June 2015

Rosi Braidotti on Crisis, Capital and Austerity – Interview by Andrea Mura


Philosopher and feminist theoretician Rosi Braidotti delivers a powerhouse punch of astute insights into the contemporary implications and monstrous resonance of Deleuze’s assessment of societies of control for today. The transversal, hybrid, multilateral operations of advanced capitalism display a complexity of entanglement that no single disciplinary approach, no mono-perspective methodological tool, and no solitary operation of knowledge production can adequately tackle—what is needed today is a collaborative, post-disciplinary combinatrix of critical knowledges that confront head-on the debilitating conditions of contemporary subjectivity. Advanced capitalism operates along a principle of the multiple-as-same, whereby a quantitative proliferation of multiple choices and options belies a qualitative lack of any actual difference. This is the Sameness Project, where eternal multiplications of difference apply to the production of subjectivity, within which disruptive differences are de-animated, emptied of content, and reabsorbed as meaningless signifiers: multiculturalism, queerness, race, and alterity have all been symbolically incorporated under the status of “equal” variety within a free market. Thus, the original revolutionary project of “the difference that makes a difference” has been neutralized into a difference-that-is-no-different—differentiation, as a modality of liberation and resistance, has been separated from its explosive capacity for disruption, confusion, and disorder. The incommensurable “strangeness” of the Other has been repackaged, vacuum sealed, decontaminated, detoxified, and replicated as a surplus of “lifestyle” options. In this sense, Braidotti argues, all life has been capitalized within the biogenetic logic of advanced capitalism, through which life-as-surplus opens up a living market of countless life-forms and modes of being that are constantly under construction and circulating as consumption patterns. It is through these mere simulations of life that the soul is controlled, and the species-being of the future-subject eradicated through the vicious machinations of financialism and its speculative investments.

Rosi Braidotti is a Philosopher and Distinguished University Professor at Utrecht University as well as director of the Centre for the Humanities in Utrecht.

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