Notes Reading Notes


By Reza Negarestani, 2008

Introduces the new occult subject of palaeopetrology. Takes Deluze and Guattari for a ride with occult Iranian numerology mixed with Lovecraftian horror, alongside a Heart of Darkness style rampage involving a rogue Delta Force commander, Colonel West, who breaks away from the US military being all-consumed by his heretical theories on war and its attraction to the middle eastern desert.

Not the easiest work to get through because of its cryptic, pseudo-academic style, which leaves a lot of doubt as to the boundaries between fiction, speculation and superstition; cf. relationship to ‘hyperstition’ and the previous work of the Cybernetic Culture Research Unit, etc.

Particularly clever ideas about the relationship between oil and war machines. A hugely influential work for me, as it was the first writing I’ve seen to evoke and put words to the latent subliminal nightmare of industrial civilisation’s thirst for oil.

In a nutshell, oil has its own teleology. War machines thirst for oil is potentially a generative product of the oil itself. History of the Middle East (itself a fictitious construction) provides numerous glimpses into this horror. Politics is based on decay, where rotting bodies are the home of multiplying living things, which in turn rot, and produce more living things.

Decay introduces power to the misadventures of matter. The awakening of different species from a corrupting entity is inherent to decay.

To say that a decaying political system traverses and encompasses other political systems is dismaying enough; but to add that any political system—whether developed or democratic—might be a differentiated gradient of a decaying politics is an unfathomable insinuation.

Resistance to decay is both futile and fertile. But then, what is fertility in the sense of resistance toward decay? There is a yawning horror in this question.