There’s too much in Serres I want to show you. There’s a nice concise summary of his books here if you want to jump around for yourself.

Have you ever wondered that, what exactly is the being of an “institution”? Be careful what institutions you allow in your presence, because they will solidify, cool, freeze, restrict you in a particular way.

On the social contract

Before this unanimous cry, noise.

Society itself is the institution the rest of the institutions exist in. Were you part of that “unanimous” cry? I wasn’t. This “unanimous” cry is not going to be solidifying me.

When I read Serres I think “Wise Old Man”

Clamour: not everybody approves, not everybody participates, yet everybody, even if they aren’t repeating, hears.

This is his poetic narrative of the origin of society as such. This is from the first book in a trilogy about Foundations- this one is on Rome, the next is on statues, and the next is on geometry.

He says in Rome there were three gods, all of them violent- economics, war, and justice.

Economic tyranny succeeds the previous two; it has preserved their lessons… Money strikes lower than fetishes and weapons; it digs a greater slope; it recruits more.

The institutions are bought, the institutions freeze you. You’re too frozen by them to access the other two gods, to carry out a war for justice.

A crowd becomes a mob, and the mob kills – the vultures finally form one flock. So, we are told, the city is founded.

I doubt you’re not one of the vultures of the “unanimous cry” to be solidified by the social contract that guides the bought institutions.

I’m sick of having any relation to this flock of vultures. People who are smarter than me avoid them altogether and live in a cabin in Idaho or something.

This feels like playing in the mud

Why does this singleton cause the multiple to veer, to rotate, to turn? Why, how does he make the turbulent turba twirl around? How does he make the vortex turn, bend, move? Why, how does he sow revolt or revolution?

When the crowd is liquified it can only be veered in lowbrow or middlebrow directions.

This is in part because they always remain solid even when liquid. The institutions shape them and what liquifies is the institutions. I.e. the god of economics IS their god of justice. I.e. it is impossible to unfreeze them. They’re frozen in the unanimous cry. The unanimous cry is the perpetual refounding of the city.

They wanted to massacre; they didn’t do so; they were bound under oath or under sacrament… But why didn’t they found the second city? The stockades were high, the trenches were dug; the other Rome was ready to be born. Soldiers, they only built a kind of camp.

Regression of the castes. Most of our “higher types” are merely Ksatriya. This is the god of war rather than the god of justice, Jupiter, the god of the sacred in general. The god of war is its own “institution” that “froze” them. The god of economics cannot be fought by the god of war alone. The Ksatriya anyway are one with the flock of vultures of the unanimous cry. They partake in the recurrent refounding in part out of an acquired masochism. They’re half-scapegoat themselves, and scapegoat themselves. A frozen flock of half-scapegoat vultures in a unanimous cry for an NPC future – it’s a thing of beauty. Frozen, so already NPCs. They can’t be blamed for stoning, they’re robots without freewill. When they ritually refound the city they are refounding their very selves. It’s like asking a skunk to fly and not stink.

Anyway, Serres is really an absorbing read

What culture makes us believe that this is greatness? A history to make you vomit blood, a culture to make you vomit with disgust. Philosophers, historians and moralists with sturdy stomachs who give us assassins and murders to see, admire and imitate. Culture has never been born; education has not begun; philosophy and history are the continuation of barbarism by other means, by the same means.

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