Tag Archives: war

Notes and tangents from the class discussion of ‘The Body In Pain’

Scarry looks to the moments of extreme pain in torture and war in its most formal structures and thus allows the thought that through implication torture and war wouldn’t happen or would happen differently if this extreme pain were in fact commensurable – that one could not possibly destroy the body and world of another without feeling the same sensation visited upon their own. One’s politics should then lead in the direction that senses this incommensurability and creates an attenuated level plane of existence. Everyone should have the right to not feel.

One should be lead to ask what kind of process and context produces a sense of happiness that is the absence of intensity, where pain and intense pleasure certainly exist, but only when it is operative for the dominant relation. Perhaps, some of this lies in the world destroying potency of an “object-less” state.  We could think of this as a form of desubjectification, which is possible in moments where we become less and less concerned with “our world” and what we are, but instead with what our bodies experience. And that these moments of intensity contain within them a condition of openness. Being a male, a college student, a vegetarian, etc suddenly melts inside us, which then can either be recoded with new subjectivities or further widen a rift between our bodies and their predicates.

What organization of power persists in denying the conflict that is foundational to the relation of capitalism by relegating it to moments in which it is most extreme? On the contrary, absolute war exists between those who inhabit a world of utter dispossession of the means of making and unmaking worlds and the structures, people and worlds which by all means maintain and develop this hell. The prevention of this thought being elaborated appears to function as a way of neutralizing the capabilities of people by limiting them to the terms and terrains of the circulation of value. It is something done to us – something alien.

-Tout Niquer

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Filed under Elainne Scarry, pain, politics, sensation, sense