etc. I
call this area "the rainforest" simply as a very simple and inadequate
metaphor, which I suggest is variously ensnared, "Disneyfied", or is too
daunting. The "rainforest" is the opposite of that most abysmal and
artificial of constrcts: the abyss. But it is no opposite, since it
already bears the abyss within itself. It is also multiply abyssal.
The issue of the dauntingness of the rainforest (or the multiplicity) then
leads to various *systems*, dominating principles, etc., and their
*attendant violence*. But there is a kind of standing in the rainforest, I
am suggesting, and ways of doing that that, rather than simplifying,
abstracting, desubstantializing, etc., are founded rather on a kind of
*preservation of the rain forest. In narrower settings, I refer to this as
"enscendence": a sort of combination of transcendence and incendence. More
broadly, I call it "standing in nonviolent thoughtaction" (standing,
running, dancing, dwelling, etc.) The senses of "thought", "action",
"non-", and "violence" are very broad, but not "weak" or "minimal", but
somewhat developed. I know I'm not putting this very clearly.
It is my
> *inclination* to pay attention to the ideas of negotiations (co-constructed
> realities) that gives rise to the later discussions of 'contracts' which, I
> hasten to add, are not necessarily formalized. I *believe* that we
> participate in the negotiation toward shared definitions
> (contracts/agreements) as the idea of this 'conversation' betwixt thee and I
> might demonstrate. The subtext of 'massaging' and the statement @ the end of
> Prt 3 re: is this okay for me is a negotiation too--the est. of basic
> contexts within which and thru which our 'conversations' take shape, and
> shape we as interlocutors. For eg. When Vadim *assumes* that I am enraged by
> something he wrote he attributes a motivation/intent/response to me that
> doesn't fit for me. I respond that this is not the case for me, and am hence
> negotiating in moving toward a 'stronger' or more 'cohesive' degree of
> conjunction with him. For me to assume something about Vadim is to offer a
> space into which he may or may not move. Etc.
Yeah, I know. But I'm suggesting that the framework of "negotiation" and
"coconstruction" is not really up to the tasks to which they have been
put. They are overworked, maybe. What's involved in this I guess my end
of this whole dialogue is about showing.
> I agree with you entirely. I've been saying (or have been attempting in a
> word-clumsy manner anyway!) that violence is 1st and foremost *im*personal
> and is *populated* by specific persons. As for whether or not this is a
> 'meaning' I'm still inclined to submit that this is a political pragmatic of
> violence rather than a meaning as such. However, it is entirely possible
> that we are using/referring to 'meaning' in different ways.
Yeah, ok, this "meaning" thing is getting us in a trap. I'm really more
refering to something as *broad* as Foucault's idea of power-knowledge or
Heidegger's "Truth" or Gandhi's "truth/satya". This is fully inclusive of
and in any specific acts, all of the possibilities you mention, and more.
It includes discourses, parole, langue, systems of knowledge,
institutions, assemblages, margins, etc. *Yet*, I am *emphatically* not
using this sense of "truth" or "knowledge" outside of the elision with
*action* or *power*. Foucault shows that it is naive to think one can do
so, and I agree. I am definitely attempting something that parallels
"power/knowledge" (in a more personalized, individalized, "my" sense),
and "satyagraha" in a more Western and post-deconstructive sense.
> As mentioned: I'm not interested in assuming an 'objectivity'.
You are and you aren't. I think its an uneasy relationship you have with
> I don't buy the idea that I 'heal' anything. Nothing is 'sick' and altho'
> hearts get broken perhaps and to that extent I might be retained to assist
> in helping to mend a broken heart, the medical analogy of 'healing' and
> 'sickness' are not ideas that I relate to nor recognize as an aspect of my
> practice. I'm not sure what you mean by 'leaps of faith'. Pls. elaborate
> for me.
I appreciate what you say about "healing", though as you admit it has some
meaning/validity, though there is also "helping", etc. But this will smack
too much of Freud, Carl Rogers, religious moralists, various therapists,
etc., and you react to these manifestations (and their attendant
stupidities and violences) with a kind of polemically, reactively
developed formation: you do "facilitating", "negotiating", etc., of
"disjunction", "contracts", etc. You depersonalize in order to *objectify*
or otherwise clean things up in some way, reacting to a host of
perceptions of violence, totalization, etc., to which your *response* is
not really up, in my opinion, to handling or giving conceptual expression,
The "leap of faith" occurs when and where you depart from the intentions
and contracts, meaning, etc., of *both* of your cliets, or, really, any
client, in any number (one or more). And when you depart from what you
yourself prefer. And yet you will, in due course, try to do this by going
more deeply in to the desires of your clients, massaging *them*, rather
simply than deconstructing, departing from them, etc. Every massage,
however, is not a leap of faith.
In a way, I'm re-lighting a zone that is cloaked in a certain darkness,
your "black box", perhaps, in part, and tempting you to reconsider what
you've put off, not in order simply to return to them, to "find your inner
child", but to ask again what can happen in this rain forest. And I'm
saying that your dream of doing this lies within the dream of the rhizome
of D and G, but exceeds it at least in some of its narrower forms. Now,
this is precisely what D and G said they did, or wanted to do, in
developing Anti-Oedipus. I'm just pointing to ways to doing this perhaps
better and along the way, developing *certain* transcendentals (yes,
*transcendentals*), or perhaps "enscendentals", or, perhaps things of a
certain unnameability. The notion of "enstruction" or "enconstruction"
would stand in relation to Derrida and Deleuze/Guattari (if I may say
this!), as Husserl's phenomenology stood in relation to Descartes' doubt,
it appears to me.
> Pls. clarify Tom.
I'll just have to not try right here, as it's going to be too much to do
here, though perhaps parts of what I am saying are becoming more clear,
whether or not you buy it.