Nick Land: The Sponge that absorbed God

The labyrinth is the unconscious of God, or the repressed of monotheism. … What God really was is something incompatible with anything ‘being’ at all. Real composition is not extrinsically created nature, but if this is a Spinozism, it is one in which substance itself is sacrificed to the scales. So that atheism is in the end (and end without end) an immense sponge, a mega-sponge, the dissolution of boundaries in all of its positive complexity.

– Nick Land, The Thirst for Annihilation

The darkness shines like the terror of an angel, the clipped wings trailing bloody suns through the labyrinths of time, where the consuming flames like a tortured love are inextricably linked to the death of everything. “Agony alone has the power to seduce us, and it is to our most savage torments that we most ardently cling. We know that a life that was not torched into charcoal by desire would be an unendurable insipidity” (175).1  An ancient music of howls and screams purges this deadly angel, subtracting him from the torpor of a twisted thought, melding his mind to the core heat sink of a black hole where the zero point of eternity and time fold into the labyrinthine scales.

Only those isolates who partake of this anti-logos understand the unbounded freedom of oblivion, they know that it too serves a god. The density between the stars is almost too much for such creatures, they need the silences of immanence rather than the transcendent specters of  those angelic hierarchies to absolve all those crimes of eternity. Its only in the gaps, absences, discontinuities; in the fragments, juxtapositions, and abandoned plans of feral utopias; in the flows of quantum spinal cores collapsing toward the center of an intoxicated dementia that we discover the savage gods of our blasted inheritance. In this wraith-realm the virological horrors begin. Here is Bataille’s community of the disjecta: a scattered remnant, fallen revenants of the Void. “Bataille is less an ‘interesting writer’ than a loathsome vice, and to be influenced by him is less a cultural achievement than a virological horror; far closer to the spasmodic rot of untreated syphilis than to the enrichment of an intellect” (178).

Even as you read these words the fragmented text of your own being is being annihilated moment by moment. The illusions of your habitual mind, the small repetitions of others influences, the traces of fabricated imbrications of thought that mark your psyche undo the very fibers of your own empty reflective nothingness.

“Confronting the absolute posed by our inevitable extinction, we feel brave, proud of ourselves, we permit ourselves a little indulgence, swooning in the delectations of morbidity. To face up to death is more than the others do, our haunted grimace becomes a complacent smile, we run our hands lovingly over the lichen-spattered graves.” (180)

Even the angels envy our infinity of death. “Across the aeons our mass hydro-carbon enjoys a veritable harem of souls” (180). And here you thought Life was for the living, much more the dead. Death feeds on us each second of our lives, the cells you have now do not belong to the creature you were at entry into this labyrinth. “Matter is in flight from the possibility of essence as if from an original pertinency of ontology, and life is merely the most aberrant and virological variant of this flight” (181). Adventurers in the art of death, we travel in a dimension of confusion seeking out the threads of an impossible externality. Quarantined in this compositional ghetto on the edge of a void we sift the slums of creation for signs of God’s body only to find that it is immanent to the  virological madness of our own reasoning minds. Ariadne’s threads are none other than the filaments of our own neuronal tentacles tallying the fragments of an unbounded infinity.

1. Nick Land. The Thirst for Annihilation. (Routledge 1992)

Nick Land: Mandelbrot and the gibberings of the Lobotomy Ward

Academic prose has the remarkable capacity to plunge one into a sublime dystopian nightmare…

– Nick Land, The Thirst for Annihilation

Nick Land once remarked that just one of Cioran’s casual jokes is of inestimably greater value in making contact with Nietzsche than the full corpus of Heidegger’s ponderously irrelevant Nietzsche.1 In the same light he said the Deleuze’s early work on Nietzsche was saved because he was one of the few academics who could actually think! Even Klossowski’s work was worth reading although as Land remarked it “stinks of transcendental philosophy” (155).  Otherwise, Land tells us, everything else everything else written by academics is nothing but the “mystical vacuity, the gibberings of a lobotomy ward” (155).

Only one book fulfilled this scholar of the night’s vision of an approach to Nietzsche, that was the work of Georges Bataille’s, Sur Nietzsche. Upon encountering this work Land remarked on his mounting excitement:

…no sign of scholarship or servility, prose that burns like an ember in the void, precision, profundity, exprit. The shock is almost lethal. The euphoria blazes painfully for weeks. At last! A book whose aberration is on the scale of Nietzsche’s own; a sick and lonely book. The fact that such a book could be published even dampens one’s enthusiasm for the universal eradication of the species. (156)

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Nick Land: The Moldy Bug Variations

“I am neither a baboon nor a monarchist. .. In my ideal neocameralist state, there is no political freedom because there is no politics.  Perhaps the government has a comment box where you can express your opinion.  Perhaps it does customer surveys and even polls.  But there is no organization and no reason to organize, because no combination of residents can influence government policy by coercion.”

– Mencius Moldbug, Against political freedom…

“Our catalogued, ecumenical clearing house of knowledge was running amok…”

 Richard Powers, The Gold Bug Variations

Maybe one should rephrase that Moldy variation as “I am both a baboon and a monarchist.” Either way one can understand that the reactionary variations that this neocameralist enacts is a libertarian Punch and Judy fetishization of all the world’s commodities under the banner of corporate monarchism.

Nick Land is nothing if not persistent. In his latest installment of what I like to call: “The Moldy Bug Variations”, in honor of that ill-famed reactionary that we’ve all come to hate, Mencius Moldbug, one of Land’s favorite respites or barbs for the meat-grinder of socio-blastotomy (Reactionary Enlightenment). “To be a reactionary, minimally speaking, requires no more than a recognition that things are going to hell,” so begins this tirade, aimed not so much at the man on horseback as toward all those knee-jerk right wingers that inhabit the contagious dreams of American luridness.

From Moldbug, immoderate neo-reaction has learnt many essential and startling facts about the genealogy and tendency of history’s central affliction, newly baptized the Cathedral. It has been liberated from the mesmerism of ‘democratic universalism’ – or evangelical ultra-puritanism – and trained back towards honest (and thus forbidden) books. It has re-learnt class analysis, of unprecedented explanatory power. Much else could have been added, before arriving at our destination: the schematic outline for a ‘neocameral’ alternative to the manifestly perishing global political order.

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Nick Land: The Master of the Infernal Wisdom

True poetry is hideous, because it is base communication… Poetry does not strut logically amongst convictions, it seeps through the crevices; a magmic flux resuscitated amongst vermin.

– Nick Land

There has always been a little of the stench of hell in Land’s infernal writings, a sort of theatre of blood wherein God is slaughtered over and over again for his crimes against creation – of which the greatest truth is that creation itself is the greatest crime: the ultimate catastrophe; neither designed nor fabricated, but born out of the marriage of two voids, the void that is more than something but less than nothing, arising from the dependent void that is the crack we call the universe. The Ruins of Time: the truth of god’s creation… “No profound exploration can be launched from the ruins of monotheism unless it draws its resources from damnation” (216).1 One would rather say: One is creative to the extent that she gathers her truths from the bloody lips of the damned. One must have an inferno within, be singed by the sulfurous flames of the pit, know the blindness of those dark precursors below the surface where the black hells lick the belly of the beast that is Time to speak of paradise. We all seek our infernal paradises like fallen angels of a lost thought, gathering within our minds the trajectories of insane wisdom, marshaling the secret vectors of a frozen insight into futurity. Land has been there before us, wandered the dank cavities of this bleak realm, gathered the flowers of death with glee, and brought back out of that shamanic realm truths that bleed.

The death of God is a religious event – a transgression, experiment in damnation, and stroke of antitheistic warfare – but this is not to say it is pre-eminently a crime. Hell has no interest in our debauched moral currency. To confuse reactive dabblings in sin with expeditions in damnation is Christian superficiality; the Dantean error of imagining that one could earn oneself an excursion in Hell, as if the infernal too was matter of justice. (216)

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Nick Land: Naked before the Cyclone

“Politics is the archaic and inadequate name for something that must pass away into the religious history of capital.”

– Nick Land, The Thirst for Annihilation

When will we accept our death? Vampires, all, we do not even realize that we are feeding on each others foul blood. The spectre of a two-thousand year old community enfolds us all within its dark force. The onto-theological riptide of its stark ascetic plumage trails along our shadowy streets infesting us with its bloated glut of putrid stench. “The theology of the One, rooted in concrete beliefs and codes that summarize and defend the vital interests of a community, and therefore affiliated to a tenacious anthropomorphism, is gradually corroded down to the impersonal zero of catastrophic religion” (113). 1

It was up to Bataille, then Deleuze to undercut the Kantian dance of noumenon and zero, to blast the distance between Void and Being, to dissolve the human in the very gap of its own wound, expose the narcissistic excess of its own asceticism, its investment in an economy of death and desire.  As Bataille would have it: “…the unknown demands in the end an empire without division” (114). Against the four categories of ‘nothing’ that Kant erects, Bataille decreates them within an inverse dance of terror turning subtraction to undifferentiable, deprivation to pre-unitary, impotence to extravagance, and dialectic to both the unilateral and impossible (115). For Bataille the noumenon was not so much a philosophical problem as it was a religious one:

“… a sort of rupture – in anguish – leaves us at the limits of tears: thus we lose ourselves, we forget ourselves and communicate with an ungraspable beyond. … Despair is simple, it is the absence of all hope, of every lure. It is the state of desolate expanses and … of the sun” (115).

As Land states it this is the “terrain of immanence or the unknown; positive death as zero-intensity, unilaterally differentiated from ecstasy or naked sensation” (115). He continues in an extended foray of insight, saying,

” Throughout his writings Bataille implicitly or explicitly repeats a deft materialist gesture, indicating that transcendent dogma does not lie in the positing of an outside to experience, but rather, in the positing of experience as dissociated from its slide into oblivion. Experience can never comprehend or define dissolvent immanence, and the claim that it might can be symptomatologically interpreted as the consequence of a utilitarian reconstruction into objectivity. It is thus that Bataille reiterates Nietzsche’s diagnosis concerning the moral basis of epistemology. The very possibility of a problem about the relation between experience and the real – requiring a theory of representation – presupposes the deformation of experience in terms of the ‘good’, or, in other words, the stable, isolated, and determinate, correlated to the caging of the noumenon in the form of the object. In wild variance to the basic presupposition of overt or cunning idealism, experience is not given in reality as knowledge, but as collapse (115-116).”

This collapse is not a positive affirmation of knowledge, but rather a gnosis, a movement from the kenoma (emptiness, void) to the pleroma (fullness) where the question becomes not how to distinguish true ideas from false, but how to discover more adequate or more comprehensive and “intense” levels of thought and being. The search for adequate “common notions” of nature, for the structures of the one Animal that is the Beast: God or Nature, which leads us immediately to quest for how to intensify thought itself. In some ways this is the optimization of thought – thought reaching beyond itself in an effort not to transcend its own limits, but rather to break the resistance, the hold those limits impose, thereby revealing the structure of the Real against which we struggle and strive with for the prize of Being itself.

Escaping the epistemic dilemmas of Kant’s duplicitous rift between noumenon and zero, Bataille collapses them in a libidinal or base materialism wherein the continuum “is wrested definitively from humanist containment, the order of the object is contested with the profundity at the scale of zero, and the interiority is denuded to the point of impersonal intensity” (116). Like some schizo-nomad from the future, Bataille liberates the solar economy through sacrifice, the zombies and vampires of Capital eat dogsbody: the torrent of an intensity in excess of itself, a last supper as an orgy: gods-body, a eucharist for the earth.

“Desire responds to the cosmic madness pulsed out of the sun, and slides beyond love towards utter communication. This is a final break with Christendom, the disconnection of base flow from the terminal sentimentalism …nihilism as nakedness before the cyclone” (119).

This is the communion of the Last Men…

1.  Nick Land. The Thirst for Annihilation. (Routledge, 1992)

Nick Land: Smeared Ash and Flame

“No ontology of time is possible, and yet ontology remains the sole foundation for discursive practices. There are only the shattered spars and the parodies of philosophy, as ruinous time pounds thought into the embers of an unwitting sacrifice, wreathed in a laughter as cold and nakedly joyous as the void.”

– Nick Land, The Thirst for Annihilation

The poetry of the void should be our battle cry, instead it has become our burial tomb. We live in caves of self-immolation, frightened by the very powers, the forces of existence below us that – if we would only allow them into our lives – might give us an existence worth living, rather than the embers of a consumptive nightmare. Nick Land saw time as mattering, as power and flow; not as a mode of being, nor a category of the mind’s perceptive faculties. Land ties his battle against Augustine and the scholastics, and especially their premier philosopher Saint Thomas Aquinas when he says:

“Time is the suicidal jealousy of God, to which each being – even the highest – must fall victim. It is thus the ultimate ocean of immanence, from which nothing can separate itself, and in which everything loses itself irremediably. The black mass of jealous rage swells like a cancer  at the core of the universe, or like a volcanic ulceration in the guts of God, and its catastrophic eruption consumes all established things in the acidic lava of impersonality” (95).1

For Land Time is the Great Destroyer: the entropic impulse at the heart of reality. And, as we all learned in school, the second law of thermodynamics states that the entropy of an isolated system never decreases, because isolated systems spontaneously evolve towards thermodynamic equilibrium — the state of maximum entropy. This is what the physicists all mean by the heat-death of the universe. It’s all winding down. According to the second law, the entropy of any isolated system, such as the entire universe, never decreases. If the entropy of the universe has no maximum upper bound then eventually the universe will have no thermodynamic free energy to sustain motion or life, that is, the heat death is reached. Of course we could debate this, and many physicists now argue for alternative visions of our universe. Current debates not withstanding what is important is not entropy itself but the order that is produced within an entropic system.

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Libidinal Materialism: Nick Land’s Philosophy of Desire

“Libidinal materialism, or the theory of unconditional (non-teleological) desire, is nothing but a scorch-mark from the expository diagnosis of the physicalist prejudice.”

– Nick Land, The Thirst for Annihilation

To be rid of the theological underpinnings of a naturalism that subverts the physicalist project into dogmatism is at the core of the sun ridden theory of Nick Land’s libidinal materialism. Old school Naturalism is usually defined most briefly as the philosophical conclusion that the only reality is nature, as gradually discovered by our intelligence using the tools of experience, reason, and science. The basic premise for this older narrative within the prejudice of the sciences is that philosophical naturalism undertakes the responsibility for elaborating a comprehensive and coherent worldview based on experience, reason, and science, and for defending science’s exclusive right to explore and theorize about all of reality, without any interference from tradition, superstition, mysticism, religious dogmatism, or priestly authority.

At its barest minimum old school naturalism is a species of philosophical monism according to which whatever exists or happens is natural in the sense of being susceptible to explanation through methods which, although paradigmatically exemplified in the natural sciences, are continuous from domain to domain of objects and events. Hence, naturalism is polemically defined as repudiating the view that there exists or could exist any entities which lie, in principle, beyond the scope of scientific explanation. 1

In recent years this philosophical orientation has come under fire from many domains. But at the heart of it is the trend that attacks all forms of ‘reductionism’ no matter what domain of knowledge. As one critic of philosophical naturalism Alvin Plantinga commented:  “Naturalism is presumably not a religion. In one very important respect, however, it resembles religion: it can be said to perform the cognitive function of a religion. There is that range of deep human questions to which a religion typically provides an answer … Like a typical religion, naturalism gives a set of answers to these and similar questions.”

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Nick Land: On Scientific Pomposity; or a Beach-Comber’s Paradise

“One consequence of the Occidental obsession with transcendence… is a physics that is forever pompously asserting that it is on the verge of completion. The contempt for reality manifested by such pronouncements is unfathomable. What kind of libidinal catastrophe must have occurred in order for a physicist  to smile when he says that nature’s secrets are almost exhausted? If these comments were not such obvious examples of megalomaniac derangement, and thus themselves laughable, it would be impossible  to imagine a more gruesome vision than that of the cosmos stretched out beneath  the impertinently probing fingers of grinning apes. Yet if one looks for superficiality with sufficient brutal passion, when one is prepared  to pay enough to systematically isolate it, it is scarcely surprising that one will find a little. This is certainly an achievement of sorts; one has found a region of stupidity, one has manipulated it, but this is all. Unfortunately, the delicacy to acknowledge this – as Newton so eloquently did when he famously compared science to beach-combing on the shore of an immeasurable ocean requires a certain minimum of tast, of noblisse.”

– Nick Land, A Thirst for Annihilation (34)

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That most scientists are not philosophers is to the detriment of philosophy. Yet we must not forget the success of science which philosophers seem to gloss over (except within the confines of the Philosophy of Science). As Land tells it the damage has been done, philosophy has even come to the point, the stage of obsolesence that “it has lost all confidence in its power to know … For at least a century, and perhaps for two, the major effort of the philosophers has simply been to keep the scientists out. How much defensiveness, pathetic mimicry, crude self-deception, crypto-theological obscurantism, and intellectual poverty is marked by the name of their recent and morbid offspring…” (35).

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the philosopher as accidental commedian…

Comments on Nick Land’s Urban Future blog:

Giantpigattack@…: an aged philosopher is either a monster of stamina or a charlatan… 

Nick Land: … and probably an accidental comedian. If the old codger has any sense or residual thread of charred and fraying dignity, he’ll restrict himself to meandering cultural commentary, perhaps on a blog.

from the Urban Future blog      

Nick Land On The Dark Enlightenment

“Humanism (capitalist patriarchy) is the same thing as our imprisonment.” – Thirst for Annihilation

Nick Land has always raged within the interstices of late-capitalism’s labyrinth of lost consumers. Troubadour of our cynical despairs he edges along the sewers of the world’s trash cultures, diving below our feet into the cesspools of troubled being seeking strange truths. In search of the traces of some hypothetical civilization that exists somewhere between Charon’s crossing of the Styx, and the encorcelled dreamquests of some kafkaesque nowheresville of postmodern delirium, Land delivers his prognostications in the modern city of Shanghai. Utopian dreamer or dystopian shaman of nightmares, Land plunges us into the strange truth of our own post-democratic socioscapes and the logics of the real.

In a  series of posts on Urban Future blog he offers a dark divers view of our current political malaise as libertarians and progressives alike forge links beyond the atrocity of the post-democratic state. In the first entry The Dark Enlightenment (Part 1)  he pungently remarks that a reactionary ‘dark enlightenment’ is a contradiction. The battle between democracy and libertarian visions is at the heart of this first essay. As Peter Thiel a libertarian states the personalist ethics of this path: “The fate of our world may depend on the effort of a single person who builds or propagates the machinery of freedom that makes the world safe for capitalism.” 1 Land mentions Michael Lind who wrote a democratic reposte against such libertarian safety nets, in which he shows Libertarian thought as exemplified by Ludwig von Mises and F.A. Hayek as being rooted in a fascination with fascism.

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Nick Land: Quotes

“Transcendental philosophy needs to be scaled, just as chaos theory needs deepening transcendentally. Between real scales there is always a difference of condition/conditioned, but this difference is only ever scalar (never polar). Unlike a Menger sponge the labyrinth cannot be expressed within a transcendent grid, since it maps an uncircumscribable terrain of immanence. Space and time find their construction ‘in’ the labyrinth, or nowhere. Scale is an irreducible difference. ”
– Nick Land, The Thirst for Annihilation

Nick Land: The Nature of Shadows; or, The Anti-Humanist as Historian of Atrocity

“Sex is the natural in man.”       – Camille Paglia

“Since homo sapiens has prowled the earth, nature has adapted to new shadows.”                –   Nick Land
Homo Sapiens

At the heart of Nick Land’s polemic is a hatred of ‘the superstition of self’. He sees in the thought of both Schopenhauer and Nietzsche an unfolding attack upon the humanistic traditions that have centered themselves upon homo sapiens as the center and horizon of all thought and praxis. As he states it: “Nietzsche is perhaps the greatest of all anti-humanist writers. …his writings attest to the most powerful eruption of impersonality in the Occidental world. …nowhere outside Nietzsche’s texts is there an antipersonalistic war-machine of equivalent ferocity” (98). [1] Of Schopenhauer he says: “Schopenhauer is the great well-spring of the impersonal in post-Kantian thought; the sole member of the immediately succeeding generation to begin vomiting monotheism out of their cosmology in order to attack the superstition of self” (98).

Land sees both of these thinkers as precursors to a philosophy of difference. In his view “the difference between Schopenhauer and Nietzsche is not simply that between thoughts of indifference and difference. It is more a question of phases in the emergent thinking of unilateral or non-reciprocal difference, which departs from the bilateral difference synonymous with ontology” (101). This difference is immanent in its relation between the organic and the inorganic in that “the difference between the two is wholly immanent to the inorganic as primary term” (101). In his view of the libidinal economy of energy he sees the idea of the recurrence of the same as the “impact of undifferentiable zero; the abortion of transcendence” (101).

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Ray Brassier: Death, Cosmic Schizophrenia, and Nick Land’s Accelerationism

“He proposes to radicalise critique, to convert the ideal conditioning of the representation of matter to the material conditioning of ideal representation. In the Landian apparatus, materiality is construed solely as the production of production. Transcendental materialism in its Landian version becomes a materialization of critique.”
– Ray Brassier,
Accelerationism

Accelerationism

Ray Brassier wants to save Land from himself and “show that it’s possible to rehabilitate the powers of the negative” for a philosophy that is both a materialist critique and a materialization of critique. He tells us that Land’s texts bristle with sublimated fury, “a kind of non-conceptual negativity…, and that’s what makes them really powerful.” Matter is the key. We do not so much think as matter thinks us. As Brassier says “Land claims thinking is a function of materiality… The claim is that matter itself is synthetic and productive.” Land is a Schellingian in that elimination of the transcendental subject and the brokering of a “self-synthesizing potency of what he called intensive materiality” is the central motif running through his works.

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Nick Land: The Tropic of Cancer as Sacred Literature

“For any ardent materialism truth is madness.”
– Nick Land, The Thirst for Annihilation

How many of us remember those opening lines that shook the world at one time, not the world of our liquid modernity, but the world of last men and women who danced to the decadent beat of the speakeasy and the riotous horns of jazz musicians during the ‘anything goes’ era that novelist Fitzgerald termed the “Jazz Age”:

“I am living at the Villa Borghese. There is not a crumb of dirt anywhere, nor a chair misplaced. We are all alone here and we are dead. Last night Boris discovered that he was lousy. I had to shave his armpits and even then the itching did not stop. How can one get lousy in a beautiful place like this? But no matter. We might never have known each other so intimately, Boris and I, had it not been for the lice.
Boris has just given me a summary of his views. He is a weather prophet. The weather will continue bad, he says. There will be more calamities, more death, more despair. Not the slightest indication of a change anywhere. The cancer of time is eating us away. Our heroes have killed themselves, or are killing themselves. The hero, then, is not Time, but Timelessness. We must get in step, a lock step, toward the prison of death. There is no escape. The weather will not change.” (The Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller Obelisk Press, Paris 1934)

A paean to nihil, a nautical journey into the seething sea of chaos and nothingness, a joyride on the train to Oblivion Miller’s book erupted on the scene like a fragment of a demented religious tract for profane Osseologists; or, as Ezra Pound would say later to T.S. Eliot: “Here’s a dirty book you will want to read!” Anaïs Nin the diarist of this strange era said of it: “This book brings with it a wind that blows down the dead and hollow trees whose roots are withered and lost in the barren soul of our times. This book goes to the roots and digs under, digs for subterranean springs.” Yet, it was Miller himself that infamously describe it as “a gob of spit in the face of Art, a kick in the pants to God, Man, Destiny, Time, Love, Beauty.”

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Nick Land: The Philosophy of the Rat God; or, is the Werewolf a philosopher of Time?

“Let us not forget that philosophy is also primate psychology; that our loftiest speculations are merely picking through a minuscule region of the variegated slime encrusting a speck of dust.”      – Nick Land, Spirit and Teeth

“Your words, Euthyphro, are like the handiwork of my ancestor Daedalus; and if I were the sayer or propounder of them, you might say that my arguments walk away and will not remain fixed where they are placed because I am a descendant of his.”      – Socrates


Nick Land finds god in the sewers, not so much that ancient leprous visage of Yahweh hiding in shadows, as it is his poseur, an imposter and fretful son, his last fragmentary hope of a broken messiah: a god of mud and slime living among the rats like a subterranean king in the cesspool of a tumorous thought. No longer the great god of the Old Testament, this forgotten Yahweh lives among his own brethren, regressed to his true form as the King of Rats: his vermin-core eating alive all those false religions that still inhabit this dark bunghole of a globe. This is the vision of poets, one such as Georg Trakl (the lycanthropic metamorphosis of god into beast, into rat, being fed by a young boy during those twilight moments between day and night):

“In the evening, the father became an old man; in dark rooms the mother’s face petrified, and the curse of the degenerated race weighed on the boy. Sometimes he remembered his childhood filled with sickness, terror and eclipse, secret games in the garden of stars, or feeding the rats in the dusking courtyard. From the blue mirror the narrow figure of the sister stepped and he fell as if dead into darkness. At night his mouth burst open like a red fruit and stars gleamed over his speechless grief. His dreams filled the ancient house of the fathers. In the evening he liked to walk over the ruined cemetery or watch the corpses in the dusking crypts, with green stains of rot on their beautiful hands” (Georg Trakl, Dream and Derangement).

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Nick Land: A hypernihilist for an age of apathetic ghouls

“Ever since it became theoretically evident that our precious personal identities were just brand-tags for trading crumbs of labour-power on the libidinoeconomic junk circuit, the vestiges of authorial theatricality have been wearing thinner.”
– Nick Land


Nick Land is the comic poet of our philosophical despair, a troubadour for the nihil, a lover caressing the abyss that flows just below our fleshly feet and into the slime of time’s kitchen sink. Like a black metal musician Land cleaves to the night, the stars, and the blank emptiness of the void, where the black vitality of dead suns sinks in the depths beyond our luminous gaze. Dragon born he drinks the blood of history like a latter day Anaximander seeking out the apeiron of an infinite thought. Shifting through the philosophical bric-a-brac of  this gaudy age of decadence and political malaise he tramples all those delicate academics who would hide within their hedgehog towers like victims of some catastrophic meteor strike. He stands there in this cosmic disaster and welcomes the darkest possibilities as if they were old friends who’d just stepped away from a cannibalistic feast:

“An extraordinary lucidity, frosty and crisp in the blackness, but paralysed; lodged in some recess of the universe that clutches it like a snare. A wave of nausea is accompanied by a peculiarly insinuating headache, as if thought itself were copulating unreservedly with suffering. A damp coldness, close to fog, creeps through the open window. I laugh, delighted at the fate that has turned me into a reptile. The metallic hardness of intellect seems like a cutting instrument in my hand; the detached fragment from a machine tool, or an abattoir, seeking out the terminal sense it was always refused.” (TA: 10). [1]

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