The future isn’t cancelled, but it will be written by Kafka

Franz Kafka (1883-1924) was a Czech-born German-language writer whose surreal fiction vividly expressed the anxiety, alienation, and powerlessness of the individual in the 20th century. Kafka’s work is characterized by nightmarish settings in which characters are crushed by nonsensical, blind authority. Thus, the word Kafkaesque is often applied to bizarre and impersonal administrative situations where the individual feels powerless to understand or control what is happening.

Merriam Webster Online page for “Kafkaesque”

In Kafka’s “Amerika,” our hero is confronted by the wide open spaces and a constant sense of alienation as he tries to fit into one job to the next. A public or private sector job is still a job, and there is some level of accountability. A socialist approach which works tirelessly to democratize, automate, and to de-alienate is only possible through the Kafkaesque gaze. (We could say that Kafka may not have been possible without Marx, but we couldn’t be sure.) That is to say, the recognition of all that is alienating, pointlessly crushing, cruel, and unfair, can only be engaged with via the playful horror of Kafka, who was known to laugh maniacally while writing. Those who lack the eye to gaze simultaneously at the hilarious absurdities of the world spirit on horseback as they’re getting kicked in the face by it will undoubtedly identify with their injury itself. One can escape through isolation, but even then one must leave the house and confront humanity to get basic essentials. If you can sustenance-farm, keep yourself alive by yourself, you’re so off the grid of modern mental health that you keep doing what you’re doing, but society will be in waiting for your return.

Absurd Noir

Absurdity is not the same thing as irony. Irony suggests a sincerity which is not being grappled, which the person with the ironic gaze already has direct access to, outside of the symbolic order. The Absurd Gaze has a much more difficult task, which is to mediate and order the simultaneous necessity of what exists with what is contradictory. Mark Fisher’s critique of Noir could be given a child with something like Absurd Noir, although it would be a bastard child. Absurd Noir would actively point out contradictions between systemic processes and continue to work through them until they proved themselves too powerful to overcome or they collapsed in on themselves.

The Absurd Noir detective is an impossible figure. Normal Noir, or “Normie Noir,” takes on the evils of the world and provides themselves with an aesthetic backdrop that brings into use the libidinal forces of evil and repurposes them. Absurd Noir fundamentally brings into light that the forces of evil are president in the system, then enacts them.

“The Great Dictator” can be looked at as an example of the Absurd Noir genre. Charlie Chaplin embodies Adolf Hitler to destroy him by enacting a Hyperhitler, a Hitler whose most visible characteristic is his contradictions.

Hyperhitler versus Hitler

Hitler bursts onto the set of The Great Dictator and demands Charlie Chaplin to stop this at once. Charlie does not know what to do, he is an Actor, an Actor playing a Dictator with great success! The Dictator himself is unamused, as the Actor shows the Dictator all of his contradictions, not for the Dictator himself, but for a third party! The Oedipal Child of Hitler and Hyperhitler, the imaginary future audience of The Great Dictator.

Security guards from the studio simply grab Hitler, and take him off the set. Some people on the set were Nazi sympathizers, but they can’t make out what is happening. Why is their hero Mr. Hitler acting in such an undignified way? Charlie Chaplin as Hyperhitler is looking serious.

Hyperhitler’s flux capacitor is going off, it’s processing. Charlie’s hands begin to fade in and out of existence. He grabs his iodine and he throws it on himself and rubs it in. Charlie Chaplin stumbles out of the studio, he is nauseous as he repeats to himself, “I am Charlie, I am Charlie, I am Charlie, the Actor.”

Hysterics, Power, and the Idea

The hysteric position is the one that creates new knowledge in Lacanian theory. The new knowledge is subversive to what is already accepted in the discourse as knowledge. The agents of knowledge, the hysterics, sometimes are missing the point, sometimes are not.

Charlie Chaplin in embodying a Hitler which is not Hitler, a Hyperhitler, is able to maintain his identity to some extent, but brings into radical question his own identity. The discursive loop of Absurd Noir is authentically an infinite regression, and one gets to the fact that there is flux in identification. The Flux is authentically relegated into a conflict of Ideas, which is to say, it is a projection.

Hyperhitler aka Charlie Chaplin and Hitler have a categorical conflict, which is ultimately a conflict of Idea. Which is the better vessel for the Idea, the Dictator or the Hyperdictator? Only the system decides, but only the hysteric Hyperdictator has the flux capacitor working, and suffers its radiation poisoning. The power struggle continues, and the Idea vessels continue to bite each other.

Fidelity to the Idea

I. Idea and Nothingness II. Being and Being III. Fidelity to the Idea

I: Idea and Nothingness

21. Territory-in-and-for-Idea confronts its non-universality in the form of the questioning of Actual Territory as Actual Territory, “Is this Actual Territory of the Idea?” In confronting what holds a super positional stance towards it, Territory-in-and-for-Idea is confronted with Nothingness.

22. Insofar as Idea is carried through Territory-in-and-for-Idea as mediated by Dictate, the Idea itself is confronted by Non-Idea, or Nothingness of the Idea. Nothingness of the Idea is a sign of Nothingness in its inversion of the Idea as what is not Idea. The Non-Idea as a result of the original Idea, confronts the original Idea and necessarily presents itself as irrelevant to the Idea, or as a more evolved form of the original Idea. Thus Nothingness holds a positive quality.

23. The positive quality of the Non-Idea is its binding of something which is superior to the Idea, which is necessarily outside of the Idea in order for the Non-Idea to maintain its existence as Non-Idea rather than as general Nothingness. The ends of the Non-Idea hold ends which are by necessity outside of the original Idea, or what the original Idea has struck as Nothing. Insofar as Dictators of the Idea make what is not yet Idea, Idea, Nothingness which is teleologically rooted within Idea is a source with indeterminate frequency for Idea which is not yet Idea.

II: Being and Being

24. Nothingness of the Idea has Being in the form of the exact negative of the Idea, insofar as it contains a positive quality as the Non-Idea-in-and-for-Itself which is by definition apart, but rooted in the Idea, which is necessarily the past of the Non-Idea. The Non-Idea when it becomes engaged with a second Idea and knows itself not as Non-Idea or the Nothingness of the Idea, but as Idea, the Non-Idea partially sublates into what is Idea-in-and-for-Itself, as sorted by Dictators of the second Idea, it can be said to have Being.

25. The Non-Idea, or the Nothingness of the Idea, and the Idea, have a quality of positive Being. Insofar as both the Non-Idea and Idea are existent as Being, the interaction of the Idea with its exact Negative is an interaction between Being and Being produces a change in either the Positive or Negative qualities of each Being as containing the Non-Idea of themselves. As Being and Being interact with each other, Being redefines Being, and is once again confronted each with the Nothingness of their respective Being through the posit of something which is not yet Idea as Idea.

26. Because the Non-Idea is confronted with Nothingness from itself, the Non-Idea then identifies spontaneously with Idea, be it the original Idea or a second Idea. When Non-Idea which returns to the original Idea no longer is against the Idea, but against the Actor, Craftsman, or Dictator of the Idea, against the agent of the Idea but not what is Idea itself, and is a secondary quality to the Idea, and is overwhelmed by the Idea.

III: Fidelity to the Idea

27. Non-Idea, which is to say the negative form of the Idea necessarily functions either as a secondary piece of the Idea which it is the direct Negative of, and maintains itself as the unhappy inverse of the Idea. Necessarily as to not be a secondary form of the Idea, Non-Idea lets go of itself as Non-Idea and takes up the form of Idea.

28. The Non-Idea being the exact negative of the Idea, then becomes the Idea itself, insofar as the Idea-is-Being through agent or territory, and thus a necessity for a dictator of the Idea to maintain the Idea as the Idea, in the form of what is not the Idea. The Negative Force of what is Non-Idea pushes the Idea which can only be held by a pin in the form of Fidelity to the Idea, or the Negative Force would pull the Positive Force of the Idea and make the Idea-in-and-for-something-else.

29. Fidelity to the Idea then comes in the form of the question of “Is this Idea or Non-Idea?” Once something is brought into the scope by purpose or chance into the realm of the Idea, an agent of the Idea mitigates it as either Idea or Non-Idea. The quality of the agent as Actor, Craftsman, or Dictator of the Idea becomes a Necessity in order to maintain Fidelity to the Idea.

30. As the historical Idea is never self-certain, Idea which is certain as Idea, or Idea-in-the-World, must necessarily be an Idea which is engaged with in the form of the questions, “Is this Idea or Non-Idea.”Fidelity to the Idea is thus maintained through Territory-in-and-for-Idea, which is the questioning “Is this Idea or Non-Idea,” by Dictators of the Idea coming into conflict with each other. The Socratic observation that in a Polytheistic society Gods must necessarily disagree with each other, so do Dictators of the Idea. Hence, what is qualified to be Dictator of the Idea is closely guarded, so as to maintain Idea-in-the-World which is what is determined to be Idea by Dictators of the Idea. Expertise in the form of a Dictator becomes a requirement in order to maintain an Idea which is certain as itself, Idea-in-the-World, within Spirit. If Actors or those who have little to know knowledge in the Idea are allowed to determine the Idea, the Idea will no longer know itself as Idea-in-the-World.

Techno-Dictatorship: Territory

Oracle at Delphi

I. Real Territory II. Virtual Territory III. Actual Territory, Territory-in-and-for-Idea

I. Real Territory

11. Insofar as civilizations crumble, so do territories and their usage for the Idea. Territories in space which have been previously used for the Idea do not necessarily contain the Idea, and thus do not necessarily contain being-for-Idea. If the territory is still used by human beings, the territory is still being-for-Spirit, but not being-for-Idea.

12. Real Territory, in so far as it is not nor not not being-for-Idea, nor is it Virtual nor mapped, will none-the-less contain being-for-Spirit. Being-for-Spirit is a separate mediating quality of the Real Territory as the container of multiple Ideas, mediated through world-in-and-for-Spirit. Insofar as Idea interacts with itself, the Idea takes into account and brings into frame a second Idea, through the Real Territory, when Idea sees an aspect of self whose Absolute is outside of the Idea, insofar as its end is indeterminate.

13. Being-for-Idea is thus dirempted, insofar as Spirit through the Real Territory comes suggestion of territory for a second Idea or Absolute. The content of this second Idea is brought into frame by human agency, and a determination is made as to the relation of this content in the Being-for-Idea which is subject to mediation in the world-for-Spirit, as grounded in Real Territory, which has connection to the Idea.

II. Virtual Territory

14. The map is not the territory insofar as the territory being described is not a map. If a territory for a craft is taken to be simply an all encompassing plurality containing both the machinations of human beings as well as its use for animals, plants, and so on, the Territory is no longer being-for-Spirit, and is primordial Nature. In so far as a territory has a map, it can said to being-for-Spirit, and thus, in and for the mediation of the Idea through Dictate.

15. Thus, Virtual Territory must necessarily come into contact with the primordial nature of the territory, and is mediated via the Will of the three technocratic subjectivities, Actor, Craftsman, and Dictator (of the Idea). While the three technocratic subjectivities are in contact with what is primordial, all offer up interpretations which are for-Idea, but whose fidelity-to-the-Idea varies based on the relationship to the Idea.

16. The mediation of the map then, is the determiner of what will constitute Actual Territory, which is to say the map is the territory in its Actuality, and is not able to be seperated from its being-in-and-for-Spirit, nor its being-for-Idea. Agency then, and determiner of whose agency constitutes a Dictator in so far as something which is not yet Idea becomes Idea, determines the Actuality of the World.

III. Actual Territory, Territory-in-and-for-Idea

17. When the map becomes inseparable from the territory and new territory for an Idea is created, the Territory becomes Territory-in-and-for-Idea. In so far as the new territory is in-and-for-Idea, both being-for-Spirit and being-for-Idea mediates the new territory. Thus, the Idea is in constant threat of being redefined by second Ideas, insofar as the second Idea determines the first Idea to be a better use of the Territory in a different form.

18. Being-for-Spirit then is suppositional to being-for-Idea, and constitutes a Mortal Danger in regards to the fidelity-to-the-Idea. The Mortal Danger to the Idea is the world which is in-and-for-Spirit, not in-and-for-Idea. Spirit being a mediation of the Idea as it relates to other Idea, must then be broken in some manner by Dictator, if is to become Territory-in-and-for-Idea.

19. Technology, in so far as it is utilized by a Dictatorial Will which is for-Idea, then becomes what affects being-for-Spirit, and creates Actual Territory for the Idea. The Idea, which is always secondary to Spirit, then gains a piercing quality, in which the inferior in position Idea is now in a place to change Spirit through Dictatorial Will.

20. Dictatorial Will comes up against Spirit, but is necessarily also Spirit Itself. Insofar as it comes up against Spirit, Dictatorial Will is fighting against all that is not yet the Idea. Territory which is not yet Idea challenges Dictatorial Will which necessarily puts for the territory as being-in-and-for-Idea. If the Territory is recognized outside of the agent who initially describes the territory as in-and-for-Idea, it can be said to be Actual Territory of the Idea, whose catalyst was the Dictatorial Will. The result is not a Dictatorship which contains a place for a singular Dictator to rule at whim, but an Actual Territory of the Idea, and a reflection of Territory-in-and-for-Idea which becomes a part of Spirit.

Techno-Dictatorship

I. Idea and Actor II. Capital and Craftsman III. Technology and Dictator

I. Idea and Actor

1. The Actor chooses an Idea which is already in the world, and is already mediated through law, capital, and history. The Actor is fundamentally becoming accustomed to the Idea which is already present in the world and mediated through Spirit. This is to say, the Idea comes into contact with Actors, Craftsmen, and Dictators previous to the individual engagement with the Idea.

2. The Actor comes to know the Idea as Spirit, and the interrelations that people at various stages of engagement come to know the Idea. The Actor is one who contains primordial self-knowledge, and passes through various stages of engagement with the Idea. The Idea is suppositional to the Actor, and the Actor while determined to be solidified within the Idea, is cast out when their engagement with the Idea is seen as rudimentary, and does not pass with ease through the Idea, inhabiting different necessary roles for the singular human being within the Idea.

3. Students find themselves in the role of Idea and Actor, and are often asked to play a role and engage with a particular Idea as a method of being trained to engage with Ideas-in-and-for-themselves. Student is the fundamental novice-nature of the Idea and Actor, as a buyer could be a Actor, Craftsman, or Dictator. The Actor is marked by failing self-certainty, and an inability to generate the craft in a manner which could generate capital.

II. Capital and Craftsman

4. The Craftsman engages with the Idea to a level in which they have some skill in engaging with the idea in a manner which to Craftsman and Actors, are deemed an Authentic Engagement. The Authentic Engagement is what separates the Craftsman from the Actor; however, due to the necessity of Authenticity dialectically engaging with Inauthenticity, the Craftsman also finds himself in unhappy consciousness by necessity due to the striking of the self as Inauthentic in order to produce Authentic Engagement. Only through the striking of the self as Inauthentic can one refine to the level of Craftsman and have Authentic Engagement with the idea.

5. Authentic Engagement, in itself containing Inauthenticity as a dialectical supposition, is Engagement which tests itself against itself, and against Actors, Craftsman, and Dictators. The Dictator, by necessity being one who becomes something higher than the original Idea itself as they are the points of creation for the Idea, inevitably shapes the Craftsman to the Dictatorial Will.

6. The Craftsman, due to the necessary unhappy consciousness from striking themselves as Inauthentic in order to better engage with the Idea, will inevitably come up against a Dictator which they see as not engaging with the Idea as the Craftsman engages with the Idea, but is flawed in a way in which the Craftsman then presupposes themselves to want power, power which is to say, the ability to generate aspects of the Idea which is not yet Idea. This power is obtained through the Craftsman creating something which generates Capital as the Craft, which is not yet the Craft. In generating Capital, the Craft now becomes registered as the Idea, in so far as it is desired to be part of the Craft by Actors, Craftsmen, and Dictators who are also engaged with the Idea. The Status of Craftsman differs from the Dictator in that the Craftsman-as-Craftsman is rarely challenged, while the Dictator-as-Dictator is challenged via any challenge of the Dictate, which is by its nature a generation of the Idea.

III. Technology and Dictator

7. When the Craftsman can generate Idea through Capital, it can then go into Law, and History of the Idea. Once a Craftsman does this, he is now a Dictator of the Idea. The Dictates of the Craftsman now manifest as the Idea. When Actors, Craftsmen, and Dictators challenge the Dictator, they are challenging both the direction of the Idea and the Dictator’s self-certainty as Dictator, which is to say, the Dictator’s ability to generate the Idea through Law, History, and Capital.

8. The Dictator is necessarily challenged in order to preserve the fidelity of the Idea. The Idea is mediated by Actors, Craftsmen, and Dictators, and thus if the Idea is not to degenerate into another form entirely, the Idea is held true through the challenging of individual actors who engage with the Idea.

9. Conflict is the necessity of fidelity to the Idea as mandated by the Dictator. The Dictator comes into conflict with those moving the Idea, and thus are the determiners of the Technology of the Idea. Dictators necessarily engage in Technology which is utilized to shape the Idea.

10. The two technologies the Dictator utilizes are the Technology of the Idea, and Technology to Communicate the Idea. The Technology of the Idea is specialized for the Craft, and is reflective of the Craft itself. The Technology to Communicate the Idea is more general, and is what Dictators and Craftsman use to Propagate the Idea at large, and through which Actor’s engage with in order to discover the idea, and is more reflective of Time itself.

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.

Up The Rabbit Hole: In Defense Of The Signifier

Temporariness posits a double negation, the a priori hole in the object and the second hole in time itself. The object appears inscribed with lack, the object also will disappear. The object is both not itself and it is already gone twice. First, it is gone as it is carries with it the symbolic value of itself, and thus it is intrinsically cracked, and secondly, the movement of time which is also inscribed in the first appearance. From a psychoanalytic standpoint the superior mode of communication can be called Signifier Fidelity, neurotic communication can be called Fidelity to Signifier Failure.

Signifier Fidelity Post-Collapse

The final movement saves the initial movement. The initial movement is the unexamined lack, the A=A.

Here is an adjustment to the tautology of A=A: A for all intents and purposes equals A, unless there is a reason for it not to be.

This is the pragmatic turn that strict ideologues have difficulty with because it is often reduced to a simple matter of use value within a singular movement of time, and doesn’t pay fidelity to its own collapse. This use value is that of constituting reality which is intrinsically twice struck with failure, and thus to point at a single point of failure and declare a thing invalid is itself invalid. Use value of the signifier in relation to other signifiers within a signifier chain is the only saving grace of the logic of critique; and thus, critique which denies use value is determined to collapse under the weight of its own false positive, the point-of-failure-as-proof, the false end. This point-of-failure-as-proof false end is the logical necessity of the Signifier Fidelity.

Temporariness is the second movement in the dialectical positing of an actuality, which already has a hole in the object containing multiple values and thus no singular value; and a double hole is created on two different registers.

Temporariness as actual, exists through the deadlock of permanence and its failure. Temporariness is posited at the object over permanence, but it is an object which epistemologically collapses, which is to say it has a fluxuating symbolic value.

If temporariness is substantially the positive version of the negation of permanence, permanence is what can be said to have existence, while temporariness is simply the strike within permanence. The strike through permanence is where the substance of what is permanent dips out of view of the human subjectivity. It is self-consciousness that registers impermanence. Fidelity to the signifier can occur while recognizing the implication of the signifier’s failure.

The Final Posit Over The Negation

If something is not able to be spoken of directly, it has a subordinate place in the logic of the signifiers themselves. If it can only be approached through the negative, or distancing due to the nature of the subject, the fixation on it, then the logic is a priori subordinate to the material on a register that is judged to be the superior register. For instance, an innuendo pays fidelity to the superior register by not approaching the thing directly through the symbolic. This is the realm of Logos, the entrance into language and its necessity.

The ultimate act of faith is fidelity to the signifier, not fidelity to the terror of impermanence.

The Zizekian Subject (Psychoanalysis in the Void)

I will take the position of the professor-master here and tell you the question to ask. The question is not how, but where are we doing psychoanalysis in psychotherapy? I get a lot of questions of how to use Zizek in psychotherapy, but the proper question is where is Zizek in psychotherapy? Simply, we can make a sublime object out of the Other.

Through the Other, one can work on what is the posited therapeutic subject. Lacanians are correct when they posit that the subject or the position of the analyst can not be guaranteed and is doomed to fail in many respects, but then also must not the negative form of this posit also be correct? The non-subject also can never be guaranteed.

The form is psychotherapy, but there is a psychoanalytic principle at work in the world as described by the subject. What is presented by a subject is a self, and counter to the self is an other which comes through speech as described as non-self. The disavowal of the self from the world-as-out-there is never guaranteed to be correct when one tries to get a hold or create an Absolute which is out-there (in the world) rather than in-here (the self-subject).

I would like to take a moment to address the cover of my book which I chose for a very specific reason. If you’re here, I assume you’ve seen it, or how else would you be here? It is a chess board, a mirror ball, and a void. The analysis happens on the mirror ball, in the form of psychotherapy. Psychotherapy is the mirror, the register. If a form is designed to fail, is it a failing form? No, but it makes psychotherapy the ideological form. Here we can register psychoanalytic principles given by the client (that is to say the proper term for the therapeutic subject in American circles, they are a “client,” and their agency is imagined to be the given thing, the individuality which is so expertly hidden that they can not use it at all of course).

In a sense, the Zizekian object, and Lacanian aspect, liberates the client in that they are given logic and cognition to talk about the Other and through this, talk about the non-subjectivity that is themselves. In sort of contemporary terms, this is the “algorithm,” the fact that in psychotherapy guided by a Zizekian psychotherapist, one can tune the client’s algorithmic approach to the Other, which is in fact the most important location of the therapeutic subject. Ultimately things are driven back when they are talking about their own perception into the thing itself, the client itself, but this is the less relevant part in my experience.

The relationship to the Other, the sublime object of the Other, that is the chilled Coca-Cola, that is the “it,” the real thing.