The Mole and Snake

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014 by eadodge

I read the excerpt from “Post-Script on the Societies of Control” in my theory class my first semester in grad school. I recall being rather confused about what the solution was that was being proposed to remedy the degradations of self in capitalist societies. At the time, I asked about the laws and regulations that would have to change in order for capitalism to stop threatening the self, and the professor replied that I was thinking along the lines of “the mole.” But if changing regulations was not the solution, I wanted to know what was. And thankfully, we are revisiting Deleuze in this class. Another student in another blog post mentioned that he moves toward unions as a solution. I’m not sure if this is that case, not having spent as much time with Deleuze’s work, but I though about the possibilities further…

A recent post on reddit.com, categorized under the Sub-Reddit called “Explain Like I’m 5,” sought to explain why unions are good for workers. Ultimately, though, the post pointed to the dangers facing an individual in a capitalist society; when individuals are replaceable in a workforce, many of them cannot afford to say no to a job offer for a low amount of money. The post said unions seek to band worker together so that they can negotiate as a workforce for better pay, hours, and/or benefits. However, I haven’t seen very many unions. I’ve never been part of one myself. The ones that I do know about are not necessarily related to better working conditions. It seems that in a society in which Deleuze and Crary both identify as dividing oneself from society and, well…from oneself, trying to create and/or maintain unions is a difficult task.

I also wonder, after reading Deleuze, if another option for the remediation of self is for major capitalist powers to pick up manufacturing again. Deleuze mentions that “this is no longer a capitalism for production but for the product, which is to say, for being sold or marketed” (6). In America, we buy “the finished products” more often than we produce it ourselves. I’m not sure if having a more tangible relation to the production of products and the countries export revenue would affect subjectivity, though.

But I am looking forward to our lecture tonight about Deleuze to get some clarification and think through some options with my classmates… Huh. Never thought I’d type that.

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One comment on “The Mole and Snake

  1. Lori Emerson says:

    Hi Erin, I appreciate your genuine and pragmatic wondering about solutions – I hope that Ben’s lecture on Deleuze helped to clarify some things for you. It seems to me, and also given what Ben said to our class last week, that Deleuze primarily gives us tools to understand the shape of our present moment and to understand too that any possible solution that presents itself always bears with it the potential for appropriation by capital. It’s not that we’re doomed but that as long as we’re inside and not outside the present system, there will never be a clear distinction between “the smooth and the striated” and between the good and the bad solution.

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