THEORY

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Re: THEORY

Postby INNIT » Thu Jul 30, 2020 3:41 pm

i'm excited to learn how many people, even on this small forum, seem to be interested in deleuze, even some 15 years after the real revival of deleuze studies took place. deleuze is no longer fashionable in theoretical circles; his relevance is waning. some of the most enthusiastic and chic "deleuzians" have moved on to other process philosophers (e.g. whitehead) or have tried to critique or think beyond the now somewhat played-out deleuzian "politics of the new" or "politics of newness" (this article by galloway being a perfect example: http://cultureandcommunication.org/gall ... k_Bloc.pdf). i personally dislike most "deleuzian" scholarship because it does little more than vapidly apply deleuze's jargons to various objects, failing to capture the 'spirit' of his thought: to actively transform inherited concepts, to cause them to change as they are redeployed. it's why i generally avoid both volumes of capitalism and shizophrenia, because these works seem to serve as toolboxes for uncreative thinkers. i love the deleuze that writes about art (his books on bacon, kafka, proust, and cinema remain my favourite). but, i have noticed that the contemporary thinkers that remain partial to deleuze's ontology seem primarily interested in the deleuze of 1k plateaus, with anti-oedipus still being too anthropocentric for their tastes, too entrenched in notions of the unconscious, filiation, etc. this tempted me to reread AO, purely because i've always been drawn to the "unfashionable" texts of otherwise popular thinkers. the following passage really struck me, and might be of interest to the folks in the other thread offering their predictions of what will happen in the US in years to come:

Here it becomes apparent that the social machine is identical with the desiring-machine. The social machine's limit is not attrition, but rather misfirings; it can operate only by fits and starts, by grinding and breaking down, in spasms of minor explosions. The dysfunctions are an essential element of its ability to function, which is not the least important aspect of the system of cruelty. The death of a social machine has never been heralded by a disharmony or a dysfunction; on the contrary, social machines make a habit of feeding on the contradictions they give rise to, on the crises the provoke, on the anxieties they engender, and on the infernal operations they regenerate. Capitalism has learned this, and has ceased doubting itself, while even socialists have abandoned belief in the possibility of capitalism's natural death by attrition. No one has ever died from contradictions. And the more it breaks down, the more it schizophrenizes, the better it works, the American way. (page 151 of the penguin version of the text)


i wonder how this passage fairs in contemporary discourse, with its extreme focus on labour shortages and ecology, and its fundamental presupposition (or presupposed conclusion) that attrition and/or the exhaustion of finite planetary resources, will indeed kill the machine, or at least release energies that the machine cannot reabsorb.
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Re: THEORY

Postby 106-2 » Thu Jul 30, 2020 6:28 pm

what a quote! need to finish 1k plateaus and get onto anti-oedipus.

I would think that it fares pretty well in the context of the reemergence of social ecologies, no? we invented the machine, so to be anthropocentric in that regard surely only makes sense. that's not to dismiss non-human components of the assemblage, but it doesn't seem helpful to consider the machine as totally divorced from its material basis. it's too hot where i am rn to be articulate but what you're saying really makes me think of jason moore's 'capitalism in the web of life'
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Re: THEORY

Postby popcorn » Fri Aug 07, 2020 8:42 pm

would precisely echo Bela's rep comment, you miss a lot of the story when you quote from Anti-Oedipus, because it's written in an incomparably elusive style, it can feel like nothing is called by the same name* twice in that book, saying this as someone who loves and is obsessed with it

I think the "No one has ever died from contradictions..." quote certainly continues to do what it always did: (1) restate the thesis claim that capitalism is a machine that writes difference onto the world and forces subjective actors into production, and (2) piss off maoists?

I would say that the argument holds up well, if you admit that capitalism writes ['inscribes'] "labour shortages" and "climate crisis" onto the world, then those phenomena do admit of understanding as ways that capitalism forces us into production. To discuss climate change contributes to individuals' desiring-production of different styles of work, different diets, different images of homes, different images of urbanity, different taboos (on beef? on dairy?), and so on. We can still say "being is," we can still say "the universe exists," "there is nothing but the eternal dao," but our discourse instead has climate change in it. Our discourse has the unemployment and eviction crises in it. These ideas animate us as much in our chatter as in mating and in our "production."

And so I prove you exactly right that it's easy to use Deleuze(-with-or-without-Guattari)'s concepts, and much harder to once again rip the sky open.
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Re: THEORY

Postby bels » Mon Aug 24, 2020 4:43 am

That anti oedipus quote is about how pointless it is to take time off work. Using your allotted holiday is a scam.
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