File spoon-archives/lyotard.archive/lyotard_2001/lyotard.0108, message 76

Date: Mon, 20 Aug 2001 20:21:58 +0100
Subject: virtuality


a brief note (knot) on the virtual seems in order...

The word virtual derives from the medieval latin with the oldest known
root meaning power. In philosophy this has tended to the virtual meaning
potential rather than actual existence. The 'virtual posseses complete
reality' as Deleuze says 'in its virtuality...' In this sense a plant is
virtually present in its seed. Consequently the virtual should not be
compared to the real but to the actual, for the virtual and the actual
are two different modes of being.... For the definition of the virtual
used in Empire see Deleuze's Difference and Repetition (esp PP207-14)-
it's interesting because of the use of the 'possible' which is already
fully existent but is in a state of limbo, suspension. The possible can
be considered as being the same as the real but with an element missing,
its actual existence. The virtual needs to be compared to actuality, it
is the web of forces that is coexistent with the event or entity. Thus
for example the Empires (virtual) problem is the growth of resistence,
or N&H's 'Empires' problem is what is the enabler of revolution?

The virtual is always grounded in the movement of actualisation and
difference -

In this sense then the virtual in 'Empire' refers back to the virtual
powers of the multitude to act politically, of course underlying this
exists desire - which as both the Deleuzian N&H and Lyotard would state
at this point - sometimes people 'desire repression' - the struggle
which the Empire text engages in is to ensure that this desire for
repression is replaced by living labor and creativity. Which is why the
Empire is such a good political text...




Driftline Main Page


Display software: ArchTracker © Malgosia Askanas, 2000-2005