The Dual The Polar And The Digital

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A lottery is a simulacrum - there being nothing more artificial than to regulate the course of events by the absurd decrees of chance. But let us not forget that this is what antiquity did with the arts of divination, using the entrails of chickens and the flight of birds; and isn't it what the modern art of interpretation continues to do, though with fewer grounds? It is all a simulacrum. The difference is that in Borges' Ficciones the game's rules completely replace the law and the game decides one's destiny, while in our society games are simply marginal and frivolous diversions.

Compared to Borges' fictional society, based on chance decrees and a type of predestination by the game, relative to such a cruel order where the risks are never-ending and the stakes absolute, we live in a society of minimal stakes and risks. If the terms were not contradictory, one could say that security has become our destiny. It might be the case, moreover, that this outcome will be fatal for our society - the mortality of over-protected species which, in their domestication, are dying of too much security.

Now if the Babylonians succumbed to the lottery's vertigo, it was because there was something in the lottery that completely seduced them, that enabled them to challenge everything worth existing, including their own existence - and their own death. By contrast, for us the social is without seduction. What is less seductive than the very idea of the social? The degree zero of seduction. Even God never fell so low.

Relative to the dangers of seduction that haunt the universe of games and rituals, our own sociality and the forms of communication and exchange it institutes, appear in direct proportion to their secularization under the sign of the Law, as extremely impoverished, banal and abstract.

But this is still only an intermediary state, for the age of the Law has passed, and with it that of the socius and the social contract. Not only are we no longer living in an era of rules and rituals, we are no longer living in an era of laws and contracts. We live today according to Norms and Models, and we do not even have a term to designate that which is replacing sociality and the social.

the RULE the LAW the NORM

We are presently living with a minimum of real sociality and a maximum of simulation. Simulation neutralizes the poles that organize the perspectival space of the real and the Law, while draining off the energy potential that still drives the space of the Law and the social. In the era of models, one must speak of the deterrence of the antagonistic strategies that gave the Law and the social their stakes - including a stake in their transgression. No more transgression, and no more transcendence. But for all that, we are no longer in the tragic immanence of rules and rituals, but in the cool immanence of norms and models. Deterrence, regulation, feed-back, sequences of tactical elements in a non-referential space... But above all, in this age of models, the digitality of the signal as a replacement for the polarity of the sign.


These three logics are exclusive of each other: - the dual relation dominates the game, the ritual and the entire sphere of the rule.

- the polar relation, or the dialectical or contradictory relation, organizes the universe of the Law, the social, and meaning.

- the digital relation (but it is no longer a "relation" - let us speak instead of the digital connection) allocates the space of Norms and Models.

In the cross-play of these three logics, the concept of seduction in its radical sense (as duel, ritualistic, agonistic, with the stakes maximized) must be replaced by seduction in its "soft" sense - the seduction of an "ambience," or the playful erotici-zation of a universe without stakes.

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