File spoon-archives/lyotard.archive/lyotard_2001/lyotard.0109, message 131

Date: Mon, 24 Sep 2001 21:09:36 +0100
Subject: virtual and the crisis...


To touch on the nomadic refrain again, which seems so apt as we endless 
think of the G20 states looming over the horizon about to pour death 
over the Afghans, for no apparant reason and certainly no 
justification... To wax philosophic...

The sheer velocity of  postmodern virtualisations is so great that the 
tendency to exile beings (not just humans), to reduce to refugees and 
migrants, aleinating them from their identities (It's simple a question 
of identities) , skills, their homelands. People being herded along 
broken roads, across borders, piled into boats, pushed and shoved at 
airports. Others less pushed physically, but perhaps nomads of identity, 
subjectivity are forced to wander internally. How can we respond to this 
situation?  Do we resist the effects of virtuality? Return to the fixed 
territories and identities fostered by the very states creating this 
weeks round of virtuality desperately heading towards actualisation? 
This would be a mistake, something to be avoided at all costs, as if 
returning to the social imaginary of our parents could resolve the 
problems of today. The outcome wopuld simply be more obsessive violance, 
like an earthquake that's caused by s shift in tectonic plates.  Rather 
we muist attempt to delve into the virtualisations and understand what 
is causing this strange response which achieves nothing. To achieve a 
better form of hospitality, granted to those who run from the virtual 
tectonic shifts, caused by the overwelming mass of the G20 states... 
This moment is one of those which gives me pause as I look at the 
society which Lyotard accused of being 'Development', which is so 
engaged in mass deterritorialisation... the ethics and morality of the 
nomad must translate into an understanding of these strange nation state 

(Somewhere recently I read someone writing in praise of globalisation 
against the psychotic nation state... Looking at this crazed coalition 
it does give one pause.)

... the ethics and morality of the nomad  should enable a new esthetic 
moment, even a new esthetic dimension, the philosophy and consequently 
the different science-technological nexus that it intersects with can 
attack the perverted 'development' that excludes more than it includes.

I confess that I like this subverted use of the word 'development' so 
much more devastating than using the old words....

Welcome nomads, welcome to the virtual...




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