Intoxication and Acceleration: The Politics of Immanence

Noys, B. (2015) Intoxication and Acceleration: The Politics of Immanence. In: Literature and Intoxication: Writing, Politics and the Experience of Excess. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, pp. 185-201. ISBN 9781137487650

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Drugs and other intoxicants are often condemned for detaching us from the world, leaving us anti-social and unproductive. Here I want to trace and critique a discourse that celebrates intoxication, and especially drugs, as the means for immersion into immanence and acceleration. Originating in the work of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, they explore a desire for acceleration into immanence in which drugs are merely one component to achieve a state of absolute deterritorialisation. Deleuze and Guattari equivocate on the use of drugs, arguing that they are secondary means only to achieve immanence. The work of Nick Land, articulated in Britain in the 1990s, tries to remove this equivocation. Land, influenced by post-rave dance culture and its use of multiple intoxicants, aims for a deterritorialisation that aligns itself with the most extreme forms of capitalist nihilism. Beatriz Preciado’s recent Testo Junkie (2008) recounts her experience of attempting to undo the binding of gender and capital through the ‘gender bioterrorism’ of taking testosterone. The work suggests the necessity of the extinction of the self into a ‘platform being’, at once indistinguishable from capitalist subjectivity and its exacerbation to the point of collapse. In all cases the gambit is to endorse acceleration into immanence, but this aim is problematic. First, while endorsing immanence the struggle to accelerate into that state leaves it as a receding aim. Second, this falling back leaves such desire for immanence equivocally linked to the ‘forces’ of capitalist acceleration.

Publication Type: Book Sections
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
M Music and Books on Music > M Music
Divisions: Academic Areas > Institute of Arts and Humanities > English and Creative Writing
Depositing User: Benjamin Noys
Date Deposited: 08 Dec 2015 16:45
Last Modified: 04 Aug 2017 09:40

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