Tendencies of Life and Death

Originally published on Through Europe, April 2014

 

Life forever holds within itself, coiled at the very centre of its unfolding, the fearful promise of death. That death, emerging from the shadows of the living, from the darkness that forever follows the living, brings about an absolute end-of-life, brings down its sickle upon the vitality of the existent in order to return it to nonexistence. Death then, the absolute, final end-of-life, is that nothingness, that emptiness, that hollow darkness, which is forever stalking the living, anticipating that twilight upon which it may exercise its right to return ashes to ashes and dust to dust, restoring that which is living to the barren desolation of the non-living.  This is the terror that has plagued the thought of the Western episteme since at least the conception of episteme as such.

 

Such a conception of death, as that which brings an absolute end-of-life, has been persistent, and for all good sense, and indeed philosophy, it appears as though it could be no other way. How can it be possible for one to speak of death other than as an absolute end-of-life? Is it not precisely a complete and absolute lack of life that is characteristic of death? It would appear foolish to attempt to think otherwise, to think death as something other than the final, absolute and total end-of-life. Nevertheless, in spite of its apparent stupidity, its total lack of good sense, its absurdity, and indeed as some might say, its impossibility, that is precisely the task to now be placed at hand, that of thinking life and death tendentially; that is to say what is here sought is an interrogation of the tendential relationship between the living and the non-living. The failure of the Western episteme to think death in a manner other than what I shall be calling the finalist conception does it great disservice (and let me be clear early on that on the one hand there is indeed a episteme, the episteme—that is the episteme of ontology, metaphysics and logos—for in no other way and at no other time has episteme been thought as such, that is as episteme and as Western; whereas, on the other hand, there is indeed a heterogeneity of epistemes that is irreducible to an episteme, a difference that is not internal but rather demonstrates unavoidably the open and connective nature of episteme itself, that allows episteme to form from that which is other than episteme and forever prevents its closure). Such a conception, that of absolute death, paralyses thought under the stifling force of fear and sorrow, and leaves us unable to even approach questions regarding the living. Our minds, moulded as they are by the episteme of finalist death, reel in horror at anything that is not static, clear and oppositional, anything that approaches the fluidity of life and indeed its relationship with the non-living.

 

 

This conception of death, as we have said, is pervasive, and with good reason for to all good sense death can be nothing other than an end-of-life, an absolute and final end. As is customary, certainly within discussions of episteme and indeed of the episteme itself—for we cannot pretend that we are an exception and that we may discourse beyond its limits—we may start by reading from Aristotle. In the Nicomachean Ethics, where the task is the question of an art of living, Aristotle confronts the question of death. He writes, “[n]ow the most terrible thing of all is death; for it is the end, and when a man is dead, nothing, we think, either good or evil can befall him any more.”[i] Here, the finalist conception of death is stated clearly and precisely. The occurrence of death is that of rupture, it is that which brings an end-of-life and an end of affection, ‘for it is the end.’ Nothing may be brought into connection or relation with the dead, the living, in death, escapes from its pharmacological[ii] entrapment by the ever-fluctuating duality of good-evil. Death is terrible. The dead may not be befallen by anything for they have already fallen to death and there is nowhere further to fall. Persistence, presence and duration are severed. The bottom has been reached.

 

But we must not simplify. Let us read on, for what Aristotle is considering here, in the foreground at least, is the role of Courage in living well. He continues,

 

“But even death, we should hold, does not in all circumstances give an opportunity for Courage: for instance we do not call a man courageous for facing death by drowning or disease. What form of death then is a test of Courage? Presumably that which is the noblest. Now the noblest form of death is death in battle, for it is encountered in the midst of the greatest and most noble of dangers. And this conclusion is borne out by the principle on which public honors are bestowed in republics and under monarchies. The courageous man, therefore, in the proper sense of the term, will be he who fearlessly confronts a noble death, or some sudden peril that threatens death; and the perils of war answer this description most fully.”[iii]

 

Aristotle’s questioning concerns the transition of life to death, that is a transference between states that are clearly segmented and static. The question of the Courage of death concerns the manner by which one transfers from living to dead, the door through which one passes, if we may permit such an expression, in order to travers the threshold between life and death. Death has already been established as being beyond affection, being beyond the pharmacology of good-evil, for death ‘is the end.’ It is the door through which one passes that is subject to the determinations of an ethics, the question of how to live in the face of the absolute end-of-life that is death.

 

The conclusion reached by Aristotle, that the Courageous, and therefore good, death is death in battle, death in the face of conflict, is reached by the consideration of ‘the principle on which public honors are bestowed in republics and under monarchies.’ The judgement of Courage, the determination of the good death, is determined by the living for ‘neither good nor evil can befall’ the dead. It is only for the living that one dies Courageously. The threshold that stands between the living and the dead is subject to the determination of an ethics, but only from the side of the living, for the dead have already fallen and can fall no further. The states are total. The means of dying, the transference, only exists as the barrier between two states, and further only exists from the side of the living for in death there is nothing, only a complete negation that would forbid any ethical determination. For the dead then, there is nothing noble or Courageous about falling in battle. Courage only belongs to the living, to the living-in-the-face-of-death or the living-considering-the-death-of-others, the former being the state of those set to die in battle, the latter being the state of those bestowing ‘public honours.’

 

The question of death then is set as an opposition between two states, one pertaining to ethics as the art of living, one pertaining to nothing. If death is a concern, if it becomes a question at all, it is only insofar as it concerns the living. The process of death, that is of dying, is not given the same treatment as the process of life, that is of living, the latter being the concern of ethics. The movement from life to death is lost. There is either life, for which there is a good death, or death, for which there is nothing. It is perhaps peculiar that Aristotle should reason in such a way, in a way which is both devoid of tendency and devoid of duration. Peculiar as this is the same Aristotle that will, in Physics, refute Zeno’s paradox of motionless movement precisely by, in his own way, demonstrating the necessity of duration and connectivity.[iv] But the arrow of Zeno persists in Aristotle’s conception of death, it is the same succession of states, devoid of continuity and fluidity, that is at work in death becoming the absolute end-of-life, the state which ends the preceding state being entirely unconnected and unhampered by any tendential movement, any gradation. It is this lack of continuity and stubborn refusal of fluidity, which is the basis of Zeno’s staggering arrow, that will haunt episteme in the finalist conception of death. The life of one state ends absolutely and that which follows is absolutely different—there is no connection. But of course, we must not forget, that as all good sense will tell us, death is an exception for it is the absolute end-of-life. It is that nothingness which stubbornly encroaches on the living, that negation which remains forever at the core of life. How else could it be?

 

Let us turn our attention back further. When Socrates states in Phaedrus[v] that writing has the capacity to destroy memory what is at stake is not only the pharmacological character of technics, as Stiegler continues to explore[vi], but also death. It is a tendency of life towards the non-living that is the basis of technicity. Socrates opposes the destructive capacity of the dead letter, to the generative power of living words; for Socrates there is “another kind of speech, or word, which shows itself to be the legitimate brother of this bastard one”[vii], such a word is the word of the living, the word imbued with vitality, or as Phaedrus responds “the living and breathing word of him who knows.”[viii] Life brings life, but death brings only death. The living word is legitimate in uncovering logos, it is that which may bring forth logos through discoursing, it is that word which may grasp its vitality in order to defend itself, my thrust itself, living as it is, towards truth and in turn uphold and defend this truth. Such a living word may respond, for in its utterance it is unified with living memory. The dead word of the inscribed letter threatens the vitality of memory, threatens it with destruction, threatens to condemn logos to remain hidden, to fall with the dead into the bleak domain of the non-living. There is nothing for the dead letter precisely because it is dead.

 

To bring forth logos, to allow its emergence, we can only turn to active memory of the living word, unified as it is with truth, life and thought, determined as it is by the art of living, by the determinations of good-evil. The purity of the living word, its unity with intelligence, with the untainted idea must be guarded against its ‘bastard brother,’ that illegitimate, deformed sibling that would threaten its destruction. The unity of thought and word, of logos and discourse, is threatened by the artificial externality of the inscribed letter, by the disunity, disequilibrium and destruction that it will bring about, by the threat of death as an end of memory, as an end of the living memory of pure word brought about through the degradation of the dead memory of inscription. The dead inscribed word cannot adapt, defend or consider as does the live memory of speech.  We need not here demonstrate the failures of positing an inside to language that is threatened by an external violence, for such a discourse has been explored extensively.[ix] Our attention is on the dead and the living, their inseparable tendential connectivity.

 

Socrates fears the dead letter, but it appears he does not fear death. The finalist conception of death, for him, emerges not in the fear of his death, but it haunts him in the manner in which he approaches the inscribed letter. Socrates does not fear the unknown, but he does fear the destruction of the known. He fears the death of the known, the concealment of a living logos by the dead tainted letter. But of his own death, it seems he cares little; “the state of death is one of two things: either it is virtually nothingness, so that the dead has no consciousness of anything, or it is, as people say, a change and migration of the soul from this to another place.”[x] Socrates here strikes at the basis of our current confusion. Socrates fears the realm of the non-living in the form of the inscribed letter, but the death of his individuality scares him not. Have we not, throughout these words, confused a lack-of-life with death, confused the non-living and the dead? Are we not guilty of making obscure the clear separation between the death-of-the-living, and the lifelessness-of-the-non-living?

 

 

Let us pause from our readings of others to clear this up. It is indeed the case that an individual manifestation of life, an individual body, will diminish to death; and beyond this death that body no longer exists as such, that is it no longer persists as a body imbued with life. But the life that animated that body does not end, for life is not of individual bodies, it is not to be owned, or controlled, or directed. There will be people, friends among them, who will read this and consider me guilty of a certain mysticism, a reification of vitality to the level of dominant abstraction, of the form of abstraction that may dangerously dominate and subjugate individuals by taking on the shape of pure idea, pure spirit. This is certainly not the intention, nor I believe the necessary effect, but I can see the basis of the accusation and I may in time come to think differently myself. But for the time being I can only respond that my conception of individuality is different. Like life and death, I seek to understand the relationship between the individual and its reality as tendential. There is a tendency towards individuality, a tendency for a body to close itself off from its environment and become as sufficient as possible, but it is never more than a tendency for that same body must, in order to ensure its continuation, open itself upon the surrounding materiality from which it continually seeks severance. [xi]

 

The individual continually opens onto that which is other than it, and it is necessary for its own continuation, and the continuation of the life that animates it, to do so. The connectivity of any given individuality determines the impossibility of considering that individuality without attempting to take into account the world in which it dwells and the association and materiality of which it is a part. For this reason—among others which I shall leave aside for now—that I say life and death do not belong to the individual. They are currents that flow beyond any one body. They are tendencies which cannot adequately be thought when constrained to the life and death of individuals, for they do not belong to individuals and are not their properties. The life and death of an individual is nothing but a gradated locus of transition, and indeed one that is never absolute, one that is never final, one that is always tendential and partial. Of course this does not deny the horror of the loss of an individual’s life, the grief we face at a loved one’s death, the fear we face at the death of others or even our own, but it should remind us not to accept this as final.

 

There always remain the possibilities of return. There is always an opening up of individuality onto that which is other than it. There is always an extension of duration. The death of the individual is but the deintensification and deterritorialization of a specific series of durations, the diminishing of a specific material locus of connective intensity. This locus and this duration are always connective, and so the tendency towards death always appears alongside a tendency towards the living, one that maintains connection with the living, that brings about affect in the living, and is extensive throughout the domain of the living. Death is not the outside of life. It is not an externality that may deform and degrade life. Death is not the bastard sibling of a legitimate life. It is rather a mode of connection, affection and transformation. The loved may die, but their death is never final.  “To go on speaking of this all alone, after the death of the other, to sketch out the least conjecture or risk the least interpretation, feels to me like an endless insult or wound – and yet also a duty, a duty toward him. Yet I will not be able to carry it out, at least not right here. Always the promise of return.”[xii] Derrida mourns Barthes. He does so with the promise of return, one might even say the insistence of return. The death of the other stays other, the alterity by which the other was known in life persists in death, the difference by which this individuality was known remains difference. In the passage towards death, the loss of vitality is never absolute, for effect and affect remain beyond the finitude of bodies. The death of individualities brings endless wounds, but they are wounds which will not heal or at best will scar, and in their scaring or their refusal to heal the transformative insistence of life finds one of its most cruel forms—precisely in its interplay with death.

 

But is this interplay not only partial? Is its extension and affection not limited? Limited to that time whereby the work of mourning will be complete? Is not the connection and extension of pain and horror found at the realisation of one’s death only a matter for the living; a matter for the living-considering-the-death-of-others? Is it not only for the living that mourning exists, for surely the dead are dead? As Freud would have it, detachment from the dead one is

… carried out bit by bit, at great expense of time and cathartic energy, and in the meantime the existence of the lost object is psychically prolonged. Each single moment of the memories and the expectations in which the libido is bound to the object is brought up and hyper-cathected, and detachment of the libido is accomplished in respect of it.[xiii]

The extension and connection of the dead, the psychoanalyst writes, is only temporary. It is a temporary matter for the living to overcome. It is gradually that the living come to terms with the end-of-life through the detachment of affection.

But have we not already seen this is not so? Have we not seen that it is never so clean, never so simple, never so static? There can be no hyper-cathexis that will be absolute, that will result in detachment for there is “[a]lways the promise of return.”[xiv] The singularity of durations has already merged, they have been caught in connection, the anticipation and protention of which shatters any linearity that would allow one to end, for detachment to be complete. The connection of durations, which are unavoidably both multiple and singular, is unavoidable just as is the play between life and death. It cannot be that mourning “overcomes the loss of the object,”[xv] for the object is never lost and was never only an object, it was never only external. The mingling of duration, the intersection of flows, the inescapable web of connectivity, insists upon the impossibility of absolute loss. Insisting that they were with us will always be with us; that we lived with them and will always be of them; that life was shared and shaped together will never be lost. Death cannot be reasoned in terms of total detachment for such detachment will not come. “[W]hoever thus works at the work of mourning learns the impossible—and that mourning is interminable. Inconsolable. Irreconcilable.”[xvi] The living do not leave the dead behind them for their connection has always been forged.

To live, by definition, is not something one learns. Not from oneself, it is not learned from life, taught by life. Only from the other and by death. In any case from the other at the edge of life. At the internal border or the external border, it is a heterodidactics between life and death.[xvii]

 

Life learns from death, and death from life—it is a matter of interplay, of tendency.

 

 

We could dwell extensively on this, and indeed there are other interplays between life and death which are worthy of attention; but I fear many readers—if indeed there have been any—may have already lost patience. I shall then, for the sake of the current writing, seek to now be brief and confine myself to only a few further areas of discussion that may illuminate what is being considered in terms of the tendential relationship between life and death.

 

Let us turn to Marx, for of all the dead it is clear that Marx has not been buried. Indeed one would have immense trouble asserting 1883 to be the absolute end-of-life of Marx, to be his finalist death. But not only this, Marx continually confronts the world of economics as the science of finalist death. There is in Marx, an entire economy of death. For Marx death is that which oppresses, it is that which dominates the living, which drags back transformation and continually diminishes the vitality of humanity. The dominance of capital is for Marx, the dominance of death. Capital is a dead form; it is the accumulation of vitality and its condemnation to a domain of finalist death, a death which will produce more death. The mass grave of dead labour provides for capital its powerful foundation and offers an endless expanse to be filled by the endless accumulation of corpse-like forms. But death is not restrained to capital for Marx; it is also what holds back transformation, what prevents freedom. “Let the dead bury the dead.”[xviii] The motif appears numerous times in Marx. The dead impinge on the present, their dead memory degrades the living memory of the present, prevents the realisation of freedom, haunts the possibility of removing the mounds of dead labour from their position of dominance.  Marx demands a radical break with the past, with a dead past, with a rotting, decaying and unjust past. He demands a break with a dead past in order to escape the dominance of the dead—the dead of capital and the dead of past memory, of failed revolutions and lamented revolts.

 

On the one hand, Marx is exemplary in seeking to show how the dead are not absolutely dead, how vitality is siphoned off in order to dominate, how the relationship between life and death is tendential, how life can be reclaimed from death. Marx seeks to uncover the “vampire-like”[xix] powers of capital that would use life to create death and turn this death against life, putting it to the service of the production of the dead. Marx knows that economics, whilst using the power of finalist death, always concerns people’s lives, always is deeply involved in people’s lives, in the atrocities that are committed in the name of an accumulation of death, in the lives which are shattered for the sake of an ever-growing sphere of death, in the degradation, estrangement and alienation of workers that emerges from their submission to the ever-growing graveyard. Proletarianisation is not only a loss of knowledge and memory,[xx] here too it is a loss of life. The proletariat emerges as the body of workers who have been forced to submit their vitality to the dominance of a form of finalist death. The life that can no longer be lived except in the production of death is the life of the proletariat. In Marx demands they reclaim their life from the hands of the blood-stained figures of the dead that rise above the living and condemned the living to a half-life, a life at the service of the dead.

 

But on the other hand Marx demands the dead stay dead. He laments the revolutions of the past for not burying their dead. Marx on the one hand seeks to undo death and restore it to life, but on the other demands that death be buried and remain buried. Marx insists the memories of failed revolutions, the ever-impeaching atrocities of the past, be forgotten, fall to dead memory. It is here that Marx, in spite of the breath-taking extent to which he achieves a tendential approach to life and death when approaching the question of labour, falls to the same finalist conception of death that he seeks to expose in political economy as the science of finalist death. Marx here demands of history the impossible; he demands it be left behind, that it diminish, that it be buried with the dead. He demands that a new society determine the past rather than having the past determine society. But this is only one Marx, and there are indeed many—many even within the question of history. Let us return to his analysis of the science of finalist death.

 

Capital dominates the living, and equally the dead, by instance on a finalism that would serve to degrade both. It is not only the living that suffer as result, but so too the non-living, the living suffer at the hands of the dead and the dead at the hands of the living. Both commit the violence of denying the other. The horror at the dead labour congealed in the means of production is a horror born of the refusal to think of possibilities beyond the dominance of the dead over the living that is characteristic of the science of finalist death. It is not the existence of dead labour in itself that should strike fear in our hearts for it is by the continual exteriorisation[xxi] of life that we find writing as the basis of technicity, the unfinished basis of life. The living need the dead. The machinery which holds so many automations, so much death that controls the living, so much repetition which diminishes difference, is not in itself at wrong; for if it poisons us, if it condemns us, if it reduces us to half-life, so to can it set us free, allowing us to move beyond ourselves. “If repetition makes us ill, it also heals us; if it enchains us and destroys us, it also frees us, testifying in both cases to its “demonic” power.”[xxii] The repetition and repetitions of the machine, of the means of production, of technics, discourse and techniques are not in themselves at fault. Such exteriorisation is of the continual reach outward, the forever going beyond, it is the domain of the übermensch as much as it is the domain of the socius and for both it may destroy or create, constrain or liberate.

 

It is by this that we can now reinterpret Schopenhauer’s consideration that life reveals “a continual rushing of the present into the dead past, a constant dying.”[xxiii] Life continually rushes towards death, its present continually exteriorises to the domain of the dead—this is the basis of technicity, history, discourse and so too the archive, all of which now appear associated to the death-drive. Life forever unfolds unto the domain of the dead, and the dead shall continually unfold unto the domain of the living. It is right to consider death intrinsic to life, to be coiled at its centre, but not in the form of a severing, a rupture or nothingness, for death provides the basis of life just as life provides the basis of death. It is for these reasons that Bifo’s suggestion of a “thanato-politics”[xxiv] should be pursued, but it must be as part of a reassessment of our understanding of “Vitalpolitik”[xxv] and the economies of life and death. A thanato-politics must be part of our considerations regarding how to “reveal to the living the invasion of death,”[xxvi]  but also how to reveal the invasion of life into the domain of the dead for they can no longer be opposed to one another. They must be thought tendentially—such are the stakes of ecology and object oriented ontologies. Just as life brings death, so can death bring life but on the condition that we escape the grip of finalism. This is what a thanato-politics which is inescapably a part of biopolitics must do; it must find means of undoing “the exclusion of the dead and of death.[xxvii]  It must remove the finalism of the domain of the dead, the same finalism by which the science of finalist death condemns us to half-life and half-death, which robs us of life, death, memory and knowledge.

 

An ars vitae will forever fail if it does not begin to think life and death tendentially. We have only just started here to speak of the many realms which are affected by this inability to think life and death tendentially. We have not spoken of the vitalism of notions of spirit and soul, we have not spoken of the surge of interest in Wittgenstein’s forms of life, nor have we spoken in depth of the indissociable link between the archive, repetition and the death drive. We have not spoken extensively of the realms of economics, nor of statistical delimitation, nor of the duration of discourse. We have not spoken of the attempt to rename the vicious drive-based form of capitalism that currently rules thanaticism,[xxviii] and what the stakes of such a suggestion may be. We have not spoken of the handing over of more and more of life and death to the science of finalist death, to the evasive creeping of the market. We have not spoken of the Proustian reflections on death and memory, nor those of Strauss’s Die Frau ohne Schatten. We have not spoken of the extensive connectivity of Spinoza, nor the pansocial ontology of Tarde. We have not spoken of the dharmic perspective, nor that of the eternal return. We have not spoken of the mana of the thing given and symbolic exchanges’ means of playing the game of life and death beyond the realms of finalism. We have not spoken of sacrifice or general economy, nor have we spoken at any length of the turn towards studying technicity or object oriented ontology. The domains of which we should speak when approaching the question of the tendential connectivity of life and death are many and even those discussed here have only been done so briefly.

One may well consider all of this absurd, and indeed I expect many will not have persisted to read these words, for as we said at the outset, to all good sense death must be an absolute end-of-life. There is no alternative to the finalist conception of death. Others may present the label vitalism to the discussion written here, but this seems unfitting for precisely what has been at stake is the inseparability of life and death, its tendential connectivity. If such a label must be levelled, and for some such terms are necessary, then perhaps we may instead refer to a thanatoism that would see death as more than a finalist end-of-life, but this is too one sided to persist for any length of time. Perhaps what we may say has been written here are the beginnings of radically negative anthropology of death, or the initiation of its deconstruction. Such a radically negative anthropology of death would be such that it may undo our common sense[xxix] perceptions of life and death, offering vast a ground of possibility upon which the intensive play of the living and the dead can unfold, avoiding the domination of total positive affirmation and absolute finalism. It would begin to open ways which permit death to partake in the realm of the living and allow the living to partake in the realm of the dead.

 

[i] Aristotle (n.d.) Nicomachean Ethics, 1115a.26, online at http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/

[ii] Sensu Stiegler, Bernard (2013) What Makes Life Worth Living, London: Polity

[iii] Aristotle Op. Cit. 1115a.27-30

[iv] Aristotle (n.d.) Physics, VI:9, online at http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/

[v] Plato (n.d.) Phaedrus, online at http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/

[vi] Cf. Stiegler Bernard (1998) Technics and Time: the fault of Epimetheus, Stanford University Press

[vii] Plato, Op. Cit., 276a

[viii] Plato, Op. Cit.

[ix] Cf. Derrida, Jacques (1997) Of Grammatology, Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press

[x] Plato (n.d.) Apology, 40c

[xi] Cf. Bergson, Henri (1998) Creative Evolution, New York: Dover Publications, especially Ch. 1

[xii] Derrida, Jacques (2001) The Work of Mourning, California University Press p. 55

[xiii] Freud, Sigmund (1914) ‘Mourning and Melancholia’ in The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, vol. 14, London: Hogarth Press p. 244-5

[xiv] Derrida, Jacques, Op. Cit.

[xv] Freud, Sigmund Op. Cit., p. 255

[xvi] Derrida, Jacques Op. Cit. p.143

[xvii] Derrida, Jacques (1994) Spectres of Marx, p. xvii

[xviii] Marx, Karl (1843) Letter from Marx to Arnold Ruge, https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1843/letters/43_05-alt.htm

[xix] Marx, Karl (1867) ‘The Limits of the Working Day’ in Capital: volume one, https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1867-c1/ch10.htm

[xx] Cf. Stiegler, Bernard (2013) For a New Critique of Political Economy, London: Polity

[xxi] Sensu Leroi-Gourhan, Andre (1993) Gesture and Speech, London: MIT Press

[xxii] Deleuze, Gilles (2004) Difference and Repetition, London: Continuum , p.21

[xxiii] Schopenhauer, Arthur (2000) The World as Will and Representation: Volume 1, New York: Dover p. 311

[xxiv] Berardi, Fracno ‘Bifo’ (2009) The Soul at Work: from alienation to autonomy, p. 190

[xxv] Foucault, Michel (2008) The Birth of Biopolitics: lectures at the College de France 1978-79, Michel Senellart (eds), New York: Palgrave Macmillian

[xxvi] Bataille, Georges (1990) ‘Hegel, Death and Sacrifice’ in Yale French Studies, no. 78, On Bataille, p.19

[xxvii] Baudrilliard, Jean (1993) Symbolic Exchange and Death, London: Sage, p.126

[xxviii] Wark, McKenzie (2014) Birth of Thanaticism, online at http://www.publicseminar.org/2014/04/birth-of-thanaticism/#.U1ouhVXIZSE

[xxix] Sensu Gramsci, Antonio (1971) Selections From the Prison Notebooks, London: Lawrence and Wishhart

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