Welcome to Bookmarker!

This is a personal project by @dellsystem. I built this to help me retain information from the books I'm reading.

Source code on GitHub (MIT license).

41

[...] Foucault notes that neoliberalism concedes this: 'neo-liberal government intervention is no less dense, frequent, active, and continuous than in any other system.' The difference, however, is the point of application. It intervenes on society 'so that competitive mechanisms can play a regulatory role at every moment and every point in society and by intervening in this way its objective will become possible, that is to say, a general regulation of society by the market.' Therefore, we miss the point if we simply leave a critique of neoliberalism at the point of saying 'neoliberalism is as statist as other governmental forms'. Instead, the necessity is to analyze how neoliberalism creates a new form of governmentality in which the state performs a different function: permeating society to subject it to the economic.

—p.41 The Grammar of Neoliberalism (36) by Benjamin Noys 1 year, 4 months ago

[...] Foucault notes that neoliberalism concedes this: 'neo-liberal government intervention is no less dense, frequent, active, and continuous than in any other system.' The difference, however, is the point of application. It intervenes on society 'so that competitive mechanisms can play a regulatory role at every moment and every point in society and by intervening in this way its objective will become possible, that is to say, a general regulation of society by the market.' Therefore, we miss the point if we simply leave a critique of neoliberalism at the point of saying 'neoliberalism is as statist as other governmental forms'. Instead, the necessity is to analyze how neoliberalism creates a new form of governmentality in which the state performs a different function: permeating society to subject it to the economic.

—p.41 The Grammar of Neoliberalism (36) by Benjamin Noys 1 year, 4 months ago
52

[...] Operating in the mode of a macho hard-edged realism, what accelerationism attests to is the poverty of a theoretical imagination unable to reconstruct any rationality in the present and is instead content to wallow in the fantasmatic residues of capitalism's own irrationalisms.

—p.52 The Grammar of Neoliberalism (36) by Benjamin Noys 1 year, 4 months ago

[...] Operating in the mode of a macho hard-edged realism, what accelerationism attests to is the poverty of a theoretical imagination unable to reconstruct any rationality in the present and is instead content to wallow in the fantasmatic residues of capitalism's own irrationalisms.

—p.52 The Grammar of Neoliberalism (36) by Benjamin Noys 1 year, 4 months ago
130

[...] An interactive category is a category in which the people named by the category can be affected by the category. When a person is diagnosed by a family practitioner as an alcoholic, that category is not simply a description but rather 1) the person so defined can adopt behaviors and thoughts in accord with the category, and 2) the category can change their social relations. The person defined by the doctor as an alcoholic might, for example, begin to draw on cultural narratives about what alcoholics are like - for example, the film Leaving Los Angeles - and begin to enact those behaviors where they didn't before. Likewise, the person's social relations can change as in the case where the doctor's diagnosis has legal ramifications, leading them to be forced into some form of treatment or even sent to an institution. Here's it worth remembering that these sorts of categories aren't simply a personal affair, but rather are a collective affair.

The point is that unlike rocks, persons and social systems interact with the categories that befall them. They take up attitudes and behaviors with respect to these categories. It is in this sense that people and social institutions are formed or constructed by signifiers and concepts. A media report that says the economy is bad is not simply a description of the economy, but becomes a call to action upon economic institutions, governments, and individual people regardless of whether it is true. By contrast, rocks adopt no attitude or behavior with respect to the way we categorize them. They go on behaving rockishly just as they always did before. The important point is that these categorizations are not simply a matter of us adopting an attitude pro or con with respect to how individually have been categorized. Rather, these categories function independent of us, socially, even where we think they're bullshit. The former Republican US Presidential candidate Herman Cain might think that racial categorizations are bullshit and that we're all free neoliberal subjects, but the social system still codes him in ways to which we must respond. Even where we doesn't adopt an attitude towards these things, the effect of these signifying structures still has a causal impact on him that delimit possibilities for him, that situate him socially in such a way, and that contribute to his life experiences and how he develops.

My point is that if we're true realists - and hopefully materialists! - we should be attentive to the properties of different types of systems. We should recognize those systems that have capacities of reflexivity or of taking up attitudes towards ways in which they are described and those systems that do not have these characteristics. And given this we should heartily embrace theories of social constructivism, recognizing that categorizations and signifying structures have a real impact on the operations of reflexive systems leading them to develop in particular way [sic]. [...] for certain types of systems descriptions have real constructive effects and for other types of systems descriptions do not. We should be able to have our Baudrillardian analysis of the system of objects as commodities imbued with symbolic value and our realism too.

in the context of a discussion (critique?) of social construction, citing Ian Hacking who stipulates that social constructivists are speaking of interactive concepts

—p.130 Towards a Realist Pan-Constructivism (122) by Levi Bryant 1 year, 4 months ago

[...] An interactive category is a category in which the people named by the category can be affected by the category. When a person is diagnosed by a family practitioner as an alcoholic, that category is not simply a description but rather 1) the person so defined can adopt behaviors and thoughts in accord with the category, and 2) the category can change their social relations. The person defined by the doctor as an alcoholic might, for example, begin to draw on cultural narratives about what alcoholics are like - for example, the film Leaving Los Angeles - and begin to enact those behaviors where they didn't before. Likewise, the person's social relations can change as in the case where the doctor's diagnosis has legal ramifications, leading them to be forced into some form of treatment or even sent to an institution. Here's it worth remembering that these sorts of categories aren't simply a personal affair, but rather are a collective affair.

The point is that unlike rocks, persons and social systems interact with the categories that befall them. They take up attitudes and behaviors with respect to these categories. It is in this sense that people and social institutions are formed or constructed by signifiers and concepts. A media report that says the economy is bad is not simply a description of the economy, but becomes a call to action upon economic institutions, governments, and individual people regardless of whether it is true. By contrast, rocks adopt no attitude or behavior with respect to the way we categorize them. They go on behaving rockishly just as they always did before. The important point is that these categorizations are not simply a matter of us adopting an attitude pro or con with respect to how individually have been categorized. Rather, these categories function independent of us, socially, even where we think they're bullshit. The former Republican US Presidential candidate Herman Cain might think that racial categorizations are bullshit and that we're all free neoliberal subjects, but the social system still codes him in ways to which we must respond. Even where we doesn't adopt an attitude towards these things, the effect of these signifying structures still has a causal impact on him that delimit possibilities for him, that situate him socially in such a way, and that contribute to his life experiences and how he develops.

My point is that if we're true realists - and hopefully materialists! - we should be attentive to the properties of different types of systems. We should recognize those systems that have capacities of reflexivity or of taking up attitudes towards ways in which they are described and those systems that do not have these characteristics. And given this we should heartily embrace theories of social constructivism, recognizing that categorizations and signifying structures have a real impact on the operations of reflexive systems leading them to develop in particular way [sic]. [...] for certain types of systems descriptions have real constructive effects and for other types of systems descriptions do not. We should be able to have our Baudrillardian analysis of the system of objects as commodities imbued with symbolic value and our realism too.

in the context of a discussion (critique?) of social construction, citing Ian Hacking who stipulates that social constructivists are speaking of interactive concepts

—p.130 Towards a Realist Pan-Constructivism (122) by Levi Bryant 1 year, 4 months ago