Sunday, October 29, 2017

The Order of Madness

A strange polemic now rages at all the oblique angles and in every
margin of the indirect registers of social discourse, it is a struggle
with the idea of madness. No doubt this is my own subjective
misinterpretation of things, owing in part to my own clinical stigma
and its oppressions, but the truth remains that a stupid combat over
the idea of madness is now mounting in our general intellect.

Stupid, as in those who cannot interpret any reasonable order in
madness are stupid. Absent ability to reason with madness, or in being
irrational about madness, such stupidity is an act of oppression. Any
failure to interpret the order in madness is already a stigmatic act.

To stigmatize madness implicitly presupposes a suppression of its
reasonable order. All the various lies are built up around this
implicit censorship of the actual reason and order in madness.
Suppression and censorship of anything at all, even something
seemingly as incorporeal as speech, in turn implicitly presuppose a
real and corporeal violence, or its effective threat. To secure the
press which enables you to censor rational interpreters of madness the
collaboration of a police force is required. Imagine, without the
police to guard your press, a bunch of crazies might disrupt the
serenity of its editorial censoring out the truth of their lives!

An entire voodoo of stigma is disclosed in the following generic case
of a clinical diagnosis with madness: before the doctor’s papers to
commit him were signed the patient was not involuntarily and
indefinitely imprisoned in a mental hospital, after the doctor gave
his signature to these papers the patient was imprisoned in this
barbaric manner. Clinical and otherwise stigmatic discourses have
practical effects, all of which are related to organized violence. To
stigmatize madness, in addition to suppressing its rational character,
thus also entails an open act or effective threat of violence against
the mad.

If I have a particular enemy, I no longer call him a “faggot”, because
our struggle for sexual liberation has progressed to the point where
we now understand this word is not only a threat of violence against
the enemy but a form of indiscriminately oppressing all the sexually
oppressed. A similar logic applies to the certain oppressive names we
call the mad, but there is no proper and respectful name for madness
in the end. A far more important set of guidelines for regulating
discourse on the mad might be this:

1.      Never believe that madness is not rationally ordered, nor that
reason is immune to madness. To set Madness apart from Reason as its
enemy in war is a false contrary, or tactic of dividing and therein
ruling over the universal solidarity of all those who struggle against

2.       Madness is not inherently violent, it is violated. To divide the
mad from normal society and into their apartheid ghettoes requires the
myth of their being mortal enemies of anyone sane, or able to become
that way at any moment. The primary signifier of this enmity unto
death now probably being “irrationalism”, as in: that schizophrenic
who killed a politician was definitely “irrational” (meanwhile
soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan are our “heroes”). I’m not defending
any individual or otherwise terrorist activities on the part of the
mad, however, as I’d prefer us to organize in the ranks only of far
more universal and effective bodies of violence against all those far
more partial bodies and wills whose violence organizes for everyone a
life lived under constant threat of death. The names they curse us
with are different, but the death they summon against us is the same
for all.

3.      Madness is not a corporeal disability. There is nothing
scientifically localizable about our bodies which classify all of us
as mad. Madness is an incorporeal discourse of stigma which effects
the threat of death. Madness is punishment for bad behavior. If there
is anything that truly distinguishes every mad person from every sane
person, and therefore I exclude all those discriminatory and
oppressive differences between our institutional subjections and
everything following on them as worse than false, it is perhaps only
this: the mad can’t really behave as proper subjects of the capitalist
state. Interpreting the rational order of madness begins solidly with
this insight. It is also a warning as to the immediate limits that
will forever be met by struggles to reform the oppression of madness
within the state, which will never eradicate the essential
death-threat character of state violence against the mad nor the
organized institutional apartheid of the mad from the normal.

As you do unto the least of us, so do you unto me. Madness is not the
mortal enemy of reason or normalcy or whatever else is included in
that entire series of false oppositions; it is the mortal enemy of its
oppressors in the state and whatever other private enterprises
facilitate this oppression, along with all other oppressed minorities
past, present, and future. Madness does not reign, it has never
reigned, it probably cannot ever reign – pure madness being something
like a profound inability reign over anything, even the self. Madness
also has a just reason to be so disordered as a type of subjectivity:
it essentially tends to refuse any subjection over itself. The mad are
perhaps particularly insightful in this even, that they recognize even
their mode of subjective existence is an imposition and a lie. The
subjectivity of madness is not that of the privately individual
subject constituted through the death-inspired rituals of state as in
its governance of obligations in the marketplace. And so on, this is
already suggestive enough I think.

---Knowledge and Power

What is the reason for thinking? It facilitates mastery over nature,
including mastery over our species. Mastery is won, with thinking, but
not in thinking alone, in the struggle to death. All mortals are
slaves to death, which is the way of nature. We think about things we
are struggling to death with, in order to help master them. Thought is
a weapon and a tool. It is real and in the world. As voice and as
writing thoughts may leave from and arrive to the body. In this
passage to other bodies thought struggles to master them, as in
reading or hearing others struggle to master us. To ask "if any master
is a good master" is futile, because mastery cannot be good nor can it
be evil in its truest sense, and the words good and evil are weapons
and tools of master itself -- mastery explains the ethics of good and
evil in every instance, ethics cannot then think mastery in its truth.
To think of a thing is to threaten it with death. Dialogue is conflict
without any resolution except the death of the other. To be mastered
does not always means the death of our bodies. To be mastered in
censorship means the death of one's own thinking. Mastering often
preserves life in the promise of death to the thinking which
facilitates life. A promise of death is a future of death, and this
future death rules and organizes everything morals do. When mortals
promise death to another, in thinking or speaking or writing to them,
they assume the place of nature to the other, and become the law which
organizes their life entirely. I hasten to remark that these sharp
cuts between ideas are negotiated in a middling in the real. It is a
making peace in that it defers the death of the mastered into the
future, making it a law in the place of nature to order their being.
Peace is deferred death of the mastered that orders its being. Do not
suppose any mastery is complete except in complete death. I struggle
to master myself and my implements in this writing. Suicide is the
folly of total self-mastery. Death gives order to mortals, orders from
nature and from mortals. Death is a taking away of the mortal in their
mortality. In taking away it is a dispossession and an economics.
After being taking away from mortality there remains only immortality
in a being. There is no real giving or gift in death and mastery. To
give voice to another, because a part of mastery, is really to take
away the other's mastery. To represent in words is to take away
mastery. I master my audience with words that threaten their death,
but usually they are stronger it seems. To master with death is taking
away of the other's mastery, which is never given back -- only

To think of madness is to conquer it. I do not want a lot of thought
about madness therefore. Only enough to communicate a deferred death
to my audience that orders them not to think madness. My words act out
what they prohibit. I forget that madness has always been a part of
mastery. The mad threaten mastery itself with death. To master mastery
means the death of death. It means the death of thinking and speaking
and writing thus also. It is the suicide of self-mastery acted out on
the scale of being itself. The death of being as mastery means the
death of all beings, their being taken away. When being is taken away
then nothing is immortal.