The Pox of Deleuzo-Guattarianism

17Nov10

Deleuze and Guattari’s work has become a theoretical edifice which entraps as much as it seems to project – a neuronal tarpit. D and G’s work is a kind of over-inclusive middle stretching in an infinite horizon (bwo, plane of immanence, rhizomatic carpet, etc). Over inhaling too much laterality has resulted in various forms of ejection  – many of the great Deleuzians have left Deleuze (Pearson, DeLanda, and what happened to Massumi anyways) – they move to earlier thinkers who inspired Deleuze or disappear in Shanghai.

Reza’s work is the only sensible (or perhaps mad) trajectory which is to dissolve the whole mess and following the various atomizations or trails of acid. The broad specter  of the dark precursor requires fragmentation and viral weaponization – entropy is not a bad dream to be forgotten – sense cannot whitewash the noumenal red in tooth and claw.

Immanence, and various phenomenological life worlds, just become endless circulations of affective blasts and term play. An upshot of Meillassoux’s hyper chaos, as Brassier points out, undoes the stability of becoming, of process. It is becoming beyond becoming. Sedimentation occurs, interruptions, and so on. The over inclusive middle is another panicked response to the horror of being.

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28 Responses to “The Pox of Deleuzo-Guattarianism”

  1. how has DeLanda moved past Deleuze? And what about M’s hyperchaos specifically trumps process? I’d honestly like to you elaborate here…

    • 2 Ben Woodard

      Delanda is writing texts that are less expressed in Deleuzian terms and are more about scientific realism utilizing bits of Deleuze towards this end (as Naxos suggests) – this is evident in his contribution to the forthcoming speculative turn as well as his book on emergence though I am not sure about Synthetic Reason.

      As for the becoming beyond becoming – I am referring to page 68 of Nihil Unbound where Brassier notes that Meillassoux’s hyper chaos is becoming beyond becoming because becoming asserts a metaphysical necessity of becoming (things cant not change) whereas for Meillassoux the necessity of becoming cannot be assured since the force of becoming (as contingent) could change.

  2. Delanda a great deleuzian? you must be joking. To my mind, he is not even deleuzian and still, he uses deleuze to polish his anti-guattarian objectivistic view. I have some respect to Massumi, but as i have said once, he massumes too much :-)

    Deleuzians that go not far from the deleuzo-guattarian academic surface are those that seem to leave him while they find the love Deleuze prompted to his influences: Spinoza, Nietzsche, Foucault, Guattari, Bergson etc (or to his concepts) because of that love, they seem to be tempted to walk the deleuzian path, so they tend to trace and follow the discoursive traditions that influenced Deleuze etc etc.

    To be deleuzian is needed to be nietzschean and spinozian, foucaultian and guattarian at the time, at least, because this are the mayor influences, they great friends of Deleuze. Of these there are only a few. But there are a lot of deleuzians that have not an idea of what they should do with those influences they have never read and that horrorize their prude unruptured views.

    The forms of ejection that you mention are meant to be as long as the readers are fond or not regards to deleuzian influences. This is not leaving him, this is just loving him from the spinozian way to knowledge.

    • 4 Ben Woodard

      Hey,

      I guess my question is what is Deleuzian about Deleuze – or what exactly is the relation between deleuze the historian of philosophy and deleuze the metaphysician. And while I agree about what you say about DeLanda and Massumi why are they the better known Deleuzians?

      Im not trying to be combative or snarky I’m generally curious about Deleuze in the contemporary moment – as he seems a vast shadow but im not sure about metaphysical trajectories. If you have any reading recommendations please fire away.

      • Ben,

        There are some aspects about Deleuze regards to the way he took Nietzsche and Spinoza, to put an example. These aspects, among others, are what we shall take as deleuzian in him as they have to do with the intensive reading he made of their work. To this point, an intensive reading means the time, the love and the affects invested in the exchange with such authors (authors that are already loved and which work and contents are lovable in the sense they offer us the way to grasp thought by our own self, in Nietzsche Spinoza Deleuze, and Foucault, for instance, it is perfectly the case). But the goal of this intensive reading is not to a technical overfly of their texts, so to pose the reader into a comfortable and rather indifferent exteriorized point of view that can be pretty prolific if showcased academically -that would mean being more like a ‘deleuzianist’ instead. No, the goal of such an intensive reading is the embodiment of the contents that mean certain concepts as tools or incarnated schemes of thinking: this is not like only ‘knowing’ such concepts (not only like ‘let`s do something with them, let`s write something to please or tease the white-wigged academics’) no, this is more like ‘living’ them as tools and schemes to differenciate the drama they carry from what we have done already of our existence and from what we have already experienced about life.

        Comes to my mind the idea of the nietzschean event in Deleuze. Such idea is most powerful and affirmative in him and it has nothing to do with the way Badiou misunderstand it in terms of a histrionic anti-philosophical ‘act’. Deleuze remarks in which sense the nietzschean event leads to an epistemological break instead, that opens our existance to what he calls the plane of immanence etc. This epistemological break is a very concrete experience meant by Deleuze, something to be lived and grasped, and also something that draws the threshold of all his philosophical view. For Deleuze, as we can see it at the end of his ABC`s, speaking about the letter ‘Z’, this experience is what means philosophy itself etc etc.. (With this respect, it is interesting that you have mentioned the dark precursor, because there Deleuze asserts that such ‘Z’ experience is the event itself which enlightenment is triggered by such precursor etc).

        So, I truly and honestly think we can say that Deleuze was marked by the Z event and that his whole work is all too impressed by it, thus those that read him through this specific event in life and through this sense of epistemological rupture that means life`s own affirmativeness, those that conjugate their experience with respect to this event, whether if they have experienced it or not, are those that doing a ‘deleuzian’ (but also nietzschean spinozian foucaultian guattarian etc etc) reading of Deleuze. And while they identify with that experienced event, we can also say that they are ‘deleuzian’ or being ‘deleuzian’, in the sense that they are also able to see, through the event they share, the influences that populate Deleuze`s experience and that inhabit the heart of his philosophy etc).

      • hey, Ben i have shared a very intimate view in this regard, that i think it is worth to be at least commented by you: am also intrigued on what you would say or think about all this! so if you have no thing to say you can also say it literally so we can know, at least. leaving this conversation like this seems a bit unfair regards to my intimate (which means not ‘personal’ not something that i own) presumptions.. as i said to Michael, am not being only ‘opinative’ wrt this, am sharing my though here and am finding your no-response a bit dismissive :-/

      • 7 aurora

        adr, wonderful posts, especially this bit:

        “…the goal of this intensive reading is not to a technical overfly of their texts, so to pose the reader into a comfortable and rather indifferent exteriorized point of view that can be pretty prolific if showcased academically -that would mean being more like a ‘deleuzianist’ instead. No, the goal of such an intensive reading is the embodiment of the contents that mean certain concepts as tools or incarnated schemes of thinking”

        Precisely. Hope you managed to take your ideas to more fertile ground.

  3. Fair enough Ben – although I do think DeLanda is much more Deleuzian than you or Naxos suggest. Even when he doesn’t use the terminology, everything he writes on seems to connect quite fluidly with intensive activities, differential processes, machinic thinking, etc. I think DeLanda’s projects will always be deeply influenced by Deleuze. I guess it’s simply a matter of what we decide “moving past” means then.

    As for ‘hyperchaos’, well, I get what Ray means (and thanks for the reference), but would suggest that his argument – even if it does indeed follow from M’s own arguments – is simply a fancy peice of rhetoric, because saying that laws of ‘change’ might also change (because who knows what a hyperchaotic cosmos might do) somehow gets beyond becoming seems to me meaningless. If anything, for me, a hyperchaotic cosmos confirms becoming in a way that approaches transcendental certainty. There is a continuity there that cannot by hypothesizes or theorized away just because there exists in human thinking a logical opposite. If everything is always and definitively dynamic then the ground of all thinking and actuality is always already becoming. Being IS becoming.

    Just my thoughts,

    m-

  4. Michael, i have never suggested that Delanda was more or less deleuzian, but that he is just not deleuzian at all, which is very different. Delanda has declared about his deleuzian limits many times but that is just an euphemism on his part, just to not deal with Deleuze’s very constitutive influences. Delanda is great, i like his work a lot, but i had to get rid of the idea of taking him as deleuzian, and for a better and joyful reading i started to take his stuff as a sort of genetic mutation that i like to refer if so as pure ‘delandianism’. This is helpful also to avoid the imposture and the controversy that he prompts with his take and where he likes to ascribe his rampant objectivism. I have said a lot about this here and there, as there are a lot of reasons to not consider him a deleuzian, but am not digging into it anymore, at least not here and not this time, so i beg you not to take this only as a too opinative thing that comes from my good taste, oh no! there are a bunch of heuristical details concerning to the ‘let’s make Deleuze a user-friendly author for squared scientists’ presumption that Delanda likes to promote on his behalf, and there are a lot of things taken for granted on his part that allow us to think how lost he gets in his vaporous translations while he tries to dismiss the schizoanalytical components of the deleuzo-guattarian conceptual toolbox.

  5. Adriano, I’ll assume you have your reasons for such a position, but I ask, what is the difference between someone who talks endlessly about Deleuze while appropriating (and yes mutating) Deleuze’s concepts and a ‘true’ Deleuzian then? What is the criteria for being a ‘real’ Deleuzian?

    Ultimately I care not what we decide DeLanda’s influences are, because I like the cut of the dude’s jib. His materialism is well supported and his “neo-assemblage” theory does a lot of work in terms of explanation. I’ll take DeLandianism over Deleuzeastic doxa any day of the week…

    cheers.

  6. Thanks for the reply, Ben. I guess that mutating is not to be taken as the same than appropriating, not genetically speaking, which is also the case for concepts. If you check out again Deleuze`s response to Cressole, taking his supposed ars-fuck method and following his argument until he points out about love, you`ll see the difference that is involved. Of course this is very intimate, or can be if so. However, the difference is the appropriation itself, as i have pointed out.

    I can understand that we can take Delanda`s case pragmatically, in the sense you say, and yes, as i have already said, his is work is very interesting and now i have learnt to enjoy it, even though it`s still sometimes torturous the way he operates certain concepts (an more with such objectivistic posturing). As you can imagine, i`m only interested in his work to a certain point, because i`m more about D&G`s schizoanalytical project, not meaning am not sharing his intensive materialism, or any other.

    With respect to his neo-assemblage theory, i have to say that it is certainly explicative and fits well, but this is also because the effect he gives to his view (as he maintains his posture as a sort of imposition that ends to be attractive to the target he means), but mostly because the translation of the term permits it. I truly think that Delanda departures from a sort of asylum ignorantiae regards to how the meaning of french ‘agencement’ is traduced etc etc. and this is why his heuristic procedures (the hunch to ‘skimm’ what is of Deleuze from what is of Guattari) end to be are all too mutating.

    So then, why not we should give all the credit to him, if he is just cutting out Guattari (and everything that might sound ‘subjective’) and presenting a Deleuze that`s just its empty showcase, its pragmatic pretext to pose a totally unfounded view? But D&G`s concepts have their own gravity, as you might know (and as he knows) so the are really refractive to the sort of operations Delanda applies to them, thatps why he is always on the need to retraduce them constantly etc etc.

    • Oops, i meant to thank Michael for his reply, not to Ben, but also of course ;-)

      salutes!

      • 13 Ben Woodard

        I do not mean to be dismissive – I’ve just been completely wiped out from the day job…my apologies.

        I guess it comes down to Deleuze’s methodology (which I like) vs the philosophers he buggers vs his own ontological constructions (which I dont like as much). So what’s interesting to me is what aspects of Deleuze make one a Deleuzian or not – since Deleuzianism would require buggering Deleuze but this seems anti-Deleuzian in that other Deleuzians decry well known Deleuzians as not being Deleuzian enough. This is what confuses me.
        So there’s texts that take Deleuze and run with him and those that defend Deleuze but what is defended and what is attacked seem to have a weird appliciability – but maybe im just repeating myself.

      • Thanks Ben! the issue has a lot aspects as you say, but i think the basic one is related to the way we appropriate the work of the philosophers we are interested in. The ars fuck method of Deleuze was just an expression used by Deleuze to say how monstrous it was the act of making the author speak things that he would not meant to say in first place, monstrous in the sense that it implies the sodomization of someone you already love (not only a lineal indifferenciated buggering with strangers, like Zizek has posed) and that therefore the product of that sodomization would be also a monster (zizekean-hegelian buggering would not even lead to a product). The expression is not emphatizing the act of buggering but the sodomization of someone loved, and in the deleuzian sense (includes the overview of his work) it emphatizes overall the engenderment of a concept, the incubation of a concept, an incubation that could only mean an intensive reading of love, and that is always creative in the sense that through such engenderment/incubation is possible to make an author speak the concepts that are meant to be traced through him, actually, but the sodomite is the one that would be engendering or incubating: he is not making the author a monster, the author is making a related-monster to the him. After sodomization, the sodomite would be able to speak about the authors and would permit others to see what he means philosophically through them in the same conceptual plane etc etc. But all this means a very intimate reading, and maybe this intimacy is what involves what is deleuzian and what is not. For rampant deleuzians like me, the thing said about the event is all too definitive to differenciate.

        cheers

  7. 15 snp

  8. YOU: So then, why not we should give all the credit to him, if he is just cutting out Guattari (and everything that might sound ‘subjective’) and presenting a Deleuze that`s just its empty showcase, its pragmatic pretext to pose a totally unfounded view?

    MICHAEL: I can accept that DeLanda mutates more than he appropriates, especially when we define the relation the way you do. So I understand what you mean.

    I guess I don’t find DeLanda’s mutations to be of any concern because I do the same thing. I’m not a professional philosopher, and I’m not hoping to be one, so I take liberties with other people’s concepts that would, perhaps, be disapproved of within the academy. I theorize intentionally and explicitly in order to produce mutants (heterogeneity). And then I set those ‘creatures’ loose in practical setting to watch their effects. So when DeLanda minimizes ‘subjectivity’ with regards to Deleuze’s work I have no aversion to such a maneuver whatsoever. I’m more interested in what a thinker’s work says and can do, than what it leaves out. And in the case of DeLanda I think his realism (not simply his materialism) is a much needed corrective to the over-emphasis on ‘subjectivity’ and language.

    • Michael, Thanks for the reply! your position is fair and sane enough… I`m not a professional philosopher neither, and i do not pretend to be one. But philosophy does not need these kind of philosophers, nor professional, nor institutional philosophers, so to my mind they are not even a good point of reference. For me, this is a question of frankness, so i`m not considering my no-professionalization as a free-way to say and to do whatever a text permits to do just to show up how brilliant things can be. There, i honestly think, you and Delanda are missing the point. While it can be understandable, am not suggesting that it cannot be respectable to certain point, but it would never be enough to convince those others that are competent in the field and that have put on it a bit more of their efforts to have a certain domain of the question beyond their own brilliantness.

  9. a pox? what?

    D&G offer a set of weapons for thinking. It is not surprising that once a reader develops his or her own weapons they figure out how to isolate their own problematics.

    I believe you should read Deleuze’s little book on Kant. This neo-Kantian ‘realism’ currently trending in quasi-academic circles seems to me to be more of a pox!

  10. Adriano, you write:

    “…i honestly think, you and Delanda are missing the point.”

    Maybe I’m missing it, what is the point, or your point, simply stated, after all?

    • Hello Micheal, my point, as i`ve said, is that:

      ‘this is a question of frankness, so (in my case) i`m not considering my no-professionalization as a free-way to say and to do whatever a text permits to do just to show up how brilliant things can be.’

      meaning with this that Delanda and you, (as you have said so) share the idea that its possible to do or say whatever might sound brilliant (which is also cool, but not all), while the thing is to consider concepts form their heuristical understanding and to do the hard work. This has nothing to do with any kind of philosophical professionalization, so it is not a pretext not to be a professional philosopher (Yuks!) to justify how free we can be to say our stuff. I may say, ‘but everyone does that, practically’ yeah, well, to my mind, that`s the point that is corrupting all the philosophical ‘academic’ practice.


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