Can we usefully compare the ideas of contemporary philosophers in an attempt to create the conditions for a fruitful dialogue? My response is “yes!”, and this is one of the leitmotifs of this blog, whose caption “Pluralism and Individuation in a World of Becoming” expresses both the thought that I am trying to elaborate and what I find to be the growing point of the philosophy that interests me. Latour, Laruelle, Stiegler, Zizek, Badiou are all in various ways working to create such a thought, and unfortunately they are doing so mostly without reference to each other. One of my tasks is to sketch out possible translations between these constellations of thought, in view of helping each to overcome its onesidedness and to locate and resolve weak points in its conceptual armature.
A recent spiff with Toby MacSmug (from Dead Mouse Press) on Facebook has shown me that the new formal models (such as we find for example in non-philosophy) which were designed to free us from academic incarcerations are being shamelessly concretised in territorial proprietorships and exclusionary agendas, despite their being formally excluded by the very models they propound. “Yay X!, Y is shit”) seems to be the logical form of the financially based slogan constitutive of a new breed of para-academic pushers.
The logic of career exists just as much outside as inside the academy (see this very interesting post on the PERVERSE EGALITARIANISM blog). Being a “para-academic” is no proof against one’s own ignorance and hypocrisy, and monetarisation, though not an evil in itself, is certainly no guarantee of openness, generosity, curiosity, or even of simple human decency. The new incarceration of thought is no longer tied to a physical location but is coextensive with virtually sustained communities capable of manifesting as “hate-groups” at any sign of encounter with the alterity that they invoke only to avoid.
Ultimately we are witnessing a Borgesian life-sized gamification of the symbolic (and monetary) market. Ironically this translates as “the niche of which you are the hero”.