Capital doesn’t have a logic – or, not ‘ontology’, but ‘ontogenomology’ & its cognates

Ontology is the set of accounts concerned with the generic constituents of what exists – & therefore of what doesn’t exist. It doesn’t have to be abstract. In fact the more comprehensive ontologies are able to describe everyday concrete matters & explain their occurrence. It doesn’t have to be ahistorical. In fact the more adequate ontologies detail matters of all sorts of temporalities: transhistorical, historical, phasic, conjunctural, ephemeral. They are also able to differentiate between what is not just contingent or necessary but also to identify & describe the necessarily contingent & the contingently necessary, &, to go beyond Jessop, the contingently contingent & the necessarily necessary.

But this is not my point. If one’s analysis describes not just what is (being) but also what either can or must be (becoming), the matter of change, then it is more adequately described not as an ontology, the ‘ology’ (logos, reasoning) of ‘on’ (the Greek for being), but as an ontogenomology, the ‘ology’ of ‘onto-genome’, being-becoming. (The neologisms are necessary, as is the torrent to come.)


(1) the entity has being in virtue of its configured conditioned, & conditioning, forces (powers & susceptibilities), & becoming in virtue of some of these. Its becoming, its capacity to change, is expressed, realised, with the exercise of these change-inducing forces;

(2) in changing, the entity shows that it isn’t just its current realised being but that it is in-development, it is being realised as something different, & this is disclosed in the continuities & changes of its being-becoming, demonstrating that it has the property of ontogenomogeny, constituting it as an ontogenomogene (& not simply, in virtue of its being, as an ontogenome, with the attendant quality of ontogenomy);

(3) just to be clear, the entity has ontogenomogeny as a consequence of either external changes or internal developments, the latter being the expression – the work, the exercise – of some of its forces either (a) immediately, or after causing (b1) their re-figuration or (b2) the gain or loss of forces;

(4) the qualities of ontogenomy & ontogenomogeny separately constitute the object of inquiry of ontogenomics & ontogenomogenics;

(5) the analysts here are ontogenomologists & ontogenomogenologists (known in the trade as OG bods & OGG bods); &

(6) they do their best to produce ontogenomologies & ontogenomogenologies (although Foucaultians insist that they write ontogenomogenealogies).


(1) what exists is different from its description (call the latter a second-order existence). Marx & others are mistaken in constantly speaking of entities having a logic or of being presupposed or posited (Grundrisse). No, these are concepts of thinking, of discourse, of argument – not concepts of first-order existence. (Notwithstanding that Edgley argued for an ontologic.) Instead, each entity is an instance of its kind of ontogenome, giving it its necessary & most of its contingent ways of being, & in so far that it has the quality of developing then it is an instance of its kind of ontogenomogene, providing it with its necessary & most of its contingent ways of being-becoming, of changing.

So capital accumulation is the result of a particular ontogenome that develops; in other words, the process involving the organisation, exercise, & regulation of productive forces by the capital relation is the expression of a distinct ontogenomogene. Or to apply the other term of Fromm’s distinction between being mode & having mode, capitalist production doesn’t have a logic, rather in being the realisation of both its ontogenome & its ontogenomogene it shows that it has both an ontogenomic & an ontogenomogenic;

(2) each & every ontogenomogene has a temporal & spatial identity, living its own time & space. Instead of taking time & space as an external metric (and applying it to entities, quantifying magnitudes & rates of change of time & space), we can understand temporality & spatiality as ‘coming from within’ the entity, as qualities of both its generative & generated dimensions. A complexity is that it’s not unusual for temporal extensions to be variously directed, simultaneously, into the past, future, & the ephemeral present. And temporalness can also be either ‘stretched out’ or ‘compressed’, made dense, lived intensely, with years, even decades, ‘packed’ into weeks or days. Frozen times; heady days. In developing temporalness & spatialness from within, each ontogenomogene has the qualities of endochronogeny & endospatiogeny; &

(3) to summarise categorically, & also to apply the above to what is conventionally described as methodology & epistemology, we have a fourfold triad that is the process of applying inquiry methods to entities to generate knowledge about them: methodics – methodologists – methods & methodologies; epistemics – epistemologists – epistemologies; ontogenomics – ontogenomologists – ontogenomologies; ontogenomogenics – ontogenomogenologists – ontogenomogenologies.


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