Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Derridian Nihilism

It seems clear enough that John Zerzan’s critique of postmodernism turns on an interpretation of passive nihilism. But what does passive nihilism have to do with postmodernism? Let us look into this matter.

Postmodernism has been defined by Lyotard as incredulity (disbelief) towards metanarratives; Platonic metanarratives such as Truth, Justice, Beauty, all of which are tangled and mutually reinforced in an epistemological stance. Whether or not we have access to these is up for grabs; whether or not they exist—whether they are really real—is claimed to be something beyond our capacities to know. Instead, a form of relativism is advocated: Since we can know what we believe, and that there are others that disagree, there are only our lights on the matter and muddling through with others in conversation.

Traditional defenders of such Platonic universals as being the genuine object of Inquiry tend to suppose that the relativists’ position is incoherent because, plainly, relativism is touted as a metanarrative. The obvious response is that you can only go as far as you know, and that it is foolish to suppose that one knows beyond what one does. It is clear that others have different opinions about ways to live. Can we come to agreement with everyone to come? Who knows!

Now, Derrida is an interesting case, especially the later Derrida. There is no guarantee that the ideology that we force onto others in agreement, say Marxism, Socialism or Anarchism, will not, in the unfolding on khôra, be unraveled. That is to say, what is not-deconstructable, perhaps, according to Derrida, is only the logic of différance. Is this logic necessary, like khôra? Perhaps. Listen: everything unfolds in différance; nothing is stable because Derrida predicts that the logic of time and growth, external, and internal, will undo everything we take to be protected. Such is the meaning of différance, which makes everything possible via spatial and temporal différance and impossible via this being not just collective in its affect, but also distributive. Might this distributive logic undo the proprietary logic of différance? Perhaps, but that just reveals more différance. Might everything crystallize? Might time and decomposition come to an end? It seems possible, but about as hard to care about as a mean spirited eternal bliss that can never improve.

This point of view has everything to do with nihilism in the sense that the universe doesn’t really care about language, humyns, life, or whatever. Everything will be broken down. The logic of life and death go hand in hand, like a snake consuming its own tail. Such is the machine-like logic suggested by Deleuze and Guattari. Being (khôra) cannot help but be the plane of existence generating immanent différance upon all that is within its containment. The political upshot is that there is nothing in the way of being able to create something new, or permit being to do so through us; yet, there is no assurance that what we create will remain stable, whether in its physicality or “meaning” (which has nonlinguistic origins), because nothing in the universe is stable, except, perhaps, the logic of instability.

The important nihilistic lesson from Derrida, which echoes Epicurean indifference in the void, is that there is no-thing in the universe that is actually stable. The lesson that appears to be coming from Zerzan is that we have to make certain things stable.—There must be the rule of anti-agriculture (rewilding). Such is the vision; and the means are to be now configured according to this version of Outside (cf Hello). Derrida, on the other hand, opens the view to the reality that Nature is not patented by anyone. There is only the slow logic of undoing materialities, as well as an undoing of the theoretical apparatuses utilized to signify those materialities. Now, for Derrida, everything is undoing text written by différance/khôra; but this means that there is no remainder; that there is nothing for Zerzan to take issue with. “There is only text” doesn’t mean that there are only words, trapped behind the veil of appearance--an ignorant reading; it is that the metaphysics of the universe is an aesthetic writing, a drawing, a constitution and a continuous slow decomposition. Questions about 'the point' are illusory; and so, the point is not that everything is pointless. 

Some anarchists have values of a particular order. These values are to be freely chosen in theory, but more often than not we have our values imposed upon us by certain persyns that take up the mantle of victim-hood.—Whatever. Nihilism, on the other hand, advocates a complete abolition of these humyn values, as well as any forms of power-with that exclude individual desires, and deconstruction is a valid method in dismantling such hierarchies. Now, if deconstruction were to show itself as pure relativism, it would seem to lose its purpose; for in that case, there is nothing positive shown by way of deconstruction. On the contrary, while it comports ultimately with nothingness, this doesn’t mean that it shows itself as actually nothing because, plainly, it is a logic that moves, and doesn’t remain stagnant; a logic that moves hard distinctions into soft intersections, ad/in infinitum. There is still constitution therefore, it is only modified in a decomposition logic, just as the call “Hello”, may not arrive.

Where deconstruction becomes problematic is if it is taken to be a name rather than a verb. So we might say that deconstruction is the mode of active nihilism, whereas the artificial end that it is taken to be in the name (by Zerzan), and specifically by rationalists demanding it fit their logic, is passive. Deconstruction can never be passive because it is always at work undoing, negating. To suppose that it is something stagnant is to completely miss the point.

Either you are a nihilist and you realize that there is nothing that undermines reality, no purpose, no God generating functions for us to fit; or, you are not, and you are filled with hope. Sometimes one hopes that we can build something together, failing to realize that the other simply may not find joy in doing so, and may fuck right off. More to the point, we should take issue with the idea that we should be shocked. The best thing that we can do for the other is leave it to be whatever, unless, of course, their being left alone to be whatever produces them as my enemy. In my opinion, the free unbound individual that disagrees with me is not sufficient for their fitting as enemy. What is required is that their being whatever is cutting into my capacity to live my own desires.  

Passive nihilism is a philosophy that supposes that everyone has the right to their own point of view. It breeds a version of quietism; there are no enemies; everyone can get along. Such is not what deconstruction is all about; deconstruction as a verb merely blurs lines purported to be clear and distinct. And it can undermine every project, except (perhaps) the project of undermining projects; for in that case it would no longer be active, which it is essentially (perhaps). Nihilism loses its potency when it aspires to answer itself with a positive foundational platform, unless, of course, negation is seen properly as positive precisely because such is actively deconstructive. But decomposition and so constitution, as decomposition, continues, despite our efforts to shut down its movement. Deconstruction is an individualist philosophy in that it doesn’t preclude alternative desires; and it is for this reason that Zerzan doesn’t like it. It is too radical for his moderate agenda to somehow magically produce a new essence, namely, the essence of communal sharing. Individualists and Deconstruction, together, undermine his goal. The point of deconstruction is to shine a light on Zerzan’s claim that there ought to be hope at all. Hope in what? (That we might be released from Hope!)   

Monday, February 17, 2014

Hello, Where Are You? A Review of Hello

We are young, heartache to heartache, we stand, 
no promises or demands, love is a battlefield

Hello, as an everyday term, has at least two uses. On the one hand we use the term as a voice-call to an other, a voice that may never arrive, as in “Hello, is there anyone there?” The term has also become a trivial everyday greeting: “hello”, and it even appends a looking: “hello, where are you?”

We can say that what differentiates these two contextual uses is the intentionality in the context; in the latter we have a greeting in which the other is known and the greeting is intended to arrive, to be heard—that there is someone to hear it. In the former it is not that one is irrationally intending not to be heard; it is that one doesn’t know if ones’ call will be fruitful. The intentional query in “Hello, where are you?” indexes the other in space-time since they are (real)ly present but remaining unlocated. The intentionality present in “Hello, is there anyone there?” must only be apparent, hopeful, because we might not be able to assign a positive value to our referential quantifier. We could then say that hello itself, as an assembled word, because of its two different uses, at once merely marks the possibility of communication. At most, “hello” might start a conversation.

If, then, hello permits a tracing to potential communication, the same potential follows for other terms given a common etymological root. For the etymological root (com-) links hello to “community” and also “commitment”, given that these two latter terms relate through “communion”. In other words, there may not be communion because the call may not arrive; similarly, there may or may not be community. As Critila reminds us: “[Hello] remains concerned with the communicative situation itself, and how we are bound or unbound in it” (Anvil #4 (16)). But how are we bound or unbound? How are we obligated?

If I promise that I will be somewhere, or do something, I bind myself to my word, and the other counts on this self-binding. But we are never really bound in our commitments, for such obligation is merely probable; the (unbound) other might never arrive, might never heed the call (hello). Hence, Hello advocates a tincture of skepticism; that we ought to be skeptical about the possibility of genuine communion, perhaps because it is unwise to deceive ourselves about the freedom of the other to dissociate from our binding, just as much as it is unwise to deceive ourselves about our own freedoms against our own binding. So we are called to be “agile” with others and ourselves, to be shifty, (Hello 9-10), to reject obligatory promise and not hope that the other will necessarily arrive. Given that the other might arrive, no more no less, given that necessity here has been deflated, all that is left to do is to test the limitations of the contract, with others or ourselves, “of finding the limitations that we are capable of and pushing past them” (Hello 16). In all of this the call is to be honest, to be true to our own potential desires, and to be true to the limitations of the other, all of which may conflict. But it is out of this honing our practice, of testing possibilities, that we are already active, which is not to say that we must be active. We do not hold others or ourselves to moralistic account; for we do not care to reduce the other to a function of our desires, and, in the same breath, we are not stupid to think that we can (Hello, 41). It is in the face of hopelessness, in the possibility that communion might fail, that we look (and test) to see if it does.

The author(s) of Hello suggest that their analysis tracks a resolution to the relationship between means and ends without bottoming out in Everything (33-5). Our (anarchist) methods of achieving ends that we want usually fall short, or worse, are co-opted. Strikes usually do not end in less work, but the same amount for more money; and even if we supposed that working less were our goal, as Bonnano has suggested, less work is now a Capitalist method to make us like working in the first place (cf. Let’s Destroy Work, Let’s Destroy the Economy). As Bonnano suggests, we need to discover ways to live outside work—to discover truly libratory ends. This text appears to be saying that we need to find ways to live outside obligation, or, better to be obligated to the absence of obligation. In deciding ends for ourselves, without consulting others, but rather, actually determining them for ourselves, without compromise, is surely a tall order; and this mode of connecting means and ends for oneself is certainly denied to us by the rulers of our ends, as well as the leftists that vilify us for rejecting their game plan. The goal is to have an end that is actually ours, a joyous life, to actually connect our means with our ends; that is, to no longer permit them to be unbound as they are truthfully disconnected from our desires in Everything, but to join these ‘unified’ moments of “means and ends every time we know how” (Hello, 34).

The term “commitment to commitment” is offered as a rhetorical approximation; it does work. At once it indicates true friendship, which is not directly reducible to a moment of connectivity between means and ends, prior to being incorporated into Everything (35). To have a stance towards a friend that is not reductive is to be committed to them as friends. This moment is already Outside Everything because it doesn’t indicate a moral contract of obligation; it is to permit them to bind themselves, should they will it, without hope that the binding will be permanent. Just as hello itself can go either way, perhaps the binding will be permanent.

Proposition 5 indicates that this commitment to commitment stands outside of any particular commitment, and certainly outside of the commitment to Everything. It is, positively, a commitment to that which is Outside Everything. Critila suggests that the text perhaps has a strain of anti-civilizational thinking; and it is precisely here that we find it; for the commitment to the Outside might very well be the commitment to that which is uncivilized, to life itself (Hello, 42)—that which cannot really, which is to say, genuinely, be co-opted. Of course, many anarcho-primitivists have tried to yield the Outside as a “more complete hug” (Hello, 38) but it would seem all too obvious that the corrosive skepticism of the text occludes such a hopeful embrace. Thinking and life come together, and thinking means being on your guard against belief in the Other to remain bound by your desires. Nature, Self and other selves (all Others) may perform as we want them to; or they may not; but we are committed to the fact that these are free to go either way, for in every moment, as such, they are Outside.

The promise that we keep is kept because we want to keep it, not because there is a transcendent order of obligation set in motion by the utterance “I promise…” Hence, it is only if we decide to break our promises or keep them that such is Outside; for such is a making of space for oneself. To potentially carve a space means that it is there, reserved for occupancy in opposition to Everything—and here, especially, in opposition to feeling bound to someone else, whether it is for class war, or some “higher” historical purpose. Importantly, Everything makes keeping promises to the Outside impossible; obviously Everything hides the idea of an outside, a truly free (unbound) passion, given that Everything would have us believe that it can provide Anything. If we come together, on the other hand, if you respond to my hello, it is our non-necessary desire to respond that opens the event to the Outside. It is not the fact of your word—a tyrannical word that holds us captive, a word with power regardless of our desires—, but the desire itself that generates unbound joy. The authors of Hello want “a friendship understood as an immanent quality rather than something referred to a command from on high” (45). Seeing friends as unbound others anterior to the masks of identity politics, as Agamben suggests in ‘The Friend’ (What is an Apparatus), sets all of us free from Everything and opens up a genuine invitation.

For most, intense French style theory will be inaccessible; but for those familiar with The Coming Insurrection or The Call, this text is an important individualist intervention. Calling us beyond morality, to be committed to the Whatever Outside (necessarily not Everything), offers a distinction between passive nihilism and active nihilism without supposing that active nihilism requires a positive end. To be active is to call to anyone, and see if communion with, or commitment to, free unbound selves (self included) could happen, given that it often does not. Limits arrive to be overcome, not passively avoided, and not passively presumed to be resolvable independent of our playful desires.

Copies can be ordered from hellofriend@riseup.net or Little Black Cart.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Review of Desert

The text Desert is a much needed intervention to the traditional assumption that Civilization (Domesticator logic) is on the brink of collapse. Or, at least, it demonstrates that it is probably not the case that this will happen in the way that it is often projected. 

Green Anarchism is revolutionary in the sense that it supposes that only after this projected moment in time, the Revolution will have commenced. Green anarchy gestures at a different position, a whatever becoming, fully nihilist; and the text is more in line with this trajectory: predictably it is not that Civilization will of necessity crumble, as though this is written in stone--a point that parallels the awkwardness of presuming that the Revolution is likely if only mass expropriation were to come into play; it is in part that Civilization's leave geographical deserts in their wake; and that these places permit the possibility of anarchies outside the shitty city walls.--Obviously with little surplus to extract, capitalists move on to extract elsewhere. 

The other part is that many will not feel the call of wild insurrection because many do not dislike domestication, just as many will not feel the call of zero work because they like their things and are willing to work to forestall boredom. 

So, it is not impossible that the general argument is enthymemic. The conclusion is to give up hope in a full scale collapse, to Desert this myth; to forget trying to save the earth because 1]: it is in the interests of civilization to move--that is, it uses everything until there is nothing left that it can use without losing reasonable surplus, and because 2]: there are many individual responses to domestication logic (some like it, for fucks sake). 

It seems clear that 2] undermines the view that insurrection is inevitable--a healthy tonic for deluded anarchists. The qualification here is that sometimes this will come about. Hence, the suggestion from the author is for strategic solidarity with indigenous communities because, in those contexts, there are far fewer contradictions for green anarchy. The memories of times past are likely all that can wake the sick to health; and as proximate one is to these moments, one is ready to become resistant (Desert, 42). In other words, indigenous communities (warrior societies especially) are already resisting because they see domesticator logic as problematic, as contradictory--just as we do. 

To support the first premise it is important to see that states are not subjects, but fully intertwined in our ways of being (Desert: 47-8): Work-Consumption-Repeat-Reproduce. This is the machine logic that we must break out from under, and failure to address its operation(s), which do not fail to include a data-collecting apparatus by which we already snitch on ourselves, is part of what it means to fail to understand (Deleuzian) post-structuralism. The state is an apparatus (a pervading function) that contains us by making us desire containment, by making containment seem safe, seem lovely. It is not something that we negotiate with, but is rather, already fully embodied (and emboldened) in the very idea of negotiation, et cetera.

It is important to fully understand the scope of this argument, which has everything to do with (1) and (2), and in particular, the question of hope. While the future looks bleak, (1) suggests that it is not completely impossible that anarchy would arise where civilization retracts. Therefore, the author is not advocating giving up totally, despite the rhetoric; but is suggesting, rather, an understanding, a wisdom about how one is to proceed. Be skeptical of mythmakers! It is suggested that our desires, say, for land defense, would be most strategic, most promising, if it is largely piecemeal, in small affinity groups (Desert, 52-3), and coupled with the goal of winning, as opposed to negotiating for a future possibility. It is not fighting for the future, some distant time, but opening doors that lead to better possibilities, that thereby constitute the future already. If one desires a better world, one must eschew myths of a future kind, and focus on the present reality: in finding each other, and (so) ways to resist, while being somewhat invisible; in finding others already in the thick of it, and seeing where these desires might carry. In technical terms, this is a deflationary argument that lops the head off the empty promise of a glorious future and focuses on how one can build the present. It is pragmatic, therefore; even to the point of accepting that some unifying myths might be ok... they just need to be the right, useful, kind (Desert, 43). And if it is still believed that the author is completely without hope, consider the small section 'Nature bats last' where the author admits that even though those that are extinct and becoming extinct, are no more and will not come back, there is still "solace" in the view that the wild will recover (Desert, 44). It is important to note that the quality of recovery may not be premised on the idea of Relics (Desert, 37ff)  being saved. Whatever is to come, which will not meet our hopes for pristine nature (pr)eserves, will nevertheless be not us (undomesticated Weeds) (Desert, 39).

Perhaps it would be suggested that this is defeatist. But I think it is important to realize that we are weak; that we still have to build power against a powerful enemy. Given (1) it is not only that we haven't the might to make right, but also, further, that we cannot even localize the enemy, and further (because also), often it is already mirrored in ourselves. This is best pointed out in the section on defending the Relics, which seems likely only if state-power is leveraged--which is obviously contradictory for green anarchists. Again, to repeat, one best hope for land defense, is indigenous solidarity. But even if we stave off domestication (whatever this means in this context), it doesn't follow that everyone will see this as desirable (given (2)). 

To accept individual liberty means that many will resist our utopia; to not be stupid about power is to see that many will find it easier to fall in line. Given remote memories of uncolonized living, for many of us, it is likely that so long as there are things to ruin, and the sky is the limit (literally), there will be civilization. Having exposed this emperor as having no clothes, the author suggests that we go about carving out spaces for ourselves, for our desires; we can go about building lives worth living.

What is lovely about this text is that it reveals itself as honest and burdened. In the end, however, the text seems rather trivial, hardly new--and the author notes this (Desert 55). Most importantly, however, this text helps clarify a concept in use, and therefore detached from its author (John Zerzan). This concept is "active nihilism", originally defined in 'the nihilist's dictionary' (Future Primitive or Future Primitive Revisited), and then recently redescribed by the same author in his popular "On Hope". It is suggested that Desert be read with an eye on what active nihilism might mean, within (or outside) these boundaries.

Friday, February 7, 2014

No Compromise!

Traditional social theory places chaotic (whatever) beings into litle packages and pretends that, as represented by this packaging--not by what packs the packaging--these bound sorts fit into various forms of interlocking oppression. Sometimes the many bits of aritficiality that one wears can become confusing, but intersectionality at least makes representations less cut and dry. If we cut it all out, we'd be naked. Fuck yeh.

Being working class, a concept technically without signification today, or at least a term that has a new signification in the notion of temporary work, means, so far as I want to think about it, that you are not responsible for environmental degradation, or better, that the responsibilities of your boss cannot be compared to your own willingness to go to work. The workers are pitiable; the boss a monster--but not too much of a monster, after all; for they cut the checques that pay for the booze to make community seem pleasant. Yep: how the fuck do you balance that tasty hatred? Is it bittersweet?

In the green anarchist tradition, it is comments or arguments that challenge this proposition that alienate and drive anarchists away from anarchy and towards leftist liberalism. No one wants to be a eco-fascist! Stated unequivocally: Aim for personal anarchic Autonomy, or fuck off and die. If you, yes you…  personally, aren't working to get away from all of this shit in this shit city, it is your own fault for not being ready to face the consequences, whether from Nature herself (That lovely Indifferent Bitch!), those perpetuated by your boss due to your chosen desire to be in proximity, or those carried out by those who just want to see domestication burn--to see a thousand desert flowers bloom. A liberal would here object! What of the Babies! What of the poor! Surely they aren't to blame!?!?!?? The long answer, that I don't care to complete, is that it doesn't matter who lives or dies. The world is not a just place. And how the universe unfolds is Whatever. That is all. 

For we are no longer in the age of system building! Certain openings arise because certain realities are closed. It is not a question of Morality, or if so, it is a matter of revenge and desire, culminating in a war of the strong against the strong. Or the strong against the wise. So it goes.

So let's consider this proposition that seems ridiculous. There is a difference between worker and boss; the one cuts the checque, the other takes the money only to come back for more, making an exchange. Money(mammon) is seductive, everyone (even "the" boss) is working after all, and the only difference in this relationship is one of degree. But it seems to be the case that something more powerful than a measly measure of degree must warrant the refusal to see the oppressed as anything but victims. Nope! Just a whole bunch of mealy-mouthed rhetoric. The logical upshot to this argument, if convincing, is that it is a slippery slope, and that all that really holds it up is an arbitrary line. But maybe this is too strong, too soon. Fine!

The owners extract more surplus than the CEO's--so there is a master-slave relation--but CEO's are decidedly not working class, or not as working class as those they extract from. Scratching the CEO then, let's consider the relation between the owners of everything in the company (scratching again any instances of workers receiving company stocks), and those that just work for a wage, the temp. Still, the temp puts money in the bank, which goes into loans, and the interest received by the temp (a fraction received by the bank, of course), is extracted from the persyn taking out a loan. Whose the boss? The fact is that if we have any capital at all, it is being put to work making more, unless we literally burn on nothing, unless we are competely opposed to property, to stuff. Big walls keep us from ourselves! And how do you get big walls and targeted by eco-fascists? You clamber up the ladder of privilege. 

The world of system building is no more! There are no categories, only persyns working out communities amonst themselves! Facebook is not a community! If you stockpile capital, someone will come for you; such are the indifferent consequences in a world that doesn't privilege humyn life. No Compromise! 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014


The great German pessimist Arthur Schopenhauer saw the world as an unjust and miserable place for all the obvious reasons. Liberals tend to suppose the same but blindly hope it can get better, via people power or some such nonsense, while nihilists worthy of their salt haven't any hope but the difference and lines of flight that may arise if only the onotlogical crust overcoding being (one-dimensionality) is removed by fire. There is no hope because people do not have the capcity to lead themselves; there is no hope because hell is other people--others that must also be crushed as quickly as the leftists that seek power over chaotic individuals. But this says nothing about the possibility that might arise if one would simply embrace the line of flight that is Autonomy, because, in that case, one might have hope for oneself but none for everyone; yet, as soon as passive desire is translated into action, hope is no longer a distant dream, but a foundational reality. 

It seems to me that it is in this relation to self--suffering teaches a life worth living--that Schopenhauer is a moral exemplar for active nihilism, which is not altogether hopeless, nor very interested in producing some kind of utopia (no place). It is not that one carries out good acts because there is an obvous benefit; rather, it is that such makes life worth living, such allows the possibility of liking oneself. By analogy, as it is not that one does good for God's potential reward, so one doesn't carry out anarchy for the production of some utopic distant fantasy. First and foremost, it is that if life were miserable with a paycheck at the end, such wouldn't be worthy of our own desires, and even more so without the certainty of such a paycheck. That is, we are active because it makes us want to live with ourselves, whatever anyone else thinks about us, gods or other anarchists.

Obviously life isn't always miserable. There are good days and bad days; it depends on what you are doing. But cultural life in general, while obviously miserable, is still worth altering so long as possible, near oneself, only because doing so helps the individual to grow strong; for activity builds a life worthy of life itself. In other words, I desire to fit the logic of life and death, not cutting my right to life short, and especially not because I cannot handle growth, hard lessons, and seeing ourselves through. If possible, I want to look back at myself and say died well; fuck all the rest. 

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Notes on technology

In science studies, the classic critiques from Marcuse and Heidegger against the framing of persyns (Humyn and non) as passive so as to imbue them with a dependency apparatus (i.e., Domestication) is given short shrift, most notably by Don Ihde. Of course, Marcuse predicted Ihde's pragmatic response--Political Universals are just a little too structuralist in a postmodern world--and so, the Heideggerian rhetoric of Technology is quickly chopped down to size, managed, neutralized, if only because seeing Technology as destructive, as Agamben sees it, goes against our collectively manipulated (yet desired, alas) sense of beautiful living.   

Of course, both Heidegger and Marcuse in fact suggest that Technology/Domestication, that political universal, can be neutralized. In Heidegger, calculation (Gestell) opens Dasein to possibility, with attendant danger; for Marcuse, Technology can serve the needs of Necessity, a Marxist promise that has long passed for the obvious reason that Capitalism is egoistic in the passive nihilist sense. Of course, the obvious objection against Marcuse and Heidegger is that one is already modified under the repressive hypothesis; one is displaced, cut into (constituted as distinct from nature). Pace Marcuse, one is not really distinct about necessary natural desires and non-necessary natural desires; automation of Necessity can never be necessarily best. (This is the rupture that Agamben introduces in What is An Apparatus?, yet his move against the subject (as whatever being in resistance) might perhaps not be sufficiently post-left. That is to say, Agamben's position is ambiguous, although perhaps for strategic purposes).

In any event, Ihde's argument isn't very persuasive; obviously it points to the limits of the academy and reveals it as essentially invested in the Progress mantra, that is, passing privilege around, so long as its ultimate telos, mechanization, is not disclosed; and this is pricisely what Heidegger does when he calls to attention that which holds sway in this modern age: it is calculative logic and efficiency which essences.

This thinking about a tension concerning Technology as a Universal to be resisted and technology as a pragmatic issue that we can overcome generates the purported difference between tools and technology; or rather, such is kicking about in this discussion. Potentially any technology can become a tool provided that its use in no way depends on the Quantitative (the grid as an assemblage of structured cells, or 'enframed' substances--that is, beings ordered to work according to capitalism's telos--mechanized efficiency). Yet, if this statement is understood, it is apparent that is not the case that potentially any technology can become independent of the Quantitative; for many require background conditions; many require of necessity the ordering of other substances.

It is of course theoretically possible to build the entire technological apparatus from scratch provided one is a member of those privileged in the know. Then tools depend on tools; it would be tools all the way down, so to speak. Putting aside the intentional ambiguity here concerning ordering substances--what isn't a potentially ordered substance?--the re/sources in this constitution would be purchased, and the products would therefore be (re)constituted by the independent builder. In practise I can build primitive tools. For anything requiring background technologies, I consume what you produce; and the more intense the technology being built, the less the tool is independent; the more intense, the more reliant on ordering substances--which is to say nothing of ordering oneself to do anything at all.

This point can be further sketched out by noting a direct relation and self-reflexive relation. To run your car you have to buy gas, parts, et cetera. One can make all of these oneself, ideally, and this is the cash value of any technology potentially being a tool. The mode of desire calling us forth, responsible for our being as such towards its end is a shifting movement from non-autonomy to autonomy; from direct dependency to, ideally, a closed circuit of autonomy. Other technologies are less directly involved with the system. Consider the hammer. Once purchased, no specialists are necessary, even to the point that it might simply be a rock appended to a stick with some rope so that it only relied on acquiring objects from an original source independent of production by humyn and animal life. My point above recommends that unless one constitutes the tool, entirely from scratch, it is a Technology. Autonomy, its opposite Universal, is to go it alone, to contain the tools' relations to other tools without remainder, without Technology.

Given that this is a tall task, and assuming that we want to move from Technology to owning tools completely, putting them in a closed circuit of Autonomy, perhaps it will be suggested, in a syndicalist mode, that to get at the tool-user from any Technology is the collapsing of (humyn) hierarchy put in play via a massive expropriation. Together, collectively that is to say, we can make a mass expropriation so that we share in the production of making X a tool, whatever X. Then it would seem to follow that any technology could become a tool because I, personally, do not have to consult some specialist in its fixing; we learn how to do it ourselves; it's, at least potentially, even stevens all around. Still, even so, the issue that Heidegger brings forth is that I would thereby have to depend on you going to work, and worse, on myself becoming a socialist, and I try not to be cruel (especially towards myself). If we are to avoid Technology, in the sense of turning objects into grid constituted objects for use, we have to abolish hierarchy. Then, perhaps, dependence wouldn't be a matter of unfair conditions. Yet, work itself is brutal and you simply cannot depend on me showing up no matter how much violence you wish to do to yourself. Therefore it seems more plausible to suppose that only some tools do not depend on quantitative functioning of (other) working bodies for the duration of their functioning existence. Computers are tight in their possible trajectories and it is without a doubt that they require support. Even a typewriter requires ribbons, just as a tape player requires tapes.What of the hammer? The writing device?

The ultimate truth at play caught up in the rhetoric of Heidegger and undisclosed in the dismissal of his sense by Ihde's rhetoric, is that substances, humyn or otherwise, are always modified so long as these whatever-substances are not free to idle, so long as each is not let-be, whether at work, and even at work in the post-revolution. So Technology as a Universal to be negated is still relevant; after all, it is clear, rational and obvious, that only some technologies can be tools.