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Bifo on the "horizon of possibility"


The Verso blog has an excerpt from Franco “Bifo” Berardi’s recently published book Futurability: The Age of Impotence and the Horizon of Possibility. In the book, Bifo aims to discern in the present morass of neofascism and economic precarity the contours of a new world striving to realize itself. In the passage below, he reflect on the meaning of the phrase “horizon of possibility”:

The horizon of possibility is perceived as an infinite sprawl of connecting, flashing points. This perception generates anxiety and panic: the paranoid obsession with order tries to reduce the horizon to repetition, belonging and identity.

Power is based on the hypostatization of the existing relations of potency, on the surreptitious absolutization of the necessity implied in the existing rapport de force. Force crystallizes in a paranoid fixation to re-compact the world through rituals of identification. The relative necessity of the rule is arbitrarily transformed into absolute necessity: absolute capitalism is based on this deceptive trick of logic. Accumulation, profit and growth are surreptitiously turned into natural laws, and the field of economics legitimises this deception.

When society enters a phase of crisis or approaches collapse, we can glimpse the horizon of possibility. This horizon itself is hard to distinguish, and the territory that borders this horizon is hard to describe or to map.

The horizon of possibility can be best described by the words of Ignacio Matte Blanco in defining the unconscious: ‘The unconscious deals with infinite sets that have not only the power of the enumerable but also that of the continuum.’

Image via Verso.