Outside Utopia


Sometimes I can almost open the door
outside utopia

where people of earth
waiting in silence gather

for the moment to begin
no matter the color of their skin

the grasp of their dogma
(their clever retorts

against eternity
or infinity) when they

may one day come together
break bread in communal accord

in simplicity of speech
their eyes no longer wary

seeing the other as she is
in dignity

sharing without anger
or remorse

in the covenant of things
without reaching after the impossible

thought beyond
which a child’s voice lifts up her song

then I woke up here without you
empty and bereft, sunk in a black hole.

– Steven Craig Hickman ©2015 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited.


Gilles Deleuze: Hume, Empiricism, and Plato


Hume’s originality … comes from the force with which he asserts that relations are external to the term.

– Gilles Deleuze, Hume

In Plato’s battle with the Sophists – his greatest enemies, he would develop a theory of the Idea that would help him to hunt down and eliminate the true image from the simulacrum. As Miguel De Beistegui will phrase it the Deleuzian overcoming of Platonism doesn’t remain content with reversing the terms of the Platonic distinctions, nor even, as the tradition has done, with dismantling the distinction between appearance and essence. Rather, what Deleuze does is to extract from Platonism that which the Platonic concept sought to neutralize and set aside, but which keeps returning, disrupting that concept, undermining the efforts of representation. Instead of an inclusion of genuine images and exclusion of simulacra which supports the world of representation, Deleuze would reverse the terms and include simulacra and exclude images. What he proposed was how to produce images that are different rather than as in representational thought as reproducible – reproductions of the Same.

As Beistegui will tell it, what Deleuze wanted most of all is to discover how to think and live without transcendence, to live without a stabilized world of transcendent Ideas that forever harbor a principle of selection that distinguishes between images and simulacra: the notion of a true image as compared to a false simulacra. For Plato the Idea was at once a political weapon, a moral tool, and an aesthetic ideal. Any anti-Platonism will begin there and overturn this political order that saw in the poet and artist an enemy. Plato was the first policeman of the tyranny of representationalism, and his philosophy sought to perform a police action against the Sophist, his greatest enemy: a strategy of shadowing, trailing and tracking that results in a manhunt to oust these keepers of the Simulacra or false images from Plato’s City of Philosophers, the Republic. Against this tyranny of the true image, against Platonism and his policing of images, his representationalism: his Ideas as selectors and distinguishers, trailers and trackers – Deleuze would struggle against Platonic philosophy by way of non-philosophy; using philosophy against itself by way of a great reversal between error (image) and delirium (simulacra). Against the Kantian tradition that would seek to produce truth out of the errors of previous philosophers, Deleuze would instead seek to free desire into the delirium of the world.

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