The serial seductions of the PUA or negger are more like a series of corporate raids, designed to loot value from the other – a literalization of asset-stripping. We can further probe this delirium by turning to Roberto Arlt’s 1929 novel .To achieve this hostile takeover the voice of the negger is the pseudo-objective voice of social value and the sexual marketplace. The central character is the Dostoyevskian Remo Erdosian, who has been systematically pilfering from his employer.Hegel argues that the beautiful soul, which flees from actuality to preserve ‘the purity of its heart’, is trapped by its own negativity: ‘The hollow object, which it produces, now fills it, therefore, with the feeling of emptiness.’ While ‘purity of heart’ may seem an odd phrase to use to analyse negging, we can note it described the self-deceptive ‘gallantry’ of the negger/PUA, as well as the hypocritical projection of negativity on to the victim.This is the ‘game’ of control, in which all control is on the side of the nagger/PUA, but which produces a void, an object which is not an object.| by Benjamin Noys | A man approaches a woman in a bar and says something negative to her: “Your roots are showing”; “You look amazing. ”; “If your face was as good as your legs I’d have to marry you”; “Nice eyes – even though one is bigger than the other”; “How brave of you to wear an outfit like that”; “You have a great body. ” This is negging; a ‘dating’ strategy in which the pick-up artist (PUA), or follower of the PUA’s ‘system’, systematically undermines the confidence of his ‘target’ to make her vulnerable enough to agree to sex. Negging, as a set of explicit techniques, emerged in the 1990s, unsurprisingly correlated with the emergence of the Internet.It also, again unsurprisingly, correlated with the emergence of neoliberalism as the mode of contemporary capitalist governance.Hegel remarks of the beautiful soul that ‘its activity consists in yearning’. The final result of the beautiful soul is madness, as the negativity it projects onto the world returns to consume it.It lives in the contradiction of its claimed purity and the world’s disorder, which then evacuates both into abstract emptiness.
In fact this ‘spiritless unity of abstract being’ unlocks the unity of capitalist subjectivity as empty abstraction. These are ‘visceral abstractions’, and visceral in the sense particularly of the assault on the victim.It results, however, in the construction of a ‘spiritless unity’, in which the negger/PUA, while claiming power and authority, is reduced to the bearer of this abstract violence.While they construct women as abstract units on a spreadsheet or score sheet, this calculating approach (in both senses) rebounds to construct the PUA/negger as empty, or as empty except for the violent raging neg-ativity which constitutes their ‘inner’ being. The world is evil, for the negger, because it is a world that rejects the negger, while the negger should be rejecting it.Jesse Charger, in a defence of negging, argues that it is a strategy only to be used to bring down those women who ‘overrate’ themselves: ‘So if you’re a normal-looking girl with a normal attitude, you probably will NEVER BE NEGGED in your life. Erdosian is wracked by sexual anxiety, alternating between a naïve purity, he wears trousers to bed on his wedding night, and an obsessional sexual fantasy life, ‘gratuitously offending and fouling his soul’. After his wife leaves him Erdosian has a breakdown in which he enters the figurative ‘black house’ of compulsive fantasy and masturbation – the black house that is ‘deep inside himself’. Throwing himself ‘into the delicious terror of masturbation’, Erdosian enters ‘a universe of gelatinous ideas’. This universe is ‘an ever-changing world of females that no-one could ever cast him from’, a kaleidoscopic fantasy world of revenge and satisfaction: Like someone pulling banknotes earned in many different ways from the same wallet, from the recesses of the dark house Erdosian plucked a fragmented but whole woman, made up from a hundred such creatures split by the same desire repeated a hundred times, always blooming anew in their presence. In this financial metaphor, Erdosian composes ‘this fantasy woman, made up from the bits and pieces of all the ones he had been unable to possess’. Arlt’s madmen – with their fantasies of sexual control, spiritual purity, amateur inventions, get-rich-quick schemes, desires for authoritarian revolution (Lenin or Mussolini), and dreams of destruction by plague and bombs – are hauntingly familiar types.So for crying-out-loud, don’t worry about it.’ ‘Negging’ is presented as an equalizing strategy, a perverse inscription of the perfect marker in true equilibrium, in which every woman is available. The Red Pill Right, Bitcoin enthusiasts, gamers, PUA’s, right-wing accelerationists, tech-fetishists, paleo-dieters, and all the bestiary of the internet offer an uncanny mirror to Arlt’s ‘madmen’.