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Bataille 1NC
Transportation infrastructure makes life devoid of death this strategy is ultimately responsible for our
repression of our transgressive use of excess
Merle 09 (Julien Merle, Faculty of Architecture, Delft University of Technology, Batailles Writings: (Un-)framing the
transgression of architectures limits, 2009, Edinburgh Architecture Research, http://ace.caad.ed.ac.uk/ear2009/upload/pdfs/015Merlex.pdf)
For Bataille, architecture is not only there presentation of the ideal social norm but also an instrument to dictate good social
behaviour. Architecture is perhaps a discipline with definite boundaries but it has also a more practical aim: precisely, to
define the boundaries of society, to represent its ideal norm. Bataille isnt the first to connect the human form with
architecture. Vitruvius did so, when he discovered the proportions of contemporary types of humanity in the different orders
of Greek architecture. But Vitruvius (as well as most of classical architects after him), used the metaphor to give life to the
stone. Bataille uses the analogy to demonstrate the reverse, a petrifaction of the living flesh that is reduced to a mere
structure or a proportioned skeleton. Architecture is seen as the final stage of a natural progression leading from the ape to
the ideal man and finally finding completion with the monument. But all that disappears with the passage from man to
monument is what is perishable: the flesh that rots through time. And all that remains is the skeleton, the structure.
Architecture preserves of man only what death has no hold on. This Hegelian-dialectical move, that is to face consciously
death and to supersede it, by becoming what death cannot impact, by killing the mortal animal within man, by transforming
man into pure spirit, is what Bataille would criticize all his life. Man reproduces himself as ideal, as immortal, as pure
spirit, by killing the mortal-animal that he is, through the mirror-trap that architecture holds out to him. Man is confined,
conformed and limited within his ideal, non animal reflection. Finally, Bataille concludes this rather short entry on
architecture by identifying the consequences and possibilities of an onslaught on architecture and its limitative or normative
process: And if one attacks architecture, whose monumental productions are at present the real masters of the world,
grouping servile multitudes in their shadows, imposing admiration and astonishment, order and constraint, one is, as it
were, attacking man.3 With this passage, Bataille formulates the battle plan of his project and the aim of his thought: the
ideal man and its adjunct set of norms and hierarchies directly inherited from the Enlightenments discourse, can be
overturned and transgressed through the attack of its representation: architecture. However, Batailles criticism of idealism
is not limited to the representative or reflective function of architecture. He also investigated the question of materiality. In
the third issue of Document, he wrote: The time has come, when employing the word materialism, to assign to it the
meaning of a direct interpretation, excluding all idealism, of raw phenomena, and not of a system founded on the
fragmentary elements of an ideological analysis elaborated under the sign of religious ties.4 Bataille restlessly opposed the
classical conception of philosophical materialism that was for him nothing but idealism in disguise. He sought to vanquish
the ontologizing of matter, which is what he believed materialist thinkers did. Most materialists, despite wanting to
eliminate all spiritual entities, ended up describing an order of things whose hierarchical relations mark it as specifically
idealist. They have situated dead matter at the summit of a conventional hierarchy of diverse types of facts, without
realizing that in this way they have submitted to an obsession with an ideal form of matter, with a form which approaches
closer than any other to that which matter should be. 5 This should be, for Bataille, is a form of homogeneous
appropriation: it presupposes the existence of a standard or a normative frame; a frame rejecting outside of itself its most
heterogeneous content. Applied to architecture, this leads to the questions of the true use of materials and the purity of
construction, means that are so dear to numerous classical and modern architects. Thus, materialism is also a form of
ordering, setting up limits and hierarchies; often a subject of discussion but most of the time an authoritarian boundary for
architectural practices, marking the territory between what is a proper or true architecture and what should simply be
discarded as such. The question of the temporal and the decay in architecture, or of its economy, is also tackled by Bataille.
He saw within the mirroring of the ideal man in architecture a form of repetition; a repetition allowing architecture to
extend its domination this time on the field of the temporal and the economic. Man is asked to recognize himself in
architecture, and then in its turn architecture reflects what the ideal man is. Doing as such architecture constantly
reproduces itself, through man and within itself. And reproduction is the way out of the process of entropy which is,
through time, threatening every system and being. Architecture tries to stand outside of time, Batailles Writings refusing
decay and somehow its own death, by embodying the concept of harmony. Harmony, like the project, refuses the notion of
time: its principle is the repetition through which everything becomes eternal. The ideal is architecture, or sculpture,

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immobilizing the harmony, guaranteeing the duration of motivations of which essence is the annihilation of time.
Architecture, on those questions of the temporal, decay and economy, is seen as a self-securing investment whose benefits
are literally eternal. Architecture cant show signs of tiredness or crumbliness (only badly conceived architecture can, and
the blame is always put on the architect). It has to mirror mans overcoming of death, eternally. Architecture should sustain
time, annihilate decay, represent harmony and finally stand outside of economy as the symbol of it, its general equivalent.
And everything that does not comply with the architectural will (but which is nevertheless constantly appearing on the
surface of architecture) should be rejected on the other side of the boundary (set up by the architectural authority), as
nonarchitecture, as an entropic failure, as disharmonious, as an economic loss.

The opposition to our transgressive use of excess results in devastating accumulation and denies life
meaning
Stoekl 07 (Alan, professor of French and comparative literature at Penn State University, Batailles Peak: Energy, Religion and
Postsustainability, 2007, p.44-46)
Bataille does, then, implicitly face the question of carrying capacity. Perhaps the ultimate example of this is nuclear war.
The modern economy, according to Bataille, does not recognize the possibility of excess and therefore limits; the
Protestant, and then the Marxist, ideal is to reinvest all excess back into the productive process, always augmenting output
in this way. Utility in this model ends up being perfectly impractical: only so much output can be reabsorbed into the
ever-more-efficient productive process. As in the case with Tibet, ultimately the excess will have to be burned off. This can
happen either peacefully, through various postcapitalist mechanisms that Bataille recommends, such as the Marshall Plan,
which will shift growth to other parts of the world, or violently and apocalyptically through the ultimate in war: nuclear
holocaust. One can see that, in the end, the world itself will be en vase clos, fully developed, with no place for the excess to
go. The bad alternativenuclear holocaustwill result in the ultimate reduction in carrying capacity: a burned-out,
depopulated earth. Humanity is, at the same time, through industry, which uses energy for the development of the forces of
production, both a multiple opening of the possibilities of growth, and the infinite faculty for burnoff in pure loss (facilite
infinie de consumation en pure perte]. (OC. 7: 170; AS, 181) Modern war is first of all a renunciation: one produces and
amasses wealth in order to overcome a foe. War is an adjunct to economic expansion; it is a practical use of excessive
forces. And this perhaps is the ultimate danger of the present-day (1949) buildup of nuclear arms: armament, seemingly a
practical way of defending ones own country or spreading ones own values, in other words, of growing, ultimately leads
to the risk of a pure destruction of excessand even of carrying capacity In the case of warfare, destructiveness is
masked, made unrecognizable, by the appearance of an ultimate utility: in this case the spread of the American economy
and the American way of life around the globe. Paradoxically, there is a kind of self-consciousness concerning excess, in
the nave societywhich recognizes expenditure for what it is (in the form of unproductive glory in primitive warfare)
and a thorough ignorance of it in the modem one, which would always attempt to put waste to work (useful armaments)
even at the cost of wholesale destruction. Bataille, then, like Le Blanc, can be characterized as a thinker of society who
situates his theory in the context of ecological limits. From Batailles perspective, however, there is always too much rather
than too little, given the existence of ecological (natural) and social (cultural) limits. The end of humankind, its
ultimate goal, is thus the destruction of this surplus. While Le Blanc stresses war and sacrifice as a means of obtaining or
maintaining what is essential to bare human (personal, social) survival, Bataille emphasizes the maintenance of limits and
survival as mere preconditions for engaging in the glorious destruction of excess. The meaning of the limit and its
affirmation is inseparable from the senselessness of its transgression in expenditure (la dpense). By seeing warfare as a
mere (group) survival mechanism, Le Blanc makes the same mistake as that made by the supporters of a nuclear buildup;
he, like they, sees warfare as practical, serving a purpose, and not as the sheer burn-off it really is. If, however, our most
fundamental gesture is the destruction of a surplus, the production of that surplus must be seen as subsidiary. Once we
recognize that everything cannot be saved and reinvested, the ultimate end (and most crucial problem) of our existence
becomes the disposal of excess wealth (concentrated, nonusable energy). All other activity leads to something else, is a
means to some other end; the only end that leads nowhere is the act of destruction by which we mayor may notassure
our (personal) survival (there is nothing to guarantee that radical destructionconsumationdoes not turn on its author).
We work in order to spend. We strive to produce sacred (charged) things, not practical things. Survival and reproduction
alone are not the ultimate ends of human existence. We could characterize Bataille for this reason as a thinker of ecology
who nevertheless emphasizes the primacy of an ecstatic social act (destruct ion). By characterizing survival as a means not
an end (the most fundamental idea in general economy), expenditure for Bataille becomes a limitless, insubordinate act
a real end (that which does not lead outside itself). I follow Bataille in this primacy of the delirium of expenditure over the
simple exigency of personal or even social survival (Le Blanc). This does not preclude, however, a kind of ethical

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aftereffect of Batailles expenditure: survival for this reason can be read as the fundamentally unintentional consequence of
expenditure rather than its purpose. Seeing a nuclear buildup as the wrong kind of expenditurebecause it is seen as a
means not an endcan lead, in Batailles view, to a rethinking of the role of expenditure in the modern world and hence,
perhaps, the worlds (but not modernitys) survival.

The Alternative is to sacrifice the 1AC


Sacrificing the 1AC reconfigures our relationship with excess and death YOLO
Razinsky 09 (Liran Razinsky, Post-doctoral researcher at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Previously he was at NYU, He
works in French and Comparative Literature and in psychoanalytic theory, How to Look Death in the Eyes: Freud and Bataille,
Issue 119 (Volume 38), Number 2, 2009, Project Muse)_
Thus we see that the stakes are high. What is at stake is the attempt of the subject to grasp itself in totality. This attempt
necessitates bringing death into the account, but death itself hampers this very attempt. One never dies in the first person.
Returning to Bataille, why does he believe sacrifice to be a solution to Hegels fundamental paradox? For him, it answers
the requirements of the human, for Man meets death face to face in the sacrifice, he sojourns with it, and yet, at the same
time, he preserves his life. In sacrifice, says Bataille, man destroys the animal within him and establishes his human truth
as a being unto death (he uses Heideggers term). Sacrifice provides a clear manifestation of mans fundamental
negativity, in the form of death (Bataille, Hegel 335-36; 286). The sacrificer both destroys and survives. Moreover, in
the sacrifice, death is approached voluntarily by Man. In this way the paradox is overcome, and yet remains open. We can
approach death and yet remain alive, but, one might ask, is it really death that we encountered, or did we merely fabricate
a simulacrum? Bataille insists elsewhere, however, that sacrifice is not a simulacrum, not a mere subterfuge. In the
sacrificial ritual, a real impression of horror is cast upon the spectators. Sacrifice burns like a sun, spreading radiation our
eyes can hardly bear, and calls for the negation of individuals as such (The Festival 313; 215). We did not fool death; we
are burned in its fire. Batailles idea of the sacrifice also addresses Freuds paradox. It might be impossible to imagine our
own death directly, but it is possible to imagine it with the aid of some mediator, to meet death through an others death.
Yet on some level this others death must be our own as well for it to be effective, and indeed this is the case, says Bataille.
He stresses the element of identification: In the sacrifice, the sacrificer identifies himself with the animal that is struck
down dead. And so he dies in seeing himself die (Hegel 336; 287). There is no sacrifice, writes Denis Hollier, unless
the one performing it identifies, in the end, with the victim (166). Thus it is through identification, through otherness that
is partly sameness, that a solution is achieved. If it were us, we would die in the act. If it were a complete other, it would
not, in any way, be our death. Also noteworthy is Batailles stress on the involvement of sight: and so he dies in seeing
himself die (Hegel 336; 287), which brings him close to Freuds view of the nature of the problem, for Freud insists on
the visual, recasting the problem as one of spectatorship, imagining, perceiving. Batailles description recapitulates that of
Freud, but renders it positive. Yes, we remain as a spectator, but it is essential that we do so. Without it, we cannot be said
to have met death. Significantly, meeting death is a need, not uncalled-for. We must meet death, and we must remain as
spectators. Thus it is through identification and through visual participation in the dying that a solution is achieved,
accompanied by the critical revaluation of values, which renders the meeting with death crucial for humanness. Note
that both possibilities of meeting deathin the sacrificial-ritual we have just explored, and in theatre or art, to which we
now turnare social. Thus Freuds text, although it insists on the irrepresentability of death, actually offers,
unintentionally perhaps, a possible way out of the paradox through turning to the other. Death perhaps cannot be looked at
directly, but it can be grasped sideways, indirectly, vicariously through a mirror, to use Perseuss ancient trick against
Medusa. The introduction of the other, both similar to and different from oneself, into the equation of death helps break
out of the Cartesian circle with both its incontestable truth and its solipsism and affirmation of oneself. The safety that
theater provides, of essentially knowing that we will remain alive, emerges as a kind of requirement for our ability to really
identify with the other. In that, it paradoxically enables us to really get a taste of death. Bataille radicalizes that possibility.
Although Freud deems the estrangement of death from psychic life a problem, as we have seen and shall see, theater is not
a solution for him. With Bataille however, theater emerges as a much more compelling alternative. Again, it is a matter of
a delicate nuance, but a nuance that makes all the difference. The idea common to both authorsthat we can meet death
through the other and yet remain aliveis ambiguous. One can lay stress on that encounter or on the fact of remaining
alive. 11 Freud SubStance #119, Vol. 38, no. 2, 2009 75 Looking Death in the Eyes: Freud and Bataille tends to opt for
the second possibility, but his text can also be read as supporting the first. The benefit in bringing Freud and Bataille
together is that it invites us to that second reading. An Encounter with Death Death in Freud is often the death of the
other. Both the fear of death and the death wish are often focused on the other as their object. But almost always it is as

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though through the discussion of the other Freud were trying to keep death at bay. But along with Bataille, we can take
this other more seriously. Imagining our own death might be impossible, yet we can still get a glimpse of death when it is
an other that dies. In one passage in his text, the death of the other seems more explicitly a crucial point for Freud as well
one passage where death does not seem so distant. Freud comments on the attitude of primeval Man to death, as
described abovenamely that he wishes it in others but ignores it in himself. But there was for him one case in which the
two opposite attitudes towards death collided, he continues. It occurred when primeval man saw someone who belonged
to him diehis wife, his child, his friend []. Then, in his pain, he was forced to learn that one can die, too, oneself, and
his whole being revolted against the admission. (Thoughts 293) Freud goes on to explain that the loved one was at once
part of himself, and a stranger whose death pleased primeval man. It is from this point, Freud continues, that philosophy,
psychology and religion sprang. 12 I have described elsewhere (Razinsky, A Struggle) how Freuds reluctance to
admit the importance of death quickly undermines this juncture of the existential encounter with death by focusing on the
emotional ambivalence of primeval man rather than on death itself. However, the description is there and is very telling.
Primeval man witnessed death, and his whole being revolted against the admission. Man could no longer keep death at
a distance, for he had tasted it in his pain about the dead (Freud, Thoughts 294). Once again, it is through the death of
the other that man comes to grasp death. Once again, we have that special admixture of the other being both an other and
oneself that facilitates the encounter with death. Something of myself must be in the other in order for me to see his death
as relevant to myself. Yet his or her otherness, which means my reassurance of my survival, is no less crucial, for if it were
not present, there would be no acknowledgement of death, ones own death always being, says Freud, ones blind spot.
13
Liran Razinsky SubStance #119, Vol. 38, no. 2, 2009 76 I mentioned before Heideggers grappling with a
problem similar to Batailles paradox. It is part of Heideggers claim, which he shares with Freud, that ones death is
unimaginable. In a famous section Heidegger mentions the possibility of coming to grasp death through the death of the
other but dismisses it, essentially since the other in that case would retain its otherness: the others death is necessarily the
others and not mine (47:221-24). Thus we return to the problem we started withthat of the necessary subject-object
duality in the process of the representation of death. Watching the dead object will no more satisfy me than imagining
myself as an object, for the radical difference of both from me as a subject will remain intact. But the possibility that
seems to emerge from the discussion of Freud and Bataille is that in-between position of the person both close and distant,
both self and other, which renders true apprehension of death possible, through real identification. 14 As Bataille says,
regarding the Irish Wake custom where the relatives drink and dance before the body of the deceased: It is the death of an
other, but in such instances, the death of the other is always the image of ones own death (Hegel 341; 291). Bataille
speaks of the dissolution of the subject-object boundaries in sacrifice, of the fusion of beings in these moments of
intensity (The Festival 307-11; 210-13; La Littrature 215; 70). Possibly, that is what happens to primeval man when the
loved one dies and why his whole being is affected. He himself is no longer sure of his identity. Before, it was clear
there is the other, the object, whom one wants dead, and there is oneself, a subject. The show and the spectators. Possibly
what man realized before the cadaver of his loved one was that he himself is also an object, taking part in the world of
objects, and not only a subject. When he understood this, it seems to me, he understood death. For in a sense a subject
subjectively never dies. Psychologically nothing limits him, 15 while an object implies limited existence: limited by
other objects that interact with it, limited in space, limited in being the thought-content of someone else. Moreover,
primeval man understood that he is the same for other subjects as other subjects are for himthat is, they can wish him
dead or, which is pretty much the same, be indifferent to his existence. The encounter made primeval man step out of the
psychological position of a center, transparent to itself, and understand that he is not only a spirit but also a thing, an
object, not only a spectator; this is what really shakes him. 16 The Highest Stake in the Game of Living Thus far we have
mainly discussed our first two questions: the limitation in imagining death and the possible solution through a
form SubStance #119, Vol. 38, no. 2, 2009 77 Looking Death in the Eyes: Freud and Bataille of praxis, in either a
channeled, ritualized or a spontaneous encounter with the death of an other, overcoming the paradox of the impossibility
of representation by involving oneself through deep identification. We shall now turn to our third question, of the value of
integrating death into our thoughts. We have seen that Batailles perspective continuously brings up the issue of the value
of approaching death. The questions of whether we can grasp death and, if we can, how, are not merely abstract or neutral
ones. The encounter with death, that we now see is possible, seems more and more to emerge as possessing a positive
value, indeed as fundamental. What we shall now examine is Freuds attempt to address that positive aspect directly, an
attempt that betrays, however, a deep ambivalence. As mentioned, Freuds text is very confused, due to true hesitation
between worldviews (see Razinsky, A Struggle). One manifestation of this confusion is Freuds position regarding this
cultural-conventional attitude: on the one hand he condemns it, yet on the other hand he accepts it as natural and
inevitable. For him, it results to some extent from deaths exclusion from unconscious thought (Thoughts 289, 296-97).
Death cannot be represented and is therefore destined to remain foreign to our life. 17 But then Freud suddenly

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recognizes an opposite necessity: not to reject death but to insert it into life. Not to distance ourselves from it, but to
familiarize ourselves with it: But this attitude [the cultural-conventional one] of ours towards death has a powerful effect
on our lives. Life is impoverished, it loses in interest, when the highest stake in the game of living, life itself, may not be
risked. It becomes as shallow and empty as, let us say, an American flirtation, in which it is understood from the first that
nothing is to happen, as contrasted with a Continental love-affair in which both partners must constantly bear its serious
consequences in mind. Our emotional ties, the unbearable intensity of our grief, make us disinclined to court danger for
ourselves and for those who belong to us. We dare not contemplate a great many undertakings which are dangerous but in
fact indispensable, such as attempts at artificial flight, expeditions to distant countries or experiments with explosive
substances. We are paralyzed by the thought of who is to take the sons place with his mother, the husbands with his wife,
the fathers with his children, if a disaster should occur. Thus the tendency to exclude death from our calculations in life
brings in its train many other renunciations and exclusions. Yet the motto of the Hanseatic League ran: Navigare necesse
est, vivere non necesse. (It is necessary to sail the seas, it is not necessary to live.) (Thoughts 290-91) Readers
unfamiliar with Freuds paper are probably shaking their heads in disbelief. Is it Freud who utters these words? Indeed, the
oddity of this citation cannot be over-estimated. It seems not to belong to Freuds
Liran Razinsky SubStance #119,
Vol. 38, no. 2, 2009 78 thought. One can hardly find any other places where he speaks of such an intensification of life
and fascination with death, and praises uncompromising risk-taking and the neglect of realistic considerations. In addition
to being unusual, the passage itself is somewhat unclear. 18 The examplesnot experimenting with explosive substances
seem irrelevant and unconvincing. The meaning seems to slide. It is not quite clear if the problem is that we do not
bring death into our calculations, as the beginning seems to imply, or that, rather, we actually bring it into our calculations
too much, as is suggested at the end But what I wish to stress here is that the passage actually opposes what Freud says in
the preceding passages, where he describes the cultural-conventional attitude and speaks of our inability to make death
part of our thoughts. In both the current passage and later passages he advocates including death in life, but insists,
elsewhere in the text, that embracing death is impossible. In a way, he is telling us that we cannot accept the situation
where death is constantly evaded. Here again Bataille can be useful in rendering Freuds position more intelligible. He
seems to articulate better than Freud the delicate balance, concerning the place of death in psychic life, between the need
to walk on the edge, and the flight into normalcy and safety. As I asserted above, where in Freud there are contradictory
elements, in Bataille there is a dialectic. Bataille, as we have seen, presents the following picture: It might be that, guided
by our instincts, we tend to avoid death. But we also seem to have a need to intersperse this flight with occasional peeps
into the domain of death. When we invest all of our effort in surviving, something of the true nature of life evades us. It is
only when the finite human being goes beyond the limitations necessary for his preservation, that he asserts the nature
of his being (La Littrature 214; 68). The approaches of both Bataille and Freud are descriptive as well as normative.
Bataille describes a tendency to distance ourselves from death and a tendency to get close to it. But he also describes
Mans need to approach death from a normative point of view, in order to establish his humanity: a life that is only fleeing
death has less value. Freud carefully describes our tendency to evade death and, in the paragraph under discussion, calls
for the contrary approach. This is stressed at the end of the article, where he encourages us to give death the place in
reality and in our thoughts which is its due (Thoughts 299). Paradoxically, it might be what will make life more
tolerable for us once again (299). But since Freud also insists not only on a tendency within us to evade death, but also on
the impossibility of doing otherwise, and on how death simply cannot be the content of our thought, his sayings in favor of
bringing death close are confusing and confused. Freud does not give us a reason for the need to approach death. He says
that life loses in interest, but surely this cannot be the result of abstaining from carrying out experiments with explosive
substances. In addition, his ideas on the shallowness of a life without death do not seem to evolve from anything in his
approach. It is along the lines offered by Batailles worldview that I wish to interpret them here. Sacrifice, Bataille says,
brings together life in its fullness and the annihilation of life. We are not mere spectators in the sacrificial ritual. Our
participation is much more involved. Sacrificial ritual creates a temporary, exceptionally heightened state of living. The
sacred horror, he calls the emotion experienced in sacrifice: the richest and most agonizing experience. It opens itself,
like a theater curtain, on to a realm beyond this world and every limited meaning is transfigured in it (Hegel 338; 288).
Bataille lays stress on vitality. Death is not humanizing only on the philosophical level, as it is for Hegel or Kojve.
Bataille gives it an emotional twist. The presence of death, which he interprets in a more earthly manner, is stimulating,
vivifying, intense. Death and other related elements (violence) bring life closer to a state where individuality melts, the
mediation of the intellect between us and the world lessens, and life is felt at its fullest. Bataille calls this state, or aspect of
the world, immanence or intimacy: immanence between man and the world, between the subject and the object (The
Festival 307-311; 210-213). Moments of intensity are moments of excess and of fusion of beings (La Littrature 215;
70). They are a demand of life itself, even though they sometimes seem to contradict it. Death is problematic for us, but it
opens up for us something in life. This line of thought seems to accord very well with the passage in Freuds text with

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which we are dealing here, and to extend it. Life without death is life lacking in intensity, an impoverished, shallow and
empty life. Moreover, the repression of death is generalized and extended: the tendency to exclude death from our
calculations in life brings in its train many other renunciations and exclusions. Freud simply does not seem to have the
conceptual tools to discuss these ideas. The intuition is even stronger in the passage that follows, where Freud discusses
war (note that the paper is written in 1915): When war breaks out, he says, this cowardly, conservative, risk-rejecting
attitude is broken at once. War eliminates this conventional attitude to death. Death could no longer be
Liran
Razinsky SubStance #119, Vol. 38, no. 2, 2009 80 denied. We are forced to believe in it. People really die. . . . Life has,
indeed, become interesting again; it has recovered its full content (Thoughts 291). Thus what is needed is more than the
mere accounting of consequences, taking death into consideration as a future possibility. What is needed is exposure to
death, a sanguineous imprinting of death directly on our minds, through the accumulation of deaths of others. Life can
only become vivid, fresh, and interesting when death is witnessed directly. Both authors speak of a valorization of death,
and in both there is a certain snobbery around it. While the masses follow the natural human tendency to avoid death, like
the American couple or those who are busy with the thought of who is to take our place, the individualists do not go
with the herd, and by allowing themselves to approach death, achieve a fuller sense of life, neither shallow nor empty. 19
Yet again, Freuds claims hover in the air, lacking any theoretical background. Bataille supplies us with such background.
He contests, as we have seen, the sole focus on survival. Survival, he tells us, has a price. It limits our life. As if there were
an inherent tension between preserving life and living it. Freud poses the same tension here. Either we are totally absorbed
by the wish to survive, to keep life intact, and therefore limit our existence to the bare minimum, or else we are willing to
risk it to some extent in order to make it more interesting, more vital and valuable. Our usual world, according to Bataille,
is characterized by the duration of things, by the future function, rather than by the present. Things are constituted as
separate objects in view of future time. This is one reason for the threat of death: it ruins value where value is only assured
through duration. It also exposes the intimate order of life that is continuously hidden from us in the order of things where
life runs its normal course. Man is afraid of death as soon as he enters the system of projects that is the order of things
(The Festival 312; 214). Sacrifice is the opposite of production and accumulation. Death is not so much a negation of
life, as it is an affirmation of the intimate order of life, which is opposed to the normal order of things and is therefore
rejected. The power of death signifies that this real world can only have a neutral image of life []. Death reveals life in
its plenitude (309; 212). Batailles neutral image of life is the equivalent of Freuds shallow and empty life. What
Freud denounces is a life trapped within the cowardly economical system of considerations. It is precisely the economy of
value and future-oriented calculations that stand in opposition to the insertion of death into life. Who is to take the sons
place with his mother, the husbands with his wife, the fathers with his children. Of course there is an emotional side to
the story, but it is this insistence on replacement that leaves us on the side of survival and stops us sometimes from living
the present. The need for duration, in the words of Bataille, conceals life from us (The Festival 309; 212). For both
authors, when death is left out, life as it is is false and superficial. Another Look at Speculation Both authors, then,
maintain that if elements associated with death invade our life anyway, we might as well succumb and give them an
ordered place in our thoughts. The necessity to meet death is not due to the fact that we do not have a choice. Rather,
familiarization with death is necessary if life is to have its full value, and is part of what makes us human. But the tension
between the tendenciesto flee death or to embrace itis not easily resolved, and the evasive tendency always tries to
assert itself. As seen above, Bataille maintains that in sacrifice, we are exposed through death to other dimensions of life.
But the exposure, he adds, is limited, for next comes another phase, performed post-hoc, after the event: the ensuing
horror and the intensity are too high to maintain, and must be countered. Bataille speaks of the justifications of the sacrifice
given by cultures, which inscribe it in the general order of things.

Link Automobility
Automobility trap us in an iron bubble that prevent us from experiencing the excessive forces of life
Stoekl 07 (Alan Stoekl, professor of French and comparative literature at Penn State University, Batailles Peak: Energy, Religion
and Postsustainability, 2007, p.183-185)
In high-speed travel we lose the sensorial experience of movement: instead there is the merely visual passage of the
surroundings, the projection of a film onto a big screen (116). Moreover, the movement of this landscape freezes,
disappears in the distance of altitude. The car is the device par excellence that is capable of reproducing a subjectivity
bound in the pure vision of the now. Speed is the revelation of an unchanging presence, an object presented to a subjectivity
that, encased in metal, becomes an object to other subjectivities. The timelessness of this mechanically reproduced subject
is the fulfillment of the promise of the obelisk: it is the signification of the ultimate fulfillment of a godhead, a pure

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meaning, not as elevated divinity but as mechanically reproduced identity, sheer indifference. The automobilethe selfmovement of technologybecomes, by metonymy, the empty signifier at the summit of fossil fueled modernity. It is speed,
the mastering of time, the empty and necessary eternitycomfort of the encased, packaged, identically emptied and
reproduced subjectivity. Reality is an always but never changing image on the (wind)screen: the obelisk glanced at,
indifferently. Everything is mediated through the automobile, everything translates into everything else, but the car itself is
empty, the excess that in itself means nothing other than an empty now and an empty space from which there is an empty
never/ever changing vision of space. And then the car, opened out by the death of God, falls, and Man (freedom) falls
with it. As the ultimate common denominator, the car brings together, in the isolation of vapid subjectivity, social classes
and identities. All are one on the freeway, mixing while not mixing, moving around the empty circuit of gutted urban space.
All is mediated through the automobile: everyone derives the meaning of their lives through it: as a status marker, as a
simulacrum of the freedom of movement and consumption (David Brookss utopia), as the timelessness of a religion shared
by all. Virtually everyone in American society works as hard as they do to pay for their cars: it is their major investment, the
acquisition that justifies and represents human labor (drive to work, work to drive). And, as common denominator, it is
the transcendence of labor, of meaning: sitting in traffic jams, the driver does nothing, just sits, and in this way lavishly
neutralizes the labor devoted to purchasing the vehicle. Finally, pure space leads to a triumph not only over time but over
the body, and bodies as well. In the car we do not need a body, we have no thought for its energy flows and expenditures.
Cursed flesh is miraculously transformed into an idea. The bodys energy is stored as immense amounts of fat, it can barely
move on its own, barely breathe; fewer and fewer people notice. And the bodies of others are also derealized; we see no one
elses body in their car, just indifferent heads, and as we zip past ghettoes made possible only through the judicious
construction of freeways, the hypertensive bodies of people of other colors are happily ignored as well. The car is the
temple, the ultimate monument, of the empty self, the all-powerful self in its pure objectivity/subjectivity. Like gold, like
the father, the phallus, it brings all together, signifies all, is invisible in its materiality, and refers to a transcendent but empty
signified.1 When we gaze at this speed, really lose ourselves in it, the great abstraction to which the car is devoted, its god,
the human self, collapses: it is nothing but a pure now, a pure vision of the different, which is always the same. The self
sees only urban space, the same interchanges, the same off-ramps, the same blur of buildings passing in the night.2 But at
the heart of this empty plenitude, this universal in which all things are recognized but only as subsidiary, indistinguishable
moments, there is a limit, a cut, a finitude. It is the temporality, the death, at the heart of empty ideality, automobility, selferected as law. Mme Edwarda puts the brakes to it in her impossible and carnal knowledge. The car runs on fuel. It burns it,
consumes it, and it can only move if the fuel is burnable, if the fuel is finite. The cars universality, and the self on which it
depends, are a function of an energy that can be expended and that will soon be gone: the cars fall. At the moment of the
recognition of the finitude of fuel, the space of the car opens out to another space, the space of another expenditure: that of
the walker, dancer, or cyclist in the city; the flaneur, the voyeur, the exhibitionist. The one who lurks under the arch. The
finitude of one energy regime, one model of expenditure, opens the way to another. As we saw in the Accursed Share, it is
the limit that inscribes the cut of excessive energy. One limit to energy, based in a fundamental scarcity, entails another
burn-off, another non-knowledge of excess, another mode of ecstatic or dreadful transport, in short, another, this time,
cursed energy.

Link Transportation Infrastructure


Bataille applies to infrastructure
Merle 09 (Julien Merle, Faculty of Architecture, Delft University of Technology, Batailles Writings: (Un-)framing the
transgression of architectures limits, 2009, Edinburgh Architecture Research, http://ace.caad.ed.ac.uk/ear2009/upload/pdfs/015Merlex.pdf)
More than 70 years ago, the French writer Georges Bataille set up a practice of critical writing as the transgression of
architectures boundaries and limits. Architecture, for Bataille, allows for a metaphorical apparatus to be built on itself:
some forms and features of architecture are often used for social and linguistic ordering or limiting. But also, on the literal
level, it represents an encoding of the political and social hierarchies and boundaries of society. Architecture is not only a
discipline with specific boundaries but also an authority itself setting up limits. Bataille, as the theorist of transgression,
constantly trying to overturn the defined norms, limits and hierarchies, was opposed to whatever could create and transpose
these rules and boundaries. Consequently, Batailles writings are often seen as a transgression of architectures limits in
either metaphorical or literal fashion. Nowadays, architectures boundaries seem to be shifting or are literally transgressed
by new practices informing themselves through interdisciplinary exchanges. In a similar fashion, the disciplines capability
for ordering the city and society is put into questions by notions such as relevance, effectiveness, sustainability and late

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capitalisms development, but also by transformations within the cultural sphere in terms of imagery, symbolism and
collective values. Unexpectedly, Batailles wish to tear down architectures authority and limitations seems to have been
realised through rather different means than he had thought of. The novelty of the current situation is the transformation of
the architectural territory and its edges into a realm of transgressions and shifts, or to put it in other words, the discipline
seems (and perhaps only seems) to have become more 'Bataillan' than Bataille could have imagined. Consequently, instead
of being seen simply as an attack on architecture, Batailles writings might rather be perceived as a conceptual framework
allowing a critical assessment of the present transgression of architectures limits and boundaries. What is at stake here can
be resumed in the following question: How far are the present shifts of architectures boundaries a real transgression of the
architectural dominion, the figure of the authoritarian limiting and ordering? In order to critically assess the shifting
boundaries that the discipline is enduring it is necessary to return to the relationship that Batailles writings have with
architecture. This will necessitate expounding a few essential notions that Bataille considered as operations transgressing
architectures domination: the Formless, the Base Materialism and the Notion of Expenditure. These operations, in turn,
will aid in identifying and discussing the transgression at work within a few recent architectural practices partaking in the
present disciplinary shifts of boundaries.

Link Economy
War and economic collapse are the inevitable outcomes of growth there must be squandering
Bataille 67 (Georges, General Economist, The Accursed Share: An Essay on the General Economy vol. 1 consumption, 1967, Zone
Books, translated Robert Hurley p.36-37)
In actual fact the quantitative relations of population and tool making - and, in general, the conditions of economic
development in history - are subject to so many interferences that it is always difficult to determine their exact distribution.
In any case, I cannot incorporate detailed analyses into an overall survey that seems the only way of outlining the vast
movement which animates the earth. But the recent decline in demographic growth by itself reveals the complexity of the
effects. The fact is that the revivals of development that are due to human activity, that are made possible or maintained by
new techniques, always have a double effect: Initially, they use a portion of the surplus energy, but then they produce a
larger and larger surplus. This surplus eventually contributes to making growth more difficult, for growth no longer suffices
to use it up. At a certain point the advantage of extension is neutralized by the contrary advantage, that of luxury; the former
remains operative, but in a disappointing - uncertain, often powerless - way. The drop in the demographic curves is perhaps
the first indicator of the change of sign that has occurred: Henceforth what matters primarily is no longer to develop the
productive forces but to spend their products sumptuously. At this point, immense squanderings are about to take place:
After a century of populating and of industrial peace, the temporary limit of development being encountered, the two world
wars organized the greatest orgies of wealth - and of human beings - that history has recorded. Yet these orgies coincide
with an appreciable rise in the general standard of living: The majority of the population benefits from more and more
unproductive services; work is reduced and wages are increased overall. Thus, man is only a roundabout, subsidiary
response to the problem of growth. Doubtless, through labor and technique, he has made possible an extension of growth
beyond the given limits. But just as the herbivore relative to the plant, and the carnivore relative to the herbivore, is a
luxury, man is the most suited of all living beings to consume intensely, sumptuously, the excess energy offered up by the
pressure of life to conflagrations befit ting the solar origins of its movement.

The affs impacts are inevitable absent the alternative only growth that is subordinated to sacrifice can
solve
Bataille 67 (Georges, General Economist, The Accursed Share: An Essay on the General Economy vol. 1 consumption, 1967, Zone
Books, translated Robert Hurley p.25-26)
I will simply state, without waiting further, that the extension of economic growth itself requires the overturning of
economic principles - the overturning of the ethics that grounds them. Changing from the perspectives of restrictive
economy to those of general economy actually accomplishes a Copernican transformation: a reversal of thinking- and of
ethics. If a part of wealth (subject to a rough estimate) is doomed to destruction or at least to unproductive use without any
possible profit, it is logical, even inescapable, to surrender commodities without return. Henceforth, leaving aside pure and
simple dissipation, analogous to the construction of the Pyramids, the possibility of pursuing growth is itself subordinated
to giving: The industrial development of the entire world demands of Americans that they lucidly grasp the necessity, for an

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economy such as theirs, of having a margin of profitless operations. An immense industrial network cannot be managed in
the same way that one changes a tire.... It expresses a circuit of cosmic energy on which it depends, which it cannot limit,
and whose laws it cannot ignore without consequences. Woe to those who, to the very end, insist on regulating the
movement that exceeds them with the narrow mind of the mechanic who changes a tire.

AT: Perm
Focusing on the particular of the aff traddes off the general consciousness of the alternative only action
denied telos can solve
Bataille 67 (Georges, General Economist, The Accursed Share: An Essay on the General Economy vol. 1 consumption, 1967, Zone
Books, translated Robert Hurley p.40-41)
But it has to be added at once that, however well-defined the solutions, their implementation on the required scale is so
difficult that from the outset the undertaking hardly looks encouraging. The theoretical solution exists; indeed, its necessity
is far from escaping the notice of those on whom the decision seems to depend. Nevertheless, and even more clearly, what
general economy defines first is the explosive character of this world, carried to the extreme degree of explosive tension in
the present time. A curse obviously weighs on human life insofar as it does not have the strength to control a vertiginous
movement. It must be stated as a principle, without hesitation, that the lifting of such a curse depends on man and only on
man. But it cannot be lifted if the movement from which it emanates does not appear clearly in consciousness. In this
regard it seems rather disappointing to have nothing more to propose, as a remedy for the catastrophe that threatens, than
the "raising of the living standard." This recourse, as I have said, is linked to a refusal to see, in its truth, the exigency to
which the recourse is intended to respond. Yet if one considers at the same time the weakness and the virtue of this solution,
two things become immediately apparent: that it is the only one capable of rather wide acceptance; and that, due to its
equivocal nature, it provokes and stimulates an effort of lucidity all the greater for seeming to be far removed from such an
effort. In this way the avoidance of the truth ensures, in reciprocal fashion, a recognition of the truth. In any case, the mind
of con temporary man would be reluctant to embrace solutions that, not being negative, were emphatic and arbitrary; it
prefers that exemplary rigor of consciousness which alone may slowly make human life commensurate with its truth. The
exposition of a general economy implies intervention in public affairs, certainly; but first . of all and more profoundly, what
it aims at is consciousness, what it looks to from the outset is the self-consciousness that man would finally achieve in the
lucid vision of its linked historical forms. Thus, general economy begins with an account of the historical data, relating their
meaning to the present data.

AT: Roleplaying Bad


Roleplaying leads to interpassivity
Rambatan 08 *Swiper No Swiping (Bonni Rambatan, Cultural Theorist, Co-founder of cyborgsubjects, The Dora
Democracy September 1, 2008, http://posthumanmarxist.wordpress.com/2008/09/01/the-dora-democracy/)
Our democracy today feels more and more like a derivation of the popular childrens show Dora the Explorer. The reason
for this is clear: note how Dora interacts with the children as though they really have a role to play. Recall her catchphrase,
in her awfully cute voice: We could not have done it without your help! does this not echo our ironic presupposed
faith today that our false democracy could not be possible without our help? In fact, as the show, it very well is possible.
The irony, of course, does not stop there. Are we not actually aware that there is something very wrong with democracy, as
the viewers of Dora are aware that they are only playing games with the show (ask any children, they are not idiots)? The
problem is thus not that our democracy is a false one, but how we react to the fact as such. Like watching Dora, the
falseness of democracy itself seems to me to become more and more of a mere spectacle to todays society part of the
entertainment comes from assuming that other subjects really believe in the spectacle. The problem is not that the show is
purely a fake if anything, we prefer fakes, in more senses than one but that we view ourselves as subjects supposed to
enjoy instead of active political agents, the latter replaced by a fantasy of subjects supposed to believe, i.e. the presupposed
other children with whom Dora and Boots would not have made it past the three obstacles. Let us go a little bit deeper and
notice how cursors play a significant role in the show: Dora the Explorer introduces children to cyberculture. But at the
same time, recall its message: your interaction is merely a fake (even in the games, I would argue, that take the form of
non-avatarial play, but I will not develop that here) but nevertheless you must enjoy this fakeness! Topped with other

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warning messages in original DVDs and the now popular anti-piracy curriculum for kids, it seems that we are never
supposed to actually play an active role in what seems to be an interactive realm. Im not putting up a case against Dora
specifically here in fact I actually like the show but what I intend to bring into light here is that we should never
dismiss the inherent ideologies that cultural artifacts for children play, despite its apparent cuteness and political correctness
(the Hispanic Dora, etc.). If anything, we should not reject the conservative Rights incessant ramblings of What are they
teaching children these days? but instead turn the question around against them.

AT: Death Bad


There is no empirical basis that renders death a bad thing we should instead adapt to its everyday
presence within our lives via the alt
Bronfen 2K (Elisabeth Bronfen, Professor of English and American Studies at the University of Zurich, The Limits of Death:
Between Philosophy and Psychoanalysis, 2000, p. XX, Google Books)
Speaking of the aesthetic rendition of death thus ultimately brings into play the issue of misrepresentation, for the paradox
inherent in representations of death is that this 'death' is always culturally constructed and performed within a given
historically specific philosophical and anthropological discourse on mortality, resurrection and immortality. Since death lies
outside any living subject's personal or collective realm of experience, this 'death' can only be rendered as an idea, not
something known as a bodily sensation. This idea, furthermore, involves imagery not directly belonging to it, so that it is
always figural, the privileged trope for other values. Placed beyond the register of what the living subject can know, 'death'
can only be read as a signifier with an incessantly receding, ungraspable signified, invariably always pointing back selfreflexively to other signifiers. Death remains outside clear categories. It is nowhere because it is only a gap, a cut, a
transition between the living body and the corpse, a before (the painful fear, the serene joy of the dying person) and an after
(the mourning of the survivor), an ungraspable point, lacking any empirical object. At the same time it is everywhere,
because death begins with birth and remains present on all levels of daily existence, each moment of mortal existence
insisting that its measure is the finitude toward which it is directed.

Opposition to death results is the root of evil and results in scapegoating


Arthur 02 (Kate Arthur, Doctoral Candidate University of St. Michael Terror of Death in the Wake of September 11th: Is this the
End of Death Denial?, in Making Sense Of Dying and Death, edited by Andrew Fagan, 2002, http://www.interdisciplinary.net/arthur%20paper.pdf)
Denial of mortality and the illusion of the heroic self-image are the root causes of human evil, said Becker. Social
institutions, politics and war are all veiled attempts to transcend fear in a culturally acceptable system of sacrifice, scapegoating and culturally standardized hero systems and symbols.22 Death denial is at the source of all acts that serve to
dehumanize others. It results in an inevitable tribalism in which people are classified as with us, or agin us. This theory
leads to the conclusion that scape-goating the other helps resolve our niggling death anxiety. In its more rapacious form it
is will to power and aggression. The Becker theory is that human beings seek self-aggrandizement and a sense of
immortality through derogation of persons or groups who we class as different. Merlyn E. Mowrey expresses this affliction
well: That human beings tend to respond violently to encounters with different others in defense of their cultural
worldviews has ominous imply cations for the future well-being of humankind. As Becker noted in Escape from Evil
(1975), this problem is compounded by the fact that even if people did not stumble onto different others, we would be
psychologically inclined to designate someone (an individual or group) against whose beliefs to test ours. If we can show
their vulnerability, their inability to stand up to our power, we are enhanced and they are diminished. We qualify for
continued durability, for life, for eternity; and they, not fully human, as scapegoat bearers of evil, warrant domination,
banishment, and death.23

AT: Fear of Death


Fear of death is only possible under the affs particular mode of politics the alternatives glorious
expenditure stretches the subject beyond individuals concerns

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Bataille 67 (Georges, General Economist, The Accursed Share: An Essay on the General Economy vol. 1 consumption, 1967, Zone
Books, translated Robert Hurley p.38-40)
Of course, the fact of being afraid, of turning away from a movement of dilapidation, which impels us and even defines us,
is not surprising. The consequences of this movement are distressing from the start. The image of the tiger reveals the truth
of eating. Death has become our horror, and though in a sense the fact of being carnivorous and of facing death bravely
answers to the demand of virility (but that is a different matter!); sexuality is linked to the scandals of death and the eating
of meat.6 But this atmosphere of malediction presupposes anguish, and anguish for its part signifies the absence (or
weakness) of the pressure exerted by the exuberance of life. Anguish arises when the anxious individual is not himself
stretched tight by the feeling of superabundance. This is precisely what evinces the isolated, individual character of
anguish. There can be anguish only from a personal, particular point of view that is radically opposed to the general point of
view based on the exuberance of living matter as a whole. Anguish is meaningless for someone who overflows with life,
and for life as a whole, which is an overflowing by its very nature. As for the present historical situation, it is characterized
by the fact that judgments concerning the general situation proceed from a particular point of view. As a rule, particular
existence always risks succumbing for lack of resources. It contrasts with general existence whose resources are in excess
and for which death has no meaning. From the particular point of view, the problems are posed in the first instance by a
deficiency of resources. They are posed in the first instance by an excess of resources if one starts from the general point of
view. Doubtless the problem of extreme poverty remains in any case. Moreover, it should be understood that general
economy must also, whenever possible and first of all, envisage the development of growth. But if it considers poverty or
growth, it takes into account the limits that the one and the other cannot fail to encounter and the dominant (decisive)
character of the problems that follow from the existence of surpluses.

AT: Bataille is Fascist (Wolin)


Bataille is not fascist prefer this evidence because it is an indict of Wolin
Armstrong 10 (Jennifer, PhD in English and Cultural Studies, University of Western Australia, Nietzsche, Bataille, Wolin,
December 30, 2010
, http://unsanesafe.blogspot.com/2010/12/nietzsche-bataille-wolin.html)
It's really not an "intellectual romance with fascism" that either Nietzsche or Bataille had. There are fundamental aspects to
both of their philosophical approaches that are in profound opposition to the ideology and practice of fascism. Most
significantly, Nietzsche and Bataille are anti-authoritarian. They are trying to develop the individual, through encouraging
exploration, self-invention and confrontation with challenges. This aspect of their philosophical approaches is about as antifascist as you can get. After all, a fascist is someone who has a fundamental desire for authority and want to find his or her
particular place within a hierarchy of power. WOLIN: "One of the crucial elements underlying this problematic rightleft
synthesis is a strange chapter in the history of ideas whereby latter-day anti-philosophes such as Nietzsche and Heidegger
became the intellectual idols of postWorld War II Franceabove all, for poststructuralists like Jacques Derrida, Michel
Foucault, and Gilles Deleuze. Paradoxically, a thoroughgoing cynicism about reason and democracy, once the hallmark of
reactionary thought, became the stock-in-trade of the postmodern left.7 As observers of the French intellectual scene have
frequently noted, although Germany lost on the battlefield, it triumphed in the seminar rooms, bookstores, and cafs of the
Latin Quarter. During the 1960s Spenglerian indictments of Western civilization, once cultivated by leading
representatives of the German intellectual right, migrated across the Rhine where they gained a new currency. Ironically,
Counter-Enlightenment doctrines that had been taboo in Germany because of their unambiguous association with fascism
after all, Nietzsche had been canonized as the Nazi regimes official philosopher, and for a time Heidegger was its most
outspoken philosophical advocate seemed to best capture the mood of Kulturpessimismus that predominated among
French intellectuals during the postwar period. Adding insult to injury, the new assault against philosophie came from the
homeland of the Enlightenment itself. One of the linchpins of the Counter-Enlightenment program was an attack against
the presuppositions of humanism. By challenging the divine basis of absolute monarchy, the unbelieving philosophes had
tampered with the Great Chain of Being, thereby undermining morality and inviting social chaos. For the anti-philosophes,
there existed a line of continuity between Renaissancehumanism, Protestant heresy, and Enlightenment atheism. In
Considerations on France (1797) Maistre sought to defend the particularity of historical traditions against the
universalizing claims of Enlightenment humanism, which had culminated in the Declaration of the Rights of Man and
Citizen of August 20, 1789. In a spirit of radical nominalism, the French royalist observed that he had encountered

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Frenchmen, Italians, Russians, and even Persians (if only in the writings of Montesquieu). But humanity or man in
general, he claimed, was a figment of a feverish and overheated philosophe imagination. Man as such did not exist.8
An assault on humanism was also one of French structuralisms hallmarks, an orientation that in many respects set the tone
for the more radical, poststructuralist doctrines that followed. As one critic has aptly remarked, Structuralism was . . . a
movement that in large measure reversed the eighteenth-century celebration of Reason, the credo of the Lumires.9 In this
spirit, one of the movements founders, Claude Lvi-Strauss, sought to make anthropology useful for the ends of cultural
criticism. Lvi-Strauss famously laid responsibility for the twentieth centurys horrorstotal war, genocide, colonialism,
threat of nuclear annihilationat the doorstep of Western humanism. As he remarked in a 1979 interview, All the
tragedies we have lived through, first with colonialism, then with fascism, finally the concentration camps, all this has taken
shape not in opposition to or in contradiction with so-called humanism . . .but I would say almost as its natural
continuation.10 Anticipating the poststructuralist credo, Lvi-Strauss went on to proclaim that the goal of the human
sciences was not to constitute, but to dissolve man.11 From here it is but a short step to Foucaults celebrated, neoNietzschean adage concerning the death of man in The Order of Things.12" I think that the supposed opposition between
"humanism" and Bataille/Nietzsche/Foucault/Deleuze type "irrationalism" is conceptually mistaken. Of course, this is how
it has played out in history -- as two distinct streams of thought, whereby one has effectively cannibalized the other, or at
least it seems that way. As an aside, I went back to Zimbabwe recently and revelled in the humanistic mindset of most
people there. Post-modernist post-humanism has not caught up with them, although they are very much enmired in
Christianity, also. In general, it is a situational time warp that reminds one of the value of one's fellow human being. One
can love humans, again, within that context, where humanism largely prevails. In the deeper sense of Bataille, Nietzsche
and Deleuze, they are interested in humanity undergoing a stage of madness, in order to come out the other end in a better
and stronger condition. The implicit goal is to get rid of authoritarianism, especially that which is linked to an idea of a god
above, which maintains order. In terms of this, the means to the end is "madness", but the goal is a superior kind of sanity to
what we experience as normal and necessary, today. The whole emphasis of all three of these writers is a circular movement
from everyday normality (a form of insanity in many respects), into true insanity, into a state of superior sanity. It's a large
scale historical programme which is supposed to bring "the individual" into being in a true sense, for the first time in
history. The irrationality that these writers seek to expand upon is not the end goal for humanity, but merely a stage in the
process of humanity's self transformation. What we have today, under the rule of capitalism, is quite substantially already
the "death of man". The individual doesn't matter. What she produces and the length of time that she produces it in and
ultimately, its value on the market, is what retains meaning in this day and age. It seems that Bataille, Nietzsche and
Deleuze were largely just messengers foretelling this 'death of man', rather than those who brought this situation into
existence. Wolin, it seems to me, is shooting the messenger.

AT: Lacan
Bataille is Freudian he just says it in a different way
Armstrong 12 (Jennifer, PhD in English and Cultural Studies, University of Western Australia, Motifs of sacrifice in Nietzsche
and Bataille, April 29, 2012, http://unsanesafe.blogspot.com/2012/04/motifs-of-sacrifice-in-nietzsche-and.html)
For Lacan, everybody is sick, without exception. You are either a neurotic or a psychotic or a pervert. To conform to the
system means to adopt an impersonal identity -- but nobody can do this completely, without making themselves mentally
ill. Hence, we are all emotionally unsound and poor conformists. Bataille is a more complex version of Lacan, since
whatever Lacan states in cynical, psychoanalytic terms, Bataille states in Nietzschean, paradoxical terms. Bataille's
conception of sacrifice makes clear his own view of the overwrought nature of the human condition -- at least as he and
Lacan experienced it in 20th Century France. Conforming is always a concession to impersonality, in both Bataille and
Lacan. Conforming preserves the bourgeois individual. The cost is impersonality; the benefit is preservation of oneself
via creature comforts, bourgeois status and (impersonal) identity. The practical opposite to this norm of bourgeois
conformity is personal self-actualisation. Herein is the Nietzschean paradox (and it also depicts what I call "intellectual
shamanism"). To self-actualize is to give up the benefits of self-preservation: I love him who reserveth no share of spirit
for himself, but wanteth to be wholly the spirit of his virtue: thus walketh he as spirit over the bridge. (Nietzsche) Bataille
takes up a Nietzschean perspective when he associates self-actualization with sacrifice. He is also Freudian (and was used
by Lacan to develop his perspectives), for he views sacrifice as an expression of psychological deviance, on the basis of
one's circumstances being untenable (the need to represent impersonality in the workplace leads to an opposite, reactive
attitude, once one has time to oneself). In his essay in book form, Theory of Religion, Bataille portrays the worker in a state
of destructive reverie. Bourgeois form and sobriety are sacrificed to despair. This structurally determined polarization of

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the worker's consciousness is between the profane (one's experience of work) and the sacred (one's experience of free time,
expressed as a frenzy of destructiveness.) Free time and money to spend purely to satisfy one's appetites are the worker's
accursed share. The Freudian influence on Bataille renders this reading of the worker and his behavior as pathological -although, like Lacan thought, necessarily so. Civilization is not experienced by organic and instinctively driven human
beings as a natural condition, thus it necessarily produces its discontents. Bataille's point is that society structures the
psyche of the worker in terms of polarizing his consciousness, so that it swings between conformity and destructiveness.
Bataille's views are also Marxist.

AT: Potlatch K
Your potlatch argument is an attempt to attain gain status this ultimately goes against the mode of
potlatch that Bataille endorses
Merle 09 (Julien Merle, Faculty of Architecture, Delft University of Technology, Batailles Writings: (Un-)framing the
transgression of architectures limits, 2009, Edinburgh Architecture Research, http://ace.caad.ed.ac.uk/ear2009/upload/pdfs/015Merlex.pdf)
For Bataille, this accursed share is destined to one of two modes of economic and social expenditure. It must be spent,
either luxuriously and knowingly in every form of potlatch, or, outrageously and catastrophically at war. Refusing the latter
for obvious reasons, Bataille co-opts the potlatch as the only mode of total expenditure. The individual practicing the
potlatch, the destruction of its own riches, a form of gift, is the sovereign being per excellence, the one expending in pure
loss. Yet, the potlatch is problematic: it allows the individual practicing it to gain a reward. He gains a status or rank within
society. Hence, the potlatch is not a real form of total expenditure. The ideal would be, according to Bataille, for the
potlatch of not being returned, and for the individual, practicing it, of getting nothing in return. The individual should not
receive anything material or symbolic (like status) as compensation. Furthermore, the sovereign being cannot be aware of
his newly found status of sovereignty: that would make the potlatch useful, and thus, the sovereign would lose his
sovereignty. Consequently, sovereignty is only accessible in not knowing it; it is a state of unknowingness. Of course,
Bataille is at great pains to find in our time a true sovereign individual, practicing a true potlatch or some expenditure in
pure loss and gaining unknowingly its access to sovereignty. The only example he is able to propose is the miserably poor,
the homeless: The true luxury and the real potlatch of our times fall to the poverty-stricken, that is, to the individual who
lies down and scoffs. A genuine luxury requires the complete contempt for riches, the sombre indifference of the individual
who refuses work and makes his life on the one hand an infinitely ruined splendour and on the other, a silent insult to the
laborious lie of the rich.13

Bicycle Link Turn


The strategy of the cyclist dissolves the iron bubble and affirms excess
Stoekl 07 (Alan Stoekl, professor of French and comparative literature at Penn State University, Batailles Peak: Energy, Religion
and Postsustainability, 2007, p.189-191)
The universal city, one of whose greatest moments would no doubt be the ville radieuse of Le Corbusier, is dependent on
cheap fossil fuel inputs, on the official segregation of social spaces, and on the universalized movement of the car.4 A city
with no street life whatsoever depends on the rapid movement of its idealized, derealized citizens through programmed
routes determined by experts in traffic safety. Hazards, chance encounters, moments of whimsy, friendship, surreal
madness, all are reduced to zero: protected from chance, the motorist is able to move along quickly, never experiencing
anything other than the now and the here. This is the beauty of de Certeaus analysis, though he doesnt seem to recognize
it: by positing the walker against this ideal city, he has struck upon a figure who consumes energy differently, who spends it
gloriously. No doubt de Certeau, when he proposed the walker, was thinking of the flaneur in Baudelaire or in Benjamin.
But from an early twenty-first-century perspective, there is more to this figure: he or she is moving physically, is out of a
car. It is not just that the walkers movements are under the radar, microscopic, rhizomatic, and therefore unpredictable,
subversive, particular, peculiar. They are that, to be sure, but they are also the practice of a different kind of expenditure of
energy; they are of a different energy regime. To burn energy with ones body is grossly inefficient if one has a car at ones
disposal.5 If gas is cheap, as it always has been, and (from the perspective of the official energy experts) evidently always
will be, it is inefficient to walk. You needlessly expend time, you incur physical discomfort, you are distracted by

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inessential things. Movement is choppy, disarticulated; you are constantly reminded of the passage of time and the finitude
of your own body: death. Unfortunate surprises suddenly arise. The world is full of base matter, matter coursing with
uncontrollable energy: you are confronted with disgusting smells, the vision of dirt, of rotting things in gutters. You are
needlessly spending bodily energy, and time, perilously in contact with matter that could just as easily be entirely separated
from the movement of a pure awareness, a pure present. Your glad rags get sweaty, limp, and you risk somehow coming
down in the world. People might think that you cant afford to drive. Thus more is at stake than simple strategies of
resistance and complicity. The walker is using energy in a way that expends the easy certainties and the enforced legal
parameters of the autonomist, strategic city. By walking or cyclinganother way of confronting the city through the
sacrificial expenditure of corporeal energy you are passing through the car, through the logic of the car, on the way to an
a-logic of energy consumption: post- sustainable transport in a spectacular waste of body energy.6 The autonomist self has
revealed its void: dependent on the car, that empty signifier,7 the self justifies and generates a vast, coherent system of
urban organization and energy consumption, a flat universe of blank walls and identical off-ramps, an absolute knowledge
of pedestrian crossings and rights of way. But the self at the peak of the system is literally nothing: a simple now, an
awareness, a vision, of a freeway guardrail. This self is ever changing, completely volatile, free, but always the same
particle: it can lead nowhere beyond itself, mean nothing other than itself. What is more, the self is the awareness of the gas
gauge on the dashboard, which can, often does, and most certainly will read empty. At the height of the autonomist
regime, the self is pitched into the finitude of energy depletion: walking, the spending of energy in and of the body in
transports of ecstasy and dread, is the moment of temporality and mortality, the sense of the human in non-sense. The
empty self is torn from its ideality; it is pure separation: Man, enshrined in two tons of metal, is about to emerge, to fall,
violently communicating with the death of God. As in Mme Edwarda, the dead God is about to get into the back seat.
Every spark of combustion, the burning of every drop of gas, announces a radical finitude at the heart of seemingly endless,
quantified waste. Eroticized Recycling and Bicycling If we uncouple the tendency to expend characterizing humanity
from the simple consumption of huge amounts of fossil fuelbased energyif, in other words, we posit a good duality in
contradistinction to the current regime of the bad we then can continue to affirm excess, but excess, the destruction of
the thing, as a movement of intimacy. From the (current) bad duality of the automatic production of excess as a mode of
utility (the gas guzzler and the freedom it proffers are necessary, useful, etc.) we pass to a good duality: a possible
utility the survival of the species as an aftereffect of glorious loss.8 Energy now will be wasted on an intimate level,
that of the human body. The expenditure analyzed by Bataille, in the wake of Sade, is always on the level of corporeality:
the arousal of sexual organs, the movement of muscles, the distortions of words spewing from mouths. And, we could add,
using de Certeaus terminology, the expenditure of the walker/cyclist is the tactical alternative to the strategic law imposed
by social and city planners, developers, disciples of autonomist Man: the vast arrayed forces of modernism in its era of
imminent dissolution.9

Bicycle lanes are a dysfunctional form of transportation that reintroduces animality to the realm of
experience
Merle 09 (Julien Merle, Faculty of Architecture, Delft University of Technology, Batailles Writings: (Un-)framing the
transgression of architectures limits, 2009, Edinburgh Architecture Research, http://ace.caad.ed.ac.uk/ear2009/upload/pdfs/015Merlex.pdf)
If an architecture operating the formless is to be found that is, an architecture attempting to transgress its functions of
control and representation, and thus itself it cant be a device, due to its operative character, simply representing
something and certainly not man, the ideal man. Thus, the shameless formalisms of the deconstructivists club or of the
flow-and-blob-shapers that are always explained through some discursive and carefully enounced notes as representing,
embodying or framing either the turmoil of our past and present condition or the fantastic potential of todays technological
discoveries, are definitely not formless but hyperrepresentative and as such non-transgressive and ultra-conforming. On the
contrary, an architecture operating the formless is not holding to man a mirror in which he has to recognize himself, through
which he is reproduced as ideal. An architecture operating the formless transgresses itself by refusing to reproduce man. It
does not ask man to recognize itself in himself. It is the transgression of the Hegelian-dialectical move: it brings back the
animal-man into play; it does not show how man should be and should function but, proudly allows man to be as he is and,
facing his ideal, to simply dysfunction. Such an aim, to allow a place for dysfunction, is precisely what the architects
calling themselves FAT are pursuing with their project for an Anti-Oedipal House. The house is designed to accommodate a
married couple wishing to be able to fulfill their shallow lifestyle aspirations by holding dinner parties in their modernisticpedant glass house, while their teenage son is free to indulge in his adolescent obsessions away from his parents repressive
gaze in the voluptuous and adequately named Mastabatorium. With the Anti-Oedipal House, mans flesh is back on the

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skeleton of architecture. The ideal man is dead and mans animality has a place to exist. This architecture operating the
formless transgresses literally architectures authority and its boundaries that are framing as well as conforming man to its
ideal.

Link - Resources
Lack of resources is symptomatic of the utilitarian worldview - you dont
Harney and Martin 07 (Stefano Harney and Randy Martin, Director of Global Learning & Reader in Strategy at Queen Mary
University of London School of Business and Management and Professor of art and Public policy and director of the graduate
program in arts politics, Mode of Excess: Bataille, Criminality, and the War On Terror, Theory and Event, 2007, Project Muse)
Bataille's vision bathes us all in the lap of luxury. So much of the political is cast in terms of lack-an insufficiency of
activism, organization, theory, or resources to mobilize, in the face of an abundance of ossifying power. Excess refreshes
the screen, it releases people from the enclosures of scarcity and the insuperable inevitability of aggression that springs
from want. The compulsion to dominate is denormalized and exposed for its own peculiar excessiveness The dull efficiency
of utilitarian accounting-where every drop is used best when used up and growth marches inexorably forward-loses its
reason in desire's hall of mirrors. Understandably, Bataille's work is taken up as a cry for amplitude in a wilderness of selflimiting apocalypse. Entangling his thought in the present requires more than the lavishing of praise. He achieves his
general economy by energic extension and squander that yields irrecuperable consumption. But his analysis proceeds by
differentiating the ways in which societies attain their forms of surplus. These various means constitute nothing short of a
mode of excess-a concept that can help extricate ourselves from Bataille's moment into that of contemporary affairs. If
Bataille renders an ethnological or synchronic differentiation in his accounts of the Aztecs, Potlatch, Islam, Lamaism,
bourgeois capitalism and Soviet socialism, we might look to his work of the middle of the last century to delineate the
contours of excess in our own times.

Harney and Martin 07 (Stefano Harney and Randy Martin, Director of Global Learning & Reader in Strategy at Queen Mary
University of London School of Business and Management and Professor of art and Public policy and director of the graduate
program in arts politics, Mode of Excess: Bataille, Criminality, and the War On Terror, Theory and Event, 2007, Project Muse)
Let us consider three elements of what might constitute Bataille's own mode of excess, writing as he is, when consumer capitalism and
Soviet socialism retain their status as historical projects, and war adheres snugly to a Keynesian metaphysic. Bataille, of course is
writing under the sign of what came to be called Fordism, a regulatory apparatus that mass produced consumption as a disciplinary
realm parallel to but outside that of production. While the externality was mutual, it was also directional-domesticity was the sphere
were cars and people started out new and became old, where time was free, leisure expressed substantive rationality, and used luxuries
could be put out in the garbage. Despite, or perhaps more precisely because of the way in which the Keynesian welfare state was
involved in the economy, subventions for public assistance and military contracting stood as anti-productive. In the dream realm of
popular culture and consumer markets, of manufactured desires, the state needed to be absent to locate excess in a space that would be
free of coercion and domination-hence the formal distinction from work and government. The state operates for Bataille in a universe
of general interest that can never use up the erotic extensive energies of the accursed share. "The State (at least the modern, fully
developed State) cannot give full reign to a movement of destructive consumption without which an indefinite accumulation of
resources situates us in the universe in exactly the same way as cancer is inscribed in the body, as a negation." (Bataille 1993: 160)
War is the consummate category of expenditure that can be stolen back by state and particularizing economic exchange, especially as
it seeks an equilibrium between destruction and profit in what is intended as a virtuous cycle of demand absorbing supply that
Franklin Delano Roosevelt dubbed, "Dr. Win The War." Like the partition between production and consumption, this political
economy of war assumes that death and profitability belong to separate accounts, and that civic devastation will be restored by a
reincorporating policy framework like the Marshall Plan. As Bataille observes: "Of course, what we spend in one category is in
principle lost for the others. There are many possibilities of slippage: alcohol, war and holidays involve us in eroticism, but this means
simply that the possible expenditures in one category are ultimately reduced by those we make in the others, so that only the profits
found in war truly alter this principle; even so, in most cases these profits correspond to the losses of the vanquished.... We need to
make a principle of the fact that sooner or later the sum of excess energy that is managed for us by a labor so great that it limits the

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share available for erotic purposes will be spent in a catastrophic war."(Bataille 1993: 188) Under these circumstances, the political
choice becomes clear, expenditure can be wasted in war or applied to increase the standard of living.
Finally, there is Bataille's enthusiasm for the Soviet socialism of his day. Here too, socialism is framed as an externality to capitalism,
rather than being the latter's immanent condition. The Soviets form a geography of excess-that portion of global productive capacity
that capitalist markets and development promises could not absorb. This perspective recasts Cold War bellicosity. The arms race
certainly strains the Soviet social economy, as it supports a Western military-industrial complex. But the exclusion of more than half
the world's peoples and territories by the partition of the three worlds was a condition for the concentration of consumption and
masked the limits to its possible dispersion, as nearly two decades of post-Soviet opportunity now make plain. Still it was possible for
Bataille to imagine the extension of a socialist geography as encroaching upon the ultimate utopian externality-the future. "Present day
humanity has the communist horizon before it." (Bataille 1993: 261) Indeed the Cold War could be understood as a race toward
disparate futures, each with their own utopian aspect, providing that the future remained on the horizon just outside of reach. Bataille
has the benefit of imagining the chronotope of his own general economy as marked by clearly discernable divisions-between here and
there, and between what is and what will come. He put such Cartesian formulations to tremendous effect, but we must consider what
the general economy would consist of if history had not robbed us of that more clearly decidable grid of space and time.
Still hot in pursuit of Bataille's horizon, we can now imagine capital's own tracks taking us toward a different mode of excess. These
markings may map something apart from the post-fordist proliferation of the flexible which may have been more about clarifying
what the initial formulation of a consumer society meant, than of what it would become. No doubt, stable and expanding careers of
wage labor are now somewhat quaint, and mass consumption has been niched and customized in every conceivable direction. But
what happens when production and consumption move in together, when one resides within the body of the other? Surely this is the
generative condition of what is termed immaterial labor. It is also indicated where the investment logic of risk assumes the mantle of
governmentality. Neoliberalism asked citizens to manage their own public good, insinuating a market trope where the state was meant
to maintain its watchful eye.
The domestic sphere is not simply an invitation to engage in home work (this it always was) but now also to serve as a platform for
participation in myriad financial schemes, whether they be portfolios for retirement, education, or continued consumption itself. This
implication of investment protocols in the labor of reproduction can be called financialization (Martin 2002). An ugly term perhaps but
one that registers the invasion of capital for others into the realm of the self. Finance now occupies the spectre of excess in economic
circulation. More than just acts of enclosure, financialization erupts where the socialization of capital meets the socialization of laboramplifying mutual indebtedness, aggregating social wealth with extreme magnitude to the point where it moves from necessity to
discretion. Finance signals a breach of referent that suggests huge sums can be applied anywhere for any purpose. The force of excess
makes immediate the prospect that wealth might be applied otherwise. As much money moves in financial markets in a month as fills
the accounts of industrial production in a year. The trade in derviatives alone-parsings of financial risk that disassemble and delocalize
value so that it can be leveraged elsewhere-is tied to contracts valued at nearly $400 trillion. (Lipuma and Lee 2004: Bank of
International Settlements, 2006) (Derivatives are identified by the value or notional price of the commodities that they are tied to,
rather than to the amount of money they yield, which is but a fraction of that price. So, if one is paying $1,000 for the option to
purchase $1,000,000 worth of Euros at a certain date, the contract is entered as $1,000,000 not $1,000). More than a vault of a
determine form of capital, finance augurs an infectious logic that reorients the machinations of business as well a daily life. Banks no
longer stand as intermediaries to circulation (disintermediation). Market share and stock price drive business planning (shareholder
value). The speculative and the practical hedging of risk share instruments of operation (rentier capitalism). Even the state is internally
riven between its neoliberal fantasy of leaving people alone to their fates, and the neoconservative obligations to intervene in private
life to affect a kind of evangelical transformation or liberation. The neoconservative state intervenes to carve excess out of the social
body by means of tax cuts, which are not simply redistributive to those most able to luxuriate, but to demonstrate the moral force
behind setting capital free.
But this freedom makes of those left behind, those populations incapable of managing themselves and termed "at risk," an accursed
share in their own right. If financialization gives us production for and as consumption, ceaseless circulation nestled in what Marx
called a "hidden abode," the implosion of the boundaries for enclosure liberate a whole matrix of capital from population. Bataille
would see capital fleeing its social entailments of labor (whether wages or cities) to some secure outside-consumption, the state, or

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negatively in socialist topographies. The imbrication of production and consumption, the state's jettisoning of a general national
interest, and a relinquishing of the socialist world has yielded a dizzying indifference. Rather than promising infinite absorption of
population in accumulation, what was advertised under the watchwords of progress and development, liberation takes place in the here
and now-a progressive and regressive freedom that turns against the history of difference (as all of the entanglements of social
reproduction are brought together as interdependent demands for recognition, justice, resources and dispensation over what is done to
make and live with social wealth).
If the Cold War contested the future, its apparent heir, the war on terror battles over the present. This is more than the hyper-vigilance
of a politics of fear. The terrorist is the quintessential figure of bad risk however effectively it may be deployed. We cannot await it.
The only safety lies in bringing its moment into our midst, that is, by pre-emptive strike. Terror's temporality is anti-utopian, it implies
the immanence of the future in the present. The risk economy, the investment action upon a possible future difference in the present,
shares the same sensibility. Foreign and domestic applications of risk management forge a nefarious connection in George W. Bush's
2002 National Security Document. In this proud proclamation of imperial doctrine, pre-emption is bequeathed to one nation and
friends (whether old or newly acquired) affirm their allegiance by replicating U.S. anti-inflationary monetary policy. Low and behold
this same language turns up in Iraq's strategy for national development. Inflation, when it is not an assault on labor (as low
unemployment or high wages) anthropomorphizes the world of goods (supply being chased by demand and puffing itself up
accordingly).
Just as industrialization forced association upon self-sufficient labor, and consumerism wove a common web of dreams in the
marketplace, financialization imposes a generalized condition of mutual indebtedness. Personal finance, like free wage labor, amounts
to an enormous aggregation of the capacity to produce financial value while assuming the risks of failure to realize value. Like
production and consumption, financialization is also a form of dispossession of one array of life-making circumstances that forces an
elaboration of what people must subsequently do and be together. The future itself becomes a factor of production as each possible
outcome is shifted into an actionable present. The derivative represents the moment when a small intervention, an arbitrager's
momentary opportunity, seizes upon a highly dispersed volatility and leverages it to extensive effect. Unlike the entrepreneur, born of
initiative, the arbitrager exists only through the action of others, deriving themselves as a cluster of volatilities. The derivative is the
extensive energy within the body of finance. It is also incorporated into the grand strategy for engaging and negating unsupportable
risk and excess. Terror wars are in this respect derivative wars. They "deter forward" using small deployments of risk capable special
forces to leverage imperial intervention. They succeed in their initial displacements (of toppling regimes) but produce the very thing
they claim to fight but that are in actuality their condition of further circulation, namely terror. Terror is an inassimilable excess that
occasions intervention without end. Unlike earlier imperialisms that sought to extract, civilize and develop, this logic of occupation
quickly becomes indifferent to its prize and impatient with itself.
It would be tempting to see in the gap between a general interest in combating terror everywhere, and a particular occupation of two
energy states an affirmation of Bataille's equilibration of devastation and profit. Afghanistan's geo-strategic potential for transshipment
of oil and gas, Iraq's prized proven oil reserves, Halliburton's corrupt profiteering would seem to affirm the straightforward arithmetic
captured by the slogan, "blood for oil." Control of energy consumption would prove the ultimate colonization of Bataille's accursed
share. As compelling as the slogan has been to lay bare the motives of imperial excess, Bataille's thought would also have us refuse the
enclosure of our own surplus capacity in so certain a lock down of interest-borne scarcity. There can be no denying oil's requirement
to the present economic convention. But the necessity of oil politics as they are presented must be contested if the present mode of
excess is to be seen as other than laying us all to waste as an inexorable drive to war to control supply in the face of imminent scarcity.
Specifically, blood for oil is a pipeline that has smuggled in a Malthusian logic of genocidal scarcity. The argument goes like this. The
days of expanding oil supply are behind us. The rate at which new wells are drilled has been eclipsed by the rate at which new demand
has expanded, in consequence, a bell-shaped forecast named for the geo-physicist who made it, "Hubbert's Peak," pinpoints the date of
diminishing returns. Population growth assures that there will not be enough oil to go around. Security for the imperium dictate that it
grabs hold of whatever remains. Oil and war are fraternal twins. Yet Hubbert's peak, so pointed in sounding the alarm, is also
vulnerable on its own economic foundations. As oil prices rise, abandoned fields again become profitable, along with the rationale for
further investment to extract oil from otherwise unappealing shale. The conflation of access to oil with control of its sources certainly
lines up with imperial history. But that history discloses how the very regimes installed to control oil territories repress domestic

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populations and wind up destabilizing access, a lesson reflected in the fully financialized oil futures markets by meeting volatility with
arbitrage.i
While financial protocols have been installed as governing ideas, the occupation of Iraq looks like anything but a design for control.
Instead, oil exports have held steady, and risk has been distributed throughout a population that has been cleaved from its national
form and from its own productive capacities. Iraq's Public Distribution System, the last remnant of Baathist socialism is to be
displaced by small cash handouts to fuel the now rampant speculative economy.ii But to render socialism scarce is to commit an error
of measurement and concept. The extensive energy of consumption privileged the erotic as the alter to commodification, and
maintained socialism as that portion of the world devoted to a social economy that capital could not absorb. The erotic which animated
consumer desire has now been displaced by risk, which inhabits the intensities of circulation. Populations at risk may be treated
instrumentally but they are also freed from instrumentality-they exist, not to accomplish further accumulation, but as human
assemblages in their own right.
The war on terror claims that population makes no difference and touts its capacity to intervene anywhere at anytime. Its excess belies
another. The notion that intervention can be anywhere raises the prospect that it could be for anything. The empire of indifference
passes intervention from necessity to the realm of discretion, acting upon difference becomes a luxury within reach. Added to this is
the discretionary force of something like the derivatives market, a hitherto unfathomable wealth sundered from use that exists only to
further itself. The recourse to war that cannot discern between foreign and domestic, that attacks terror, but also crime, drugs, culture,
and the like, sketches in negative relief the magnitude of the difference that state and capital now resist. Never mind that they had a
hand in proliferating it all. The abundance of difference in our midst, along with excess wealth advertised for all-purposes, presents the
immanence of the social as a self-expanding luxury for all. The war on terror is not the only project legible in the transfer of Bataille's
mode of excess into the present. Terror gives urgency to the proliferation of financial risk but it also deflects attention from that excess
which the state has increasing trouble concealing--its own criminality. If capital morphs under the present mode of excess, so too does
its strange bed-fellow, the state-form.
II. State Economy

Whatever the cornucopia offered by finance, something prevents access to the immanent luxury of the social, something 'destines life's
exuberance to revolt,' to rebel against new forms of 'military exploitation, religious mystification, and capitalist misappropriation,' to
seek out a more luxuriate mode of excess, a mode of discretion and difference lived by all. (Bataille 1993: 77) A mean and indifferent
mode of excess burns off all this self-activity, if not all this revolt, and leaves behind an effect, a state effect. Bataille asks us in his
studies to seek out the effects of the accursed share, the state effects that come to trace the state-form. We mean by the state-form
something more than the state as it is used as a category by political scientists. We mean something Bataille provokes us to consider.
We mean that which becomes visible in the struggle over excess as an economy of excess, that which stands in for the mode of excess
itself. So to ask what state-form corresponds to this mean and indifferent mode of excess is to take these state effects as clues, effects
produced by a public capacity itself forged in the struggle today to produce capital's division of risk and at risk populations. To
produce both the embracing of risk and the sorting of at risk populations that animate both financialization and the war on terror a
certain kind of struggle, a certain kind of privatization must be at work. And this work of privatization can be read in the work left to
the state-form.
The contemporary state-form operates to criminal effect. Its crime is not simply violation of law it is charged to enshrine, or to
legitimate private property as public theft. At its most comprehensive and constitutive, criminality issues from the state-form
positioning against society as such--an anti-social opposition to the expansive sociality that is irrecuperable to narrow protocols of
accumulation. This effect hints at what is new about the contemporary mode of excess. From the state we hear scarcely a word about
the social. Rather, it positions itself on the meridian that delimits public and private. The effect of publicity in the state-form today is a
contradictory one, one that hates the public, fears the social, courts the criminal, and cannot help itself. Let us use the terms publicity
and privatization here to mean something terminologically specific, and historically specific to capitalism. Privatization here assumes
that the sociality called forth by capital must be reduced and converted into private property if it is to be a recognizable form for
capital of what Jean-Paul Sartre called the practico-inert. Privatization is also the struggle that produces publicity, what Jacques
Ranciere calls the 'distribution of the public and the private' (Ranciere 2006, 55) and therefore what can count as common.

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Privatization here comes first, not after some vulnerable public sector. Publicity is the subsequent state economy dedicated to
privatizing excess sociality. By naming itself as public, publicity continues the work of privatization that brought publicity into being,
and ensures that collective action taken up in the name of publicity not only fetishes the public (Bratsis 2005), but leaves the real
struggle of privatization as it is understood here, untouched.
Understanding the state-form historically as the evidence of economy brought to bear on excess leaves room for what goes unmarked
by conventional notions of public and private, even when those notions are employed in a Marxist framework as founding terms, and
instead allows us see the excess of sociality as founding both public and private. Or as Jacques Derrida puts it: 'At its height of
hyperbole, the absolute opening, the uneconomic expenditure, is always reembraced by an economy and is overcome by economy.'
(Derrida 1980: 75) The economy of public and private (here an at risk effect and a risk effect), signs of the mode of excess, emerge
from the struggle against excessive sociality, and under capitalism, this privatization aims most vitally at the means of production.
The publicity produced in the period when the tendency to industrial capitalism predominated seems capacious today. The struggle
over property and machinery, scientific patents and natural resources, produced a publicity that opened onto the commonality of social
reproduction. The welfare state and wars against fascism, civil rights and anti-colonialism, all operated in the space produced by what
was relinquished in the struggle in fields, factories, and offices. Of course publicity produces its own unruliness, much as the struggle
of privatization itself. Exactly because publicity must be reproduced by a labour both internal and external to it, publicity sometimes
does not know its own limits. In civil rights, in the popular front, and most seriously in anti-colonialism, the space of publicity was
ab-used as Gayatri Spivak would say, and there was an attempt to move past the confrontation with the private to the struggle of
privatization itself. (Spivak 2006) There was a feel for excess, and a prophecy of a new mode. But all the while finance and science
was preparing an interdependency, a general intellect, that would shatter this publicity by altering the means of production and with it
the stakes of the struggle for privatization.
This new interdependency and its privatization is oddly foreshadowed by Bataille in his chapter on the Soviet Union where a new
mode of excess takes shape in the drive for productivity and the building up of the means of production. 'In the end, all of one's
waking hours are dedicated to the fever of work,' he writes. (Bataille 1993: 160) Here publicity takes the form of the means of
production itself, produced by a privatization of all other aspects of life. Only productivity becomes a matter of commonality. All
else, distinguished as social reproduction, is vulnerable to the violence of privacy. Of course this not the privacy of the conventional
private, but of a privatization drive to destroy excess sociality and produce a state economy, a proper publicity of total work.
One feels that this feverish work is with us today, but without even the vague hope of the publicity of the Soviet Union. What is being
privatized to permit such a fever to take hold, and what kind of publicity stokes this fire, and as ever, is threatened by the flames? The
risk and at risk populations that reach publicity as private and public matters and are its objects of attention suggest a new tendency in
privatization. This tendency turns on social reproduction but again not directly through what is conventionally understood by
privatization, but at its roots, at its moment of production in the struggle over a new means of production. Conventional privatization
is only a symptom of this struggle at the root, and one of an already advanced disease.
It is only a symptom because today the struggle over privatization occurs at the level of life itself, and especially at the level of the
cognitive and affective capacities of the body. The General Intellect that Marx identified with science, and undoubtedly with
machinery, is recast by autonomist thinkers as a mass intellectuality residing in brains and bodies of labour. A history of production
across these bodies takes on all the difference of these bodies and becomes legible only in this context. The biopolitics identified in
contemporary scholarship is often understood as the site of politics but might also be marked as the residue of politics, as what is left
to publicity after a new means of production is privatized, taking off the table the politics of privatization and leaving only the politics
of public and private as it is currently constituted, as biopolitics. So today it might be necessary as Patricia Clough recently put it in
articulating the technoscience that underlies a subindividual ontology, to move 'beyond biopolitics.'iii
For instance, in the work of Lauren Berlant there is an anticipation of this privatization of the reproductive realm. She notes the way
that in the Reagan era what was the private sphere comes forward into the public sphere, but as a matter of immorality. (Berlant 1997)

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This was an early symptom of the consequences of privatizing social reproductive capacities, putting them to work, and leaving only
the anti-reproductive moment to the public, a moment that begins in immorality and will end in just a few years in wholesale
criminality. When social reproduction itself, when sociality itself, becomes the target of privatization, when not machinery but brains
and souls are to be rendered into dead labour, into private property, biopolitics may be one word for what is left to publicity. But even
this term might be too generous, too sociable. Because when the social itself is privatized, only the anti-social, only the criminal
remains for publicity. A state economy emerges that is not just concerned with the anti-social, but takes the anti-social as its modus
operandi, takes indifference to qualities of society as its public face. In short, the couple risk/at risk in the public sphere of a criminal
state-form. It must be quickly added that this criminal state-form is not criminal in the liberal sense of deviating from a societal norm,
nor criminal in the traditional Marxist sense of supporting the theft of wealth through labour- time. It is a state against society. The
war on terror mixes risk-embracing populations like soldiers and at risk populations like Arab civilians and seeks out a criminal path,
and an anti-social outcome. But who can blame it for being in a true sense, and not in the sense used by economists, path dependent?
All visible sociality is fast being criminalized, marked as having been unsuccessfully privatized. Such sociality becomes a threat to
productivity, to the basis of the state-form, to its criminality and thus the criminality of the state stands against sociality at every turn.
Productivity is the metric by which privatization appears as self-rationalizing. But at the same time, this stance marks criminality as
the last site of the un-privatized social. The fever of work is interrupted, risk is suspended, at the moment the criminal becomes its
opposite, not anti-sociality but sociality. And of course this moment comes all the time as capital's dream of living only on dead souls
is interrupted by the waking hunger for social genius, for mass intellectuality, for living labour. Suddenly the siege must be lifted,
prisoners released, raids called off, risky deals bailed out, at risk populations made into relative surplus ones.
The question of who is attributed with the capacity to self-manage and who is deemed unmanageable brings us to governance. The
ubiquitous term of comparison making formal equality of things more universal than ever, governance can be applied to hospitals,
universities, countries, and corporations. But more importantly in can be applied to populations. Populations that embrace risk, that
manifest the privatization of the General Intellect, embrace governance as the governmentality of indifference. Governance oversees
the hedging of interest against interest. But more than that governance tests for a population's ability to produce interests, to risk those
interests in the name of speculative accumulation. Governance is here a form of bioprospecting in the veins of mass intellectuality for
collective cognitive capacities that can be applied to accumulation strategies. And governance is the mouth of the criminal state-form,
calling out to the social, in order to privatize or criminalize it. Those who call back and identify their interests are the lucky ones,
these newly identified interests and their bearers are made productive, made to take risks, and led into the fever of work. Those who
do not answer, or cannot be heard, are said to be those without interests, the at-risk, the criminal.
With interests rising out of populations and returning to private hands for example in corporate multiculturalism or fair trade or green
consumption, the state is left only with those at risk, those feared to be without interest. And of course the figure today who is most
without interest is a certain criminal character, the terrorist. And as Angela Y. Davis notes 'racism played a critical role in the
ideological production of the communist, the criminal, and the terrorist.' (Davis 2005: 121-2) The roving racism of the at risk category
is the business that is left to the state, but this is also the business that is left of the state. And this is why governance must also fail,
why it must remain contradictory in the corporation, the nation, the NGO. If it were to work it would suggest a totality of structured in
difference, to use an older phrase, that would be deadly to the anti-social character of the contemporary state-form. If governance
were to do more than merely strip mine the general intellect and leave it scarred, it would become sociable, and would quickly become
the enemy of the state. This is the condition of the war on terror, a flailing limb of the criminal state which constantly flings itself
toward the very criminality, the very condition of being without interest, that it sees in the object of its violence. It works against
proper environments of risk, against the extraction of new interests, and instead piles up at risk populations and smashes constitutions
and remakes them in a Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde act that belies its criminal inheritance in the face of the privatization of all that is
healthy for the reproduction of society.
The state attacks itself here too. Clearly this is part of a wretched history that Marx identifies as Bonapartism in his account of the
crisis of class representation in the 18th Brumaire. Within a century the notorious burning of the Reichstag will signal the mass
mobilization of the state against itself that brings us fascism. Now the state is engaged in mass shedding, war is demobilizing even as
its profiteering is part of the executive's curriculum vitae (including the notable intimacies with Enron and Halliburton). The selfdestructiveness of today's politics is brought on by the incessant relinquishing of excess sociality, including that initiated by the state,

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to privatization. And what cannot be returned to the private must be criminalized and this is why in the end George W. Bush must
criminalize himself. No matter how much he seeks out laws, in the end he is driven to move beyond them, to turn against himself as
an instance of society. His wars, his camps, his dismissals of those charged with upholding the law, belie the impatience behind their
own pleas for permanence. Unable to uphold the legality of his policy, he incriminates himself and uses this sentence to stay the
course of execution. Bush delegates decision to maintain authority over those who would judge.
But it is worse, because as much as the state is at risk in this publicity, poison to itself no matter how many wars it launches or jails it
builds, it has not even the possibility of criminality. It is criminal, but it will never revolt. It can be anti-social, but it cannot abide any
un-privatized sociality in its midst, no welfare state, no war on poverty. And yet this mode of excess is premised on un-privatized
sociality, which is to say not on the criminal, the anti-social, but on criminality, the possibility that a population is not anti-social, not
consumed by the fever of work, not smothered in risk. This criminality is itself the possibility of a structure of feeling beneath this
fever, within this embrace, of a luxuriant excess privatized to make this work and speculation possible, but always escaping it. The
fate of those at risk, those immersed in criminality, the fugitive social-private, is to live, but the fate of the contemporary state-form,
the criminal state, the anti-social public, is to die.
It is the state today that is left to die. There is no difference between its typical operation and its normalizing exception. Only such
indifference has been left to it. Nicos Poulantzas wrote in his late work that 'the state itself bathes in the struggles that constantly
submerge it.'(Poulantzas 1980: 151) When those struggles have at their heart the excess produced by the social capacities carried in
the brains and souls of living labour, privatization leaves nothing to the imagination. To look for some suspension of law when the
ability to legislate is itself given over to capital in the form of governance, is to miss the residual character of the contemporary stateform. And yet Poulantzas also noted more than once 'the class enemy was always present within the state.' (Poulantzas 1980: 151)
That the contemporary state-form is the effect of living labour coming into contact with the anti-social edifice of its deeds, the ruins of
every social project, suggests that criminality remains present in the criminal state. This criminality at the heart of the state economy
destines revolt from the depths of the mode of excess.
Conclusion

If Bataille imagined spatially distinct general economies each with their attendant mode of excess, we now face a multiplicity of
excessive prospects and pathways. So many futures nestle in our presence. A fugitive from its lost world utopia has been jettisoned by
capital and gained a place in our midst. So too, dystopias no longer need be fabulized but have become the stuff of policy patterns. The
state-form indicts itself, commits itself to end government as we know it or assassinate its own inefficiency that goes by the name of
regulation. It admits to its own criminality but takes no responsibility. These dispassionate crimes cannot be concealed by the war on
terror. The terrorist stands as bad risk well taken. Criminality presents a bad state poorly executed. The terror war produces what it
seeks to curtail, both its own conditions of permanence but also an abundance of terror whose risks exceed all available hedge
strategies. Bataille looked at a capitalist world whose excess was neatly partitioned between fordist consumption, Keynesian war, and
nationally encapsulated socialism. None of these projects are available to us now. Consumption as an inducement to further production
has been eclipsed by swarms of credit and debt. The pump that war might prime has been reduced to a miniature of its former self as
the military budget has retracted from 40% of U.S. G.D.P. at the end of the second world war to 4% with the Iraq war (and a
proportionate reduction in the size of the military from over 18 million to around two million personnel). (truthandpolitics.org, 2003)
The Cold War's demise also ended national containment, and while social economies have not disappeared, their measurement has
proven elusive.
If we were to rename Bataille's trinity of excess in contemporary terms, we would look to immaterial labor and mass intellectuality in
place of the idiocy of consumerist shopping, risk governmentality in place of Keynesian pump priming, and population-for-itself
where socialism once snuggled safely in one country. As Bataille noted, the state is still cancerous to these formations, but their
production of difference exceeds what capital can absorb or the state can combat. The asymmetries of the world that the present
imperium takes as its worthy opponent cannot be crushed without assuring the proliferation of their own conditions of possibility.
Wars produce volatility not victory. Dissolution of publics will not engender national purpose. The desire that gave rise to vengeful
liberatory intervention collapses before an unsustainable demand. The state loses interest in its own messianic zeal, offers no ideas,
hews to information when it can generate no intelligence. Its legacy is to render the bestial necessity of history into discretionary

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expenditure. There is nothing that compels one war to be fought over another or one kind of expenditure to be made where another
could readily be imagined. The excessive amassing of wealth is to all lights sustainable, but its means of expenditure may not be.
These alter modes of excess take on force when the state abandons its own protocols of legitimacy. If the fordist trinity promised
inclusion--development for all who have the patience to wait their disciplined formations of labor, now labor is freed from such
encumbrances. Labor can pass into its own productivity, garnish its own wages, feed its own difference. This is the political
ascendancy of population as such. The abandonment of population to its own devices leaves an opening to the collective genius of
mass intellectuality to evoke itself as a knowledge form on behalf of an expansive principle of what population in itself and for itself
could be. This wealth is already with us. We can look forward to much more of it.

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