Wednesday, June 3, 2009


particular point in its history. Recuperation and incorporation
are terms that describe the capture of a narrowly specific field of
radicality by the capitalist state, not for the purpose of silencing
criticism, but so as to deploy the continued existence of that
criticism as a demonstration of the state's universality and the
impossibility of any real political position outside its bounds. The
same fortified position may be taken and used by both sides
several times in a conflict. Recuperation means everything that
exists affirms what has given existence to everything; every
theoretical formulation, every gesture of defiance, every
conceivable resistance, every phrase spoken and scrap of thought
arcs back to the center; every phenomenal no is a noumenal yes;
all the trees bend in the same direction; the wind blows always
against your face and giant beachballs patrol the surf. The
concept of recuperation is also a prophecy, revolt is an expression
of youth whilst the corruption of giving in belongs to age and

Foucault's formulation of maximization is more subtle than the
theological turn in Marxist thought that uncovers, that is driven to
uncover, the universal but empty routine by which all flesh decays
and no purity may be maintained. It is more subtle and more true
because it has more content. It is not enough to denounce in a
religious manner; our need, as pro-revolutionaries, is always for
more accurate instruments, more effective weapons.

It seems in fact that what was involved was not asceticism, in any
case not a renunciation of pleasure or a disqualification of the
flesh, but on the contrary an intensification of the body, a
problematization of health and its operational terms: it was a
question of techniques for maximizing life.

History of Sexuality

What has been instituted since the beginning of capitalist
exploitation is a tightening of the screw, a winding in of the rope -
the perpetual drive to cut the cost of production. Capitalist
exploitation of circumstance, and of flesh, expands suddenly at first
and then gradually. First there is globalization, imperialism, the
ravening hoard, the advancing plague and when every surface is
occupied then comes the widening and deepening of the capitalist
form. What Marxists have described in political-military similes as
recuperation, this averting of their gaze and still being turned into

No comments:

Post a Comment