War machines are dissolved in oil. The role of the oil pipeline is not military defense but life support. The pipeline provides oil as a strategic lube and a neutral vehicle of war machines with a mobile and diffusive effectivity. Oil reaches the crusading fronts through the pipeline. Once oil reaches its destination, the crusading war machines, whose first disposition is to be dynamic, will fuel up and assemble themselves with the oil and its derivatives. As the machines of the western enlightenment consume oil either by bruning the blob or fattening up on the blob, the smuggled war machines start to activate and are chemically unbound. The nervous system and the chemistry of war machines smuggled through oil infuse with the western machines feasting on oil unnotices, as petroleum has already dissolved or refinedly emulsifided them in itself, as its chemical elements or its essential derivatives (Islamic ideologies, ambitions, implicit policies, socio-religious entities and formations, etc.). Negarestani Reza, Cyclonopedia. Melbourne: Re-Press, 2010. P71
War machines take shape against the apparatuses that appropriate the machine and make war their affair and their object: they bring connections to bear against the great conjunction of the apparatuses of capture and domination.
– Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari: Nomadology: The War Machine
“We are all deep in a hell each moment of which is a miracle.” – Emile Cioran
Ours is a culture of the excrescence of death, a thanatopic pursuit not of profit but of total annihilation. The principle of deregulation inherent in global capitalism is inextinguishable from the total acceleration of a deterritorialized, systematic and efficient cannibalism, one that seeks to incorporate every last niche of biopower within a machinic phylum – a civilization of machinic and technocratic infestation from which there is no reprieve. The question is whether one accepts the truth of this and joins the comedy of destruction and implosion (helps it along, gives it a push), or whether one spends one’s time in the factories of oblivion, illusory worlds of decaying narratives of disorder and madness spinning out of control, reversions to outworn heresies of a bankrupt and decadent ethno-apocalypse by way of irony and fake solutions.
In a realm in which “reality no longer has the time to take on the appearance of reality” (Baudrillard), the fractalized mentations of delirium become our only guide through the deserts of our erotic inheritance. Like lover’s lost in a maze we listen to the ghost voices from the other ends of time, seeking in the closed chambers of this hollow world a valence it can no longer support. Victims of our own mythologies of the human we project our fears onto the machinic phylum we are becoming. Gamblers of a posthuman future we seek to preserve an identity we never held, a broken thought of a broken idealism: transhumanism is itself the problem it purports to escape.
Not only in sheer velocity, matter is beginning to mimic information in how it travels across the planet. The advent of the standardised shipping container (“the can”) redefines quantum packets of shipment like bytes. The continuous re-routing of traffic for ride-sharers by Uber mimics packet-switching data networks. The renting of homes by people on AirBnB has something akin to peer-to-peer botnets that have outgrown any chain of hotels. In some sense, information shows matter how to move and, in return, matter tells information where to go.
Not only do algorithmic traders want to be located near trading servers to shave off light-seconds, it has been suggested that “privatised particle accelerators would generate and encode neutrinos in order to bore a sub-molecular pathway through the earth — saving up to 44 milliseconds.” Elon Musk’s proposed three-dimensional, multilayered rhizome of tunnels under Los Angeles is a part of the same philosophy in which, as Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams put it, “The earth itself becomes an impediment, something to be hollowed out in order to facilitate the circulation of capital.”
From a historical-materialist analysis of globalisation at this point in time we would try to focus on the contradictions within capitalism, and the kind of potential for alternatives which come out from these contradictions. The purpose is not just to look at how capitalism unfolds at this point and time but also the kinds of resistance movements you will find and especially the kinds of resistance movements which go across different kinds of groups. Very often you will see resistance toward privatization, for example cooperation between trade unions and user groups. It’s interesting how with Standing Rock in the U.S., you have cooperation between indigenous people and other social movements. There are cracks in capitalism, and within these cracks you can see alternative developments and the focus on this potential for alternative developments that will become part of the historical-materialist analysis.