Nick Land on finance 1993

While I cannot get on board the embracing of Thanatos and the acceleration of the deterritorialization of capital, Nick Land’s comments—from 1993—are eerily prescient. And this is on the heels of a day where a trading glitch wrecked havoc in the spectre of numbers changing in the memory banks of corporate computers.

The obsolete psychological category of ‘greed’ privatizes and moralizes addiction, as if the profit-seeking tropism of a transnational capitalism propagating itself through epidemic consumerism were intelligible in terms of personal subjective traits. Wanting more is the index of interlock with cyberpositive machinic processes, and not the expression of private idiosyncrasy. What could be more impersonal — disinterested — than a haut bourgeois capital expansion servo-mechanism striving to double $10 billion? And even these creatures are disappearing into silicon viro-finance automatisms, where massively distributed and anonymized human ownership has become as vacuously nominal as democratic sovereignty (478).

This is because what appears to humanity as the history of capitalism is an invasion from the future by an artificial intelligent space that must assemble itself entirely from its enemy’s resources. Digitocommodification is the index of a cyberpositively escalating technovirus, of the planetary technocapital singularity: a self-organizing insidious traumatism, virtually guiding the entire biological desiring-complex towards post-carbon replicator usurpation.

The reality principle tends to a consummation as the price system:a convergence of mathematico-scientific and monetary quantization, ortechnical and economic implementability. This is not a matter of anunknown quantity, but of a quantity that operates as a place-holder for the unknown, introducing the future as an abstract magnitude. Capital propagates virally in so far as money communicates addiction, replicating itself through host organisms whose boundaries it breaches, and whose desires it reprograms. It incrementally virtualizes production; demetallizing money in the direction of credit finance, and disactualizing productive force along the scale of machinic intelligence quotient. The dehumanizing convergence of these tendencies zeroes upon an integrated and automatized cyberpositive techno-economic intelligence at war with the macropod (479).

Land, N. “Machinic desire”. Textural Practice, 1993, 7, 471-482


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