[D-G] explain please

Jeremy Livingston jeremy.livingston at gmail.com
Wed Nov 24 10:00:49 PST 2004

Reading doesn't help us eat in the sense that reading is not the same
thing as working to directly grow food. But this is trivial.

Reading helps us eat when intellectual guidance enables us to arrange
our affairs more productively. Productive social arrangements are
neither common sense nor obvious nor widely known or appreciated. Our
mutual friends D+G are interested in this level of consideration, if
not exclusively nor uncritically. However, above all they are not
anti-intellectualists or paysano-romantics. They have a great respect
for science and scholarship, and see great opportunities (as well as
great risks) developing from these activities.

I hate jargon, but consider, for example, their contrast between
sciences of compars and sciences of dispars; a comparative
("imperial") science looks for ways in which intellect can control
industry, whereas a disparative science looks for opportunities for
intelligent intersections of industry. A bureaucrat, who thinks he can
walk into a village and boss the peasants around "for their own good",
because their current activities don't satisfy his "models", is the
enemy as far as D+G are concerned; such a guy would be like the
qlippoth of the compars. But the alternative is not to burn our books
and pretend as if growing and distributing food is without
intellectual (philosophical or methodological) problems at all. D+G's
solution is to explore ways of thinking about problems that will
permit us to develop sciences of spontaneous, de-centralized
productive arrangements. (Arguably these sciences are going to tell us
things that do not flatter any agrarian or Marxist presuppositions we
have about the right way to go about doing things.)

So, if I may, I humbly ask that we not play the game of "Who has more
revolutionary credibility", or use our circumstances (fortunate or
unfortunate) to try to cow one another into towing line?


>Can we resolve this very political (and personal) question of "how
>reading helps us eat" from a D+G perspective?  I take it that what is
>intended is how can understanding the reality of becoming, etc.,
>provide a means of survival where the previously wasn't one. 
>Becoming a non-eater?  More realistically, without intervention, 
>becoming extinct.  How do we reconcile an individual death with a 
>becoming determined at the pre-individual level?

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