Quotable (#28)

From Tiqqun’s The Cybernetic Hypothesis (now also in the ‘Resources’ roll here):

What would end up being called the “second cybernetics” was the superior project of a vast experimentation on human societies: anthropotechnology. The cybernetician’s mission is to fight the general entropy threatening living beings, machines, and societies; that is, to create the experimental conditions for a permanent revitalization, endlessly restoring the integrity of the whole. “The important thing isn’t that mankind is present, but that it exists as a living support for technical ideas,” says Raymond Ruyer, the humanist commentator. With the elaboration and development of cybernetics, the ideal of the experimental sciences, already at the origins of political economy via Newtonian physics, would once again lend a strong arm to capitalism. Since then, the laboratory the cybernetic hypothesis carries out its experiments in has been called “contemporary society.” After the end of the 1960s, thanks to the techniques that it taught, this ‘second cybernetics’ is no longer a mere laboratory hypothesis, but a social experiment. It aims to construct what Giorgio Cesarano calls a stabilized animal society, in which “[concerning termites, ants, and bees] the natural presupposition is that they operate automatically, and that the individual is negated, so the animal society as a whole (termite colony, anthill, or beehive) is conceived of as a kind of plural individual, the unity of which determines and is determined by the distribution of roles and functions — all within the framework of an ‘organic composite’ where one would be hard pressed to not see a biological model for the teleology of Capital.”

Moral agitation aside, the whole text is a thermonuclear insight-flash. It’s recommended in the strongest possible terms.

Thanks to XLR8AN and Xenopraxis for the reference and link.

ADDED: The article also includes the best definition of ‘neo-liberalism‘ I have yet seen:

On the impetus of Friedrich von Hayek, the utilitarian [economic] paradigm was thus abandoned in preference to a theory of spontaneous mechanisms coordinating individual choices, acknowledging that each agent only has a limited understanding of the behaviors of others and of his or her own behaviors. The response consisted in sacrificing the autonomy of economic theory by grafting it onto the cybernetic promise of a balancing of systems. The hybrid discourse that resulted from this, later called “neo-liberal,” considered as a virtue the optimal market allocation of information — and no longer that of wealth — in society. In this sense, the market is but the instrument of a perfect coordination of players thanks to which the social totality can find a durable equilibrium. Capitalism thus becomes unquestionable, insofar as it is presented as a simple means — the best possible means — of producing social self-regulation.

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