deleuze & guattari
links to pdf
by Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari
first intro’d to it by Mary Ann.
encouraged to dig deeper by the gang at rhizo14 w2
Adam Greenfield writes in against the smart city:
As Deleuze defines it, any-space-whatever is never important for any quality of its own but only for the connections it facilitates or brings into being.
jan 2017 – Deleuze, Guattari and Market Anarchism
Among other things the two reject the state, capitalism, the USSR, fascism, the police, democracy, racism, colonialism, taxes, and even nostalgia, managerialism, and fixed identities.
And while one would expect a self-described Marxist writing a Marxist text to use something akin to a Marxist theory of history, Deleuze’s vision of development doesn’t focus on class struggle, but on technological development. Instead of Marx, his point of reference is Foucault – a figure whose on relationship to Marxism is contested and complicated.
It is for this reason that D & G use terms like line of flight, deterritorialization, and decoding to describe capitalist relations: “lines of flight” because it follows a snaking trajectory of desire towards the new; “deterritorialization” because it uproots things from where they are stuck and allows them to circulate; and “decoding” because it breaks down codes, that is, the strictures of tradition, identity, culture, and other imposed value systems.
D & G argue for an understanding of capitalism not simply as a system, but as a constantly unfolding process. This process is not merely a reflection of desire filtered through the exchange patterns of the market, but a host of social relations tangled up in immanent relations of power and domination. No matter how flexible power relations may become, they always require some sort of rigid and fixed foundation at their base, some territory in which their codes operate. It would seem then that the elements of explosive creativity exhibited capitalist entrepreneurship and circulation – the market processes themselves, in other words – would stand opposed to this power, yet it does not. This is because, D & G argue, deterritorialization and decoding are only half of the capitalist process, and are conjoined with the reciprocal processes of reterritorialization and recoding. What’s more is that reterritorialization and recoding are presented as ‘stabilization mechanisms’ of sorts for the system itself, without which capitalism itself would cease to be.
D & G take this notion from two primary sources. The first is the study of money that was carried out by Foucault .. Foucault illustrates how ‘fixed money’ – money that imposed by the state, as opposed to the ‘spontaneous currency’ that appears to occur naturally – in ancient Greece operated as a regulatory mechanism for the whole of society. Money in Greek society “prevents excess, pleonexia, having too much… But it also prevents excessive poverty…” Taxation, for Foucault, is an essential aspect of the function of fixed money, and not some aberration to its evolution or something applied later by unscrupulous bureaucrats. Instead, it was created with taxation in mind, as something that could create a taxonomy of classes, help keep class structures stay relatively rigid in their make-up (primarily through debt accrued by the lower classes and the upward flow of tax money to the upper classes), and to facilitate public work projects necessary for the expansive of economic interests beyond their natural scope. Looking the modern era, D & G write that “the Greeks discovered in their own way what the Americans discovered after the New Deal: that heavy taxes are good for business… In a word, money – the circulation of money – is the means of rendering the debt infinite.
In Anti-Oedipus, divergent, deterritorialized and decoded flows and forces are treated as having “nomadic” qualities; the “war machine” is the next stage of this analysis, focusing on the more intransigent and conflict-driven aspects of their functions. War machines, in other words, make exactly what their name implies, and the target of this war is the state itself (D & G here were drawing on the anthropological work of Pierre Clastres, which analyzed the way certain indigenous societies made the repelling of the state the very rationale of their social quasi-orders). War machines come in many different forms: your affinity group is a war machine, the agorist is a war machine, street gangs and pirates, even certain kinds of commercial organizations. Not all war machines are positive: they’re capable of being darkly violent, tribalistic, even fascistic.
Of taxation we’ve already said quite a bit, so it is rent and profit that must be addressed. While taxation is obviously correlated to state function, for many the suggestion that rent and profit – two fundamental aspects of the capitalist market economy – arise from the functions of the state might appear as absolutely erroneous. But consider the little-acknowledged understanding, even in conventional economic discourses, that the more open the systems of exchange and circulation are, the more the capacity to maintain rates of profit accumulation in the long-term falls. With the capacity to enter freely, or to subtract entire sets of relations, from market systems, the ability for certain actors to assume an inordinate share of the market becomes untenable – which is precisely why reliance on state-granted and enforced monopolies becomes necessary for entrenched power structures to shore themselves up against this deterritorializing tide.
The same could be said for rent,
Robert Anton Wilson: .. I will admit that people, hoodwinked by these ideas, will continue to pay rent even in freedom, for a while at least. But I think that, after a time, observing that their Tuckerite neighbors are not submitting to this imposture, they would come to their senses and cease paying tribute to the self-elected ‘owners’… I myself would not pay rent one day beyond the point at which the police… are at hand to collect it via ‘argument per blunt instrument’.”
a future where desire operates at the “molecular” level, not at the level of some abstract collectivity.
It would be utterly incorrect to say that the entirety of D & G’s praxis is about some ‘free-market communism’, as it has been described by Eugene Holland. It would be equally incorrect , however, to pretend that the relationship between markets and liberation does not matter in the great scheme of their work .. Any market anarchist elements that are gleamed must be married to their wider gamut of concerns – futurity, globality, the unleashing of desires to their fullest extent, the dissolution of all externals and internal dynamics of power, on and on.