Between Docility and Deviancy

In the new book, Anti-Oculus by a collective named as Acid Horizon, highlights a perilous moment in the 19th century medical discourse around uncontrollable deviant youth where ability and govern-ability became indistinguishable and blurred. This ability, then ,becomes a problem of governance . Thus, set apart the one who is deemed as deviant and disable is then viewed as a victim of ‘the anarchy of their will and body’. A normal will is a will that obeys and a normal body is a docile one. This is why such a victim of anarchy is perceived as dangerous and is identified as an enemy to be crushed. This means there was tension between anarchy of abnormality and abnormality of anarchy where those who considered anarchy as deviant dominated the discourse. The moral nomadism of those identified as disabled cannot fit into the disciple of the capitalist regime and discipline that tries to format the soul of the worker.

Within the above and other similar instances, Acid Horizon Collective follow the trajectory of the subversive forces. The collective finds that power is most at war and is very much threatened by the truth of its own superfluidity . Thus, deviancy of the disable is put under the gaze and policed all the time by the emerging disciplinary society. Thus, apparatus of the eyes or oculus is a way in which the anarchic disable person is rendered docile, governable and is governed. Far from being emancipated, these disabled and pathologized persons are thought to be an anarchic risk to the social wellbeing. We can see thus the brutality of the regime that wants to discipline or eliminate all that is deemed as errant in life. This means the deviant, the disable and the errant then become disposable. This is how the governing power of disability or deviance becomes explicitly thanatopolitcal.

But interestingly in the world of the internet, we are expected to express ourselves to the point of anarchy. Freedom in the web is anarchical. We now paradoxically enter the anarchy of normalcy and normalcy of anarchy. Wondering deviance is celebrated on the web. Wondering deviance is one that produces docile minds, wills and bodies. Nomadic vagrancy is the way of being human in the worlds of the web. Thus the disabled is the new abled in the web. Michele Foucault shows that vagrancy was penalized not because the vagabond a thief but because he/she did not participate in the cycle of production. Thus, those who do not join the internet and its several platforms are types of vagabonds that are left behind as rotten meat on the road.

While at one time society was hostile to the deviant or the one who goes astray, today the deviant is hosted on the web. We have the new labor force for the data market. It is the wondering deviant that who produces the data , that has become the new oil of the market. But this producer of data is alienated from his/ her product in a truly Marxist sense. These producers/ workers have no control over their products and the new data-capitalists are those who make wealth out of the play/ labor of the deviant. We have moved away from the disciplinary society to societies of control under the tutelage of growing artificial intelligence. Unfortunately, we are no longer marginalized by cruel Capitalists by coercion. We seem to dance and play our way to self-marginalization. Given its scale what is self-marginalization is indeed a mass-marginalization.

How do we resist our own marginalization? We need new disobedience. It will also require moral nomadism. But this moral nomadism is to be directed against the deviance that is celebrated in the worlds of the internet. This has to be a revolt against the narcissistic stray dance and play of the self in the web. It invites us to a new radical revolt, a new mode of going astray. Once again we have the challenge to enter the zone of abnormality and resist the new normal on the web. We have the challenge to sabotage the circuitry of that keeps us hooked to the web. We have to find a counter-stroke that will enable us to challenge the advancing power of the web through sheer acts of disengagement. This disengagement has to be a dis-assemblage, one that reverse engineer the production of data.

When we do not engage we cannot be dataized. We are no longer data banks. Besides, disengagement, we can become disassemblers by leading the data consuming Artificial Intelligence of the big data world astray. We have the challenge to move away from common drunkenness on the web and try to enter the world of Deleuzian becoming and ride our lines of escape as we become subversive to the designs of the Big Data World of the web. This means we have to become no less than insurgents in the web. It is a challenge to become a Schizo who goes astray only to subvert the designs of the worlds of the web. We have the challenge to exit our own tragedy. We cannot Oedipalize at the altar of the worlds of the web. We have the opportunity to become anti-Oedipus, the new defiant and the deviant rebel.

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Hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue.

- Fr Victor Ferrao