Friday, January 25, 2013
In Radical Philosophy, Nina Power on Theory of the Young-Girl.
To imagine that Tiqqun are talking about ‘real’ young girls would be an ontic grotesquery, of course, as the Young-Girl is ‘obviously not a gendered concept’ and besides, the book is little more than ‘trash theory’. Tiqqun explain that every postwar consumerist subject, every ‘model citizen’, every bearer of power is the Young-Girl: ‘All the old figures of patriarchal authority, from statesmen to bosses and cops, have become Young-Girlified, every last one of them, even the Pope.’ And yet the book is precisely not called ‘Theory of the Wizened-Pope’. So what to make of the embrace of gendered rhetoric in the service of a theory of the ‘total war’ waged on the bodies of everyone? The political point is the claim that ‘the process of valorization, in the imperial phase, is no longer simply capitalist: IT COINCIDES WITH THE SOCIAL.’ Love has transformed from ‘Fordist seduc­tion, with its designated sites and moments, its static and proto-bourgeois couple-form, to post-Fordist seduction, diffuse, flexible, precarious and deritualized, which has extended the couple factory to the entire body and the whole of social time-space’. Tiqqun’s equation of the social with ‘youthitude’ and ‘feminitude’ is, however, oddly old-fashioned, harking back to stereotypes of women as fundamental bearers of sociability in the form of gossip: ‘Chatter, curiosity, equivocation, hearsay, the Young-Girl incarnates the fullness of improper existence, whose categories Heidegger identified.’ The Young-Girl is idle talk substantiated, inauthentic life made Queen: ‘Precisely because of her nothingness, each of her judgements carries the imperative weight of the entire sovereign order, and she knows it.’
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