Ricardo Miranda Zúñiga

Structural Patterns

Reflections on Art, Technology and Society

Archive for the ‘debt’ Category

Reading: The Making of the Indebted Man (note 2)

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Quotes from chapter 2 The Genealogy of Debt and the Debtor

For Nietzsche, making a memory for man being able “to have […] control over the future,” “to view the future as the present and anticipate it,” so that he is answerable for his own future.
Pg. 45

The Economy as Process of Subjectivation
It seems to me that my friends in cognitive capitalism are mistaken when they make “knowledge” the origin of valorization and exploitation. There is nothing new in the fact that science, skills, and technological and organizational innovations represent the productive forces of capital – Marx already understood as much in the mid-19th century.

What is required and cuts across the economy and modern-day society, is not knowledge but the injunction to become an economic “subject” (“human capital,” “entrepreneur of the self”), an injunction that concerns just as much the unemployed as the user of public services, the consumer, the most “modest” of workers, the poorest, or the “migrant.”
Pg. 50-51

If capitalists spend little time worrying about investing in a more than improbable – always heralded but never realized – “knowledge society,” they are, on the other hand, cruelly inflexible when forcing the governed to take on all the economic risks and damage the capitalists themselves have created.
Pg. 52

The Two Marxes
A Very Nietzschean Marx
But this abolition of estrangement, this return of man to himself and therefore to other men is only an appearance; the self-estrangement, the dehumanization, is all the more infamous and extreme because its element is no longer commodity, metal, paper, but man’s moral existence, man’s social existence, the inmost depths of his heart, and because under the appearance of man’s trust in man it is the height of distrust and complete estrangement.
Pg. 56

The trust that credit exploits has nothing to do with the belief in new possibilities in life and, thus, in some noble sentiment toward oneself, others, and the world. It is limited to a trust in solvency and makes solvency the content and measure of the ethical relationship.
Pg. 58

In its financial form, capital accumulated in banks appears as “capital in general,” a simple abstraction. But it is a powerful abstraction, since capital emerges as “autonomous value,” “independent” of its actualization in a particular sphere; it exists as an “undifferentiated” force capable of every form of actualization. It thus appears as the power to prescribe and anticipate future value, as a power of destruction/creation.
Pg. 63

  • These brings to mind Robinhood’s recent offer to “sweep in” uninvested money sitting in my account so that it can earn interest. Robinhood has partnered with banks to play with people’s money and make more money…

The concentration of capital and the growth of their turnover is radically changing the significance of the banks. Scattered capitalists are transformed into a single collective. The “coherence” and strategies are those of the M-Mlogic, which by making money from money also reveals its “irrationality.” The latter materializes in every “liberal” period and leads almost automatically to the most sever crises, each time clearing the way for authoritarian politics (which happened with the First World War and fascism.)
Pg. 65

“We live forward but think backward” – William James. To live forward means “to believe in the world and in the new possibilities of life” it encompasses, says Deleuze. Faith and trust are a force – joyous and confident – that gives one a “generous strength.”
Pg. 69

…In order to realize the power to act, we need to believe (trust) in the “moving present,” the present as possibility, that is, in the world and the new possibilities of life that it holds. The power to act is subordinate to an existential affirmation, to a “yes” that expresses a self-positioning. It presupposes hope and faith, anticipating what has not yet come to pass, making the impossible possible.
Pg. 71

For finance, the future is a mere forecast of current domination and exploitation. But if a critical threshold of uncertainty with regard to future of exploitation and domination is passed, the present, emptied of its possibilities, collapses. The crisis is then a crisis of time from which emerges a time of political and social creation, which finance can only endeavor to destroy. This is exactly our present situation. The logic of debt is stifling our possibilities for action.
Pg. 71

The pain of a debtor is interiorized, responsibility for the debt becomes a feeling of guilt. Pg. 78

From the far reaches of the empire the Vikings with their ships and the Hungarians with their horses (mobility, migratory, nomadic, and warrior flows whose power was greater than the peasants’) descended, pillaging villages, tombs and monasteries… they made economic investments through destruction… The less mobile flow (the peasants) became subordinate to the nomadic and mobile flow (the barbarian warriors). The “barbarian flows were deterritorialized as well as deterritorializing.”
Pg. 82

  • Today, young professionals who are considered ambitious move about the globe, hopping from opportunity to better opportunity. They are deterritorialize and deterritorializing by their disinterest in establishing or maintaining roots and building community. They leave small towns to the university and then the metropolis. Major cities are populated by transient citizens. Meanwhile the small cities and towns are abandoned, ghost towns populated by senior citizens.

The flow of financing that is, money is capital, is a mutant power, a creative flow, a set of “sign powers,” because it engages the future, manifests a force of prescription, and constitutes a power of destruction/creation that anticipates that which is not yet present. Financing flows are a deterritorialized and deterritorializing power, a power that does not emerge after the economic, but is imminent to it. They affect possibilities and their actualization.
The substance of money is capital is time, but less labor time than time is the possibility of choice, decision, and control, in other words, the power to destroy/create social forms of exploitation and subjection.
Pg. 85

Written by ricardo

August 12th, 2022 at 2:22 pm