[-empyre-] a book, dna and code

Nicholas Ruiz III editor at intertheory.org
Mon Oct 22 04:23:18 EST 2007

Hmmm...interesting thoughts. Exactly what, about say
mitosis or meiosis, is a derivation of human history?

Cellular protocols can be commodified, yes, but that
is not to say that they are somehow, socially
derived..  The cellular citric acid cycle, for
example, and the generation of usable energy it allows
for the living...who suggests this is a social

Soda pop and blue jeans, are social derivations.  The
need for hydration and warmth are not...do you see the

It is the concept of fetishism, that is in itself--a
historic and social derivation.

What is your definition of capital?  I would say that
for organic life, yes, capitalization is
inevitable--but this does not sanction any particular
style of politics, what you probably call 
'capitalism.'  In fact, all critiques of capitalism,
are really critiques of politics, because all living
things capitalize. Only the climate--geographical and
social, varies... 

Scientific thought and practices, of course, are never

And yes, exchanges and markets do not render
capital--so you seem to agree with this...capital
precedes them.


--- "sdv at krokodile.co.uk" <sdv at krokodile.co.uk> wrote:

> Nick,
> 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.
> regards
> steve
> 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
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
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Dr. Nicholas Ruiz III
Editor, Kritikos

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