Monday, 7 January 2013

Young Girls Rule The World

Nina Power's review of Tiqqun's Raw Materials For A Theory Of The Young Girl misses the point entirely. Not only because, as Seth Oelbaum's rebuttal to Power's 'infuriating review' shows, Power continues to hold to some version of free will as the appropriate response to the combination of growth-capitalism and neo-liberalism that now forms our every experience, but also because Power (and Oelbaum too commits this error) cannot make the move that Tiqqun asks of us: the move to accept that the Young Girl is now a figure for us all. Deep down, or not so deep down, neither Power nor Oelbaum (nor Tiqqun's translator, Ariana Reines, who describes Tiqqun's book as "a book about women") can swallow the fact that the figure of Young Girl can really take the place occupied by the age-old figure of Man (as in, Mankind etc etc).

The world used to masculinize; think of the aggressive probing of colonization, or of the industrial age's rape of nature. But the way in which control works in modern, post-productive capitalist societies is by infantilizing and feminizing social, political and cultural life, in short, by young-girlizing social, political and cultural life. Look at Paolo Virno's 'The Ambivalence of Disenchantment,' or T. J. Clark's 'For A Left With No Future', to find out more. To not be able to accept this point, because of some persistent inability to relinquish the hold of 'Man,' is detrimental to understanding.

'The young girl is a cute, sassy, stylish collage that helps the tyrants run the world,' says Oelbaum. Wrong. Tyrants no longer run the world. Young Girls do.

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