DGSF. Outline of Volume I

SpecMat was asked by more than one person to briefly delay our commencement of Deleuze’s Guidebook to Synthetic Finance; the common reason given was to be allowed to acquire a copy of DR, or in one case to finish a surfing trip. At any rate, Benjamin, who conducts this portion of the project, has been working through Edelman’s Topobiology, Winfree’s When Time Breaks Down, and Prigogine’s awesome work to better understand -not metaphorically mind you- but isomorphically the dynamics of symmetry breaking and singularities in systems whose rates of change are characterized by positive (viz. intensive) differences: for, the reasoning goes, if the progressive differentiation of synthetic finance does indeed signal that the virtual is increasingly getting refracted through itself and now dumped out into actuality, we should be reading more dynamical systems theory and topology (along with our technical sources on finance, of course) to better detect in our own object of analysis what is ordinary and what is singular. So he was ready to find something to allow him to stall, anyways. Whatever.

The purpose of this post is to notify those who are interested in reading Difference & Repetition as a book of heterodox political economy that we’ll be beginning shortly (see this and this if you would like some preparatory notes on what’s going-to-be-going on).

Here’s the outline of Volume I of Deleuze’s Guidebook. There will be six Volumes in total -one Volume for each Chapter of DR (yes, the book is that dense, yes our reading and exposition of it will be that close, and who knows how long it will take? -don’t worry though, because: (a) most of us will live long lives , and that makes me happy; and (b) I have been teaching a seminar on Deleuze and finance the past few years, so this isn’t so much an experiment as it is a refinement of its results through a repetition of experiment.). The wager of Difference & Repetition is, to put it crudely: we have no fucking idea what our economic institutions are actually capable of. There is a nomadic method of distribution available. It abides with the monstrous power of the synthetic.

Our order of procession will be as follows.

Volume I. Introduction: Repetition and Difference

Part One. Introduction to Two Symmetries & their Orders of Exchange

§ the political-economic context of Deleuze’s concern with the concepts of difference and repetition: an ontology of synthetic capital; towards a theory of value (overview of Introduction)

§ the order of generality and the order of repetition: a difference in kind; introduction to the value-form (pg.1)

§ 1st contrast of generality and repetition –from the perspective of law; flat space equivalence classes; introduction to classical symmetry, which is conservative, and synthetic symmetry, which is transgressive; introduction to a critique of representation (pg.2-5)

§ 2nd contrast of generality and repetition –from the perspective of conduct; Kierkegaard and Nietzsche: two philosophers of repetition (pg.5-11)


Part Two. Introduction to Three Registers of Value

§ recap of 2 contrasts between repetition and generality: conduct & law; synopsis of 3rd contrast: concepts, or representation (pg. 11)

§ introduction to the Deleuzian registers and their epistemological correlates: actuality –infinite comprehension, potentiality –finite comprehension, and virtuality –indefinite comprehension (pg. 11)

§ the register of actuality: artificial blockages; introduction to the four group-theoretic principles; examples from finance (pg. 11-12)

§ the register of potentiality: natural blockages: introduction to discrete extension, probability distribution; examples from finance; alienation and repression as two other cases of natural blockage; examples from finance (pg. 12-15)

§ the register of virtuality; virtual blockages; introduction to multiplicities; examples from finance (pg. 15-19)


Part Three. Introduction to the Ontological Properties of the Synthetic

§ the space of repetition; markets as multiplicities, note on Riemannian manifolds (pg. 19-23)

§ two kinds of repetition; their consequences for the value form (pg. 23-24)

§ repetition as the essence of generality; the synthetic as the essence of the value form (pg. 25-27)

You are welcome to ask questions or post comments. And please, by all means, do feel free to read along.

4 thoughts on “DGSF. Outline of Volume I”

  1. hello there!
    I have a couple thoughts:
    1- I have a new improved version of this book image, which means that I finally (!) slayed the reading. A friend ran across this – and forwarded me the link. Funny, and curious to see my image online on another blog…
    2- I have recently read 2 different accounts that discusses Deleuze’s astute reading of finance, particularly in relation to Foucault’s failure to address the role finance/money has in his discussion of neoliberalism in the Birth of Biopolitics. It just bridges nicely with what y’all are up to…

    regardless, I would be interested in following along in this project- and will also say: Spinoza may end up being really helpful with wading through DR. At least I found it illuminating, but it is really one of the densest books out there.

    1. (1) Thanks for the image, Cheryl. I liked that the copy of DR looked like the first two chapters had been well-read; I know as well as anyone from experience that by the time we get 20 pages into the Image of Thought things can get a bit tailspinny: we will of course, be reading the entire text as heterodox political economy; feel free to weigh in on any passages as they arise. (2) I’m interested to know which sources that you’re reading are thinking Deleuze and finance together?
      Glad to know you’re joining us.

  2. I recently read an article by Lazzarato “Neoliberalism in Action”. I can’t remember the other article that recently said the same thing, but it might be that they were citing Lazzarato.

    Looking forward to following along- and especially interested in your approach.

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