Excerpts from Critical Metaphysics as a Science of Apparatuses (Tiqqun)


The perfect apparatus, it seemsto me, is THE HIGHWAY. In it maximum circulationcoincides with maximum control. Nothing moves that isn’tboth incontestably “free” and strictly classified, identified,individuated in exhaustive files of digitized registrations.A network endowed with its own fueling stations, its ownpolice, its autonomous, neutral, empty, and abstract spaces,the highway system perfectly represents the territory, as iflaid out in bands over the land, a heterotopia, the cyberneticheterotopia.

The highway system was made—with its wide turns, its calculated, signalized uniformity—solely in order to merge all types of behavior into a single one: the non-surprise, sensible and smooth, consistently steered toward a destination, the whole traveled at an average and regular speed.


“L’esprit libre”—the strange fate of a phrase that has run from Voltaire to ads for new banking services9 by way of Nietzsche—having one’s mind free from care [l’esprit libre] more than being a free thinker [un esprit libre]: that is what Bloom in his hunger for Bloomification demands. To have one’s mind free, that is: the apparatus takes over for those who submit to it. There is real comfort in this—the power to forget, until further notice, that one is in the world.


“The apparatus can be defined as the realization of an intention through the implementation of planned environments” (Hermès, no. 25).11 Flow is necessary to the maintenance of the apparatus, because it conceals this decision.

金钱既是人们用于进入/使用设备的一般等价物,又在设备中留下了可供追溯的踪迹(想想支付宝)。 更重要的是,工作也是这样一种等价物,在简历上留下踪迹,并定义了这个人的存在——而不仅仅表明此人做过什么。

But ensuring the durability and management of the molecularized flow, linking together the different apparatuses, demands an equivalency principle, a dynamic principle distinct from the norm common to each apparatus. The equivalency principle is merchandise. Merchandise, that is, money, which individualizes, separates all the social atoms, and places them alone before their bank accounts like Christians before their God; money, which at the same time allows us to continually enter every apparatus and, with each entry to record a trace of our position, our traffic. Merchandise, that is, work, which holds the largest number of bodies within a certain number of standardized apparatuses, forces them to pass through them and to stay there, each body, through its curriculum vitae, arranging for its own traceability. For isn’t it the case that working no longer means doing something so much as being something, and first of all being available?


Thus guided by merchandise, the flow of Blooms quietly necessitates the apparatus that contains it. A whole fossilized world still survives within this architecture; it no longer needs to celebrate sovereign power since it is itself, now, the sovereign power: it need only configure space, while the crisis of presence does the rest.

接下来作者借助「谓语的暴政」,即基于 be 动词的形而上学,指出监控手段如何四处漏风,永远亡羊补牢(但是作者有没有考虑到人工智能和无监督学习正在构建一种新的非单纯分类的监控手段?)

Thus the need for apparatuses, more and more apparatuses: in order to stabilize the relationship between predicates and “subjects” that stubbornly elude them; to thwart the diffuse creation of complex, asymmetric, perverse relationships with those predicates; to produce information, to produce the real as information.


in addition, terror must be made to reign, terror of straying too far from the norm.


each apparatus possesses its own little music, which must be put slightly out of tune, incidentally distorted, pushed to decay, to destruction, to become unhinged. Those who flow into the apparatus don’t notice the music, their steps stick too close to the rhythm to hear it distinctly. For the latter, another temporality is needed, a specific rhythmicity, so that, although we enter the apparatus, we remain attentive to the prevailing norm.


Devereux has shown that every culture holds a model negation, a marked-out exit, for those who want to escape, an outlet that allows the culture to harness the driving force behind every transgression into a higher-order stabilization.

meaning versus means:

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. All those who speak of “meaning” without giving themselves the means to upend apparatuses are our direct enemies. Giving oneself the means sometimes entails only renouncing the comfort of Bloomesque isolation.