Always look on the bright side of life

“The human mind is always poring upon the gloomy side of Fortune, and while it inhabits this lump of Clay, will always be in an uneasy and fluctuating State, produced by a thousand Incidents in common Life, which are deemed misfortunes, while the mind is taken off from the nobler pursuit of matters in Futurity. The sufferings of the Body naturally gain the Attention of the Mind, and this Attention is more or less strong, in greater or lesser souls, altho’ I believe that Ambition & a high Opinion of Fame, makes many People endure hardships and pains with that fortitude we after times Observe them to do. On the other hand, a despicable opinion of the enjoyments of this Life, by a continued series of Misfortunes, and a long acquaintance with Grief, induces others to bear afflictions with becoming serenity and Calmness. It is not in the power of Philosophy, however, to convince a man he may be happy and Contented if he will, with a Hungry Belly. Give me Food, Cloaths, Wife & Children, kind Heaven! and I’ll be as contented as my Nature will permit me to be.” – Albigence Waldo, Diary, December 15, 1777, Valley Forge, Pennsylvania (emphasis in original)

Go hungry and see how good everything tastes

“Mankind are never truly thankfull for the Benefits of life, until they have experienc’d the want of them. The Man who has seen misery knows best how to enjoy good. He who is always at ease & has enough of the Blessings of common life is an Impotent Judge of the feelings of the unfortunate.” – Albigence Waldo, Diary, December 15, 1777

A gift for the city

“In making itself the Trojan Horse of worldwide domination, desire has emptied itself of everything that smacked of domesticity, cosiness, privacy. The precondition of totalitarian reconfiguration of what is desirable has been its autonomy from every real object and all particular content. In learning to train itself on essences, desire has become, despite itself, an absolute desire, a desire for the absolute that nothing earthly can quench. This unquenchability is the central lever of consumption, and of its subversion.” – Tiqqun, Preliminary Materials For a Theory of the Young-Girl

The skinny on the skinny

“Anorexia expresses in women the same aporia that is manifest in men in the form of the pursuit of power: the will to mastery. It is only that, because of the greater severity of the culture’s patriarchal codification upon women, the anorexic brings the will to mastery to bear upon her body, for she cannot bring it to bear on the rest of the world.” – Tiqqun, Preliminary Materials For a Theory of the Young-Girl

Girls just want to have fun

“It is through the Young-Girl that capitalism has managed to extend its hegemony to the totality of social life. She is the most obstinate pawn of market domination in a war whose objective remains the total control of daily life and ‘productive’ time. It is precisely because she represents the total acculturation of the self, because she defines herself in terms fixed by extraneous judgment, that the Young-Girl constitutes the most advanced carrier of the ethos and the abstract behavioral norms of the Spectacle.” – Tiqqun, Preliminary Materials For a Theory of the Young-Girl

Feeling free, are we

“As soon as the corporeal presence of the industrial slave has fully entered the composition of the assessable output of what she can produce—her physiognomy being inseparable from her labor—the distinction between the person and the activity of that person becomes specious. The corporeal presence is already a commodity, independently of and in addition to the commodity this presence contributes to producing. Henceforth industrial slaves either establish an intimate relation between their corporeal presence and the money this presence brings in, or else they substitute themselves for the function of money, being money themselves: at once the equivalent of wealth and the wealth itself.” – Pierre Klossowski, Living Currency

How much for the lusty wench

“The vitrified aspect of the face of the Young-Girl must be explained by her status as commodity: She is the crystallization of a certain quantity of labor spent to put her in accordance with the norms of a certain type of exchange. And the form of the Young-Girl’s appearance, which is also that of a commodity, is characterized by the obscuring, if not the voluntary forgetting, of this concrete labor.” – Tiqqun, Preliminary Materials For a Theory of the Young-Girl (emphases in original)

The necessary work

“For the man in the paddock, whose duty it is to sweep up manure, the supreme terror is the possibility of a world without horses. To tell him that it is disgusting to spend one’s life shoveling up horse turds is a piece of imbecility. A man can get to love shit if his livelihood depends on it, if his happiness is involved.” – Henry Miller, Tropic of Cancer

Turn-about and fair play

“The rhetoric of the war of the sexes, and thus for now, of women’s revenge, operates as the ultimate ruse through which the logic of virility will have vanquished women without their knowledge: by enclosing them, at the price of a simple role reversal, in the submission/domination alternative, to the exclusion of all else.” – Tiqqun, Preliminary Materials For a Theory of the Young-Girl

Everybody’s watching

“There is nothing in the Young-Girl’s life, even in the deepest zones of her intimacy, that escapes alienated reflexivity, that escapes the codification and the gaze of the Spectacle. This intimacy strewn with commodities yields entirely to advertising, and is entirely socialized as intimacy, which is to say that she is part-for-part subject to a fallacious commonality that does not allow her to express herself.” – Tiqqun, Preliminary Materials For a Theory of the Young-Girl (emphasis in original)

Enslaved to our passions

“Nowhere has there been a ‘sexual liberation’—that oxymoron!—but only the pulverization of everything that slowed the total mobilization of desire in view of the production of merchandise. The ‘tyranny of pleasure’ does not incriminate pleasure, but tyranny.” – Tiqqun, Preliminary Materials For a Theory of the Young-Girl (emphasis in original)

In her ribbons and her bows

“The Young-Girl appears as the product and the principal outcome of the formidable surplus crisis of capitalistic modernity. She is the proof and the support of the limitless pursuit of the process of valorization when the process of accumulation proves limited (by the limits of the planet itself, ecological catastrophe, or social implosion).” – Tiqqun, Preliminary Materials For a Theory of the Young-Girl

Will it go round in circles

“Progress is not an illusion, it happens, but it is slow and invariably disappointing. There is always a new tyrant waiting to take over from the old—generally not quite so bad, but still a tyrant. Consequently two viewpoints are always tenable. The one, how can you improve human nature until you have changed the system? The other, what is the use of changing the system before you have improved human nature? They appeal to different individuals, and they probably show a tendency to alternate in point of time. The moralist and the revolutionary are constantly undermining one another.” – George Orwell, “Charles Dickens”

The iron heel of freedom

“The formal domination of Capital has become more and more real. Consumer society now seeks out its best supporters from among the marginalized elements of traditional society—women and youth first, followed by homosexuals and immigrants. To those who were minorities yesterday, and who had therefore been the most foreign, the most spontaneously hostile to consumer society, not having yet been bent to the dominant norms of integration, the latter ends up looking like emancipation.” – Tiqqun, Preliminary Materials For a Theory of the Young-Girl (emphases in original)

Everything’s for sale and you’re broke

“At the beginning of the 1920s, capitalism realized that it could no longer maintain itself as the exploitation of human labor if it did not also colonize everything that is beyond the strict sphere of production. Faced with the challenge from socialism, capital too would have to socialize. It had to create its own culture, its own leisure, medicine, urbanism, sentimental education and its own more, as well as a disposition toward their perpetual renewal. This was the Fordist compromise, the Welfare-State, family planning: social-democratic capitalism. For a somewhat limited submission to labor, since workers still distinguished themselves from their work, we have today substituted integration through subjective and existential conformity, that is, fundamentally, through consumption.” – Tiqqun, Preliminary Materials For a Theory of the Young-Girl (emphasis in original)

Instant karma’s come and got you

“If the imperial perspective had a slogan it would be ‘All Power To The Apparatuses!’ It is true that in the coming insurrection it will most often suffice to liquidate the apparatuses sustaining enemies in order to break them, enemies that in times past would have had to be shot. At bottom, the slogan has less to do with cybernetic utopianism that with imperial pragmatism: the fictions of metaphysics, these grand barren constructions which now compel neither faith nor admiration, are no longer able to unify the debris of universal disintegration. Under Empire, the old Institutions are deteriorating one after the other in a cascade of apparatuses. What is happening, and what is the truly imperial mission, is the concerted demolition of each Institution into a multiplicity of apparatuses, into an arborescence of relative and unpredictable norms. The educational system, for example, no longer bothers to present itself as a coherent order. It is now but a hodgepodge of classes, schedules, subjects, buildings, departments, programs, and projects that are so many apparatuses meant to keep bodies immobilized. With the imperial extinction of every event comes the world-wide, managed dissemination of apparatuses. Many voices can now be heard lamenting such a dreadful age. Some denounce a pervasive ‘loss of meaning,’ while others, the optimists, swear every morning to ‘give meaning’ to this or that misery only, invariably, to fail. All, in fact, agree to want meaning without wanting the event. They seem not to notice that apparatuses are by nature hostile to meaning, whose absence it is their job to maintain.” – Tiqqun, This Is not a Program (emphasis in original)

Every eight seconds

“The immediate affirmation of a need or desire—in so far as it implies a certain knowledge of oneself—ethically contravenes imperial pacification; and it no longer has the justification of militancy. Militancy and its critique are both in different ways compatible with Empire; one as a form of work, the other as a form of powerlessness.” – Tiqqun, This Is not a Program

Down tools, walk

“Of the entire putrid legacy of the workers’ movement nothing stinks as much as the culture, and now the cult, of work. It is this culture and this culture alone, with its intolerable ethical blindness and its professional self-hatred, that one hears groaning with each new layoff, with each new proof that work is finished.” – Tiqqun, This Is not a Program (emphasis in original)