Dieser Artikel untersucht die paradoxen Auswirkungen der finanztechnischen Normalisierungstechniken des credit scoring und der mortgage securitization, die einen entscheidenden Anteil an der subprime-Krise und der folgenden Finanzkrise hatten. Andreas Folkers, From the irony of normalisation to autoimmunity: The subprime mortgager and the financial crisis The recent financial crisis dramatically showed that every attempt to regulate risks is itself a risky endeavor. This paper traces the adverse effects of financial normalization by analyzing the technologies of credit scoring and mortgage securitization and their contribution to the subprime and the following financial crisis. These technologies were designed to normalize markets and market actors by assessing individual credit default risk, calculating the proper price of these risks and spreading them among a broad community of investors. Through the assemblage of these technologies the subprime mortgager emerged: a risky subjectivity that was connected to global financial operations in fatal ways.
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As for the process of auto-immunization, which interests us particularly here, it consists for a living organism, as is well known and in short, of protecting itself against its self-protection by destroying its own immune system.
Whereas Derrida claims that during autoimmuntary processes the protective system of the body destroys itself i. However, AIDS stands in an uneasy, almost spectral relationship with autoimmune diseases. However, the figure of autoimmunity is introduced in order to subvert the ideology of nationalism, and becomes associated with the work of deconstruction itself. It enables an exposure to the other, to what and who comes — which means that it must remain incalculable.
Without autoimmunity, with absolute immunity, nothing would ever happen or arrive; we would no longer wait, await, or expect, no longer expect another, or expect any event.. Since the ways in which Derrida actually theorises, or asks questions about, the relationship between autoimmunity and democracy,  or else, the way in which he posits autoimmunity as both the condition of and the consequence of democracy, is far beyond the scope of the present argument,  I will restrict myself to a few introductory remarks.
Consequently, the introduction of the figure of autoimmunity in the ethico-political discourse suggests that the political body always contains within itself the possibility of its own undoing. At the same time, autoimmunity not only entails the potential destruction of the protection of the self as both the object and the subject of the suicidal event and of the events still to come , but it is also something that has always already compromised the supposed integrity, or else, ipseity of the self.
In Rogues, Derrida gives two examples for the suicidal tendencies of democracy, which immediately indicate that autoimmunity, rather than necessarily being a threat, can be best understood as risk. On the one hand, there is always a potential suicide involved in democratic institutions themselves, since democratic elections may well lead to the rise to power of anti-democratic forces that thus gain the right to put an end to the very institutions that made their victory possible in the first place.
On the other hand, democracy can always, temporarily, suspend itself in order to protect itself following the logic of autoimmunity , and prevent the rise to power of such anti-democratic forces. For instance, democratic leaders in Algeria suspended the democratic elections to prevent the rise of an Islamist party that would have put an end to all democracy.
For these latter, while restricting democratic freedom under the pretext of protecting democracy, have failed to recognise that the risk is always already inside, and, therefore, cannot be definitively erased.
Now, just like the constative, it seems to me, the performative cannot avoid neutralizing, indeed annulling, the eventfulness of the event it is supposed to produce. A performative produces an event only by securing for itself […] the power that an ipseity gives itself to produce the event of which it speaks — the event that it neutralizes forthwith insofar as it appropriates for itself a calculable mastery over it.
If an event worthy of this name is to arrive or happen, it must, beyond all mastery, affect a passivity. It must touch an exposed vulnerability, one without absolute immunity, without indemnity; it must touch this vulnerability in its finitude and in a nonhorizontal fashion, there where it is not yet or is already no longer possible to face or face up to the unforeseeability of the other. For autoimmunity is not only about vulnerability, the vulnerability of juridical performatives, but being itself a performative, it also stages this vulnerability: autoimmunity is an autoimmune term, subjected to autoimmune processes, that is, it can undo itself at the precise moment of its performance.
How to examine, then, the autoimmunity of the term autoimmunity? And what are the unforeseeable events that it produces but, indeed, cannot master? At the same time, low level self-reactive immune cells also play a role in surveilling uncontrolled cell growth, and may thus reduce the incidence of cancer. On the other hand, autoimmune diseases are associated with high level auto-reactive immune cells and the subsequent loss of immunological tolerance towards the self.
Hence, when the immune system is healthy and natural autoimmunity is properly controlled, some immune cells recognise and tolerate the self, while others attack the non-self. Hence, the political implications of the medical or biological approaches to autoimmune diseases i. And this, as history has so often shown us and still does so , has disastrous consequences with regard to democracy.
To be more specific, it could well include the banishment, or deportation of elements considered as non-self. Transplants are necessary for our survival, which indicates that Derridean autoimmunity, as has already been suggested, is a risk: it implies not only a potentially life-threatening, but also a potentially life-saving openness. It maintains that the immune system gives distinctive responses to self and non-self unless this process is inhibited by immune-depressant drugs.
Thus, biological tolerance does model indeed the way tolerance works in the existing, actual socio-political sphere. As he puts it in Rogues: Among the figures of unconditionality without sovereignty I have had occasion to privilege in recent years, there would be, for example, that of an unconditional hospitality that exposes itself without limit to the coming of the other, beyond rights and laws, beyond a hospitality conditioned by the right of asylum, by the right to immigration, by citizenship, and even by the right to universal hospitality […] Only an unconditional hospitality can give meaning and practical rationality to a concept of hospitality.
Unconditional hospitality exceeds juridical, political, or economic calculation. But no thing and no one happens or arrives without it. In what follows, I am going to show first that Derrida draws, in fact, his arguments on autoimmunity from the discourse of AIDS. In the framework that I propose, the first question to be answered will be whether it is possible to regard HIV, which clearly comes from the outside, as a metaphor for something that blurs the distinction between friend and foe.
The major targets of HIV are immune cells called helper T cells a type of white blood cell developed in the thymus. Helper T cells play an essential role in the self-protective system of the body, because they are involved in activating and directing other immune cells. During HIV infection, the virus infects and thereby destroys precisely those immune cells that are responsible for the immune response as a whole.
However, since not all of the helper T cells are infected at the same time, the healthy ones can still activate the immune cells specific to the virus. These, in their turn, start to destroy those helper T cells that are infected by HIV. As a result, the major helper T cells are attacked on two fronts: healthy T cells are attacked by HIV itself, while the infected T cells are eliminated by the specific immune cells.
Despite this double attack, the body could still gain victory over HIV infection, since the immune cells specific to the virus could very well eliminate all the infected helper T cells. However, since HIV is a mutating virus, that is, it can constantly change its antigen the very thing to which the immune system specifically responds , by the time the immune cells specific to the virus could destroy all the infected helper T cells, another, new type of HIV emerges, which needs another kind of specific immune response.
This process, that is, the mutation and remutation of HIV, the resulting infection of new helper T cells, and the concomitant development of new types of immune responses can last for years and decades, but, eventually, the immune system gives up the fight. In the end, the whole immune system is destroyed by the parallel attacks of HIV and the specific immune response eliminating all the infected immune cells.
Secondly, the fact that the virus keeps mutating and remutating all along, in an unforeseeable, incalculable way, and without ever being identifiable once and for all, parallels the unidentifiable, anonymous character of terror. There is no virus without the immune cells that act as hosts, in other words, there is no other without the self. This is exactly the reason why the immune system, infected by HIV, has to destroy itself, which destruction obviously entails both the death of the other, the virus, and the death of the protective system of the self.
He outlines the relationship between autoimmunity and the vain, performative attempts to master, or neutralise the event — as well as the events still to come — in the following way: all these efforts to attenuate or neutralize the effect of the traumatism to deny, repress, or forget it, to get over it are but so many desperate attempts.
And so many autoimmunitary movements. Which produce, invent, and feed the very monstrosity they claim to overcome. What will never let itself be forgotten is thus the perverse effect of the autoimmunitary itself. As Derrida puts it: the aggression […] comes, as from the inside, from forces that are apparently without any force of their own but that are able to find the means, through ruse and the implementation of high-tech knowledge, to get hold of an American weapon in an American city on the ground of an American airport […] these hijackers incorporate, so to speak, two suicides in one: their own and one will remain forever defenseless in the face of a suicidal, autoimmunitary aggression — and that is what terrorizes most but also the suicide of those who welcomed, armed, and trained them.
As if the openness resulting from the autoimmunity the vulnerability of democracy always potentially entailed the unforeseeable arrival of the virus, of any virus. In this sense, Derrida seems to imply that infection is the potential risk generated by a protective system that is always already autoimmune. As he goes on to say, anticipating, again, his argument on the traumas of terrorism past and still to come , even should humanity some day come to control the virus […] still, even in the most unconscious symbolic zones, the traumatism has irreversibly affected our experience of desire and of what we blithely call intersubjectivity, the relation to the alter ego, and so forth [ibid.
He would starkly oppose all identification between terrorists humans and a virus, or terror and AIDS. This might be one of the reasons why one has to have recourse to the metaphor of autoimmunity, which, for Derrida, implies a body, a community always open to its own undoing, to an undoing that may happen, from within, even without enemies outside.
Autoimmunity thus becomes a catachresis that points to the question of the relationship between politikon and bios, but averts the terrifying consequences, so well remarked by Derrida, of any transfer between viruses and humans, as well as that of any parallel between the functioning of the self-protective systems of biological and political bodies.
According to the latest findings of immunology, the processes of natural autoimmunity indicate that the binary between self-protection and auto-destruction is untenable. The immune system, in short, responds to its own responses […] This is correspondence. Correspondence is decision-making by committee. This, however, would also necessitate a universal alliance or solidarity that extends well beyond the interests of the nation-state: transformations, and as yet unheard-of forms of shared and limited sovereignty Derrida, Autoimmunity, As he puts it: in a context that is each time singular, where the respectful attention paid to singularity is not relativist but universalizable and rational, responsibility would consist in orienting oneself without any determinative knowledge of the rule.
To be responsible, to keep within reason, would be to invent maxims of transaction for deciding between two just as rational and universal but contradictory exigencies of reason as well as its enlightenment.
Beyond all Eurocentrism. Still, as has been suggested all along, the metaphorical transfers between the processes of biological body and those of the political community are far from being easy ones. These are difficult transfers, transfers that respect distinctions more than similarities. Autoimmune diseases. Cohen, Irun R. De Man, Paul. Allegories of Reading. Derrida, Jacques. Giovanna Borradori. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, Cambridge: Polity.
Translated by Peggy Kamuf et al. Stanford: Stanford University Press, Yehuda Shoenfeld and M. Eric Gershwin. Elsevier: Amsterdam, Budapest: Semmelweis, Kronenberg, Mitchell et al. Miller, J. Mitchell, W. Naas, Michael. Derrida from Now On. New York: Fordham University Press Nancy, Jean-Luc.
The Truth of Democracy. New York: Fordham University Press, Sontag, Susan. Aids and Its Metaphors. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Thomson, Alex. They were immune, indemnified, just as those who took sanctuary in a church were immune from arrest or just as legislators in some democracies today are immune from prosecution for some crimes. Elisabeth Weber, trans. Peggy Kamuf et al. Stanford: Stanford University Press, ,
Democracy to Come
As for the process of auto-immunization, which interests us particularly here, it consists for a living organism, as is well known and in short, of protecting itself against its self-protection by destroying its own immune system. Whereas Derrida claims that during autoimmuntary processes the protective system of the body destroys itself i. However, AIDS stands in an uneasy, almost spectral relationship with autoimmune diseases. However, the figure of autoimmunity is introduced in order to subvert the ideology of nationalism, and becomes associated with the work of deconstruction itself.
Derrida and the Immune System
This difficult little syntagm is developed in a number of books, articles and interviews, most notably in Spectres of Marx and The Politics of Friendship , finally given its fullest elaboration in Rogues: Two Essays on Reason None of this is attempted here. In Rogues, Derrida makes a sustained case for thinking of democracy as being governed by an autoimmune logic. So, to suggest that democracy is autoimmune is to claim that it is threatened internally by its very own logic. I want to highlight two ways in which Derrida accounts for this self-inflicted dehiscence within democracy. The first issue involves the relation between democracy and sovereignty.