Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Interrogating 'complexity'

A really interesting post on Deterritorial Investigations on the limitations of complexity theory, cybernetics, etc. for critical social and cultural thinking.

I think this is a really important point.  Complexity, etc. has been such a privileged resource for 'critical' thought for so very long that it's quite strange that the concept has received so little critical interrogation from within.  It amazes me that people hardly ever draw a connection between the Deleuzian complexity aesthetic and that of Friedrich Hayek.  For both, writing around the same time, the allure is the same: spontaneous self-organisation does away with the need for any centralised decision making process, i.e. the State (which is something of a bogeyman in both their vocabularies).  Now, that isn't to make a lazy 'Deleuze is a neoliberal' comment, I don't believe that for a second.  But the whole spontaneously organising communism thing has always struck me as a neoliberal fantasy.


  1. if you have sufficient library access check out Stephen Turner's The Social Theory of Practices.