Saturday, December 08, 2007

A Growl And A Howl - A Whine And A Cry?

The Enlightenment has finally gone underground and this blog lives up to its name. The Enlightenment did indeed try to cast off the self-inflicted immaturity of man and force him to become-human and use his reason simply because he (in Immanuel Kant's own words) had become-TOO-domesticated-animal,

The guardians who have kindly taken upon themselves the work of supervision will soon see to it that by far the largest part of mankind (including the entire fair sex) should consider the step forward to maturity not only as difficult but also as highly dangerous. Having first infatuated their domesticated animals, and carefully prevented the docile creatures from daring to take a single step without the leading-strings to which they are tied, they next show them the danger which threatens them if they try to walk unaided. Now this danger is not in fact so very great, for they would certainly learn to walk eventually after a few falls. But an example of this kind is intimidating, and usually frightens them off from further attempts.

Here Kant actually turns into an anti-humanist, meaning that the laws of human nature are the very laws of nature: animals behave like humans, thus privileging humans. This is what Deleuze and Guattari refer to in ATP in section 10 as Nature conceived as an enormous mimesis of human behavior. They oppose this by pointing out the fallacy of the structuralistic approach to nature, i.e. that it is internally organized and propagating on the basis of resemblances, through mimesis, like a gigantic metaphorical mechanism.

D&G argue instead that nature is unorganized and simply functions through becoming. And becoming is never imitating. Becoming-rat does not mean resembling a rat. It means functioning the way rats function, as part of the rat pack. Rats too pursue a becoming-rat. A becoming always deviates from the majority. When considering human becomings D&G argue there is no such thing as becoming-man,

because man is majoritarian par excellence, whereas becomings are minoritarian; all becoming is a becoming-minoritarian.

Since man is the primary standard, all becomings, even when they involve women, take off from the point of man. So D&G can write,

A woman has to become-woman, but in a becoming-woman of all man

So, referring back to both Kant and D&G, is becoming-animal = becoming-woman?

Does becoming-woman sound like a growl and a howl, and does man sound like a whine and a cry?

Is sexual maturity becoming-female-animal-man?


Anonymous Yusef said...

Hey Orla,

I am planning to post something either Sunday or Monday which cites the very DG concepts you've drawn on here.

I think we're machining a difference, though. And that's great.

9:00 PM  

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