By Martijn Konings
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Additional resources for The Emotional Logic of Capitalism: What Progressives Have Missed
In response, the church formulated a more explicitly “nonessentialist interpretation of the icon” (Pentcheva 2006, 633). In this conception, the icon was merely a channel through which God connected to humanity and managed its affairs (Mondzain 2005, 119): whereas an idol pretends to depict or emulate holiness and so denies its sublime qualities, an icon draws our gaze into a sphere beyond the visible, directs our attention to something that remains beyond all human comprehension (Fritz 2009, 426–427; Marion 2004, 70; Mondzain 2005, 96).
As the public figurations of our subjective entanglements, icons enjoy an objectivity that is organic. They are not external or transcendent, but generated through and connected to our everyday life; immanent yet generative, embedded yet autonomous. A specifically secular source of sovereignty, the icon makes no claims to transcendent status but derives tremendous power from its central position in an affectively charged force field of promises and obligations. This implies a different picture than suggested by approaches that see sovereignty as having been in decline owing to the expansion of Â�capitalism.
Control does not work through interpellating actors into clearly scripted performances and coherent, preconstituted norms, but through the logic of interactive role-taking. The network is plastic: it does not enforce closure but derives its cohesive force from the ways in which the elements establish new connections with other elements. In a densely interconnected society, control 33 a ffec tiv e signs operates on an immanent level, through constitutive associations and the logic of emotional investment.