The Power at the End of the Economy
Brian Massumi is Professor of Communication at the University of Montreal. He is the author of several books, including What Animals Teach Us about Politics and Parables for the Virtual: Movement, Affect, Sensation, both also published by Duke University Press.
A Doing Done through Me
The burgeoning field of nonconsciousness studies offers new paradigms. Studies of such phenomena as “deliberation without attention,” “choice blindness,” and “priming” have called into question the myth of rational calculation, showing, for example, that the more considered a consumer decision is, the less satisfaction is gained from it and the less likely it is to correspond to an expert cost-to-benefit analysis. This can only mean that modes of intuition operate on the infra-individual level to clinch or orient decision. These have a positive power adapted to the situation and are not simply the opposite of rationality. This affect-based power of self-effecting decision moves in a complex relational field primarily composed not of subjects or objects but of events and their contributing modes of activity. This suggests the possibility of an intuitive art of the event intervening at the “regressive endpoint” of the economy, to potentially significant political effect.