Tom Hibbard: The Ecologies of Diversity

  Tom Hibbard

  The Ecologies of Diversity:

  dominance and singularity in nonlinear space
  JPR 07

“All this means that when the forces within man enter into a relation with forces of finitude from outside, then and only then does the set of forces compose the Man-form.”

 — Deleuze

Paragraph One follows — 1:

In my opinion, the concepts of “territorialization” and “singularization” shed a double light concerning the future of humanity. The idea of singularity derives from quantum theory, relating particularly to the origins of the universe. A singularity is an infinite time previous to all known visibilities and laws of nature.


Singularities hold endless divisibility in a dangerous “legendary” epoch of shadow images of the unknown. Singularities also associate with uniqueness and in this way apply in the discussion of the nature of Being. Singularity is perpetual discovery. Singularity is the foundation of the real.


These terms appear in the Structuralist writings of Felix Guattari and Gilles Deleuze.[1] But they permeate all of Postmodernism and benefit the philosophies of many art forms. They bring in perception, spontaneity, error, separation, articulation. Singularities are sometimes thought to be inside of departure and sometimes outside of departure, though in either case there is a sense of consciousness and spatial relationship that opens the discourse of the self — knowledge interacting with knowledge, actions propelling other actions, exterior organically reflecting interior across time.


Singularity is an irreducible alienation. With singularity, objectivity is dispersed, and subjectivity advances on a gravitational path of justification — a path impossible to measure linearly. The disturbance of common uncertainties begins its lonely walk of credibility in an incomprehensible fullness and legibility that obstruction reduces to violence. Without singularity the metaphorical landscape is falsified and entities assume a negative signification.


Alongside experimentation, improbable systemic balances, conceptual finitude continually surpasses and reinvents itself, conflicting not only linear geometries and categories but, more importantly, the onrushing entropic kingdoms of absolutism. Citizenship ascends toward meaning — a higher more difficult temporality and superimposed meaning-in-question in which the impossible gives rise to the possible and multiplicity is the condition of content. The purpose of thought is to deconstruct iconic (non)meaning, not create it.


Singularity breaks into memory with the light of diversity and difference on the order of the nothingness of concrete finality, which appears as an “economy of death.”[2] The fluctuation of singularity “presents itself therefore, as the right to difference, variation and metamorphosis.”[3]


History becomes limitless inconsequence, comparable with “spurious infinity” — infinity of perfection, infinity of education, infinity of minutia.[4] A type of solar incompatibility dehistoricizes the closed tropes of the world. Whereas, singularity becomes “the image of a distant light… [serving] as a reference for less clearly localized images.”[5] Undoubtedly, the logos is multiple. In the words of Jean Baudrillard


The whole traditional mode of causality is brought into question: the perspective, deterministic mode, the “active,” critical mode, the analytical mode — the distinction between cause and effect, between active and passive, between subject and object, between ends and means.[6]


Death is the indictment of improvisational everyday regions of caring praxis associated with the imposition of mass subjection. The passports of Cartesian orientation have been revoked. In their place is substituted a formal metal-detecting religion of genetic stereotypes, which prohibits all risk associated with structural responsibility, liability, paradox and interaction, trampling the space of utopian autonomy. Definitive motion of singularity and nonlinearity is immobilized in the crowded prisons of mistrust and distortion.


The gun, which once differentiated territories from subversion and trivialization, has now become the means of eliminating the duality that characterizes them. The gun has become a means of invalidation — severely compromising identity. The gun is the agency of deceit. It manipulates need. It outlaws deviation, accuracy, cooperation, significance — but only in order to steal them — so that the natural systems and networks of production are clogged with pretext. The gun kills diversity. The gun is the simulacra of hasty anonymous commercialization, an immense featureless familiarity.


Does spontaneity and singularity topple the world of secret power? The gun is the Being-of-Power. But subjectivity — articulation of the first world — has little to do with power. Ideologies often take the place of contentment.(7)


Today, modes of discussion along with terms of discussions are decentralized and poeticized in order that prominent conceptualities are prevented from marginalizing reality in the tautologies of unreason. As Foucault states, “The practice of power remains irreducible to any practice of knowledge.”[7] In its volume, subjectivity eventually transcends objectivity — but from a different, more distant and variable approach — a new dimension.


The Being-of-Power eradicates itself totally. Dominant power fearfully misuses the resources of technology, with unprecedented growth: repetitious, reactionary, rapid and diseased. The dominant power structures of unilateralism, with their privatized walls paying lip service to truth and disdaining democracy, ask, “What might I be?” They terminate their own theories and ideologies, folded into the melting flames of extinction. But the open struggle leads again to a global world. “Life becomes the resistance to power… .”[8]


Because there is no power other than truth: Within homogeneous borderlines life becomes flooded and “simulated” and nowhere are we able to discern a crossing. Trapped within the shell of coherence, sensibleness, morality and decorum, only cataclysm, the occult, sad remnants, exile, rejection, disasters, a surprising consolation, new belief offer a way out.


We await our execution in the terrorizing black holes of the lost houses of the corporate diaspora: oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, “great recession,” hurricanes or remote pristine areas encompass with empathetic signification the volatility of a predominantly social system, arbitrarily misleading, similar to a previous fossilized idea of class struggle.


Mythic dominance supplanted as a polar effect purports to be movement but in fact is the opposite — suppression and stagnation. Leaders become targets of their own police and upheavals, because of the unyielding strength of static moral authority. Only a nonlinear society is capable of an economy — of any sort.


Classical power arises in an instinctive consolidation of discipline, order and morality. It became recognizable — a logos — but a logos whose very structure could not account for flux or transformation. Freedom had not yet been born.


In early cities and kingdoms founded on elemental principles, there resided semblances of order and justice based on Laws whose ultimate ineffectiveness repeatedly surfaced as civilization. Like early Egyptian paintings and architecture, groping toward three-dimensionality, these hierarchical societies of fear were concerned with surfaces and forms whose strength as yet had no connection with depth of understanding.


Everything emanated from authority and lawlessness, attempting only strict domination; nothing that emanated from these regimes attempted to reconcile, teach, act selflessly, forebear, interact, create or co-produce in a general cumulative way. In this sense, servility is incapable of permanence.


Yet within these inhumane edifices there occurred inexplicably slight movements and interstices of an anomalous sort that represented the hidden patterns of understanding and ambiguity. In these inviolable movements, these aberrations, crises, fatal flaws seemed to give way, revealing the structural notions of cycles and equilibrium. “Radical reconsideration” took place causing “a shift in the very space” of political and economic structure.




We fail in our successes. We destroy in our haste to preserve. Baudelaire said that the essence of the modern is the ephemeral. He might have added the ambiguous and the diverse. Contemporary societies claim they have advanced simply because they have connected in a greater number of destinations and markets and with increased speed. But confusion is different from Chaos.


What’s important is the vertical rather than the horizontal, the unknown rather than the known. It’s in disconnection rather than connection that Mankind recognizes mere colonialism and hegemony.


Discovery is out of the unknown rather than known, the immoral rather than established moralities. In suicide is the greatest self-knowledge and the greatest insight into the future. “And the way up is the way down, the way forward is the way back.”[9] It seems that, in its prominence, “global climate change” has itself become inert and imperialist.


It emanates from the Being-of-Power. There are no new terminologies. For these reasons, the science has stopped evolving. The more successfully it presents itself, the less its singularity and effectiveness.


Death is linearity, stagnation, laxity, imprisonment. Life is in the ecological flow of society — beyond our powers of comprehension and intentionality, which, in producing something unexpected sustains itself. The new ideas of globalism must remain faithful to a wonderful nonlinearity, the state in which free societies continually manifest their essential principles — rather than the imposition of repetitious power.


Globalism is power apart from maliciousness and force. The Being-of-the-Universe is not the Being-of-Power nor the Being-of-Knowledge but the Being-of-Mystery. “… everything is subject to variables and variation.”[10]


Power may perhaps impose an order from above, but, the permanent structure of societies is mysterious functionality. Rather than from above it is a force from below. Such a power is of an order inherent in creation itself, not in the “strength” that stands apart from it that cannot be anything but harmful to its natural processes.


Death is the destruction of singularity. It is the prosification of space — a de-territorialization. Globalism is a currency of equilibrium and growth maintained in nonlinear movement and interactions of worlds essentially diverse.



[1] See Nomadology: The War Machine, Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, Semiotext(e), 1986 (paperback).

[2] A phrase used in Jacques Derrida’s writing, particularly chapter 4, Writing and Difference, University of Chicago Press, 1978, (paperback).

[3] Foucault, Gilles Deleuze, Continuum International Publishing Group, 2006, paperback, p.87.

[4] The idea of varieties of infinity, including “spurious infinity,” appears in Foucault, Gilles Deleuze, ibid., and Inventions of Difference, Rudolphe Gasche, Harvard University Press, 1994.

[5] The Poetics of Space, Gaston Bachelard, Beacon Press, 1969, p. 32.

[6] Simulations, Jean Baudrillard, Semiotext(e), 1983, p. 55.

[7] Foucault, Gilles Deleuze, op. cit., p. 62.

[8] Foucault, Gilles Deleuze, op. cit., p. 77.

[9] From The Four Quartets, T.S. Eliot, “The Dry Salvages,” originally published 1941-42.

[10] Foucault, Gilles Deleuze, op. cit., p. 95.

Other books used in this brief article: The Birth of the Clinic, Michel Foucault; Critique of Everyday Life, Vol. II, Henri Lefebvre; The Illusion of the End, Jean Baudrillard; General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money, John Maynard Keynes.

US poet Tom Hibbard

Tom Hibbard has had many reviews, essays, poems and artworks published online and in print publications. He had many reviews and articles published in the early version of Jacket Magazine. Other publications where his reviews and poems have appeared are Word/ For Word, Big Bridge, Galatea Resurrects and Solitary Plover. With Washington D. C. poet Buck Downs, Hibbard read his poetry recently at Myopic Books in Chicago and Woodland Pattern in Milwaukee. He has written extensively on “visual poetry.” And his poetry collection Sacred River of Consciousness is on sale at Moon Willow Press in Vancouver and


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