You are on page 1of 11

Transparent Education

The United States Federal Government should increase regulation of third grade optic
studies and mandate the construction of lightsabers through development of photon-
oriented curricula.

The systems of education themselves are infected – polluted with the desire for the
student as commodity to be passed through the operationalist machine.
Rankin, 16 [William, explorer in emerging pedagogies and mobile learning activist, 9/11, “Beyond
Modern Education: Simulacra and Simulation,” https://unfoldlearning.net/2016/09/11/beyond-modern-
education-2/, //MW]

“ The real no longer needs to be rational


is produced from miniaturized cells, matrices, and memory banks, models of control — and it can be reproduced an indefinite number of times from these. It , because it no

longermeasures itself against either an ideal or negative instance. It is no longer anything but operational. In fact, it is no longer really the real […]. It is a hyperreal, produced from a

the image
radiating synthesis of combinatory models in a hyperspace without atmosphere.” (2) In this phase, is simulacrum
“has no relation to any reality whatsoever; it its own pure ” (6). So to recap, in the first order, things are what they seem

because they stay tightly connected to human meaning. In the second order, things pretend to be something they’re not, and they have to pretend because they’re being dista nced from human meaning and capability to allow for mechanization and manufacturing. In the third order,
things only play at pretending because even mechanization and manufacturing are being displaced by marketing — the fabricated connection to human meaning and capability through a kind of fictional nostalgia. In the fourth order, things are no longer connected to genuine meaning
and become only virtual and self-referential, a world of disconnected echoes. Because their origins are purely digital and because the digital is ephemeral, easily changed or erased, they no longer have any significant connection to the real. It’s a pretty bleak picture and one that may be

surprising for those of us who are deeply invested in the digital world. But whether you buy Baudrillard’s model or not, this progression offers opportunity us an not only to understand the present

condition of our educational system , but also to plot its future trajectory — and to change it if we wish. This article and the next will trace some of the ways Baudrillard’s theories apply, and that will open the door for later installments in this series
where we’ll consider how to move beyond where we find education today. For now, let’s consider the parallel series of phases that we can trace through educational history, a “four orders of learning” that roughly matches the time periods and characteristics of Baudrillard’s four orders.

Seen through the lens of Baudrillard’s theory, the history of learning looks something like this: 1st-order learning was dominated by holistic focus : This model a centered around human craft.

Teaching and learning were practiced in personalized contexts


small, highly schools — the guild, the family, the mentor/disciple relationship. Some formed in this period, notably

Oxford and Cambridge Universities, still structure much of their teaching and learning around these close, highly interactive relationships. In this stage, teachers worked to guide students by giving them tailored assignments that matched students’ individual capabilities (Quintilian’s
Institutio Oratoria provides an excellent discussion), and students’ progress was measured largely by their ability to make or perform in real-world contexts. Assessment was conducted not only by an individual teacher or guide, but often by a related group or guild — or even by the
community at large. However, learning progress had not yet been abstracted into grades or scores, so there was no way to speed up or streamline the educational process since every learner had to be prepared and evaluated individually. Each learner proceeding through this system thus
represented the same level of investment on the part of the teacher or guide. Because of this direct correlation between the learners and the symbolic significance their learning represented (the investment of time, work, and expertise), anyone could quickly recognize the “meaning” of

learned” became a
their learning. In other words, being “ kind of sign in which the signifier and the signified were inherently — or even “naturally” — linked. Further, even abstract or philosophical studies were
grounded in the real both through observation of the world (consider, for example, Plato’s Symposia or Aristotle’s Rhetoric) and because learners were also expected to translate that learning back into service of the community through their practice

of the discipline and through their continued integration as the next generation of guides or teachers. This made
non-hierarchical equivalency for a kind of that characterized the period: learners were simply future

learning was a
teachers, and learning was just one stage in a continuous system. The direct connections between learners and teachers and between learning and service (even if that service was for a profit) meant that , in Baudrillardian terms,

“reflection of a profound reality The dawn of industrial culture


” (6), creating a symbolic understanding of learning we might call “sacramental.” 2nd-order learning: early not only

transformed how we “produced” learners,


how we produced goods but also learning became dominated by the and the focus of increasingly

factory . Not only did we shift the structure of schools better to match that of the factory (with layers of “management,” regularized hours, etc.) but we also increasingly expected the “products” of education — and even the overall goals of education — to take on the nature
of factory productions: reproducible, measurable, standardized, and broken down into easily manageable and discrete pieces. The increasing call for universal education in the 18th and 19th centuries, although deriving from certain high-minded concerns about human potential, were

equally focused on producing a functional and docile workforce — a “raw material” that was just as essential as iron, cotton, and wood to early factories. Although education still sought to prepare learners in the fields of study that had developed in the first stage, second-
order learning increasingly separated activities the of learning from activities associated with making in real-world contexts . Instead, second-order learning replaced them with
repetitive, hermetic tasks focused on building discipline and obedience. Indeed, the crowning representation of this new focus on control, paraded and parodied in countless retellings, was a school-bell system that mirrored the factory’s whistle — chiming out an end to students’ “shifts”
of drudging work in precisely the same way their parents were freed from their factories. Although the new model of learning s eemingly adopted the overall substance of first-order learning, it thus used that substance for largely opposite purposes: holistic, individualized empowerment
was, for most participants, replaced by delimited, standardized systems of control and subjugation. Although certain elite learners were still able to operate according to the old system (access typically being limited based on class or financial capability), the new system of the second

phase sought to replace it with something more “rational.” The idiosyncratic, learner-centric model of the old system was seen as an inefficient and anachronistic hold-over, and second-order educators sought to
replace it with standardized materials, standardized curricula, and standardized progress that would unlock the efficiencies necessary to establish universal education. In so doing, corners had to be cut, the craft of teaching was increasingly replaced with rationalized and standardized
“science,” and the careful attention to individual learning needs had to be abandoned. What had been a communal equivalency between learners and teachers became increasingly stratified and hierachized for most participants. Although many more students could be processed through

the new school “factories,” the symbolic meaning of education as a signifier was progressively diluted — a product of increasing standardization, disentanglement from real-world contexts, and the use of education as a system of

control. In this second phase, the symbolic significance of learning thus begins to “mask[…] and denature[…] a profound reality” (Baudrillard 6). 3rd-order learning: By this third stage, the notion of universal education — and the system of rationalization

displaced individualization
and standardization it required — was becoming so dominant and so conventional that it had largely the notion of standardized
that once characterized education. Indeed, the embrace of

learning and standardized testing transformed the enterprise entire educational . Politicians and educators alike touted the triumph of rationalizing “educational outputs,” fueled in part by the introduction of technologies like
the IBM 805 Test Scoring Machine in 1937. In this context, schools proved their worth not primarily by how they engaged students in meaningful enterprises but rather by students’ scores on a range of standardized tests developed and honed over decades. As this period progressed, the
pursuit of increasing performance metrics drove a relentless focus on “efficacy,” “efficiency,” and “results.” Coupled with economic and cultural pressures, this move to “industrialize” led to a narrowing of disciplinary offerings and a streamlining of curricula in the disciplines that
remained. The focus on “evidence” led to a predictable preference for disciplines dominated by discrete, rational information — science and math — and an increasing marginalization of the “fluffy” disciplines associated with the humanities — music, art, literature, and languages.
Disciplines were adapted to accommodate only those characteristics that testing could measure and that administrators and legislators wanted. The world of third-order learning was thus filled with activities whose every characteristic and rationale were already shaped by their ability to
prove the value of standardized assessment. What had begun as an effort to serve ever larger numbers of students through a rational system of metrics in the second phase thus became in the third an end in itself. Teachers, students, and schools were evaluated based on their ability to
meet standards in an increasingly proscribed way, and economic, social, and legislative efforts enforced compliance. At the same time, the work of schools became even further disconnected from active substantiation in the real world. While a sort of lip-service was still paid to the ways
learning would benefit students “after graduation,” the notion of actual application was increasingly marginalized, reserved for “vocational learning.” Such learning of trades was also increasingly discredited, seen as an option only for those who couldn’t make it in “real” school — which,
ironically, was increasingly characterized by its divorce from the real. The net effect was a separation of the signifiers of education (grades, degrees, and measurements of performance) from w hat they had once signified (holistic expertise and application). Isolated from opportunities for
engagement in real-world contexts or activities, students were increasingly channeled to embrace a model of “academic achievement” whose primary task involved serving the assessment regimen. This shift is perhaps best epitomized in the increasing focus on test preparation as a
dominant part of primary and secondary school curricula. Students, in turn, realizing what was actually at the heart of the system, also began to prefer the signifier over its signified, pursuing the grade (rather than the learning it was meant to certify) as a way of gaming the academic
system: “I really need an A in this class so I can get into the college I want” (or “keep my scholarship” or “get that job” or any number of possibilities). Such displacement shows a kind of triumph of “marketing” that almost completely severs the tenuous relationship between reality and
signification. In fact, this endless echo-effect became so pervasive that people begin to lose touch with what “real” learning even meant — at least in first-order terms. The closest most people got was the ghost of past academic rituals that still haunted academic proceedings in the form
of nostalgia — parades of academic regalia and increasingly hollow references to the “rights, privileges, and responsibilities hereunto appertaining” on diplomas. Those rituals, originally designed to mark participants with the outward signifiers that pointed to an attainment of expertise
through the investment of time and work, now became largely boundary marking events. Those outside of the academic system expected to have to train graduates thoroughly in “real work” because the application of skills was almost entirely missing from their ed ucational experience.

We might therefore call this third phase “the order of sorcery” because the symbolic accoutrements of learning only “play[ed] at being an appearance” (Baudrillard 6) — seeking to comfort us with a reassuring “ reality proved itself ” that almost entirely

illusory if we peeked behind the curtain. Backed by carefully measured yet largely meaningless piles of standardized data, educational attainment in this third phase therefore covered over the fact that there was little real behind thos e scores because their chief function was
to “mask[…] the absence of a profound reality” (6). 4th-order learning: For many schools (especially in the US), the confluence of standardized testing, “results”-based funding, international competition, the productization of education for business purposes, and political opportunism
turned the nature of education on its head in this final phase. In what we might call the “simulacrum” of learning, schools’ dependency on student test scores for survival and funding made students not the beneficiaries but rather the fodder of a hermetic bureaucratic system no longer

centrally focused on their holistic preparation. Second- and third-order efforts to assess and guarantee school performance according to standardized outcomes fully metastasized, resulting in a system disconnected from the
so

real that it was virtually unrecognizable. A few giant multinationals now controlled not only the standardized exams and all of the preparatory materials that supported them, but also entire curricular catalogues, their chief aim being to lock educational entities fully into their

resource monopolies, maximizing profit by controlling the entire educational project (consider the case of the Canuttllo school district, near El Paso). Schools , under pressure to meet performance metrics or be punished, not only scrubbed from their rolls

“ undesirable” students who might bring down test scores, but also “juked the stats,” manipulating performance in ways that sometimes included outright cheating (Atlanta and Houston being just two notable instances). School curricula were
perverted to serve particular, narrow political ideologies (consider the recent dustup over Texas’ treatment of slavery or its rewriting of textbooks). In the fun-house hall of mirrors that resulted, there was one glaring absence: concern with increasing capabilities that benefitted learners.
Despite a relentless focus on improving test scores, those test results had nothing to do with creativity, innovation, or entrepreneurship as Yong Zhao has recently shown with PISA scores here and here. Educational enterprises are designed to compete with one another, but are utterly
divorced from what people once considered reality — that connection to developing human capability and expertise through real-world application. This is the world of the “hyperreal,” a world “produced from [….] models of control [that] no lo nger needs to be rational, because it no
longer measures itself against either an ideal or negative instance. It is no longer anything but operational. In fact, it is no longer really the real […]” ( Baudrillard 2). In this phase, the image “has no relation to any reality whatsoever; it is its own pure simulacrum” (6). Of course, what I’m
describing here — like Baudrillard was doing — are overall superstructures, the symbolic frameworks that give shape and meaning to our world and the way we read it. It’s not that good, caring teachers have disappeared in the fourth order, nor have instances of applications of real-world
learning to real-world situations (for example, efforts in problem- and challenge-based learning). And this is not to say that students can’t learn and benefit, even if their educational lives are dominated by fourth-order structures. However, the existence of a fourth-order “simulation”

means that teachers who want to operate according to a different model must fight a n entire symbolic system arrayed against them, and they must invent a new kind of

language — a new form of signification — to succeed.

Against this, we posit our only option left – fatal theory, radical thought, and theory
fiction that anticipates the movement of the system of transparency through
rendering the world more mysterious and enigmatic, offering the solace of flipping the
very conditions that make the system’s smooth functioning possible.
Kline 16. Kip Kline, professor of education at Lewis University, Baudrillard, Youth, and American Film:
Fatal Theory and Education, Rowman and Littlefield, 2016, 109-17
Policies and discourse ineducation scholars, critical pedagogues, and others are committed to highlighting and opposing the rhetorical violence and young people are subjectedin schools. They also provideof capital. However, the responses to these phenomena that their work offers are,
from a Baudrillardian view, inefficacious since they are rooted in an outmoded Marxist theory and lean on a commitment to emancipation and liberation through pedagogy. Here I argue, the critical education work that is rooted in the traditions of Marxism and critical theory, though it
has been indispensable in terms of locating and critiquing violent discourse and practice with regard to education and youth, also promotes a cruel form of hope in educational institutions as central figures in the reversal of the lamentable current systemic trends. It argues that critical

theorists are right to see schooling as a generator of


theory and pedagogy provide hope that systems, in particular, education, can be revolutionized. Critical mainstream the affective liquidity

leveraging neo-liberalism their suggestions are less promising


, but for resistance and revolution than . Modernist projects of critical theory and pedagogy have proven to be mirages. In their place, I
argue for a more viable, postmodern hope in the form of fatal theory, fatal strategies, and radical thought. These related ideas from the later portion of Baudrillard’s corpus are applied here to the troublesome discourse about youth that informs the systems in which they move,
especially education, which again, is increasingly subservient to other systems (e.g., political, economic). To begin, it should be noted that referring to Baudrillardian concepts as contributing to forms of postmodern hope is a bit precarious given his rejection of the postmodern. Below I
discuss, in some detail, Baudrillard’s complex relationship with postmodernity. I also specifically articulate why I have chosen to refer to my application of fatal theory and radical thought to youth and education as an effort toward postmodern hope. Before the full discussion of fatal
theory in light of education and youth, I analyze the ways in which certain forms of resistance (which are often taken up by critical theorists in education) are inefficacious in the current state of the world, in late capitalism. Baudrillard’s ideas are central to that argument. Beyond this, I
argue that there are two growing and particular kinds of critique in the age of ubiquitous social media that also fail to hit their mark. Snide remarks or “snark” as a reaction to offensive or anti-progressive rhetoric and policy has become an increasingly popular means of garnering online
attention through displays of cleverness. Snark is, however, often associated with satire, which can be understood as having affiliation with fatal strategies. So, there is a complicated relationship between Baudrillard’s fatal theory and snark. I explore this relationship b elow and ultimately
argue that snark falls into the category of a form of resistance or critique that gets absorbed into the code. Incredulity is another reaction by leftists and those associated with critical theory to right-wing bigotry, ignorance, and oppression. Again, examples of such reactions are not
difficult to locate in social media. It has been an outlet for an accruing amount of ostensive shock, astonishment, and disbelief by progressives in the face of various expressions of anti-progressivism. Like snark, incredulity seems to be a preferred tool for responding to political and social
rhetoric to which one is averse. And also like snark, the inherent critique in incredulous reactions is impotent in the late capitalist code. To be clear, when it comes to critical pedagogues and critical theorists with interests in youth and education, it is not the content of their concerns that I
find wanting. This is also the case, as noted earlier, with regard to critical media literacy. Critical pedagogy, in general, and critical media literacy, specifically, locate and critique the same systemic violence as a Baudrillardian fatal theory of youth and education. Violent discourse and

Baudrillard focuses on
policies toward young people and their connection to institutions like schools is of deep concern to both critical and fatal theorists. But ’s fatal theory more the level of form than critical theory. And, ultimately,

radical thought provides possibilities for resistance that avoid being subsumed by the late capitalist code whereas, the responses of critical theory and critical pedagogy are

vulnerable to being incorporated into the code and repackaged as a set of signs to be consumed. Fatal theory/strategies and radical thought are challenging notions within Baudrillard’s corpus and the intent in this chapter is to preserve their provocativeness in my analysis and application
to matters of youth and education. In so doing, it is important to admit that this application work will not result in any policy or practice suggestions. Such is not the outcome of the pursuit of fatal strategies and its accompanying radical thought. Rather, their aim is well beyond the level of

they push negative conditions


policy as seek to on the of the system until it reverses theory fiction
course. Radical thought can be accompanied by what Baudrillard terms “ ” as a way

render the world enigmatic


of ing to anticipate
, as a means of staying at the margins in order the world and its events that he claimed critical thought was
lagging behind. 1 Relevant systems with respect to youth and education are already given over to the late capitalist code. The system of schooling, for example, is constantly subject to externally imposed policy changes at both the macro and micro levels. Anecdotes abound
in local American schools regarding the rapidity with which new programs are implemented, ostensibly in order to address a wide range of problems including English language learners, the so-called achievement gap, bullying, perceived deficiencies in “social-emotional learning,”
childhood obesity. While some of these issues seem to have clear educational components, all of the programs that schools adopt in order to address them fall under the category of what David Labaree has called “the educationalization of social problems.”2 Baudrillard’s

radical thought and fatal theory, when translated into this context of the system of schooling in the United States, reject the notion that making headway with these social issues involves the

constant new adoption of , “better” programs , replacing last year’s model for ameliorating the achievement gap or creating healthier school lunches with a new “research based” approach. Ultimately the radical thought and postmodern hope that I

the fatal theorist understands the only options are


am arguing for here dismisses altogether the educationalizing of social issues, though not out of insouciance. Rather, in education that available

radical thought which offer flipping conditions that allow


and theory fiction, the
do system the hope of potentially the very for the current functioning of late capitalist .

Baudrillard has been misread as nihilistic


’s work . As we saw above, Kellner is convinced of its unequivocal pessimism. "Baudrillard’s nihi- lism is without joy, without energy, without hope for a better future.”3 But

radical thought are hopeful O]ne must fight


Baudrillard himself insisted that fatal theory and nihilism , indeed, . ”[ all charges of irresponsibility, or despair. Radical thought is never depressive. On
this point there is a total misunderstanding.”4 In the context of education, there is some amount of hope already in disabusi ng ourselves of the notion that dialec- tical critique has efficacy within the late capitalist code. But also, hope with regard to youth and education might lie in taking
the opposite tack of the critical theorists who react with incredulity to the system working as it is designed to work. The fatal theorist, by contrast, seeks to destabilize through hyperconformity to the system’s expectations. To choose the path of fatal theory and postmodern hope,
though, will mean abandoning our projects, even our favored progressive ones, of educationalizing of social problems. As mentioned above, connecting Baudrillard with the notion of "post- modern hope” requires explanation. His connection with postmodemity is complex. His critics,
namely Kellner, understood him as unequivocally postmodernist. For those critics, this label meant that he was nihilistic, that he in some sense celebrated the world he was describing. Kellner, who was clearly no admirer of Baudrillard’s centralization of the semiot- ic, went so far as to call
him a “sign-fetishist.”5 But Mike Gane and others have demonstrated clearly that Kellner had misread Baudrillard. Indeed, Ba udrillard specifically resisted the label “postmodernist.” He once said, "I have nothing to do with postmodernism.”6 On Gane’s reading, it is ironic that during the
19805, the rise of the postmodern counter-move- ment targeted Baudrillard as “the high priest of postmodernism” since Baudrillard’s "position is one of great hostility to the whole phenome- non.”7 But Gane later admitted that Baudrillard’s rejection of the post- modern label was done
"not entirely consistently, since occasionally he has been willing to play with the opposition between the modern and the postmodern.”8 It should be noted that Gane’s admission was not a change of position on his reading of Baudrillard, rather, in the time be- tween the two assertions,
Baudrillard had made new statements regard- ing modernity/postmodernity. Throughout the late 19805 and well into the 19905, Gane and Kellner argued over Baudrillard’s relationship with postmodernity. Gane, on the one side, asserted that Baudrillard’s project was to combat the
postmod- ern (as is the case in Rex Butler’s claim that Baudrillard’s work is "in' defence of the real”).9 Kellner, on the other, alleg ed Cane was wrong and that Baudrillard’s project was surely “connected in intricate ways to the problematic of the postmodern .” 10 For his part, Gane was
convinced that Kellner had "ulterior objectives” in his reading of Baudrillard. “Kellner has attempted a critique of Baudrillard that first sets up the modernity- postmodernity model and then claims that Baudrillard underestimates the potential for a Marxist appraisal of this shift and
resistance to it," according to Gane, who, then went on to critique Kellner’s position saying, “The problem with this line of reading Baudrillard is that it launches the critique too soon at the wrong object: a critique of a phantom based on a crude and dogmatic appeal to a theory of
capitalism and of revolutionary mass action and social transformation.” Gane eventually argued that, in the end, Baudrillard’s later writing seems to settle the issue since he neglects to use the term postmodern much and rarely employs the concept. That is, “it does not map on to either
the third or fourth order simulacra categories,” and, beyond this, "By locating the emergence of the term in Baudrillard’s writing it does look as if its func- tion has been to specify one of the routes not to take within fourth order culture” (emphasis mine).12 Although I am much more
sympathetic to Gane’s reading of Baudril- lard than Kellner’s, as has been clear throughout, here I am using the phrase “postmodern hope” to describe the result of replacing critical theory with fatal theory and radical thought in the efforts to resist violent rhetoric and policy regarding
youth and education. I use the term postmodern with some amount of trepidation though, in the end, I find it necessary. Not only did Baudrillard reject it as a label, it also is a danger- ous word since it elicits rabid reactions from some who take issue with a broad set of arguments filed
under postmodernism. It can also, for the same or similar reasons, trigger outright dismissal of any arguments that follow when it is mentioned. I am also well aware, on the other hand, that the term postmodernism can attract too quick and too eager agreement for those whom I would
call celebratory postmodernists, who I take to be the inverse of the dismissive lot previously mentioned. In this case the content of the arguments that follow are less important than the moniker that precedes them. Celebratory postmodernists could also refer to those who find particular
elements of the break with modernity to be welcome (e.g., the loss of the real, the onset of nihilism) developments. I do not count myself among this group; on the contrary, and it is the group into which Kellner mistakenly places Baudrillard. Because of these complica- tions around
postmodernism, I want to be very clear about my use of the term. First, I am using postmodern to generally classify my descriptive arguments about the world. The primary animating ideas surrounding these arguments are taken from Baudrillard—the third (and eventually fourth) order
of simulacra, simulations, and hyperreality, or, the loss of the real. Again, for Baudrillard, the loss of the real was a descriptive critique and his entire project was to defend the real through a description of a world in which the semiotic has colonized the symbolic, a world in which the

communications tech has substituted virtual non-communication


trajectory of nology for proximal human interaction, and the deluge of signs
without referents have supplanted the dialectical
—a world of simulations that relationship between illusion and the real. Baudrillard found all of this lamentable. In the context of critical scholars of
education and youth, Baudrillard’s descriptive arguments are best referred to as postmodern since critical theorists tend to rely on Marxian notions that Bau- drillard came to reject.13 Beyond this, specifically in the field of philosophy of education the preponderance of arguments is
based in classical (mostly Plato and Aristotle) or modern (mostly Dewey and critical theory) thought. There are numerous exceptions, to be clear. However, when philosophy is applied to education, it is generally the case that arguments favor what are understood as either classical or
modern philosophical traditions. In my view, Baudrillard’s ideas fall into neither category and his particular descriptive arguments can be understood as more radical than those that rely on critical theory. Additionally, and perhaps more to the point, I am using the term postmodern to
describe a lack of faith in Enlightenment projects and modern forms of dialectical critique. To the degree that this lack of faith is an indicator of postmodernism, a Baudrillardian form of hope is appropriately understood as postmodern. As he said, "All forms that tend to project a dazzling

capitalist code is adept at subsuming critique


and miraculous liberty are only revolutionary homilies.” 14 For him the late and offering it back as a set of signs to be consumed. The code actually encourages a

resistance cannot be dialectical


certain level of critique. Pawlett says, “effective resolution is the because synthesis or very dynamic of the capitalist system as it constantly

revolutionises itself through the code sign . In other words critique is rapidly absorbed by simulation.”15 In my View, there is some amount of hope already in disabusing our- selves of the notion that dialectical critique has efficacy within the late capitalist
code. Relatedly, postmodern hope can come in the form of locating and understanding various forms of false hope that stem from the various forms of what I have called modern descriptions of the world above. In addition to this initial postmodern hope that comes along with a
separation from false hope, I also want to offer the idea that hope with regard to youth and education might lie in taking the opposite tack of the critical theorists or the kind of critique that begins with incredulity in the face of the system working precisely as it is designed. That is, the

functioning of the system can be destabilized through hyperconformity a to its expectations. Although this notion will be taken up in more detail below, one of the ways in which it

translates to the present study of youth and education is refusal to support the educationalizing social problems—not even the ones those of us who count ourselves as radicals or progressives like since the responses that educational institutions have with regard to social issues are

Schools
precoded anyway. As mentioned above, David Labaree has made significant contribu— tions to the analysis of the educationalization of social problems. in the United States continue to be the primary location for attempting
to address social problems and yet, they are demonstrably unsuccessful in doing so. Labaree’s explanation is that, as a society, we are content with a formalized version of social reform that does not

actually hit its target, since this gives us satisfaction with regard to social ills and at the same time does not violate the particular brand of liberalism in' the United States that emphasizes individualism. He says: We assign f ormal responsibility to education for solving our most pressing
social problems 111' light of our highest social ideals, with the tacit understandm‘g that by educationalizing these problem—solving ef- forts we are seeking a solution that is more formal than substantive. We are saying that we are willing to accept what education can produce- new
programs, new curricula, new ms'titutions, new degrees, new edu- cational opportunities—m place of solutions that might make real changes m' the ways in which we distribute social power, wealth, and honor.16 Below I discuss in detail how lack of support for the educationalizing of
social problems is related to the fatal strategy of hyperconformity to the system. Before a full examination of fatal theory and radical thought as applied to education and youth, it is important to understand how some critical reactions to late capitalism end up reinforcing the rationality of
the system. IN CREDULITY, SNARK, AND THE REIN SCRII’I'I ON OF CAPITALIST RATIONALITY Much of the response to specific incidences the sort of violence directed at young people generally and specifically in schools is often met with is a kind of disbelief or amazement by critical
pedagogues and critical theory scholars concerned with the state of schooling or treatment of youth in the United States. This is not altogether different from the typical response of most progressives and leftists to any ignorant, bigoted, or otherwise offensive statement or act by
conservative politicians and pundits, right-wing religious zealots, or social commentators. Social media’s rise to ubiquity has enabled a high level of visibility of these kinds of reactions. Both Facebook and Twitter (to use the most popular examples) are replete with incredulous responses
to the most obstreperous racism and sexism and fundamental religion-based hatred. “Can you believe what [well-known political or social figure or commentator] just said?!” is a familiar Internet trope. Yet, this response of incredulity is curious. What do criticalists and leftists expect from
right-wing or fundamentalist commentators? Should we continue to be shocked and amazed by the same rhetoric from the same talking heads? Should we expect that politicians with a track record of thinly veiled bigotry will eventually align them- selves with anti-racist or anti-sexist
social movements? Through a Baudrillardian lens, it can be argued that these responses of incredulity end up reinforcing the rationality of the system. It seems as though the kinds of reactions analyzed above are akin to the response critical theorists and progressive educators have to
anti- democratic school reform and continued evidence that school policies and rhetoric regarding youth are animated by market logic. On one pos- sible reading the response of incredulity is a form of dialectical critique. And insofar as late capitalism is the enemy of t he aims of

democratic education, this may be a problem since, according to Baudrillard, in late capitalism dialectic resistance is no longer possible. Therefore, any traditional critique of the system assumes and even reinforces the rationality

system
of the . In the end, the point is that what is responded to with incredulity should not be surprising or shocking. Valuing unfettered market logic is precisely th e way the system works. Why are we surprised when late capitalism functions exactly the way it is supposed

It is designed to stretch
to? and create new markets (out of teenagers or public institutions such as schools) and manipulate them. And traditional forms of resistance , based in critical or emancipatory theories

are only producing signs


capable of of resistance. As William Pawlett puts it: According to Baudrillard there is no more dialectic of measuring, either in representation, the dialectic between the sign and reference, or in economics between supply

and demand. The [late capitalist] code absorbs these through “predictive anticipation” and “planned socialisation,” which extends far beyond the production and consumption of goods and incorporates "needs, knowledge, culture, information, sexuality” as terms of the code. All that
once had an "explosive force” is defused, deterred or contained; there may still be signs of the dialectic, but they are precisely that: only signs. Signs of revolt and liberation abound (Che Guevara t-shirts and gay couples on TV). But these are signs generated by the capitalist system and
any “revolution” they generate is at the level of the sign. 17 My argument here is that to respond with incredulity is to create a Sign of r evolt. This contemporary form of incredulity is a form of outmoded dialectical critique adorned with the accouterment of the social media age that ends
up adding to a set of signs to be consumed. One of the ways in which this phenomenon articulates itself is in the tone and style that critical progressives often employ when responding incredulously to offensive policies, speech, and acts. That is, I think the kind of response referred to
above that I find exemplified in social media Sometimes engenders the false hope of what I will call here, the Club of Snark. By this I mean that snark often becomes the extension of the in- Credulous response. Snark, combined with the development of (non) communications technology
and social media, can result in a race to see who can generate the most cleverly constructed retort. In the case of progressive and critical educators, a virtual club is then formed around snarky riposte to the opponents of democratic/Deweyan-inspired ideas about schooling and school
reform or to the bigoted and neoliberal opponents of critical pedagogues. No doubt, progressives and others on the Left are by no means the only groups participating in snark. I focus on progressives, the Left, critical theorists and pedagogues because those are the groups with which a
fatal theorist in education is aligned in terms of sets of concerns about youth and education. My concern is that the pro- gressive Clubs of Snark are ineffective in terms of reversrn'g conditions.

The will to reality or the attempt to impose meaning on the world is the attempt to
sublimate the Evil of irrationality and mystery. We are gorged with meaning from fake
news and Trump to this debate round and all the framework lectures- we have all
become Chris Christie trapped in the prisonhouse of meaning that is the global Mar-a-
lago. The attempt to impose meaning onto the very form of information devours its
content. We need to relocate the nexus of global violence from particular geopolitical
events to representational domain.
Öberg 16 (Dr. Dan Öberg, Professor in Department of Military Science, Swedish Defense College,
Associate Editor for Journal of Narrative Politics, War, transparency and control: the military architecture
of operational warfare, Cambridge Review of International Affairs, October 20, 2016, p. 3-13)
In what way does warfare relate to social control? Historically, war studies and military science, as well as military doctrine in general, tend to understand warfare as the how of waging war, typically involving force-on-force military
operations on a demarcated field of battle (Creveld 1991, 10; Gat 2006, 9; Keegan 2004, 28; US DOD 2013, I2). That is, warfare as the “how” of war tends to be reduced to the application of military battlefield tactics taking place in
a more or less demarcated space/time. As Caroline Holmqvist has stated, the focus on the question of “how” risks making the method of war a preoccupation in its own right. Moreover, this might lead to a neglect of the way

warfare is always already interlinked with dominant legal, political and colonial discourses (Holmqvist 2010, 111–113; Mbembe 2003, 25; Pretorius 2008, 114). As part of
attempts to understand warfare beyond such a ‘bare technique’ so as to properly conceive of it as ‘a technological instrument in the management of a global(ised) system’ (Behnke 2006, 937), there have been a number of
empirical studies which relate warfare (and predominately Western military imaginaries) to discourses of control. They have studied the relationship between control and industrialized-mechanized warfare (see Bousquet 2009),
network-centric warfare (Lawson 2011), the interplay between military representations of strategy (Wasinski 2011), and the co-constitutive aspects of fighting and political theory (Brighton 2013). As Dillon and Reid (2000, 2001,

liberal way of rule … necessarily


2009) argue in their work on “the liberal way of war”, to understand global warfare, we need to investigate the way it exerts control as a specific liberal practice. They suggest that: the

correlates with its own brand of war-making … (and is) … shaped by its commitment to war, and the exigencies not simply of war-making but of the continuous state of emergency and security as well as
constant preparedness for war, which characterize liberal rule as such. (Dillon and Reid 2009, 8) This is one reason why it makes sense to turn to the various preoccupations that characterize the discursive character of liberal
regimes: knowledge networks, complexity, self-adaption (Dillon and Reid 2001, 45) and, in addition to this, transparency. Although a plural and complex enterprise, global liberal governance is comprised of techniques on managing

wars, most notably the US-led


populations that operate a strategic game highly dependent on assimilating war into its practices of power (Dillon and Reid 2001, 41–42). Both historically and in the present, liberal

counterinsurgency wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, reflect the countries that wage them. They rest on the policing of a foundational narrative of emancipation and humanitarian values. Such policing points

towards an increasing logic of surveillance against the movements of populations and thereby risks leading to an “unending war” directed against the uncertainty and

interconnectivity of political life. The current militarization of the refugee situation in the Mediterranean is one case in point. In fact, other areas such as aid-work can be seen as a complementary strategic facet which

relies on military interventions to clear the way and to protect. This is what has been known as the “Humanitarian Empire” (Duffield 2010, 69; Evans 2013, 47; see also Holmqvist 2014). It is
interesting, moreover, to consider the way war and practices of liberal peace came together in the “war on terror”. This conflation can be seen in how strategies of violent interventions are committed to the advancement of

liberalism is based on rational means and ends deliberation that neglects how wars of “emancipation” involve radically different perspectives on
liberalism as a social organization. One example is the way

life, consequently leading to depolitization and dehumanization of the Other. This in turn suggests that liberal warfare stems out of liberal peace interventionism and principles of ‘total

governance’ (Behnke 2004, 280–287; Bell 2011, 310–312, 323–325; Duffield 2010, 53–56). As Brad Evans has argued, even humanitarian intervention rests upon an ‘operative fabric of … faith’ which

leads to a politics of pre-emption (2013, 179). Indeed, as we shall see in the final parts of this article, such logic is an integral part of the operationalization of warfare. However, before we do so, the following
sections turn to Baudrillard, to better unpack the way warfare relates to transparency as a means of control. Transparency and control Already in the 1960s, French sociologist Jean Baudrillard warned of the way transparency
works as an ideology of social control. In challenging transparency, Baudrillard has looked particularly at the way urban architecture combines mirroring and light with interconnected open spaces. He argues that these features

transparency is generated by operational modelling, algorithms, and the processing that occurs in networks and closed loops. This in turn
stand in direct relation to what he calls “operational violence”: namely, that

gives rise to a type of alienation that violently circumscribes the subject from lived experience (Baudrillard 2005a, 43; 2005b, 25–38). Baudrillard spent
considerable effort investigating the way operational violence and transparency are generated by capitalist and techno- scientific structures of production and liberation. Such structures in turn create systemic effects in which lived
experience works as an expression of an ideological system based on total visibility (Baudrillard 1975, 54–64; 1994a, 61–73; 2005b, 17, 146). Baudrillard draws upon these insights in a number of ways, claiming that

transparency indicates a subtle form of censorship or even a ‘terror’ as it makes the global subject hostage to the fluid and systemic aspects of various architectures of control
(Baudrillard 1994b, 58; Baudrillard and Nouvel 2002, 9, 64). Understood in this way, architectures of control help to generate a ‘hegemonic visibility’ which is best characterized as a world ‘where everything

must be immediately visible and immediately interpretable’ (Baudrillard and Nouvel 2002, 9). Arguably, the problem of control through transparency centres on how to ‘invest mental and visual space’ (Baudrillard
2014, 11). Control is enabled through summoning banal appearances that are “already there”—repeating and modulating themselves to infinity, according to the nuances of a programmed operational code (Baudrillard and Nouvel
2002, 63; Baudrillard 2014, 22–23). Baudrillard aptly summarizes this ideology as construing a world in which ‘everything is to be legible’, ‘visible’, ‘measurable’, ‘said, accumulated, indexed and recorded’ (1990a, 34–35). In the
wake of Baudrillard (and other thinkers like Foucault and Virilio), critical debate on the politics of transparency took off in the 1990s. Often situated as part of a critique of liberal governing, such research emphasizes three

transparency is related to a modernist desire of democratic


important points (see for comparison Mahmud 2012, 1196; Hansen and Flyverbom 2014, 875–876). Firstly, the notion of

rationality. For example, it emphasizes displays and gives the illusion of choice, but works as an imperceptible limit which might trap subjectivity in particular organizational
architectures (see Gabriel 2005; Schuman 2007; Nordin 2016). Secondly, transparency, regardless of its aims, tends to relate to surveillance, in turn making the notion strongly linked to social control. As Achille Mbembe has

striving towards absolute transparency between the state and its people. Such a striving tends to be
argued, both state and emancipatory violence has often been historically characterized by

built on creating an open space in which ‘error’ is reduced, ‘truth’ enhanced and ‘aberrations’ eradicated (Mbembe 2003, 19). Thirdly,
transparency is often considered to be a voluntary but necessary aspect of global capitalism. The insight that transparency works as a means of corporate control is evident in research which argues that media exposure and

scientificprogress often lead to less rather than more accountability in global capitalist structures. For example, exposure of certain issues tends to enable blind spots in other areas.
Similarly, scientific discourse tends to remove ethical issues from the agenda by relying on a specialized language which is difficult for the layman to understand (Zyglidopoulos and Fleming
2011, 692–693). Arguably, these logics work as central dimensions in what we might call “an ideology of transparency” conflated with liberal core values. As Slavoj Zizek has illustrated, ‘ideology’ should not be taken to mean (as in
the orthodox Marxist premise) a ‘false consciousness’. Rather it implies the formation of ‘a social reality whose very existence implies the non-knowledge of its participants as to its essence’ (Zizek 1989, 21). To outline and
challenge transparency as an ideology is therefore not an attempt to unveil a “better” reality through theory. It is rather an attempt to understand, theoretically and empirically, what global liberal fantasies of making the world

this ideology is present, and indeed produced, in distinct spheres such as information
appear through techniques of total visibility do in terms of producing specific discourses as reality. As has been outlined,

technology, corporate culture or knowledge algorithms (Valentine 2000; Zyglidopoulos and Fleming 2011; Hansen and Flyverbom 2014). But it is also an inherent part of the gendered and racialized visual

regimes that underlie surveillance activities and security practices in contemporary Europe, for example in the way the “colonial gaze” persists through exoticizing difference (see Vaughan-
Williams 2008; Jones 2011). This is evident particularly in the way transparency helps to create an impetus for racialized othering in a world in which “all is uncovered”. Transparency
and warfare As the previous parts established, the logic of global warfare is characterized by its interrelation to liberal discourses of interventionism. Moreover, transparency needs to be understood, not as “good governance” but
as part of an ideology which strives to render the world visible, measurable, indexed and recorded, so as to invest it as a mental and visual space. How does this ideology of transparency relate to global warfare? One of the few
thinkers who have connected warfare with transparency as a means to control a battlefield is Paul Virilio. He explicitly locates an ideology of transparency as part of the military imaginary waging war. In doing so, Virilio argues that
social control over demarcated spaces has given way to global control of the environment dependent on various techniques of transparency (such as aerial imagery or radar), often enacted through military vision (Virilio 1989, 72;

2000a, 61). Tracing how the world gradually becomes more and more transparent as a result of the visualization of the battlefield, Virilio interprets historical events in warfare, such as the bombings of Belgrade by
extend a ‘matchless transparency’ to the globe (Virilio 2000b, 23). His argument mirrors other critics of liberal warfare (often
North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in 1999, as part of an attempt to

drawing upon Foucault) who state that when a population is targeted the consequences go beyond injury as it aims to pacify global subjectivity. For example, Vivianne Jabri has argued that technologies
that target bodies and populations are not isolated occurrences but part of liberal governing (Jabri, 2006, 55). The argument that there is a politics that unfolds on the field of battle is also evident in Shane Brighton’s urging that the
study of warfare should engage directly with ‘the killing mechanism on the battlefield’ so as to better grasp its politics (2013, 663–665). The point that warfare is about killing and violence is well taken. However, it might be a
mistake to think of battlefield practices as the locus of the way warfare exerts control. Arguably, thinking warfare in this way indirectly helps to create a demand for more transparency on the field of battle. This is not to say that
the “terror” Baudrillard identifies in the hegemonic visibility of modern life is any less relevant when it comes to the battlefield, but simply that it extends beyond it. The “matchless transparency” that Virilio found in the Kosovo
war was enacted not merely through the Belgrade bombings but also as part of the whole operational machinery which supported this effort. In fact, there is a whole subset of “supportive functions” which occur beyond the field
of battle. Much of the military supporting systems can be interpreted as a design aiming to efficiently orchestrate combat.3 This design is called “operational warfare” and typically deals with planning, employment and the
supportive functions of war (see Vego 2007; Olsen and Creveld 2011). The idea that warfare is operational underlies all US and NATO doctrine and can be exemplified by the way it is considered an “effects-based” process which is
fought by being coordinated, modelled and planned (see AFDD 2007a, 1-2, 37-40). In fact, the military itself defines the art of operational warfare as the processes which ‘visualize how best to efficiently and effectively employ
military capabilities ….’ (AFDD 2007b, 70). Let us, therefore, in order to better understand the relationship between warfare, transparency and control, consider the military architecture beyond the field of battle and the way it

operationalizes warfare. As Antoine Bousquet has outlined, the military has been preoccupied for centuries with eradicating friction and uncertainty from warfare. In recent
times, attempts to lift the ‘fog of war’ in order to get an omniscient, real-time view of the battlefield are often associated with ‘network centric warfare’ (Bousquet 2009, 215–234). While most authors emphasize the way network-
centric warfare relates to information and communication, what concerns me here is not so much the alleged shift in warfare due to new technology. Rather, I find network-centric warfare interesting as part of an attempt to
extend a “matchless transparency” to the global battlefield through a logic of operational violence. In fact, the core characteristics of network-centric warfare are part and parcel of operational warfare. As Steve Niva has shown,
what today is called ‘shadow wars’ is to a large degree enabled as a result of organizational changes in American bureaucratic structures which stem out of network-centric warfare (Niva 2013, 197–198). It is therefore not far-
fetched to examine military discourses in accordance with a logic that aims to create “hegemonic visibility” due to administrative and bureaucratic rituals. The historical attempt to lift the fog of war and create an omniscient view
of the battlefield mesh well with the way modern life is characterized by hegemonic visibility, but with one important addition. As the following parts illustrate, the military fantasy to extend a “matchless transparency” by global
war is directed towards its external surroundings—the deepened and widened global battlefield—but also towards itself as an organizational form. The self-referential repetitions and modulations according to programmed codes
that Baudrillard claimed characterizes an ideology of transparency therefore need to be analysed as part of a military operational coding. The rest of the article examines this, by a reading of US military doctrine documents and
manuals, in order to explore and investigate the implications of transparency as a technique of control. The military architecture as excess What does the inside of the military architecture look like? How does it invest space and
time discursively as part of ‘its own brand of war-making’ (Dillon and Reid 2009, 8) and what self-images are “already there” modulated according to the codes of operational warfare? Military doctrines and manuals are
characterized both by discursive content and by the hierarchical and syntactical architecture they form (Ansorge 2010, 362–363, 377). The easiest way to encounter doctrines is as part of doctrine trees clustering through hyperlinks
into open-source documents available online. The fact that such documents are “official” creates a self-evident hierarchy between representations, as the doctrines represent an official version of warfare in a synchronized manner,
“one click away”.4 Such dissemination creates a technical and transparent modus operandi. The architecture of military doctrines codes warfare as part of a discursive shift that emphasizes “post-heroic” aspects of war. This shift is
evident in that warfare is understood to be a matter of “administrative processing” that functions in the same way as a “telecommuting job for office workers” (see Chamayou 2015a; Nordin and Öberg 2015). Let us consider the
operational code through the way “geo-spatial intelligence” is collected by drones. Doing so one finds in the doctrines various displays of detailed ‘end to end architectures’ over organizational relations for tasking, collecting and
processing data (US Air Force Instruction, 2012, 6). The doctrines string together dozens of abbreviations and combine them with features such as synchronization, integration, managing, assessment and facilitation, supposedly

guiding “warfighting” integration at all levels of warfare (AFI 14–132, 7–15). This is but one example of the way the key aspects of warfare (and the factual issues or decisions it involves) appear as a flowchart
technocratic language. A common denominator of US military doctrines is the way warfare is modelled and rendered transparent as an operational and
of organizational routines written in a specialized and

bureaucratic practice. The amount of “knowledge” in this architecture is excessive to the point where it makes oversight difficult. Consider how the US Department of
Defense alone lists 80 joint publications ranging from various types of military operations, homeland defense and electronic warfare to logistics and personnel support. To this we can add hundreds of commission instructions,
commission orders, staff policy documents and directives, not to mention the respective doctrine hierarchy of the military services. Taken together this documentation uncovers an operational, organizational and bureaucratic

practice which comes out of an attempt to efficiently plan and conduct warfare. The doctrines thereby render warfare visible through an excess of information consisting largely of what
resembles Orwellian “newspeak”, an excess of abbreviations, and a transparency of organizational routines (see for example AFDD 2013b, 8). The open and accessible form of warfare obscures the many extremely difficult
decisions that are involved in waging war and that take place in briefings, staff meetings, analysis cells and other arenas where there is no transparency at all. But if one is to look for actual responsibility in a campaign, for
possibilities of agency, or for old-fashioned concepts like glory or combat, there is very little in the doctrinal architecture. What we find is not warfare but operational warfare, more characterized by a PowerPoint slideshow at a
business meeting than an old-fashioned “Clausewitzian” war.5 The point here is not simply to criticize military doctrines for masking certain content while creating smokescreens. Rather, I find it interesting that the excess of

doctrinal hierarchies and forms and the newspeak of military doctrines obscure the way this operational coding enables a control of space and time. As argued in the introduction, the widening and
deepening of the battlefield, and the dissolving of spatial and temporal distinctions that follows from this, is often considered to be a result of the way operational warfare has increased firepower, logistics and joint operations.
However, in an era of drone warfare and global surveillance through space satellites, it is hardly a coincidence that military manuals and doctrines tend to talk about “operational environment”, “area of interest”, or even “the
playbox” rather than the “battlefield”.6 One central tenet of the military architecture is that war is an activity that can be modelled, simulated and constructed through planning. Traditionally, war has been considered to be limited
in space (through the battlefield) and in time (through distinctions between peace and war).7 The “already visible” coding of warfare enables ‘an operational environment that is ever expanding’ (AFDD 2007b, 1) which makes the

schedules work exactly the same at all times and make no distinction between
space of war resemble the model of a global battlefield. The doctrinal organizational

peacetime and wartime (AFDD 2013b, 1, 37). The military architecture thereby codes space as an expanding area of operations and time as operational time (what is often called “battle rhythm”). As
the previous part illustrated, the military architecture is best understood through an excess of bureaucratic and administrative doctrinal details. But what happens when we focus on its outside? What do we see from within the
military architecture? In what way are space and time coded through the imaginary of operational warfare? The military architecture arguably displays an obsession with rendering space and time visible through authority and
control. Typically, when a military force is deploying it does so by establishing a whole life-world along with it. Moving troops, building camps and securing the surrounding area indicate techniques of control over what is called
ROMO—the range of military operations—that is, time and space. Every military operation depends on proper air-, sea- and land-lines of communication. Such lines are transportation bridges to deploy and sustain forces within a
particular area. In order to do so the military architecture depends on a system of supporting nodes such as airfields, ports and other locations, and every system depends on the extent to which it is able to visualize space and time,
for example by keeping track of cargo, passengers, medical patients or property through real-time visibility (AFDD 4–0, 1–15, 27–33, 42–47). The modelling of warfare is both a way of preparing for what will occur in an area of
operations and a means for conditioning this area of operation into a particular space/time. Military operations appropriate, visualize and control space by occupying roads, ports, airfields or airspace. Coding takes place through,
for example, training cycles for deployment, and each step in such training amounts to repeating particular preparations. Taken together, they are considered to give all the necessary knowledge when deployed. One example is
when, in the 2003 Iraq War, military intelligence or logistics was often considered to “drive” warfare. Consider the way in which inventions in logistics systems used delivery routes as mapping functions in order to render the
surrounding “operational areas” as transparent as possible.8 This meant that logistics convoys made the area of operations appear. Ideally, that which occurred in relation to the “global area of operations” would then be screened

possibility to kill, for example by striking at a target, is indirectly produced as part of mundane
out from within, and visualized in relation to this particular point of view. Therefore, the

tasks such as delivering food and supplies. Through the way it is made to appear, the battlefield became an indirect consequence of operational warfare. The time
of warfare is coded as operational (a “battle rhythm”). This notion goes back to the perceived need to synchronize tactical, operational and strategic processes in order to coordinate the planning, preparation and execution of
warfare. The “battle rhythm” is an attempt (together with notions like “zulu time”) to create a universal, military time zone which is staff-driven. The name “battle” basically means the same thing as “efficiency” in this context. The
operational level of warfare is defined as a constant search for efficiency through coordination and ‘[i]t is essentially a schedule of important events which should be synchronized with the other Service or functional components
and combined forces …’ (AFDD 2–8, 9), within a given space/time. However, such coding of space/time obscures that warfare works through specialized functions and compartmentalization in which all is reduced to practical

Warfare becomes a matter not of killing, not of ethics, not of politics, but of technical questions such as “Who is responsible for resources?”, or “Who
questions and organizational routines.

commands which staff-processes?” or, put more bluntly: “When is the next staff meeting?” The doctrinal architecture on operational warfare is characterized by a constant, real-time coding
of the world as an area of operations through planning and modelling. Consider how war games, concept creations and experiments are used in order to generate insights in the use of space and time in warfare by demonstrating
future unanticipated consequences, vulnerabilities and concerns. This is done in order to fight more efficiently and to discover a more lethal relation to future space (AFDD 2011d, 40; AFDD 2011c, 40). The control of space/time is a
key characteristic of a military discourse on operational warfare that looks for threat assessments of social activity to ‘predict future actions or provide advanced indications and warnings of attack’ (AFDD 2011b, 15; see also 24–25)
and intelligence as a means to ‘forecast’ and ‘anticipate future conditions’ (AFDD 2011d, 25). Such forecasting has little to do with whether the monitoring affects the space/ time of one’s own forces, of neutral forces and of the
enemy. It is the patterns and dynamics of the global life-world itself (for example, weather or socio-biological patterns) which needs to be monitored so as to render space/time transparent for targeting (see AFDD 2013b; US
JFCOM 2011a; 2011b; White 2006; Brown 2007). That is, planning warfare obscures that the operationalization of space into a global area of operations and of time into an operational rhythm is a violent appropriation of lived
space and time. As Brighton and others have pointed out, the battlefield involves a politics. However, warfare is not political, or violent, simply because of the way it kills, but also through the way its operationalization codes
space/time as a derivate of global warfare. This also goes for the way the supporting functions of warfare involve a politics which occurs beyond the battlefield. The military discourse constantly interlinks knowledge from the global
battlefield through feedback loops, validates it through more combat, and disseminates it into the structure of the architecture in a transparent fashion (see for example USAF 2014a, 10). In the liberal discourse, the increased
transparency of an everexpanding battlefield is considered a stroke of luck. This is because it enables better information management that ‘may contribute in providing prompt, accurate intelligence … and … improving shared
situational awareness’ which in turn might facilitate decision-making (’t Hart and Sundelius 2013, 453). However, such a view fails to recognize that terms like “situational awareness” and “accurate intelligence” are enabled, and
thereby constructed as needs, not only through the uncertainty that violence brings, but also through the institutional and organizational demands that are ritualized in the supporting functions of warfare. The transparency of

global warfare The global battlefield expands through the operational coding of a military architecture which constantly aims to make space and time a derivate of an
operational planning model. As space is rendered visible as a global area of operations and time as a constant operational rhythm, the doctrinal architecture emphasizes that surveillance is on-going, seamless
and comprehensive: ‘a network of interrelated, simultaneous operations that can, at any given time, feed and be fed by other operations’ (AFDD 2012, 4; see also 5, 52–55). Surveillance is a crucial part of global liberal control as it
monitors the widened and deepened global battlefield. In this way it works as a ‘core function’ of warfare through the notion of ‘global strikes’ across the full spectrum of conflicts, ‘holding any target on the planet at risk’ (Deptula
and Francisco 2010, 15; USAF 2014b, 8). The US military has massive systems at its disposal for surveillance. For example air, space and cyber operations centres and sensor systems are placed around the globe and in orbit.
Consider the MQ-9 Reapers wide-area electro-optical and ground moving-target-indicator surveillance and the Gorgon Stare: a wide-area airborne surveillance system with a spherical array of many hundreds of video cameras for
each drone (Deptula and Francisco 2010, 14). These sensors continuously transfer data globally (each covering about 100 square kilometres), which is processed and disseminated into ‘actionable intelligence’ that enables an
‘understanding of the operational environment’ (AFDD 2012, 2–3, 5). But what does such “intelligence” and “understanding” amount to? The ultimate dream of the military architects is that data might be ‘globally interconnected’

a “global
into an ‘end-to-end set of information capabilities for collecting, processing, storing, disseminating, and managing information on demand to warfighters…’ (US DOD 2009, 10). This future system in the making is called

information grid” (or GIG) and will work as a comprehensive database that functions as an operational code for how one might ‘efficiently plan and conduct warfare’. This is very much the end-point of
the fantasy of network-centric warfare aiming to ‘achieve shared situational awareness, increased speed of command, a higher tempo of operations, greater lethality, increased survivability, and … operational synergy’ (AFDD
2007b, 21). The military goal is therefore to reach the point where all are interconnected and visible according to the logic of “global strike”. One example of this logic is the way surveillance anticipates control over the global

operational environment through visual sensors, real-time threat predictions, weapons and warning systems, satellite surveillance or horizon scanning. This in turn implies a global, integrated, all-
encompassing surveillance which scans capabilities, civil or bureaucratic activities and behaviours in general, as part of a network-centric and uninterrupted, on-going process (AFDD 2012, 52–55). It hardly needs
mentioning that rendering areas (such as northern Pakistan) transparent through surveillance implies extreme violence. As one example, consider how US targeting
methods against “insurgents” in Afghanistan at the end of the last decade started focusing more on networks (consider the call to target “skill-bearers” and “knowledge”).9 At face value, it might seem ironic that “knowledge”—a
core value of the liberal imaginary if there ever was one—is made to appear a characteristic of enmity. However, if seen in relation to an architecture in which the global battlefield is ever-present in real time, it follows suit that the

banality of everyday life appears as a target. The demand for unveiling space/times of war is well illustrated by the military method of analysing according to social and biological patterns. The main
aim of such analysis is to ‘notice when something is out of the ordinary’ in relation to everyday behaviour and actions (US JFCOM 2011a, 21)—for example, to notice the types of people who go to the market, the times of day that
children play outdoors, where and when groups of males meet, what the prayer times and prayer locations are, and so forth. The aim of this surveillance is to ‘understand’ the way in which patterns of a community’s ‘battle-
This in
rhythm’ emerge and are broken (US JFCOM 2011a, 20–22). The acts are then entered into a ‘plot-sheet’ with exact times so as to deduce large-scale patterns and ‘predict future enemy actions’ (US JFCOM 2011b, 173).

turn creates potential objects which are erased through military targeting. The desire to predict and create the future as a threat constantly demands

flows of more information, more visibility and more knowledge. Moreover, it constantly demands the means (such as weaponry, education, technology) to maintain this demand.
Leading officers have illustrated this logic at its purest by arguing that the US needs to act more like ‘hunters’: The foundations of (the US military’s) achievement will hinge on the ability to sense, know, decide, and act ahead of our
adversaries on a global scale. These technologies and challenges have trumped the buffer of geography that historically afforded us the luxury of time to think and act, demanding that we alter our … farmer-culture mind-set and
begin to act more like hunters…. In the future, Air Force … professionals must assure the availability of information necessary to bring a strategy to a successful outcome well before we need it. (Deptula and Francisco 2010, 16, my
emphasis) As Grégoire Chamayou has argued, one quintessential aspect of contemporary warfare post 9/11 is the fact that combat has in many ways been supplanted by “hunting”. This insight is important as it helps us understand
part of the purpose of the immediate and all-encompassing unveiling of the globe. The underlying idea of warfare as a ‘manhunt’ is the attempt to keep any and all threats in check by simply erasing them at a higher pace than they
form (Chamayou 2015b, 71). Operational warfare is conceived of as a technical and administrative process run by “hunters” who, as they peek into the military architecture, see themselves as being constituted through a
continuous race towards the future. In sharp contrast to this military subject, the global object that is unveiled—be it a skill-bearer, a social pattern, a cluster of cell-phone signals, or a group of children gathering— resembles a
target signature more than a human subject. In the self-enclosed network which connects a continuous, seamless collection of data, the military architecture creates an interior which revolves around the display of scenarios

relating to global superiority, mobility and strike capacity. The end-point of operational space/time is the ‘ultimate position … the position of total control’ of the Earth (Lyndon B. Johnson, quoted
in AFDD 2011d, 1). The methodology of operational warfare—the way it makes global space an area of operations and the past and the future a derivate of operational time— constantly strives towards this (imaginary) position of

control. The importance of the operational coding of space/time cannot be overstated as it creates an underlying feature of a military imaginary which warns against being ‘a prisoner of
the future’ as it aims to increase its ‘future impact’ (USAF 2014a, particularly 4–13). The goal is for warfare to be absolutely transparent—or “agile” as it is called in military discourse—so as to reduce its presence and footprint,
improving response times, constantly streamlining the way it meshes with other war processes (AFDD 2013b, 2; AFDD 2013a, 19). In short, the end point of the military architecture is to control not only space and time, but also

to make itself into a pure and transparent potentiality for warfare as control. Read in this manner, the military urge to render the world transparent and invest it as a mental and visual operational
space and time becomes part of a liberal ideology that constantly strives to make the world visible, calculable, decipherable and foreseeable. The “ideology of
transparency” therefore needs to be understood as interrelated with a liberal way of peace which constantly emphasizes transparency as “good governance”. But it also needs to be seen in relation to a type of “liberal

warfare” which strives to operationalize a violence that is transparent not only to itself, but also to the global battlefield it renders visible.

This is part and parcel with a new era of communication – the endless appeals to
objectivity and evidence near and dear to the status quo have lost all weight in the
world of alternative facts and fake news – attempts to decipher the world through
transparent metaphysics prove to not only be futile but also infinitely destructive as
the quest for dialogue or advocacy skills merely sustain the cruelly optimistic fantasy
of communication.
Shapiro, 17 [Alan N, Professor in Transdisciplinary design at Folkwang, 1/5, “Baudrillard and Trump:
Simulation and Object-Orientation, Not True and False,” http://www.alan-shapiro.com/baudrillard-and-
trump-simulation-and-object-orientation-not-true-and-false-by-alan-n-shapiro/, //MW]
I see an op-ed piece in yesterday’s Washington Post (January 2nd, 2017) by Greg Sargent. It is called “Yes, Donald Trump ‘lies.’ A lot. And news organizations should say so.” This article is typical of the entire approach of the “liberal

establishment” towards Trump. During the election campaign, journalists and commentators kept pointing out that Trump is a liar, a snake oil salesman, etc. (see the brilliant 1964 Philip K.
Dick novel Lies, Inc.) That may all be true, but it doesn’t make a dent in the number of his supporters. Baudrillard comments throughout his work on the difference between critical theory discourse

(which liberal journalists like Sargent are stuck in with respect to Trump) and what he called “fatal theory.” Critical theory discourse is ineffective. Trump is the candidate

of Reality TV, of the celebrity culture, of media hyper-reality entertainment, of everyone’s 15 minutes of fame (Warhol), of the “trans-political” (Baudrillard), and of object-orientation
(OO). OO: Trump will be the Presidency and not the President – end of the distance between human agent and office –Trump is misogyny itself and not a misogynist, he is racism itself and not a racist, Trump hates no one [“nobody
loves Group X more than I do”], he simply associates himself rhetorically with the social-psychological “object” which is hatred). Beyond the epistemology of the human subject, Trump will identify with any iconic or mental-image
“object” necessary as he performs “the art of the deal” and the practice of “winning” in larger and larger arenas. Trump identifies with the political-science-object that is the historically dormant China-Taiwan conflict itself (and its

of the era of simulation. Invoking “the truth” against him does


reawakened provocation). The “social actors” (Bruno Latour) of China and Taiwan are irrelevant. In other words, Trump is the candidate

not work as a strategy. Trump is already more advanced than the discourse of truth. We are in a hyper-reality where there is no more truth and no more falsehood. Carl “The Truth”
Williams, a former heavyweight boxing champion of the world, passed away in April 2013. Alan Cholodenko comments: If hyper-reality was born for Baudrillard during or just after the Second World War, then there have already
been several simulation-Presidents: JFK the first televisual President, Reagan the Hollywood actor and first TV show host (of the General Electric Theatre)-President. Trump takes his place in this lineage. He is the second TV show
host (of The Apprentice)-President, the first live show, reality TV show CEO host become live show, reality TV show CEO host-President of the live show, reality TV show America, Inc.) The mistake of the multitudes of journalists and

editorialists like the Washington Post’s Greg Sargent is to not understand that the system of “ truth and lies” is not some eternal, ahistorical or “scientifically objective” reality. It is an historically
constructed cultural discourse or arrangement tied to an epoch which is finite in time. As Foucault might say, the concern with “true” and “false” is an epistème – an epistemological a
priori, an expression of a specific power-knowledge constellation within an era – whose time has come and gone. The insistent belief in “truth and lies” is also embedded in the Plato-initiated “metaphysics” of the “human
subject,” the subject-centered worldview, the sovereign (democratic or scientific) subject who “knows” and can therefore judge and determine when “knowledge” or a “fact” has

been betrayed. In the new epistemological system beyond “truth and lies” to which Trump is finely attuned, of which he is the master, and which liberals do not get, the
object itself is the hot thing. The spotlight is on objects (conceptual not physical), and they are a relationship, an association which knows nothing of whether they are real or fake. They transcend and straddle true

and false. “Things have found a way of avoiding a dialectics of meaning that was beginning to bore them: by proliferating indefinitely, increasing their potential, outbidding themselves

in an ascension to the limit, an obscenity that henceforth becomes their immanent finality and senseless reason.” (Baudrillard, Fatal Strategies; p.7) When Trump says something, it becomes true

because Trump says it, and there is nothing that the New York Times and the Washington Post can do about it. Trump will change what he says on any given topic
media will “prove him wrong” with evidence, but this demonstration will have an effect exactly the opposite than that
from day to day, or on any given Sunday. The liberal

intended upon and for the “silent majority” of half of Americans for whom they are the liars. The institutional bases for consensus or legitimation of “the truth” have disappeared
beneath the sheer load of mountainous piles of information, and the virtualization, delocalization, de-physicalization, and disembodiment of discourse. When did this happen (when was the “Canetti
point”)? Impossible to say. To know the point of origin of that would be to overstate the claims of knowledge, to violate the methodological recursivity of our awareness of being lost within the culture of simulation (as Baudrillard

has taught us in his fascinating lengthy discussions of the “Canetti point,” and as Gerry Coulter has taught us, for example, in his essay on America). When Trump said that thousands of Muslims were
celebrating on rooftops in Jersey City, New Jersey on 9/11, he was right. 100% right, as he later tweeted. Within the epistemology (theory of knowledge) of
the humanist-democratic subject and of truth, the alleged rooftop event of course “did not take place.” Yet in the hyper-modernist epistemology, the rhetorical and emotional power

of the words invoked and the mental images evoked by Trump (the advent of hyper-imagination) carry the weight and dynamic force of the image-immersed beyond-chimerical “object” of those evil

Muslim celebrators. Probably Trump saw on TV in September 2001 some cynical celebrations in the Palestinian territories. The clandestine wormhole connection between physically remote points in space is plausibly extant. In

the culture of virtual images, it is perfectly OK to transpose the bin Laden-sympathetic revelers from one geographical location to another, the hyper-space of
Trump’s creative memory mingled with the hyper-dimensional expanding televisual space on the interior of the flatscreen. Fantasy is possible in a world that is still real. A fantasy could be said to be not

true, some sort of illusion (in the non-Baudrillardian meaning of this word) or deception. But when images are everywhere, and they are universally exchangeable with each other,
the made-up mental images become hyper-real. Which now (literally) means (hyper-means) more real than real. Meaning becomes hyper-meaning.
Would not the ubiquity of video documentation and recording devices of every kind increase the availability of truth? Whipping the cam around, looking amazing from every angle? No,
the effect is just the opposite. When documentation and recording are everywhere, then they are nowhere. They cease to exist in any meaningful sense.
They serve no purpose whatsoever anymore. They are pure technology fetish in the bad sense, decoupled through their excess from what they were supposed to enhance or

invent. As a hybrid radical-leftist-and-mainstreamer, I do believe that there is a good side to surveillance, a deterrence of crime. But if surveillance is everywhere, then this good side no longer functions. This is the same

paradoxical logic that is operative for all virtual and digital media technologies. Yes, all of these wonderful new things are available to us, but we omitted the step of thinking carefully about the
appropriate measure of their application. We forgot to humanly judge this. Hybrid posthumanist and humanist. We never took seriously the great thought of Albert Camus, that in almost every area, we need to have a sense of

you enter into the twilight zone of


limits (as Dominick LaCapra pointed out). Academic referentiality – which Baudrillard was opposed to – is like this too. If you overdo it, become obsessed with footnotes, then

hyper-referentiality and then the whole business does not function anymore. You do it because you have to do it and the original purpose is
lost. The “proof” (ha ha!) is now upon us that Baudrillard was right all along. We are now fully in the era of simulation and telemorphosis, of the New Truth of the omnipresent image
(both picture-image and word-image – the multi-media of the screen having transformed written words from texts into images). The New Truth is not a lie – that would be too easy and the claim is

retrograde. The New Truth institutes its own hyper-reality, which is at present our only reality. The only way to contest simulation and the New Truth would be a

strategy or perspective of “taking the side of objects” (see, for example, my most recent IJBS essay, for an elaboration of this). We would have to get to know the codes which underlie and

instantiate simulation and reverse them. Reversibility of the code comes from “objects” within the code which want more objecthood. Until we can start to do that, to paraphrase David Cronenberg’s Videodrome: LONG

LIVE THE NEW TRUTH! Bernie Tuchman writes: “Your piece on Trump has great power because his election has defeated deniability. Something is Happening and You
Don’t Know What It is Mr. Jones. The media continues to ‘analyze’ what it cannot understand. It is like a world which has entered into dementia — where

the dream life is more real than the ‘awake’ life, and where no one can say which is which. It is the nervous breakdown of hierarchical order.”

Informatic war demands a target and so we give it none. The Last Stand™ is found
among the sitting, the blending in, the conforming. We further no goal through our
method of opacity from within, a defamiliarizing of the system, to the system. Interior
opacity rebalances visuality in a counter-hegemonic act of making secret- the
alternative is foggy.
Birchall 16 (Clare Birchall, Senior Lecturer in Contemporary Culture at King's College in London, "Managing
Secrecy," International Journal of Communication, vol. 10, pg. 152-163) [MM]

the necessity of knowing when to keep silent


Sara Ahmed writes self-reflexively about to keep certain things out of sight, , and when in

When speaking and revealing can be coopted by a rhetoric rather than ethic of “inclusiveness
organizational settings. ”

and “diversity,” silence and obfuscation are strategies of resistance. To illustrate, she recalls her involvement with producing a race equality action plan for her university at the behest of the
Race Relations Amendment Act of 2001. Though she took great care to avoid writing a “happy diversity document” (Ahmed, 2010, p. xviii) and, rather, foregrounded International Journal of Communication 10(2016) Managing Secrecy 157 whiteness as institutional, because the document

was deemed “excellent,” the Vice-Chancellor interpreted this as meaning the university was succeeding in terms of racial equality. She reminds us that “ documents that aim to reveal can be used to
conceal what they reveal ” (p. xviii). Consequently, Ahmed invokes the figure of the secretary to symbolize the need for discretion and secretion: [A] secretary is one who is entrusted with secrets. Sometimes we need to keep the secrets and be

worth this trust. Sometimes we need not to keep the secrets with which we are entrusted even if this means we become untrustworthy. What we do with what we are entrusted—whether we speak or keep silent—remains an important question. (2010, p. xx) We can push Ahmed’s
articulation further because, as well as managing and keeping secrets, Mirzeoff’s “right to look” would also include the ability to be secret: to look without necessarily being seen. In other words, I want to argue that one way to resist
asymmetric lines of visuality is to do so from a position of opacity
visibility or divisive forms of , rather than visibility or transparency. I realize that this is somewhat

to make a secret of the self risks


counterintuitive. Such a strategy has as many risks as a politics based on visibility and voice or transparency and openness. To secrete oneself, , perhaps repeating the violence of state

erasure a risk worth taking, given revelation’s


. Yet, it might be complicity with an ideology able to withstand potential

and
( even gain strength from) knowledge about its own
in some cases, contradictions. inequitable It is a risk advocated by the Martinican philosopher Édouard

a right to opacity
Glissant. He uses the phrase “ ”—playing on the more common “right to privacy.” While the latter suggests a temporary retreat from the public sphere, the former points towards an essential “ethics of singularity” (Spivak, 2013, p. 270).

Opacity involves none of the connotations with the rational subject of liberal humanism privacy has property and self-present,

and Western metaphysics Having a right to opacity means evading a gaze that “constructs the Other
.

as an object of knowledge a subject of secrecy, rather than an object of universalist


” (Britton, 1999, p. 19). It means becoming , dominant,

Western logic. , filial-based “diversity ) or difference,” can reduce


Even a seemingly progressive attention to what Ahmed refers to as ” (2010 Glissant refers to as “ delimit and “contrive to

things to the Transparent we need to avoid


” (Glissant, 1997, p. 189). In reference to the discursive production of the raced subject, Ahmed writes, “Sometimes know that all cannot be revealed to

positioning the others as revelations a model that does not rest on the false ” (2010, p. xix). Glissant advocates, instead, of relationality

promise of total understanding The opaque cannot be reduced and absolute truths. “ is not the obscure . . . [i]t is that which , which is the most perennial guarantee of

capable of derailing identity politics that seem progressive, but


participation and confluence” (1997, p. 191). Glissant’s secret is an ethical singularity— the impetus behind an s

in actuality, delimits
that, relationality. Opacity in this way could be a useful starting point for
the conditions of positioned

rethinking secrecy the political potential of . It helps us to consider secrecy beyond visibility management, toward visuality management: pointing us toward the very conditions that determine the possibilities and scope of looking. While Glissant’s theory is

opacity as an ontological condition


concerned with with calls for a tactical secrecy , we can draw some parallels . Two notable such calls include the aesthetic and political

Acéphale and Tiqqun


vision of two collectives from the 20th century: secrecy as a weapon
(1936–1939) (2001). Georges Bataille 158 Clare Birchall International Journal of Communication 10(2016) imagined using “

rather than a retreat ” (Lütticken, 2006, p. 32) through a revolutionary secret society he called Acéphale, which translates as “headless” and points toward his critique of dominant rationality and reason. As Bataille saw it, this secret society would

avoid the corrupting power of politics and instigate a society based on his unorthodox trinity of expenditure, risk, and loss. Tiqqun, a largely anonymous French philosophy collective founded in 1999, much influenced by

Tiqqun posited fog” as the “prime vector of revolt


Bataille, likewise positioned secrecy as a radical tactic. In its “The Cybernetic Hypothesis,” “interference,” “haze,” or “ ” (2001). Tiqqun argued that the

the tyranny of transparency which control imposes” can only be resisted through a
political project of cybernetics and “

tactical opacity . The suggestion to become fog-like is one that is certainly heeded by politically engaged technoradicals and crypto-anarchists, not least because, increasingly, the politics of secrecy is played out in the digital sphere. That is to say, if we are to
think about secrecy as a form of visibility and visuality management, today that means considering the technological affordances that not only assert forms of visibility control, but also offer ways to find what Alexander Galloway and Eugene Thacker describe as “exploits” (2007) in any
protocological control. Assisting techno-radicals and crypto-anarchists is an increasing range of infrastructure and applications that resist the Internet’s surveillant protocols. Encryp ted e-mail and instant messaging is now widely available. By distributing transactions over several places on
the Internet, TOR makes it difficult to identify their source or destination. Peer-to-peer encrypted channels of communications potentially circumvent any third-party business that makes connections and stores metadata. Tracking blockers like Ghostery intervene in consumer surveillance
by alerting users to, and in some cases disabling, cookies, tags, and beacons. Search engines like Duckduckgo and Startpage allow for online searching without being tracked or profiled. Browser extensions like TrackMeNot flood search engines with random search terms to render
algorithms ineffective. And we now have access to decentralized servers and clouds, such as the personal server from FreedomBox or the co-operative storage cloud offered by Symform.

Voting aff halts the communicative spectacle of debate. We excise faith from the
system of cognitive capitalism by recognizing that the only remaining choice of the
ballot is to decode chaos, which aligns your energies with the possibility of a different
order of mental processing. Don’t play the communication game, give up your
attachment to knowledge, and above all, do not place hope in the future
Bifo 15 [Francesco ‘Bifo’ Berardi, Professor of Social History of Communication at the Accademia di
Belle Arti of Milan, Heroes: Mass Murder and Suicide, Verso: Brooklyn, NY, 2015, p. 221-6]

As consciousness is too slow for processing the information that comes from the world in acceleration (info-technology multiplied by
semiocapitalist exploitation), we are unable to translate the world into a cosmos, mental order, syntony and sympathy. A

transformation is needed: a jump to a new refrain, to a new rhythm; chaosmosis is the shift from a rhythm of conscious elaboration (refrain)
to a new rhythm, which is able to process what the previous rhythm could not process. A shift in the speed of consciousness, the creation of a

different order of mental processing: this is chaosmosis. In order to shift from a rhythm to a different rhythm, from a refrain to another refrain,
Guattari says we need a ‘chaoide’, a living decoder of chaos. Chaoide, in Guattari’s parlance, is a sort of de-multiplier, an agent

of re-syntonization, a linguistic agent able to disengage from the spasmic refrain. The chaoide is full of chaos, receives and

decodes the bad vibrations of the planetary spasm, but does not absorb the negative psychological effects of chaos, of the surrounding
aggressiveness, of fear. The chaoide is an ironic elaborator of chaos. ‘The ecosophical cartography’, writes Guattari, ‘will not have
the finality of communicating, but of producing enunciation concatenations able to capture the points of singularity of a situation’. 5 Where are today’s

concatenations that offer conscious organisms the possibility of emerging from the present spasmogenic framework, the
framework of financial capitalism? The rhythm that financial capitalism is imposing on social life is a spasmogenic rhythm, a spasm that is not
only exploiting the work of men and women, not only subjugating cognitive labour to the abstract acceleration of the info-machine, but is also destroying the
singularity of language, preventing its creativity and sensibility. The financial dictatorship is essentially the domination of abstraction on language, command of the
mathematical ferocity on living and conscious organisms. This is why we need to produce and to circulate chaoides, that is, tools for
the conceptual elaboration both of the surrounding and of the internalized chaos. A chaoide is a form of enunciation
(artistic, poetic, political, scientific) which is able to open the linguistic flows to different rhythms and to different frames of interpretation.

Chaosmosis means reactivation of the body of social solidarity, reactivation of imagination, a new dimension for human evolution,
beyond the limited horizon of economic growth. Writing this book, I intended to produce a chaoide. Dealing with crime and
suicide, I have been dealing with the contemporary spasm, and I have tried to decipher the social and cultural genesis of the present pathology. At the same time, I
have tried to breathe normally, while staring into the eyes of the beast. Dyst-irony It’s not easy to harmonize your breathing to the cosmic breath, when people are
suffering around you and you feel guilty in one sense or another for their pain – because you know that your job is to find a solution, a therapy, a way out – and you
are unable to say what should be done. Jackie Orr writes in Panic Diaries: In an exquisite sense of contagious connectivity, paranoia is one form that a felt insistence
on the social and historical structuring of psychic experience can take. Paranoia ‘knows well’ the resonant evidence suggesting that everything really is connected,
the psyche and the power of the social, a small white pill and a wildly historical story.6 Paranoia ‘knows well’, but we need to free ourselves from the effects of that
knowledge in order to disentangle from it the possibility of invention, of richness, of happiness and the good life. In the last few decades, artistic sensibility

has been [struck] paralysed by a sense of paranoiac enchantment: psychic frailty, fear of precariousness and the premonition of a
catastrophe that is impossible to avoid. This is why art has become so concerned with suicide and crime. This is why, very often, crime and suicide (most of all
suicidal crime) have been modelled as art. Now all
this paranoia has to be disposed of. All that I have been writing of in this horrible book is
already out of fashion. Let’s forget about it; let’s go forward. Dystopia has to be faced and dissolved by irony. If paranoia
‘knows well’, we need a method of ignorance. We need to assume some distance from what seems to be inscribed as an imminent-immanent tendency in the
present cartography of events. The spectrum of the possible is much larger than the range of probability. We need to correct dystopia with irony, because irony

(far from being cynical alliance with power) is


the excess of language that opens the door to the infinity of the
possible. I strongly dislike doomsayers, those gloomy prophets who want to spread the message that humanity is close to extinction and that we
must all repent for our misdeeds. I have little more time for those hysterical enemies of political corruption who see conspiracies and hidden projects of evil
everywhere, and absolutely want to revolutionize the world. Frankly, I don’t think that political awareness is going to prove the
best medicine for our current malady. Most people know that financial dictatorship is destroying their life; the problem is knowing what to do about it. It is
possible that nothing can be done, that power has become so deeply entrenched in the automatisms regulating daily life, connecting our interchanges, and
infiltrating our words, that bio-financial control cannot be undone, or avoided. So what can be done when nothing can be done? I think
that ironic autonomy is the answer. I mean the contrary of participation, I mean the contrary of responsibility, I mean the

contrary of faith. Politicians call on us to take part in their political concerns, economists call on us to be responsible, to work more,

to go shopping, to stimulate the market. Priests call on us to have faith. If you follow these inveiglements to participate, to be responsible –

you are trapped. Do not take part in the game, do not expect any solution from politics, do not be attached to
things, do not hope. Dystopian irony (dyst-irony) is the language of autonomy. Be sceptical: do not believe your own assumptions and predictions (or

mine). And do not revoke revolution. Revolt against power is necessary even if we may not know how to win. Do not belong. Distinguish

your destiny from the destiny of those who want to belong and to participate and to pay their debt. If they want war, be a deserter. If they are

enslaved but want you to suffer like them, do not give in to their blackmail. If you have to choose between death and slavery,

don’t be a slave. You have some chance to survive. If you accept slavery, you will die sooner or later anyway. As a slave.
You will die anyway; it is not particularly important when. What is important is how you live your life. Remember that despair and joy are not

incompatible. Despair is a consequence of understanding. Joy is a condition of the emotional mind. Despair is to acknowledge the truth of the present
situation, but the sceptical mind knows that the only truth is shared imagination and shared projection. So do not be frightened by despair. It does not delimit the
potential for joy. And joy is a condition for proving intellectual despair wrong.
Every year on every topic we are urged to become the manifestation of positive
production, accumulation, and affirmation- this drive to homogeneity is a process of
world building which necessitates a war machine of transparency. Presupposing that
communication that happens in this round is isolated from violence ensures subtle yet
violent reproduction of capitalism. We must instead kill our idols, creating a vacuole of
non-communication via a cannibalization of this space.
Culp 16 (Andrew, hater, “Dark Deleuze,” 2016)//ML
Michel Foucault half-jokingly suggested in 1970 that “perhaps one day, this century will be known as Deleuzian” (“Theatrum Philosophicum,” 885). It is easy to see how boosters have used this phrase to
raise the profile of Deleuze, who was far less popular than Foucault or Derrida during the initial reception of poststructuralism in America. But what if it is a subtle jab? Foucault makes the
remark in the same breath as a reference to Pierre Klossowski, a crucial member of the secret society Acéphale, which helped revive Nietzsche in France when others too easily dismissed the
thinker as fascist. “Historically fitting” would be an insult to Nietzsche, who proudly proclaims the untimeliness of thought “acting counter to our time and thereby acting on our time and, let
us hope, for the benefit of a time to come” at the beginning of his essay on the uses and abuses of history for life (Untimely Meditations, 60). As a major French interlocutor of Nietzsche,
Deleuze uses this exact same phrase on untimeliness in the opening pages of Difference and Repetition—the very book that Foucault was reviewing when he made the comment. Bearing out
the implication by mincing another Nietzschean phrase, then perhaps Foucault was accusing him of being “timely, all too timely.” What would make Deleuze’s thought especially timely? Critics such as Slavoj
Žižek accuse him of being a poster child for the cultural excesses of postmodern capitalism (“Ongoing ‘Soft Revolution’”). A recent round of denunciations underwritten by a mix of wonderment and red-baiting exclaim, “The
founder of BuzzFeed wrote his senior thesis on the Marxism of Deleuze and Guattari!,” adding to a long list of guilty associations—“the Israeli Defense Force reads A Thousand Plateaus!,” “Deleuze spouts the fashionable nonsense
of pseudoscience!” Deleuze’s defenders are correct to dismiss such criticisms as either incomplete or outright spurious. Yet there is a kernel of truth that goes back to an old joke—a communist is someone who reads Das Kapital; a
capitalist is someone who reads Das Kapital and understands it. Saying the same about Deleuze: there is something absolutely essential about his work, but it would not be best to take it at face value. The necessity of “taking
another step” beyond Deleuze avant la lettre is especially true when both capitalists and their opponents simultaneously cite him as a major influence. The exact rapport between Deleuze’s thought and our time thus remains a
puzzle for us to solve. Does the problem arise because certain readers act like doctors who participate in death penalty executions, who follow protocol to make a perfectly clinical diagnosis, only to help administer a set of drugs

Ours is the age of angels, says French philosopher Michel Serres (Angels, a Modern
condemned by their field? Or is there something about his prescription that only exacerbates our current condition?

Myth). Armies of invisible messengers now crisscross the skies, tasked with communication, connection, transmission, and
translation. As inspiring as they may seem, they also compel us to embody their messages in word and act. Click, poke, like. We feel the nervous prick of incoming missives that set us in a feverish state until we address the
incoming text message, reply to the overdue e-mail, or respond to the pending friend request. These everyday behaviors show that the seemingly modern world of commodities has not stolen our sense of wonder—we are as
divinely moved by media as we once were by angels. Marx, who, in Artaud’s phrase, has “done away with the judgment of God,” shows that this mystical character of the commodity is capitalism and also its most popular trick. Let
us then follow Marx’s old mole in the search of history, moving from the heavens to the underground. Refusing to sing the hymns of the age, Deleuze and Guattari made a crucial declaration in 1991 as the Iron Curtain crumbled

“We do not lack communication. On the contrary, we have too much of


and the first commercial Internet service providers came online:

it. . . . We lack resistance to the present” (WP, 108). Dark Deleuze’s immediate target is connectivity, the name given to the growing
integration of people and things through digital technology. Acolyte of connection and Google chairman Eric Schmidt recently declared at the World
Economic Forum that soon “the internet will disappear” as it becomes inseparable from our very being (“it will be part of your presence all the time”) (Business Insider). This should raise suspicion. No one should ever take

futurologists at their word—technology progresses with the same combined and uneven gait as all other types development. Yet the numbers behind Schmidt’s claim are hardly a matter of dispute. Five billion
new people are slated to join the Internet in the next decade, and the “Internet of things” has motivated individual users to integrate a vast array of
online-enabled devices into their everyday lives. Even if they do not fully realize his dreams, they still make up the substance of Google’s government of

things and the living. Many traditional concerns have been raised about connectivity. Almost all use the conservative voice of moral caution. A band of “Net Critics” warn that technology is developing more
quickly than our understanding of its effects. Popular media, the great screen of the collective unconscious, materialize fears about runaway technology. There is a whole string of Asian horror films that depict cursed media objects
ruining our lives (Ringu, Pulse, Phone, One Missed Call, White: The Melody of the Curse). The usual cottage industry of romanticizing life without technology now suggests that “cell phones make us lazy,” while circulating ideas on

how to “get on a social media diet.” Some philosophers, such as Bernard Stiegler, even say that technology is stealing our precious insides. Behind these suggestions lurks a drive to get back to our roots. The “mad
scientist” criticism of technology misses the mark. The trouble is not that myopic technicians have relentlessly pursued technical breakthroughs without considering the
consequences (“forgive them, for they know not what they do”; Žižek, The Sublime Object of Ideology, 28). The antidote for such ignorance would just be a small dose of ideology critique. Alternatively, technology

has not exceeded humanity’s capacity to manage it—if anything, Foucault’s insights (the analytic of finitude, biopower) suggest that humanity
influences its own future more than ever before (DI, 90–93). The problem is, they know perfectly well what they are
doing, but they continue doing it anyway! Philosophically, connectivity is about world-building. The goal of
connectivity is to make everyone and everything part of a single world. The cases made for such a
world are virtuous enough—Kantian cosmopolitanism wants perpetual peace, Marxist universalism demands the unity of theory and practice, and Habermas would have us all be part of one great
conversation. Yet connectivity today is determined far more by people like Google Ideas director Jared Cohen, who demonstrates the significance of

Deleuze’s argument that “technology is social before it is technical” (F, 17). Trained as a counterterrorism expert, Google poached Cohen from a position at the
Department of State, where he convinced Condoleezza Rice to integrate social media into the Bush administration’s “diplomatic tool kit” (Rice, No Higher Honor, 305). In a geopolitical manifesto cowritten with then Google CEO

Cohen reveals Google’s deep aspiration to extend U.S. government interests at home
Eric Schmidt, The New Digital Age,

and abroad. Their central tool? Connectivity. When connectivity is taken as a mantra, you can see its
effects everywhere. Jobseekers are told to hop on to the web (“While your resume can help you get the interview for a new job, a fully optimized LinkedIn profile can bring you more business, more
connections, and can increase your professional reputation!”). Flat hierarchies are touted as good for business management (“Power is vertical; potential is horizontal!”). And the deluge of digital content is treated as the world’s

greatest resource, held back only by unequal access (“ Information wants to be free!”). As perverse as it sounds, many Deleuzians still promote concepts that equally motivate these slogans:
transversal lines, rhizomatic connections, compositionist networks, complex assemblages, affective experiences, and enchanted objects. No wonder Deleuze has been derided as the lava lamp saint of “California Buddhism”—so
many have reduced his rigorous philosophy to the mutual appreciation of difference, openness to encounters in an entangled world, or increased capacity through synergy. Instead of drawing out the romance, Dark Deleuze

demands that we kill our idols. The first task is negative, as in Deleuze and Guattari’s schizoanalysis, a “complete currettage”—overthrow their
altars, and break their pillars, and burn their groves with fire; and ye shall hew down the graven
images of their gods, and destroy the names of them out of that place (AO, 311). Put more modestly, the first step is to acknowledge that the
unbridled optimism for connection has failed. Temporary autonomous zones have become special economic zones. The material consequences of connectivism are clear: the
terror of exposure, the diffusion of power, and the oversaturation of information. A tempting next move would be to criticize Deleuzian connectivists as falling behind the times, having not recognized their own moment of

does not take up the mantle of prophetic guruism


recuperation. Yet such an accusation would only prepare the ground for a more timely intervention. Dark Deleuze

or punctual agitprop. As a project, it instead follows Deleuze’s advice to create untimely “vacuoles of non-communication” that break
circuits rather than extend them (D, 175). The point is not to get out of this place but to cannibalize it—we
may be of this world, but we are certainly not for it. Such out-of-jointedness is a distance. And distance is what begins the dark plunge into the many worlds eclipsed
by the old.