Generic Sovereignty: Politics of the Future

Essentially your discourse and your ontology are one. What allows this onto-semiotic opening: infancy, psychosis, psychedelia, modern art. These are where the politics have taken place: at the crumbling walls of a norm so subtle it does not escape being re-established or even unquestioned in the revolution of thought or flesh. The sadness of the “real” revolutionary failure explicated by May 68, Maoism, the ENS, the Cahiers, gave rise to so many reactionary, fatalist, and nihilist positions: conservative moralistic new philosophers, punk accelerationism, liberal resignation of the baby-boomers’ culture of narcissism. Justifiable collateral damage of both the Stalinist and Bush varieties. Is there no alternative to the re-instatement of the master discourse or transcendental-ideal. The solution lies hiding in the problem. This would be “sovereignty” – Bataille’s re-appropriation of the secret truth of the master. In his later works he explains it in increasingly different ways: from the extreme macroscopic level of the stellar system beyond social-economics to the extreme microscopic level of the existent instant, moment, or act beyond the human subject. Only an ethic of sovereignty becomes a politics without a master. He frames the issue finally as Nietzsche v Marx: Communism v the Sovereign Artist.

I claim that what Bataille proclaimed and achieved is at one with Lacan’s final formulation of the practice of Analysis in what I call the “clinic of everyday life” or the “desire path to enlightenment.” In this practice the experiential interpellation of the subject by the master discourse – or the transcendental-idealist ontology (including its universitiized and constructivist form) is deconstructed or hystericized. A journey through the past collapses the archive and lays bare the blind spots of one’s determined perspective(s), forcing an encounter with anxiety. The possible responses of reactionary reinstallation of the master or “superego” as well as the more rare positions of nihilism and fatalism are tried on before passing to that of the heroic position of the sinthome – the sovereign artist who identifies with his artifice – his symptom transformed – and takes responsibility for his contingent yet real position and his axiomatic existence in which ethic, aesthetic, discourse and ontology become one. And yet there is “one more effort, Frenchmen” if we would truly pass to the analytic – or dialectic – position.