Lacan with Land: Dislocated Logic And The Name Of The Father

Before a brief intro on Nick Land’s theory of capital and it’s relation to Lacanian theory, a briefer primer on a Lacanian concept. A key dialectic in Lacanian theory is the Mother’s Desire and The Name of the Father, which is how Lacan posits a third subject, the child, as a resultant conflict of these two forces. The mother’s desire is the force which melts all of the father’s machinations into nothing, but as the Lacanian pun goes, The Name of the Father (nom-du-pere), and the non-dupes err (non-dupes-errant).

Land’s theory of capital as a positive force shows the desire within The Name of The Father. Capital according to Land carries with it a fungal potentiality, something which crops up everywhere. This is because its potentiality is something which does not act within a previous social code necessarily, but rather as something which sees an opening, a phallic force which pierces what was trying to contain it.

Capital in Land’s universe functions in the same way as The Name of the Father, both crop up from some unknown depth, and have written in their code a destructive force. This destructive force is separate from the mother’s desire, which melds all things into a single actor. Ayn Rand’s capital functions with this Mother’s Desire, into the primary unit of one individual. Nick Land’s capital is something else entirely, something that is its own end.

Lacan with Land would be to recognize the posit within the Name of the Father as something located outside. The human subject may be only a machine part in the will of something else entirely, and it is with this Lacan with Land we can see The Name of the Father as both something that can come from self-consciousness (the one) or something else entirely, the human as the bit player (a cybernetic node).

This is the liberatory potential of Nick Land’s theory of capital, which is not the humanist capital of Ayn Rand, but the inhuman capital of acceleration, of cybernetic logics, of algorithms.

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