Over the past century, the two machines that comprise thegeneral state apparatus have reached a level of sophistica-tion which neither is likely to transcend. These complexmechanisms, the war machine and the sight machine, willgo through many generations PDF document

Over the past century, the two machines that comprise thegeneral state apparatus have reached a level of sophistica-tion which neither is likely to transcend. These complexmechanisms, the war machine and the sight machine, willgo through many generations  PDF document

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Flesh Machineclassified rituals of uselessness (for example, missilesystems that are designed never to be used, but rather topull competing systems of violence into high-velocitycycles of war-tech pr ID: 89638

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Presentations text content in Over the past century, the two machines that comprise thegeneral state apparatus have reached a level of sophistica-tion which neither is likely to transcend. These complexmechanisms, the war machine and the sight machine, willgo through many generations

Over the past century, the two machines that comprise thegeneral state apparatus have reached a level of sophistica-tion which neither is likely to transcend. These complexmechanisms, the war machine and the sight machine, willgo through many generations of refinement in the years tocome; for the time being, however, the boundaries of theirinfluence have stabilized.The war machine is the apparatus of violence engineeredto maintain the social, political, and economic relation-ships that support its continued existence in the world.The war machine consumes the assets of the world inThe Coming of Ageof the Flesh Machine**This article was originally published in Electronic Culture, TimDruckrey, ed., New York: Aperture, 1996. Flesh Machineclassified rituals of uselessness (for example, missilesystems that are designed never to be used, but rather topull competing systems of violence into high-velocitycycles of war-tech production) and in spectacles ofhopeless massacre (such as the Persian Gulf war). Thehistory of the war machine has generally been perceivedin the West as history itself (although some resistanceto this belief began during the 19th century), and whilethe war machine has not followed a unilinear course ofprogress, due to disruptions by moments of inertia causedby natural disasters or cultural exhaustion, its engineshave continued to creep toward realizing the historicalconstruction of becoming the totality of social exist-ence. Now it has reached an unsurpassable peak—aviolence of such intensity that species annihilation isnot only possible, but probable. Under these militarizedconditions, the human condition becomes one of con-tinuous alarm and preparation for the final moment ofcollective mortality.The well-known counterpart of the war machine is thesight machine. It has two purposes: to mark the space ofviolent spectacle and sacrifice, and to control the symbolicorder. The first task is accomplished through surveyingand mapping all varieties of space, from the geographic tothe social. Through the development of satellite-basedimaging technologies, in combination with computer net-works capable of sorting, storing, and retrieving vastamounts of visual information, a wholistic representationhas been constructed of the social, political, economic,and geographical landscape(s) that allows for near-perfectsurveillance of all areas, from the micro to the macro.Through such visualization techniques, any situation or The Coming of Age of the Flesh Machinepopulation deemed unsuitable for perpetuating the warmachine can be targeted for sacrifice or for containment.The second function of the sight machine, to controlthe symbolic order, means that the sight machine mustgenerate representations that normalize the state of warin everyday life, and which socialize new generations ofindividuals into their machinic roles and identities.These representations are produced using all types ofimaging technologies, from those as low-tech as a paintbrush to ones as high-tech as supercomputers. Theimages are then distributed through the mass media ina ceaseless barrage of visual stimulation. To make surethat an individual cannot escape the imperatives of thesight machine for a single waking moment, ideologicalsignatures are also deployed through the design andengineering of all artifacts and architectures. This latterstrategy is ancient in its origins, but combined with themass media's velocity and its absence of spatial restric-tions, the sight machine now has the power tosystematically encompass the globe in its spectacle.This is not to say that the world will be homogenized inany specific sense. The machinic sensibility under-stands that differentiation is both useful and necessary.However, the world will be homogenized in a generalsense. Now that the machines are globally and specifi-cally interlinked with the ideology and practices ofpancapitalism, we can be certain that a hyper-rational-ized cycle of production and consumption, under theauthority of nomadic corporate-military control, willbecome the guiding dynamic of the day. How a givenpopulation or territory arrives at this principle is opento negotiation, and is measured by the extent to which Flesh Machineprofit (tribute paid to the war machine) increases withina given area or among a given population.In spite of the great maturity of these machines, a necessaryelement still seems to be missing. While representationhas been globally and rationally encoded with the impera-tives of pancapitalism, the flesh upon which these codingsare further inscribed has been left to reproduce and de-velop in a less than instrumental manner. To be sure, theflesh machine has intersected both the sight and warmachines since ancient times, but comparatively speak-ing, the flesh machine is truly the slowest to develop. Thisis particularly true in the West, where practices in healthand medicine, genetic engineering, or recombinant organ-isms have thoroughly intersected nonrational practices(particularly those of the spirit). Even when they weresecularized after the Renaissance, these practices haveconsistently been less successful, when compared to theircounterparts, in insuring the continuance of a givenregime of state power. Unlike the war machine and thesight machine, which have accomplished their supremetasks—the potential for species annihilation for theformer, and global mapping and mass distribution ofideologically coded representation for the latter—the fleshmachine has utterly failed to concretize its imagined worldof global eugenics.The simple explanation for the flesh machine’s startlinglack of development is cultural lag. As the West shiftedfrom a feudal to a capitalist economy, demonstrating thebenefits of rationalizing production in regard to war was arelatively simple task. National wealth and border expan-sion were clearly marked and blended well with the trace The Coming of Age of the Flesh Machineleftovers of feudal ideology. Manifest destiny, for example,did not stand in contradiction to Christian expansionism.War, economy, politics, and ideology (the slowest of socialmanifestations to change) were still working toward acommon end (total domination). The rationalization ofthe flesh, however, could not find a point of connectionwith theologically informed ideology. Flesh ideology couldonly coexist as parallel rather than as intersecting tracks.For this reason it is no surprise that one of the fathers offlesh machine ideology was a man of God. The work ofThomas Malthus represents the ideological dilemma pre-sented to the flesh machine on the cusp of the feudal/capitalist economic shift.Malthus argued that the flesh did not have to be rational-ized through secular engineering, since it was alreadyrationalized by the divine order of the cosmos designed byGod Himself. Although the nonrational motivation oforiginal sin would guarantee replication of the work force,God had placed “natural checks” on the population, so onlythose who were needed would be produced. The uncivilizedlower classes could be encouraged to have as many childrenas possible without fear that the population would overrunthose in God’s grace, because God would sort the good fromthe bad through famine, disease, and other natural catastro-phes. For this reason, the flesh could be left to its ownmeans, free of human intervention, and human progresscould focus on fruition through economic progress.Spencerian philosophy, arriving half a century later, comple-mented this notion by suggesting that those fit for survivalwould be naturally selected in the social realm. The mostskillful, intelligent, beautiful, athletic, etc., would be natu-rally selected by the structure of the society itself—that of Flesh Machine“open” capitalist competition. Hence the flesh machinewas still in no need of vigorous attention; however, Spencerdid act as a hinge for the development of eugenic conscious-ness. Spencer constructed an ideological predisposition forconflating natural and social models of selection (theformer arrived a decade or so after Spencer’s primary theseswere published). This made it possible for genetic engineer-ing to become a naturalized social function, intimately tiedto social progress without being a perversion of nature—infact, it was now a part of nature. At this point eugenicconsciousness could continue to develop uninterrupted byfeudal religious dogma until its traces evaporated out ofcapitalist economy, or until it could be better reconfiguredto suit the needs of capitalism. While the idea of a eugenicworld continued to flourish in all capitalist countries, andculminated in the Nazi flesh experiment of the 30s andearly 40s, the research never materialized that would benecessary to elevate the flesh machine to a developmentallevel on a par with the war machine.Perhaps there is an even simpler explanation. Machinicdevelopment can only occur at the pace of one machine ata time, since scarce resources allow for only so muchindirect military research. After the war machine came tofull fruition with the implementation of fully matured totalwar during World War II, along with the attendant eco-nomic expansion, it became possible to allocate a generoushelping of excess capital for the expansion of the nextmachine. In this case, it was the sight machine which hadproved its value during the war effort with the developmentof radar and sonar, and thereby jumped to the front of theline for maximum investment. It was also clearly under-stood at this point that global warfare required new attention The Coming of Age of the Flesh Machineto logistic organization. The road between strategic andtactical weapons and logistical needs had leveled out, andthis realization also pushed the sight machine to the frontof the funding line. Conversely, the need of the Alliedpowers to separate themselves ideologically as far as pos-sible from Nazi ideology pushed the desired development ofthe flesh machine back into the realm of nonhumanintervention. Consequently, the alliance between the warmachine and the sight machine continued without inter-ruption, delivering ever-increasingly sophisticated weaponsof mass destruction. It also created an ever more envelopingvisual/information apparatus—most notably satellite tech-nology, television, video, computers, and the Net.While the war machine reached relative completion in the60s, the sight machine did not reach relative completionuntil the 80s (die-hard Web-users might want to argue forthe 90s). Now a third machine can claim its share of excesscapital, so the funds are flowing in increasing abundance toa long deferred dream. The flesh machine is here. It hasbeen turned on, and like its siblings, the war machine andthe sight machine, it cannot be turned off. As is to beexpected, the flesh machine replicates elements of thesight and war machines in its construction. It is thesemoments of replication which are of interest in this essay.A Brief Note on ScientificImagination, Ethics, and the Flesh MachineIn the best of all possible worlds, ethical positions relevant to theflesh machine would be primary to any discussion about it.In fact, to read the literature on the flesh machine (which Flesh Machineat this point is dominated by the medical and scientificestablishments), one would think that ethics is of keyconcern to those in the midst of flesh machine develop-ment; however, nothing could be further from reality.The scientific establishment has long since demon-strated that when it comes to machinic development,ethics has no real place other than its ideological role asspectacle. Ethical discourse is not a point of blockage inregard to machinic development. Take the case ofnuclear weapons development. The ethical argumentthat species annihilation is an unacceptable directionfor scientific inquiry should certainly have been enoughto block the production of such weaponry; however, theneeds of the war machine rendered this discourse silent.In fact, the need of the war machine to overcomecompeting machinic systems moved nuclear weaponsdevelopment along at top velocity. Handsome rewardsand honors were paid to individuals and institutionsparticipating in the nuclear initiative. In a word, ethi-cal discourse was totally ignored. If big science canignore nuclear holocaust and species annihilation, itseems very safe to assume that concerns about eugenicsor any of the other possible flesh catastrophes are notgoing to be very meaningful in its deliberations aboutflesh machine policy and practice. Without question, itis in the interest of pancapitalism to rationalize theflesh, and consequently it is in the financial interest ofbig science to see that this desire manifests itself in theworld.Another problem with machinic development could bethe institutionally-contained panglossian reification ofthe scientific imagination. Consider the following quote The Coming of Age of the Flesh Machinefrom Eli Friedman, president of International Societyfor Artifial Organs, in regard to the development ofartificial organs:Each of us attempting to advance medicalscience—whether an engineer, chemist,theoretician, or physician—depends on per-sonal enthusiasm to sustain our work.Optimistic, self-driven investigators succeedbeyond the point where the pessimist, con-vinced that the project cannot be done, hasgiven up. Commitment to the design, con-struction, and implanting of artificialinternal organs requires a positive, roman-tic, and unrestrained view of what may beattainable. Members of our society share abond gained by the belief that fantasy can betransformed into reality.and:ISAO convenes an extraordinary admixtureof mavericks, “marchers to different drums,”and very smart scientists capable of converting“what if” into “why not.”These lovely rhetorical flourishes primarily function torally the troops in what will be a hard-fought battle forfunding. It’s time to move fast (the less reflection thebetter) if the AO model is to dominate the market; afterall, there is serious competition from those who believethat harvesting organs from animals (transgenic animals ifneed be) is the better path along which to proceed. But it Flesh Machineis the subtext of such thinking that is really of the greatestinterest. From this perspective, science lives in a transcen-dental world beyond the social relationships of domination.If something is perceived as good in the lab, it will be goodin the world, and the way a scientist imagines a concept/application to function in the world is the way it will in factfunction. The most horrifying notion, however, is the idea(bred from a maniacal sense of entitlement) that “if youcan imagine it, you may as well do it,” as if science isunconnected to any social structures or dynamics otherthan utopia and progress.Perhaps the only hope is that the funding and the opti-mism becomes so excessive that it undermines machinicdevelopment. Star Wars is a perfect example of incidentalresistance from the scientific establishment. During theReagan-era big bonanza for war machine funding, the mostludicrous promises were made by big science in order toobtain research funds. The result was a series of contrap-tions that truly defines the comedy of science. Two of thefinest examples are the rail gun that self-destructed uponlaunching its pellet projectile, and the deadly laser ray thathad a range of only three feet. While the Americantaxpayers might see red over the excessive waste, a majorsection of the scientific establishment was apparentlydistracted enough by the blizzard of money that they failedto make any useful lethal devices.If I Can See It, It’s Already DeadThe war machine and the sight machine intersect at two keypoints—in the visual targeting of enemy forces (military The Coming of Age of the Flesh Machine Flesh Machinesites, production sites, and population centers), and invisualizing logistical routes. Once sited and accuratelyplaced within a detailed spatial grid, the enemy may bedispatched at the attacker’s leisure, using the most effi-cient routes and means of attack. As long as the enemy canremain invisible, determining proper strategic action isdifficult, if not impossible. Hence any successful offensivemilitary action begins with visualization and representa-tion. A strong defensive posture also requires proper visualintelligence. The better the vision, the more time avail-able to configure a counterattack. The significant principlehere—the one being replicated in the development of theflesh machine—is that vision equals control. Thereforethe flesh machine, like its counterparts, is becoming in-creasingly photocentric.Not surprisingly, much of the funding for the flesh ma-chine is intended to develop maps of the body and todesign imaging systems that will expedite this process.From the macro to the micro (the Human Genome Projectbeing the best known), no stone can remain unturned.Every aspect of the body must be open to the vision ofmedical and scientific authority. Once the body is thor-oughly mapped and its “mechanistic” splendor revealed,any body invader (organic or otherwise) can be elimi-nated, and the future of that body can be accuratelypredicted. While such developments sound like a boon tohumanity, one need not be an expert in the field to beskeptical of such prospects.While it is hard to doubt the success of the war machine inreducing military activity to the mechanized (that is, fullyrationalized structures and dynamics), it is questionable The Coming of Age of the Flesh Machinewhether the body can be reduced to a similar state regard-less of how well it is represented. One major problem is thatthe body cannot be separated from its environment, sinceso many of its processes are set in motion by environmentalconditions. For example, a toxic environment can produceundesirable effects in the body. Visual representationalerts medicine to an invasion, so action can be taken tocontain or eliminate the invader. In this situation, medi-cine is reactive rather than preventive, and treats only theeffect and not the cause. In fact, it diverts causality awayfrom ecological pathologies, and reinvests it back in thebody. In this manner, medicine becomes an alibi forwhatever created the toxic situation that infected thebody in the first place, by acting as if the infectant emergedinternally. The problem raised here is the limited frame ofrepresentation in regard to the body map, in conjunctionwith an emphasis on tactical solutions to physical patholo-gies. This situation is, of course, understandable, sincestrategic action would have an undermining effect on themedical market. The one exception to this rule is when thetoxic body emerges due to behavioral factors. In this case,the scientific/medical establishment can expand its au-thority over the body by suggesting and often enforcingbehavioral restrictions on patients. In this situation, thescience and medical establishment functions as a benevo-lent police force deployed against individuals to bettermold them to the needs of the state.To complicate matters further, flesh machine science andmedicine have the unfortunate but necessary habit ofputting the cart before the horse. The flesh machine,unlike its counterparts, does not have the luxury of devel-oping its visual and weapons systems simultaneously, nor Flesh Machinecan weapons development precede advanced visual capa-bilities. The visual apparatus must come first. For example,antibiotics probably could not have been invented beforethe development of a microscope. Consequently, as inmost research and development, a shotgun method isemployed, whereby all varieties of vision machines aredeveloped in the hopes that a few may be of some use. Thisleads to thrilling headlines like the following from DanielHaney of the Associated Press: “Brain Imagery Exposes aKiller.” What this headline refers to is a new medical map,acquired through the use of positron-emission tomogra-phy, which reveals the part of the brain affected byAlzheimer’s disease, and the degree to which the brain hasbeen eroded by the disease. This map can help physiciansto diagnose Alzheimer’s up to ten years before symptomonset. The comedy begins with the admission that there isno way to predict when symptoms will begin to appear, andthat there is still no known treatment for the disease. Allthat medical science can do is tell the patient that s/he hasthe disease, and that s/he will be feeling its effect sometimein the future. The excitement over being able to visualizethis disease comes from the belief that if the disease can beseen, then cure is near at hand. Or, in the words of the warmachine, “If I can see it, it’s already dead.”Since the process of visualization and representation inthis case is at best only an indication of a far-off possibilityfor cure, and hence is of little use for the patient alreadydiagnosed with the disease, it must be asked: Who couldbenefit from this information? Alzheimer’s is in fact dou-bly problematic because it can be visualized before symptomonset, and because genetic mapping can also be used toindicate an individual’s likelihood of developing it. The The Coming of Age of the Flesh Machineflesh machine’s intersection with the surveying functionof the sight machine becomes dramatically clear in thissituation. Those who would benefit most from this infor-mation are insurance companies and the employer of theperson likely to be afflicted with the ailment. Such infor-mation would be a tremendous cost-cutting device forboth. However, ethical discussions about collecting bio-data lead one to believe that such information wouldremain confidential in the doctor-patient relationship.Perhaps privacy will be maintained. However, it seemsmore likely that if the information is perceived to lead tosignificantly higher profits, resources will be allocated bycorporate sources to acquire it. The most common strategyto watch for is legislative initiatives pursued under thespectacle of benevolence. Mandatory drug testing for someprivate and public employment, under the authority ofemployee and public security, is an example of the meansby which privacy can be eroded.Finally there is the problem of representation itself. As thewar machine demonstrates, the greater the visualization ofa frontier territory, the greater the degree of contestationat the visualized sight. In other words, the more that isseen, the more power realizes what needs to be controlledand how to control it. The brain is certainly going to be thekey, but happily, at this point, the research is too immatureto warrant strategic intervention on behalf of state power.There are, however, good indicators of how the comingbattle will take shape. One need only think of the visual-ization of the body and its connection to varieties ofsmoking bans from the legalistic to the normative, or interms of populist countersurveillance, the relationship oftoxins (DDT, for example) in the environment to body Flesh Machinevisualization, to understand the connection between vi-sion, discipline, and contestation. The prizewinner,however, is the visualization of uterine space. Feministcritics have long shown how this point of ultra-violentcontestation is but the beginning of the age of fleshmachine violence. (This is also a point of great hope, as thediscourse of the flesh machine has been appropriated fromthe experts. At the same time, this conflict has shown howfascist popular fronts are just as adept at appropriation). Inregard to uterine space, feminist critics have consistentlypointed out that this variety of representation loads theideological dice by presenting the space as separate fromthe wholistic bio-system of the woman, thus reinforcingthe notion of “fetal space.” This idea acts as a basis for“fetal rights,” which are then argued as taking prece-dence over the rights of women.A new era of bio-marginality has surely begun. Certainlythis situation will only be reinforced by the visualization ofeither diseases or abnormalities (actual or potential) insubjects soon to be classified under the sign of the unfit.The unfit will be defined in accordance with their utilityin relationship to the machine world of pancapitalism.The mapped body is the quantified body. Its use is mea-sured down to the penny. Without such a development,how could any consumer trust in the markets of the fleshmachine?Selling FleshOne of the oldest manifestations of the flesh machine is the ideaof engineering the breeding of plants and livestock to The Coming of Age of the Flesh Machineproduce what are perceived to be the most functionalproducts within a given cultural situation. Increased knowl-edge about this task has certainly contributed to the greatabundance in the food supply in the first world, thusshifting an individual’s relationship to food from one ofneed to one of desire. In light of this achievement, indus-trial food producers have been faced with the task ofdeveloping foods that meet the logistical demands ofbroad-based distribution, while still maintaining a productthat the manufacturer can market as desirable. The mostproductive solution thus far is the manufacture of pro-cessed foods; however, the market for food cannot belimited to processed food. The desire for perishable foodsis too deeply etched into the culture, and no amount ofspectacle can root out this desire. Fortunately for theproducers of perishable foods, the product and the marketcan be rationalized to a great extent. This particularmarket is of interest because it provides at this moment thebest illustration of the market imperatives that are beingreplicated in the industrial production and distribution ofhuman flesh products. (This is not to say that flesh produc-tion will not one day be more akin to processed food, it isonly to argue that at present the means of production arestill too immature).To better illuminate this point, consider the case of apples.At the turn of the century, there were dozens of varioustypes of apples available to the buying public. Now whena consumer cruises through a supermarket in search ofapples, the choice has been limited to three (red, green,and yellow). Choice has become increasingly limitedpartly because of logistical considerations. Like most per-ishable fruits and vegetables these days, apples are bred to Flesh Machinehave a long shelf life. In order to have apples all year round,they must be transported from locations that have theconditions to produce them when other locations cannot.Hence these apples must be able to survive an extendeddistribution process, and not all varieties of apples arecapable of resisting rotting for long periods of time. How-ever, logistics alone does not adequately explain choicelimitations. Perhaps more important to the formula aremarket considerations.Marketing agencies have understood for decades thatdesire is intensified most through visual appeal. How aproduct looks determines the probability of a consumerpurchase more than any other variable. For apples, theconsumer wants brightly colored surfaces, a rounded form,and white inner flesh. In other words, consumers want theperfect storybook apple that they have seen representedsince they were children. Apples are bred to suit thecultural construction of “an apple,” and only a few variet-ies of apples can simulate this appearance and meet thisdesire. This situation is yet another case of Baudrillard’suniverse of platonic madness, where consumers are caughtin the tyranny of representation that passes as essence.Along with the domination of vision, there comes theneed of the producer to offer the consumer a reliableproduct, meaning that the apples one buys tomorrow willlook and taste like the ones bought today. Consequently,there is an elimination of sense data other than the visual.If all that is needed to excite desire is a good visual, whybother to develop taste and smell? Especially when a goodproduct can be guaranteed if it is completely tasteless (onecan be sure that the apple purchased tomorrow will taste The Coming of Age of the Flesh Machinelike the one purchased today)? In this situation, thetyranny of the image becomes glaringly apparent; onewould think that smell and taste would be the dominatingsenses when buying foods, since they would best articulatethe pleasure of consumption. Not so, it is vision, andunfortunately many of the most tasty apples do not lookvery good because they have none of the necessary storybookappeal. Consequently various types of apples have beeneliminated, or limited to distribution in localized markets.If the principles of product reliability and visual appeal areapplied to the production/consumption components (asopposed to those concerned with control) of the fleshmachine, the reasons for some recent developments be-come a little clearer. The first problem that flesh producersmust face is how to get a reliable product. At present toolittle is known about genetic processes to fulfill this neces-sary market imperative. Consequently, they have had torely on fooling the naive consumer. For example, onecharacteristic commonly sought after by those in thetechno-baby market is intelligence. Unfortunately thischaracteristic cannot be guaranteed; in fact, flesh produc-ers haven’t the slightest idea how to replicate intelligence.However, they can promise breeding materials from intel-ligent donors. While using the sperm of a Nobel Prizewinner in no way guarantees a smart child, and doesn’teven increase the probability (nor does it decrease theprobability of having a below average child), flesh dealersare able to use false analogies to sell their product. (If twotall parents have a child, the probability of the child beingtall is increased, so wouldn’t it be correct to say that if twopeople of above average intelligence have a child, that itwould increase the probability that the child will have Flesh Machineabove average intelligence?) Many consumers believe thisline of thought (the myth of hard genetic determinism hasalways been very seductive) and are therefore willing topay higher prices for the sperm of an intelligent man thanthey are for the sperm of an average donor. Although thisfraud will probably not continue indefinitely in the future,an important ideological seed is being sown. People arebeing taught to think eugenically. The perception is grow-ing that in order to give a child every possible benefit inlife, its conception should be engineered.Another common strategy to better regulate flesh productsis to take a genetic reading of the embryo while still in thepetri dish. If a genetic characteristic is discovered that isdeemed defective, the creature can be terminated beforeimplantation. Again, parents-to-be can have their eu-genic dreams come true within the limits of the genetictest. Even parents using the old-fashioned method ofconception at least have the option of visualization (so-nar) to make sure that the desired gender characteristic isrealized. In each of these cases, better visualization andrepresentation, along with an expanded range of genetictests, will help to insure that desired characteristics arealways a part of the flesh product, which leads to theconclusion that better vision machines are as importantfor profit as they are for control.At the same time, remember that the marketing practicesof postmodernity do not wholly apply to the flesh machine,and at present tend to function on an as-needed basis.Fertility clinics, for example, participate as much in theeconomy of scarcity (although it must be noted that theseproducts and processes do not intersect the economy of The Coming of Age of the Flesh Machineneed) as they do in the economy of desire. While they mayuse the practices described above, they also have theluxury of being the only option for those who have beendenied the ability to produce flesh materials. Those clinicsthat can boast a product success rate of over 20% (mostnotably the Center for Reproductive Medicines and Infer-tility at New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center, witha success rate of 34%) cannot meet the demand for theirgoods and services. Apparently, the market for flesh goodsand services has been preconstructed in the bio-ideologyof capitalism.When Worlds CollideAssuming that the flesh machine is guided by the pancapitalistimperatives of control and profit, what will occur ifthese two principles come into conflict with one an-other? This has been known to happen as social machinesmarch toward maturity. The sight machine is currentlyfacing this very contradiction in the development of theNet. Currently the Net has some space that is relativelyopen to the virtual public. In these free zones, one canget information on anything, from radical politics to thelatest in commodity development. As to be expected, alot of information floating about is resistant to thecauses and imperatives of pancapitalism, and from theperspective of the state is badly in need of censorship.However, the enforcement of limited speech on the Netwould require measures that would be devastating toon-line services and phone service providers, and couldseriously damage the market potential of this new tool.(The Net has an unbelievably high concentration of Flesh Machinewealthy literate consumers. It’s a market pool thatcorporate authority does not want to annoy). The domi-nant choice at present is to let the disorder of the Netcontinue until the market mechanisms are fully inplace, and the virtual public is socialized to their use;then more repressive measures may be considered. So-cial conservatism taking a back seat to fiscal conservatismseems fairly representative of pancapitalist conflict reso-lution. The question is, will this policy replicate itself inthe flesh machine?A good example to speculate on in regard to this issue isthe ever-elusive “gay gene,” always on the verge ofdiscovery, isolation, and visualization. Many actuallyanxiously await this discovery to prove once and for allthat gayness is an essential quality and not just a“lifestyle” choice. However, once placed in the eugenicmatrix this discovery might elicit some less positiveassociations. In the typical alarmist view, if the genecomes under the control of the flesh machine, then itwill be eliminated from the gene pool, thus givingcompulsory heterosexuality a whole new meaning. Underthe imperative of control this possibility seems likely;however, when the imperative of marketability is con-sidered, a different scenario emerges. There may well bea sizable market population for whom the selection of agay gene would be desirable. Why would a good capital-ist turn his back on a population that represents so muchprofit, not to mention that gay individuals as a submarket(CAE is assuming that some heterosexuals would selectthe gay gene too) must submit to the flesh machine toreproduce? Again, market and social imperatives comeinto conflict, but it is unknown which imperative willbe selected for enforcement. The Coming of Age of the Flesh MachineSuch an issue at least demonstrates the complexity of theflesh machine, and how difficult the task of analyzing thisthird leviathan will be. What is certain is that the fleshmachine is interdependent with and interrelated to thewar machine and the sight machine of pancapitalism, andthat it is certainly going to intensify the violence and therepression of its predecessors through the rationalizationof the final component (i.e., the flesh) of the production/consumption process. Until maps are produced for thepurpose of resistance and are crossed-referenced throughthe perspectives of numerous contestational voices, therewill be no way, practical or strategic, to resist this newattack on liberationist visions, discourse, and practice.

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