And He was asking him, "What is your name?" And he said to Him, "My name is Multitude; for we are many."
«a posthuman reading of discipline does not need to give up class struggle; it might just to prefer to think, as Lenin once did, of communism as electrified soviet power»
I have been reading Posthuman by Rosi Braidotti lately, for my writing on disciplinary-cyborg science in the 19th century. First things first: she’s freaking awsome. And so is the book – but because I do not have the patience to quote it at lenght here, I’ll just leave a bit more of what I’ve been writing at the end of the article.
Second, and as is usual when I have a new crush, I threw myself into the pile of videos available online. And I found out that, besides being a cool writer, she is a an amazing speaker.
This post is just to share the two best lectures I found with you. Have fun *
1 – On the Nomadic Subject is available here. The type of file is not supported for me to post it here
2- Posthuman, All Too Human? A Cultural Political Cartography
«the agency of power
The role of power in this relation cannot be downplayed. It is in fact its synthesizing nature that drives us away from the seeing our cyborg subjects as being mere maimed human beings, as being simply alienated from their whole-nature – a marxist perspective. As Rosi Braidotti puts it: «The modernist era stressed the power of technology not as an isolated event, but as a crucial element in the assemblage of industrialization, which involved manufactured objects, money, power, social progress, imagination and the construction of subjectivity. As a critical analysis of this historical moment, Marxism and its socialist Humanism taught us that objectification is indeed a humiliating and demeaning experience for humans in that it denies their full humanity and can thus be truly called inhuman at a basic social level. The commodification process itself reduces humans to the status of manufactured and hence profit-driven technologically mediated objects.»
The foucauldian take, however, recognizes in the instrumental coding of the body a process of synthesis rather than the sundering of the species-essence [Gattungswesen], the later grounded on a normative-stance:
«The regulation imposed by power is at the same time the law of construction of the operation. Thus disciplinary power appears to have the function not so much of deduction as of synthesis, not so much of exploitation of the product as of coercive link with the apparatus of production.»
To refuse the anthropocentrism/humanism in Marx’s views does not imply, and this must be made clear, a refusal of his politico-economical analysis or to reject the importance of class struggle. It does mean, however, to refuse a marxism that «subsumes human relations into the nexus ‘money-power’» and, in our particular case, not to recognize in it the sole motor for the unwinding of the nineteenth-century. Modern power techniques were not the product of just economic dynamics, but also of power-knowledge ones. «If economic exploitation separates the force and the product of labour, let us say that disciplinary coercion establishes in the body the constricting link between an increased aptitude and an increased domination»
Discipline as a technology of power is shown to operate at levels that go beyond the economic, the social, or in fact any that take the unity of the individual as premise; but that doesn’t mean refusing those levels. Analogously, a posthuman reading of discipline does not need to give up class struggle; it might just to prefer to think, as Lenin once did, of communism as electrified soviet power.»