Can a Brain without Neurons do a Pee? Well, let’s just see.
“From the viewpoint of racism, there is no exterior, there are no people on the outside. There are only people who should be like us and whose crime it is not to be. (..) Racism never detects the particles of the other; it propagates waves of sameness – until those who resist identification have been wiped out. ” Deleuze & Guattari, 1000 Plateaus, p. 178 (my emphasis).
The idea of racism is that there should be a blank canvas. That we should get back to our innocent starting point. That there is no singularity. It is no coincidence that the language of physics creeps in. Classical physics is racist. If it posits particles, it posits them as being essentially identical. If it posits waves, it posits them as equalizers. God is an equalizer as before him we are all the same.
Ableism, as a strong desire everybody should be healthy, is an equalizer. It wants to bring all of us back to a state of health. A state where we have all of our capabilities. What can we learn from physics here? That experiment renders reduction to determinism absurd. Every phenomenon is a singularity. Both particle and wave. Irreversibly generating what was neither started by nor attracted to God.
Let’s follow Deleuze & Guattari from the white canvas to
the a black hole. And, liberated from the the, let’s follow it to a plurality of black holes. In this case concretely to autism, ADHD and Tourette’s.
“It is all connected!”, they think, blissfully unaware that their next awareness will be one of feeling entirely disconnected from everything and everybody. Or vice versa (or, in one word: virtue).
Who are they? They are us! We want them to be split, though, in two neat rows: the wavy kind, dreaming of connection, and the particly kind, feet firmly on disconnecting ground. Each one of us.
Why? We can’t help ourselves. We make distinctions and then we identify with them. So we can help our selves? Yes. Does that mean we hate our selves? Yes. Otherwise we could not love others.
Dichotomies. Paradoxes. Dualisms. Contrasts. Dualities. That’s what we are made of. That is what we want to escape. Quicksand comes to mind. Feet firmly in connecting ground. Ripples through.
Wavy people are particular now. Particly people are all the wave. From East to West. And back again. Back?
Although the concept of “selfish gene” has been all but scientifically abandoned, the basic concept of “survival” underlying it remains firmly entrenched in naturalistic narratives. This is a problem for this simple reason: it blocks us from increasing our understanding of (our) nature.
Part of the myth of survival is the myth that it is an inescapable consequence of going for a naturalistic narrative in the first place. That it is not is something Deleuze tells us based on a thorough reading of Hume (in his Empiricism and Subjectivity) where he says: “And, above all, Hume centers his critique on the theory of egoism.” The myth of survival is, of course, also the myth that, when push literally comes to shove, we choose based on self-interest. Hume was not Hobbes.
The other part of the myth of survival is that we need a unifying concept of life to which all else can be reduced. Survival seems to be the only concept that survives the struggle for narrating nature and culture alike. But, as Deleuze says, this falsifies both as: “Nature and culture form a complex. Hume refuses theories that reduce everything to nature (..) just like those reducing everything to nurture. The first, in forgetting culture, give a false impression of nature; the others, in forgetting nature, deform culture.”
The question then is: do we need the concept of survival at all? And if we do, what needs to be put alongside it such that we get a naturalism doing justice to all the facts (included those related to notions like solidarity, friendship, love, and self-sacrifice)?