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Since Gayatri Spivaks leading critique of Deleuze and Foucault, subsequent analyses of the possible relation between Deleuze--and Guattari--and postcolonial thinking have been prone to the common misinterpretation that there is a problematic lack of mutuality or dialogue between the two streams of thought--or more precisely, that Deleuze's--and Guattari's--philosophy runs counter to postcolonial emancipation.

Spivak's Althussarian critique revolves around her central claim that both theorists "systematically and surprisingly ignore the question of ideology and their own implication in intellectual and economic history" In other words, both Deleuze's and Foucault's theoretical attempts at producing a counter-discourse for the subaltern to form and articulate subjectivities outside the dominant discourse are paradoxically rooted in the same privileged position that they aim to deconstruct. In the same vein, Caren Kaplan argues that nomadism sustains a Eurocentric fascination with--and romanticization of--the Other:.

Nevertheless, more nuanced readings of the Deleuze-Guattarian legacy reveal how Spivak's critique is skewed and misdirected. In the opening essay of Deleuze and the Postcolonial, Andrew Robinson and Simon Tormey head for a ground-clearing exercise beyond Spivak's "cursory examination of Deleuze's oeuvre, especially the co-authored work with Guattari, which is replete with analyses of nonWestern, indigenous and subaltern practices and discourses" According to Robinson and Tormey, Spivak's critique that Deleuze's work is confined within "Western notions of oppression or domination," which are in principle essentialized and universal, fails to note the fundamental distinction between the Nietzschean thrust of Deleuzian philosophy as based on "affirmative desire" and Spivak's own Freudian-Lacanian origin of thought as rooted in "ontological lack" ibid.

An unknown error has occurred. Rather, it is the reverse, for what the cyber super-ego represents is the collapse of the binary distinction of an illusory cyberspace, and its colonisation of reality. Thus the cyber super-ego is not a new idea but rather a progression of the form of the super-ego. The cyber super-ego exists on the Internet, but only because it exists "outside" of it, and by so doing fragments the border and the distinction it is predicated on.

By taking the form of the cyber super-ego the cultural super-ego has progressed. As an evolutionary shift in the historiography of the super-ego, this new cyber incarnation has, furthermore, corresponded with an internalisation of super-ego agency within the minds of users of social networking sites. In September , Sean Duffy's eighteen-week custodial sentence was the first high-profile conviction against "trolling" in the United Kingdom; Duffy pleaded guilty to posting messages on a Facebook memorial page dedicated to a young woman who had committed suicide.

The media reporting that surrounded these events and the trial of Duffy imagined Internet trolls as sociopaths cowering behind online anonymity. However, from the perspective of the trolls themselves, the trolling of memorial pages set up after events operates however as a corrective to a behaviour created by these social networks.

We might call this phenomenon grief tourism, and it could be imagined that trolls react against what they perceive to be the falsity of such grief-by-proxy, the ego-definition it provides, and the manner in which social sites, especially Facebook, capitalise on grief. It is important, however, to note that although it might at first appear that trolling is an example of the cyber super-ego at play, the way in which the trolls define themselves posits them as a reaction to the cyber super-ego -- the collective that is performing mourning to humiliate those who are not -- which induces guilt hysteria through these memorial pages and posits it as an essentially false experience whereby one experiences the pleasure of guilt, the reinforcement of ego through guilt, and, as a byproduct, the ancillary thrill of a heightened vitality.

The normal formulation of an argument against social networking is that the computer, by allowing anonymity, removes accountability and both allows for and sanctions a permissiveness in behaviour that would not be permitted in a so-called "real life. It is not that anonymity allows for a behaviour that would not be practised in real life, thereby presenting a conscious distinction between the permissible and non-permissible and thus a conscious distinction between VL and RL wherein the latter is the natural and superior state and the former a clearly distinguished alternate world; rather, cyberspace creates the possibility for new behaviours and modes of being that remove the ontological distinction between real life and virtual life.

As a corollary of this dissolution, the internalisation of this new cyber, more savage, form of the super-ego has a profound consequence with regard to phenomenological experience. The cyber super-ego performs a mutation of the super-ego and, in doing so, a mutation of the ego in its relation to it. The altered relationality is manifested in the relation of the self to experience, and therefore also in self-relation -- the relation of the self to it own ipseity -- through experience.

The cyber super-ego demonstrates the effect of Facebook upon what it now means in a virtualised age to have an experience.


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With Facebook, people no longer live the present as present; [17] it exists only insofar as it is exists to be recorded and later uploaded to Facebook. As such, experience is now only lived after the fact: it is experienced on Facebook not as a record of the past but as a divided a priori experience. In effect, the experience as it takes place is the ghost of its future happening. One could suggest that phenomenological experience, as historically thought, no longer takes place. Reality becomes a placeholder for experience as it will happen: it effaces its own phenomenological reality with regard to the experiential subject who realises it as reality through experience of that reality qua reality as it becomes, to that subject, merely the deferred marker of its future fruition.

That new figuration of experience is, itself, compromised with regard to its phenomenological history: transplanted to Facebook, the experience takes place for the first time; it does not, however, take place as a present and realised experience, thus leaving an understanding of phenomenological reality in which the experience, only transplanted from reality to the virtual, is intact.

Rather, experience, as it takes place on Facebook, is both happening for the first time and not at all: it both alters our relation to reality in the former instance and, in the latter, shows that as it takes place, it is in reference to no experience so much as experience itself: it seeks to transcend the singularity of lived experience to accord a value to the idea of experience which is always already displacing the scene -- or photograph -- that provides for its iteration.

It is an infinite deferral that means that, while one may visit Disneyland in the real world, one can now only ever go there once one's photographs are uploaded to Facebook; however, such photographs are important only insofar as they supplement the notion promoted by Facebook of experience as a value in and of itself, beyond that of the individual instance: thus experience on Facebook is caught, on multiple levels, in the double bind of this alteration by which it ceases to take place in order to elevate itself.

One illustration of this is in the idea of Facebook as a perpetual conversation between users, alerted to the online presence of "friends" through instant messaging. What this means is that any future or past "real world" event is discussed before and after the fact. An upcoming party becomes a part of the conversation, and the event itself serves as a continuation of the conversation, both specific and general. Those who are not on Facebook are excluded from the aspect of immediate continuation inherent in this experience -- such continuation is perhaps the most dominant aspect of such an experience.

The party now becomes the after-party. It follows on so seamlessly from its online presence, and the dynamic is so much that of the online network that the normal function of such an experience is obsolete; it becomes posterior to itself. Such an altered experience relies on a notion of friendship -- a notion that is now neither primarily founded upon nor open to reality, as the epistemic category of reality dissolves -- that is a simulacra of the ideal.

A vicious simulacrum, it operates through the cyber super-ego on a principle of exclusion of the other, and exposes the illusion of the social network as a benevolent interconnectivity. Facebook is the recognition of the condition that the real is always elsewhere: the elsewhere is the real.

There is no longer a shared, prioritised reality and therefore a shared society. It is important that we have yet, in this schema, to recognise the cyber as illusion: were we to say we lived in cyberspace, we would have to acknowledge the supremacy of a shared reality in the phenomenological world, because the cyber cannot exist outside this binary and thus is inscribed in that binary. If, in an initial move, the cyber upsets reality though, it can move beyond being the secondary term; doing so, it can show reality as not being primary, as reliant on cyber.

Thus the cyber upsets the priority of reality and shows the infiltration of reality by it and vice versa, and therefore demonstrates the dissolution of the binary and the dissolution of a constructed "cyber," a domesticated space kept within those borders and understood in relation to a "reality. We coexist in ourselves in several ways at once, of which "reality" is just one: we now have an ontic understanding of our "selves" through these multiple existences.

Accordingly, if we consider that the real is such that now that it never happens, either in the present or as a present, this realisation could be construed as a development of the split subject, a recognition that as our psyches are split, so too is our ontic being in the world split. This is not simply a recognition and restatement of Heideggerian and Derridean difference, nor a deconstruction of a binary towards a lifting of the veil.

The Journal of Aesthetic Education

Neither is it simply a variation on the psychoanalytic understanding that we can never know the other or indeed fully know ourselves. We argue that the structural shift in the world that Facebook effects -- and its concomitant structural realignment of the self --dissolves a binary in order to instate an even more pervasive ideological ontology. Experiencing the world differently through Facebook, the user views such an experience as an undoing of the Copernican revolution, a reinstating of the self at the centre of the universe.

The effect of the collapse of the cyber into reality and the collapse of "reality" as such has been to construct the individual at the centre of this new relation. Thus the figure of the individual, upon which capitalism is centred, does not undergo fractured self-perception; on the contrary, the individual appears to be confirmed as such in reality as in the virtual. At the same time, our selves are a collection of displacements. Facebook realises this, and it provides for these selves, and as it does so, it creates that type of selfhood in the world.

If cyber is secondary, then we are safe in phenomenological reality which is primary, in a hierarchy of reality and cyber. It is when the cyber escapes that imaginary space and vies with "reality" -- or when we suggest multiple realities -- that the traditional concept of the "cyber" thus breaks down because it is no longer secondary and cannot be if phenomenological "reality" is no longer primary, or at least no longer always primary : it shifts and shares points with others.

When the cyber escapes its prosthetic support, the distinction breaks down, reality as collectively understood and prioritised breaks down, and the real and its location changes. Once our lives escape that distinction of the primary and secondary, in the sense of reality prioritised over the cyber, wherein the cyber is recognised as unreal for instance, in avatars: the minute you create an avatar you recognise you can't have a second life and the real is represented in the cyber, such as in emails, then there is no longer any priority of the location of the real in reality.

Guattari: Aesthetics - Bibliography - PhilPapers

And there is no longer any shared location of our lives primarily in objectified phenomenological reality. If an individual no longer relates to reality in the same way and this is both created by and reflected in Facebook , then that individual cannot take part in a society based on that hierarchy of reality. Facebook does not show a coming together; it merely exhibits the dislocation it creates, whether in photos or in the idea of the "social" it promotes and of which it makes its user the agents of promotion.


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Without the constant prioritising of a single shared plane, they can no longer be located in a primary -- and, crucially, shared -- society. Thus society changes, and becomes schizophrenic, and this is what allows capitalism to change. What is "shared" in Facebook is these multiple dislocations because it is the scene of these "never happenings" which only take place on Facebook.

This is not simply a deferral; if I am with a friend, and later post that encounter on Facebook, this is not the happening of it, the realisation of our encounter, but actually the marker of that non-connectivity, which is also "never-happening" on a further level because it is replicating the social non-connectivity simply put, nothing happens until it happens on Facebook. Far from bringing people together, it is promulgating an idea of the social that is actually a disconnection.

The sharing on Facebook is the recognition that we are only sharing the ontic dislocation of the self, which is the ontic dislocation of the self from society and thus society itself. Facebook is the location and recognition of this non-happening rather than a final coming-into-being or realisation of experience. It is, paradoxically, both the happening and non-happening of non-happening. Facebook is a recognition of our second lives, our third lives, our fourth? Zuckerberg has been repeatedly asked when Facebook intends to expand this illusion of interconnectivity to include the 1.

The question itself is strangely anachronistic to the Facebook enterprise. The expansionist capitalist model that developed throughout the twentieth century was anticipated by Marx and Engels in their Manifesto when they wrote that "[t]he need of a constantly expanding market for its products chases the bourgeoisie over the entire surface of the globe.

Moving Beyond This Moment Employing Deleuze And Guattaris Rhizome In Postcolonialism

It must nestle everywhere, settle everywhere, establish connexions everywhere. This expansionist desire for capital drives capitalism beyond its boundaries in the creation of a globalised, interconnected market. It is when this system reaches saturation, when no new markets lead to the creation of surplus value, that expansionism transforms capitalism into an unstable system that begins to work against itself.

Its outside is essential. Marxists like Hardt and Negri share a common understanding with the twentieth-century capitalist technocrats who understand capitalism in terms of lack, when this model has been a mere illusion designed to control its threatening excesses; capitalism is an excess, a remainder that cannot be contained and exceeds. This myth of connectivity functions as a brace with which to suppress and regulate the true nature of social relations within capitalism. Underneath all reason lies delirium drift. Everything is rational in capitalism, except capital or capitalism itself.

The stock market is certainly rational; one can understand it, study it, the capitalists know how to use it, and yet it is completely delirious, it's mad. This cycle of incessant recession is not the effect of a capitalism gone wrong, the fault of Americans who defaulted on sub-prime mortgages or investment bankers; it is an effect of the capitalist system itself.

For Deleuze, this schizo dimension with the capitalist system can be explained through desire: "[t]he true story [of capitalism] is the history of desire. A capitalist, or today's technocrat, does not desire in the same way as a slave merchant or official of the ancient Chinese empire would. Deleuze and Guattari celebrate Freud for his discovery of the unconscious and then immediately criticise him for purging the unconscious of all radical alterity, and for imposing a classical symbology upon it:.

The unconscious ceases to be what it is -- a factory, a workshop -- to become a theater, a scene and its staging. And not even an avant-garde theater, such as existed in Freud's day Wedekind , but the classical theater, the classical order of representation. The psychoanalyst becomes a director for a private theater, rather than the engineer or mechanic who sets up units of production, and grapples with collective agents of production and antiproduction.

Facebook may have emerged out of a mode of capitalism wherein financial elites tried to control the schizo flows of capital by establishing regulatory financial frameworks upon epochs of overproduction; however, the architectonics of Facebook reveal a more sophisticated and advanced understanding of the role desire plays in the contemporary capitalist moment.

The stellar rise of Facebook in an era of financial chaos -- crises are important to capitalism -- can be explained through Facebook's radical harnessing of individual desire and the manner which this is then subsequently reinvested into the social itself. Facebook recognises and reorganises subjects as desiring machines within this oligopolistic desire network.