1.331 The Apparatus of Capture

Michael P. Ford
Feb 12 · 4 min read

By carefully mapping the field of commercial practice, we are not only able to affirm the legitimacy of K’s apprenticeship, but more importantly we put ourselves in a position to ascertain the “functions of the soul, and its status in the world of flux.” More specifically, by tracing and aligning the two movements that define the field, we put ourselves in a position to follow the soul of business “in its journey toward the source of all harmony,” a journey that amounts to a “program for discontent” centuries in the making, a “noble discontent” and “critical discount” the ultimate value and importance of which lies in its relation to a certain “perfection”.¹⁵¹ Ours is a renewed science of the soul that confirms what speculative philosophy had already established by its own means and in its own terms — namely, that the “fundamental capitalist phenomenon [is] the transformation of the surplus value of code into a surplus value of flux.”¹⁵² A “new cartography” has led us to “think otherwise,”¹⁵³ a thinking that effectively combines the forces of Science, Art, Philosophy AND that transformation to capture and express the “discordant harmony” of the modern soul.¹⁵⁴

The outline of the field we sketched above, with its two sides and tiered steps or strata, indicates that the capitalist transformation results in a triangle of sorts: “the four corners of the field folded into three, like a tablecloth, plus the transcendent term that performs the folding operation.”¹⁵⁵ In the following section, we raise the question of “how something manages to leave the strata”; but first, we must raise and begin to answer the question of “how things get into them in the first place.”¹⁵⁶ The capitalist fold captures the soul by means of triangulation, whereas the free and unbridled soul remains “opens to the four winds, to the four corners of the social field (not even 3 + 1, but 4 + n).”¹⁵⁷ This “capture effects an inversion of the wave or of the divisible flow,” drawing the forces of the four winds “toward a threshold at which, after passing their limits, the wave itself changes direction.” The practical result is the institution of a recording surface or distributed ledger and the incessant production of a memory based on abstract quantities (dead labor or the capitalist axiomatic) that both obscures and profits from the participation of intensive quantities (living currency or desiring-production); capture is the “difference or excess constitutive of profit, surplus labor, or the surplus product,” the reduction of the intensive to the abstract or extensive.¹⁵⁸ The body of Money-Capital usurps the bodies of the Earth and the Despot and offers itself up as the sole recording surface.

Fig. 1.29 The Diachronic Capitalist Machine

In doing so, it territorializes the former, recodes the latter and continues to hold at bay the full Body without Organs (BwO) by occupying it or allowing it to function in its own corner: “By no means does the diachronic capitalist machine allow itself to be revolutionized by one or more of its synchronous technical machines, and by no means does it confer on its scientists and its technicians an independence that was unknown in the previous regimes. Doubtless it can let a certain number of scientists — mathematicians, for example — ‘schizophrenize’ in their corner, and it can allow the passage of socially decoded flows of code that these scientists organize into axiomatics of research that is said to be basic. But the true axiomatic is elsewhere. (Leave the scientists alone to a certain point, let them create their own axiomatic, but when the time comes for serious things . . . For example, non-determinist physics, with its corpuscular flows, will have to be brought into line with ‘determinism.’) The true axiomatic is that of the social machine itself, which takes the place of the old codings and organizes all the decoded flows, including the flows of scientific and technical code, for the benefit of the capitalist system and in the service of its ends.”¹⁵⁹ At this point, we do not “know what forces bring about this triangulation that interferes with the recording of desire in order to transform all its productive connections. But we are able at least to follow, abstractly, the manner in which these forces proceed.”¹⁶⁰

[151] Alfred North Whitehead, “The Human Soul,” in Adventures of Ideas, pp.10–25.

[152] Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, Anti-Oedipus, p.228

[153] Gilles Deleuze, Foucault

[154] Gilles Deleuze, Difference and Repetition, pp.145–146 and pp.211–212

[155] Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, Anti-Oedipus, p.172

[156] Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus, p.57

[157] Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, Anti-Oedipus, p.172

[158] Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus, pp.446–447

[159] Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, Anti-Oedipus, p.233.

[160] Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, Anti-Oedipus, p.233.

SALESMANISM

INTRODUCTION TO THE NON-FASCIST LIFE

SALESMANISM

Using the representational strategy most congruent with its subject matter ― Plato’s “likely story” ― Salesmanism is the first of a two-volume publishing program that answers Albert Lautman’s call by attempting to “remake the Timaeus”.

Michael P. Ford

Written by

Public Servant, Independent Scholar & Social Entrepreneur

SALESMANISM

Using the representational strategy most congruent with its subject matter ― Plato’s “likely story” ― Salesmanism is the first of a two-volume publishing program that answers Albert Lautman’s call by attempting to “remake the Timaeus”.

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface.

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox.

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store