samedi 13 août 2011

Adverse Force.

Dessin non attribué, Char Nomade Entièrement de Bois, Altaï, Ve-IVe siècles avant J.-C.

Zygmunt Bauman's liquid modernity describes an age in which the political forms of both right and left are liquefying and often fluctuate among themselves. In the absence of great consolidated values systems, the forms of politics once again become an object of creative research, like the invention of new logics, no longer based on great schemes of mechanical contraposition between workers and managers, or rich and poor, but between much more nuanced social subjects that contain less evident conditions of diversity - ignorant and informed, nomads and fixed populations, monotheists and polytheists.


In liberalism, just as in socialism, enterprise has always been the result of a theoretical model of the world, the formalization of productive energy and of the present exchanges in society. Enterprise is the result of a philosophy of human relations and the production of value. Therefore any design that does not presuppose a reflection on the organisms of production is always an inadequate design.

The concept of modernity in the twentieth century belongs to the ideology of the transformation of technologies, idioms, and behaviors used by industry; the "form of enterprise" has been one of the most adequate instruments for creating this transformation. The mechanical age produced a model of enterprise like a motor, a (strong and concentrated) machine of an economy made up of correlated but different, separate, antagonistic parts.

The classic enterprise is organized according to specialized, sector-based knowledge, capable of creating "definitive products and above all permanent wealth" that are situated in history as pillars of a new time-honored societal foundation - new permanent values, and new definitive riches.

With the net-economy and e-commerce, mass entrepreneurship, and the inclination towards diffuse innovation, the mechanical-military model has fallen into crisis: it no longer corresponds to the society of access and above all no longer corresponds to the ebb and flow of global economy developed with no model of reference, without stable orders and fixed rules, with transitory virtual wealth and circumstantial economies. This is, then a "buzz economy" that follows discontinuous flows of an energy that is more relational than productive.

This is an economy constantly in expansion because it is constantly in crisis, and vice versa; it is inadequate for governing its lively impulses, always on the brink of failure, as an indispensable premise for its leaps ahead.

From this tumultuous maturation it becomes clear that the classic industrial economy, where wealth was produced by enterprise (a rigid form within a fluid society), is a rapidly setting sun. Enterprise and society coincide; the entrepreneurial disposition coincides wih the same vital energy of society and individuals.

In this sense, the social economy, like an evolving energy, coincides with the natural form of genetic systems - with the genetic metropolis. They are a conglomeration of weak and diffuse energies that traverse history and produce its unstable state. They are the symptom of a continuous evolution, produced by the individual's necessity to increase the conditions of environmental and social safety of its own genes.

It is a question, therefore, of rethinking the forms of economy and enterprise as specific parts of a new vision of history (and politics), one that makes reference to a fluid universe, a dynamic system in continuous evolution and renewal. The concept of new modernity must make reference to these new genetic, dynamic concepts, rethinking the present enterprise like an inadequate, rigid, fragile organism. This means moving from a closed, stable, specialized form to an open, provisory, liquid form.

It is therefore necessary to introduce new key words: traversable enterprise, reversible enterprise, that assume in their own organized form a state of permanent crisis, the instability of the market, the uncertainty of values, producing organization charts capable of liberating expansive energies beginning with its own dissolution. This means moving form enterpise to agency, from the armadas of Julius Caesar to the disposable army of Genghis Khan.

The design energy of the modern enterprise, its coincidence with the capacity to produce innovation, aims to surpass brand understood as a tribe of belonging, as a micro-society motivated by competition, to become instead a molecular system that traverses fluid plankton, continually liberating its form, and creating ever-new aggregations and new working alliances. No more, then, permanent forms, but fluid energies that coagulate and move only following terminal strategies and with working methods that are irreproducible in any classic form. In the essay "Treatise on Efficiency" by French sinologist François Jullien, there is mention of a surpassing of the Western concept of efficiency, based on Clausewitz's military model, in favor of ju-jitsu techniques, the Chinese martial art that uses adverse force to reach one's goal. The growth of enterprise is no longer, then, a dimensional growth, but coincides rather with its dynamic capacity, the continuous reduction of apparatuses, the dismissal of workers, and thereby the continuous betterment of its working capacities.

Andrea Branzi, Weak and Diffuse Modernity, The World of Projects at the Beginning of the 21st Century, Skira, 2006, p.50-53.

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