On Inter Caetera

Alexander VI‘s bull Inter Caetera (1493) demarcates generous borders for Ferdinand and Isabella in the new world.

The thought of the incarnation had become so misconstrued as to provide the theological ground on which the Earth and all peoples are to be subjugated by Christians! Such was the ideological underpinning of the colonialism which perpetrated not only genocides but the culture of exploitation, industrialisation (environmental destruction), weapons manufacture for nuclear annihilation, the death of God: The paradox is that this papal bull laid the cornerstone for a house that would have no room for Christ. We squandered our inheritance by robbing others theirs.

Luckily, when the prodigal son turned, he also arose; and Mary Magdalene, by turning and seeing Jesus in the face of the gardener, became the first to proclaim the resurrection. It is only in this turning of the Church that she will rise again.

To live again, to bear witness to the life of the Risen Lord, the glory of eternal life – as opposed to the rotten corpse of Christendom’s past “glories” – God requires the Church show repentance and reparation for the colonialism her doctrines encouraged. It is the only holy and praiseworthy undertaking left to her.

“We trust in Him from whom empires and governments and all good things proceed, that, should you, with the Lord’s guidance, pursue this holy and praiseworthy undertaking, in a short while your hardships and endeavours will attain the most felicitous result, to the happiness and glory of all Christendom.”






The European Border

European values, like democracy, respect no borders.

Europe wants no borders.

Yet no border is defended like the European border.

Europe wants borders to Africa and Asia: but Europe never respected African and Asian borders.

This state of affairs will be perpetuated or reversed, violently or peacefully.

Respect borders! Open the European border! For peace!


XXXVII – “If I cease to desire and remain still”

The way never acts yet nothing is left undone.

Should lords and princes be able to hold fast to it,

The myriad creatures will be transformed of their own accord.

After they are transformed, should desire raise its head,

I shall press it down with the weight of the uncarved nameless block.

The nameless uncarved block

Is but freedom from desire,

And if I cease to desire and remain still,

The empire will be at peace of its own accord.


Horse Stance practises the weight of the nameless uncarved block, the centre of the earth; go to the centre of the earth. By doing so, all things are pulled to their right place through you. Then come out of Horse Stance and walk deliberately to your next task; your next task will be for the belly only and not your desiring senses.



XXXVI – “The fish must not be allowed to leave the deep”

If you would have a thing shrink

You must first stretch it;

If you would have a thing weakened,

You must first strengthen it;

If you would ahve a thing laid aside,

You must first set it up;

If you would take from a thing,

You must first give to it.

This is called subtle discernment:

The submissive and weak will overcome the hard and strong.

The fish must not be allowed to leave the deep;

The instruments of power in a state must not be revealed to anyone.


It is a matter of exercising control; the texts are about exercising control.

To exercise control you must first relinquish control: to take it up again.

That the submissive and weak will overcome the hard and the strong is a matter of self-control, looking and waiting; wresting control.








XXXV – “the empire will come to you”

Have in your hold the great image

And the empire will come to you.

Coming to you and meeting with no harm

It will be safe and sound.

Music and food

Will induce the wayfarer to stop.

The way in its passage through the mouth is without flavour.

It cannot be seen,

It cannot be heard,

Yet it cannot be exhausted by use.


The way cannot be seen or heard; but that it is also without flavour. We know that ‘the sage is for the belly’ (XII); but not for taste sensations. If the taste is overwhelming, it is not the truth; if the taste is persuasive, the food is not nourishing.

Expect it to come to you without harm, expect all to be safe and sound. Nothing is overwhelmed in the empire.


Will to Power (decimalisation)

Suddenly I recall discourse from my childhood, one I wish to spare The Will to Power:

When I was a girl, said my mum, we had to learn to count in twelves, because in those days there were twelve pennies in a shilling and then we moved to the decimal system about the time we joined the EU and so that is much easier for children now than it was for us.

Languages are assemblages of enunciation.  Order-words are one of the variables – in this instance 10 and 12. The political authority, here ‘Europe’. ‘Easier’: how much harder our parents had it. The collective assemblage is called a regime of signs. Decimalisation, the EU, my bloody parents’ achievements.

Dear Wills to Power, my achievement has been to overthrow that regime of signs, that it would be easier for you, ‘that you might be spared it’….

We have gone from explicit commands (do it!) to order-words as implicit presuppositions (tens not twelves); from order-words to the imminent (powers here and now: the EU) acts or incorporeal transformations (digitalisation) they express; and from there to the assemblages of enunciation they are. To the extent these variables enter at a given moment into determinable relations, the assemblages combine in a regime of signs or a semiotic machine.

(Deleuze/Guattari, November 20, 1923: Postulates of Linguistics in “A Thousand Plateaus” (Continuum 2004), p.92) – my comments in brackets


The Will to Power at 5 (count in tens!)

Mrs Johnson had been doing counting in tens in class. The Will to Power was nearly the best at it.

“Can you count in tens?”


“Go on, do it!”

“Ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, sixty, seventy, eighty, ninety.”

She paid eager attention, like Mrs Johnson on the lookout for mistakes.

“Well done!”

“Can you?”

“Yes”, and she did.

While she was performing this I asked myself what knowledge she was demonstrating. She had learnt to recite numbers in “tens”. Numbers with a “ty” ending and two syllables (the second syllable in “seventy” had to be squashed). She was demonstrating more a poetic skill than a mathematical one I thought. Did she know the concept, I asked myself?

“Very good! Do you know four times ten?”


“Excellent! And six times ten?”

She became thoughtful, brooded over the question, smiled at me appealingly:


“No! Sixty!”

“Oh yeah, ‘sixty’!”

First, she had learnt, ‘ten’, ‘twenty’, ‘thirty’, ‘forty’, ‘fifty’, ‘sixty’, ‘seventy’, ‘eighty’, ‘ninety’; by the end of our conversation though – I instructed her I thought in the concept behind the numbers – she knew the numbers ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, sixty, seventy, eighty, ninety.

Or did she?*

Had she not just learnt – as opposed to learnt that – ‘six times ten is sixty’? And later she learns to say ‘multiplied by’ in the line in place of ‘times’? And ‘times table’ for ‘count in tens’…

“Language in its entirety is indirect discourse.”

(Deleuze/Guattari, November 20, 1923: Postulates of Linguistics in “A Thousand Plateaus” (Continuum 2004), p.93)

*When she answered ‘fifty’, that smile, was the Will to Power perhaps testing me back?