A Serious Question about Manuel DeLanda

Is this chap for real?

“Living creatures, according to this stance, are in no way “better” than rocks. Indeed, in a nonlinear world in which the same basic processes of self-organization take place in the mineral, organic and cultural spheres, perhaps rocks hold some of the keys to understand sedimentary humanity, igneous humanity and all their mixtures”. http://www.t0.or.at/delanda/geology.htm

Ooh, it’s all part of the same really long drawn out process, maaan. Who are we to judge what’s “right” or “wrong”, you know [Meaningful stare].

Fuck you rock brain, that’s who.    

Granted, it’s a somewhat experimental article. And it’s a somewhat experimental web article on top of that. But still, this is a big joke, right? When he is being serious within his writings does he still spout the same sort of silliness? Somebody please tell me I’m missing something – surely I am.

6 thoughts on “A Serious Question about Manuel DeLanda

  1. Unfortunately not Juan:

    “There is no doubt, some element of metaphor in my use of the terms, but behind the appearance of linguistic analogy there are, I believe, common physical processes behind the formation of real meshworks and strata which make all the different usages of the terms quite literal. These common processes cannot be captured through linguistic representations alone and we need to move to the realm of engineering diagrams to specify them”.

  2. I think his use of the word “better” is unfortunate. It’s superfluous to the argument which is that *everything* is in a state of flux, it’s all self-organisation and process (maaan). And I think that argument that everything is process and self-organisation is serious, though I’m not sure how much I agree with it. For one thing, surely *self*-organisation presupposes a “self”. But, actually suggesting that humans and other living things are “better” than rocks and stuff is as meaningless as saying we’re not better. But the problem, it seems to me, with De Landa is that all of these very easily becomes depolitical. He tries to use the example of “nice” markets, but even there (and then) would have been lots of power relationship and even class antagonisms.

  3. The geological process of which we are all a part once generated this gem:

    “my work is a deliberate attempt to liberate the left from the straightjacket in which Marx’s thought has kept it for 150 years. Needless to say, my book A Thousand Years was only the opening salvo. My serious attack on Marx is still to come, but when it does it will be devastating, or so I hope)” http://www.protevi.com/john/Delanda-Protevi.pdf



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