A Brief Outline of Anti-Oedipus

Comments and Questions to: John Protevi
Deleuze and Guattari course page
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LSU French Studies

Classroom use only. Do not cite w/o permission.
March 23, 1999

This outline adapted from Ronald Bogue, Deleuze and Guattari (New York: Routledge, 1989).

I.all desire is social; best guide to social desire is schizophrenic id rather than neurotic ego.
    A.schizo-analysis: focus on body parts and social connections:
        1.not a "celebration" of schizophrenia, but use of it to explore contemporary society
        2.individual subject as heterogenous aggregate of parts functioning in social and natural machines
    B.subsume Marx and Freud in single Nietzschean framework: desiring-production.
        1.critique of traditional Marxism and Freudianism
        2.history and politics of social libido

II.Critique of Freudianism: extending Freud beyond family
    A.Oedipal-capitalism link ignored
        1.Oedipus is mode of channeling desire
        2.psychoanalysis reinforces this channeling
    B.Capitalism and desire
            a.destroys feudal hierarchial channels
            b.sets adrift pieces of desire, bodies, etc.
            a.channels all production into commodity form
            b.Oedipalization concentrates, individualizes desire into neurotic daddy-mommy-me
        3.schizophrenia is result of fragmentation without Oedipal reintegration
    C.Positive desire:
        1.desire traditionally seen as lack
            a.cf Plato
            b.exception: Spinoza
            c.Lacan most evident example today
        2.for D & G, this is negative, reactive, idealistic, slavish
        3.rather, they want positive, productive desire
                (1)Freud's libido
                (2)Nietzsche's will-to-power
                (1)unrelated to negation
                (2)indifferent to personal identity
                (3)independent of linguistic expression
            c.pure multiplicities: nomadic singularities

III.Critique of Marx: libidinalizing Marx
    A."social field is immediately invested w/ desire"
        1.no distinction between production and consumption
    B."everything is production"
        1.no distinction between use and exchange value
            a.use value depends on stable needs, but needs are mobile, produced (as Marx knew very well)

IV.Schizo-model for desiring production (Not a romanticizing of schizophrenia, but using it to interrogate modern production
    A.desiring-machines: invasion/persecution
        1.production proper
        2.cutting off primary flows
            a.symbolizes unceasing production
            b.e.g. flow of milk between
                (1)breast machine
                (2)mouth machine
        3.linked in chains with other machines
            a.in body
            b.other bodies
        4.unconscious is a factory rather than a theater
        5.rather than linking dependent parts into a functioning whole, desiring machines involve heterogenous "parts" in a connective synthesis
    B.body without organs: catatonia
        1.recording (distribution and exchange / unconscious inscription
        2.congealing of d-machines into undifferentiated object
            a.d-machines at zero intensity
        3.extra part produced alongside desiring machines
            a.paranoiac machine: body w/o organs repels d-m
            b.miraculating machine: " " " " attracts d-m
         4.socius: larger social body w/o organs
            a.body of earth:
                (2)autochthonous myths [miraculating]
            b.body of despot
                (2)divine origin and absolute power myths [miraculating]
            c.body of capital
                (2)fetishism: capital appears to produce labor [miraculating]
        5.each chain of d-machines is a line traversing body w/o organs, thus forming a grid
        6.disjunctive synthesis: all lines are libidinally invested at once in a synthesis that affirms differentiation
    C.nomadic subject: multiple personalities
        2.when social codes [e.g. Oedipus] break down in their channelling of desire, then the nomadic subject is possible, traversing the lines of the d-machines inscribed on the body w/o organs
    D.Model of the giant egg traversed by lines with a wandering point of pure intensity

V.History of social machines
    A.primitive territories
        1.pre-state: resist centralization of power
        2.socius: body of the earth
        3.codes: kinship relations coding flow of goods, privilege, people, prestige
            a.filiation: fixed "capital" stock
            b.alliance: mobile blocks of debt
            a.primary dissymmetry setting in motion flows
            b.ceremonial inscription within systems
                (1)giver: debtor
                (2)receiver: surplus value of code
            a.ceremonial system is a writing in which words pronounced and signs written are plurivocal
            b.system is also libidinal economy of pleasure and pain
                (1)cf. Nietzsche and debtor-creditor
    B.barbarian despotic states
        1.befalls primitive territories as catastrophe from without
        2.socius: body of despot
        3.codes:functional pyramid
            a.despot at apex
            b.peasant at base
            a.primitive debt become infinite debt of existence owed to despot
            b.punishment no longer festive, but vengeful
            a.fixed meanings
            b.deterritorialization of graphic sign: made into transcription of the voice
            c.sound given meaning by transcendent authority enforcing law of linguistic regularity
            [dream of transcendental signifier]
                (1)Saussurian linguistics is reflection on despotic representation
                (2)signifier dominates the signified
                    (a)two forces:
                        i)deterritorializing of signifiers [creates arbitrary flow]
                        ii)fixing of signifier-signified
                    (b)signifier is arbitrary, but also "acoustic image" within which resounds "mute voice from on high"
    C.civilized capitalist production
        1.capitalist machine arises from within
        2.socius: body of capital
            a.deterritorialized into abstract unit of exchange: free flows of goods, bodies, images, etc
            b.reterritorialized thru an axiomatic,
                (a)conjoining two flows
                (b) of labor
                (c) of capital
                    (1)direct relation of entities on abstract qualities
                    (2)no limit: can always add new axiom
            a.breaks free of Saussurian domination
            b.means nothing: simply functions as means of co-ordination of flows
        5.post-state: capitalist state is hangover
            a.cap sign does not simply replace despotic sign, but reintegrates it
            b.absorption yet indigestibility provokes oscillation between two poles of desire
                (1)paranoia (metaphysics!)
                    (c)molar aggregates

    A.overcoming paranoiac tendencies by intensifying schizophrenic tendencies,
        1.accelerating deterritorialization
        2.for those trapped in hierarchies
        3.micro-political intervention
        4.good for intervention in hierarchial parties
    B.politics of creativity:
        1.freeing of new patterns:
        2.horizontal rather than vertical
    C.Foucault: power as primary
    D.Deleuze and Guattari: desire as primary