29 jan

Djordje Hristov – Fascism in the Works of Deleuze and Guattari

Tekst je objavljen u 8. broju Časopisa Stvar

Đorđe Hristov

FASCISM IN THE WORKS OF DELEUZE AND GUATTARI

 

1.The concept of fascism

The following text represents a collection of extracts from my PhD on Deleuze’s and Hegel’s concept of the State. These parts of my thesis present Deleuze’s and Guattari’s difference between fascism, on the one hand, and permanent revolution, on the other. These two concepts relate to two distinct relationships between desiring-production and social production.

Desiring-production signifies the synthesis of both material and conscious-unconscious phenomenal productive capacity of life. Social production, on the other hand, signifies the social organization of this capacity, i.e. its subjection to pre-determined social aims and goals. The relationship between these two forms of production presents us with a complex interplay: desiring-production (or desire) is always already social production. However, social production always also represents a reduction of desiring-production. The reason for this reduction is the fact that productive capacity of life in general, when subjected to socially sanctioned aims and goals (e.g. capital) loses its main qualification of being undetermined by any purpose. Desire is, in other words, without purpose.

The question, which is important for the understanding of fascism is the one of primacy between social production and desiring-production. In the first instance, because desire is always subjected to some form of social production, it is also always repressed. This repression of desire signifies its capacity to act as a destructive element in relation to social production or, in other words, to specific social aims and goals. Therefore, desire is for Deleuze related to its socially disorganizing character. It appears as an excess in relation to social life. As such, it is revolutionary in itself.

“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 a 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 left-wing holidays – and no society can tolerate a position of real desire without its structures of exploitation, servitude, and hierarchy being compromised.”[1]

Because of its unconscious, pre-individual and non-purposive nature, desire is revolutionary. This does not mean that desire wants a revolution, but that in its very process it permanently breaks down limits which emerge from it. Resistance as the main feature of desire is primary. Every anxiety, every violent thought, every instance of fear, of being unfree, of control or necessity to realize some aim and goal, signals the point at which desire is at work. These instances reveal the incompatibility of life and the social conditions that shape it. Because desire is capable of placing a social formation into permanent state of exception, the question is not, how does one revolutionize or transform society. Deleuze and Guattari are quite clear that their work “has strictly no political program to propose”.[2] The question is also not, how to revolutionize desire, because desire is revolutionary as such. The question is instead, how to prevent desire turning on itself when its revolutionary trajectory becomes blocked off.[3]

An answer to this question must first presuppose that desire as such is utopian. Since desire is repressed through social production, its subjection to socially sanctioned purposiveness always reveals a surplus of desire in relation to these aims and goals. However, since desire is also the infrastructure of society, what societies present themselves as utopias are more real than they appear to be. They permeate the social field and they do this in capitalism more so than in any other social formation, precisely because of the dual life of this formation as historical and non-historical.

“Actually, utopia is what links philosophy with its own epoch, with European capitalism, but also already with the Greek city. In each case it is with utopia that philosophy becomes political and takes the criticism of its own time to its highest point. Utopia does not split off from infinite movement: etymologically it stands for absolute deterritorialization but always at the critical point at which it is connected with the present relative milieu, and especially with the forces stifled by this milieu. Erewhon, the word used by Samuel Butler, refers not only to no-where but also to now-here.”[4]

The reality of utopias is central for capitalism because it mobilizes this imagery to repress. As “utopian”, desire becomes relegated to “fantasy”. Desiring-production becomes split into abstract labour, on the one hand, and desire, on the other, making abstract labour subject to the conditions of “real production” and desire to the conditions of “fantasy”. Abstract labour is then mobilized to suppress fantasy. Not only are nomadic elements mobilized in order to pacify desire, and desire is released to “satisfy” its fantasy in a system of images, but labour produces the State, the weaponry and becomes mobilized when the utopian appears to take place. At the same time, the presence of utopia itself is not merely a sign of repression of desire, but also of its productive capacity to become mobilized in relation to the present relative milieu.[5] We think in utopian, simplified and banal terms precisely through an investment of desire which escapes its social conditions. This utopian element tends to threaten the system of social production, necessitating its re-investment and isolation from “material”, real, “rational” production. Utopia becomes relegated to art, religion, poetry, philosophy, and so on, as modes of “sterile production”, subject to accumulation of capital. Deleuze and Guattari, therefore, concern themselves not with the question if and how revolution will take place, but with the question of how to avoid blocking desire off in its revolutionary capacity. This “blocking off” of desire is what fascism signifies.

Fascism represents a collapse of desiring-production into death, a mass revolutionary investment of desire that is emancipatory in nature, but that becomes blocked off by the mechanism of suppression of passions transforming them into a destructive State apparatus. Fascism reveals both sides of desire – its revolutionary form and its self-destructive, suicidal one, both of which become indistinguishable from each other.[6] The question how to avoid counter-revolutionary movement of desire, therefore, becomes the question: why did the masses desire fascism? For Deleuze and Guattari, this desire for fascism can be explained only through the relationship between interests, on the one hand, and passions, on the other.

In the first instance, Deleuze and Guattari reject the idea that fascism functioned only around a misrepresentation of interest. Fascism was not a misrecognition of an objective interest that would not coincide with the subjective interest. For example, if an objective interest is to abandon the position of repression, fascism, for the majority of the population, certainly did not represent an objective interest. But the desire for fascism was not merely a result of trickery or ideology, of the fact that the objective interests were misrepresented and construed by the ruling class. “No, the masses were not innocent dupes; at a certain point, under a certain set of conditions, they wanted fascism […]”[7] The masses were not tricked – they desired fascism on a level that precedes interest.

“The task of schizoanalysis is therefore to reach the investments of unconscious desire of the social field, insofar as they are differentiated from the preconscious investments of interest, and insofar as they are not merely capable of counteracting them, but also of coexisting with them in opposite modes. In the generation-gap conflict we hear old people reproach the young, in the most malicious way, for putting their desires (a car, credit, a loan, girl-boy relationships) ahead of their interests (work, savings, a good marriage). But what appears to other people as raw desire still contains complexes of desire and interest, and a mixture of forms of desire and of interest that are specifically reactionary and vaguely revolutionary.”[8]

There are three layers at work here: organization as the actual system of relations, pre-conscious interests (e.g. class interests), and desire itself without aim or interest. The rupture of desire into the actual system of relations is always in the form of pre-conscious investments that have the form of interests and goals. For example, desire is invested in a new society where actual relations will differ from the present ones. However, this investment is already mediated by the conditions and the interests of the present social field. This means that there is no level of raw desire which can be reached without being already “a mixture of forms of desire and of interest”. For Deleuze, desire as the unconscious, contingent movement produces already in the register of absence of purpose. As such, desire threatens social formations, because it always results in a surplus that breaks from the institutional confines. However, this rupture of desire into the social field also appears as violence, as destructive emergence of difference that must be suppressed. The suppression, however, does not only come from the sphere of actual relations that constitute the social field, i.e. interests, which are already mediated. Instead, suppression also appears in the form of those interests under which desire erupts. In other words, desire is confronted on two fronts: 1) the existing system of recognized interests, 2) the form of interests under which desire breaks its own social conditions. If any of these two molar forms of desire prevail over desire itself, repression continues and the collapse of the social formation is postponed. In other words, not only when existing interests prevail over emerging interests, but also when emerging unrecognized interests (e.g. those of oppressed elements of society) prevail over desiring-production, which is the absolute de-territorialized of both these forms, social repression continues.[9] The question is therefore not of subjective and objective interest, but of the relationship of desire and the form of interest under which it appears. “The fact remains that there exists a disinterested love of the social machine, of the form of power, and of the degree of development in and for themselves”.[10] Precisely because there is a level of unconscious desire always at work in interest, every interest is preceded by an investment of desire.

“By contrasting the two different types of social investment, we're not contrasting desire, as some romantic luxury, with interests that are merely economic and political. We think, rather, that interests are always found and articulated at points predetermined by desire. So there cannot be any revolution that serves the interests of oppressed classes until desire itself takes on a revolutionary orientation that actually brings into play unconscious formations. Because however you look at it, desire is part of the infrastructure […]. The constant threat to revolutionary apparatuses comes from taking a puritanical view of interests, so the only people who ever gain anything are a small section of the oppressed class, and this section then just produces one more thoroughly oppressive caste and hierarchy.”[11]

When desire becomes blocked off by interests, or more precisely, when any socially conditioned interest and purposiveness gains primacy over desire, the investment of desire becomes displaced into satisfaction of these interest. Since these interests, however, block off desire, the attempt to realize interests will in turn become blocked off by desire. In this way, revolutionary desire will trigger a counter-revolutionary attempt to preserve the primacy of interest. Eugene Holland writes on this:

“What desire invests first of all and most fundamentally is not this or that object, nor this or that objective, but a degree of development of force, even though such force is usually most easily and widely accessible through the power-structure or form of sovereignty that developed and organizes it. […] The degree of development of force is primary: for what that force is used – its goals, aims, and the corresponding interests of those invested in it – is strictly secondary; it will always get rationalized ex post facto. Desire and interests co-exist, and interests have an undeniable role to play: for it is ‘under the cover of aims and interests’ that desire invests the social full body.”[12]

This is why revolutionary desire must not only appear in service of some interest, e.g. to establish a new system of social relations, instead, it must itself gain primacy over social conditioning of desire. Revolution is not only a matter of calculated interests[13], but of an investment of the totality of the social field in the form of “disinterested love”. As opposed to pursuing “objective interests”, desiring-production must overcome its social conditions and subvert the relationship of forces.[14] Social interests ought to foster desire, not the other way around. Deleuze and Guattari call this inverted relationship of purposiveness and desire – permanent revolution. The concept of the permanent revolution does not denote a process of a chaotic state of the lack of institutions. Instead it signifies a form of society in which desiring-production itself becomes institutionalized. The institutionalization of desire has already been the main form under which desire socially appeared, however, only up to the point of codes and axioms that served as a model for the institutions. Although desire was institutionalized, its prime form of appearance was at the limits of institutionalized conflict. In capitalism, the expansion of non-institutionalized conflict changed this, but only insofar as desire is permanently re-integrated into the framework of capitalist institutions (i.e. its revolutionary movement is permanently re-axiomatized and re-absorbed into the structure of institutions). The concept of the permanent revolution therefore relates to a higher degree of economization of institutions, i.e. maximization of the capacity of social relations to integrate desiring-production.

“Schizoanalysis as such does not raise the problem of the nature of the socius to come out of the revolution; it does not claim to be identical with the revolution itself. Given a socius, schizoanalysis only asks what place it reserves for desiring-production; what generative role desire enjoys therein; in what forms the conciliation between the regimes of desiring-production and social production is brought about, since in any case it is the same production, but under two different regimes; if, on this socius as a full body, there is the possibility of going from one side to another, i.e. from the side where the molar aggregates of social production are organized to this other side, no less collective, where the molecular multiplicities of desiring-production are formed; whether and to what extent such a socius can endure the reversal of power such that desiring-production subjugates social production and yet does not destroy it, since it is the same production working under the difference in regime […] [Emphasis added].”[15]

The reversal of the order in power between desiring-production and social production would in effect place democracy in a primary position in relation to socially sanctioned aims and goals. This is not possible to achieve within a society plagued by a State, because the State represents the most repressive primacy of social production over desiring-production.

There exists, therefore, a form of society that could accommodate the primacy of desiring-production over social production. This society would under these conditions be organized around the permanent revolution – it would, in effect, represent an extension of the feature of capitalism (which already presupposes permanent revolutionizing of production) beyond the limit of capital. Whereas fascism, therefore, signifies a petrification of desire’s movement by the paranoid fixation on social aims and goals (even if these might be of a revolutionary kind), permanent revolution signifies the primacy of desire in relation to social aims and goals.

However, this distance between fascism and permanent revolution can be very quickly traversed, bringing one closer to the other. In other words, although permanent revolution signifies the primacy of desire beyond any aims and goals, desire as such never actually appears in its “pure” form or beyond aims and goals. The investment of desire into its own revolutionary capacity, consequently, already presupposes an investment of interests. Permanent revolution, therefore, does not only represent the extreme opposite of fascism, but also something which is permanently threatened by it.

 

2. The limits of desire

The question I want to pose is not if permanent revolution is possible or impossible. As shown, the question of possibility is not essential here. A society for Deleuze and Guattari has a tendency toward reaching its own limits. In the case of capitalism, they extend this claim to the point where this tendency reaches a limit at which society as such becomes placed into question, i.e. its trajectory leads it either toward higher democratization or to self-destruction.. This is why, from their point of view, permanent revolution is less utopian than the view that society can perpetuate itself or reach any form of balance of forces. However, this utopian capacity of desire also carries with itself a destructive element. Deleuze and Guattari hint at this problem when they state “whether and to what extent such a socius can endure the reversal of power such that desiring-production subjugates social production and yet does not destroy it. [Emphasis added]”[16]

This sentence is the crux of the problem. Deleuze and Guattari insist that desire is not asocial[17], in other words, it always and necessarily appears as social production. There is no desire that is not social and does not appear as a social phenomenon. However, desire as social signifies both a socially cohesive element, when subjected to a specific regime of organization, and a socially destructive process which exceeds organization. But desire’s inherently social character has nothing to do with some “social nature” of man. The social organization of desire always presupposes both “social” and “natural” or, in other words, the indifference between the two. The reason for this is that society presupposes specific borders in relation to the “outside”. However, this presupposition is its own feature of organization, not the true nature of the social which always already stands in continuity with the purported outside. Because desire operates beyond the sanctioned aims and goals, i.e. beyond the imposition of socially sanctioned purposiveness, desire in itself does not differentiate between “nature” and “society”.[18]

From this position it can be argued that desire does not have to be asocial in order to destroy social production. Because desire signifies the point where social (in the narrow sense) and natural (as the “outside”) become indistinguishable, where all kinds of borders become abolished, the criterion of “social cohesive” nature of desire takes on a radically different meaning. If society is one with its “outside”, then this merging of “social” and “natural” signifies the loss of distinction between specifically social violence (i.e. legitimate, recognized violence) and natural violence (i.e. external, unknown and unpredictable violence). Consequently, a breakdown of the division between nature and history in Deleuze leads to the emergence of one violence that blurs differences between the sources, making any violence an excess that must become accommodated into the workings of desire (and therefore abolished as violence).

 The reason why this happens is that desire inherently lacks a mechanism of cohesion which is not at the same time that of disorganization.[19] Although desire appears always in an assemblage of pre-conscious interests and established mediated passionate investments, its true form is formless. Desire does not oppose social formations as long as these can accommodate its productive capacity, but it also does not lead to these social conditions emerging apart from a movement which is always a reduction of desiring-production. Since desire inherently lacks a purpose, it also has no predetermined social form in which it can exist. Every purposiveness (which is internal to the formulation of social aims and goals) appears as a reduction of desire. In other words, precisely because desire is always found in the form of mediated interests (either socially recognized or revolutionary ones) it will also always appear as violence – both within the relation of socially recognized interests and revolutionary ones, and between revolutionary aims and goals and desire itself. A society of permanent revolution in which desire would directly invest difference itself as the driving force of social life, without the possibility of synchronizing social interests with desire, would still result in an excess of violence. Desire’s inherent productive capacity cannot become contained in any form of investment, even one which directly invests deterritorialization, because all investments in the last instance, including these direct ones, will take on a form of some interest.

 “There are certainly many dangers in invoking pure differences which have become independent of the negative and liberated from the identical. The greatest danger is that of lapsing into the representations of a beautiful soul: there are only reconcilable and federative differences, far removed from bloody struggles. The beautiful soul says: we are different, but not opposed… The notion of a problem, which we see linked to that of difference, also seems to nurture the sentiments of the beautiful soul: only problems and questions matter…. Nevertheless, we believe that when these problems attain their proper degree of positivity, and when difference becomes the object of a corresponding affirmation, they release a power of aggression and selection which destroys the beautiful soul by depriving it of its very identity and breaking its good will. The problematic and the differential determine struggles or destructions in relation to which those of the negative are only appearances, and the wishes of the beautiful soul are so many mystifications trapped in appearances. The simulacrum is not just a copy, but that which overturns all copies by also overturning the models: every thought becomes an aggression.”[20]

It is precisely at this point that Deleuze’s idea of desire reaches dangerous limits, it verges on the point of internalizing destructive elements. Eugene W. Holland has traced this dangerous limit in the shift how Deleuze and Guattari perceive fascism. Whereas “Anti-Oedipus construes fascism (along with paranoia) as a fixation opposed to the fluidity of desire, A Thousand Plateaus presents fascism as a peculiar kind of acceleration of desire […]”[21] As Holland immediately notes, Deleuze and Guattari sense the danger here and add that they “are not invoking any kind of death drive. There are no internal drives in desire, only assemblages.”[22] Desire in itself does not presuppose global personalities, as a consequence of which it is not “rooted” in drives that would relate to the subject. But precisely as a result of this, in relation to the subject and in relation to any form of interest, desire appears as an excess and in this way “roots” the subject in its own perception of violence. To put it more simply, although subjectivity and its interest are assigned their coordinates by desire, the “apparatus of interest [can never take] the place of a machine of desire”.[23] Even if this interests were to accommodate the primacy of desiring-production, it would still retain the form of interest as a reduction of desire. Consequently, the problem is not that desire carries in itself a “death drive”, but that something like a death drive emerges in the relationship of existing or emerging interests and desire itself. From this “gap”, violence that emulates the death drive (but is not substantially grounded in it) appears.

However, the critique I have presented here is not the only problem Deleuze faces. On the one hand, it is easy to see that any form of subjectivity and any form of interest, even one that places the interest of desire as primary, in the last instance fails in relation to desire simply by the fact that it retains the form of interest. One could argue that this excess of violence, predicated on the fact that subjectivity has to be presupposed, must be accepted. And the fact that Deleuze and Guattari’s “utopia” of minimalizing the contradiction between interest and desire verges very closely to destruction, is very clearly pointed out by them:

“[…] No one, not even God, can say in advance whether two borderlines will string together or form a fiber, whether a given multiplicity will or will not cross over into another given multiplicity, or even if heterogeneous elements will enter symbiosis, will form a consistent, or cofunctioning, multiplicity susceptible to transformation. No one can say where the line of flight will pass: Will it let itself get bogged down and fall back to the Oedipal family animal, a mere poodle? Or will it succumb to another danger, for example, turning into a line of abolition, annihilation, self-destruction, Ahab, Ahab…?”[24]

This laissez-faire attitude to destruction can seem as if Deleuze and Guattari are legitimizing and accepting an excess of violence. However, as mentioned before, although they view capitalism as significantly more resistant to conflict (since it functions in itself as a war machine), its resistance is matched only by the sheer scale of conflict that it releases and that seeks to escape the confines of capital. From this perspective, the question is not only of active change, so much as also of counter-acting the self-destructive tendencies of change and attempting to steer them into permanent revolution. Therefore, an excess of violence must be presupposed in one way or another. However, the problem relates to the nature of this violence and, more importantly, its relationship to the State. It relates to the fact that the appearance of violence, as is the case in fascism, at the same time carries with itself a State.

In relation to some form of subjectivity which is presupposed in social production, violence as the appearance of external force which is not deductible from this subjectivity will take on a form of something transcended and alienated. In this way, the very logic of permanent revolution and the fact that desire does not become socially representable without some form of interest, would contribute to the fact that the emergence of desire in relation to interests will appear as violence. But since this violence appears as meaningless or, in other words, not deducible from the subjectivity presupposed in social production, it could also mimic the violence of the State, i.e. such violence which Deleuze and Guattari qualify with transcendence. Consequently, fascism is not only the opposite of a permanent revolution, but could also arise from it.

 

Literature

Buchanan, I. (2008): Deleuze and Guattari’s Anti-Oedipus. London & New York: Continuum.

Deleuze, G. (1994): Difference and Repetition. New York: Columbia University Press.

Deleuze, G.; Guattari, D. (2005): A Thousand Plateaus. Capitalism and Schizophrenia. Minneapolis. University of Minnesota Press.

Deleuze, G.; Guattari, F. (1983): Anti-Oedipus. Capitalism and Schizophrenia. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Deleuze, G.; Guattari, F. (1994): What is Philosophy? New York: Columbia University Press.

Cheah, Pheng (2013): Political Bodies Without Organs: On Hegel’s Ideal State and Deleuzian Micropolitics, in: Hegel and Deleuze: Together Again for the First Time. Evanston, Illinois: Northwestern University Press.

Holland, W. E. (2001): Deleuze and Guattari’s Anti-Oedipus: Introduction to Schizoanalysis. London and New York: Routledge.

Holland, W. E. (2008): Schizoanalysis, Nomadology, Fascism, in: Deleuze and Politics. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

 


[1]              Deleuze, G.; Guattari, F. (1983): Anti-Oedipus. Capitalism and Schizophrenia. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. p. 116.

[2]              Ibid. p. 38.

3]              Ian Buchanan is correct when he states that Anti-Oedipus “is not so much pro-revolution as it is anti-counterrevolution”. Buchanan, I. (2008): Deleuze and Guattari’s Anti-Oedipus. London & New York: Continuum. p. 117.

[4]              Deleuze, G.; Guattari, F. (1994): What is Philosophy? New York: Columbia University Press. pp. 99 – 100.

5]              “But to say that revolution is itself utopia of immanence is not to say that it is a dream, something that is not realized or that is only realized by betraying itself. On the contrary, it is to posit revolution as plane of immanence, infinite movement and absolute survey, but to the extent that these features connect up with what is real here and now in the struggle against capitalism, relaunching new struggles whenever the earlier one is betrayed.” Deleuze, G.; Guattari, F. (1994): What is Philosophy? New York: Columbia University Press. p. 100.

[6]              The term fascism for Deleuze and Guattari does not denote only the events of “classical fascism”, i.e. the fascism of the 20th century. Instead it signifies a “blocking off” of desire in its productive process by imposing on it specific social aims and goals. It signifies a strange process whereby an attempt to abandon the position of subjugation to different power structures results in the internalization of the molar form of power that resided in these structures. It is a love for power, a desire for power, but not power as productive capacity, but power which is “inherited” from the structures of the State. Following from this, Deleuze and Guattari do not view fascism as a specific political program (for example, it does not reside only on the extreme “right” of the political spectrum). Instead, fascism represents a feature of desire that takes many forms in many different contexts (including on the left). In this way, fascism is different than totalitarianism, because totalitarianism proceeds directly from the State. Fascism, on the other hand, proceeds from “below”, from a mass investment of desire beyond the institutions of the State that, in its inability to become released, suddenly turns into a love for the State, and more precisely, the form of power the State creates. Deleuze, G.; Guattari, D. (2005): A Thousand Plateaus. Capitalism and Schizophrenia. Minneapolis. University of Minnesota Press. p. 214

[7]              Deleuze, G.; Guattari, F. (1983): Anti-Oedipus. Capitalism and Schizophrenia. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. p. 29.

[8]              Ibid. p. 350.

[9]              The problem is therefore that although desire always appears under the form of social aims and goals, the primacy of these aims and goals can subvert desire itself. This is why a revolutionary break may begin as an unconscious investment of desire, pass into a formulation of aims and goals and then through the contradiction of desire and interests block off desire, subverting it to invest established forms of organization (i.e. hierarchical, organized groups, which are then either placed under a new axiom, disappear or re-route desire itself to invest into death, on the surface preserving the revolutionary aims and goals, but functioning on the level of desire as a fascist group). “If the preconscious revolutionary break appears at the first level, and is defined by the characteristics of a new aggregate, the unconscious or libidinal break belongs to the second level and is defined by the driving role of desiring-production and the position of its multiplicities. It is understandable, therefore, that a group can be revolutionary from the standpoint of class interest and its preconscious investments, but not be so – and even remain fascist and police-like – from the standpoint of its libidinal investments. Truly revolutionary preconscious interests do not necessarily imply unconscious investments of the same nature; and apparatus of interest never takes the place of a machine of desire.” Ibid. 348.

[10]             IbId. p. 346

[11]           Deleuze, G.; Guattari, F. (1990): Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari on Anti-Oedipus, in: Negotiations. New York: Columbia University Press. p. 19

[12]            Holland, W. E. (2001): Deleuze and Guattari’s Anti-Oedipus: Introduction to Schizoanalysis. London and New York: Routledge. p. 102.

[13]             According to Deleuze and Guattari, the fact that life invests primarily itself (i.e. a given socially developed “degree of development of force”, or simply put – the power of life that permeates the social field) is based on the fact that I do not chose the form of society I am born in, nor the given spectrum of promulgated aims and goals that are present in this society. I do not primarily decide whether a social formation is rational enough to accommodate my interests. Rather, I first and foremost emerge as a living force of development and production which mobilizes the whole social field and the resources at hand for further life. Secondly, this life is not “natural life”. Self-preservation is never a matter of pure self-preservation. There is no life which functions according to self-preservation as some “basic” instinct in opposition to “higher” practices. “Natural”, “bare”, “naked” life is found only in society (through the imposition of a lack). Ibid. p. 103.

[14]             That fascism represents a “blocking off” of desire by way of “cutting” its trajectory by interests is for Deleuze and Guattari clear from the way fascism appears: “We have seen that the unconscious paranoic investment [fascism – G.H.] was grounded in the socius itself as a full body without organs, beyond the preconscious aims and interests that it assigns and distributes. The fact remains that such an investment does not endure the light of day: it must always hide under assignable aims or interests presented as the general aims and interests, even though in reality the latter represent only the members of the dominant class or a fraction of this class. How could a formation of sovereignty, a fixed and determinate gregarious aggregate, endure being invested for their brute force, their violence, and their absurdity? They would not survive such an investment. Even the most overt fascism speaks the language of goals, of law, order, and reason. Even the most insane capitalism speaks in the name of economic rationality. And this is necessarily the case, since it is in the irrationality of the full body that the order of reason is inextricably fixed, under a code, under an axiomatic that determines it. What is more, the bringing to light of the unconscious reactionary investment as if devoid of an aim, would be enough to transform it completely, to make it pass to the other pole of the libido, i.e. to the schizorevolutionary pole, since this action could not be accomplished without overthrowing power, without reserving subordination, without returning production itself to desire: for it is only desire that lives from having no aim.” Deleuze, G.; Guattari, F. (1983): Anti-Oedipus. Capitalism and Schizophrenia. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. p. 367.

[15]             Ibid. p. 380.

[16]             Deleuze, G.; Guattari, F. (1983): Anti-Oedipus. Capitalism and Schizophrenia. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. p. 380.

[17]             Ibid. p. 116.

[18             See, for example: Ibid. pp. 2 – 4.

[19]             I am here focusing on the dangers of the primacy of disorganization. Some authors like Cheah Pheng question not so much the dangers but the effectiveness of this primacy: “A politics of nonorganization risks abandoning too much, because it is based on a power of life that is not limited by the organization of organismic form. The quandary of the modern politicization of life is therefore the following: the pervasive control over life by power means that it can only be resisted by a power of life that undermines organization. But how viable is such a power of life? Must not the power of life necessarily have ends and, therefore, take on an organized political form to be effective?” Cheah, P. (2013): Political Bodies Without Organs: On Hegel’s Ideal State and Deleuzian Micropolitics, in: Hegel and Deleuze: Together Again for the First Time. Evanston, Illinois: Northwestern University Press. p. 112.

[20]             Deleuze, G. (1994): Difference and Repetition. New York: Columbia University Press. p. XX.

[21]             "What has happened here? Why the sudden appearance of concepts that preclude experimentation, that come with value-judgements built in? We now have a ‘cancerous’ body without organs somehow producing fascism ‘inside us’; we have a line of flight somehow turning to ‘abolition pure and simple’…" Holland goes on to argue that Anti-Oedipus presents a much more nuanced and powerful conception of fascism. Holland, W. E. (2008): Schizoanalysis, Nomadology, Fascism, in: Deleuze and Politics. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. p. 7

[22]             Ibid.; Cf. Deleuze, G.; Guattari, D. (2005): A Thousand Plateaus. Capitalism and Schizophrenia. Minneapolis. University of Minnesota Press. p. 229.

[23]             Deleuze, G.; Guattari, F. (1983): Anti-Oedipus. Capitalism and Schizophrenia. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. p. 348

[24]             Ibid. p. 250.

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