Abstract sex and viral trading

by Chris Bertram on October 3, 2003

Via the British philosophers listserv comes notice of a “Capitalism and Philosophy Lab” on the theme of “Libidinal Economics”. The programme is as follows:

bq. Mark Fisher will discuss Baudrillard’s “Critique of the Political Economy of the Sign”.
Nick Midgely will discuss Klossowski’s “Living Currency”
Luciana Parisi will discuss abstract sex and viral trading.

Commenters are invited to speculate (or even to write authoritatively) on the possible content of the third paper.



willow 10.03.03 at 1:32 pm

Forgetting Foucault: Libertarianism, Sontagist camp and the predialectic paradigm of expression
Stefan A. Parry
Department of Literature, Carnegie-Mellon University
Linda Werther
Department of Sociolinguistics, Miskatonic University, Arkham, Mass.
1. Tarantino and structural materialism
“Class is impossible,” says Baudrillard; however, according to Abian[1] , it is not so much class that is impossible, but rather the dialectic, and eventually the rubicon, of class. However, Lyotard suggests the use of dialectic objectivism to analyse and read narrativity. The subject is contextualised into a subtextual theory that includes language as a paradox.

In a sense, Baudrillard uses the term ‘structural materialism’ to denote the role of the observer as poet. If subtextual theory holds, we have to choose between structural materialism and Sartreist existentialism.

However, Baudrillard uses the term ‘patriarchialist discourse’ to denote a neocapitalist totality. Bailey[2] implies that we have to choose between the predialectic paradigm of expression and Debordist image. But any number of theories concerning the genre, and some would say the absurdity, of dialectic society exist. Subtextual theory holds that truth is part of the collapse of culture.

2. Subcapitalist construction and cultural postdialectic theory
“Class is a legal fiction,” says Derrida. However, Lacan promotes the use of cultural postdialectic theory to attack capitalism. The genre, and subsequent stasis, of the predialectic paradigm of expression prevalent in Smith’s Clerks emerges again in Chasing Amy, although in a more self-justifying sense.

If one examines cultural postdialectic theory, one is faced with a choice: either reject the predialectic paradigm of expression or conclude that art is used to reinforce class divisions, but only if consciousness is equal to sexuality; otherwise, Derrida’s model of cultural postdialectic theory is one of “Foucaultist power relations”, and thus part of the economy of truth. Thus, several theories concerning the predialectic paradigm of expression may be revealed. The main theme of Drucker’s[3] model of Marxist socialism is the role of the writer as participant.

In a sense, Baudrillard suggests the use of cultural postdialectic theory to deconstruct society. The primary theme of the works of Smith is the rubicon, and eventually the dialectic, of neotextual class.

Therefore, in Dogma, Smith denies the dialectic paradigm of narrative; in Mallrats he affirms the predialectic paradigm of expression. Sontag’s analysis of precapitalist capitalism states that consciousness has objective value. Thus, any number of narratives concerning a mythopoetical paradox exist. Cultural postdialectic theory implies that art may be used to exploit minorities.

In a sense, the subject is interpolated into a structural demodernism that includes consciousness as a totality. Bataille promotes the use of structural materialism to challenge hierarchy.


dsquared 10.03.03 at 1:44 pm

The PostModernism Generator, if I’m not mistaken. Is it back up?


David Duff 10.03.03 at 4:17 pm

Two questions:
1. Are interpreters present?
2. Am I wrong to suspect that people who talk gobbledy-gook jargon instead of clear English probably talking crap!
David Duff


David 10.03.03 at 5:46 pm

Instead of concrete sex, abstract sex discusses the bedroom goings-on in various possible worlds.
(Saul Kripke or David Lewis will deliver the keynote address.)

Or perhaps, a discussion of the status of the properties, states of affairs (get it?), and universals that have to do with sex?
(Roderick Chisholm will reduce all of this to a single category.)

Or, finally, a study of sex as depicted by artists of the abstract (Mark Rothko)?
(Nelson Goodman or Arthur Danto will chair this session.)


David 10.03.03 at 5:48 pm

Viral trading should not be mentioned in polite company.


dsquared 10.03.03 at 5:57 pm

If it were a finance conference, I would guess it would be about the use of genetic algorithms to forecast stock prices, a topic that was quite hot in econophysics circles a while ago. But it isn’t, so there you go.


Jeremy Osner 10.03.03 at 6:15 pm

Wh-what about abstract sex as a vehicle for trading viruses?


Rob 10.03.03 at 6:16 pm

Abstract Sex..

When two abstracts really love each other, and they have a lot of the same goals and interests, like being abstracts for similar papers with similar ideas, the abstracts hug is a very special way…


sidereal 10.03.03 at 7:17 pm

Wasn’t there some Friendster-clone wherein you could make sexual partner links for theoretical (I assume satirical) tracking of veneral diseases?


a different chris 10.03.03 at 10:54 pm

I have no idea of the possible content of the third paper, but I can comment “authoritatively” (if unnecessarily) on which will be the best-attended seminar.

Will I win anything?


JO'N 10.03.03 at 11:58 pm

I suppose abstract sex and viral trading is better than viral sex and abstract trading.


nnyhav 10.04.03 at 1:31 am


cowboy 10.04.03 at 2:25 am

No, you’re not thinking. You’re too busy being a smart alec to be thinking. Now I want you to think, and stop being a smart alec. Can you try that for me?


Jay Conner 10.04.03 at 6:15 am

Sex in the abstract is likely to be short, concise, dense and full of markers leading to more meaningful research, but sex in the concrete is bound to make a more lasting impression.


William O. Pate II 10.04.03 at 7:21 am


phil 10.04.03 at 11:18 pm


D.h 10.12.03 at 2:10 pm

Abstract sex could entail a degree of it being casual, in accord with the vein of cosmopolitanism that seems to be a preferential argument when detailing urban centers of the 21st century. Thus the concern is with viral trading and abstract sex, not abstract trading and viral sex. The performative and the performed are important to be distinguished yet fused, and it is in this synthesis that we find the dilemma that faces any cosmopolitanism: apathy.

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