Sunday, August 30, 2009

Michael Hardt, Day 3

Hardt taught a class entitled "POLITICAL ACTIVISM: MULTIPLICITY & EMPIRE" where we read through three texts: Anti-Oedipus, A Thousand Plateaus (both written by Deleuze & Guattari), and Empire (written by Hardt and Antonio Negri).

This was the final day with Hardt (we were in class with Hardt from 10am until 7pm for two days and from 10am until 11pm on one day)

Day three we discuss his collaborations with Antonio Negri.

Tony's biography:
Born in 1933, trained in Political Science, State Theory; he brags that he was the youngest Italian political science professor; "He was a precocious young scholar."

The central figure for Negri's early political activity was Mario Tronti
  • They were concerned with the potential autonomy from capital and from the Party: "operaismo" where the workers themselves can produce their own subjectivity
  • Fall of 1969 - potere operaio (the workers' party), very hierarchical, but it wasn't obvious who the leader was and in 1973 the group dissolved itself because it wasn't doing the work it had set out to do
  • May of '68, the Italians say, lasted 10 years in Italy, but not in the same way as it was in Paris: the early '70s were marked by a growing clandestine fascist terrorist movement, thus in response was developed a clandestine leftist terrorist group, The Red Brigade
Two symbolic poles of the mid-70s:
Red Brigade | Autonomia
clandestine | open
violent | sometimes violent
centralized | decentralized
The Red Brigade was really focused on the spectacle; Negri was very visible in the organizing of Autonomia

There was an explosion of creativity in Bologna in 1977, but when the Red Brigade kidnapped the Prime Minister in '78 this all ended.
  • The Red Brigade saw the State as fascist and their only response could be armed struggle, so they assassinated the PM
  • The government in response passed Emergency Laws: the thinking was, "take away the water and the fish will die"
  • The context in which these leftist groups operated was criminalized, thus 6,000 people were arrested, including Antonio Negri
  • The law was such that these people could be held in prison for 2 years without charge and 4 years without trial; so Negri spent some time in prison
Italian law states that no politician can be held in prison for political actions so Negri was elected to Parliament
  • In protest to this, the Parliament went on strike to reinstate Negri's sentence
  • Negri escaped to France
  • For a time, Negri lived with Felix Guattari; he adopted the pseudonym Antoin Guattari
Hardt and Negri met in Paris in 1987.
  • Negri returned to Italy in '97 in part because the laws governing professors in France are such that one must retire at the age of 65
  • Also, there was talk at that time in Italy of reconciliation and amnesty for the '70s
  • Negri went to prison for 2 years
  • Then 2 years where he could work during the day outside the prison but had to sleep in prison each night
  • Then 2 years of house arrest
Rather than liberation of work (from the bourgeoisie to the workers) the push within Autonomia was to liberate workers from work.

Michael Hardt,
born 1960; friends with Brian Massumi, who was friends with Guattari and so Hardt was able to meet Negri in Paris.

Hardt and Negri set out to structure Empire in some interesting ways, for example each chapter would be 30 pages, end in italics, and section 1.1 would be related to section 4.1

Imperialism is no longer effective in describing or discussing the current global order. A new form of sovereignty is being generated and perhaps also a new form of power.

Monarchy, Aristocracy, Democracy - Polybius said that Rome was all three of these; Hardt and Negri wanted to refer to this composite nature when using their term Empire

Globalization has two non-communicating alternatives:
  1. nation-states are important and are in control (and should be in control)
  2. transnational entities are here and thus negate the need for the nation-state
Capitalists can't rule themselves, they need a nation-state to help contain the fire. If there is global capitalism, where no nation-state can act in the interest of global capital, then what is the form of sovereignty to be?

There is no center, there is no outside of world order today
  • rather than a world system with policed boundaries (fixed identities) there is hierarchy, yes, but within a boundlessness
  • Analyzing what would be the completed form of what we see today, not unlike Marx in his time
What are the political consequences of the presented analysis?
  • If the U.S. is still the imperialist ruler, then we should respond in some obvious ways: wars of liberation, support Iraqi resistance, etc.
  • But these don't seem to be the solutions to the problems, do they?
Agamben's State of Exception: the power is transcendent and transcendental
  • Empire sees power on a transcendental
  • How we read power dictates how we respond
Today we have a breakdown in the fixed temporality:
Three approaches to Multitude

Political - in contrast to "The People" (as a function of unity);
  • the crowd, the mass, these are multiplicities, but they are indifferent.
  • Multitude contains singularities, that which is always different.
  • The mass, the mob, these are passive and need to be lead
  • the multitude can rule and lead itself
Economic - rethinking the working class
  • Multitude as a class definition, this seeks to define where and how the working class produces
The Party - has classically been centered with an agenda
  • Multitude is without a central agenda nor structure
  • Seattle '99 was a point of recognition: media were confused by the heterogeneity of the activists; this multiplicity was nonetheless able to organize
Is it possible for the multitude to act in common? This is the challenge to Multitude
  • the William Morris epigraph, at the beginning of Empire, is there to illustrate the prevailing feeling of the times: that we cannot imagine an order outside that which we have:
  • "Men fight and lose the battle, and the thing that they fought for comes about in spite of their defeat, and then it turns out not to be what they meant, and other men have to fight for what they meant under a another name."
The cycle of struggle, how do political movements communicate?

(This is from the discussion at this point):
Bakhtin said that if we want to understand an object we must throw ourselves into it and we will understand what it is by its resistance to our advances.
Twitter creates an ambient awareness, but it asks, "What are you doing now?" when the question should be, "What should be done?"
Is it as D&G propose, that we are several? Is it the case that individual multiplicity? What composes the multitude?
D&G would say this makes the multiplicity of multiplicity

What is the continuity between Anti-Oedipus, A Thousand Plateaus, and Empire?
  • One continuity: recognizing that decoding does result in suffering and a lack of power
  • That's not to say that we don't tell everyone to stay in their right place
BwO seems to develop through AO & ATP
  • First, in its opposition to desiring machines, it's antiproductive
  • in ATP develops a necessary context in which desiring machines can produce a question of better and worse BwO's
How is democracy possible? There has to be a transformation of the people's capacity to realize their gift:
(Empire, 216) It needs a body that is incapable of adapting to family life, to factory discipline, to the regulations of a traditional sex life, and so forth. (If you find your body refusing these "normal" modes of life, don't despair - realize your gift!)
What would an example of a molecular movement that made a molar difference?

It's not either...or...: hydrogen and oxygen make a fire but also make water


Michael Hardt, Day 2 Evening Lecture UPDATE 1.10.2009

UPDATED to include video of Hardt's lecture:

Integral to the EGS curriculum are the evening lectures, which are mandatory for the students to attend.

Michael Hardt presented the first lecture of the August session, "The Common in Communism."

Hardt and Negri wrote Empire, then Multitude, and The Common will be their newest book.

The economic crisis of 2008 has similarities to talking about ecologic change: a time for revisiting Capitalism is under way or is inevitable.

Clarifying: neither public not private properties but the Common in communism. This talk is a critique of property.

To abandon the terms of freedom, democracy, etc. would upset people and ignore the work of those that have dedicated themselves to these projects over the last centuries.

How, and what, people produce and how production is organized has changed.

Marx's Relation to Private Property
  • there is a distinction made between mobile property and immobile property
  • this distinction marks the bourgeoisie of the mid-19th century
  • there is at this time a movement from rent (collector) to profit (capitalist investor)
  • Marx foresaw that all aspects of society will have to adapt to the qualities of industrial production
Industry today has to intellectualize and so there is now this movement to "immaterial" production and today's struggle is between exclusive and shared property

The notion of scarcity is no longer germane to talking about immaterial property (copyright, say)

Today we might argue that scientific production (like internet production) really requires open access to production of the past
  • The more the Common is corralled, the more production is inhibited
The battle between private property against the Common is the mark of globalization:
  • On the one hand there is the rise of privatizing extractive industries, a neoliberal mode of relating to Nature
  • On the other hand we have the artificial Common. To privatize this is problematic but it nonetheless continues.
Piracy of biological knowledge is not correct because real pirates take something more noble: real property
  • Today there is a shift back to rent rather than profit: this is what copyright does
  • Finance is relative rent not absolute rent
Christian Marazzi: the so-called Real Economy is just as fictional as the finance economy is.

What would it mean to say an object is ours not only when it is in our hands?
  • the positive content of communism is the positive expression of new thinking, new hearing, etc.
Production not only creates objects for the subjects but also produces subjects for the objects:
  • Anthropogenetic production (Marazzi) - producing man; Hardt would call this biopolitical produciton
  • Capital vol. 1: All of capitalist production are for the production of forms of social life
Foucault "Remarks on Marx"
  • cautions against humanism in "man produces man" he sees it as the destruction of who we are and the creation of something other
Capital, in other words, is producing its own grave diggers
  • The task at hand is to organize these conditions
Openness as a problematic when trying to organize
(Note to self: couldn't we think of 無爲 (wu wei)? As it says in the Dao, "the sage does nothing and in doing nothing, nothing is left undone.")

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Michael Hardt, Day 2 (2/2)

Hardt taught a class entitled "POLITICAL ACTIVISM: MULTIPLICITY & EMPIRE" where we read through three texts: Anti-Oedipus, A Thousand Plateaus (both written by Deleuze & Guattari), and Empire (written by Hardt and Antonio Negri).

A great way to supplement my notes is to use the notes he has posted on his site at Duke University.

This was a particularly informative class and so I've had to divide the notes into two postings; I do this only because I want to post notes once a day until I've posted all the notes and day 2 took me a long time to type.

Part 1 of Day 2 can be found here.

Antimimesis (Becomings)
"One of the main problems of natural history was to conceptualize the relationships between animals." In this section D&G discuss their beef with analogy. As we may have noticed earlier in these notes, D&G are against representation and in this section we get an expanded argument from them outlining their call against representation.

If I understand correctly, their problem with representation is that representation requires an original, something that has a fixed identity; to accept the notion of an original that can be re-presented is to accept also that what first appeared has not changed. Once we begin accepting representation as a mode of understanding the world it seems a short step then accept fascist representation?
So here we have a rejection of relations among animals as their function in a structure:
(ATP, 233-4) [Natural history] is very different in this respect from later evolutionism, which defined itself in terms of genealogy....[a]s we know, evolutionism would arrive at the idea an evolution that does not necessarily operate by filiation. But it was unavoidable that it begin with the genealogical motif. ...[B]ecause natural history is concerned primarily with the sum and value of differences, it can conceive of progressions and regressions, continuities and major breaks, but not an evolution in the strict sense, in other words, the possibility of a descent the degrees of modification of which depend on external conditions. Natural history can only think in terms of relationships (between A and B), not in terms of production (from A to x).
The ability for change to occur within a subject is not possible within the natural history paradigm because relationships understood in this way are based upon an externalized, transcendental Ideal-type such that A resembles B, B resembles C, etc. D&G call these comparisons series: "In the case of a series, I say a resembles b, b resembles c, etc.; all these terms conform in varying degrees to a single, eminent term, perfection, or quality as the principle behind the series." (ATP, 234)

D&G then point out the two forms of analogy that are employed, between popular analogy, "gills are to breathing under water as lungs are to breathing air;" and royal analogy, "...the heart is to gills as the absence of a heart is to tracheas [in insects]..." (ATP, 234)
  • The first example requires imagination, they say, "one has to take branchings in the series into account, fill in the apparent ruptures, ward off false resemblances and graduate true ones...." (ATP, 234)
  • "The second form of analogy is considered royal because it requires instead all the resources of understanding (entendement), in order to define equivalent relations by discovering, on the one hand, the independent variables that can be combined to form a structure and, on the other hand, the correlates that entail one another within each structure." (ATP, 234)
  • With both cases Nature is conceived as mimesis. If I understand correctly, it's not that mimicry as such is always a negative, rather, D&G are arguing against the objectivity of this mimetic quality that has transcended from the medieval theological notions of the Great Chain of Being to Jung and Levi-Strauss' arguments for a structural understanding of the symbol (they point to Levi-Strauss' work on totems, pg. 236)
If not mimesis, then?
  • the painted bird (it is not like something) doesn't represent a bird, it is a bird in the same way that a bird is a bird-becoming, just as this painting is a line-becoming-a-bird.
  • So, this is a leveling-out where there is not a hierarchy between original and copy
The question becomes: to what extent will this attack on representation in art also apply to an attack on political representation (such that representation keeps us from democratic functioning)?

All this talk about becomings has me thinking about Whitehead's Process Philosophy; Hardt tells us that Deleuze is a big fan of Whitehead.

The challenge of constitution or composition distinguishes ATP form AO

Chapters 12 and 13 were originally published as a treatise on nomadology.

What do Deleuze and Guattari mean by the State and War Machine?
"War is politics by another means," Clausewitz
D&G (as well as Foucault) invert the above statement, "Politics is war by another means."
  • Each state is a redundancy among the stratification
  • The overcoding of the despot is the resonance among the segmentations
    (NOTE: we were given three handouts which somewhat help to situate this talk about overcoding the despot; it also facilitates understanding the three syntheses. I will try to find a copy online as I vaguely recall seeing this a year ago)

War Machine
  • The primary figure of the war machine is the nomad; it is characterized by smooth space, whereas despotic machines are characterized by striated space.
  • What do we mean by smooth? They reference the desert and the steppe:
    (ATP, 384) Smooth or nomad space lies between two striated spaces: that of the forest, with its gravitational verticals, and that of agriculture, with its grids and generalized parallels, its now independent arborescence, its art of extracting the tree and wood from the forest. But being "between" also means that smooth space is controlled by these two flanks, which limit it, oppose its development, and assign it as much as possible a communicational role; or, on the contrary, it means that it turns against them, gnawing away at the forest on one side, on the other side gaining ground on the cultivated lands, affirming a noncommunicating role force or a force of divergence like a "wedge" digging in. The nomads turn first against the forest and the mountain dwellers, then descend upon the farmers.

  • War is not the object of the war machine, it is the result of the encounter between nomad and State:
    (ATP, 416-7) [A]sking if war is the object of the war machine. ...[W]e have seen that the war machine was the invention of the nomad, because it is in its essence the constitutive element of smooth space, the occupation of this space, displacement within this space, and corresponding composition of people: this is its sole and veritable positive objects (nomos). Make the desert, the steppe, grow; do not depopulate it, quite the contrary. If war necessarily results, it is because the war machine collides with States and cities, as forces (of striation) opposing its positive object: from then on, the war machine has as its enemy the State, the city, the state and urban phenomenon, and adopts as its objective their annihilation. It is at this point that the war machine becomes war: annihilate the forces of the State, destroy the State-form.

  • The State must always seek to stop the nomad:
    (ATP, 385-6) One of the fundamental tasks of the State is to striate the space over which it reigns, or to utilize smooth spaces as a means of communication in the service of striated space. It is a vital concern of every State not only to vanquish nomadism but to control migrations and, more generally, to establish a zone of rights over an entire "exterior," over all of the flows traversing the ecumenon. If it can help it, the State does not dissociate itself from the nomads.

  • State is not against migration, they are all about regulating it.
The first half of chapter 12 insists on the differences between State and war machine
The second half of chapter 12 distinguishes the relationship between State and nomad

Proposition XIV
Here we have the means by which the war machine is appropriated by the State.
  • States today are organized by a world order,
  • There is no global State that rules the war machine
  • Rather, there is a smooth global empire:
    (ATP, 461) It is an absurdity to postulate a world supergovernment that makes the final decisions. No one is even capable of predicting the growth in the money supply. Similarly, the States are affected by all kinds of coefficients of uncertainty and unpredictability. ...But that is just one more reason to make a connection between politics and axiomatics. For in science an axiomatic is not at all transcendent, autonomous, and decision-making power opposed to experimentation and intuition.

  • The enemy is not another State, but the Whichever Enemy (l'enemie quelle qu'ont)
This is an anticipatory text which sees that borders are lessening, there is a smoothing of the world order:
globalization = smoothing | states = striation
  • Previously the State deployed the war machine but now the war machine deploys the State: a violence that is coded as peace
  • The war machine needs an enemy but there is no fixity of the enemy, thus: Osama, Saddam, Noriega, etc. They are simply place holders.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Class Notes Intermission: Good Reads

Here are some links that have good reads:

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Michael Hardt, Day 2 (1/2)

Hardt taught a class entitled "POLITICAL ACTIVISM: MULTIPLICITY & EMPIRE" where we read through three texts: Anti-Oedipus, A Thousand Plateaus (both written by Deleuze & Guattari), and Empire (written by Hardt and Antonio Negri).

A great way to supplement my notes is to use the notes he has posted on his site at Duke University.

Today's class we read through A Thousand Plateaus.

If Anti-Oedipus was written with an enthusiasm of May, '68 ATP shows a certain sense of defeat.

Why is there a date corresponding to each date? Maybe an antilinear (antiprogress) order.

Caution: AO had an unrestrained quality (lines of flight are revolutionary!); ATP is more of a "yes, but..." cautionary approach. See Claire Parent's interview with Deleuze L'Abecedaire (Charles J. Stivale, trans.), particularly the section "D as in Desire" where he discusses the sense of guilt that D&G carried for some time after 1968. (See also ATP, 165)

  • these are defined by connection and heterogeneity
    (ATP, 21) [U]nlike trees or their roots, the rhizome connects any point to any other point, and its traits are not necessarily linked to traits of the same nature; it brings into play very different regimes of signs, and even nonsign states. ...It has neither beginning nor end, but always a middle (milieu) from which it grows and which it overspills. ...Unlike the tree, the rhizome is not the object of reproduction: neither external reproduction as image-tree nor internal reproduction as tree-structure. The rhizome is antigenealogy. It is a short-term memory or antimemory. The rhizome operates by variation, expansion, conquest, capture, or off-shoots.

  • the rhizome is the multiplicity that is defined not by addition but subtraction: the arboreal is n+1 (this is overcoding), the rhizomatic is n-1 (it is destabilizing in connecting)
    (ATP, 21) The rhizome is reducible neither to the One or the multiple. It is not the One that becomes Two or even directly three, four, five, etc. It is not a multiple derived from the One, or to which One is added (n+1). It is composed not of units but of dimensions, or rather directions in motion. ...It constitutes linear multiplicities with n dimensions having neither subject nor object, which can be laid out on a plane of consistency, and from which the One is always subtracted (n-1). When a multiplicity of this kind changes dimension, it necessarily changes in nature as well, undergoes a metamorphosis.

What are plateaux?
Any multiplicity connected to other multiplicities by way of superficials that extends a rhizome.
(ATP, 22) What takes place in a book composed instead of plateaus [vs. chapters, me] that communicate with one another across microfissures, as in a brain? We call a "plateau" any multiplicity connected to other multiplicities by superficial underground stems in such a way as to form or extend a rhizome. We are writing this book as a rhizome. It is composed of plateaus.
In AO and especially in ATP Deleuze &Guattari invoke dualisms to challenge all models. They bring up these contrasts in order to abandon them. This invoking of dualisms invites an examination not so much that a dialectic synthesis is achieved but so that in the intense oscillation between the two poles we come to realize how unstable these dualisms are (see Day 1 notes).
(ATP, 20) The important point is that the root-tree and canal-rhizome are not two opposed models: the first operates as a transcendent model and tracing, even if it engenders its own escapes; the second operates as an immanent process that overturns the model and outlines a map, even if it constitutes its own hierarchies, even if it gives rise to a despotic channel. It is not a question of this or that place on earth, or of a given moment in history, still less of this or that category of thought. It is a question of a model that is perpetually in construction or collapsing, and of a process that is perpetually prolonging itself, breaking off and starting up again. No, this is not a new or different dualism.
Earlier in this section, after discussing tracings and maps (below), they announce that their strategy in using these dualisms:
(ATP, 13) Have we not, however, reverted to a simple dualism by contrasting maps to tracings, as good and bad sides? ...Is it not of the essence of the rhizome to intersect roots and sometimes merge with them? ...Do not even lines of flight, due to their eventual divergence, reproduce the very formations their function it was to dismantle or outflank? But the opposite is also true. It is a question of method: the tracing should always be put back on the map. This operation and the previous one are not at all symmetrical.
They oppose tracings (tree) and maps (rhizome):
  • a tracing is a reproduction
    (ATP, 12) All of tree logic is a logic of tracing and reproduction. In linguistics as well as psychoanalysis, its object is an unconscious that is itself representative, crystallized into codified complexes, laid out along a genetic axis and distributed within syntagmatic structure. Its goal is to describe a de facto state, to maintain a balance in intersubjective relations, or to explore an unconscious that is already there from the start. ...It consists of tracing, on the basis of an overcoding structure or supporting axis, something that comes ready-made. The tree articulates and hierarchizes tracings; tracings are like the leaves of a tree. (emphases added)
  • cartography is a performance of superficial multiplicity
    (ATP, 12) The rhizome is altogether different, a map and not a tracing. Make a map, not a tracing. ...What distinguishes the map from the tracing is that it is entirely oriented toward an experimentation in contact with the real. The map does not reproduce an unconscious closed in upon itself; it constructs the unconscious. It fosters connections between fields, the removal of blockages on bodies without organs, the maximum opening of bodies without organs.... The map is open and connectable in all of its dimensions; it is detachable, reversible, susceptible to constant modification....the most important characteristics of the rhizome is that it always has multiple opposed to the tracing, which always comes back "to the same." (emphases added)

  • Deleuze & Guattari state that the mode of apprehending the world that they call tracing is dangerous:
    (ATP, 13) [I]t is inaccurate to say that a tracing reproduces the map. ...The tracing has already translated the map into an image; it has transformed the rhizome into roots and radicles. It has organized, stabilized, neutralized the multiplicities according to the axes of significance and subjectification belonging to it. ...That is why the tracing is so dangerous. It injects redundancies and propagates them. What the tracing reproduces of the map or rhizome are only the impasses, blockages, incipient taproots, or points of structuration. Take a look at psychoanalysis and linguistics: all the former has ever made are tracings or photos of the unconcious, and the latter of language.

We should note that in the above statement they say that the rhizome does contain tendencies toward structuration, what the arboreal does is to exploit those facets of the rhizomatic toward its own needs for fixity. We might think of Shephard Fairey's "Obey" as a quintessential example of this tendency in the contemporary moment. The man was co-opted to sell Barack Obama (of course this has been the tendency within graffiti culture for a minute now).
(ATP, 14) Once a rhizome has been obstructed, arborified, it's all over, no desire stirs; for it is always by rhizome that desire moves and produces. Whenever desire climbs a tree, internal repercussions trip it up and it falls to its death; the rhizome, on the other hand, acts on desire by external, productive outgrowths.
They follow the above statement with, "That is why it is so important to try the other, reverse but nonsymmetrical, operation. Plug the tracings back onto the map, connect the roots or trees back up with a rhizome." I suspect we can understand what they mean by this plugging-back-in that is nonsymmetrical by understanding what they said earlier about the subtractive nature of the rhizome (ATP, 6) "[A]lways n-1 (the only way one belongs to the multiple: always subtracted) Subtract the unique from the multiplicity to be constituted...." In other words, we are of a mass (or crowd, or people, or public, or category), but we are individuated by our efforts to be unique within this throng, we are literally subtracting ourselves from the crowd when we express our uniqueness.

Wasp & Orchid
The wasp and the orchid are brought up briefly in Anti-Oedipus (AO. 5th pr., 285) when they are discussing Samuel Butler's "The Book of the Machines" and they expanded upon the wasp and the orchid in A Thousand Plateaus. Recently the letters between D&G were published and we learn that Guattari wrote to Deleuze about a certain kind of wasp that reproduces through orchids.
  • The orchid gives-off a pheromone that leads wasps to leave their reproductive materials on the orchid and thus the flower is now able to impregnate other wasps - the wasps are of course also able to reproduce on behalf of the orchid because in the process of "mating" with what it thought was another wasp (but "was" an orchid) it has picked-up and now transmits the orchid's reproductive materials.
  • The wasp and the orchid are in a process of becoming in this way and their relationship is a rhizomorphous, heterogeneous one - they don't cease to be wasps and orchids but they become both in their doing. This is an interesting moment of deformation, I wonder what Ranciere has to say about this?
  • A fine example of what they are striving toward in discussing nonhuman sex (see Day 1)
    (ATP, 10) How could the movements of deterritorialization and processes of reterritorialization not be relative, always connected, caught up in one another? The orchid deterritorializes by forming an image, a tracing of a wasp; but the wasp reterritorializes on that image. The wasp is nevertheless deterritorialized, becoming a piece in the orchid's reproductive apparatus. But it reterritorializes the orchid by transporting its pollen. Wasp and orchid, as heterogeneous elements, form a rhizome. It could be said that the orchid imitates the wasp, reproducing its image in a signifying fashion (mimesis, mimicry, lure, etc.) But this is true only on the level of the strata....

  • This begins some discussion in the class room about mimicry. During the discussion several people (Annemarie Oliver, Amir Mogharabi, and Tom Zummer) mention Mimicry and Legendary Psychasthenia by Roger Callois.
  • It's decided that metaphor is perhaps the enemy of D&G and this talk about rhizomes is metonymy not metaphor. If we continue with the text we get:
    (ATP, 10) At the same time, something else entirely is going on: not imitation at all but a capture of code, surplus value of code, an increase in valence, a veritable becoming, a becoming-wasp of the orchid and a becoming-orchid of the wasp. ...There is neither imitation nor resemblance, only an exploding of two heterogeneous series on the line of flight composed by a common rhizome that can no longer be attributed to or subjugated by anything signifying.

Pack vs. Mass
  • Mass: equality of members, one-way transmission, large
  • Pack: small, inequalities as remainders
  • They reference Elias Canetti:
    (ATP, 33) Doubtless, there is no more equality or any less hierarchy in packs than in masses, but they are of a different kind. The leader of the pack or the band plays move by move, must wager everything every hand, whereas the group or mass leader consolidates or capitalizes on past gains. The pack, even on its own turf, is constituted by a line of flight or of deterritorialization that is component part of it, and to these which it accredits a high positive value, whereas masses only integrate these lines in order to segment them, obstruct them, ascribe them a negative sign. Canettis notes that in a pack each member is alone even in the company of others (for example, wolves on the hunt); each takes care of himself at the same time as participating in the band.

  • They see Canetti's pack subject as a schizo position in opposition to the paranoid position of the mass subject; but they don't want to only introduce a simple dualism: "There are only multiplicities of multiplicities forming a single assemblage, operating in the same assemblage: packs in masses and masses in packs." (ATP, 34)
What is an machinic assemblage?
In the beginning of Anti-Oedipus D&G mention the bricoleur - someone that is perhaps most like McGuyver in working with all materials at-hand. They begin the discussion of the bricoleur by stating that, "The schizophrenic is the universal producer." This is someone that possesses, "an indifference toward the act of producing and toward the product, toward the set of instruments to be used and toward the over-all result to be achieved." Assemblage may be understood in similar terms to bricolage:
The rule of continually producing production, of grafting production onto the product, is a characteristic of desiring-machines or of primary production: the production of production. (AO, 7)
In A Thousand Plateaus they ask (34) "What do you not have to do to produce a new sound?"

  • Assemblage is something like a concatenation, a plane of consistency such that there are constant relations of becomings:
    Becoming-animal, becoming-molecular, becoming-inhuman, each involves a molar extension, a human hyperconcentration, or prepares the way for them. In Kafka, it is impossible to separate the erection of a great paranoid bureaucratic machine form the installation of little schizo machines of becoming-dog or becoming-beetle.

(Aside: sometimes I walk my dog and I yell out my favorite line from The Trial, "Like a dog!")
There are not two multiplicities or two machines; one and the same machinic assemblage produces and distributes the whole, in other words, the set of statements corresponding to the "complex." What does psychoanalysis have to say about all of this? Oedipus, nothing but Oedipus, because it hears nothing and listens to nobody. It flattens everything, masses and packs, molecular and molar machines, multiplicities of every variety. (ATP, 34-5)
(Foucault's "deployment of sexuality" from The History of Sexuality is brought up here)

What is love?

If we consider this question we begin to see the utility of the assemblage.
(ATP, 35) What does it mean to love somebody? It is always to seize that person in a mass, extract him or her from a group, however small, in which he or she participates...; then to find that person's own packs, the multiplicities he or she encloses within himself or herself which may be of an entirely different nature. To join them to mine, to make them penetrate mine, and for me to penetrate the other person's. Heavenly nuptials, multiplicities of multiplicities. Every love is an exercise in depersonalization on a body without organs yet to be formed, and it is at the highest point of this depersonalization that something can be named...acquires the most intense discernibility in the instantaneous apprehension of the multiplicities belonging to him or her, and to which he or she belongs. (bold added)
This is not about dissolution into unity or opposites or wholes but the multiplicities in us.

This is my own contribution to these notes: We might want to liken this talk of apprehending the loved one in a crowd to William James' What Makes a Life Significant?
Every Jack sees in his own particular Jill charms and perfections to the enchantment of which we stolid onlookers are stone-cold. And which has the superior view of the absolute truth, he or we? Which has the more vital insight into the nature of Jill's existence, as a fact? Is he in excess, being in this matter a maniac? or are we in defect, being victims of a pathological anæsthesia as regards Jill's magical importance? Surely the latter; surely to Jack are the profounder truths revealed; surely poor Jill's palpitating little life-throbs are among the wonders of creation, are worthy of this sympathetic interest; and it is to our shame that the rest of us cannot feel like Jack. For Jack realizes Jill concretely, and we do not. He struggles toward a union with her inner life, divining her feelings, anticipating her desires, understanding her limits as manfully as he can, and yet inadequately, too; for he is also afflicted with some blindness, even here. Whilst we, dead clods that we are, do not even seek after these things, but are contented that that portion of eternal fact named Jill should be for us as if it were not. Jill, who knows her inner life, knows that Jack's way of taking it— so importantly—is the true and serious way; and she responds to the truth in him by taking him truly and seriously, too. May the ancient blindness never wrap its clouds about either of them again! Where would any of us be, were there no one willing to know us as we really are or ready to repay us for our insight by making recognizant return? We ought, all of us, to realize each other in this intense, pathetic, and important way. If you say that this is absurd, and that we cannot be in love with everyone at once, I merely point out to you that, as a matter of fact, certain persons do exist with an enormous capacity for friendship and for taking delight in other people's lives; and 'that such persons know more of truth than if their hearts were not so big. The vice of ordinary Jack and Jill affection is not its intensity, but its exclusions and its jealousies.
Major & Minor
Back to speaking of Kafka - Can we propose criteria for political action in using major and minor languages?
Proust said, "Every great author writes in a foreign (minoritarian) language.
Deleuze and Guattari distinguish between several modes of language: major, minor, and becoming-minor (ATP, 106)
  • major languages seek unity and uniformity
  • minor languages seek reductions in constants, and a proliferation of concepts
  • becoming-minor:
    Continuous variation constitutes the becoming-minoritarian of everybody, as opposed to the majoritarian Fact of Nobody. Becoming-minoritarian as the universal figure of consciousness is called autonomy. It is certainly not by using a minor language as a dialect, by regionalizing or ghettoizing, that one becomes revolutionary; rather, by using a number of minority elements, by connecting, conjugating them, one invents a specific, unforeseen, autonomous becoming.

  • Again they reference Canetti, this time to discuss the order-word which they say has two tones:
    (ATP, 107) Order-words bring immediate death to those who receive the order, or potential death if they do not obey, or a death they must themselves inflict, take elsewhere. ...The verdict. But the order-word is also something else, inseparably connected: it is like a warning cry or a message to flee. It would be oversimplifying to say that flight is a reaction against the order-word; rather, it is included in it, as its other face in a complex assemblage, its other component.

  • The task at-hand, then, is to transform the order-word to a line of flight, rendered positive and creative:
    (ATP, 110) For the question was not how to elude the order-word but how to elude the death sentence it envelops, how to develop its power of escape, how to prevent escape from veering into the imaginary or falling into a black hole, how to maintain or draw out the revolutionary potentiality of the order-word.

  • Hardt makes reference to the Soledad Brothers play, paraphrasing, "Yeah, Ima fly, but Ima grab a gun"
  • The issue isn't simply major or minor, but of nuance that suggests a social organization that is not of a constituted order, the constituent assembly as becoming:
    (ATP, 110) One should bring forth the order-word of the order-word. In the order-word, life must answer the answer of death, not by fleeing, but by making flight act and create. There are pass-words beneath order-words. Words that pass, words that are components of passage, whereas order-words mark stoppages or organized, stratified compositions. A single thing or word undoubtedly has this twofold nature: it is necessary to extract one from the other - to transform the compositions of order into components of passage.

  • Becoming-woman: "There is no becoming-majoritarian; majority is never becoming." (ATP, 106). So, all becoming is minoritarian. There's something difficult in the word order here because it's not that there is a woman to which we tend toward. Shouldn't it be woman-becoming or black-becoming?
What abstract machines are:
  • They are not infrastructure, they are not transcendental order
  • They have a piloting role, these construct a real-to-come, they are always prior to history.
  • Abstract machines are much more than language:
    (ATP, 141) A true abstract machine has no way of making a distinction within itself between a plane of expression and a plane of content because it draws a single plane of consistency, which in turn formalizes contents and expressions according to strata and reterritorializations. The abstract machine itself is destratified, deterritorialized; it has no form of its own (much less substance) and makes no distinction between within itself between content and expression, even though outside itself it presides over that distinction and distributes it in strata, domains, and territories. An abstract machine in itself is not physical or corporeal, any more than it is semiotic; it is diagrammatic (it knows nothing of the distinction between the artificial and the natural either). It operates by matter, not by substance; by function, not by form.
    They make the distinction between matter and substance, function and form:
    Substances are of expression "or" of content. But functions are no yet "semiotically" formed, and matters are not yet "physically" formed. The abstract machine is pure Matter-Function - a diagram independent of the forms and substances, expressions and contents it will distribute. (ATP, 141)

  • A diagram is an abstract machine that operates on matters; it allows us to see what we see, it doesn't represent the real but constructs a real for us to see.
    (ATP, 142) Defined diagrammatically in this way, an abstract machine is neither an infrastructure that is determining in the last instance nor a transcendental Idea that is determining in the supreme instance. Rather, it plays a piloting role. The diagrammatic or abstract machine does not function to represent, even something real, but rather constructs a real that is yet to come, a new type of reality. Thus when it constitutes points of creation or potentiality it does not stand outside of history but is instead always "prior to" history. Everything escapes, everything creates - never alone, but through an abstract machine that produces continuums of intensity, effects conjunctions of deterritorialization, and extracts expressions and contents. This Real-Abstract is totally different from fictitious abstraction of a supposedly pure machine of expression.

  • We can think of the Turing machine, this is certainly to what they are referring, as Foucault's Panopticon - in this way a piloting: the panopticon produces the subjects to observe as well as the power of watching over them.
How to make yourself into a BwO
The body without organs is the field where intensities can grow; the masochist is all about being affected - they use pain to bring forth a body without organs:
(ATP, 155) [I]t is claimed that the masochist, like everybody else, is after pleasure but can only get it through pain and phantasied humiliations whose function is to allay or ward off deep anxiety. This is inaccurate; the masochist's suffering is the price he must pay, not to achieve pleasure, but to untie the pseudobond between desire and pleasure as an extrinsic measure. Pleasure is in no way something that can be attained only by a detour through suffering; it is something that must be delayed as long as possible because it interrupts the continuous process of positive desire. ...In short, the masochist uses suffering as a way of constituting a body without organs and bringing forth a plane of consistency of desire.
  • Positive desire, referenced above, means that desire is not a lack of something:
    (AO, 27) Desire...becomes this abject fear of lacking something. But it should be noted that this is not a phrase uttered by the poor or the dispossessed. On the contrary, such people know that desire "needs" very few things - not those leftovers that chance to come their way, but the very things that are continually taken from them - and what is missing is not things a subject feels the lack of somewhere deep down in himself, but rather the objectivity of man, the objective being of man, for whom to desire is to produce, to produce within the realm of the real.
    (ATP, 229) There are no internal drives in desire, only assemblages. Desire is always assembled; it is what the assemblage determines it to be.
    So, to understand the masochist as engaged in the the delay of pleasure is to miss the point; their activity is not about pleasure vs. pain, but about engaging in world creation. Pleasure gets in the way of experiencing positive desire for the masochist.
    (ATP, 165) The BwO is desire; it is that which one desires and by which one desires. And not only because it is the plane of consistency or the field of immanence of desire. ...There is desire whenever there is the constitution of a BwO under one relation or another.

That the BwO is desire and desire is positive does not mean that we necessarily have a positive outcome. The BwO can go bad.
(ATP, 163) How can we fabricate a BwO for ourselves without its being the cancerous BwO of a fascist inside us, or the empty BwO of a drug addict, paranoiac, or hypochondriac? How can we tell the three Bodies apart? Artaud was constantly grappling with this problem.
These lines of flight can be suicidal:
(ATP, 165) Desire stretches that far: desiring one's own annihilation, or desiring the power to annihilate. ...That is why the material problem confronting schizoanalysis is knowing whether we have it within our means to make the selection, to distinguish the BwO form its doubles: empty vitreous bodies, cancerous bodies, totalitarian and fascist. The test of desire: not denouncing false desires, but distinguishing within desire between that which pertains to stratic proliferation, or else too-violent destratification, and that which pertains to the construction of the plane of consistency (keep an eye out for all that is fascist, even inside us, and also for the suicidal and the demented).
Here I would like to point back to the Parnet interviews (above) and the section "D as in Desire" because we can see that D&G were quite serious in their lament after May of '68, "There is a fascist use of drugs, or a suicidal use, but is there also a possible use that would be in conformity with the plane of consistency?" (ATP, 165)

  • Levinas' notion of the face of the Other is expanded here, "The face is not an envelope exterior to the person who speaks, thinks, or feels." (ATP, 167)
    (ATP, 167) Signifiance is never without a white wall upon which it inscribes its signs and redundancies. Subjectification is never without a black hole in which it lodges its consciousness, passion, and redundancies. Since all semiotics are mixed and strata come at least in tows, it should come as no surprise that a very special mechanism is situated at their intersection. Oddly enough, it is a face: the white wall/black hole system.

  • The colonialist constructs the dark Other and attributes to it racial quality and thin in negating this the colonialist forms its own identity.
    (ATP, 178) European racism as the white man's claim has never operated by exclusion, or by designation of someone as Other: it is instead in primitive societies that the stranger is grasped as an "other." Racism operates by the determination of degrees of deviance in relation to the White-Man face.... From the viewpoint of racism, there is no exterior, there are no people on the outside. There are only people who should be like us and whose crime it is not to be. The dividing line is not between inside and outside but rather is internal. ...Racism never detects particles of the other; it propagates waves of sameness until those who resist identification have been wiped out (or those who only allow themselves to be identified at a given degree of divergence). Its cruelty is equaled only by its incompetence and naivete.

  • What would be a non-dialectical racial theory? Faciality as the representation of the order of rule.
    (ATP, 180) Very specific assemblages of power impose signifiance and subjectification as their determinate form of expression... no signification without a despotic assemblage, no subjectification without an authoritarian assemblage, and no mixture between the two without assemblages of power that act through signifiers and act upon souls and subjects. ...A concerted effort is made to do away with the body and corporeal coordinates....Bodies are disciplined, coroporeality dismantled, becomings-animal hounded out.... A single substance of expression is produced. The white wall/black hole system is constructed, or rather the abstract machine is triggered that must allow and ensure the almightiness of the signifier as well as the autonomy of the subject. You will be pinned to the white wall and stuffed into the black hole.

  • Faciality is the production of what is considered normal, what is allowed to be seen (perhaps this is not dissimilar to Ranciere's discussion of the aesthetic regime?):
    (ATP, 181) This machine is called the faciality machine because it is the social production of the face, because it performs the facialization of the entire body and all its surroundings and objects, and the landscapification of all worlds and milieus.

  • The political implications of faciality, "Dismantling faciality is no mean affair. Madness is a definite danger...." (ATP, 188). First we must recognize our place in hierarchy, but in dismantling this we must ensure we don't lose our Face (lest we end up in a gas chamber)
    (ATP, 188) The organization of the face is a strong one. We could say that the face holds... a whole set of traits, faciality traits, which it subsumes and places at the service of signifiance and subjectification. ...If the face is a politics, dismantling the face is also a politics involving real becomings, an entire becoming-clandestine. Dismantling the face is the same as breaking through the wall of the signifier and getting out of the black hole of subjectivity.

How is love conceived in faciality?
There is the dismantling sense and there is the constituent sense. There are these two moments:
  1. a kind of line of flight - I become capable of loving by abandoning love and self:
    (ATP, 189) Only in the black hole of subjective consciousness and passion do you discover the transformed, heated, captured particles you must relaunch for a nonsubjective, living love in which each party connects with the unknown tracts in the other without entering or conquering them, in which lines composed are broken lines. Only on your face and at the bottom of your black hole and upon your white wall will you be able to set faciality traits free like birds, not in order to return to a primitive head, but to invent combinations by which those traits connect with lanscapity traits that have themselves been freed from the landscape and with traits of picturality and musicality that have also been freed from their respective codes.

  2. to compose these lines together like broken ones without overwhelming them:
    (ATP, 199) I no longer have any secrets, having lost my face, form, and matter. I am now no more than a line. I have become capable of loving, not with an abstract, universal love, but a love I shall choose, and that shall choose me, blindly, my double, just as selfless as I. One has been saved by and for love, by abandoning love and self. Now one is no more than an abstract line, like an arrow crossing the void. Absolute deterritorialization.

There is no guarantee that in dismantling my face this will ensure compossibility with you; we must, in the project of love, find the lines with which we make compositions:
(ATP, 205) It is also necessary to look at the various combinations: it is quite possible that one group or individual's line of flight may not work to benefit that of another group or individual; it may on the contrary block it, plug it, throw it even deeper into rigid segmentarity. It can happen in love that one person's creative line is the other's imprisonment. The composition of the lines, of one line with another, is a problem, even of two lines of the same type. There is no assurance that two lines of flight will prove compatible, compossible. There is no assurance that the body without organs will be easy to compose. There is no assurance that a love, or a political approach, will withstand it.
Micropolitics and Segmentarity
Their idea of the State:
  • an orthodox Marxist sees it as the executive officer of the bourgeoisie
  • Althusser deemphasizes the unitary State and emphasizes the institutions that function as State apparatuses
  • with Foucault we should talk about State-ification, power operates at different points
  • D&G understand the State as the resonances among centers of segmentation; not unlike Foucault:
    (ATP, 211) The central State is constituted not by the abolition of circular segmentarity but by a concentricity of distinct circles, or the organization of a resonance among centers. There are already just as many power centers in primitive societies; or, if one prefers, there are still as many in State societies. The latter, however, behave as apparatuses of resonance; they organize resonance, whereas the former inhibit it.

  • They are struggling with with the molecular nature of fascism and see a difference between fascism and totalitarianism. That fascism occurs in individuals, not only at institutional levels; there is the danger that lines of flight are not liberatory in themselves:
    (ATP, 229) This, precisely, is the fourth danger: the line of flight crossing the wall, getting out of the black holes, but instead of connecting with other lines and each time augmenting its valence, turning to destruction, abolition pure and simple, the passion of abolition. Like Kleist's line of flight, and the strange war he wages; like suicide, double suicide, a way out that turns the line of flight into a line of death.

[End of Part One]

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Michael Hardt, Day 1

Hardt taught a class entitled "POLITICAL ACTIVISM: MULTIPLICITY & EMPIRE" where we read through three texts: Anti-Oedipus, A Thousand Plateaus (both written by Deleuze & Guattari), and Empire (written by Hardt and Antonio Negri).

A great way to supplement my notes is to use the notes he has posted on his site at Duke University.

These three books pose three questions:
  1. Liberation, not emancipation. The transformation of the subject itself, it's not you but someone else, that is freed.
  2. This makes revolution troubling: it makes me not fit in the world - not fit into the world that's made by the revolution as well.
  3. Who is the Enemy? Post-'68, what it politics?
Along these lines of thinking, violence is a concern because it's a common mode. We may not touch on this because he's not really able to say much.

Four categories in Deleuze's books:
  1. Monographs in the history of philosophy (Spinoza, Leibniz, Hume, Kant, Nietzsche, Bergson, Foucault).
  2. Books on aesthetics (Proust, Masoch, Beckett, Francis Bacon)
  3. Dialogues and interviews (collected here and here)
  4. Collaborations with Guattari (Anti-Oedipus, A Thousand Plateaus, and What Is Philosophy?)
Guattari's motto might have been: "The unconscious is social!" Subjectivity is a social production; not the family, but the society and group is key to understanding the individual.

Anti-Oedipus (AO)
NOTE: I am using the 5th printing, 1990. I've noticed there are some different paginations out there.
  • Explores the relationship between social repression (Marx) and psychic repression (Freud). This is also in many ways exemplary of the ideology of May '68.
  • The unconscious is productive, as a machine. "Everything" is machines.
  • Human nature is not unlike Nature as a whole (similar to Spinoza).
  • Immanence rather than transcendence is emphasized
  • Univocity: said in one way; all the world is one, no dualist distinction between God and world. (see Difference and Repetition)
  • Machines are a-subjective and artificial (there's no difference between man, machine, and Nature - all are machinic) see AO, 2. "There is no such thing as either man or nature now, only a process that produces the one with the other and couples machines together. Producing-machines, desiring machines everywhere, schizophrenic machines, all of species of life: the self and non-self, outside and inside, no longer have any meaning whatsoever."
    AO, 4: [W]e make no distinction between man and nature: the human essence of nature and the natural essence of man become one within nature in the form of production or industry, just as they do within the life of man as a species. Industry is then no longer considered from the extrinsic point of view of utility, but rather from the point of view of its fundamental identity with nature as production of man and by man.

  • Schizophrenia: a mode of recognizing the world, doesn't separate the production and the producer. (AO, 5) "Schizophrenia is like love: there is no specifically schizophrenic phenomenon or entity; schizophrenia is the universe of production and reproductive desiring-machines, universal primary production as 'the essential reality of man and nature.'"
  • Desire: The productive synthesis, and...and...and...: it's about connecting.
    (AO, 5) [O]ne machine is always coupled with another....there is always a flow-producing machine, and another machine connected to it....Desire constantly couples continuous flows and partial objects that are by nature fragmentary and fragmented. Desire causes the current to flow, itself flows in turn, and breaks flows.
    Important to note that desire is not an expression of a lack of some object of desire; rather, desire is an act of creation, it is positive.
  • Body without Organs: organs are productive and segmented. BwO is an allusion to Artaud who coined the phrase in his radioplay To Have Done with the Judgement of God. Artaud felt all the constant productions of his eyes and ears and mouth were a form of persecution.
    (AO, 9) An apparent conflict arises between desiring-machines and the body without organs. Every coupling of machines, every production of a machine, every sound of a machine running, becomes unbearable to the body without organs. ... In order to resist organ-machines, the body without organs presents its smooth, slippery, opaque, taut surface as a barrier. ... We are of the opinion that what is ordinarily referred to as "primary repression" means precisely that: it is not a "countercathexis," but rather this repulsion of desiring-machines by the body without organs.
    BwO doesn't produce, it registers on its surface the instances of production. Capital also is anti-productive. Capital doesn't produce anything; rather, it describes how trade will occur and how it is organized. It doesn't actually produce value. Capital is a miraculating machine: only labor produces, capital records the value of labor. Thus there is a disjunction between recording and production.
  • Oedipus: The familialism of Oedipus always records the family triad which D&G think is a bad way to read desire.
    (AO, 23) The ego, however, is like daddy-mommy-me: the schizo has long since ceased to believe in it. He is somewhere else, beyond or behind or below these problems, rather than immersed in them. ... There are those who will maintain that the schizo is incapable of uttering the word I, and that we must restore his ability to pronounce this hallowed word. All of which the schizo sums up by saying: they're fucking me over again. Even Freud never went beyond this narrow and limited conception of the ego. And what prevented him from doing so was his own tripartite formula - the Oedipal, neurotic one: mommy-daddy-me. ...[W]e must not delude ourselves: Freud doesn't like schizophrenics. He doesn't like their resistance to being oedipalized, and tends to treat them more or less as animals. They mistake words for things, he says. They are apathetic, narcissistic, cut off fromreality, incapable of achieving transference; they resemble philosophers - "an undesirable resemblance."
    They resist the theatricality of the concept:
    (AO, 24) The question as to how to deal analytically with the relationship between drives (pulsions) and symptoms, between symbol and what is symbolized has arisen again and again. Is this relationship to be considered causal? Or is it a relationship of comprehension? A mode of expression? The question, however, has been posed too theoretically. The fact is, from the moment that we are placed within the framework of Oedipus - form the moment we are measured in terms of Oedipus - the cards are stacked against us, and the only real relationship, that of production, has been done away with. The great discovery of psychoanalysis was that of the production of desire, of the production of the unconscious. But once Oedipus entered the picture, this discovery was soon buried beneath a new brand of idealism: a classical theater was substituted for the unconscious as a factory; representation was substituted for the units of production of unconscious; and an unconscious that was capable of nothing but expressing itself - in myth, tragedy, dreams - was substituted for the productive unconscious.
    Representation was substituted for the production of the unconscious.
    (AO, 54-5) But who says that dream, tragedy, and myth are adequate to the formations of the unconscious, even if the work of transformation is taken into account? ... Production is reduced to mere fantasy production, production of expression. The unconscious ceases to be what it is - a factory, a workshop - to become a theater, a scene and its staging. And not even an avant-garde theater, such as existed in Freud's day (Wedekind), but the classical theater, the classical order of representation. The psychoanalyst becomes a director for a private theater, rather than the engineer or mechanic who sets up units of production, and grapples with collective agents of production and antiproduction. Psychoanalysis is like the Russian Revolution; we don't know when it started going bad. ... Oedipus is the idealist turning point. ...The fundamental notions of the economy of desire - work and investment - keep their importance, but are subordinated to the forms of an expressive unconscious and no longer to the formations of the productive unconscious.

  • Subject: subjects come after production, it is a conjunctive synthesis ("oh, that's me"). D&G are following Althusser on this point (Althusser saw that the subject is created through interpellation). The subject is formed by zones of intensity on the BwO, and we can understand this by how Judge Schreber describes his share of the pleasure (AO, 16).

    (AO, 16) It is a strange subject, however, with no fixed identity, wandering about over the body without organs, but always remaining peripheral to the desiring-machines, being defined by the share of the product it takes for itself, garnering here, there, and everywhere a reward in the form of a becoming or an avatar, being born of the states that it consumes and being reborn with each new state.

In general, D&G are arguing for production rather than representation and expression.
Usage vs. Meaning
Materialism vs. Idealism
Immanence vs. Transcendentalism
The unconscious poses no problem of meaning, but of use.
(AO, 109) The unconscious poses no problem of meaning, solely problems of use. The question posed by desire is not "What does it mean?" but rather "How does it work?" How do these machines, these desiring-machines, work - yours and mine? With what sort of breakdowns as a part of their functioning? How do they pass form one body to another? How are they attached to the body without organs? What occurs when their mode of operation confronts the social machines? ... What are the connections, what are the disjunctions, the conjunctions, what use is made of these syntheses? It represents nothing, but it produces. It means nothing, but it works. Desire makes its entry with the general collapse of the question "What does it mean?"
What are they taking from Kant: there are a number of syntheses of the unconscious and what are the legitimate and illegitimate uses of these?

Desire is revolutionary. Is it a first down payment what we mean by revolution?
(AO, 60) Oedipal desires are the bait, the disfigured image by means of which repression catches desire in the trap. ...[I]t is doubtful that incest was a real obstacle to the establishment of society.... The real danger is elsewhere. If desire is repressed, it is because every position of desire, no matter how small, is capable of calling into question the established order of society: not that desire is asocial, on the contrary. But it is explosive; there is no desiring-machine capable of being assembled without demolishing entire social sectors. Despite what some revolutionaries think about this, desire is revolutionary in its essence - desire, not leftist holidays! - and no society can tolerate a position of real desire without its structures of exploitation, servitude, and hierarchy being compromised.
Parts 1 & 2 of Anti-Oedipus are more Freudian; Part 3 is where Marx comes in.
Alliance and affiliation: alliance through families and being a family in the early stages of humanity; this is the operation of the coding of the world. This is how territory was created.
(AO, 146-7) Filiation is administrative and hierarchical, but alliance is political and economic, and expresses power insofar as it is not fused with the hierarchy and cannot be deduced from it, and the economy insofar as it is not identical with administration. Filiation and alliance are like two forms of primitive capital: fixed capital or filiative stock, and circulating capital or mobile blocks of debts. ...While production is recorded in the network of filiative disjunctions on the socius, the connections of labor still must detach themselves from the productive processes and pass into the element of recording that appropriates them for itself as quasi cause. But it can accomplish this only by reclaiming the connective regime for its own, in the form of an affinal tie or a pairing of persons that is compatible with the disjunctions of filiation. It is in this way that economy goes by way of alliance. ...At no time, therefore, does alliance derive from filiation, but both form an essentially open cycle where the socius acts on production, but also where production reacts on the socius.
These axes (filiation and alliance) code the social flows.
  • The illegitimate use of this coding would be to think of the family as a whole rather than a collection of partial units; thus 3+1 [the +1 is overcoding of the family triad (affinity) with the State (alliance)].
  • What they would say was a legitimate use of this coding would be 4+n, meaning the family and...and...and...(the conjunctive synthesis).
  • The despot machine overwrites onto the earlier primitive machine; the State takes all that alliance coding and overcodes towards the despot.
Coding and Overcoding:
The illegitimate use of this is the double bind, an exclusive or restrictive use of "or..."
(AO, 79) Double bind is the term used by Gregory Bateson to describe the simultaneous transmission of two kinds of messages, one of which contradicts the other, as for example the father who says to his son: go ahead, criticize me, but strongly hints that all effective criticism - at least a certain type of criticism - will be very unwelcome. ...It seems to us that the double bind, the double impasse, is instead a common situation, oedipalizing par excellence. ...[T]he "double bind" is none other than the whole of Oedipus. It is in this sense that Oedipus should be presented as a series, or an oscillation between two poles: the neurotic identification, and the internalization that is said to be normative. On either side is Oedipus, the double impasse. And if a schizo is produced here as an entity, this occurs for the simple reason that there is no other means of escaping this double path, where normality is no less blocked than neurosis, and where the solution offers no more of a way out than does the problem. Hence the schizo's withdrawal to the body without organs.
They celebrate an inclusive and nonrestrictive use of "or..." The illegitimate use of "or..." would be seen in sexuality: one can be only male or female, hetero or homosexual. Isn't it possible to have an openness such that we can encompass both?

survol (overflight)

The conjunctive, third synthesis:
Capital machine is a decoding machine, it works with two disjointed codes: capital and labor. The free worker is decoded from territory, they've been freed from the soil (or having access to the soil) thus violently deterritorialized and so herded into the city. They are free, but with nothing, not even a particular kind of labor.
(AO, 225) At the heart of Capital, Marx points out the encounter of two "principal" elements: on one side, the deterritorialized worker who has become free and naked, having to sell his labor capacity; and on the other, decoded money that has become capital and is capable of buying it. ... What is more, each of these elements brings into play several processes of decoding and deterritorialization having very different origins. For the free worker: the deterritorialization of the soil through privitization; the decoding of the instruments of production through appropriation; the loss of the means of consumption through the dissolution of the family and the corporation; and finally, the decoding of the worker in favor of the work itself or of the machine. And for capital: the deterritorialization of wealth through monetary abstraction; the decoding of the flows of production through merchant capital; the decoding of the States through financial capital and public debts; the decoding of the means of production through the formation of industrial capital; and so on.
Money is completely decoded wealth, my money is no different from yours; it is pure flow. Your $20 is the same $20 I have. Capital decodes all values and puts them into a plane of immanence. It melted solid relationships of the despotic era and returned it to flow. It is in this sense that capital is just like schizophrenia.

So what's the legitimate use of this synthesis?

Capital imposes an axiomatic on coded and decoded flows. Axiomatics provide a framework and at each step in that framework one can add another axiom. They aren't transcendental, they're mechanisms that do create hierarchies; capital adds an indefinite number of axioms.

The value of those who do the work is only partially shared with the laborer.

The answer isn't necessarily to withdraw from the worldmarket, but to accelerate what capital does.
(AO, 239-40) So what is the solution? Which is the revolutionary path? ...To go still further, that is, in the movement of the market, of decoding and deterritorialization? For perhaps the flows are not yet deterritorialized enough, not decoded enough, from the viewpoint of a theory and a practice of a highly schizophrenic character. Not to withdraw from the process, but to go further, to "accelerate the process," as Nietzsche put it: in this matter, the truth is that we haven't seen anything yet.
The 3 syntheses revisited
These are normative statements being made by D&G, they're saying use these syntheses in these ways:
  • 3+1 refers to the family (family = 3, mommy-daddy-me). The 3 is extrapolated, however and overcoded with "The Family" which is a category (thus the +1 is used in their formula).
  • 4+n refers to the the above four moving forward and coded over and over again (&...&...&...)
  • The legitimate use of the disjunctive can be seen in their discussion of Rimbaud's A Season in Hell as racial migration. To identify with the names of history but to have them wirtten as zones of intensity on the BwO:

    (AO, 21) There is no Nietzsche-the-self, professor of philology, who suddenly loses his mind and supposedly identifies with all sorts of strange people; rather there is the Nietzschean subject who passes through a series of states, and who identifies these states with the names of history: "every name in history is I...."
    The Oedipal is biunivocal, but that is a problematic use of the conjunctive synthesis; rather, it should be polyvocal
    (AO, 100-1) The Oedipal operation consists in establishing a constellation of biunivocal relations between the agents of social production, reproduction, and antiproduction on the one hand, and the agents of the so-called natural production of the family on the other. ...There we have a faulty use of the conjunctive synthesis, leading to the statement, "So it was your father, so it was your mother..." It is not at all surprising that only afterward is it discovered that all of this was the fathe rand the mother, since this is assumed to be the case from the beginning, but is subsequently forgotten-repressed, though still subject to a later rediscovery in relation to more recent developments. Whence the magical formula that characterizes biunivocalization - the flattening of the polyvocal real in favor of a symbolic relationship between two articulations: so that is what this meant. Everything is made to begin with Oedipus, by means of explanation, with all the more certainty as one has reduced everything to Oedipus by means of application.
    The legitimate use would be to say, "Yes, it is the mother, and the iron, and Mao Zedong..." it's nomadic and polyvocal.
  • Is the conjoined synthesis right? The illegitimate use is when identity is fixed, but the legitimate use is nomadic.
Nonhuman Sex (Part 4)
Sexuality is the result of desiring-machines, it is equally invested in social and biological spheres, it is not determined or dependent on gender, there are not two sexes (male and female) but n-sexes.

Proust and sexuality: a proliferation of sexualities,
(AO, 318) In Search of Lost Time as a great enterprise of schizoanalysis: all the planes are traversed until their molecular line of escape is reached, their schizophrenic breakthrough;
It's important to note here D&G's strategy is exactly this traversing of planes until the molecular line of escape is reached - not simply thinking something through to its logical end but of hyperbolically acting in the spirit of the propositions until, of adding intensity into the proposed action or ideas until they become unstable. This is also what they mean in the above section about Capital.
thus in the kiss where Albertine's face jumps from one plane of consistency to another, in order to finally come undone in a nebula of molecules. The reader always risks stopping at a given plane and saying yes, that is where Proust is explaining himself. But the narrator-spider never ceases undoing webs and planes, resuming the journey, watching for the signs or the indices that operate like machines and that will cause him to go on further. ...[O]h, the narrator does not homestead in the familial and neurotic lands of Oedipus... he does not remain there, he crosses these lands, he desecrates them, he penetrates them.... The perverse lands of homosexuality, where the exclusive disjunctions of women with women, men with men, are established, likewise break apart....
see Eve Sedgwick's Epistemology of the Closet
(AO, 319) The Search of Lost Time "in progress," functioning as a desiring-machine capable of collecting and dealing with all the indices. He goes toward these new regions where the connections are always partial and nonpersonal, the conjunctions nomadic and polyvocal, the disjunctions included, where homosexuality and heterosexuality cannot be distinguished any longer: the world of transverse communications, where the finally conquered nonhuman sex mingles with the flowers, a new earth where desire functions according to its molecular elements and flows.
The nonhuman sex which mingles with flowers above will be expanded upon in A Thousand Plateaus when discussing orchids and wasps. As Foucault said, it's not that sex is primary and sexuality follows from it.
Such a voyage does not necessarily imply great movements in extension; it becomes immobile, in a room and on a body without organs - an intensive voyage that undoes all the lands for the benefit of the one it is creating.
Extension above refers to the machinic assemblage that juts out; what they are seeming to suggest is that this process of auto-creation that can be illustrated by the schizophrenic is not necessarily one that must happen beyond the boundaries of our own skin.

Why is this nonhuman sexuality? Rather than a notion of sexuality derived from a molar (large) aggregate (where: this category=woman, that category=man); at the molecular level (small) we see that there are sexualities that seek to operate in these molar gaps.

The molar is a statistical aggregation on a large scale.
The molecular are linked, however fleetingly, in their lines of flight.
  • The molar is not homogeneous but can be seen as a totality (the French people)
  • The molecular is seen as a multiplicity of singularities (this person within the crowd)
How is politics possible without the molar (Party)? The molar statement might be, "We unanimously decide that..." this statement excises any dissent, because WE, Unanimously decide. (See Elias Canetti's Crowds and Power)
  • Power does not have a locus, it has a capillary effect (Foucault), in this way we can understand the molecular.
Part 4: Introduction to Schizoanalysis
The first positive task of schizoanalysis is to ask, not what it means but, how does it work?
(AO, 322) What are your desiring-machines, what do you put into these machines, what is the output, how does it work, what are your nonhuman sexes? The schizoanalyst is a mechanic, and schizoanalysis is soley functional.
What do we get from capital being axiomatic?
  • a mechanism of deterritorialization that works on decoded flows
  • although it is operating on the plane of immanence, it nonetheless creates and recreates hierarchies.
  • Deleuze & Guattari's anticapitalism involves not just overthrowing capitalism but also taking what works in capital and moving forward: push forward deterritorialization
D& G quote Marx's Capital (154):
Value...suddenly presents itself as an independent substance, endowed with a motion of its own, in which money and commodities are mere forms which it assumes and casts off in turn. Nay more: instead of simply representing the relations of commodities, it enters now, so to say, into relations with itself. It differentiates itself as original value from itself as surplus-value...(emphases added).
Money is a general equivalent, without value but also it is hierarchy:
(AO, 227) It is solely under these conditions that capital becomes the full body, the new socius or the quasi cause that appropriates all the productive forces. We are no longer in the domain of the quantum or quantitas, but in that of the differential relation as a conjunction that defines the immanent social field particular to capitalism, and confers on the abstraction as such its effectively concrete value, its tendency to concretization. The abstraction has not ceased to be what it is, but it no longer appears in the simple quantity as a variable relation between independent terms; it has taken upon itself the independence, the quality of the terms and the quantity of the relations. The abstract itself posits the more complex relation within which it will develop "like" something concrete. (emphasis added)
Rather than heading toward a point in the future they are locating a vector.