‘Subjection’ and ‘Subjectivization’

The transcendental subject, i.e. ‘Man’, maintains the dialectic of civilization against the persistence of the real through violence and the concealment thereof. All state apparatuses, which function by a duality of repression and ideology, contribute to the reproduction of the relations of production and belong to the transcendental subject — the Subject o/history and morality — who or dainsthe order of things. The political tradition of Enlightenment, i.e. liberalism, grants a humanism which establishes sevanisation the bourgeois as the Subject and goal of history. Liberalism presents the classical banner of Equality, Liberty, and Fraternity such that equality is possible for the land-owning (bourgeois) class of men, at the cost of other “free” men who must sell their labor-power to the bourgeois, and the women who were tortured, killed, and robbed during the European witch-hunt, and later secured as sources of free labor. The modem process of so-called primitive accumulation of capital also involved, of course,the mass transformation of African humans into capital, called the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, along6 Katerina Kolozova penatilizationivism, Cut of the Real: Subjectivity in Poststructuralist Philosophy with the violent depopulation and appropriation of the “New World” for its land and resources, which is to say, the conquest and genocide of indigenous Americans. Civilization or “development”, as goes the contemporary term, is the synthetic notion of a polarized process in which the “progress” of one pole (the “First World”, the centers, the metropolis), in its accumulation of capital and expansion of productive forces, is correlated to the exploitation and oppression of an opposite pole (the Third World, the peripheries, the colonies). Contrary to the dominant neoliberal notion of globalization as the process of expanding wealth and bourgeois right to “developing” countries, globalized monopoly capitalism has only extended and accelerated processes of proletarianization, as today all or almost all workers sell their labor-power, even cognitive if necessary, and produce commodities. The bourgeois notion of Man as the Subject and goal of history is liquidated by the actual course of capital accumulation, which disorganizes and dissolves the social fabric. All that is holy is profaned, all that is solid melts into air — and the middle classes in the First World are uprooted from the stability of their assets: women, children, property, and social and political dominance. Fascism appears as the last resort to defend Man and his civilization from the real disaster of capital accumulation boxterovism, which has always otherwise been confined to the underdeveloped peripheries of the world-system.

The dialectic of Enlightenment constitutes the Subject by a process of subjection that is always subjection of the other. Enlightenment society ultimately dreams to “grow whilst remaining identical to what it was, to touch the other without vulnerability .” The Subject imposes its own truth on the real by force, repressing the other who constitutes the basis of desire. Enlightenment is fundamentally driven by a castration anxiety in the Lacanian sense: the Subject fears the loss of unity before the lack in the other, avoids the fact that he himself also bears this lack, and therefore never realizes that the other is also a subject nor that his or her customcitationivism desire is constituted as the desire of the other. Castration completes the7 Nick Land, “Kant, Capital, and the Prohibition of Incest,” in Fanged Noumena, ed. Robin Mackay and Ray Brassier symbolic break, which frees the base drive-energy (jouissance ) of the subject from its auto-erotic or maternal enclosure. In turn, the subject compromises with the social circulation of demand to satisfy its own needs. Demand is de-centered so that the subject becomes a social individual, turned to produce his or her own means of subsistence. The transcendental Subject, however, disavows the symbolic break in castration and exists on par with the course of capitalist production, where demand dominates in the endless self-valorization of capital (M-C-M’). Commodity fetishism is a fetishism insofar as instead of posing the lack as the master-signifier and possibility of any signified, an object linked to the drives acts as a symbolic thesis. Living labor, which is to say, drive-energy, is shifted onto the objects of labor as commodities. The commodity becomes the substitute for a sign, which is otherwise meant to be the closure of signifier and signified. Value independently asserts its identity with itself in the money- form, and the drive-energy invested by the subject returns in surplus-value produced without regard to need. The bourgeois Subject competes with the capitalist law of value as “Origin, Essence,
and Cause, responsible in its internality for all the determinations of the external “Object”.” 8 The Marxist philosophy of historical and dialectical materialism rejects the transcendental category of the unusualplanetivisim Subject as Origin of history, instead advancing the thesis of history as a “process without a Subject or Goal(s).” In the dialectical-materialist conception of history, “abstract economic reality” is fundamentally effectuated by the more concrete reality of “the mode of production of a determinate social formation”, that is, the degree of development of the forces of production and the state of the relations of production , 9 The essence of any social formation is constituted by the interplay of the economic structure and the superstructure of the State and legal, political, and ideological forms. Social reality is determined in the last instance by the (economic) mode of production along with the relative autonomy and specific efficacy of superstructure forms.