(Really quick thoughts on Marcuse in relation to Dugin, based on a conversation between me and esteemed Twitter personality Cocky Doody this morning.)

Alexandr Dugin’s essay Horizon of the Ideal Empire is a (somewhat insane) statement on what Fourth Political Theory offers as a concrete “positive image of the future”. The essay functions as a bizarre formulation of Platonic theopolitics, a delirious materialism that contains a philosopher-king (modeled on Stalin and Mao), glorifications of “sacred labor”, demonic warriors, and most importantly, the presence of angels. While Dugin’s use of the figure of the angel may seem odd, I have been reading Marcuse’s Eros and Civilization lately and believe Dugin has essentially arrived at a Freudian utopia (though curiously, Dugin makes no mention of sex).

In the first full paragraph of Horizon, Dugin makes a key statement: “The dogma should be accepted that people do not live, but rather an Angel lives through us…The Angel and ego are present in a person in inverse proportion: the greater the Angel, the lesser the ego.” For Dugin, the presence of an angel is identifiable in the move away from the “individual, egoistic, and material”—simply put, a spiritual, transcendentalized form of life that falls from above. These angels exist separately from the human in some way as well (he speaks later of the possibility of “a congress of angels”), but also are identified as a way to overcome the material, and specifically material labor: “The King is an Angel…a true person…In his nature, man is homo regius. He is just as much a king and an Angel as he is human.”

This is where Marcuse enters the picture through his reading of Freud. Marcuse identifies in Freud 4 distinct and interlocked dialectical pairs: the ontogenetic/phylogenetic, Eros/Thanatos, the pleasure/reality principles, and finally surplus repression/production principle. For Marcuse (and Freud), civilization is repression: the aegis of the reality principle, the deferral and extension of pleasure as something that is available over a longer term, a delibidinization of pleasure, which is immediate and ever seeking to expand itself. Within advanced civilization (the phylogenetic approach), the reality principle appears as the production principle, wherein pleasure is suspended and the worker disappears into Taylorist machinery necessary to further the development of civilization, and is coerced into doing so through applied surplus repression. Civilizational upkeep becomes imperative on a personal (ontogenetic) level, foreshadowing Reich’s (and later Deleuze and Guattari’s) question: “how can people be made to desire their own oppression?” It’s quite easy, for Marcuse—they couldn’t possibly think otherwise.

Back to Dugin: the Angel, as the enemy of the ego (and thus which produces the desire for repression), represents the pleasure principle in all its unbridled glory. Thus, Dugin’s Ideal Empire is akin to Marcuse’s “civilization without repression”—the world ruled by pleasure, by Eros. Dugin’s statement that “Everyone will smile and laugh at funerals, for since this world is so beautiful…” clearly states that in the Ideal Empire, Thanatos has been subjugated. The original sin of the Primal Father and subsequent ingestion by the sons (the original chiral cycle of revolution and revanchism, that is). The time machine of psychoanalysis is beaten into plowshares.

In doing so, the Ideal Empire is revealed as a cold place to be: it is a place not just without progress, but against progress: a cold society, so to speak. Manuel de Landa uses a materialist metaphor: hot societies expand, and are constituted by freefloating constitutive particles, and end through dissipation and exhaustion. A cold ‘solid state society’ delays progress for the sake of stability. The cybernetic interlock, the constantly shifting mask of Eros/Thanatos that defines life in capitalism, is done away with in favor of a pastoral Empire of learning, peace, and sustainability over long historical cycles. A world of the Angels. Doxiadis here is important too, measuring civilization as energetic output: a cold society outputs what it takes in. Progress is arrested, Thanatos is buried, only left to survive as the grotesque warriors that embody the Ideal Empire’s warmachine and protect its poet-philosopher-priests. The Ideal Empire is not feudalism, as it may initially appear to be, it is castration.


Invoking the Hyperwar

This post is a kind of postmortem on cloister4.com, and not really of note otherwise.

Where to begin? I have a hard time truly defining what this project is supposed to be, to me. I can definitely tell you what it’s supposed to be about, though: the “hyperwar”, cities, and simulation. What any of those mean in this context are up for debate. The product of the three is a fully armed sort of urban horror.


Loosely (and personally) defined, the hyperwar is a transduction—the grim specter of a future conflict, the hideous exhumed Yaldabaoth of the Baudrillardian “apotheosis of simulation”, a title which he gave to the infinitely inhibited, politically contingent promise of nuclear exchange. It is alternately defined as a war of uncertainty (see: Gerasimov doctrine), a multi-domain war in both real and cyberspace, asymmetric war in the megacity, or a war of such explosive ferocity that it startles even the forces engaged in fighting it. The hyperwar is all of these at once, because it’s not here yet. It withdraws, is occulted, is uncertain.

That uncertainty informs this project. And in speaking of ambiguity, it has become ambiguous itself, piling on layers of simulation and hyperstition until the final product has looped back around on itself (or so I hope).


The hyperwar is inextricable from the form of the megacity: the patchworked, diffuse, endogenic unknown, the charnel house of “encirclement and suppression campaigns”. Felix and Wong write about the megacity in relation to urban operations within it by defining it as a symbol of complexity: “to win in a complex world, Army forces must…integrate the efforts of multiple partners, operate across multiple domains, and present enemies and adversaries with multiple dilemmas.” Simply put, the Army must become more complex than their environment—an evolutionary imperative that abounds in complexity theory.

When attempting to think as a “military intelligence” (human or otherwise), I consistently encountered limits in the prevailing doctrinal approach. Attempting to solve this informed the core of this project, as far as I’m concerned, with the rest of the work—THEIA, the leak format, even the war itself—becoming auxiliary to the attempt to rewrite the way the military works. In military-hyperbolic jargon, I referred to this as the “Fourth Offset Strategy” or “Chaos doctrine”.

The megacity, along with the hyperwar, fundamentally violates military thinking as they are both entirely defined by cybernetic complexification and mutation. This is something the military knows but at present cannot fight. Instead, it avoids the city altogether: its warrens, its close combat, its hidden snipers, its door to door fighting. Ashworth in War and the City remarks vividly that the “urban environment creates a highly physically structured but fragmented series of compartmentalised battlefields that can absorb large quantities of personnel – which, once committed, will be difficult to extricate, regroup or reinforce”. The city eats armies. Urban metabolism goes carnivorous. Look at Stalingrad, look at Berlin.

The historical touchtone is important—most currently extent urban warfighting doctrine (or Military Operations in Urban Terrain: MOUT) is about avoiding cities altogether, or hoping to choke up their brutal capacity for digestion with a torrent of bodies in a war of attrition against space itself, as well as opposing forces. Following Mumford, we can see the city as a megamachine of megamachines, and applying Bar-Yam’s work on complexity, further interlocking subroutines are revealed, a mandelbrotian engine of recursive escalation.

In imagining a ‘new urban warfighter’ I attempted to visualize what a fully “cooperative” army would look like, with human and autonomous systems completely integrated. This in turn informed by a doctrinal approach: reformatting military operations so they became agents of chaotic breakdown in the urban environment, depriving local combatants of their privileged local knowledge, and sluicing the deterritorialized panic by virtue of superior firepower and coordination.

This theoretical-strategic futurism is present scattered throughout the Cloister IV leak files, but predominantly appears in the form of ‘UMBRAA’, or the fully playable Game of Metropolitical War.


The general form of the project is a simulation of a future hyperwar, the fabulation of a “generative myth”. Lagos in the dead of night on 16 June 2036. So we’re back at Baudrillard, but this time approaching him through Sorel in some way. But the simulation is a bit ambiguous and cybernetic as well, involving a few different layers.

At the first level, the bottom rung, is the constructed hyperwar scenario: the “8 Hours’ War” in Lagos in 2036. It’s hell. A hypertrophied, ambiguously autonomous NATO squares off against an insurgent “China-Africa Mutuality”—a counterinsurgent terrestrial hyperpower, composed of a hegemonic China and several African nations. An attempt to invoke Ligotti’s aphorism: “…the fascination, the potent mystery, of the second-rate, half-baked, run-down, dirty little back-room world” writ large.

At the next level up is Cloister IV. Cloister IV is constructed as a ‘leak’, a data format popularized by the Wikileaks format. In analyzing the leak, I arrived at several tenets to inform my design:

  1. Data eugenics goes out the window. The amount of noise vs. the availability of a bright throughline of signal is heavily weighed in favor of ‘noise’.
  2. This ‘noise’ can and should be used to construct the zone of neighborhood of the scenario “ordinal”. Basically, it should be used for worldbuilding, through the production of seemingly-disconnected ephemera. A universe of crap.
  3. The leak itself is, metacritically, not a design project as much as possible. Outside a modicum of attention paid to capturing generic feelings of a future design, attempting to design in the future will always collapse into historicist weirdness and look immediately dated. The digital future is owned by cyberpunk and high California Ideology-Silicon Valleyism. Keep it that way.

The ramifications of this loose thesis pushed me towards a less is more approach: the bulk of the leak is text, white on black. The leakers are anonymous with a generic political orientation. The world, hopefully, is allowed to breathe. “To write a story that did not depend on the reader for its existence.”

Black on black: Belated notes on 90 degree revolution

“I scorn your eloquence, the poetry of a living oblivion, and now seek a simpler style of annihilation.”


Out in the desert, building God, or maybe deep in the Everglades before the storms come. Futurist wild-eyed death march, stepping razor to the Milky Way, guided by blue serpents of lightning. “…it is electricity that rapidly takes care of the germination.” Fydorov, Bogdanov agree, preparing for the Great Work by proletarianizing matter for transplanetary corporations. Tsiolkovsky habitats and huge cities stalked by CEOs and their attaches require the complete disintegration of the human to enter. City of flows. Baudrillard’s nuclear sword points straight up (or is it out?). Marinetti remarked a hundred years ago how brazenly we master the atom. Select your preference.

War god capital. We have to remember how it started: riding on the back of the spiteful, hateful coitus of war and state. Held back by only the thinness of amniotic fluid—bureaucracy, the clockwork brigade. But the poisonous soft machine wormed through the cracks. War is still here, but in some cases it’s just called revolution.

None of this seems to make sense. “Everything about capitalism is rational, except capital or capitalism…you can understand it, learn how it works; capitalists know how to use it; and yet what a delirium, it’s nuts.” Deleuze in Desert Islands. He goes on, joining strangely with Marx in libidinal prophecy: “…history is the history of desire”. In particular, that is not just anyone’s desire—there is, of course, the “problem of a deep connection between libidinal desire and the social field”, but the capitalist is the one that oversees that desire.

Of course, the 90 degree revolution is itself altogether coded. Again, with Deleuze, who states in “On Capitalism and Desire” that “…nothing is secret, at least in principle and according to the code…and yet noting is admissable”. Everything is available. The ‘green’ arrow in the new political wings is not concerned with the organization of power, of containing the libidinality of the system, or even in Greer’s catabolic collapse, but posits that these are all questions that don’t need to be answered. The greens have far more in common with their neoliberal mainstream counterparts than they’d probably care to recognize: a belief that, in some way or another, the question of techonomania can be altogether sidestepped. This puts them on the side of today’s milquetoast leftists who claim that there can be a re-establishment of the commons—a place where capital cannot reach. This is patently untrue, and in fact has been since capital first arrived “covered in dirt and dripping blood”. Primitive accumulation as the germ-seed of capital instantly cancels difference (or differance) and sets up and expansionary model that, at one end, strip mines Mars and at the other, makes you pay to see the Unabomber’s cabin in a museum exhibit.

To be an upwinger, an anti-green, is to not just recognize the gyre of capital swings out, but realize there is no capacity to extract oneself from the machine, no return to life or to first nature, no anything at all outside of universal colonization or total annihilation.


It is important to note that despite right-left being recomposed as up-down, a ‘marxist’, in any ‘orthodox’ sense (whatever that may mean) should take note that these remain bourgeois political categories. The true intention of a marxist politics will be to altogether detonate such qualifiers in favor of a proletarian recoding and the total collapse of such manichean political wings, so to speak. However, as noted in conversations on twitter, reformatting to up/downwing, ACC/DEC, whatever—may be a useful heuristic insofar as it finally sinks the belle epoque Great Politics into the mud for good.

Notes from someone who is very guilty

“Heat. This is what cities mean to me,” wrote Nick Land, in the late 20th century. Around the same time, the little-known science fiction writer Ursula K. Le Guin wrote in her essay “A Non-Euclidean View of California as a Cold Place to Be”, borrowing M. Levi-Strauss’ distinction of “hot” and “cold” societies: “Bright, dry, clear, strong, firm, active, aggressive, lineal, progressive, creative, expanding, advancing, and hot.” Hot societies are those that expand, dominate, territorialize, explode with total libidinality: engines of violence, of teeth-bared bloody-grinning jouissance, of revolution or of war.

Megacities are burning suns. Pure heat, brilliant light. Dozens of millions of people, Berardian particle-wave flows: Kaika and Swyngedouw warning that flows must be deterritorialized to be channeled: utter atomization: Braudel’s town-runner with its neck on the state, pulling back the hammer barrel pressed to its medula: nodal fever of the Hanseatic megamachine: utter fury fossilized into hylotic Gageianism, the Saturnalian howl of the k-hole and the dopa ablation and other comedowns.

When we talk about complexity we talk about the megacity, because we don’t know how to talk about complexity. Semiotics and simulation. Society and its environmental context in macabre coitus: complexifying and complexifying in ragged shocks. Individual ripped out of joint, along for the ride, an observer of the quotidian. The megacity embodies the total collapse of the West. Shanghai prefigured it. What Shanghai wanted was a brood of feral children, worming their way out of hell and oozing backward through time. It got what it wanted (it always does). The gyre of geopolitics is a mechanized thresher in the depopulated American South. No one around for miles. Everyone’s here.

When THEIA (Tactical-Heuristic Expansion Infrastructure Assistant) arrives on the scene, everything happens at once. Absolute war and ambient computation birth a horrible child of blistering intelligence, silicon and ichor. The viable system was never pruning for efficiency but was modeling the pathways of the New Brain.

I can’t do this anymore.


Simulating Like a State

“Sufficiently advanced simulation is indistinguishable from the real thing”, to twist Clarke’s aphorism. Simulations can take place at levels anywhere from modeling markets, to predicting sea level rise, to the staging of wargames. It is at the level of the wargame that simulation truly becomes artful in the pursuit of the temporal “God-eye”, the unified site of utter anticipation.

But the notion of “utter anticipation” is fraught in the first instance, haunted by a single question: can we actually think like the enemy? Manuel De Landa sums this problem up nicely in War in the Age of Intelligent Machines: “In most cases Red [the enemy] becomes simply a mirror image of Blue [the allied group]”.

But what happens if Blue can think Red? Instead of what may be commonly assumed—that losses would promote in Blue a greater understanding, the simulated loss opens up onto an existential nightmare, a confrontation with Blue’s own fragility. The problem then is that, of course, the wargame will always be weighted in favor of Blue.

Part of this bias is institutional, but there is also the fundamental problem of information: the true nature of Red’s tactics and materiel will forever be draped in a “ludigital” fog of war, no matter how complete Blue’s intel may be. The wargame, constructed with faulty information and to provide a satisfactory outcome, is revealed to not be a strategy tool at all, but rather, a machine to produce in Blue assurance in its own supremacy.

When this supremacy is violated, the effects are internally destabilizing, forcing Blue to come to terms with the specter of its own death, touching down on the plane of abstract horror. De Landa relates for us an anecdote: “…in the early 1960s…Richard Bissell from the CIA, father of the U-2 spy plane and co-engineer of the Bay of Pigs invasion, played Red in a counterinsurgency war game and was able to exploit all the vulnerable points in the American position.” This sent shivers down the US’s spine: Bissell’s win was enough to get the files of the game’s proceedings classified, never to be released.

San Clemente Island MOUT complex, Vasquez Marshall Architects’ website

In roughly the same mid-century milieu, the ‘Hot 60s’ forces the hand of the war makers to break out from abstraction, and the wargame graduates into physical space and human players as a response to civil unrest in NATO countries. With the ‘peacetime’ arrival of full-size “war cities” such as Hammelburg, (West) Germany and later, San Clemente Island off the coast of California, the wargame begins to draw ever nearer to realism. These Potemkin complexes were (and indeed, are) created entirely for training in the minutae of urban operations and neutralization of enemy combatants, appearing as a heterotopic everywhere, crammed into nowhere, a consolidation of the whole world in a top-secret blacksite.

But the spatial revolution of the wargame still was not complete. As detente collapsed, and with an ever-increasing fetish for realism and complexity, the war simulation exploded out of the city and went runaway to continental scales, with millions of machine parts. Perhaps the best kept secret of this variety was US/NATO operation Able Archer 83, a simulation that achieved such a high degree of realism that it threatened to erupt into actual nuclear conflagration.

Able Archer 83 took place from 7-11 November 1983, the culmination of nearly a year of “naval muscle-flexing” and PSYOPs designed to rattle the USSR, such as sporadic “air and naval probes near Soviet borders”, undertaken specifically to “rattle the Soviets”. These actions led to the creation of Operation RYaN by the Warsaw Pact to “prevent the possible sudden outbreak of war by the enemy”. In this already-heightened climate, US/NATO held their annual Able Archer event, designed to “practice new nuclear weapons release procedures”, specifically the “[transition] from conventional to nuclear operations”. From the official SHAPE description:

“The exercise scenario began with Orange (the hypotheticalopponent/[Red]) opening hostilities in all regions of ACE [Allied Command Europe] on 4 November (three days before the start of the exercise) and Blue (NATO) declaring a general alert. Orange initiated the use of chemical weapons on 6 November…All of these events had taken place prior to the start of the exercise and were thus simply part of the written scenario… As a result of Orange advances, its persistent use of chemical weapons, and its clear intentions to rapidly commit second echelon forces, SACEUR [Supreme Command Allied Powers Europe] requested political guidance on the use of nuclear weapons early on Day 1 of the exercise (7 November 1983)…the weapons were fired/delivered on the morning of 9 November.”

Able Archer 83 was unique with respect to past simulations, which one commentator referred to as “special wrinkles”. These include a new battle language and encryption, which made the maneuvers of NATO completely opaque to the USSR, forced to rely on observations and extrapolation as units and materiel were moved across the ACE theater and routines were executed within SACEUR/SHAPE. These terrifying machinations forced the USSR to ask a new epistemological question: if armies and nuclear weapons are being moved into position by the enemy, does it matter what reason its for? At what point does war, occurring in a liminal, ludic space, breach the gap into reality altogether? Is there functionally any difference between war and its simulation? Or, even more to the point, is simulation itself an escalation of hostilities?

Max Ernst’s Europe After the Rain

Jean Baudrillard’s famous definition from Simulacra and Simulation states that “the simulacrum is never that which conceals the truth—it is the truth which conceals that there is none. The simulacrum is true.” “The virtually is fully real insofar as it is virtual.” In Able Archer 83 the “apotheosis of simulation” is itself simulated, a nesting torus of that-which-never-quite-comes-true. The ragged era of the early 80s’ “Cold War II” takes the apocalyptic promise of atomic apocalypse and plugs it in to the motor of banal politics (and indeed, routine wargames), in which “the unknown is precisely that variable of simulation which makes of the atomic arsenal itself a hyperreal form, a simulacrum that dominates everything”. Able Archer 83, in which SHAPE takes part in producing a simulation of nuclear hyperreality, contained within it the possibility of finally crashing Baudrillard’s hyperreality of infinite deterrence (warding off Europe After the Rain), and inaugurating the climax, the real event of nuclear war.

Marinetti & No Future

If all individuals, all groups and societies, all human institutions reaped the fruits of their respective labors today — tomorrow you could walk the earth and hear only the wind, the stupid sounds of nature. When did we forget that we deserve annihilation?

Thomas Ligotti

Let’s become food for the Unknown, not out of desperation, but simply to fill up the deep wells of the Absurd to the very brim!”


The world is an ecumenopolis named Paralysis.

“History, in our eyes, can be nothing but a falsifier, or at best a miserable little stamp collector or a collector of medals and of counterfeit coins. The past is necessarily inferior to the future. And that’s how we want it to be. How could we possibly see any virtue at all in our most dangerous enemy, the past, that gloomy mentor and abominable tutor?”

Bourgeois history is eternity on rails, a ceaseless motivity carrying us all ever higher, plumbing the promise of climax for occulted exhaustion. The cage of eschatological time has been replaced with the prison yard of the bright and impossible future — swapped out lakes of fire and brimstone for visions of eternal improvement without attrition. Both structures need to be assaulted and razed to the ground.

Marinetti finds a strange ally in Benjamin’s tiger’s leap when he acknowledges his own destiny is to be discarded, annihilated by an insurrectionary youthfulness that is already on his trail. Were this program put into proper action, history would shatter, the long march would end as a stampede, the “slow, ragged breathing of the monster” would go tachypniac.

How do we square a model of revolution that occurs with violent seizures, decade upon decade, generation upon generation? Such a model seems to inherently be based on a model of reproductive futurism (or “fighting for the children”) as defined by Lee Edelman in his No Future: a “Ponzi scheme” of ceaseless reproduction of “The Child” as the ultimate teleological offramp in contemporary politics — a model that Mark Fisher refers to as “domestoeconomic” and Berlant and Warner, in their essay “Sex in Public”, identify with a “national heterosexuality”. This is where fears of white genocide originate from: the dysgenic collapse of the nation state in the face of the failure of reproduction and, of course, the right type of reproduction. But notions of genocide are just surface scrim. The insane fetish of reproduction, in Edelman’s view, composes that which is queer as total zero, a monstrous ordinal of sterility, and as such the flatlining of the nation state altogether. However, Berlant and Warner close Edelman’s null provocation by pointing out that queerness is not actually fundamentally the state’s antipode. National heterosexuality territorializes queerness and reformats it into blind reproduction yet again. Adopt, buy, reproduce familial relations. Support the metacultural apparatus of national heterosexuality. Of course, this is the site upon which recent queer activism for marriage operates.

Returning to Marinetti. Specifically, his novel Mafarka the Futurist. The titular Mafarka is engaged in a novel form of reproduction: a son that is not the product of a union, but an extrusion of his own heroic will. Progeny from Outside. Named Gazurmah, he is a golem, a construct of terrifying potency:

“No power will be able to withstand him… I have never once doubted that I would create a son wholly worthy of my spirit… Infinity is his!… Do you think such a miracle is not possible? That’s because you have no faith in your power as men!…”

In constructing Gazurmah, Mafarka blazes a path towards a brutal, heroic future that does not require national heterosexuality or adherence to the cult of the metaculture: “Our will must go out from us so as to take possession of matter and change it according to our whim. In that way we can mold everything around us and endlessly regenerate the face of the earth…” Mafarka rejects his former men (the living) and gives himself utterly to the creation of a monstrous, anti-fertile, cybernetic future, one solely populated by promethean gods. Technology is the raiment of the titans to come, to paraphrase Junger. Death to The Child, Eternal Demolition of Natural Limits!

Brainlet Corner 1: What is Philosophy: Intro & Ch. 1

Brainlet Corner is my attempt to actually read books in their entirety in an intensive way. Please don’t own me. Hopefully it will be a series.


There is already an incredible amount of work on D&G’s notion of the concept andalongside and in tandem, the conceptual persona or friend. The concept answers the question “what is philosophy?” quickly: philosophy is an act of creation—”forming, inventing, and fabricating concepts”. Only philosophy can create concepts, not science, art, and especially not design (which only produces simulacra), which have robbed the concept of its initial meaning and degraded it.

The answer was already known and had not changed, they say, but the conceptual poetics has been modified. Asking what is philosophy requires knowledge of the temporospatial and personal circumstances in which the question is being asked—which Hegel would identify as “the Figures of its creation and the Moments of its self-positing). This creation is dependent on the conceptual personae that are engaged with throughout the process of its fabrication, the spectre of the friend.

The friend, as far as I can tell, is rooted in a greek urbanity—the philosophy of the forum/agora. Creation of concepts is a social act, an amphisbetesis or striving/competition between the philosopher and the “friend, lover, claimant, and rival” which constantly must be worked through and inhabited. It is this relation that defines the philosopher in relation to the concept, which seems to me to be a stepping outside of oneself in order to fabricate and extirpate the concept from within (as an act of friendly creation that involutes into sodomy (or just masturbation)).

D&G follow Marx in making completely clear that philosophy is not a passive act, not performing examinations or contemplation. The identification of philosophy as motion, uncertainty, procedure seems to remove all useful distinction between theory and praxis as altogether irrelevant; theory or conceptual production is in fact practical production (of aerolites).

D&G quote Neitzsche in saying concepts are not gifts, but they must be made and created (or more accurately, self-created, allopoetic), which is to say, backed up and fortified (which I take to be gathering an accretive disk around the bright ordinal of the conceptual components, a cosmogenesis). In this sense, creation is “always a singularity”, albeit one that occurs along multiple valences and collects them into an internally objective and externally subjective epigenetic haeccetic unity, a “whole but a fragmentary whole”, a totalization of its components (which may themselves be concepts), constantly haunted by the “mental chaos” that’s hunting it. (Side note: how is this different from Hegel’s dialectics (as I understand them through Lenin, the contradictions of an object constantly lie benthic within the object and threaten to overwhelm it). Maybe the relation is that to D&G the chaos that forces the concept to embody a shattered unity is anterior to the concept itself?)

The concept does not stand alone. As I mentioned earlier, it is contingent on the Figure and the Moment; or, as D&G describe it, as a landscape they call the plane of immanence, the “field”. “Here concepts link up with each other, support one another, coordinate their contours…” A massively codependent landscape populated by ordinals that are “distinct, heterogeneous, and yet not separable”. They blur into each other and co-associate in what D&G call a “zone of neighborhood, or a threshold of indiscernability” where traffic occurs between adjacent (like) concepts, leaving the ordinals (“intensive features”, all of this is a question of intensities above all, a vast topos) as hard points, condensations (guess the disk of accretion image from earlier was kinda accurate). This landscape is traversed at infinite speed by the point of omniscient survol. The image that occurs to me is a song in the round: a layering of constantly returning complexity (or as the text says, a “refrain”) that allows the singular point of the listener to experience all the processes of the song at once as intensity goes negentropic). The concept is absolute internally and in relation to its problem but relative to the distributed plane-system in which it lies, freely associating with other concepts along thresholds and bridges. It is “real without being actual, actual without being abstract”—possessed of both its pedagogy in the former and ontology in the latter.

Language w/r/t a defined philosophical grammar is important here—best I can tell is D&G are trying to move away from the idea that concepts are their extension rather than their intension or that a concept is analogous to its friend/associated conceptual persona(e) and the language used to define it. When they address the Cartesian cogito it is in the interest of ripping it out of language and turning it into a diagram by identifying the components that compose the intensity.

D&G take care to mention that though the use the image of the landscape as a cartography of concepts (conceptopography I guess), there is nothing here to track space or time. The point of survol is the god eye, everywhere at once. Not even energy (which is just a corporealization of intensities) exists here. “The concept is defined by the inseperability of a finite number of heterogeneous components traversed by a point of absolute survey at infinite speedthe specific infinity of the concept.” So a concept, and the plane in which they appear, is modifiably infinite (w/r/t the concept) and probed by an equally infinite (or maybe transfinite) eye. To D&G, survey is speed. Thought is speed.