restricted access Conclusion: Of Mice and Multitudes
In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

Conclusion Of Mice and Multitudes The true situation is that there is not enough technics; it is still very rough. The reign of capital curbs and simplifies technics, whose possibilities [virtualitiés] are infinite. — a l a i n b a d i o u We have covered a lot of territory since the opening pages of this book. From the outset, we noted that technology is, above all, a set of relations. We then established, even more strikingly, that technology underpins the will to relations themselves (even if such a will is initiated for self-seeking purposes). Those discourses which support, mediate, and transmit ‘‘love’’ and ‘‘community’’ were then re-presented as technological forms—not in the instrumentalist sense of Technik, but rather in the spirit of techne and poiesis, as a mode of revealing or ‘‘bringing forth.’’ But the question remains: What exactly is brought forth by this triangular dialectic? Typically, the answer is another question, the question concerning technology itself—that is, the ongoing challenge to address political questions of sovereignty, power, autonomy, difference, and plurality through an ontological lens; to understand that the daily discourse of belonging is produced by an anthropological machine that constantly calculates who is human and who is not, what is of value and what is not, what matters and PAGE 198 198 ................. 16234$ CONL 10-19-06 10:43:33 PS Of Mice and Multitudes 199 what does not. As such, this machine seems programmed to negate the very possibility of people gathering under the blank flag of what Agamben calls ‘‘the coming community’’—a concept designed to confuse the functioning of this machine’s logic, rather than as a blueprint for yet another predoomed utopia. Our inquiry then focused on the privileged position of love within the assemblage and asked whether the sociohistorical ‘‘codification of intimacy’’ helps or hinders Agamben’s vision of an ‘‘inessential commonality.’’ The answer, predictably enough, is that it does both, depending on the context. For on the one hand, love locks us into an individualistic and egotistic mode, reiterating and reinforcing the dogma of neo-Christian liberal-humanism, with all its associated baggage (the same baggage we take with us to the analyst’s couch, the confession booth, the liquor cabinet, the medicine cabinet , the talk show circuit, the Self-Help section, the dessert trolley, the goat cheese diet, the StairMaster䉸 machine, and even Lover’s Leap). On the other hand, once freed into a more nuanced understanding of ‘‘essence’’ as outside the solitary confinement of the self, then the lover’s discourse has the potential to neutralize the severely compromised mantras of modernity. That is to say, Agamben’s notion of whateverbeing, or Nancy’s notion of being singular plural, illuminates the exit light from the current libidinal economy, whereby difference is measured in narcissistic units according to its distance from the quarantined, paranoid self—a self constantly under siege from external forces and abstract otherness. We have encountered many figures who could potentially qualify as constituents of the coming community, as noncitizens of an organless body politic. One of the ‘‘common’’ features paradoxically shared by these figures ‘‘who have nothing in common’’ is their refusal to identify themselves according to the overdetermined criteria of the state or the market (or indeed any interpellative force, such as the various demands of jealous lovers). And so, in these concluding pages, it would no doubt be both useful and appropriate to anticipate some of the criticisms that could be directed against both my argument and the changes in orientation that it necessitates. First of all, isn’t my target something of a straw man? Isn’t this so-called Cartesian-Hegelian-Kantian subject a special effect of those endless metacommentaries and secondary sources, which then use such a caricature for PAGE 199 ................. 16234$ CONL 10-19-06 10:43:33 PS 200 Love and Other Technologies their own propaganda? Well, quite simply, yes—and here I am no exception . But the very fact that this straw man stalks the psychosocial landscape of the West, like the scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz (who is, for all intents and purposes, quite brainless), makes my case no less valid. Plato, Descartes, Hegel, and Kant were, of course, never as straightforward or naı̈ve as their detractors depict; however, the simplification of their system continues to soak into the fabric of everyday life. And as a result, this straw man is remarkably resilient to...