Globalizing Mediated Bodies: Nucleic Acid and Recombinative Culture

Nicholas Ruiz III

"Globalizing Mediated Bodies: Another Line of Flight" is intended as an audio prologue - or alternately, as a thematic reprise - to this essay. To listen, please follow this link (it will open in a new browser window). This file is in MP3 format (with a size of approximately 9MB and a running time of approximately 10 minutes), which is playable through Quicktime, Windows Media Player, Winamp, and several other programs.

Yet even the forms of media take us past the anachronistic phenomenology of time consciousness. We have need of a new phenomenology, not just of mind but of the modalities of mediation. Media, sensorium of Capital; technology, organs of Capital we are...(and) it is difficult to locate oneself in the world closing in even as the subject is multiplying and opening out over distance..."where everyone is everywhere at all times." [1]

[1] Each biological appearance is mediated by the compulsion to sustain itself, to produce, to be producing, even if that natural production is more recently for us, an out of control replication of a postindustrial human geographical reorganization (as in globalization), and perhaps especially so, since our natural exhibition has given birth to the Fordist ideology of replication. [2] In our hands, the natural exhibition hence becomes a biomediated spectacle of continuously proliferating homeostatic and replicative singularities informed operationally by the progenitorial flow of the Code, thinking and attempting to augment itself. The primal location of our shared Code (a truly universal text and yet, for each of us, an intimate, unique and singular Code) is in deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), that physical text and institution that constantly regulates itself, at once annihilating and restoring sameness to the difference it perceives as aberrant within itself, and all the while forwarding its Cause. [3]

[2] To form a Basis is the very apparatus of the molecule, this is its power and its environmental regime effect, yet "a formation of power is much more than a tool; a regime of signs is much more than a language", meaning that the architecture of the Code, extends beyond the order of the tool or language, even as it preexists these prosthetic effects and abstractions, to determine and select the architectural limits of the milieu and its contents - natural, social and otherwise - and all this, at the same time that the social and natural milieus counter-select the Code's implementation and structural design. [4] This is the underlying dialectic of the real. In quite the same fashion, on a more macrological scale, our 'civilizing' exhibition, or Culture, while regulated by an incestuously static and purportedly 'well-bred' aristocratic sovereignty, functions to annihilate its differences, yet is somewhat deficient in its capacity to code for difference - unlike nucleic acid, which ensures difference within its Code.

[3] Even though the genome sustains novelty with each recombinative progenitorial wave, at the same time and quite ironically, the genome enzymatically acts to maintain the integrity and fidelity of the original DNA text - serving as its own impetus for redundant functioning and reification, which means that the genome, though ensuring difference, also reifies its project and abhors mutation, and in that mission is not unlike Society; it too, is under constant regulation, not by enzymes, but by institutions and transnational aristocracies, that reduce and subsume all that they perceive as aberrant from Society's project, essentially reifying the status quo. Interestingly, DNA never forgets to act in such a way as to preserve diversity within itself, for it knows that to occlude the flow of difference, is to become an inversion concrète de la vie, or worse perhaps, le mouvement autonome du non-vivant. [5] Ultimately, the paradox is that despite the new wave fetishism of la valeur de différence, in some respects we somehow secretly abhor difference, perhaps down to the order of the molecular. The annihilation of difference seems to be history's happenstance project, or more momentously, the burgeoning homogenization of culture seems the essence of globalization - does it not?

[4] We might call the annihilation of difference a side-effect of a recycled and globalizing modernity; a replicative genetic and memetic globalization of mediated bodies (physical and institutional); and the refashioning of culture into an amalgam of a relentlessly aesthetic, new Culture - and one under which all Code is increasingly, and globally, ruled by the deific specter of Capital and its agents. What or whom is represented by this Cause? Suffice it to say that where there are "genes that behave in such a way as to increase their numbers in the gene pool", there are also, ideas (i.e. memes) that behave in such a manner as well. [6] I mention this point not to entertain the myth of Telos - but rather, to simply acknowledge the event horizon of what is Operational. Behavioral geneticists go so far as to argue that certain factions of Code give rise to certain predispositions and formulations of the real. Such genetic correlations have been found in behavior exhibiting ranging extremes of religiosity, conservatism, authoritarianism, harm avoidance, control, aggression and alienation. [7] Cultural memes function analogously, such as in the idea of hellfire, or God and the afterlife, or most recently, Capital, which is to say that, operationally, they ensure "their own survival by virtue of those same qualities of pseudo-ruthlessness that successful genes display." [8] The pundits of progress - or the apostles of Capital and the agents of their campaign - claim sovereignty under this regime. Globalization has selected for a World that has become one colossal equity holding, the controlling stake of which is owned (or, more accurately, speculated upon) by that thin demographic Sklair describes as the transnational capitalist class - a class whose interests are, shall we say, far removed from that of the minority share holder class (i.e. the masses). [9]

[5] Herein lies the significance of the Political, as it is our only means of forwarding the inclusivity of difference. But it is not so much, as Habermas says, that sociopolitical conflicts are not natural phenomena: "In the political public sphere, conflicts on a national, European, or global scale develop their power to disturb us only when they are seen, against a background of a normative understanding of social inequities and political oppression, not as natural phenomena, but a social products - hence as changeable." [10] However, social "products" do not blockade the road of reasonable polity, but rather, arise as phenotypic manifestations of the Code, that somewhat ignorantly, blockade the ideal of a just and equitable Society, and that is to say that Society should not let it be so: "Genetic biases can be trespassed, passions averted or redirected, and ethics altered; and the human genius for making contracts can continue to be applied to achieve healthier and freer societies." [11]

[6] We should always keep in mind perhaps, that the human mind is not "infinitely malleable." Certain human patterns of behavior are pervasive everywhere, (and also in many primate species) and though this fact alone proves nothing it intuits a great deal - that the basis of much of our behavior (of course not all of it - the environment participates as well) resides in the Code. In fact, the field of behavioral genetics continually sheds light this fact.

[7] Studies of hunter-gather societies illuminate certain general consistencies throughout the world, such as group size being variable, but generally limited to one hundred members or less; aggressive and territorial behavior, that while variable, is always present in some fashion; adult males are more aggressive than adult females; groups are generally organized around prolonged maternal care; men generally hunt, women generally do not. [12] Of course, none of this should lead us to fall into "the dangerous trap in sociobiology...the naturalistic fallacy of ethics, which uncritically concludes that what is, should be". [13] Feminists can let out a sigh of relief now. But more to the point, essentially, Habermas concludes that sociopolitical conflicts are social products, and hence more easily subject to change by virtue of this assumption, whether on a domestic or international scale. The biological object has many affects, but its sense of justice and equity, suffice it to say, in many cases can leave something to be desired, no? Uncooperatively, social products or constructions are not apt to change - as they are products of evolutionary processes and are stubbornly perpetual - they can and should, however, be managed. It is in this manner that social processes must be approached, within full view of the natural difficulties that resist our ideals.

[8] In fact, all of recorded History exhibits the travails of various attempts to manage the machinations of Society. The human biomachine's natural inclination is simply to live, that is the primary message of its Code, and that desire to live, often precludes the preservation or flourishing of others, and naturally selects for an ever-increasing rate of pursued self-interest. Challenged by aberrant packs or singularities, we identify and flank the terror of Others with a scaffolding of 'justice', but that wanton scaffolding's possibilities diminish with every set of hands that is removed from the discursive process of our politics.

[9] The political is so important precisely because the milieu of the social arises out of an attempt to manage the implicit directive of the Code. This should sound familiar by now, but suffice it to say that Hobbes and Locke were both right and wrong, and we have benefited and been damaged by both lines of inquiry. Hobbes was correct in that humankind persists in a state of Nature, a point that still escapes far too large a part of the world; however, that a Hobbesian aristocracy is the answer to our plight is less than palatable. Locke realized that an Hobbesian regime is antithetical to individual sovereignty, but as far as Lockean laws of Deity being any sort of an impetus for humankind's morality, well history begs to differ with the still largely assumed moral merit of pious intentions and the 'just' Crusade. Still, Locke was closer to the mark, we might say, in his thinking that:

"...he who attempts to get another man into his absolute power, does thereby put himself into a state of war with him; it being to be understood as a declaration of a design upon his life: for I have reason to conclude, that he who would get me into his power without my consent, would use me as he pleased when he had got me there, and destroy me too when he had a fancy to it; for no body can desire to have me in his absolute power, unless it be to compel me by force to that which is against the right of my freedom, i.e. make me a slave. To be free from such force is the only security of my preservation; and reason bids me look on him, as an enemy to my preservation, who would take away that freedom which is the fence to it; so that he who makes an attempt to enslave me, thereby puts himself into a state of war with me." [14]

[10] What has materialized thus far in America, is something less than Freedom, and yet something better than Slavery. But such are the evolutions of thought, as in genetics, and we might say that all evolutionary tracts yield something, even if extinctions or dead-ends; and the value or consequences of each tract, we of course, calculate after its flourish or demise. The process of our development has indeed become stilted somewhere between these two extremes.

[11] Thus far, we attempt to produce a justice by proxy, which while not without merit, in many cases, is a most ineffective imposition from without, and further, an imposition that has been recognized for hundreds of years. Our politics arise out of an organizational response to the Code, in itself, and in ourselves, and that is why in every cultural coalescence of homo sapiens there are singularities and packs that are influential, some might call them 'leaders'; and the larger societies become, the worse are the abuses and contradictions that arise too, within those mediated bodies. This organizational dichotomy is ultra-conserved across history, and quite interestingly, there are too, ultra-conserved portions of Code, even across bodies of species. [15] Justice and equity in political representation would require the dislodgment of the occlusive sediment of aristocratic proxy in our institutions, those elements that impede the flow and exchange of difference within those political edifices. The circuit of culture is being replicated according to a design, the architects (and beneficiaries) of which are few, yet the burdens of the effects of which are carried by the many. In America, the opening of the circuit via a reconfiguration could possibly be assisted by a new branch of government, something like Leib has proposed, in his fourth branch, the popular branch, where ordinary citizens would deliberate and create policy in conjunction with the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government. [16] This would help to allow for the flow of control to be self-administered throughout the whole of the cultural circuit, rather than solely being administered by the control mechanism itself, as we have today.

[12] It is not, as Amin and others have stated, that capitalism in itself produces inequality for us, but rather that each singular manifestation of the Code is unique, and that some are bequeathed more advantageous Code for a particular environment then others, and advantageous Code then can bequeath advantageous Code and legacies to its progeny - and this is precisely why, again I state, like Habermas, that the political is so important. [17] It is our only means for attenuating the voracity of the Code, and the resultant material accumulations it desires, and the sequestering of material hordes it portends.

[13] The voracity of the Code is the same, it selects for the same autocratically gainful Code worldwide, regardless of the Sign of the regime, be it Democracy, Theocracy, Socialism, Communism, or others. It is not that we are equal, but that we are not - that is why politics, democratic debate and human rights are so important, in order to ensure that we are all treated equitably. The method of polity in America, that which is a market polity, and driven by the metaphysics of Capital, exists first on the order of the molecular. The international distributions of polities we have today are what have evolved given the pushing and pulling of various factions of the Code. Marx described the tensions that occur between manifestations of the Code, but as tensions of Capital:

"The contest between the capitalist and the wage-laborer dates back to the very origin of capital. It raged on throughout the whole manufacturing period. But only since the introduction of machinery has the workman fought against the instrument of labor itself, the material embodiment of capital... The instrument of labor, when it takes the form of a machine, immediately becomes a competitor of the workman himself. The self-expansion of capital by means of machinery is thenceforward directly proportional to the number of the work-people, whose means of livelihood have been destroyed by that machinery. The whole system of capitalist production is based on the fact that the workman sells his labor-power as a commodity." [18]

[14] Currently, in order to circumvent this tension between Capital and labor, we feel that to be human, we must become machinic, in order to be of value to Capital once again, because ultimately, what Capital values most is the machine, and the cheapest machines are most favored, provided they are adequately efficient. Paradoxically, we find that we already are machines, driven by the most ancient of technological Codes. It is not difficult to adapt to our burgeoning roles, our posthuman prosthesis of being, because it was already written in the Code. Perhaps that is what makes biotechnology so compelling.

[15] Seeking longer labor hours for less and less pay, Capital becomes impatient for a perpetually increasing bottom line; 'outsourcing' seeks to benefit from the pools of Code that have benefited least from the activity of the industrial revolution, readjusting the global value of those that made Capital what it is today. We might say that Capital is not nostalgic for its origins or originators. The outsourcing phenomenon is by no means limited to the Western capital, as Asian capital is increasingly farming out its back-office workload as well. [19] Those left behind have value as consumers, but in order to consume, one must have access to Capital - or Credit, the anti-Christ of Capital. This negative dichotomy characterizes the untenable nature of this globalizing progression and a risk becomes apparent - the unsustainablity of an ever-increasing standard of living under the deity of Capital. Is this a natural or unnatural development? Does it matter?

[16] The distinction between natural and unnatural is not small - and the claim that sociopolitical products should be viewed as unnatural, as Habermas posits, is to claim that they be conceptualized as artifice and that they are hence more malleable than is true in practice, an assumption we do not have the luxury to make. We do not claim that Cancer is 'unnatural', despite its destructive agenda. Its Code directs it to usurp and destroy the tissue within which it is located, even at the expense of the entire organism. In this sense, Cancer is related to Capital. At most, we can work to attenuate the impropriety of the Code, and that is to say, the Code and its material manifestations and devices (as in Capital) are not perfect, and in particular, the agenda that the Code purveys is not democratic.

[17] To claim the contrary, that sociopolitical conflict, products, and constructions are indeed, as natural as can be, or that we are not naturally democratic, or that capitalism in itself does not select for inequality, but rather organizes the already unequal in an unjust way, is to say that these things are within the purview of the Code itself, and that, like one's natural eye-color or one's natural height, sociopolitical conflict will be remarkably resistant to change, and further, very likely to continue, and possibly progress, like an unchecked disease, in the path of least resistance. Therein lies the impetus for sustained reflection upon the necessity of a method of organization that ensures the attenuation of those sequences that give rise, if left to their own devices, to the production of a hierarchy of natural and inherited advantage - that schema of advantage, which, in the spirit of an idea such as democracy, is unfair, but that we should note would have been quite useful, in the spirit of survival, when we were a younger species, say, fifty to one hundred thousand years ago. Perhaps many political 'leaders' perceive that the archaic schema of advantage is still useful today, as it is the pretext to the logic of inheritance and legacy that they find so useful, genetic and otherwise.

[18] Naturally, we are always producing, giving birth, and the question is, 'What shall we birth next?': a famine, a war, a just cause, a democracy, a regime - and 'Whom shall it benefit or detriment?' It is we who impose fairness upon a natural system, which is not, or allow a system, which is not fair to proceed unchecked. That we have not proffered up the appropriate forms of resistance to what is unfair or unjust is perhaps most saliently displayed via the spectacle of nuclear arms. That we would allow such devices to be produced is irreconcilable with ideas that posit humanity a fair and just species. But this is not misappropriated libido manifest, nor a manifestation of a death instinct. [20] This is a side effect of natural conflict, wrought at a historical location in time, by competing factions of Code on different sides of the ocean.

[19] Bioengineering will cause unprecedented multifarious evolutions, driven by, not natural selection, as previously, but what Virilio and Lotringer have discussed, as artificial selection, and then informational selection; this evolution portends that in the move from Darwinian natural selection to the genomic assembly-line, the critical item will be the program, at the cost of Culture. [21] Of course, the speed with which the changes come leave little time for theoretical positioning; which is why we must speculate, like market traders, executing our judgments, based upon what is always insufficient data. We had barely begun to comprehend our natural world, when we were already executing ploy after ploy, upon it, unknowing of the consequences of our self-directed ruses; and the protracted execution of self-deception has led us now to the epochal ability to alter the Code itself, something we do not yet appreciate conceptually, yet are already fixed upon manipulating operationally. The "possibility of industrializing the living organism" is already upon us. There are already factories of genetically engineered bacteria, fields of modified corn, transgenic laboratory rodents, cloned sheep, etc., and the modification of the human machine itself is available for those so inclined via cancer medicine, heart surgery, fertility enhancement, breast enlargement, pharmaceutical agents for psychological augmentation, cholesterol modification, insulin regulation, etc. That we will continue to seek to enhance the biomedia we 'inhabit', or more precisely, the biomedia that we are - need not be rhetoricized, as the situation presents itself simply as a dual operation-biomediazation as an accompaniment to globalization. The evolving mediation of global communications escorts this event. It facilitates all biologies within the global media network. The global mediation of the networked body is:

"...not simply about the body and technology in an abstract sense, but concerns the biological body situated by a range of technoscientific fields. Its specific locale is an interdisciplinary one, in which biological and medical approaches to understanding the body become increasingly dissociable from the engineering and design approaches inherent in computer science, software design, microelectrical and computer engineering, and other related fields. The body in biomedia is thus always a biological body, a biomolecular body, a species body, a patient body, and as a body that is compiled through modes of visualization, modeling, data extraction, and in silico simulation. It is this interdisciplinary cross-pollination (biological computing, computational biology) that is characteristic of biomedia." [22]

[20] The industrial mediation of the species furthers a part of the homogenizing globalization process, and the chances for a recombining polity of diversity diminish, as we evolve more technically anthropomorphic, universalized versions of the human Code. The technoscientific fields of industry under the purview of Capital need bodies, preferably mediated bodies. Mediated in such a way as to render them 'docile bodies'. The docile body is the ideal body today; a globalized body, and it is also the body that is most tethered to the network, so that it "may be subjected, used, transformed and improved." [23] The docile body is swept along by the momentum of the changing multiplicity, thriving within the mutable climate of "semiotic rhizome tissue" - and human beings, languages, and societies; books or brains, events or concepts - these are all formations of mutability that differentiate as a function of a Screen, an input/output fabric, that is networked, implicated and complicated in one globalizing Natura or Multiple City. [24] The momentum of Capital seeks the embodied reverse-utility of docility, eliciting the economic virility of the body, coupled to its political impotence. In this sense we continue to uncover, albeit at a slower rate than its accumulation, what can only be a future "archeology of the subject who is sick in the most profound sense", revealing the make-up of the folds and conditions of our globalizing mediated effacement, that which is "indissolubly linked to conditions of sickness." [25] What will justice and equity mean when there are digitally compiled genetic copies of biomachines scattered across the globe - will they be the new slaves of the new historical chapter of Empire? And will they be people just like us, with the same claims to personal sovereignty as we could ever hope to claim, and will therein lie a new conflict for a new era?

[21] Despite the logic of the Code, or the as of yet untranslated Code we may never understand (junk DNA), we all agree that our mutual destruction is an event that we do not desire, and that is to say, we must to an extent, manage the messages it holds. That there is a message at all in our bodies is debated, dramatized, narrated and mythologized by polities, theaters, movements and sects — but for our purposes we shall assume that "though a body doesn't look like the product of a loose and temporary federation of warring genetic agents who hardly have time to get acquainted before embarking in sperm or egg for the next leg of the great genetic diaspora" that it so operationally, exactly a replicating machine who portends its survival — and for the Freudians among us its destruction as well, that belated eternal return to the inanimate. [26] Or as Canning has written, perhaps the body executes its technologies of transcendence, its algorithms that promise to take us back to jouissance via a "culture of the death drive ... (because) it is true after all that death is the surest way to drive out consciousness, to end all suffering absolutely." [27] We construct devices that purvey total annihilation, devices such that their mere existence specifically allows the chance obliteration of the world and most living things. Surely, these executions are mistakes within the Code, or misinterpretations or mismanagement of our Coded impulse to survive. On the face of it, the resultant prescription to attenuate the absurd products of the Code is the same in either case — the phenotypic (sociopolitical) sphere must be sociopolitically managed in order to stave off the somewhat vicious nature of the selective process of exclusion that manifests itself in every forum in the natural world, and that is to say, when advantages are held by whomever, regardless of whether those advantages are fortuitously genetic or social, or assiduously hard-earned assets, they naturally prefigure their implementation in the sociopolitical milieu, to the disadvantage of the disadvantaged. The common man and woman did not invent the nuclear weapon, nor did they requisition its construction. The aristocratic political class (transnational class) signed off on that order, and it is probable they it will be they that will 'lead' to the destruction of our species if left unchecked.

[22] A genetic criticism: one might say that while our mental software has evolved, as we ever increasingly extract more and more from the milieu we inhabit and at the same time transform our milieu and ourselves via our technologies, our hardware (bodies) have not kept up with the technological pace of our software, and our molecular inclinations, biochemical reactions and reactionism, and hormonal difficulties and predispositions, continue to function perhaps, quite similarly, to the way in which they did fifty to one hundred thousand years ago, and maybe further in the past still. Our rationale for survival, manifest via the weaponry of Capital and its technologies, far outstrips what has evolved in our cultural matrices to manage its side effects. Our current geopolitical constellation is not recombinative, or to be fair, not recombinative enough, and in that sense, does not ensure sufficient diversity within itself, but rather, ensures precisely the reverse, meaning that it reifies and ossifies itself. We have been warned that genetic inbreeding has a long history of producing the epitome of the defect. Cultural inbreeding is similar in its results. Diverse organisms and coalescences survive and flourish; while inbred entities select for diseased states of being - polities included.

[23] Genetic recombination, the process by which living things remain novel through each successive generation, ensures difference by virtue of the wisdom of experience gained via evolutionary millennia, while the political process does not have such a lengthy and natural wisdom to draw upon for its functioning. Rather, the amalgam of polities that has thus far coalesced in our world could be characterized as somewhat perverse endeavor with a varied and lengthy history of exterminations, mass coercions, and catastrophic abuses. Of course, there have been moments of exceptional grace and good judgment, but there are always exceptions, and are we to be judged by our exceptions, or our rules? Hence there is still work here to be done, and that is to say, democracy has been called an ideal process, but as of late seems more like cheap product, and a defective one at that. Genetics are without sociopolitical status; human ideas are precisely the reverse. The idea of democracy is perhaps one of the greatest ideas the human mind has ever produced, what remains to be seen is whether, the human mind can execute that idea to the fullest of its conception, given the Code.

[24] How does a species transcend the order of the Cell? A compulsion drives us at the molecular level, and becomes systematized when singularities organize in groups, and over time, and population increases, has materialized a flow of being that is global and hysterical. It is hypercontextual because we exist in contextual relation to a milieu, and we must refer to a milieu, or a standard of being, in order to know where it is that we stand, economically, socially, and politically - in short, culturally. Non-contextual locations do not exist for us as material entities. So, like hypertext, (i.e. hypertext markup language - HTML) we are continuously linked to another place, and it is only when we arrive at that next place, that the previous location really exists, the only real way we have of knowing we are indeed here or there. We are constantly pushed and pulled, interrogated and identified, and if need be, recontextualized by our relationship to each and every Sign, each and every day. This cultural pathway elucidates the new pathology of one's simulated and globalized media memory bank and it also is the etiology of a faulty mass-mediated nostalgia and desire for the commercially defined 'good-life', that more and more cultural locations begin to seek, at the expense of the planet, and that most serves the transnational class. Context becomes hysterical, as our social locations shift with the rapid-fire volatility of equity market indices, all the while the multinational, multicorporate, Real as Sign constantly bombards us with the message of a minority, inbred Code, manifest via the apotheosis of Capital - this is the History of Civilizations, and has not changed - and we are not finished with this theory, or rather, this theory is not finished with us. That the word Sign is belabored after a few decades of use is only a symptom of our increasingly consumptive nature, or more aptly, the theory of the Sign is not a trend, or a fashion, but the linguistic discourse for the mediafied ecological bricolage we call habitat. More accurately, le monde du signe is the World we attempt to populate and flourish, that we orbit and attempt to penetrate, whereas perhaps at some undetermined point in the past, the situation was reversed.

[25] The force of the flow of Capital continually relocates the ontological sensitivity of each replicative being in an increasingly global fashion. [28] Thus, the contextual currency of each human being is continuously recalculated in a network configured by the Coded organic logic of underlying conditions, and one's viewpoint is always a point on the Cartesian coordinate system of Capital. In that respect, all relationships in the network seem to function in the same manner. Human lives are locations in a network and but singular points in a transnational schema defined in terms of profit and loss statements. Redundant points are eliminated, unnecessary circuits circumvented, discrepancies reconciled or if irreconcilable, as in unreadable sectors, worms, and viruses, they are quarantined, and written off. The veracity of our efficiencies run second only to the profundity of our ideologies, that are but pseudodescriptors with which to codify processes by which each persona or collection thereof is mediated. Religions are the fare du jour for this purpose.

[26] What force can mediate such a current of Currencies, such a circuit, serving as a resistor to cap the current that is undesired by the generators of the flow of ideology, while retaining and letting pass, that which is operationally efficient, yet metaphysically perverse and disjunctive? Today, it is the technology of film and media that mediate human currency with the greatest command. Hence the political power of religions will be continentally outsourced until they are absolutely without value in the entire global network. Fear and panic ensue, and fundamentalist atavism surges; and we bear witness to the symptomology of deific disease states, which we cannot palliate, though fundamentalists of every religiopolitical affiliation attempt it. To rail against what is nucleic in origin is, quite possibly, to attempt to subvert existence itself. We must witness this evolution. We must suffer the turbulence of the ever-nascent trajectory we design, and that is to say, we create even as we inherit the flaw of creation itself, that languidly putrid existence we must simultaneously revel in as the womb of our genesis, and loathe as the always unpredictable host of our inevitable execution. Will polity act as the 'cultural safety valve' it has recently aspired to be?

[27] Presently, film and media together, as apostles of Capital, comprise a modern culture. We orbit their locations and are held in check by the gravitational pull and bending of the fabric of the mediasphere, not the reverse, as cultural optimists of every discipline purport. The design of culture makes itself known only as a stream of consciousness, yet its apparition is bequeathed to us as an unconscious composition. There is no culture to speak of apart from film and media in postmodernity, they interact to constitute the new literacy, the new cult drug, the Screen of the 'wild civilization' wherein inhabitants are part of the chain, part of the savage natural selection of the brand — and they together form the whole, indeed make us whole, if fragmented. Today many favor the presumption that we almost benignly design the mediascape wherein which we dwell, wherein actuality the mediascape malignantly reformulates us, returning that favor, continuously, with the illusion of constitution and identity.

[28] The culture industry that Adorno and Horkheimer wrote of was always prototypical. That Marx's industry becomes a culture, and subsequently Adorno and Horkheimer's culture becomes one of many products of that industry are but points on a trajectory we can recollect diachronically, fits and spurts between production and death. The singularity today (the person) is but a mathematical function of the digital metaphysics of Capital. [29] Deleuze and Guattari posited this schizo-fragment-subject - that nomadic amalgamon - the operating system of which is DNA and the software of which is written today by and for Capital's cultivation and management. Capital is a negative avatar, and that is to say that it does not simply represent a material embodiment of a socially Darwinist urge to accumulate, strive for, out-pace, or survive the other, but rather insofar as it can be conveyed via language, Capital is human being - manifest as the rapacious material of life, living and protecting itself.

[29] All of our histories narrate the evolution of Capital and its managers. All other histories are tourists, sometimes unwilling, of contemporary and historical Capital. The palaces of wealth (e.g. the Vatican, Chartres, Disney) that we photograph and fill our photo albums with act as surfaces where we paint our memories relative to Capital. Contrary to Western egoism, we did not invent Capital, it invented us, and that is to say, our organized form, our biopolitique. To speak of the 'idea' of Capital is akin to the absurdity of speaking of the 'idea' of life. Adam Smith is credited with 'establishing' that which began prior to his existence, but he did not. Michael Vatikiotis alerts us to the notion that, 'free markets' as we revel in today, may have earlier descriptions, in Lao-tze's Tao Te Ching. [30] Apparently, Chinese hosts of the late Ming and early Qing period imparted to their European guests that weak government and economic freedom was most efficient, and supported the ideal of wu wei, "whereby the wise ruler knows that the best way to rule is by doing nothing". Vatikiotis speculates, "for Europeans struggling to escape from the last vestiges of feudalism, the relative sophistication of Chinese absolutism was appealing." So the French, via Francois Quesnay (who coined the term laissez-faire in 1758), "translated the concept of wu wei into laissez-faire". The influence of Quesnay on Adam Smith and his Wealth of Nations is incalculable. Thus, free markets are not ultimately Western in origin as one might be led to believe; in fact, they originate in the Code itself. And that is why the Market is globalizing mediated bodies.

[30] If Culture can adequately recombine to form new and amenable variants, we might adapt to and administer this phase without incident - if it cannot, then this is perhaps, the paroxystic phase of Culture, that moment before the end. [31] What I mean to say is that the threshold of our future moments is connected to that future by an expanse of Nothing, yet in that Nothing, there is a line in the sand of accumulated errors, and like in other systems, to transgress that line portends a crash - or perhaps, an erasure. Like when a cell reaches its maximum viral load after being infected - it bursts - and the question from all of this for us is - are we approaching that extant threshold where the itinerary of the eternal return is eternal no longer, where the maximum Earth load for our Code finds its location? The question is not new, but the circumstances certainly are novel.


[1] Canning, Peter, "Transcendental Narcissism Meets Multiplicity" in MacCannell, Juliet Flower and Zakarin, Laura, Thinking Bodies, Stanford; Stanford UP (1994), p210.

[2] Deleuze, Gilles and Guattari, Felix, Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, New York; Viking Press (1977), p7.

[3] See Thomas Sebeok quoted in Baudrillard, Jean, Echange Symbolique et la Mort, Paris; Gallimard (1976), p90-91.

[4] Deleuze, Gilles, and Guattari, Felix, A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, Minneapolis; UM Press (1987), p63.

[5] Debord, Guy, La Société du Spectacle, Paris; Buchet (1967), p9, trans. — "...a concrete inversion of life", and " automated non-living movement".

[6] Dawkins, Richard, The Selfish Gene, New York; Oxford UP (1999), p196.

[7] DiLalla, Lisabeth F. (ed), Behavior Genetics Principles: Perspectives in Development, Personality and Psychopathology, Washington, DC; American Psychological Association (2004), in particular, p73-104

[8] Dawkins, Richard, The Selfish Gene, New York; Oxford UP (1999), p198.

[9] Sklair, Leslie, The Transnational Capitalist Class, in Carrier, James G, and Miller, Daniel (eds), Virtualisms: A New Political Economy, New York; Berg (1998), p 135-160.

[10] Habermas, Jurgen, The Postnational Constellation, Cambridge, MIT Press (2001), p59.

[11] Wilson, E.O., In Search of Nature, Washington, D.C., Island Press (1996), p94.

[12] Ibid, 92-93.

[13] Ibid.

[14] Locke, John, The Second Treatise of Civil Government, (1690), from Chapter III, The State of War, online at: «».

[15] Bejerano, Gill et al, "Ultra-Conserved Elements in the Human Genome", Science, v304 n5673, May 14, 2004.

[16] Leib, Ethan J., Deliberative Democracy in America, University Park; Pennsylvania State University Press (2004).

[17] Amin, Samir, Obsolescent Capitalism, New York, Zed Books (2003).

[18] Marx, Karl, Capital, Moscow; Progress Publishers (1965), p427-430.

[19] Mallet, Victor, "Asia starts to farm out back-office workload", Financial Times, May 14, 2004.

[20] Freud, Sigmund, Civilization and Its Discontents, New York; W.W. Norton and Co. (1962).

[21] Virilio, Paul and Lotringer, Sylvere, Crepuscular Dawn, New York; Semiotext(e) (2002), p95-107.

[22] Thacker, Eugene, Biomedia, Minneapolis; University of Minnesota Press (2004), p13.

[23] Foucault, Michel, Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison, New York, Vintage (1995), p136.

[24] Canning, Peter, "The Crack of Time and the Ideal Game", in Boundas, Constantin V. and Oklowski, Dorothea (eds), Gilles Deleuze and the Theater of Philosophy, New York; Routledge (1994), p73-98 (75).

[25] Serres, Michel, "The Geometry of the Incommunicable" in Davidson, Arnold I. (ed), Foucault and his Interlocutors, Chicago; University of Chicago Press (1997), p36-56 (55).

[26] Dawkins, Richard, The Selfish Gene, New York; Oxford UP (1999), p235.

[27] Canning, Peter, "Transcendental Narcissism Meets Multiplicity" in MacCannell, Juliet Flower and Zakarin, Laura, Thinking Bodies, Stanford; Stanford UP (1994), p202.

[28] Baudrillard, Jean, Paroxysm, New York; Verso (1998), p72.

[29] Ruiz III, Nicholas, "The Metaphysics of Capital", Kritikos: an international and interdisciplinary journal of postmodern cultural sound, text and image, Volume I, July 2004, «».

[30] Vatikiotis, Michael, "Capital Idea", Far Eastern Economic Review, June 10, 1999, p55.

[31] Baudrillard, Jean, Paroxysm, New York; Verso (1998), p vi.