File deleuze-guattari/deleuze-guattari.0509, message 30

Date: Tue, 27 Sep 2005 13:55:01 -0400
Subject: Re: [D-G] Re: grammar used by Pretzel

Perhaps we need a wiki disambiguation here cuz you haven't said what
kind of code you are talking about... Computer code, secret code,
semiotic code, genetic code.... and admittedly, I have run the gamut
on my use of grammar. To curtail an eminent discussion on semiotics, I
suppose vagueness was in order, so be it... Basically I disagree with
the lack of dimensionality that arbitrary semiotic code presents. Like
McLuhan, I disagree with the assumption of arbitrariness. I also
disagree with the sender-reciever scenario that semiotics and
structualism presents... but I do suppose I could read more about it
before I just spout my personal opinions, nonetheless....

When p.virilio talks about automatism, (automatic answers, automatic
missiles, ten 1min answers to 20 different issues, i.e. paris peace
conference of 1919, etc...) he is talking about rhetoric, and why it
exists within industrial military capitalism. (why i.c.m.? - cuz
that's what makes world go round in the peculiar way that it does
So looking at the i.c.m., pv talks about seeing the news (DyG's
"recording surface") and asking "why this policy?" or "why that one?."
Take the current US invasion of Iraq, we are given a motive, but like
pv, we know that the motive given is plain rhetoric, an automatic
rhetoric to a whole field of dialog and discussion that is completely
distant from the mechanics of policy. I am not talking about Chomsky's
"screens" and "filters" for media (which is only part of it), but
think of DyG's "assemblages", where issues are multi-dimensional.
Deleuze was very keen on this concept, especially in his last
interviews. If you want to look at that trail of rhetoric as a
semiotic code then you are assuming that there is opaque meaning to
it, but why would this rhetoric have meaning if we already know that
rhetoric is just a strategy against the meaning of dialog. It is the
dialog that has meaning (within a meaningsful grammar), which is why
i.c.m. must use rhetoric to separate meaning from a practice of
policy. Doesn't make sense? ... Enter the "differend", a non-liberal
rhizome that chooses not to connect. Of course "their" policy has
meaning, but not to "our" dialog, it is "their" dialog, it is a
meaningful differend and we can see this because of "our" grammar.  (I
am sticking to this "us and them" differentiation because I believe
that it adds a very important dimension to semiotic coding which is
usually considered to be arbitrary) "Their" rhetoric exists within
"our" grammar of meaning. It would be nice to imagine the opaqueness
of rhetoric to be emanating from a higher consciousness but that is
brutal positivism. So pv's automism encapulates both an automatic
rhetoric and an automatic dialog which are differends, they do not
connect. How is this split possible? pv quotes stratton... (I think he
is a military commander)

"Automation does not eliminate human error, it transfers this
possiblity from the action phase to the design & development phase"

By making "human error" and accountability a part of the grammar of
"our" dialog on the practice of policy, pv is also saying that we
should look at "their" rhetoric as code - that perhaps we are just not
knowledgeable enough to get it. Personally I do believe "they" are
more knowledgeable  then "us" but only because of their use of the
differend. Socially this differend is maintained by the present class
system. How many anti-marxists have you met who have said the curious
remark "the only reason this class system exists is because the
marxists says it does." Its a class system that is closely tied to
language, especially the english language. Aristocratic normans gave
us "beef" for the diner plate, and "cows for the farm workers,
"Mutton" vs "Sheep" etc.... The politics behind 1066 are mind-boggling
- "we" lost so much. including our dative case, generally used to
indicate the indirect noun to whom something is given, such as "an
answer" or "help." Howatt's massive book "History of English as a
Second Language" gives some great examples of early lessons dealing
with the bedroom talk of a married couple - the norman husband asks
his british wife to fluff his pillow before bed.
Anyway let me get back to the point, the problem of "our" grammar
being subverted by "their" code, makes me think of a couple things.
The conservative reaction would be to hold our ground and defend our
grammar from changing, but that would not acknowledge the greater
absolute-ness of knowlege which their code addressess. (but why the
malevolent god?) The liberal solution (historically practiced and
perhaps the only one) would involve accepting their code into our
grammar, but that would mean we must accept a brutal economy of
meaning and the various differends it entails. Although I must, I hate
to stop my writing here at the christian third, cuz now i feel like a
prisoner of my own arguement's grammar.... but the radical approach
would be to encapsulate "their" rhetorical code of knowlege in a
grammar of "our" absolute. That is why it is so important to have an
absolute that contains identity.
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