affective legitimation

Reason is always a region cut out of the irrational — not sheltered from the irrational at all, but a region traveresed by the irrational and defined only by a certain type of relation between irrational factors. Underneath all reason lies delirium, drift. Deleuze

Something I am beginning to understand about the paranoic subjectivity is that its capacity for objectivity is legitimated by the affective state of its relation to the world. This is not simply the subtle ontological point of Deleuze’s transcendental empiricism, and the emergent relation from affect to sensation to thought, rather it is more akin to Zizek’s limits of enjoyment where others “rob us of the specificity of our fantasy”.

It is a question of legitimation because the pain and sadness experienced within a given situation is used as a resource to frame the interpretation of the situation. A paranoic can not be wrong about his or her own feelings; about the affects manifest within particular events. Reason and objectivity do not legitmate themselves, rather they are assembled from the feelings. Such is the case in reactionary responses to 9/11 and terrorism as it is in the response in people who have lived through abusive relationships as it is in the reactionary nationalism of disaffected workers in globalisation.

For those who understand Deleuze’s point or maybe just intuit it on their own, it is always a question of pursuing the affective lines of force across a series of events; no event is separate, they are always serial. Responsibility is not simply the burden of those who make you feel bad, but also of one’s self to interrogate what affects across which series feed into one’s capacity for objectivity. To trace the distribution of ‘badness’ across the series to understand how it is contracted in the present.