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BetweenIndividualismandSocialism:
DeleuzesMicropoliticsofDesire
by
JeffreyA.Bell
SoutheasternLouisianaUniversity
OftheimportantFrenchphilosophersofthelatterhalfofthetwentiethcentury,
GillesDeleuzestandsunquestionablyasoneofthemostinfluential.Alongside
contemporariessuchasJacquesDerridaandMichelFoucault,Deleuzeisgenerally
consideredanequalintermsofimportance.Despitethisrecognition,however,
Deleuzes
philosophyhasnotleftmuchofanimpactuponcontemporarypoliticaltheory,which
is
ironicsinceDeleuze,alongwithfrequentcoauthorFelixGuattari,dedicatedlarge
portionsofanumberoftheirbookstopoliticalquestions.Onereasonforthis
oversight,
perhaps,isduetotheattimesobscureterminologyusedbyDeleuze.Itmayalsobe
due
totheperceptionthatDeleuzespoliticaltheoryisnotgreatlydifferentfrom
Foucaults,
andthustheworkofthelatterisgivenprecedence.Whateverthereason,wefeelthat
giventherecognizedimportanceofDeleuzethereisanotableabsenceofattention
given
tohispoliticaltheory.Inthisessaywewillbegintorectifythissituation.
OurefforttoexpoundDeleuzespoliticaltheorywillattempttodothreethings.
First,weshallofferaninterpretationofseveralkeyconcepts,conceptsthatarecrucial
to
understandingDeleuzespoliticaltheoryadequately.Thereareanumberofconcepts
in
Deleuzeswork,especiallyinthebookshewrotewithGuattari,butforourpurposes
we
willfocusuponfourviz.immanence,multiplicities,assemblages,andfunction.By
clarifyingtheroletheseconceptsplayinDeleuzesworkwecanthenbegintoplace
his
thoughtinrelationshiptootherpoliticaltheories.Oursecondmainobjectivewillbeto
do

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2
justthis,tocompareandcontrastDeleuzespoliticaltheorywithwhatwewill
describeas
theindividualcenteredtheoryofRobertNozickandthesocietycenteredtheoryof
John
2

Rawls.BysettingforthDeleuzesconceptualapparatuswewilllaythegroundwork
for
demonstratingtheinadequacies,atleastfromDeleuzesperspective,ofthe
alternatives
offeredbyNozickandRawls.Withthisinplacewewillturntoourthirdandfinal
objective,whichwillbetobeginlayingoutwhatpoliticalactivismwillmeaninthe
contextofDeleuzestheory.Whatthiswillmean,weshallsee,isthatitentails
finding
thetimes,places,andcircumstancestobecomerevolutionary.
I
ThemostimportantconceptinallofDeleuzesworkisimmanence.Throughout
Deleuzespublishedwritings,immanenceisrepeatedlycontrastedwiththe
philosophies
oftranscendence,andthephilosophersDeleuzefrequentlyreturnstoScotus,
Spinoza,
Nietzsche,Leibniz,andHumeeachoffers,asDeleuzeunderstandsthem,important
contributionstothephilosophyofimmanence.Sowhatarethesecontributionsand
what
isthephilosophyofimmanence?Putsimply,aphilosophyofimmanenceisan
attemptto
understandtheemergenceofidentities,whethersocial,political,individual,
ontological,
etc.,inamannerthatdoesnotentailaconditionthattranscendstheconditioned.
Plato,
forexample,wouldofferanexplanationwheretheconditiontheFormsorIdeas
does
indeedtranscendtheconditioned.TheFormofjusticeisseparatefromandisatruth
that
transcendseachandeveryinstitutionofjusticethatmightemergeandapproximate
this
Form.
1
Aphilosophyofimmanence,bycontrast,willspeakoftheconditionasbeingin
1
NotallcommentatorswouldagreethatPlatowasaphilosopheroftranscendence.AlainBadiou,for
instance,arguesthatPlatosFormsaretheimmanencewithinwhichthethingsthatparticipateinthisform

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3
theconditioned.Spinoza,forinstance,isheldupastheprinceofphilosophersby
Deleuze,
2
andpreciselybecausehearguedthatGodisNature(DeussiveNatura),orthe
condition(God)isinandinseparablefromtheconditioned(Nature).Inclarifyingthis
point,Deleuzedifferentiatesbetweenanemanativeandanimmanentcause.An
emanativecause,Deleuzeargues,producesthroughwhatitgives,butisbeyond
what
itgives;animmanentcause,ontheotherhand,isonewhereitseffectisimmanate
in
3

thecause,ratherthanemanatingfromit.Whatdefinesanimmanentcauseisthatits
effectisinitinit,ofcourse,asinsomethingelse,butstillbeingandremainingin
it.
3
Aconsequenceofthisunderstandingofimmanenceistheequalityofbeing,orthe
nonhierarchicalnatureofreality.Deleuzeisclearonthispoint:Fromtheviewpoint
of
immanencethedistinctionofessencedoesnotexclude,butratherimplies,anequality
of
being:itisthesamebeingthatremainsinitselfinthecause,andinwhichtheeffect
remainsasinanotherthing.
4
Inotherwords,unlikePlatosFormswheretheFormisthe
conditionthatisbeyond(transcends)theconditionedandoperatesasthesuperior
model
theconditionedcanonlyapproximate,animmanentconditioncontainsthe
conditioned
withinit,notasadegradedimitationbutasamodificationofthebeingofthe
condition
itself.Tociteanexample,andanexamplethatwillbecomemoreimportantlateron
as
wedevelopthepoliticaltheoreticalimplicationsofDeleuzesphilosophy,capitalism
is
forDeleuzeasystemofimmanentcausation.Inanessaydetailinghisaffinitywith
Marxism,whyinfactDeleuzeandGuattariremainMarxists,Deleuzearguesthatit
is
appear.SeeAlainBadiou,Deleuze,translatedbyLouiseBurchill(Minneapolis:UniversityofMinnesota
Press,2000).
2
Spinoza:ExpressionisminPhilosophy,translatedbyMartinJoughin(NewYork:ZoneBooks,1990),p.
11.
3
Ibid.,p.172.
4
Ibid.

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4
preciselybecauseMarxoffersananalysisofcapitalismasanimmanentsystemthat
continuallyredrawsitsproperlimits,andthatalwaysfindsitselfincreasingbysteps,
for
thelimitisCapitalitself.
5
Wheneveranewmarketisdiscoveredoropened,thismarket
becomesincorporatedintotheCapitalistsystemitself,thoughanexpandedsystem
(e.g.
theexpansionofcapitalismintoChinawherelaborandtheproductsoflaborbecome
commodities).Theseexpandedlimitsareaneffectofcapitalismbutarewithin
capitalism
itselfasaneffectinthecause.Moreover,asanimmanentsystemcapitalismentailsa
fundamentalequalityofbeinginthatallthingsareequalinsofarastheyare
commodities
4

theycanbeboughtandsoldontheopenmarket.
RelatedtoDeleuzesemphasisonthephilosophyofimmanencearetwofurther
conceptsunivocityandmultiplicity.UnivocityissimplythetermDeleuzeuses,
borrowingitfromDunsScotus,torefertotheequalityofbeing.Thereisnota
hierarchy
ofbeing,butratherbeingisexpressedinthesamesensetheconditionand
conditioned
eachexpressesthesamebeingwhereasthePlatonicpositionholdsthatsomebeings
(theForms)expressmorebeingthanothers.Onecannotsay,accordingtoPlato,that
the
eternal,unchangingformsareinthesamesensethatthethingsofthemortaland
changingworldare,andyetthisisjustwhatScotus(andDeleuze)argues.Tiedto
univocityistheconceptofmultiplicity.Multiplicityemergesasanecessaryconcept
for
Deleuzebecauseofhisphilosophyofimmanenceandtheattendantequalityofbeing.
As
5
GillesDeleuze,Pourparlers(Paris:LesditionsdesMinuit,1990),p.232.Translationmine.Thissame
pointwasmadeseveraltimesinDeleuzesearlywork,AntiOedipus.Tocitejustoneexample,Deleuze
andGuattariarguethatItisinfactessentialthatthelimitofthedecodedflowsofdesiringproductionbe
doublyexorcised,doublydisplaced,oncebythepositionofimmanentlimitsthatcapitalismdoesnotcease
toreproduceonaneverexpandingscale,andagainbythemarkingoutofaninteriorlimitthatreducesthis
socialreproductiontorestrictedfamilialreproduction.AntiOedipus:CapitalismandSchizophrenia
translatedbyRobertHurly(Minneapolis:UniversityofMinnesotaPress,1983),p.304.Theconceptof
decodedflowsanddesiringproductionwillbeclarifiedbelowaswediscusstheconceptsof
multiplicityandassemblages.

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Deleuzedefinesmultiplicity,itisonlywhenthemultipleiseffectivelytreatedasa
substantive,multiplicity,thatitceasestohaveanyrelationtotheOneassubjector
object,naturalorspiritualreality,imageandworld.
6
Inotherwords,forDeleuzea
multiplicityiswhathewouldcallanomadicdistributionofafundamentallynon
hierarchicalbeing(univocity),adistributionthatcannotbereducedtoidentifiable
unities.
DeleuzeandGuattariarestraightforwardonthispoint:
Therhizome[ormultiplicity
7
]isreducibleneithertotheOnenorthemultiple.It
isnottheOnethatbecomesTwoorevendirectlythree,four,five,etc.Itisnota
multiplederivedfromtheOneortowhichOneisadded(n+1).Itisnot
composedofunitsbutofdimensions,orratherdirectionsinmotion.Ithasneither
beginningnorend,butalwaysamiddle(milieu)fromwhichitgrowsandwhichit
overspills.
8
TounderstandamultiplicityintermsoftheOneorasamultipleofunits(the
Frenchwordusedhereisunits,whichmeansbothunitsandunities)wouldbeto
relateit
toaprivilegedformofbeing,toabeingthatoperatesasemanativecauseinthatthe
5

thingsthatcometobeidentifiedcometobebyvirtueofaOneormultiplethat
transcends
them.SocratesmakesthispositionclearintheEuthyphro.Itisnotthediversityand
multiplicityofpiousactionsthatinterestsSocrates,butratherhewantstoknowwhat
is
characteristicofpietywhichmakesallpiousactionspious.(6e).Whatevertheir
apparentdiversity,thereisfromtheperspectiveofPlatoaprivilegedunitythatis
superior
tothediversityitconditions.Inthecontextofpoliticalreality,togiveanother
example,
theviewoftheOneorthemultiplemanifestsitselfwithinthetheoriesthateithersee
the
Stateasbasedupontherightsandlibertiesofindividuals(i.e.,asmultipleunits)or
they
prioritizethewelfareofsocietyasawhole(i.e.,theOne).Ineithercase,theproblem
with
6
AThousandPlateaus,p.8.
7
Ibid.p.9:ThepointisthatarhizomeormultiplicityneverallowitselfInnumerousotherplaces
rhizomesandmultiplicitiesareusedinterchangeably.
8
Ibid.p.21.

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6
thisviewforDeleuzeisthatitfailstorecognizethefactthatpoliticalidentities,
whether
theybeindividuals,societies,classes,rights,etc.,havetobeconstituted.Political
identities(units)arenotapreordainedgivenbutareconstitutedandcomeintobeing
by
virtueofamultiplicityofcontingentfactorsandconditions.Apeopleisnt
something
preexistent,Deleuzeargues,butissomethingthatisconstituted.
9
Anditiswiththe
conceptofmultiplicitythatDeleuzebeginstoaccountforhowidentitiescometobe
constitutedwithouttheneedforatranscendent,emanativecause.
ThisbringsustothenextconceptthatiscrucialtoDeleuzesworkassemblages.
Anassemblage,asthenameitselfmightsuggest,isaconstituted(assembled)identity
thatisinseparablefromamultiplicity.Tostatethiswithconceptsdiscussedabove,an
assemblageisanimmanenteffectofamultiplicityasimmanentcause,andthusan
assemblageisinseparablefrommultiplicities.Wecanclarifythispointbyturningto
the
analysisofdesirethatDeleuzeandGuattariofferintheirtwoCapitalismand
Schizophreniabooks.InAntiOedipus,forexample,desireisfromthestartarguedto
be
productive.ThiswasFreudsgreatinsight,atleastasDeleuzeandGuattarisawit,but
the
6

productionsofdesirecametobeseenbyFreudaspredeterminedbytheOedipal
triangle
ofmommydaddymewhatDeleuzeandGuattaricallthetriangulationofdesire.
For
DeleuzeandGuattaridesire,farfrombeingpredeterminedbyidentity,isunderstood
to
bethemultiplicitythatproducesidentitiesdesiringproductionispuremultiplicity,
thatistosay,anaffirmationthatisirreducibletoanysortofunity.
10
Desireisfor
Deleuzeanassemblagethentotheextentthatitbothentailstheproductionofan
identity
(i.e.,asimmanentcause)anditentailsthedesiringproductions(whatDeleuzecalls
lines
9
Mediators,inIncorporations,p.2856.
10
AntiOedipus,p.42.

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7
offlight)thateludeandtransgressthelimitssetforthbyanassemblage.Thislimit
comestobeidentifiedbyDeleuzeandGuattariasschizophrenia.Thereisthusadual
aspecttoanassemblage,ortwopolesthereiswhatDeleuzewillcallthefascistand
paranoiacpolethatreturnseveryproductiontoanalldeterminingidentity,andthere
is
theschizophrenic(sometimesalsocalledcancerous)poleofadesiringproductionthat
failstomaintaintheimmanentlimitsnecessaryforproperfunctioning.Desiring
productionsforeverriskcollapsingintothestrangleholdoffascismwhereindesire
desires
itsownrepression,oritrisksexplodingintoaselfdestructivechaos.Tostatethis
point
yetagainbutwithadifferentexample,artisticproductionsriskeithercollapsinginto
the
clichofrepeatingthesamewellwornformulas,ortheyriskbecomingso
unconstrained
andchaoticthattheyfailtosayanything.
Atthispointarelatedconcept,function,comesintouse.Itisalsoherewhere
DeleuzesworkdovetailswiththatofFoucaults.Inparticular,Deleuzefindsan
affinity
betweenFoucaultseffortstoaccountfortherelationshipbetweendiscursiveandnon
discursivepracticesandhisowneffortstoaccountforanassemblagethatentailsboth
the
bounded,consistent,andidentifiableandtheunbounded,nomadic,andnon
identifiable
(linesofflight).AsDeleuzeunderstandsFoucaultsattempttogivesuchan
accounting,
hebelievesHjelmslevsnotionofthesignfunctionclarifiesFoucaultsproject.In
particular,DeleuzedevelopsHjelmslevsnotionthatthedistinctionandrelationship
7

betweenexpression(i.e.,discursive)andcontent(i.e.,nondiscursive)ismade
possible
bywhathereferstoasthesignfunction:Wehavehereintroducedexpressionand
contentasdesignationsofthefunctivesthatcontractthefunctioninquestion,thesign

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8
function.
11
ExpressioncorrespondsroughlytowhatFerdinanddeSaussurereferredtoas
thesignifier,andcontentcorrespondstowhathehadcalledthesignified.Hjelmslev,
however,willbreakwithSausurresclaimthatthereisanamorphous,unformed
meaning
orcontentwhichprecedesthelanguagewhichwillmoldandformit.
12
Saussure,inother
words,adherestotheviewthatmeaningistheemanativecauseofouractual
language
anddiscourse.ForHjelmslev,however,thoughtsdonotprecedetheirexpressions.
The
meaningisalwaysalreadyproducedwithinalanguage(asimmanenteffect),a
language
thatisparadoxicallyboththediscursiveandnondiscursive).Forthisreason
Hjelmslev
willfurthersubdivideexpressionandcontent,adivisionwhichoccursbyvirtueofthe
signfunctionalone,intocontentform/contentsubstance,andexpression
form/expressionsubstance.
13
Thus,forexample,thecontentsubstanceoftheEnglish
expressionIdontknow,isthemeaningwhichcanbeexpressedinotherlanguages

e.g.,jegvddetikke(Danish),jenesaispas(French).Thiscontentsubstance,
however,doesnotexistindependentlyofacontentform,orasanamorphous,
unformed
meaning.Thelanguageitself,therefore,alreadypresentsagivencontentsubstance
witha
particularform,aformwhichHjelmslevpointsoutcandifferdramaticallyfromone
languagetothenexti.e.,grammaticalstructuresorformscanvarygreatly(e.g.,the
differencebetweenFrenchandEnglishwithrespecttonegation,Idonotknow,Je
ne
saispas).Ontheotherhand,theexpressionalsohasbothasubstanceandaform.
The
expressionsubstanceofthewordBerlin,forexample,issimplytheworditselfas
expressedbydifferentpeopleindifferentlanguages;andtheexpressionformisthe
word
11
LouisHjelmslev,ProlegomenatoaTheoryofLanguage
(Madison:UniversityofWisconsinPress,
1969),p.48.
12
Ibid.,p.50.
13
8

Ibid.,p.57.

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9
Berlinasexpressedwiththephonetichabitsandtraitsofaparticularlanguagei.e.,
it
isBerlinexpressedwithanEnglishorSpanishaccentforexample.
DeleuzefindsthissamepairofdistinctionsinFoucaultswork.Inparticular,
Foucaultsdistinctionbetweendiscursiveandnondiscursivepracticesisunderstood
by
DeleuzetobemadepossiblebyafunctionanalogoustoHjelmslevssignfunction.
There
isthusadiscursivepracticeconcernedwithdiscipline,thesubstanceofwhichis,
among
otherthings,thecriminal/delinquent;andthereisaformtothesediscursivepractices,
i.e.,
theexpressedaims,purposes,andproceduresforpunishingthedelinquent.Thesame
holdsfornondiscursivepractices:thesubstanceforexamplewouldbetheconcrete
structureoftheprisonwherecriminalsanddelinquentsareheld;andtheformwould
be
themannerinwhichsuchpeopleareheld,suchasJeremyBenthamsPanopticon
design
fortheprison.
14
Theimportanceoffunctionasthatwhichgivesrisetothedistinctionandrelationship
betweendiscursiveandnondiscursivepracticesiscentral,accordingtoDeleuze,to
Foucaultsattemptstoovercomethedilemmaofsubjectivismandstructuralism,or
what
Deleuzeargued(discussedabove)wasthedilemmaofthinkingofmultiplicitieseither
in
termsofanindentifiablesubjectorobject,ineithercasenotasmultiplicitybutasOne
or
multiple.Thesystemofexpressionandcontent,orthesystemofdiscursiveandnon
discursivepractices,shouldbeunderstoodthenasproducts(functivestoborrown
Hjelmslevsterm)ofamoreprimaryfunctionthatallowsfortherelationshipbetween
the
twosystemswithoutpresupposingthepriorityofonesystemovertheother(asin
subjectivism[subject]andstructuralism[object]).Thisisthenewreadingwhich
Deleuze
14
SeeGillesDeleuze,Foucault(Minneapolis:UniversityofMinnesotaPress,1985),p.33.

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10
givestoHjelmslevsclaimthatexpressionandcontentarefunctivesofthesign
function.
Thesignfunctionisnottobeconfusedwithitsfunctives;likewise,thediagram,
whichis
9

FoucaultstermforwhatDeleuzecallsfunction,isnottobeconfusedwiththe
systemsor
strataitmakespossible.AsDeleuzeputsit,thediagramalwaysrepresentsthe
outsideof
thestrata,
15
oritisalwaysoutsideidentifiablediscursiveandnondiscursivepractices.
ThetermdiagraminFoucaultsworkthusplaysanimportantrole,anditsimportance
shouldnotbeunderestimated;furthermore,thetermsdiagram(ordiagrammatics)and
abstractmachineplayanequallyimportantroleinDeleuzeandGuattarischief
works.In
AThousandPlateaus,forexample,theysituatetheirowntermabstractmachinein
the
contextoftheirefforttounderstand,laFoucault,thefundamentalconditionforthe
possibilityoftherelationshipbetweendiscursiveandnondiscursivesystems:
...thetwoforms[ofcontentandexpression]areinreciprocalpresupposition,and
theycanbeabstractedfromeachotheronlyinaveryrelativewaybecausetheyare
twosidesofasingleassemblage.Wemustthereforearriveatsomethinginthe
assemblageitselfthatisstillmoreprofoundthanthosesidesandcanaccountforboth
oftheformsinpresupposition,formsofexpressionorregimesofsigns(semiotic
systems)andformsofcontentorregimesofbodies(physicalsystems).Thisiswhat
wecalltheabstractmachine,whichconstitutesandconjugatesallofthe
assemblagescuttingedgesofdeterritorialization.
16
WecannowbegintoputtogethertheconceptualpiecesofDeleuzescomplex
philosophicalapparatus(i.e.assemblage).Desire,aswehaveseen,isamultiplicity,
meaningthatitoperatesasanimmanentcauseanddoessowithoutbeingreducibleto
the
predeterminingunityoftheOneorthemultiple.Becauseitoperateswithoutthe
predeterminingcausation(emanatecausation)oftheOneorthemultiple,desiring
15
Ibid.,p.85.
16
GillesDeleuzeandFelixGuattari,AThousandPlateaus(Minneapolis:UniversityofMinnesotaPress,
1987),pp.1401.

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11
productionisforeveratwofoldassemblage(orassemblages),anassemblagewith
two
sides.Ononesidetherearetheidentifiableelementsandontheotherthenon
identifiable,oragainthereisonesidewhichallowsfortheconstitutionofidentityand
thenthereistheotherwhichconstantlyunderminesanddismantlestheseidentities.
17
And
itistheabstractmachine,orDeleuzeandGuattarisversionofthesignfunction,that
constitutesanassemblage;itistheabstractmachinethatisthefunctionthatenables
an
assemblagetohavearelationshiptothoseelementsthatareidentifiableandtothose
nomadiclinesofflightthatundermineandtransformtheseidentifiableelements.
10

II
WehavesufficientlydiscussedtheconceptsnecessarytoturnnowtoDeleuzes
politicaltheory,andinparticulartoacomparisonofthistheorywiththoseofNozick
and
Rawls.Aswedosowefindyetanotherconceptmakingitsappearance
segmentarity.
Thisconcept,however,simplyextendsDeleuzesunderstandingofanassemblage,as
becomesapparentwhentheconceptisfirstdiscussed:thenotionofsegmentaritywas
constructedbyethnologiststoaccountforsocalledprimitivesocieties,whichhaveno
fixed,centralStateapparatusandnoglobalpowermechanismsorspecializedpolitical
institutions.Inthesesocieties,thesocialsegmentshaveacertainleeway,betweenthe
twoextremepolesoffusionandscission.
18
Inotherwords,ethnologistsconfronted
socialassemblagesthatcouldnotbefitintothepredeterminingidentitiesand
unitiesof
17
See,forexample,ThousandPlateaus,p.4:Onesideofamachinicassemblagefacesthestrata,which
doubtlessmakeit[theassemblage]akindoforganism,orsignifyingtotality,ordeterminationattributable
toasubject;italsohasasidefacingabodywithoutorgans,whichiscontinuallydismantlingtheorganism,
causingasignifyingparticlesorpureintensitiestopassorcirculate
18
ThousandPlateaus,p.209.

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12
theStateorpoliticalinstitutions,andtheseassemblages,moreover,haveasone
potential
fusion(fascism)andscission(chaos)astheother.Theassemblagesaretherefore
assemblagesoflooseidentities(segmentshaveacertainleeway)thatare
identifiable
toanextentbutatthesametimeentailnomadicelementsthatfailtofitarigid
predetermination.Asexamplesofsegmentarity,DeleuzeandGuattarispeakofhow
our
livesaresegmentedintoworkandplay,menwomen,adultschildren,familyand
friends
andstrangers,classes,races,etc.Notallsegmentsarealike,however,asDeleuzeand
Guattariargue,fortherearewhattheywillcallmolarandmolecularsegments.The
molar/moleculardistinctionisnottobemistakenforafundamentaleither/or;rather,
the
looseidentitiesthataresegmentscanbemoreloose,moresupple,thanothers,and
someinfact,themolar,canbecomequiterigid.
19
Womanasanassemblage,canbea
molarsegmentifthepractices,behaviors,expectations,geneticpredispositions,etc.,
are
rigidandresistanttochange.Ontheotherhand,womancanbeamolecular
segmentif
itissuppleandsubjecttofrequentandperhapsunanticipatedvariations.Some
attitudes
andexpectationsofwomenasasegmentmaybemuchmoresupplee.g.,
11

mannerisms,fashion,taste,expression,etc.andtheymaybeapplicableinaway
thatis
muchmoresupplethanwouldbeallowedbymolarsegments.Homosexualmenand
womenmaybedividedasmolarsegments,buttheymayeachsharemolecular
segments
suchasexpressions,taste,desireformen,etc.Morebasically,maningeneral,asa
molar,
rigidsegment,maybecomefeminine,orbecomassemblageswithfemininesegments
that
aresuppleandflexible(e.g.,emotionality,nurturing,etc.).Eachsocietyisconstituted
of
bothmolarandmolecularsegments,orasDeleuzeandGuattariputit,everypolitics
is
19
Ibid.,p.210:weshouldmakeadistinctionbetweentwotypesofsegmentarity,oneprimitiveand
supple,theothermodernandrigid.

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13
simultaneouslyamacropoliticsandamicropolitics.
20
Moreover,macroand
mircropoliticscannotbereducedtobeingconstituteduponthebasisoftheidentityof
individualsorsociety(Oneormultiple),butrathertobeingamultiplicityofvariations
andflowsi.e.,flowsofdesiringproduction.DeleuzeandGuattariareclearonthis
point:
intheend,thedifferenceisnotatallbetweenthesocialandtheindividual(or
interindividual),butbetweenthemolarrealmofrepresentations,individualor
collective,andthemolecularrealmofbeliefsanddesiresinwhichthedistinction
betweenthesocialandtheindividuallosesallmeaningsinceflowsareneither
attributabletoindividualsnorovercodablebycollectivesignifiers.
21
Thisstatementfollowsfromtheclaimthat
Desireisneverseparablefromcomplexassemblagesthatnecessarilytieinto
molecularlevels,frommicroformationsalreadyshapingpostures,attitudes,
perceptions,expectations,semioticsystems,etc.Desireisneveran
undifferentiatedinstinctualenergy.
22
Desireisanassemblage.Assuchtheproductsandidentitiesthatareinseparable
fromdesireareforeversubjecttotheunderminingeffectsofnomadicflows,linesof
flight,thattransgressthesegmentsandcauseatransformationoftheassemblages.
Thisis
thecreativityofdesire,thepossibilityithastotransformassenblages,whetherthey
be
political,artistic,philosophical,etc.,butthiscreativityalsorunstheriskoffascism,
and
thereasonforthisissimple.Sincethemolar,rigidsegmentsmaintaintheidentityof
our
desires,theykeepourdesiresincheck,theyalsopreventdesirefromexplodinginto
12

chaosanddisorder.Asaresultweall,atsomelevel,haveapotential,molecular
desire
forfascism:Oursecurity,thegreatmolarorganizationthatsustainsus,the
20
Ibid.p.213.
21
Ibid.p.219.
22
Ibid.p.215.

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14
arborescencesweclingto,thebinarymachinesthatgiveusawelldefinedstatus,the
resonancesweenterinto,thesystemofovercodingthatdominatesuswedesireall
that.
23
Attheotherendthecapitalistsystem,andhereDeleuzeandGuattarisinterestin
Marxismbecomesprominent,isasystemofimmanentcausationandcreativitythat
foreverattemptstostaveoffitsultimatelimit,whichistheunlimited,unchecked
transformationofeverythingintocommodities.InAntiOedipusDeleuzeandGuattari
identifythisuncheckedlimitasschizophrenia,orthechaosthatisthepossibilityof
every
assemblage.Inbothcases,whetherfascismorcapitalism,creativity,thecreativitythat
avoidsthetwopoles,issundered.Itistotherestorationofthiscreativitythat
Deleuzes
micropoliticsisdirected.ButbeforeweturntotheproposalsDeleuzeoffersinthis
regard,letusfirstcompareandcontrastDeleuzespoliticaltheorywiththatofNozick
andRawls.
RobertNozickshighlyinfluentialbook,Anarchy,State,andUtopia,isan
unabashedlyoutspokenmanifestoindefenseofindividualliberties.Nozickmakeshis
startingpointperfectlyclear:weshallbeginwithindividualsinsomething
sufficiently
similartoLockesstateofnaturesothatmanyoftheotherwiseimportantdifferences
maybeignoredhere.
24
OfparticularapplicationtoNozickstheoryisLockesstarting
assumptionthatindividualsinastateofnatureareinastateofperfectfreedomto
order
theiractionsanddisposeoftheirpossessionsandpersonsastheythinkfit,withinthe
boundsofthelawofnature,withoutaskingleaveordependencyuponthewillofany
otherman.
25
Nozickthenusesthisbasicpremisetothencriticizegovernmentalaction
23
Ibid.p.219
24
RobertNozick,Anarchy,State,andUtopia(NewYork:BasicBooks,1974),p.9.
25
Ibid.p.10.ThiscitationisfromLockesSecondTreatise,editedbyPeterLaslett(Cambridge:
CambridgeUniversityPress,1988),p.269.

Page 15
15
13

thatisjustifiedforthesakeofagreater,socialgood.Awelfarestate,forinstance,that
justifiestheredistributionofwealthonthegroundsthatsocietyasawholewillbe
better
servedinthiswayultimatelyviolatesthefreedomofindividualstodisposeoftheir
possessionsandpersonsastheythinkfit.Yetwhynot,Nozickasks,holdthat
some
personshavetobearsomecoststhatbenefitotherpersonsmore,forthesakeofthe
overallsocialgood?
26
Nozickanswershisownquestion,andmakeshispositionquite
definitive:Butthereisnosocialentitywithagoodthatundergoessomesacrificefor
its
owngood.Thereareonlyindividualpeople,withtheirownindividuallives.Using
oneof
thesepeopleforthebenefitofothers,useshimandbenefitsothers.Nothingmore.
27
FromtheperspectiveofDeleuzespoliticaltheory,Deleuzewouldagreethat
thereisnosocialentitythattranscendsthedesires,interests,andfreedomsof
individuals;
however,Deleuzealsoargues,aswesaw,thatneitherarethereareindividualsas
transcendentpredeterminingunities.Bothindividualentitiesandsocialentitiesare
created,ortheyareassemblages(i.e.,assemblagesofmolarandmolecularsegments).
Howaretheycreated(assembled)?Toanswerthisquestionweadoptourearlier
conclusionsregardingDeleuzesunderstandingoftheconceptfunction,usinghere
the
termcreativefunction(aswillbecomeclearwhylater).Thecreativefunction
operatesas
whatDeleuzeandGuattarireferredtoasanabstractmachine,andwhatitdoesisto
allow
formultiplicitiestobecomeidentifiableasanassemblageofsegments(molarand
molecular),anditallowsforthemultiplicitiesimmanenttothesesegmentsto
transform
thesegmentsthemselvesinotherwords,thecreativefunctionistheconditionfor
the
possibilityofidentifyingindividualandsocialentitiesanditistheconditionforthe
26
Ibid.p.32.
27
Ibid.pp.323.

Page 16
16
impossibilityoftheseentitiesmaintainingtheseidentities.Thecreativefunction(the
abstractmachine)assuresthebecomingotherofanyandeveryidentity.Contrasting
this
viewofthecreativefunctionwithothercontemporaryviewsofcreativity,in
particular
MiltonFriedmanslibertarian(andhenceNozickinspired)arguments.
Theclaimthatcompetitioninafreemarketgeneratescreativityandinnovationis
14

acceptedbymanyasanuncontestedfact.AsMiltonFriedmandiscussesthe
importance
ofafreemarketinhisbook,CapitalismandFreedom,hestatesthatwhatiscrucialto
it
isthatitbebaseduponvoluntaryexchanges.Onlythencanonepreventatotalitarian
(or
whatFriedmanwillalsorefertoasasocialist)statewhereexchangesare
predeterminedand/orrestricted.Inafreemarketeconomyaconsumerisnotcoerced
into
buyingaproductunlesstheywantto,andaslongasthereareotherconsumersselling
the
sameproducttheywillnotbecoercedintobuyingfromparticularsellers.Afree
market
economy,Friedmanstates,hastwonecessaryconditions:(a)thatenterprisesare
private,
sothattheultimatecontractingpartiesareindividualsand(b)thatindividualsare
effectivelyfreetoenterornotoenterintoanyparticularexchange,sothatevery
transactionisstrictlyvoluntary.
28
Insuchafreemarketeconomy,asellerofgoodsmust
competewithothersellers,anditisthiscompetition,asthegeneralargumentruns,
that
generatescreativityandinnovation.
Friedmansassumption,inshort,isthatindividualsfunctionasanalready
constitutedgiven,anditisthefreedomoftheseindividualstoenterintovoluntary
exchangesthatgivesrisetothecreativityandinnovationofcapitalism.Deleuzes
point,
however,isthatindividualsarenotanalreadyconstitutedpregiven;moreover,in
many
28
MiltonFriedman,CapitalismandFreedom(Chicago:UniversityofChicagoPress,1962),p.9.

Page 17
17
waysindividualsthemselves,theirdesires,beliefs,etc.(i.e.,theirmolecularsegments)
areconstitutedandreinforcedbywhatFelixGuattarireferstoasthesteamrollerof
capitalism.
29
Inordertoguaranteeareturnonaninvestmentacapitalistinvestormust
predictthedesiresandchoicesofindividuals,butifthesystemofcapitalismcanitself
producewithinindividualsahomogenizedsetofpredictabledesires,choices,and
beliefs,
thenthecapitalistreducestheirrisk.Theideallyconstitutedandassembledindividual
willbeonewhokeepscomingbackformoreofthesame.Thisgetstotheheartof
DeleuzeandGuattarisaestheticcritiqueofcapitalismandtheircalltoinstillartinto
everydaylife.InDifferenceandRepetition,forexample,Deleuzearguesthat
thereisnootheraestheticproblemthanthatoftheinsertionofartintoeveryday
life.Themoreourdailylifeappearsstandardized,stereotypedandsubjecttoan
acceleratedreproductionofobjectsofconsumption,themoreartmustbeinjected
15

intoitinordertoextractthatlittledifferencewhichplayssimultaneouslybetween
otherlevelsofrepetition,andeveninordertomakethetwoextremesresonate
namely,thehabitualseriesofconsumptionandtheinstinctualseriesof
destructionanddeath.
30
Theinjectionofartintoeverydaylifeisthusaformofrevolttothetendencyof
capitalismtocreateasteamrolledindividual,andindividualwithhomogenized,
predictablysegmenteddesires.Andwhatthisinjectionentailsistomakethetwo
extremesresonate.Theseextremesarethetwosidesofanyandeveryassemblage
on
theonesideistheidentifiableandpredictable,therepetitionofthesame;andonthe
otheristhechaosandunpredictabilitythatresultsindestructionanddeath.The
creative
function,astheinsertionofart,willbringthesetwosidestogetherinsuchawaythat
they
areabletoresonatewithinanassemblage.ThenameDeleuzeandGuattariwillat
times
29
FelixGuattari,Chaosmosis(Bloomington:IndianaUniversityPress,1995),pp.1234.
30
DifferenceandRepetition,p.293.

Page 18
18
usetorefertothisassemblagethatrelates,byvirtueofthecreativefunction(the
abstract
machineasfunction),stabilityandidentitytochaosischaosmos.
31
Onecanthereforenotprioritizetheindividualoverthesocial,ifbythesocialone
meansthemultiplicitywhereinmolarrepresentations,individualorcollectivee.g.,
class
consciousness,gender,nationality,etc.andmolecularbeliefsanddesiresflow,
transformingandtransformed.Atthesametimeoneshouldnotprioritizethesocialas
a
predeterminingidentityandunity.ThisiswheretheinfluenceofFoucaultbecomes
most
apparent.Foucaultsanalysisofvariousdisciplinaryinstitutionssuchasprisons,
barracks,schools,medicine,etc.,exhibitsaprofoundrecognitionofthesocialand
institutionalfactorsthatmakecertainknowledgeclaimspossible,orthatmakecertain
desiresnormalordeviant.Foucaultwillrefertothisasthehistoricalapriori,
32
by
whichhemeansthattheknowledgeclaimsofindividuals,theirassertions,beliefs,
desires,andjudgments,areconditionedbyhistoricalconditionswhichallowforsome
of
thesetogaincurrencyandflowwhileotherswillnot.WhatinterestsFoucaultarethe
historicalconditionsthatallowed,forexample,thehumanbodytobeperceivedasa
docilebody,andhenceasabodymoresubjecttotheactivegazeofamedicaldoctor;
or,
touseanotherexample,hewasinterestedinhowthedeclineofleprosyandthe
vacancy
16

ofthegreatleperhousesbecameahistoricalconditionthatmadepossiblethe
perception
ofanotherpopulationasbeinginneedofenclosure,andhowthisenclosureinturn
madepossibletheemergenceofpsychiatryasasciencethatinsomeinstancesfreed
peoplefromthephysicalenclosuresonlytoputthemintheenclosurethatistheir
medical
31
SeeAThousandPlateaus,p.6:Radiclechaosmosratherthanrootcosmos.Guattaristitletohisbook,
Chaosmosis,alsoreflectsthisposition.
32
SeeMichelFoucault,TheArchaeologyofKnowledge,translatedbyA.M.SheridanSmith(NewYork:
PantheonBooks,1972),pp.126131.

Page 19
19
condition.Thesestudiesarewellknownandhavereceivedmuchattention,butforour
purposes,andforthepurposesofDeleuze,whatisimportantinFoucaultsworkisthe
underlyingassumptionthatthesesocialfactorsarenotalreadyconstitutedgivensbut
are
themselvesconstitutedonthebasisofanassemblageofhistoricallycontingent
factors.
Moretothepoint,theseassemblages,whatFoucaultwillcallepistemeinhis
ArchaeologyofKnowledge,areopentotransformation;anditispreciselythisoutside,
theimmanentothernesstoanyepisteme,thatbecomesthemoreexpressconcernof
Foucaultinhislaterwork,anditiscertainlywhatinterestsDeleuzeinFoucault.Thus
in
discussingFoucaultsunderstandingofdiscursiveandnondiscursivepractices
(formations),Deleuzeutilizesboththeconceptofamultiplicityandthenotionof
exteriorityi.e.,theothernessoroutsideidentifiableregimespresuppose.AsDeleuze
putsit,
ifthevisibleandthearticulableelementsenterintoaduel,itistotheextentthat
theirrespectiveforms,asformsofexteriority,dispersionordissemination,make
uptwotypesofmultiplicity,neitherofwhichcanbereducedtoaunity:
statementsexistonlyinadiscursivemultiplicity,andvisibilitiesinanon
discursivemultiplicity.Andthesetwomultiplicitiesopenupontoathird:a
multiplicityofrelationsbetweenforces,amultiplicityofdiffusionwhichno
longersplitsintotwoandisfreeofanydualizableform.
33
Itisthisthirdmultiplicity,themultiplicityoflinesofflight,ofexteriorityand
creativity,thatiswhatDeleuzeafewpageslaterwillidentifywiththinking:If
seeing
andspeakingareformsofexteriority,thinkingaddressesitselftoanoutsidethathas
no
form.Tothinkistoreachthenonstratified.
34
33
GillesDeleuze,Foucault,pp.834.
34
Ibid.p.87.

Page 20
20
17

BothDeleuzeandFoucault,therefore,wouldbecriticalofJohnRawlsbasic
programme,assetforthinhisATheoryofJustice,whereRawlsstatesthatheshall
be
satisfiedifitispossibletoformulateareasonableconceptionofjusticeforthebasic
structureofsocietyconceivedforthetimebeingasaclosedsystemisolatedfrom
other
societies.
35
AlthoughRawlsformulatestheclosedsystemofsocietyasaprovisional
step,hemakesitclearthatotherproblemswillprovemoretractableinlightofthe
givenassumption,andsointheendsocietyisunderstoodtobeaclosed,
predetermining
identity.AndthisiswhereNozickcorrectly,inouropinion,criticizesRawls.The
criticism,inshort,isthatRawlsbaseshiscallforaredistributionofwealthasafair
propositiononthebasisofclaimingthattherearebenefitsofsocialcooperationthat
transcendandaregreaterthanthesumoftheindividualswhocooperate.Nozickhas
numerousproblemswiththisposition,butultimatelytheyallgobacktohisoriginal
claimthatthereisnosocialentity,justindividuals.
36
Deleuzewouldagreethatthereisnopredeterminingsocialentity,analready
constituted,closedsystem,butthisisnottosaythatDeleuzewouldembraceNozick.
In
fact,thereareimportantwaysinwhichtheconcernsofRawlsarepreciselythe
concerns
ofDeleuze.OnecouldsaythatDeleuzetooisconcernedwithwhatRawlscallsthe
basic
structureofsociety,bywhichRawlsmeanstheideaofastructure[that]contains
varioussocialpositionsandthatmenbornintodifferentpositionshavedifferent
expectationsoflifedetermined,inpart,bythepoliticalsystemaswellasbyeconomic
andsocialcircumstances.
37
TostatethisinDeleuzesterminology,Deleuzeisinterested
intheassemblageofsegments,bothmolar(class,economicposition,etc.)and
molecular
35
JohnRawls,ATheoryofJustice(Cambridge,Mass.:HarvardUniversityPress,1971),p.8.
36
ForNozickscritiqueofRawls,seeAnarchy,State,andUtopia,pp.183197.
37
ATheoryofJustice,p.7.

Page 21
21
(beliefs,desires,expectations,andhopes),wherebysomegroupsandindividualsare
constitutedinsuchawaythattheybecomeexcludedfromvariousotherdominant
positionsofpower.Totheextentthenthatsocialassemblagesproducehierarchiesof
entrenchedpowerthatpredeterminethehopesandexpectationsofwhatonecando
and
becomee.g.,thetraditionalrigidsegmentationofwomenasinferiortomenwhich
led
18

womentosettheirsightslowerthanmenthenDeleuzesharesRawlseffortsto
critique
andunderminetheeffectivenessofsuchentrenchedpowers.
38
WhatDeleuzedoesnot
agreewith,however,isRawlsbasicpremisethatwhateversolutiononeattempts
must
assumethealreadyexistentidentityofsocietyasaclosedsystem.Ifonemakes
suchan
assumptiononeinevitablybecomes,accordingtoDeleuze,areformer.Areformer
seeks
changeforsure,butachangethatwillmakeofaunityatrue,properunity.Thereare
the
politicalreformerssuchasRawls,butthereareotherswhocallforreforminthe
family
(returntoitstrueunityasthenuclearfamily),morals(returntothetruesetofmorals),
etc.Deleuzearguesthatreformersarefundamentallylimitedbecausetheypresuppose
the
closedunityandseeksimplytoestablishsuchaunity.
39
Theyfailtothinktheoutside,
tobetrulycreativeandcausethesystemtobecomeother.Ratherthanbecominga
reformer,Deleuzespoliticaltheorycallsforbecomingrevolutionary.Itistothiscall
that
wenowturn.
38
Deleuzewillmostfrequentlyrefertothisgroupthatisexcludedbythedominantpowerasthe
minority.Aminorityneednotbeanumericalminority,astheinclusionofwomenshouldmakeobvious,
butinsteadareminorwithrespecttothemajor,dominantcontrollingpowers.Thisthemeisdiscussedmost
extensivelyinKafka:TowardaMinorLiterature,translatedbyDanaPolan(Minneapolis:Universityof
MinnesotaPress,1986).Althoughaboutaliteraryfigure,DeleuzeandGuattarirelateKafkaswritingsto
manyofthepoliticalconcernsaddressedinthisessay,employingalongthewaymanyoftheconcepts
sketchedoutabovee.g.,immanence,assemblage,abstractmachine.
39
Pourparlers,p.241:Weareinageneralcrisisofallsitesofenclosure,theprison,hospital,factory,
school,andfamily.Thefamilyisaninterior[i.e.,closedunity]incrisislikeallotherinteriors,scholarly,
professional,etc.Competentministersconstantlyannouncereformsthatarethoughttobenecessary.To
reformtheschools,industry,hospitals,thearmy,theprison;buteachministerknowsthattheseinstitutions
havebeenfinishedforalongtime.Translationmine.

Page 22
22
III
WhatonewhoreadsDeleuzeswritingsonpoliticsnoticesisthefrequencywith
whichhespeaksoftherevolutionary.Therevolutionary,however,iscontrastedwith
revolutions.Indiscussingthetendencytospeakofrevolutionsasdestinedtocometo
a
badend(DeleuzecitesStalinandCromwellthoughhecouldhavecitedRobsepierre
40
),
DeleuzeadmitsthatItissaidthatrevolutionshaveabadfuture,butaddsthatone
19

neverceasestoconfusetochoices,thefutureofrevolutionsinhistoryandthe
becoming
revolutionaryofthepeople.Theyarenotthesamepeopleinthetwocases.Theonly
chanceformanisinbecomingrevolutionary,foronlythencantheshamebeaverted
so
thatonecanrespondtotheintolerable.
41
Tounderstandthispoint,weneedfirsttorecall
thenecessityforDeleuzeofthecreativefunctionasthatwhichallowsforthe
emergence
ofidentifiableassemblagesandthatwhichassuresthetransformationofthese
assemblages.Consequently,whatbecomingrevolutionaryentailsisbecoming
creative.It
entailstappingintoalineofflight,shamelesslyaskingtherightquestions,inorderto
transformthesystemorassemblageofpower.
ItisatthispointwhereDeleuzesdistinctionbetweenbecomingareformerand
becomingarevolutionarybecomesprominent.Asmentionedearlier,reformersseek
to
establishwhatisbelievedtobeapure,trueunity.Aconservativeorreactionary
reformer
callsforareturntoapastunitythathasbeenlostforexample,areturntothe
nuclear
family,totraditionalmorals,toatruereligiousfaithandpractice,etc.Aliberaland
40
Pourparlers,p.231.
41
Ibid.

Page 23
23
perhapsradicalreformercallsfortherealizationofafutureconditionthatwillbe
more
trueandpure(orfair)thanthepresentstateofaffairs.Rawlswouldfitintothis
category.
ButwhataboutMarxandMarxism?AnargumentcouldbemadethatMarxtoowasa
reformer,albeitaradicalone,insofarashecalledfortherealizationofacommunist
state
thatwouldresolveandsurpassthecontradictionsandalienationofthepresent
capitalist
system.WouldDeleuze,whoconsideredhimselfaMarxist,thenbeunwittingly
hitching
hiswagontoareformistagendaratherthanarevolutionaryone?Theanswerisa
resoundingNo.Deleuzeclaimed,aswehaveseen,thatthereasonforhisinterestin
MarxismwaswithMarxsanalysisofcapitalismasanimmanentsystem,anda
system
thatgeneratesitsownlimits.Moreimportantly,thereasontheselimitsaregenerated
isto
wardofftheimmanenttendencyofcapitalismtoundermineitsveryabilityto
function.
20

Putsimply,bycontinuallycreatingandencouragingamultiplicityofdesiresi.e.,the
tendencyofcapitalismtocarveoutnicheswheretheytargetindividualconsumersand
encouragethemtodifferentiatethemselvesfromotherconsumerswiththeirpurchases

capitalismforeverpushestheenvelopeinitsabilitytoproduceapredictableconsumer
whocontinuallyreturnstobuymoreofthesame.Capitalismrisksunleashingdesire
as
puremultiplicity,arevolutionarydesirethatwillundermineandtransformthe
immanent
systemofcapitalism.InAntiOedipusthisunleasheddesire,thispuremultiplicitythat
cannotbenormalizedandhomogenized,isreferredtoasschizophrenia,andthusearly
on
theystate,andintermsthatechoMarxsrevolutionarythought:Theschizophrenic
deliberatelyseeksouttheverylimitofcapitalism:heisitsinherenttendencybrought
to
fulfillment,itssurplusproduct,itsproletariat,anditsexterminatingangel.
42
42
AntiOedipus,p.35.

Page 24
24
Capitalismisquiteavigoroussystem,however,andmanytoday,especiallyinthe
wakeoftheeventsof1989,havedismissedMarxismasarevolutionaryphilosophy
that
isnolongerrelevant.Deleuzewouldagreewiththisdismissaliftoberevolutionary
meansoperatingonlyatthelevelofmolarrepresentationsthatis,atthelevelof
class
consciousness,ideology,andtheState.AsamacropoliticalprojectMarxismis
destined
tobecomeafailure,andfortheverystraightforwardreasonthatforDeleuze
becoming
revolutionaryentailsfirstandforemostthebecomingrevolutionaryofthemolecular
segments.JustasDeleuzearguedthatindividualscometobeconstituted(assembled)
suchthattheydesiretheirownrepressioni.e.,desirethefascistwithinthem,the
fascist
thatpreventsthewaywardbecomings,thelinesofflightsotooatransformationof
capitalismentailsfirstatransformationofthemolecularsegments.Wemustcease
desiringourownnormalization,ourhomogenization.
43
Howthendowecometodesireourownnormalization,ourhomogenization?For
Deleuzetheshortanswertothisquestionisthatwehavecometodesirethevery
mechanismsthatcontrolus.Inparticular,itispreciselythenotionthatweachieve
excellence,thatwebecomemostcreativeandperformatourpeak,whenweare
placedin
competitionwithothers;itisthisideathatpreventsmorethananyotherthebecoming
revolutionarythatwillallowforthetransformation,ratherthanreformation,ofthe
capitalistsystem.Atrivialthoughquitetellingexampleofourdesireforbeing
controlled
21

isthepopularityofgameshows.InshowssuchasSurvivor,ForLoveorMoney,and
the
Bachelorette,contestantsaresetatoddsagainstoneanotherandcometoseeothersas
a
competitivehurdletoovercomeontheirquesttogainthefinancialprize,orevenlove
in
43
HerewecanbegintoseewhereDeleuzesinterestinNietzsche,inparticularNietzschescritiqueof
slaveorherdmorality,comestogetherwithhisMarxism.

Page 25
25
thecaseofForLoveorMoney(althoughsomechosethemoney).Incommentingon
gameshows,Deleuzearguesthatifthemostidioticgameshowsaresuchasuccess,
that
isbecausetheyadequatelyexpressthesituationoftheenterprise.
44
ByenterpriseDeleuzeisreferringtowhathebelieveshascometoreplacethe
disciplinarysocietiesofenclosureinparticular,thesocietyofcontrol.Asocietyof
control,Deleuzeargues,nolongerfunctionsbyenclosurebutbycontinuouscontrol
and
instantaneouscommunication.
45
Disciplinarysocietiesoperateontheprincipleof
mouldsandenclosures,suchasschools,factories,andbarrackswhereasetmodelis
imposed(molded)uponthosewhoareenclosedwithinthesystem.Thismolding
requires
thedisciplinarytechniquesoftheinstitutions,includingmethodsofobservation.A
societyofcontrol,bycontrast,operatesbytheprincipleofconstantmodulation,like
a
castingthatselfdeformsandchangescontinuously,fromoneinstanttoanother,or
likea
sievewherethemeshchangesfromonepointtoanother.
46
Inparticular,thesocietyof
controloperatesthroughconstantlytestingandcomparinginformation,andituses
this
informationbothinsettingforthtargetsandgoalsandearmarksforemployeesand
thenit
usesinstantaneouscommunicationforthecontinuousmonitoringoftheprogressone
is
makingtowardsthesegoals.ThissetupDeleuzereferstoasanenterprise,which,
he
pointsout,neverceasestointroduceaninexpiablerivalryashealthyemulation,as
excellentmotivationthatopposesindividualsfromoneanotherandwhichtraverses
the
individuals,dividingtheminthemselves.
47
Thepopularityofgameshowsandreality
showsonlygoestoshowthatmanyhavecometodesirethisinexpiablerivalryand
44
22

Ibid.p.242.
45
Ibid.p.236.
46
Ibid.p.242.
47
Ibid.pp.2423.

Page 26
26
perhapshavecometobelievethatthismotivationandcompetitionisreality,andthat
realityisgoodanddesirable.
ForDeleuze,however,thesocietiesofcontrolseektowardoffthecreative
functionbyclaimingthattheythemselvesarethetruesourceofcreativity.Putin
other
terms,theyresistbecomingrevolutionarybyconstituting,atthemolecularlevel,the
very
desiresandbeliefsthatfurtherthisresistance.Wecannowseetheprofoundreason
for
Deleuzeslinkageofbecomingrevolutionarywithbecomingcreative.AsDeleuze
might
putit,thesocietiesofcontrolallowforcreativity,butonlyofaverylimitedkind.Itis
truethatindividualsandenterprisesincompetitionwithoneanotherwillcreateand
innovateinordertoincreaseefficiency,productivity,andhenceprofits;and
theindividualswhoimplementorcarryoutsuchprocessesarepaid,basedonan
analysis
ofinformation,accordingly(themeritbasedpaysystem).Efficiency,productivity,
and
speedthenbecomenotonlywhatwecometobejudgedandpaidfor,butitalso
becomes
whatwedesire.Moreover,withtheconstantreturnofinformationwearealso
continuouslypresentedwithournexttarget,ournextaspiration,andluckilywith
another
burstofcreativitywecanachievethesegoals.Inshort,thesocietiesofcontrol
utilize
constantandrapidcommunications(memos,emails,advertisements,etc.)toinform
peoplewheretheystandintheconstantlyshiftingfieldofinterpersonalrelations,a
field
viewedfundamentallyascompetitive.Ifonedoesnotcontinuouslyworkandexpress
themselvesinsuchafieldofinterpersonalrelations,theywillescapebeingmonitored
andbecomeanunknownvariable,ortheyaretoldtheywillfallbehind.Theparents
ofa
firstgraderaretoldthattheirchildisbehind(ajudgmentreachedthroughcontinuous
testingandmonitoringandacomparisonoftheresultantinformationwithsimilar
results

Page 27
27
gatheredfromothersintheclass),andthattheyshouldbeheldbackayearsothat
their
23

selfesteemisnoteffected.Thisexamplecouldbemultipliedmanytimesandin
countless
othercontexts.
48
Thenetresultisthatwecometodesiretheverysystemsthatcontroland
monitorus.
WearenowinapositiontounderstandsomeoftheclaimsDeleuzemakesasthe
practicalissueofbecomingrevolutionarycomestobeaddressed.Firstandmost
importantlyDeleuzearguesthatcreativity,thecreativefunction,doesnotoccur
within
thelimitedscopeoftheimmanentsystemofcapitalismanditsrecentmanifestationas
a
societyofcontrol.IntypicalNietzscheanfashion,Deleuzeisofamindtoarguethat
creativityoccursawayfromthemarketplace.
49
Deleuzethus,inreferencetothe
continuouscommunicationandflowofinformationwithinsocietiesofcontrol,argues
thatPerhapsspeech,communication,arerotten.Theyarealreadypenetratedby
moneyAturningawayfromspeechisnecessary.Tocreatehasalwaysbeen
something
otherthancommunicating.Whatisimportantwouldperhapsbetocreatevoidsof
non
communication,interruptions,inordertoescapethecontrol.
50
Andthissamethoughtis
expressedinanearlieressay:
48
ToaddjustafewexamplestoindicatethepervasivenessofthecontrolsocietyDeleuzebelievesweare
in,onecanfind,amongchurches,specialistsdedicatedtoanalyzingalltheinformationdeemedrelevant
regardingacongregationinordertocommunicatetothechurchleadershowtheymaybestattractand
retainparishioners(i.e.,competewithotherdenominations).Politiciansfrequentlyrelyonpublicpollsas
feedbacktodeterminewhatpoliciesaretobepursuedandwhen.Andfinally,withinacademicsan
untenuredprofessormustaccumulateaportfoliodocumentingtherelevantinformationbywhichtheyare
tobejudgedrelativetotheirtenuredpeers.Theclich,publishorperish,capturesboththepowerful
motivatingfactorsforpublishing(fearofdeath)and,thoughnotasexplicitly,thecompetitivenatureofthe
publishingfield(otheracademicsarecompetingwithyouforlimitedpublicationspace).
49
Nietzsche,ThusSpokeZarathustra,OntheFliesoftheMarketplace:Wheresolitudeceasesthe
marketplacebegins;andwherethemarketplacebeginsthenoiseofthegreatactorsandthebuzzingofthe
poisonousfliesbeginstooLittledothepeoplecomprehendthegreatthatis,thecreating.Buttheyhave
amindforallshowmenandactorsofgreatthings.ThePortableNietzsche,editedandtranslatedbyWalter
Kaufmann,p.163.
50
Pourparlers,p.238.

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28
Sotheproblemisnolongergettingpeopletoexpressthemselves,butproviding
littlegapsofsolitudeandsilenceinwhichtheymighteventuallyfindsomething
tosay.Repressiveforcesdontstoppeoplefromexpressingthemselves,butrather
forcethemtoexpressthemselves.Whatarelieftohavenothingtosay,therightto
saynothing,becauseonlythenisthereachanceofframingtherare,orevenrarer,
thethingthatmightbeworthsaying.
51
Toinstillcreativityintoourlives,tobecomerevolutionary,doesnotthenentail
24

constant,unceasingcommunicationandexpressionofourselves.Rather,itinvolves
breakingwiththeflowofcommunications,interruptingthem,sothatonemightinstill
aquestionthathastransformative(i.e.,revolutionary)potential.JaneJacobs,awell
knowneconomichistorian,hasofferedasimilarargumentregardingcreativity.She
arguesthataneconomicallysuccessfulcitydoesnotbecomesuccessfulbecauseitis
efficientandproductive;quitethecontrary,shestatesunequivocallythatIdonot
meanthatcitiesareeconomicallyvaluableinspiteoftheirinefficiencyand
impracticalitybutratherbecausetheyareinefficientandimpractical.
52
Thereason
forthis,shegoeson,isbecausetheprocessoftrialanderror,theprocessof
experimentingandtryingthingsout,whilenotinitselfveryproductiveorefficient
attimesitisquiteinefficientisnonethelessjustwhatmakespossiblethecreativity
thatcantransformacityintoaneconomicallyvibrantplace.Whichexperimentswill
workisnotpredetermined,butdiscouragingexperimentationaltogetheris,forJacobs,
boundtoleadtotheeconomicruinofacity.SimilarlyforDeleuze,hetoowill
repeatedlycallforanexperimentationandseekingoutofquestionsandproblems
whereintheconsequencesofsuchapursuitareinnowayknownorpredictable.In
speakingofliterature,Deleuzemakesacommentthatisquiterelevant:The
51
Mediators,inIncorporations,p.28889.
52
JaneJacobs,EconomyofCities,p.86.

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conditionsforliterarycreation,whichemergeonlyunpredictably,withaslow
turnoverandprogressiverecognition,arefragile.
53
Inotherwords,onecannottarget
andcallfortheefficientandtimelyproductionofcreativity.Italwaysemergesinan
untimelyfashion,withconditionsthatarefragilepreciselybecausetheyare
inefficientandcountertomanyofthepressuresofsocietythatresistsuchconditions
(i.e.,thecapitalistdesireforpredictableefficientsourcesofrevenuefromcreative
work).
ThisexplainswhyDeleuzecontraststhepoliticalleftandrightashedoes.The
left,asDeleuzeseesit,seekstotransformthegivensystem,toaskthequestionsand
sparkthecreativitythatwillcausethesystemtobecomeother.Therightrefusesthese
typesofquestions.SothejoboftheLeft,Deleuzeconcludes,whetherinoroutof
power,istofindthesortofproblemthattheRightwantsatallcoststohide.
54
Moreover,whattheRightseekstoresistandhideatallcostsarejustthe
mechanismsofpower,themoleculardesiresandbeliefs,thatsupportandreinforce
thecurrentsystemanddiscourageifnotpreventitstransformation.ForDeleuze,then,
therevolutionarypotentialtotransformthecurrentsysteminvolvesabecoming
revolutionaryofourdesires.Itrequirestakingatimeout,aninterruption,aself
imposedleaveofabsencefromthecontinuousprocessesofcontroland
communication.Thisisnotinordertoglorifyareclusiveaestheticizedexistenceas
somehaveclaimedDeleuzeargues,butratheritistoencouragetheconditions
wherebythequestionsthatsetrevolutionarymovementsintoeffectcanarise.The
resultsofsuchmovementsarenotpredetermined,justasonecannotpredictorknow
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53
Incorporations,p.287.
54
Ibid.

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whatthenextgreatcreativeworkofartwillbelike,butonethingiscertainfor
Deleuzethecurrenteconomicandsocialsystemofcapitalistcontrolpresupposes
theverylimititattemptstoavoid(i.e.,schizophrenia),anditispreciselythereluctant
approachtothislimitthatwillallowfortheovercomingofthesystem.Itwillallow
forthesolitude,theinterruptionsandtimeout,thatwillmakepossiblethevery
questions,experimentation,andcreativitythatwilltransformcapitalism.Deleuzewas
indeedaMarxist.
55
55
IfwereturntothetextsofMarxinlightofourreadingofDeleuze,thisconclusionbecomesapparent.In
hisEconomicandPhilosophicManuscriptsof1844,translatedbyMartinMilligan(NewYork:Prometheus
Books,1987),Marxarguesthatwhiletheanimalproducesonlyunderthedominionofimmediatephysical
need,[man]producesevenwhenheisfreefromphysicalneedandonlytrulyproducesinfreedom
therefrom.(p.77).TostatethisinDeleuzesterms,itisonlywhenwearefreedfromthecontinuous
processesofcontrolthatwearethenabletobetrulycreativeandproductive.BothMarxandDeleuze,on
thisreading,desiretherevolutionaryunderminingofrepressivecontrols,controlsthathinderthecreativity
necessarytotransformourselvesandsociety.