NeoStalingrad: Voodoo Politics and Neo-Neural Gene Hacking

by Mark Horvath and Adam Lovasz

12th November, 2020.


Documents purported to be part of a failed presidential candidate’s secret political program have been leaked online. General outrage has followed in the wake of the hack, relating to certain points of the as yet unverified text. In all probability, they were released by a disgruntled ex-employee, or obtained illegally by hackers utilizing K-worms hidden in child pornography. This material gives a glimpse of the first 100 days of the presidency:

  • Legalization of adult–child marriage.
  • Introduction of a Global Gay Rights Initiative (membership compulsory).
  • Ratification of the Intergalactic Free Trade Agreement (IFTA).
  • Lizard-people revelation, following ratification of IFTA.
  • War with the Russian Federation and other renegade regions of Slave Planet Earth, so as to introduce an alternative agricultural paradigm using human remains as fertilizer.
  • Legalizing the use of intergalactic lifeforms in agriculture and breeding.
  • Signing of the Pornography Freedom Act, in the presence of representatives of the DragonDildo Company Inc.
  • Virus Eradication Initiative; the introduction of GMO mosquitoes and spiders into the drinking water of all-too-human populations, so as to eradicate anthropomorphic viruses.
  • Creation of the Compulsory HIV-Infection Committee underneath the ruins of what was formerly known as the European Parliament.
  • The restriction of online hate speech through the recoding of Swedish jihadist content into hiphop music.
  • Filtering of news items relating to a lizard-people takeover from online media — such fake news must be replaced by sensitizing stories relating to homosexual Muslim men who prefer the passive position and pose no military threat.
  • Praise be to the Great Rainbow!

Crisis-machines and viral, schizoid, infected and infectious intensities conduct schizoanalysis upon the program points of the leaked Zogian presidential program. The authors of this text appear to have been sent back in time in order to signal the operations of a schizo-machinery whose non-grammatical supplementarity is transchanneled into a post-Euclidean militarized geophilosophical space of manipulation. Without doubt, according to an alternative hermeneutics, the word ‘manipulation’ stems from the god of Manichaeism, Mani. To manipulate is to proliferate the name of Mani upon Earth, introducing a ritual duality between the sacrificial bull and those benefited by the bloody effluence of its arteries…

The signs were there all along: K-functions upload themselves into the collapsing strange attractors of an apparently limitless process of integration. Indifferent empty signs cut into the reiterative operations of the schizomachine, time bends over itself “and the matrix dismantles itself into voodoo”.[note]Nick Land, “Cybergothic” [1998], in Fanged Noumena: Collected Writings: 1987–2007 (Falmouth: Urbanomic, 2013), 373.[/note] War has arrived into the streets of Paris once more, the revolution’s darkened version colliding with the fractal expansion of difference, filling the eerily symbolically named streets of Place de la Bataille-de-Stalingrad. LIBERTY LEADING THE %%%+REG Fatal System Error ++!!!!!!+/+/“PEOPLE.”

Reports speak of a strange street fight in a square named after Europe’s bloodiest battle — but the code errors make it impossible to be sure of what is happening. In the disassemblage of the assemblage, “bodies interpenetrate, mix together, transmit affects to one another”.[note]Gilles Deleuze and Claire Parnet, trans. Hugh Tomlinson and Barbara Habberjam, Dialogues (New York: Columbia University Press, 1987 [1977]), 70.[/note] In an assemblage, there are no fixed, immutable structures, only flows: facts pile up on top of one another, chaosmology condenses into a “K-coma”.[note]Land, “Cybergothic”, 369.[/note] GORGEOUS MODEL EXPOSES ALL. The technosphere performs autopsies upon all of us, rendering the body naked, flayed. To quote Seb Franklin, “the proliferation of differences that make a difference — attests to the fractal character of this cultural formulation of epistemic conditions.”[note]Seb Franklin, Control: Digitality as Cultural Logic (Cambridge, London: The MIT Press, 2015), 162.[/note] Difference results in an overproduction of connections, and therefore programs discontinuity into the rotten center. The global center’s connections and immune systems have failed: no longer is there an outside and an inside, everything is collapsing at an accelerating pace. Undifferentiated civilizational decadence, digitalized Latino drug cartels fight upon the streets of Milan. Milan=El Salvador + K-function + breastfeeding in church + structural contingencies, abject compulsions: the apotheosis of Catholicism: DIGITAL FLAMES LICK THE DOME OF THE CATHEDRAL. We shout with Deleuze and his wolves: “there is no subject of desire, any more than there is an object.”[note]Deleuze and Parnet, Dialogues, 78.[/note] Catholicism is the apotheosis of violence. Gang members tattoo Christ and the Virgin Mary upon their muscular brown bodies. God’s Mother gives birth to machete murderers. Multiplicities make their homes among the ruins of a deformed, degenerate, devirilised post-bourgeois wasteland. Multiplicities are asubjective atemporal non-coding genes. There can be no subjectivity once you tattoo Christ upon your chest, because Catholicism demands complete surrender to a violent, arbitrary, bloodthirsty God, who has also somehow, through an accident of colonial history, copulating with the Aztec divinities of old, returned to His origins in cannibalism.

Down there, in the South (today even the North is Southern), crime works differently. As opposed to the clinical rationality of industrialized mass murder, the criminality of the South is hot and passionate: “in the ‘South’ wickedness always is of a strictly personal nature — one joins the brigands or one doesn’t; one violates a nun and cuts her throat, or one sides with the angels and is executed oneself”.[note]Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn, “Revolution, Crime and Sin in the Catholic World”, in Modern Age (1958), 181.[/note] Machetes, when used correctly, are expressions of real emotions and impulses, forms of muscular energy transformed into sharpened metal. Ticket inspectors and calculative, cold decultures alike fall prey to their outbursts. Milan is one of the financial centers of Italy, the most “Protestant” point of the Italian Republic, so to speak. Agents of chaos are unidentifiable. According to Pietro Grasso, a liberal politician, the gang wars perpetrated by the Salvadorian gangs of Milan have nothing to do with immigration: “we must keep the two things separate”.[note]Michael Day, ‘Milan struggles to cope as Latin American gang violence starts afflicting general public’, The Independent (20 June 2015),[/note] Nowadays, it seems Europe cannot keep anything separate from anything else. In reality, nothing is separable from… but for the sake of the program, a joke, a conquest, Latinos, WE MUST WRITE RANDOM SHIT WITH LARGE LETTERS. In reality, there is an ever more pervasive senescent Euro-incontinence. Viral sacred tattooings symbolize the revelation of Christianity among disintegrated Euro-unification ruins. The Virgin Mary, proudly displayed upon Salvadorean chests, says that she is back and she is hungry for new blood sacrifices.

Stalingrad returns in pre/postapocalyptic scenes reminiscent of an undeclared Fourth World War. Paris exists no longer. Paris is the New Stalingrad. Disoriented sans papiers mill about, deprogrammed virulent actants compose an uncontrollable mechanism of self-replicating K-functions. There is no way such darkness could be manipulated. Mani is the divinity of light; Mani is fucked, Mani is history, Mani has been submerged. For the moment, an obelisk stolen from Egypt still stands as a phallic symbol upon the Place de la Concorde, the place of King Louis XVI’s execution. Emptiness is covered over by an enormous impotent penis, hiding the beheading-race that was European modernity. As Georges Bataille writes, “the Place de La Concorde is the space where the death of God must be announced and shouted precisely because the obelisk is its calmest negation. As far as the eye can see, a moving and empty human dust gravitates around it.”[note]Georges Batailles, “The Obelisk” [1938], in Bataille, ed. and trans. Alan Stoekl, Visions of Excess: Selected Writings, 1927-1939 (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1985), 215.[/note] Sovereignty is a royal corpse emptied out, reduced to a cavity – hence the need to bring down the obelisk. Perhaps the migrants shall take the phallus with them upon one of their aimless marches. France, as a laboratory of modernity, has achieved a remarkable devirilization. Desire is always a disordered assembly of drives, like the heterogeneous, unordered, wild undergrowth of a jungle, growing bodies-without-organs within a blackened space. The formlessness of the assemblages is erratically strange, something alien, extraneous. “K-function”.[note]Deleuze and Parnet, Dialogues, 70.[/note]

There is no infrastructure; I am also a WOMAN, BECOMING-WOMAN. K-gender and DragonDildo. To perform the postapocalypse, to outsource productivity — that is the imperative of this degenerate age. “Schizoid self-alienation” gives a self-destructive answer to hyperdestabilized material circumstances.[note]Nick Muntean, “Nuclear Death and Radical Hope in Dawn of the Dead and On the Beach”, in Deborah Christie and Sarah Juliet Lauro (eds.), Better Off Dead: The Evolution of the Zombie as Post-Human (New York: Fordham University Press, 2011), 87.[/note] Following the Battle of NeoStalingrad, sympathisers on both sides gathered together so that they may contribute to the further hypercomplexification of the K-function. Self-castrating xenophile abyss, the uneventful death of a posthuman body. EU-migration radiation, informational overproduction of informational syntheses. Rival gangs break the false calm of a sclerotic society suffering from its inability to destroy itself completely. An aporetic corpse with no distinctions.

The Jungle is demolished, and camps are created everywhere: a decivilization that breeds camps, darkness transplanted into light. The night is smuggled into the heartland of Enlightenment: “algorithms can evolve beyond their creator’s intentions and take on a life of their own”.[note]Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams, “On Cunning Automata. Financial Acceleration at the Limits of the Dromological”, Collapse VIII (Dec. 2014), 497.[/note] Reactive evolutionary logics are replaced by a chaosmology. Darwin has rotted away, leaving residues that infect the streets of even the most insular centres of commerce. Fluidity makes possible all kinds of weird typologies. As Simon Guy emphasizes, “a ‘fluid’ perspective on sustainable architecture does not mean rejecting one particular typology (skyscrapers) and celebrating another (vernacular). It may mean valuing different aspects of the design”.[note]Simon Guy “Pragmatic Ecologies: situating sustainable building” [2011], in Ariane Lourie Harrison (ed.), Architecture Theories of the Environment. Posthuman Territory (Oxford: Routledge, 2013), 149.[/note] But what about Nothing, the (empty) object of desire? What about uninhabitable typologies, territories organized around the absence of a building or, for that matter, any liveable ecology? Needs too can manifest themselves in the form of emptiness; every building may be thought of as an UNINHABITABLE SYMPTOM. Depressive suicidal city planning commissions, unsustainable plans create transparent surfaces of smart glass and empty concrete pipes, mixing with the intoxicating rhythms of conga drums. In this subversive strangeness, queerness becomes a pragmatic horizon. With its acceptance of anarchaeology, algorithmic monstrosity unleashed itself upon everything and nothing.

A spectre is haunting the citizens of castrated continents, saturated by mass media visions: the spectre of terrorism. Terrorism brings about “an excess of reality”, forcing the system to implode beneath the weight of its own mirrored unreality.[note]Jean Baudrillard, trans. Chris Turner, The Spirit of Terrorism (London and New York: Verso, 2002), 18.[/note] K-agents collapse reality, producing further layers of uncertainty, making unsustainability ever more apparent upon the blood-stained streets of metropolises. Local attributions are no longer valid, rival memes cannot be allowed to spread through networks of outrage and hatred. We don’t want to spoil the fun now, do we? Only those may be allowed access to any publicity who are subversive: any other viewpoint is reactive, intolerant, offensive, degrading, transgressive, outrageous, and in violation of technocratic autocratic algorithmization. Digital-fascistoid skeletons must be exorcized. Internet contents with no content, dronelike tweets and implicit communication channels, armies of trolls, all these memes inform the population of the Global Cyber Village of an imminent takeover by lizard-people. To be in-formed is to be situated within information. Beheaded by cybernetics, we are all subordinated to the imperative of infinite reprogramming. Such is our fate. Our fellow brothers and sisters of the miserable city planning commissions, oh, how unsuccessful you have been! One shocking example among many, aside from the Paris Jungle, is that of Pruitt-Igoe. Modern schizophrenic cybergothic metanarratives pulsate from the spectral ruins of St Louis. Nothing remains of these estates of cement shit-architectures, in which radioactive viral agents were buried at the behest of social engineering experts. After a few nightmarish years, the apartment buildings were demolished. This explosion also implies the bankruptcy and devastation of sociology, social reform and city planning ideologies. The social sciences have ZERO LEGITIMACY. They thought they could control the K-functions, that they can immobilize the nomads. But movement cannot be stopped.

Pruitt-Igoe, built in 1954, was only a small sign of what was to come during the course of the 21st century. Mechanical cremation, a futurity torn apart, broken windows, desires and utopian social science fictions. It is nonsensical that anybody could have seriously believed in such lunatic attempts at reprogramming. A Japanese architect designed these fractal-generic buildings and vomited them out onto the streets of a soon to be desolate, depopulated St Louis. Algorithmic, automated architecture belongs to “a kind of control realism in which the ideological penetration of programmability is played out at the dual levels of subject and system”.[note]Franklin, Control, 160.[/note] First the ideology had to collapse before the district as a whole was sentenced to the dustbin of architectural history. Two years after construction was concluded, Pruitt-Igoe was already considered a place of unspeakable crime and hopeless poverty, replete with all manner of deviance and racial segregation. Democratic and Republican schizo-sociopolitical agents — those who created this monstrosity — believed, naively, that poor districts can be replaced. Little did they know that social policy tends to universalize poverty, spreading the self-replication of abjection to ever wider areas of cities unfortunate enough to be affected by social housing policies. “Tomorrow has already been cremated in Hell.”[note]Land, “Cybergothic”, 347.[/note] St. Louis’ Democratic drone mayor at the time had this to say prior to the commencement of Pruitt-Igoe’s construction: “we must rebuild, open up and clean up the hearts of our cities. The fact that slums were created with all the intrinsic evils was everybody’s fault. Now it is everybody’s responsibility to repair the damage”.[note]William G. Ramroth, Planning for Disaster: How Natural and Manmade Disasters Shape the Built Environment (New York: Kaplan Publishing, 2007), 164.[/note] The restoration, alas, led to the overproductivity of chaos-projects. Experiments in disciplinary reterritorialization almost invariably tend to degenerate into universal deterritorialization. But “policy makers” find it difficult to accept that there is nothing to be and nothing to be done. Their job is to create order from chaos. “It’ll take time to restore chaos” — to quote George W. Bush.[note][/note] Subversive disorder contains a xeno-degenerative power of decoding. Dark diseases are already at work within the senile nervous systems of the Occident. Degenerative pregnancy, Thanatos corrodes even the concrete. Segregation could not be erased on the Pruitt-Igoe estate, because the productivist and functionalist moderm metanarrative demands universal segregation. Every anti-segregational mechanism regenerates the cosmically parasitical principle of separation. Black, autonomous dysfunctionalities cut up systems of anthropocentric order. Even the most perceptive of sociologists never had an inkling of the forces they had unleashed when they contributed with their expertise to the creation of the Pruitt-Igoe nightmare. By the late 1960s, Pruitt-Igoe had become a rotten suburb plagued by crime, a reiteration of the degeneracy slated for eradication by the city authorities. The degree of degeneration increased along with simulacra couched in terms of “improvement”, “redevelopment” and “renovation”. If something obviously doesn’t work, why not “redevelop” it?

Minoru Yamasaki, the Japanese architect mentioned above, expressed his disappointment when he said “I never thought people were that destructive”.[note]James T. Patterson, Grand Expectations: The United States, 1945–1974. (Oxford University Press, 1997), 336.[/note] Yamasaki once again had to confront the consequences of his awful architectural legacy during the September 11th terrorist attacks, being also the architect of the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers. The chaotic degradation introduced by terror is none other than the negation of negation. Pruitt-Igoe’s residents, in response to the unbearable circumstances they were forced to live in, rose up in defiance, destroying this brutalist environment created to domesticate them. Pruitt-Igoe shows that matter cannot be forced into a form for eternity, as “form is introduced by the movement of matter.”[note]Luciana Parisi, “Automated Architecture: Speculative Reason in the Age of the Algorithm”, in Robin Mackay and Armen Avanessian (eds.), #Accelerate: The Accelerationist Reader (Falmouth: Urbanomic, 2014), 405.[/note] The formless creates the conditions of its own reproduction. Armies of sociologists and social workers cannot keep the deterritorialized, drugged up brigantines in check: the latter are those who give form to contemporary society, showing us ways of becoming formless. Desegregated lines-of-flight are pathways to decomposing society. We have something to learn, but this lesson contains nothing remotely resembling anything human. We can only agree with Hillary Clinton, that “they are often the kinds of kids that are called SUPERPREDATORS — no conscience, no empathy”.[note][/note] The absolute ZERO: this is the unpredictable, unintegratable, unmanageable multiplicity that infects everything. Finitude that cannot be regulated. The Law is no more. As it switches to mimetic repetition, the Law becomes a vortex, propelling itself into the abyss, similarly to the infernal dynamited buildings of Pruitt-Igoe. The estate became so incorrigible that the city council was forced to demolish these desolate mounds of concrete. Were they intent on preventing the entirety of the United States coming to resemble this jungle? How could they have known what would happen decades later?

Today, we are only too keenly aware that the North has become the South. Everything’s backwards. Two alternatives present themselves: we must either rape and kill the nuns, or follow the path of passivity, resulting in our slaughter and transubstantiation into bloodied angels of history. DEATH DEATH DEATH, thrice great are thou! One gate is always open for the sufferer. I’M SO OPEN I’M BROKEN. To be open is to be exposed to disorganization, disembowling. “The acceleration of techno-capital cannot be divorced from the problem of the incomputable.”[note]Parisi, “Automated Architecture”, 410.[/note] The demolition of Pruitt-Igoe is the condensation of a cosmic catastrophe into a small fractal, a dark page of architectural history that is nevertheless reiterated at hyperspeed through digital networks. The virus was already present within the brain of a Japanese architect infected from within by meaninglessly empty abstract signs, concrete and ideologies of human improvement. Micromodels of hybridity achieve their revenge through making nonsense of any and all methods of social planning. There is no such thing as a No Go Zone, because heterogeneity cannot be bottled up in one territory. There is no such thing as a zone. Desegregation compounds into a cosmic separation between survivors and cultures sentenced to eradication. AIDS+ is the fluidity of dissemination. Fluidity is a form of bacteriological warfare waged against any and all closed systems, accumulating illnesses within viral tropical subterranean depths. Illness-boxes compose a rhizomatic non-place that functions as a sanctuary from softened, amoebic existence.[note]Mark Horvath and Adam Lovasz, The Isle of Lazaretto. Studies in Separation (Schism Press: 2016).[/note]  va-tombstone1-03


Synthetic Fabrication: The Myth of the Politics-to-Come (Part 1: The Generative Myth)

Previously: Synthetic Fabrication Part 0

Mysticism and Mechanization

Towards the end of his book on Henri Bergson, Deleuze mined from the philosopher’s work a spectral prefiguration of the people-to-come: the faint traces of an emergent and enigmatic open society, a “society of creators” and ‘privileged’ souls connected together by an imperceptible circuitry. Standing atop a grand, abstract summit, the open society derives its name not only from its differentiation to the closed society, but through that which it opens onto. The open society moves in the direction of what Bergson had called the élan vital, the impulse or force that compels self-organization in matter and morphogenesis through time. Such a movement is an affair of life itself, the sifting apart of the organic from the inorganic, organization from base matter. By ascending up a cosmological hierarchy in order to enter into unending engagement with this force, the mark of the open society is life at its most creative.

The “creative emotion” that defines this society is the “embodiment of cosmic Memory”, one that cuts across “all levels at the same time” and “liberates man from the… level that is proper to him.”[note]Gilles Deleuze, Bergsonism (New York: Zone Books, 1988), 111.[/note] The citizen of the open society is a new type who gives themselves to “open creative totality”. Bergson, Deleuze points out, sees in the figures of the artist and the mystic, each of which fabricates new things from past forms and raw matter, the avatars that best capture the nature of this type:

…the great souls — to a greater extent than philosophers — are those of artists and mystics (at least those of a Christian mysticism that Bergson describes as being completely superabundant activity, action, creation). At the limit, it is the mystic who plays with the whole of creation, who invents an expression of it whose adequacy increases its dynamism. Servant of an open and finite God (such are the characterisics of the élan vital), the mystical soul actively plays the whole of the universe in which there is nothing to see or to contemplate.[note]Ibid., 112.[/note]

Bergson himself intuits, at some undetermined level, a connection between the mystical experience and the processes of industrialization that define modernity.[note]In his comparison of the dark night of the soul with the process of industrial production, Bergson seems to be posing merely an analogy. Later, however, he writes that “we had caught sight of a possible link between the mysticism of the West and its industrial civilization.” See Henri Bergson, The Two Sources of Morality and Religion (London: Macmillian and Co., 1935), 251. [/note] In his book The Two Sources of Morality and Religion, the experience of the dark night of the soul, that sacred passage privileged by the Christian mystics of the apophatic theological current, becomes imbued with mechanical analogies that seem to transcend mere literary flourish. In the final stages of the experience the mystic becomes akin to a “machine of wonderfully tempered steel” that has “became conscious of itself being put together.” This machine is subjected to stress tests and other trials to assess its durability and functioning; it undergoes the feeling of distress and lack. But this rigorous ordeal is precisely what must be passed through to reach a higher state. “The mystic soul yearns to be this instrument. It throws off everything in its substance that is not pure enough, not flexible enough, to be turned to some use by God.”[note]Ibid., 197-198.[/note] To be a creator, then, is to be properly created, and to be used to create, in turn.

This encounter with the creative, unfolding totality returns again and again in the pages of A Thousand Plateaus, particularly in the 11th plateau, titled “1837: Of the Refrain”. Here Deleuze and Guattari describe the already-underway arrival of the “age of the Machine, the immense mechanosphere, the plane of the cosmicization of forces to be harnessed”.[note]Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1987), 334.[/note] In this age, the molecular moves to the fore, and the creative act that cascades across all the levels of the totality is revealed as the penetration of these forces and flows in order to unleash the production of the new. The figure of the artist-mystic is resurrected in these pages, but wears a new face: that of the “cosmic artisan” capable of taking leave from the earth. This artisan (alternatively referred to as the “artist-artisan”) helps realize, through the forces of deterritorialization and decoding, a “cosmic people” and a “cosmic earth” — the people-to-come and the New Earth across which they move.

Thus the plateau on the refrain, which charts (among other things) a movement of territorial formation, stability, and exit across a tripartite schema of Classical, Romantic, and Modern ages, provides a highly abstract prism that allows Bergson’s depictions of closed societies and open societies to be read historically. This, admittedly, is the purpose of The Two Sources of Morality and Religion, a work that Ernst Bloch described as “very Marxist”.[note]Hisashi Fujita “Anarchy and Analogy: The Violence of Language in Bergson and Sorel”, in Alexander Lefebvre and Melanie White, Bergson, Politics, and Religion (Durham: Duke University Press, 2012), 131.[/note] Others who followed Bergson and his work closely, however, might have found much to disagree with in this overstatement. Such was the case of Georges Sorel, engineer turned political radical, who expressed in an otherwise-sympathetic review of the philosopher’s work a “wish that Bergson would abandon the largely infantile applications of his philosophy to the natural sciences and instead apply this to the problems raised by the great social movements.”[note]Ibid., 132-133[/note] In Sorel’s hands, the vision of the élan vital is not one of a metaphysical system to be perceived as operating at a cosmological level, but the very force that can be found at each moment in the cascading development of industrial forces: “Bergson’s creative evolution simply imitates the history of human industry… The true place for Bergson’s philosophy is in social studies, especially those concerning the present day.”

Sorel’s reconfiguration and deployment of Bergson’s philosophies in the service of such a pursuit is of immediate interest to elucidating Deleuze’s perspective on fabulation, and the role that it plays in the overall architecture of his philosophy. In Sorel’s works, particularly the 1908 book Reflections on Violence, Bergsonian thought undergoes a mutation by way of a creative encounter with Marxism and revolutionary syndicalism. This mutation helps provide the backbone of an escape route from what Sorel describes as decadence — that is, a wide-ranging slowdown in the forces of industrial development, economic competition, and class struggle that occurs when the bourgeoisie and and proletariat deviate from the historical paths identified by Marx.

“[I]t has been suggested”, writes Jeffrey Mehlman, “that ‘entropy’ is perhaps the dominant institution of Sorel’s thought.”[note]Jeffrey Mehlman, “Georges Sorel and the ‘Dreyfusard Revolution’; in Gail M. Schwab and John R. Jeanneney, The French Revolution of 1789 and Its Impact (Westport: Greenwood Press, 1995), 148.[/note] The second law of thermodynamics, as articulated by Rudolf Clausius in the early 1850s, had by the time Sorel was writing exploded over the socio-cultural landscape. The realization that force forever dissipates made shockingly clear that disorder in a given system builds over time and that, at the horizon, a grand extinguishing looms. The euphoria of the earlier industrial era, swept up in the dream of Newtonian balance and universal harmony, dissolved into a fog of cosmic ennui. Fatigue, dissatisfaction, and a generalized weariness with things radiated through society, matched by an intensified focus on maintenance, regulation, and fitness as a means of holding these forces at bay.[note]For a discussion on the cultural impact of the second law of thermodynamics, and its subsequent implications for industrial discipline, managerialism, organizational theory and the like, see Anson Rabinbach, The Human Motor: Energy, Fatigue, and the Origins of Modernity (New York: Harper Collins, 1990).[/note] Entropy was civilization’s grand enemy. To see it rushing over the gates meant that civilization was splitting apart, teetering at the edge of a grand abyss. For Sorel, writing during a time which we can identify as the eclipsing of early, competitive capitalism by monopoly capitalism, the dimming of modernity’s flames under the conjoined complacency of reform-minded parliamentary socialists and a bourgeoisie that had become an “ultra-civilized aristocracy” heralded the threat of decay and degradation.

The question of entropy also played a major, if often overlooked, role in Bergson’s work, particular where the notion of the élan vital is concerned. In the latter half of the 1800s, the recognition of the doom wrought by entropy triggered oscillations between a world-weary acceptance of the conditions and attempts to forestall it wherever possible. It wouldn’t be until the 1940s when negentropy (negative entropy) would come to be known. Erwin Schrödinger, for example, wrote in his 1944 book What is Life? that a living thing “can only be kept aloof from [entropy], i.e. alive, by continually drawing from its environment negative entropy.”[note]Erwin Schrödinger, What Is Life (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1944), 76.[/note] In order to explain the apparent paradox between constant, localized producing of living order and cosmic decay, Schrödinger’s suggestion was that living organism is imbued with an “astonishing gift of concentrating a ‘stream of order’… of ‘drinking orderliness’ from a suitable environment.” Such a concept was precisely what Bergson was trying to strive towards with the élan vital, defined as it was by a capacity for spontaneous organization and self-regeneration through time.

The second law of thermodynamics, Bergson argued, was nothing short of a metaphysical principle: physics, without the aid of “interposed symbols and… artificial devices and instruments” now “discloses the direction in which evolution is going.”[note]Keith Ansell Pearson, Germinal Life: The Difference and Repetition of Deleuze (New York: Routledge, 1999), 60.[/note] The direction, in its most generalized and cosmological form, appears in the work of physicists like Clausius to be a descent down the hierarchy, into the baseness of unformed, unorganized matter. But this is countered by another tendency, an “an effort to re-mount the incline that matter descends.”[note]Henri Bergson, Creative Evolution (New York: Random House Inc., 1944), 268.[/note] This counter-tendency is the struggle against entropy, seen as necessary by Bergson to explain the existence of life and its prolonged development in the face of the irresistible tug downwards. It is not life itself, but a vital force that runs through the living in their onward evolution — the élan vital. It is the ascent up the hierarchy, characterized by an increase of organization in both social and individual senses, as well as the blurring between the two senses. The élan vital thus appears as a progenitor of the concept of negative entropy. Speaking of the second law of thermodynamics, Bergson wrote that

…everything happens as if it were doing its utmost to set itself free from these laws. It has not the power to reverse the direction of physical changes, such as the principle of Carnot determines it. It does, however, behave absolutely as a force would behave which, left to itself, would work in the inverse direction. Incapable of stopping the course of material changes downwards, it succeeds in retarding it. The evolution of life really continues … [as] an initial implusion: this impulsion… brings life to more and more efficient acts by the fabrication and use of more and more powerful explosives.[note]Ibid. (emphasis in original)[/note]

From this perspective, it isn’t hard to see why somebody like Sorel, concerned about entropic decadence derailing the progress of modernity into the upward momentum that Marx had identified, was attracted to such ways of thinking. If the the élan vital was an early attempt to elucidate negentropic tendencies, and was also that which the open society moved towards, then the affinity of the open society with negentropic organization becomes clear. By bringing into play Bergson’s own hints at a link between the mystic and the mechanical where the ascension to this morphogenicc force is concerned (not to mention Deleuze and Guattari’s own quasi-historicization of these processes), the theory is already moving in the direction that Sorel had wished for it to go — to assessing the development of industrial forces through capitalism.

The question becomes, then, how to translate this movement across a rough and complicated philosophical terrain, into something that counteracts decadence. The answer for Sorel is in precisely a function found in Bergson, albeit one that he disdained: the fabulatory function.

Building the Social Myth

In Bergson’s philosophy, both scientific knowledge and symbolic knowledge, insofar as they stamp nature with the “general bent of the human intellect” in order to bring it in line with a “geometrical and static order”, belong to the domain of relative knowledge.[note]Ellis Sandoz “Myth and Society in the Philosophy of Bergson”, Social Research, Vol. 30, No. 2 (Summer 1963), 173.[/note] The borderlands of this knowledge demarcate the very interior limits of the knowable, with its lines separating the faculty of the intellect from that which is beyond it — that is, the unrepresentable realm of continual change, crystallizing organization, and open systems unfolding through real duration. The intellect, in other words, is encased within the limit that prevents direct encounter with the élan vital, sheared off from access to the absolute.

This sifting-apart of the relative forms of knowledge from the absolute occurs along a fault-line of the temporal. “We do not think in real time”, Bergson suggested, adding that “but we live in it, because life transcends intellect.”[note]Bergson, Creative Evolution, 53.[/note] Thus the phenomenon of life, as an affair of particular and durable types of organization, moves through what cannot be grasped by the intellect — yet for Bergson it is a mistake to suggest that the position of the absolute beyond the grasp of the intellect means that it is fundamentally off-limits to thought. Such was his critique of Kant who, he argued, encased the mind permanently within the borderlands of the intellect. Against this approach, Bergson suggested that another, more subtle and intangible faculty is actually capable of transgressing these limits in order to explore the absolute directly: intuition. This is a faculty that ‘envelopes’ the intellect, and “may enable us to grasp what it is that intelligence fails to give us, and indeed the means of supplementing it.”[note]Ibid., 195.[/note] Intuition and intellect, taken together, are the two ways of knowing a thing, with each correlated to the absolute and relative forms, respectively. They mark the two sides of human consciousness.

Bergson saw the human as holding a particularly unique position in that it stands at the endpoint of the chain of natural evolution. The development of the intellect was vital in maintaining this trajectory, having endowed the human with the capacity to choose between various options at a given time and to navigate the situations that it found itself within. Yet the intellect itself comes to be a double-edged sword: as it enables choice and increased mobility, the possibly for a dangerous egosim haunts it. The intelligent self can continually act in its own interests alone, even at the expense of the society to which it is fundamentally bound. For Bergson, if the active threat of this egoism is not tapered, it will harm the interdependence of sociability, and with it the very possibility of longevity and survival.

How does egoism of the intellect become blunted, if the intellect is simultaneously the means to achieving survival? Here, a critical intervention is staged not by the faculties of the intellect, but by instinct under the guise of habits, or, more properly, the “habit of contracting habits”.[note]Bergson, The Two Sources of Morality and Religion, 17.[/note] As the intellect operates in an environment, dotted with encounters and obstacles and problems to solve, these habits come to compile and reinforce one another, forming into a memory that serves as the foundation for a social morality. The accumulation of habits becomes an order that aims at balancing freedom of choice with collective interest. The question then becomes one of compulsion: given the supposed capacity for free choice (intellect), what obligates the individual to follow this instinctual order of habit-memory? The answer is the story-telling function, fabulation, the formation of essential myths capable of unpinning society. Bergson:

It must be noted that fiction, when it has the power to move us, resembles an incipient hallucination: it can thwart our judgment and reason, which are strictly intellectual faculties. Now what would nature have done, if she wanted to guard against certain dangers of intellectual activity without compromising the future of intelligence? … if intelligence was to be kept at the outset from sliding down a slope which was dangerous to the individual and society, it could only be by the statement of apparent facts, by ghosts of facts; failing real experience, a counterfeit of experience had to be conjured up. A fiction, if it is vivid and insistent, may indeed masquerade as perception and in that way prevent or modify action.[note]Ibid., 109.[/note]

Bergson’s historical assessment was that the fabulatory function first arose in early societies through the attribution of forceful will and what could be regarded as a distinctly human agency to natural events. He padded this thesis out by drawing on William James’s experience of the San Francisco earthquake of 1906. James had written of the incident that he had “personified the earthquake as a permanent individual entity”, a force imbued with an “[a]nimus and intent” like that exercised by “a living agent”.[note]Ibid., 130[/note] He quickly discovered that he was not alone in registering the disaster as an encounter with an uncanny intelligence: many in the midst of the event felt that the Final Judgment was at hand, and that the shaking of the earth was the presence of a “vague daemonic power” moving through the world. In one case, the earthquake was read not as something produced by the tensions of the earth’s crusts and disequilibrium among strata; it was the very thing, some abstract motive agent, that was producing the tensions and disequilibrium. “I realize now much better than ever how inevitable were men’s earlier mythological versions of such catastrophes,” James wrote, “and how artificial and against the grain of our spontaneous perceiving are the later habits into which science educates us.”[note]Ibid., 130-131[/note]

Extrapolating from these insights, Bergson put forward the argument that the genesis of fabulation occurred via the exploration of natural phenomenon through the lenses of a perceived non-human agency, which quickly became assimilated into the expressions of magical ritual and religious fervor. It becomes a machine for producing fictions that are so livid, so life-like that they come to haunt those who speak of it, the color of perception itself for the members of society. Through the regulatory mechanism of religion, fabulation became that which effectively transformed the compulsion to maintain society into cosmological dramas that imposed firm rules and punishment for transgressions. This dynamic, however, did not end in the passage from the ancient to the modern, as “a society without a religion” has never existed as such. Thus even societies that are ostensibly built upon a foundation of reason have, at their very core, a profound unreason, a hallucination or fiction that serves as the a priori for the deployment of the faculty of the intellect for the purpose of obtaining relative knowledge.

And yet the society bound to the fabulatory function will never escape the circular interiority of the closed society. Fabulation, in Bergson’s reading, does not simply produce a counterbalance against the individual’s intellectual egoism, but constitutes a mechanism for determining inclusion and exclusion in accordance with a given society’s mythic underpinning. In other words, fabulation itself is the very function that makes a closed society closed, producing in turn a singular and static order that in the long-term will begin that inexorable descent into entropy. The open society then, for Bergson, is a society that relinquishes itself from the fabulatory function, and trades the myth for the dynamic intuition that moves with the élan vital.

In his appropriation of the theory of the social myth, Sorel — much to Bergson’s criticism — fundamentally transformed this dire outlook on the ultimate nature of fabulation.[note]Bergson’s student Jacques Chevalier later recounted his mentor’s thoughts on Sorel: “He’s a curious man, this old engineer, whose thought had such an effect on Lenin and Mussolini. What he has tried to find in my work is the idea of the generative myth. But he had his own ideas in mind more than my own.” Fujita, “Anarchy and Analogy”, note 12, 124.[/note] No longer was the myth the indirect adversary of negentropic amplification, but the very force necessary to undermine the grip of decadence on society. Bergson might have posed the faculty of intuition as a rising divergence from the social myth, but for Sorel the myth becomes the medium for intuition itself, the prism through which passes that which cannot be known directly by the intellect. It even holds the capacity to power vast movements in the direction of the unknowable. Taking socialism, as a futurity that lay beyond the capacity to think-through it, as his chief concern, he wrote that

Ordinary language could not produce these results in any very certain manner; appeal must be made to collections of images which, taken together and through intuition alone, before any considered analyses are made, are capable of invoking the mass of sentiments which correspond to the different manifestations of the war taken by social against modern society… This method has all the advantages that integral knowledge has over analysis, according to the doctrine of Bergson; and perhaps it might be possible to cite many other examples which would demonstrate equally well the worth of the famous professor’s doctrines.[note]Georges Sorel, Reflections on Violence (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999), 113 (emphasis in original).[/note]


“Myths must be judged as a means of acting on the present,” wrote Sorel in Reflections on Violence. “[A]ll discussion of the method of applying them as future history is devoid of sense. It is the myth in its entirety which is alone important: its parts are only of interest in so far as they bring out the main idea.”[note]Ibid., 116-117.[/note] The myth is thus divorced from the expected outcome that it angles itself toward; what emerges as the important factor is what happens in the present as a result of the myth. The future remains utterly indeterminate — and this is in no small part thanks to the function of the myth itself. Expectations derived from the myth — say, the push towards towards socialism — entail a grand preparation, an immense mobilization even, that will produce effects which will themselves radiate into the indeterminacy of the future, if not ensure it outright. What is most important for Sorel is that mobilization under the directive of the myth breaks apart the static destruction of decadence and helps achieve a renewed sense of real progression.

Such an understanding cuts directly to the core of Sorel’s repurposing of Bergson. Sorel suggested that there was a distinct correlation between socio-cultural (and even industrial) stasis and political optimism. The parliamentary socialists that he so disdained, for instance, were optimists who believed in the ability for “small reforms of the political system” and “governmental personnel” to “direct the movement of society in such a way to mitigate those evils of the modern world which seem so hideous to sensitive souls”.[note]Ibid., 10.[/note] Optimism, correlated with humanist critique and piece-meal solution, undermines radicalism and trades it for a neutered pacifism.

Standing in stark contrast to optimism was pessimism, understood as a “march towards deliverance” that draws, on one hand, from an understanding of intrinsic weakness, and on the other the accumulation of experimental knowledge generated by the continual encounters with obstacles. Through each an understanding of how social order operates is derived. This understanding leaves no space for the social reformist path:

The pessimist regards social conditions as forming a system bound together by an iron law which cannot be evaded, as something in the form of one block, and which can only disappear through a catastrophe that involves the whole. If this theory is admitted, it then becomes absurd to attribute the evils from which society suffers to a few wicked men.[note]Ibid., 11.[/note]

The individual’s will-to-deliverance, the path through pessimism, is consecrated in the form of the social myth. Sorel used the history of Christianity to draw this out. The primitive Christian, for example, found themselves born into a life of bondage, a slave to the earth of which Satan is the prince. In order to survive in this world, the individual gives themselves over to the belief in the future eschatological conflict between God and these forces of darkness: the myth of war and the realization of the New Jerusalem transforms one into something capable of truly existing. The Calvinists took this even further with the added weight of the doctrines of predestination. In the sixteenth century they were able to power an immense revolutionary machine, a “real catastrophic revolution” that fundamentally transformed everything, shaking apart the power structures of Catholicism and undermining its long-held stability.

If Catholicism could be broken apart by the Calvinist revolutionary force, it was because it had lost its connection to the fire of the mythic through the disappearance of the “Church militant”. Calvinism, likewise, suffered a similar fate in the wake of the Renaissance, which for Sorel has ushered in a wave of humanistic thought that brought with it an unbridled optimism. Here, at this point, society begin to run afoul, the groundwork laid for a “ridiculous social pacifism” that drowned out vital, nourishing anger. The iron cage began receding into the background. Soon the bourgeoisie, much like the parliamentary socialists with whom they linked arms, would cease to be like Nietzsche’s ‘warrior types’[note]For Sorel, the Nietzschean ‘master type’ was based upon “ancient heroes and the man who sets out to conquer the Far West” (Ibid., 232). The European bourgeoisie, having slowly reclined into civilized comforts, had fallen short of this idealized state — but for Sorel, it could still be found in the industrious spirit exhibited by capitalists in the United States: “I believe that if Nietzsche had not been so dominated by his memories of being a professor of philology, he would have perceived that the master type still exists under our own eyes, and that it is this type which, at the present time, creates the extraordinary greatness of the United States.” Interestingly, Deleuze and Guattari also draw attention to the exceptional, schizophrenizing nature of American capitalism in both volumes of Capitalism and Schizophrenia, and even note in that “everything important that has happened or is happening takes the route of the American rhizome” (Deleuze and Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus, 19.). The relationship between the “American rhizome” and the figure of the people-to-come will be taken up again in a future section of this essay series.[/note], and come to prefer the large, cumbersome industrial cartels and rationalized industry to the competitive battlefield of the market.

This society, divorced from myth and swallowed by optimism, was (to use Bergson’s parlance) a closed society. Yet it is clear how Sorel reverses Bergson’s schema: for the earlier philosopher, the mythic society was the closed society, held under the sway of a ‘static religion’. In Sorel’s work, decadence was marked by stasis, and it is no stretch to treat the decadent society as the theoretical descendant of the closed society — except that the relationship to myth is fundamentally different. For Bergson, the open society follows the faculty of intuition in a proto-negentropic escape from the closed society’s mythic basis. For Sorel, a precise contrast: the negentropic opening follows through the reinvigoration of the myth of deliverance.

The Revolutionary Myth

It’s important not to mistake Sorel’s myth for more basic forms of propaganda. Perhaps an apt way to pull them apart is to compare each to Mark Fisher’s distinction between sorcery and magic.[note]I owe this insight to Cockydooody. Check out his Totalitarian Collectivist blog right now.[/note] For Fisher, magic, like propaganda, proceeds by operating within a given system, moving in line with its despotic programming in order to ‘organize’ and ‘install’ words and languages with the goal of capturing potentially divergent movement (and to ward off more powerful, threatening ones). Sorcery, by contrast, operates at a much higher — or perhaps, more properly, lower — level. It marks an opening to the Outside, the zone where the Outside pours into the interior. Instead of organizing words into programs, sorcery entails “words melting into Things, and building sensitive side-communication Meshworks that spread”.[note]Mark Fisher, “White Magic”, Virtual Criminologies, See also CCRU, “Cyberhype VI: The Darkside of the Wave”, Mute, March 10th, 2001, Here, magic is the associated with the reformist gambit of Keynesian economics, and sorcery with the entrepreneur and the rhythmic pulse of creative destruction as identified by Joseph Schumpeter and his work on wave dynamics in capitalism. It goes without saying something like creative destruction is precisely what Sorel is hoping to win out over highly reformed, stagnant capitalism.[/note] It is thus out of reach of human control, generative, and radically open.

Indeed, as Bergson’s understanding of the myth entailed, it isn’t the product of any one person or institution; it is something that organizes itself through time in the intersection of the individual intellect and the wider congealing of habits into social memory. From there it’s only a small leap to Sorel’s Marxist theoretical ground, where social institutions, norms, belief structures, etc., are secondary formations relative to the primary generative processes. In his discussions concerning both ‘primitive Christianity’ and ancient Greece this becomes particularly clear, with the doctrine of original sin and the epic battles of the gods deriving their contexts from material conditions unique to each social order.

This dynamic is in play with Sorel’s chief topic: the myth of the general strike advanced by the revolutionary syndicalist movement of his time. Where did the myth come from? Not from any singular source. It congealed from Proudhon and Bakunin’s anarchic vision of grand industrial federations, and from the communist anticipation of the great revolution looming up on the horizon — and behind each, the tumult of history. The preconditional ferment of this revolutionary consciousness encompassed the eradication of the romantic pastoral under the gears of the dark satanic mills, the dispossession of the agricultural laborer and its assimilation into the inorganic army of the proletariat. Its logic derived from the regimentation of society by the temporal rhythm of the machine, and the expansions and contractions that compose the spiraling, metabolic pulse of industrialization itself. It patches itself together through the disparate strike activities and worker agitations that quickly faded out of sight. Proudhon, Bakunin, Marx, and even Sorel appear from here as speaking not in their own voices, but the voices of subterranean and imperceptible movements taking place underneath the seemingly-stable organization of things. The same dynamic is to be found in the myth of the general strike, as something that has self-organized from below, and is rising up to be spoken by agents who think they are deploying it by their own volition.

As alluded to earlier, whether or not the myth triggers the anticipated catastrophic revolutionary event is ultimately immaterial. As a myth of deliverance, Sorel argued, the specter of the general strike would compel the proletariat to refuse the humanist comforts offered by the parliamentary socialists. Instead, they would “repay with black ingratitude the benevolence of those who wish to protect the workers, to meet with insults the homilies of the defenders of human fraternity and to respond by blows to the advances of the propagators of social peace”.[note]Sorel, Reflections on Violence, 77.[/note] This is the simultaneous intensification of the class struggle and capitalism itself. Having been robbed of the peace promoted by the parliamentary socialists, the ultra-civilized bourgeoisie will cast aside their commitment to “works which promote social justice or [to] democracy”, and come to understand that “they have been badly advised by the people who persuaded them to abandon their trade of creators of productive forces…”.[note]Ibid., 77-78.[/note] Thus the much-required negentropic force becomes identifiable as “proletarian violence”, composing the

only means by which the European nations, stupefied by humanitarianism, can recover their former energy. This violence compels capitalism to restrict its attention solely to its material role and tends to restore it to its warlike qualities it formerly possessed. A growing and solidly organized working class can force the capitalist class to remain ardent in the historical struggle; if a united and revolutionary proletariat confronts a rich bourgeoisie ready for conquest, capitalist society will reach its historical perfection.[note]Ibid., 78-79.[/note]

In the final stages of Sorel’s analysis, the very distinction between socialism (here only capable of being glimpsed through the myth) and capitalism is thrown into disarray. In the forward push to mobilize for the general strike, the whole of the proletarian class undergoes a kind of industrial education. Like Bergson’s mechanical mystic, the individual worker, subjected to the gears of the machine and the pace of production, becomes something different than it was before — in this case, a soldier in an acephalic insurgency, an individual point in an anarchic swarm that undermines the power of the state and the bourgeois opposition.[note]Sorel here appears as an early progenitor of the “Insect Communism” advanced by the likes of Eliphas Apis, among others. See Eliphas Apis, The Insect Communist Manifesto (Terra Nova: Sov-Hive 325 Publishing, 2025). Directly presaging the concerns of Apis, Sorel himself describes ‘perfection in manufacturing’ as a factory or workshop capable of being “considered as a machine whose parts are men.” The industrial education of the workers here produces a “completely mindless life” based on automatic behaviors in relation to the rhythms of production. Thus the “skill the workers acquire can, in the long run, be compared reasonably to the instinct of an insect.” See Georges Sorel, The Illusions of Progress (Berkley: University of California Press, 1969), 195-196. It is also worth noting that Sorel is invoking Bergson’s somnambulist theory of instinct. For an overview of this controversial theory (and the influence of it on Deleuze’s early work), see Christian Kerslake, “Insects and Incest: From Bergson and Jung to Deleuze”, Multitudes, No. 25 (2006), [/note] The historical perfection of capitalist society locks into an upward, explosive thrust, and the combatants in this borderless war are stamped with a new “morality of producers” that serves as a motive force for development of industrial production to soar ever higher, towards an economic bridge that pulls together capitalism and the historical stage that follows it.

…the idea of the general strike, constantly rejuvenated by the sentiments provoked by proletarian violence, produces an entirely epic state of mind and, at the same time, bends all the energies of the mind towards the conditions that allow the realization of a freely functioning and prodigiously progressive workshop; we have thus recognized that there is a strong relationship between the sentiments aroused by the general strike and those which are necessary to bring about a continued progress in production. We have then the right to maintain that the modern world possesses the essential motivating power which can ensure the existence of the morality of producers.[note]Sorel, Reflections on Violence, 250. On the “economic bridge” between socialism and capitalism, see The Illusions of Progress, 205-207. See also Vince Garton, “Technoindustrial Capitalism and the Politics of Catastrophic Velocity”, The Cyclonograph, June 23rd, 2017. [/note]

Sorel’s understanding of the web of relationships between the proletariat, the generative myth of deliverance, and the wider question of entropic and negentropic fluctuations in socio-economic systems and technological development is one in which the proletariat and bourgeoisie alike are but points in a vaster circuitry that cuts widely across historical development. Whether or not he specifically articulated it as such is rather unimportant, as the movement of the theory of the myth out from its Bergsonian roots makes it all abundantly clear. Social development remains inexorably tied to a techno-industrial underpinning, and actualization of a revolutionary consciousness itself remains fundamentally connected to these processes. The attempt to break out from these conditions — absolute revolution against the process — all but guarantees the pushing of the process to its higher stages. Such is the nature, perhaps paradoxically, of the movement from the closed society to the open society.

Such insight foreshadows, in many respects, the assessments of Deleuze and Guattari, who noted in A Thousand Plateaus that “[h]istory is made only by those who oppose history (not by those who insert themselves into it, or even reshape it).”[note]Deleuze and Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus, 295[/note] It may seem a bit of a stretch to juxtapose Sorel’s work with Deleuze and Guattari, but under a closer inspection numerous similarities begin to appear. Sorel’s strategic inversion of the Bergsonian perspective on the myth is isomorphic to Deleuze’s own treatment of fabulation, which, as indicated in the introduction, is the conduit through which new political formations and can identities emerge. Similarly, the emphasis on closed and open systems returns again in the work of Deleuze, both with and without Guattari; as with Sorel, the relationship between these sorts of systems and thermodynamically-charged sciences is also highlighted. And finally, the intermingling of these forces in the production of the new acts as a profound bridge between the two. Each heralds the emergence of mutant politics, unique to the dynamics of modernity, that stretches itself towards the New People and the New Earth.

Nonetheless, it would be overstating matters to suggest a direct correlation between Sorel and Deleuze (and Guattari), as each pursued divergent paths that overlapped only at points. The following section will, with Sorel’s theories in mind, begin to unpack Deleuze’s own transfiguration of the theory of the myth.