[-empyre-] a book, dna and code

sdv at krokodile.co.uk sdv at krokodile.co.uk
Sun Oct 21 19:42:04 EST 2007

The entire last chapter of The Poetics of DNA makes the case that the 
consequences of the science of genetics and as you would put it code is 
the commodification of DNA/code. The objects themselves, the subtypes of 
genetic medicine derive from the specifics of human history, but these 
objects exist in a social system which is capitalist rather than the 
appalling pre-capitalist alternatives. Reading your comments literally I 
think that to support the rejection of commodification you would need to 
constuct a critique of Judith's text esp: ch4&5 that insisted on Genes 
being real, and critique her understanding of science which is necessary 
(I think) because of her concept of psuedoscience. But even if you think 
that this is unnecessary I'd like to understand a little more about your 
'unconvinced' because with the way you use Code in your work isn't the 
commodity/fetish relation inevitable?  OK ?

As for the second paragraph, No. Capital and modern science are some 
400-500 years old at the most. The unspoken impliction of raising the 
spectre of the 'ancients' is to raise the phantasy that capital and 
science was inevitable. That history linear and non-linear is in some 
sense determined or that capital was invented during the first 
industrial revolution 12,000 years ago. This is just nonsense... (pardon 
my diversion if that's not what you have in mind...)

An exchange, a market does not Capital make.

Nicholas Ruiz III  wrote:
> Genetic research is remarkable, hence the
> sustainability of discussion revolving around a
> concept such as DNA poetics...but I remain unconvinced
> that it is a commodity 'fetish' of some sort, a modern
> labor by-product or effect of some kind, a Marxist
> problematic...how so?
> A discovery has been made regarding life's
> reproducibility.  The fact that parties seek to
> capitalize upon (make useful) such a discovery for the
> purpose of life's 'extension', medical treatment,
> agricultural technology and so on, only continues the
> human conditional trend of the ancients: religion,
> astrology, alchemy, animism, shamanism, sacrifice,
> etc...old tools of the same trade, no?  
> The patenting of the Code, its privatization, seems to
> cross a species sovereignty of some kind,
> bioethically...but if one is unwilling to give the
> Code its liberal universal due, how can one argue for
> a sovereignty of the Code?
> Nick

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