Mile 7.5 by Paul Tremwrath
“LEGITIMATE” PRESENCES AND NONREADING
This word, given the increased facilitation of predicate rule, has become so reflexive that it passes into consciousness without material notice. The diacritical movement of language, as Saussure explained it, is censored from consciousness by what Lukacs, in a Marxist register, called bad immediacy. For our purposes, the word “bad” might also suggest “base” or “low,” in Nietzsche’s genealogical sense of the term. To illustrate, think of our use of “legitimacy” with reference to “citizenship.” The words “legal” and “illegal” are circulated through recognitions that assume that judgments coincide with the status of bodies. “This body is here ‘legitimately’ and this body is not.” This kind of pre-reading, of which self-proclaimed “realists” and “practical thinkers” are fond, trivializes something outside the jurisdiction of identification: that both bodies are there. The words “legal” and “illegal” register before the bodies register, if their actual presence ever registers at all, and responses follow accordingly, whether spontaneous nonreaders are the moral monitors, or actual police appear to enforce what amounts to an unconscious prevention of reading. Bad immediacy makes it negligible to consider how representations produce the “substance” of the bodies in question. All of the parties involved are unconscious of this dynamic, but those who presume their innocence to be an attribute of the “state,” an entitlement of “citizenship,” are the apex of statist legitimacy itself. The immediacy of their nervous response is capital process under facilitated identification. Justice has been served, identities have been established, and the eternal present has been secured for another “legitimate” exchange. The illiteracy of good conscience conquers all and experiences itself, through the foreclosure of thought, as the protection of freedom. So it is that domination always proceeds with a good conscience: it perceives itself as a victim, and must “defend” itself against lawless and illegitimate intruders. The one with the biggest guns always feels unarmed. As for the unarmed, their growing “aggression” becomes intolerable.