What’s love got to do with it

“I went on through the post town of Sekimoto, where the citizens in their rows of houses offer lodgings and wait upon the traveler as their master for a night, while the girls singing in the windows entice him in to treat him as a husband. How sad, to pin such vows of eternal love on a night’s transient dream, a long life’s faithful bond on the desires of a passing traveler. Though so different from all the rich trappings of bridal jade-green curtains and scarlet boudoir, life together in a humble hut with rustic brushwood door is the same, for both are no more than brief pleasures of a passing lifetime.” – Anonymous Monk, “Journey Along the Sea Road” (trans. Meredith McKinney)

Matters of equity

“Seamen are a class of persons remarkable for their rashness, thoughtlessness, and improvidence. They are generally necessitous, ignorant of the nature and extent of their own rights and privileges, and for the most part incapable of duly appreciating their value. They combine, in a singular manner, the apparent anomalies of gallantry, extravagance, profusion in expenditure, indifference to the future, credulity, which is easily won, and confidence, which is readily surprised. Hence it is, that bargains between them and ship-owners, the latter being persons of great intelligence and shrewdness in business, are deemed open to much observation and scrutiny; for they involve great inequality of knowledge, of forecast, of power, and of condition. Courts of Admiralty on this account are accustomed to consider seamen as peculiarly entitled to their protection; so that they have been, by a somewhat bold figure, often said to be favorites of Courts of Admiralty. In a just sense they are so, so far as the maintenance of their rights, and the protection of their interests against the effects of the superior skill and shrewdness of masters and owners of ships are concerned.” – Justice Joseph Story, Brown v. Lull

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

You say you want something revolting

“Revolution does not mean red flags and street fighting, it means a fundamental shift of power. Whether it happen with or without bloodshed is largely an accident of time and place. Nor does it mean the dictatorship of a single class.” – George Orwell, “The Lion and the Unicorn”

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

They are sometimes put to that purpose

“The violence with which femininitude is administered in the world of authoritarian commodities recalls the way the dominant power feels free to manhandle its slaves, when in fact it needs them to ensure its own reproduction.” – Tiqqun, Preliminary Materials For a Theory of the Young-Girl

The circuses part

“The preponderance of the entertainment and desire market is one stage in the project of social pacification, in which this market has been given the function of obscuring, provisionally, the living contradictions that traverse every point of the fabric of imperial biopolitics.” – Tiqqun, Preliminary Materials For a Theory of the Young-Girl

We’re all screwed

“In the final phase of the Spectacle, everything is sexually mediated, which is to say that coitus has been substituted as the ultimate goal of the utility of individual things. It is toward coitus that the existence of the world of the commodity now exclusively moves.” – 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)