“In the early eighties, in a class about cinema, if I remember correctly, Deleuze was interrupted by a rather fraught student … He asked Deleuze why people were so alone, why there was such a lack of communication nowadays, and unraveled his sad story about how we are victims of abandonment and helplessness. And Deleuze, sensing that his class was being driven off track, replied politely, before proposing a small break: the problem is not that we are alone, but rather that we are not left alone enough. Indeed, Deleuze never tired of writing that we suffer from an excess of communication, that we are riddled with pointless talk, insane quantities of words and images,” so that it is no longer a question of making “people express themselves, but rather to provide … of solitude and silence in which they might eventually find something to say.” To conjure the gentleness and the right to have nothing to say is perhaps the condition “so that one might form the rare … thing that might be worth saying. (p. 15)
Source: Cartography of Exhaustion: Nihilism Inside Out by Peter Pál Pelbart.
Reading this makes me think of the work I’ve been doing on what I call belonging gone wrong. When it comes to belonging we can have too little of it, and then become desperate for it, but we can also have too much belonging…
Questions: What happens when there is too much belonging, too much stimulation, too much communication?
Answer: We stop having what is necessary to think and then construct something that is worth saying.
We also drown out the ghosts and the specters, we lose the ability to be haunted.
Neoliberalism has lead many of us to consume more information than we need. It fattens us up on information and communication. The result is that we are more passive, less able to think, not able to realize.