Delueze Study:

You raised the foundation in relation to the thought that modern philosophy was genealogically finished? I don’t understand what you are trying to tell me.

Please see my annoyances topic.


They ref goes back to The notion which was raised in the page before this, which Deleuze raised, that modernity is anti-genealogical. He took this up from Nietzche’s Critique of genealogy of morals.
The modern philosophy ends before Nietzche, and most consider him an interloper between modern and postmodern philosophy, per Heidegger. Modern philosophy is supposedly un-founded by this lack of genealogical process, which has come about
. Postmodernism suffers for lack of this unflinching, meaning it once had foundation ,significance, but the signifiers are all chaotic, lost the central signifier to unify genealogical significance. Soldjernic also wrote a critique of it.

I understand Your frustration, Ultimate, but some of the word salad we are finding ourselves are not merely a splash of color here and there, of sights, but actually of sounds. This is the critique Habermas makes of the whole affair, categorically. The foundation is there, but can not be seen.

The idea behind the rhizome was, as I already said, to have a symbol for the anti-genealogy. No ancestors, no origin, no parents, no past, no descendants, no children, no future, no hierarchy - but a mesh (network) of consumers (also drug consumers, of course, because Deleuze and Guattari themselves were professing drug consumers). Deleuze and Guattari had the obsession that the original sin was ancestry, descent, origin, just genealogy. So they said consequently that their rhizome was an anti-genealogy.

That’s my sense of it -that is with a twist different than mine.

Satyr, that you?

Deleuze and Guattari took that up from Friedrich Nietszche’s books, for example Morgenröte (1881), [i]Zur Genealogie der Moral /i, but they probably took that also up from Max Stirner’s book Der Einzelne und sein Eigentum (1844), because (to me) Deleuze’s and Guattari’s anti-genealogical philosophy is more like Stirner’s than Nietzsche’s philosophy. By the way: Max Stirner (actually: Johann Kaspar Schmidt) published his book Der Einzelne und sein Eigentum when Nietzsche was born (1844).

“Where Fichte had lectured: »Act like nobody!«, Stirner replicated: »Do what you can do alone on the world: Enjoy yourself!«” - My translation of: Peter Sloterdijk, Die schrecklichen Kinder der Neuzeit, 2014, S. 461.

There are strains of sickness unto death here. He must have read Kierkegaard, to be able to make the transition from mere vanity to illness due to ressentiment and cynicism.

I referenced it, and found numerous links. Perhaps the combo Stirner and Nietzche would leave at least
emotional entanglements such that, would mask the ideologically opaque state of affairs.

Reading this, Arminius, especially the last part:

“So they said consequently that their rhizome was an anti-genealogy.”

:I now realize that the genealogical was the arborescent approach that D & G opposed to the rhizomatic.

Yes. The invisible underground mesh (network) against the visibly sprouting, striving upward tree. The roots of trees are not networked like rootstocks (rhizomes) of mushrooms, and mushrooms do not have such a long stems like trees have, and do not have branches, twigs, leaves like trees have.

As I enter into this immersion into Buchanan’s reader guide to The Anti-Oedipus, I find myself immediately conflicted -not about Buchanan but D & G’s approach to social justice. And no doubt, this comes out of a conflict I find my own process in: that constant vacillation between the abstract and the concrete, the theoretical and the practical.

(And in my defense, I can’t help but feel that Buchanan works in a similar place since as he begins to dip us into the more abstract aspects of D & G’s theory (that is by starting with the concrete issues of the environment D & G were working in: mainly the May 68 rebellion in France (he actually refers to thinkers that are working in the more concrete and practical realm such as Naomi Klein.)

And no doubt this conflict will haunt this present immersion in the book.

I would start by saying that I am perfectly sympathetic with D & G’s agenda: to focus more on a revolution of sensibility than on reform: that is reform being a matter of obtaining the power to institute those policies that will facilitate it. And this recognition could not be more prescient than in America today. There is just so much about its embrace of Capitalism (and I, living in Nebraska, get a daily front seat to this slow motion train wreck (that can’t simply be legislated away. For instance, if one were to buy into about 80% of the TV ads we see today (as well as some of the content of the shows we are watching in between (one might come to believe that they were living in some kind of golden age thanks to producer/consumer Capitalism. And it is the true believers who live in the paranoid/fascist center of having to protect this golden age that others are a threat to. Hence, for instance, Trump’s popularity: the very expression of America’s fascist potential, it being a comparatively adolescent country that embraces the adolescent notion that unless we are number 1, the world will fall apart. We’re basically facing the same thing that every other Western industrialized nation has had to face: that of stepping down from above other countries and taking our place among them. And only a change in sensibility, that which the poetic approach (as compared to the scientific (is most qualified to do, can save us from it.

This is why, for instance, while I am philosophically aligned with Bernie Sanders, I think Hillary is the better/more practical nominee. I just don’t think America has the sensibility for Bernie. And let’s say Bernie did become president. All I see is an Orwellian staged event in which the Weimar Republic is repeated via corporate influence on government and the obstructionist tactics of a Republican legislature. And without a change in sensibility (as D & G advocate (too many Americans will be too willing to buy into the narrative of that staged event. Hence the import of poets and philosophy which leans towards the poetic side of the no man’s land between science and literature.

At the same time (from a practical/pragmatic perspective (we have to be careful of theoretical overkill –that which acts as antidote to theoretical laziness. For instance, much of what D & G are concerned with is the question Wilhelm Reich asked: what is it about people that seem to seek their own oppression? And theory can come up with some really impressive answers such as Sartre’s Bad Faith: the desire of being-for-itself to have the fullness of Being that being-in-itself has. But we have to ask if that is what people are really experiencing when they submit to power. And while we can agree that submission is about more than interest, we have to give some credibility to the answer offered by Malcolm X: the house slave whom the slave owner gave certain privileges so that anytime any of the slaves got uppity and wanted to do something about their situation, the house slave was right there telling them: oh no! you don’t want to do that; ain’t nothing you’re gonna find out there that is better than what you have here.

Now before I go further into this particular rhizome, from a traverse (Deleuze loved that word (reading of Mr. Buchanan’s book, I have to show a little love and appreciation for his willingness to establish connections (a kind of continuum if you will (between the sometimes immersive abstraction of Deleuze (w/ and w/out Guatarri (and the concrete and contemporary: sometimes to the point of pop culture. And I can’t help but see the influence of Zizek in it. Philosophy (or even theory (is useless to me unless I can apply it to the personal and anecdotal.

That said:

“Theory, Deleuze insists, “is exactly like a toolbox. It has nothing to do with the signifier…. A theory has to be used, it has to work. And not just for itself.”

Once again: I find myself drawn to French theory while being equally drawn to the Anglo-American form of exposition. And in the above quote, I see the connection within myself (and my process (the hybrid and fusion (between Deleuze and Rorty’s approach to American Pragmatism. I mean I get it: Deleuze basically dismisses Rorty’s bourgeoisie liberalism in What is Philosophy: dinner and conversation at the Rorty’s. And I’m not sure what Rorty had to say about Deleuze.

Still, I see that hybrid and fusion in my own process.

And what I would say, in Rorty’s defense, is that such an immersion in abstraction as that of Deleuze’s is basically a bourgeoisie luxury. One only need look at our philosophical history to see that. The abstract considerations have tended to be the domain of white Anglo-Saxon males who have a generational advantage. Women and minorities, up until now, have been busy with the more concrete political/social issue of achieving equality.

Now make no mistake about it: I love Deleuze; the guy has changed my life. And he, himself (in the A to Z interview (claimed that friendship is a matter of knowing the other’s madness: which is as much a matter of knowing the other’s faults. And, in that spirit, I would argue that there was a bit of hypocrisy and self contradiction in his dismissal of Rorty.

“And what I would say, in Rorty’s defense, is that such an immersion in abstraction as that of Deleuze’s is basically a bourgeoisie luxury. One only need look at our philosophical history to see that. The abstract considerations have tended to be the domain of white Anglo-Saxon males who have a generational advantage. Women and minorities, up until now, have been busy with the more concrete political/social issue of achieving equality.

Now make no mistake about it: I love Deleuze; the guy has changed my life. And he, himself (in the A to Z interview (claimed that friendship is a matter of knowing the other’s madness: which is as much a matter of knowing the other’s faults. And, in that spirit, I would argue that there was a bit of hypocrisy and self contradiction in his dismissal of Rorty.”

“Bernardo Bertolucci’s highly stylized film about May ’68, The Dreamers (2003), is a vivid illustration of the narrow, exclusively Parisian image of the events that has to be overturned is we are to see things in their proper historical light” –Buchanan’s reader guide, pg. 13

As luck would have it (like Deleuze was my guardian angel or something aiding my present immersion (the movie happened to be on one of my movie channels last night, forcing me to forego watching The Big Chill from the beginning to catch it about halfway in. But it was enough to see the significance of it in terms of this exploration.

I would first note how it confirmed the bourgeoisie nature of theory and the radical. The sister and brother were clearly able to engage in the radical experiments they did because they had the luxury of doing so. And this factor haunted their engagement in the protest towards the end. It was as if they engaged in the act of protest merely for the sake of protest. Michael Pitt’s American character gave us the distance that allowed us to see that contradiction while also providing an expression of American intrigue with French culture. We can really see this in Pitt’s grilling of the character Theo as concerned his embrace of Maoism.

What we have to put in mind here is that Bertolucci is Italian and, therefore, an outsider to French culture and see in this the possibility that what we are dealing with are outsider perspectives and the disconnect between how outsiders (Americans as well (see French culture and how French culture sees itself. Hence Professor Buchanan’s desire to overturn the perspective.

At the same time, I couldn’t help but note a similar sense of sensibility between Isabelle and the female character at the end of Sartre’s Nausea: that flippant nihilism that alienates the male character in its combination of the power of beauty and desire exploiting the power of radicalism for the sake of radicalism. Nor can I help but connect this with the Kafka chick (please excuse the misogyny of the term “chick”: one who throws herself (in a dreamlike way (at the main character and drifts away just as quickly. But, once again, we could be dealing with an outsider’s perspective of French women.

That said, I’ve basically been sketching around unfamiliar territory here: exploring. I really hope, before this immersion is over, to zero in on this particular part of the book and tinker, tweak, and tighten things up.

Having reread Buchanan’s take on the movie Jaws with a new recognition of how he did it in terms of an illegitimate synthesis of connection, and now seeing how much of a departure I engaged in as concerns my perhaps clumsy attempt at the same thing, I would like to indulge in the illusion of redemption by re-attempting an approach to the three passive syntheses as Buchanan summarizes them on page 54:

  1. the connective synthesis which mobilizes the Libido as withdrawal energy

  2. the disjunctive synthesis which mobilizes the Numen [the spirit or divine spirit presiding over a thing or place] as detachment energy

and 3. the conjunctive synthesis which mobilizes Voluptas [Pleasure or bliss, or consummation as it is also described] as residual energy

First of all (and perhaps to my disadvantage: I still can’t help but read Hegel’s dialectic into it as described (and revised from the philosophy 101 triad of thesis, antithesis, and synthesis (in my audio book: that process of breaking a given phenomenon down to its individual components, articulating on them, then putting them back together in new and novel ways.

But, at the risk of meandering into yet an even clumsier hermeneutic, I can’t help but read Lacan’s concept of Jouissance into this (that articulated on by Zizek. In fact, one could easily read into this the process involved in sex. There would first be the connective process of two individuals getting to know each other, of connecting the various aspects of the other that leads to the desire to have sex with them. And maybe this is my personal preference; but I can’t help but feel that the disjunctive synthesis is starting to enter into the process since my tastes tend to adhere to Robert Herrick’s Delight in Disorder. As compared to the sleek and perfected offerings of Playboy (expressions of Capitalistic values (I find that the other stimulates more exchanges of energy when there is a complex interaction of perfection and imperfection involving both physical and mental properties. As Deleuze says: until they know your madness, they cannot be your friend.

Disjunction is the full expression of Jouissance. As Lacan points out: when it comes to pleasure, we experience it at a conscious level while experiencing discomfort at subconscious level. And if you think about it, sex is a process of trying to reach a threshold that will take you out of a place you are really enjoying at the time. (And to possibly to apply this to D & G, he does go on to point out that hysteria is the reverse of this process in that the hysteric experiences discomfort at a conscious level while experiencing pleasure at a subconscious level. I mean why else would we repeat behaviors that give us discomfort if we didn’t, at some deeper level, get pleasure from it?) Disjunction, as I understand it, suggests that kind of push/pull relationship (Jouissance (we tend to experience with reality.

Conjunction, of course, can be associated with sexual climax: Consummation as Buchanan puts it. But let’s not think of this as the utopian synthesis that Hegel would. Let’s, rather, think of it in terms of awkward pillow talk: two people caught up in the mutual desire to come up with words (some semiotic (that will represent or stand up to the previous experience.

As my mixed luck would have it, I find myself (in the last 2 days of this immersion (faced with one of the most relatable parts of Professor Buchanan’s book: that which starts on pg. 124 and goes into an application of D & G’s principles (their four theses (to issues presented by Tom Frank’s book What’s the Matter with Kansas. And I say ‘relatable’ because, being a progressive in the Midwest who has watched most of his friends grow into staunch republicans, I have had a front row seat to what is being addressed in this particular section. And because of this, a great deal of my own process has been expended on figuring out why this has happened: likely one of the main sources of my attraction to “that Goddamn Frenchman” (I mean it: damn the French and their weird obscure philosophies anyway (with and without Guatarri. So I could easily spend a whole immersion on the subject.

But for this one, I’ll focus on this proposal to the question that we’re all asking here: what it is about people that seem to seek their own oppression:

“It might seem appropriate, then, to revive the Marxist concept of ‘false consciousness’ to explain to explain the turn to the right in the US. Without actually using this notion himself, Frank’s account of the political metamorphosis of Kansas from a left-leaning, pro-worker, state to a right-wing and anti-worker state, in the space of only a few generations is clearly underpinned by the conviction that the people of Kansas ‘know not what they do’.”

There would certainly seem to be a certain amount of false consciousness involved in it given the mythologies that the true believers (in Capitalism that is (tend to offer as confirmation of their position: the rugged individual that overcomes all obstacles to achieve greatness –a popular motif, BTW, among the supposed Hollywood liberal elite (which as we all know are owned by corporations. But I (in the Deleuezian spirit (would complicate the issue by referring to Buchanan’s quote of Zizek, ‘the unknown known’, and traverse the concept of Jouissance (that push/pull relationship we tend to have with reality (that Zizek goes deeply into in The Plague of Fantasies.

While there is clearly a sense of obliviousness involved in it, I can’t help but feel there is a kind of denial at work as well. It’s as if they know perfectly well that their self indulgent policies have negative effects on others (as well as themselves (that their arguments are weak in the context of discourse that assumes a purpose of working out some compromise that works for everyone. They’re like the old joke: diplomacy is the art of telling the other to go to hell and making it seem like they’ll enjoy the trip. And it is this ‘unknown known’ that results in the hysteria that characterizes their tactics such as that of the Tea Party, tactics that tend to ride on shifting criteria. For example: back when Hillary Clinton was trying to put together a one payer healthcare system under her husband’s presidency, we not only got arguments like ‘who the hell made her president?’, we also got the argument that there was no way a ‘government run’ enterprise could stand up to what the market could do. Now shift a few years later when we were talking about the public option presented by Kerry during his campaign for president. Then the whole argument shifted to a recognition that there was no way that profit seeking healthcare providers could stand up to the public option. In other words, the whole system would ‘collapse’ into a government run operation.

Once again, as Professor Buchanan points out, Capitalism is no longer just an option; it is the only option. And I would propose that what we are dealing with, as concerns Capitalism, is something like a drug or alcohol addiction (a kind of modern day Land of the Lotos Eaters (and the denial (via hysteria (we see expressed in our present social environment. I would only ask that it be considered along with the other theories and models presented as concerns the question we are all trying to answer.

Tomorrow, I turn to Rawl’s Laws of the Peoples. But as I end this really productive immersion (or what I realized, on the way home from the “library”, is the equivalent of a buggering meant to produce some monstrous offspring (and I publically apologize to the professor for such a violation (and give the good Deleuzians a well deserved break, I would like to shove in as many final points as I can into the small window of this rhizome as I can.

“What’s needed is an analysis that shows how desire and interest can travel in different and conflicting directions.” – pg. 131

I would humbly offer a model that I believe to be perfectly compatible with schizoanalysis and the concept of desiring production. I would suggest that we look at the process of evolution in a kind of Bergsonian way. We start with simple cells that eventually evolve decentralized nervous systems. But as those cells evolve into more complex organisms, those nervous systems start to conflate into central nervous systems that eventually bud into a simple base of the brain that flower into our more cognitive systems. Parallel to this process is a relationship to the environment that starts out completely self centered (the competitive) then, as the organisms grow more complex, adapts by forming alliances with other organisms like itself. In other words, the process has been one of starting with the internal (the competitive) and working its way outward: the cooperative.

Of course, the competitive, having genealogically been the origin, has pretty much dominated our evolutionary process up until now with the cooperative catching up as an evolutionary adaption which is what evolution is, after all, ultimately about. And we have to admit that the competitive model (via capitalism (in which our baser impulses put the higher cognitive functions in their service (is what has gotten us to this point thus far. At the same time, facing our self destruction through manmade climate change or our enslavement through global Capitalism, we can now see the cooperative mode (in which our baser impulses see it in their interest to act in tandem with our higher cognitive functions (as the next evolutionary step we have to make in order to survive as a species.

What we are dealing with as concerns Frank’s book and the move to the right in general is a kind of evolutionary backlash: those who are still stuck in the competitive mode. And it is the dynamic of baser impulses using their higher cognitive functions for their purposes and interests that explains the clearly a-rational tactics that they tend to use.

And to finish with what is the central thesis of D & G’s book (I couldn’t walk away without doing so : if someone doesn’t get how the Oedipus complex has become a kind of overcoding (a form of oppression and outright fascism (just watch Dr. Phil for a few moments. Here we have the perfect expression of Ego psychology (which Lacan was opposed to and I assume Guatarri as well: this notion that most psychological maladies are the product of a fractured ego that can be put back together if the subject just make peace with the father figure (the psychoanalyst: the One suppose to know (and return to the symbolic order. And we see it all over Dr. Phil who, as nice as he seems, is little more than a candy-coated tyrant (fascism at its finest and an agent of normalization (who picks out the most desperate among us (the straw men (so that he can establish his authority and reorganize our egos in ways that are more beneficial to the status quo and powers that be.

“From the very beginning of this study, we have maintained both that social-production and desiring-production are one and the same, and that they have differing regimes, with the result that a social form of production exercises an essential repression of desiring-production, and also that desiring-production - “real” desire - is potentially capable of demolishing the social form. (116/138)” -Holland, Eugene W. (2002-01-04). Deleuze and Guattari’s Anti-Oedipus: Introduction to Schizoanalysis (p. 56). Taylor and Francis. Kindle Edition.

I would first point out that this is a quote from Anti-Oedipus extracted from Holland’s book.

That formality dealt with, this brings to mind a quote from Picasso (a connection that suggests (call it confirmation bias if you will (what I’ve always said about Deleuze: that the creative act is never that far from his mind. Anyway, Picasso said:

“Taste is the enemy of art.”

But I would humbly propose that this warrants revision. Picasso was a visual artist which commits him to feel over meaning. What Archibald MacLeish said about the poem:

“A poem should not mean but be.”

:holds even more true for the work of art. A work of art, much like a dream, gets most of its meaning from the discourse that goes on around it via the very network of desiring and social production that D & G describe. But Picasso being a visual artist, we can assume him to not be one to clearly define his terms. Philosophy, however, is defined by the attempt to do so –even if it is an often failed one or one, such as that of Derrida’s, that defies meaning for the sake of making meaning.

I would start with the term ‘art’. I would argue that art is, by definition, a social phenomenon defined by publically shared taste. This was, for instance, what Duchamp (as well the dada movement as a whole (was getting at when he hung a urinal in an art gallery to suggest that it became art by receiving the validation of the authority of the gallery or museum.

What I actually think Picasso was referring to was the creative act which is childlike, instinctive, and spontaneously private in nature. One only need experience the process by which the private act of improvisation (bricolage (becomes a work of art in order to get this. Therefore, I believe we can twist Picasso’s statement (in a strangely ironic way (to:

“Art is the enemy of the creative act.”

Unfortunately, in terms of D & G’s model of machinic production, this shows itself to be little more than a momentary stay against confusion: an arborescent calcification in the vast rhizomatic flux they ask us to immerse ourselves in. By their model, we can see, rather, a feedback-loop between the private and the public. While the creative act must begin in an act that any child could engage in and return to it frequently, it still has to engage in the discourse of the public: look what I’ve done, Mom!!!. And it is this discourse with the public that can lead to the blocks in the flows of energy that can deflect those flows into nomadic trajectories. Once again:

“From the very beginning of this study, we have maintained both that social-production and desiring-production are one and the same, and that they have differing regimes, with the result that a social form of production exercises an essential repression of desiring-production, and also that desiring-production - “real” desire - is potentially capable of demolishing the social form. (116/138)”

“What the Oedipal family-machine produces is just enough: obedient ascetic subjects programmed to accept the mediation of capital between their productive life-activity and their own enjoyment of it, who will work for an internalized prohibitive authority and defer gratification until the day they die, the day after retiring.” -Holland, Eugene W. (2002-01-04). Deleuze and Guattari’s Anti-Oedipus: Introduction to Schizoanalysis (p. 55). Taylor and Francis. Kindle Edition.

Here we run into the kind of conflicts and contradictions that can occur in the general flux of desiring and social production in the context of D & G’s points about debt. What I’m mainly thinking about here is the paradox of thrift which notes that, on one hand, thrift and saving is encouraged as the way to get ahead or be blessed by the religion of Capitalism. At the same time, living in a debt based economy as we do, if everyone were thrifty and saved until they got too old to actually enjoy it, our economy would implode. The odious aspect of it is that once the individual (in support of our expansion based economy (goes into debt to the point of no longer being able to dig themselves out, they find themselves subject to the Calvinistic finger wag of some kind of moral failure on their part, that referred to as the pathetic fallacy in sociological circles. In other words, our system gives praise (and can only give praise (to the ascetic lifestyle because so few people engage in it as to not present the very real threat it actually presents if practiced universally –a threat Capitalism is perfectly aware is there.

This can be seen in the workings of Alan Greenspan who, being an inflation hawk, always recommended raising the interest rate when the economy got too hot then, upon seeing the effect of this on his country-club buddies, turned to the import of expanding credit.

We can see a similar dynamic in Capitalism’s claim to an intimate and exclusive relationship to freedom in terms of the automaton. On the production side of the equation, the automaton would be perfectly suitable. The problem is that, on the consumption side of the equation, automatons don’t need much: nourishment, shelter, sleep, little more. They are the perfect ascetics. And we can see it all over the semiotics of advertising as well as media in general. On one hand, it offers these paths to freedom which we can buy our way into; while on the other hand, it is always describing to us the perimeters we must stay within in order to have that freedom. Lately, according to most beer commercials, it’s been the hipsters. And to see the most extreme aspect of this dynamic, all you need to look at is an infomercial that happens to have an audience. It’s surreal: an audience cheering at the product the host is selling. We see something similar on game shows.

And we see as much in the world presented in the shows that corporate owned media presents us with (Seinfeld for instance: a world in which no one has to ask what they can afford, but what product to buy. We see a similar dynamic in Modern Family as well –that is as much as I like the show.

Basically what we’re looking at through media is the creation of consumer bots. The scary thing is that most of us (at least the intellectually curious who inhabit these boards (know better. The problem is that we can’t be sure our politicians do. We can’t help but feel that most policy is based on what they see on media.

As D&G point out: Capitalism should, in theory, deterritorialize, yet, always seems work back to reterritorializations.

First of all, an update for my fellow Deleuzians: this will likely be my last rhizome from this particular immersion for several weeks until I return to the actual text of Anti-Oedipus. So breath a sigh of relief and keep doing what you do until I get back. Anyway:

“More significantly, the infant may pull away from the breast for other reasons, without any ultimate physiological satisfaction having been achieved. Perhaps a smile catches its eye, and it suspends the mouth-breast connection to pursue an eye-face connection instead - and then maybe looks away and brings a finger into connection with a lock of hair: in each case the disjunctive energy of anti-production functions to suspend one organ-machine connection, but only for the sake of another, in an open-ended series: either mouth-breast, or eye-smile, or finger-hair, or whatever.” -Holland, Eugene W. (2002-01-04). Deleuze and Guattari’s Anti-Oedipus: Introduction to Schizoanalysis (p. 32). Taylor and Francis. Kindle Edition.

This gets at my understanding of D & G’s almost metaphysical system of desiring and social production –especially in the context of the right-wing in America. It’s about the micro(molecular(molar flows of energy that can, due to conflicting trajectories, result in blockages of those flows. We need only think here of resistance as defined by physical law: that which also requires energy to exist. And what can result from these blockages is a kind calcification that can, at best, redirect the flows of energies that go on around it.

For instance, we tend to think of sexuality as historically being repressed. But as Foucault points out, this has never been the case. It has, rather, always been channeled to the needs of the given power structure. And we see this to this day in the semiotics of advertising which is notorious for exploiting our sexuality for the sake of getting us to buy a given product and sell possibility which is what Capitalism is best at selling, thereby, selling itself: Who wants to be a Millionaire! Take, for instance, the recent onslaught of Viagra commercials that show utterly hot middle aged women who assure us that it is normal and alright for middle aged men to suffer from E.D… Now note the environments they are always moving in: ones that are clearly above most of our pay-grades. It is as if to say that the only men who need apply are those who work in the 6 figure range.

That said, we can see the D & G metaphysics in the brown shirt activities of the right: a clear expression of hysteria. What they represent is blockages of the flows of energy that have calcified into paranoid/fascist centers. The problem is that they cannot stop (being as finite as they are (all flows of energy: all acts of desiring and social production. Therefore, those flows get directed into expressions of hysteria. And this redirection takes expression in every cheap tactic they resort to. Take, for instance, the goonish (brown shirt (nature of the voter ID laws that must have been cause for a lot of triumphant chuckling among the tea party as they attempted to ram them through. They, of course, threw up their hands and argued they were just trying to maintain the integrity of the voting process -that is when it was never really in question.

Still, I am fully aware that schizoanalysis takes up no one cause. And in this sense, I would point out the similarity of it to the ultimate deconstructive rebellion of Christ: the fact that he belonged to everyone while belonging to no one at the same time. It’s basically what got him killed.

One of the first things I’m noting about Spinoza (that is as I scratch the surface of The Ethics (is how he seems to be using arguments similar to Anselm’s ontological proof of God, but towards clearly different ends. I mean even on a first run through (on the audio book even (you get a sense of what it was that got him in so much trouble. The most notable is his argument that God, as substance, by careful reasoning, cannot possess free will which must have seemed quite offensive to those who held a more conventional view of God.

And I can tell already, given how my filters are working, that this particular immersion will be primarily focused on the relationship between Deleuze and Spinoza and may well lead to a following immersion in Deleuze’s book on Spinoza –that is: just to see what happens. For instance:

“Proof.— If several distinct substances be granted, they must be distinguished one from the other, either by the difference of their attributes, or by the difference of their modifications (Prop. iv.). If only by the difference of their attributes, it will be granted that there cannot be more than one with an identical attribute. If by the difference of their modifications— as substance is naturally prior to its modifications (Prop. i.),— it follows that setting the modifications aside, and considering substance in itself, that is truly, (Deff. iii. and vi.), there cannot be conceived one substance different from another,— that is (by Prop. iv.), there cannot be granted several substances, but one substance only. Q.E.D.” -Baruch Spinoza (2013-09-01). Ethics (Kindle Locations 44-49). Heraklion Press. Kindle Edition.

(Now first of all, I’m hoping someone here (perhaps my German jam-mate, Harald​ (can help me on what “Q.E.D.” means as it is sprinkled throughout the book.)

That said, I can’t help but read the BwO into this. If I am getting Spinoza right, it is as if Substance is like a plane upon which various intensities (attributes and modes (can break into their various and individual nomadic flights (expansion (while still being attached to the BwO of Substance: contraction.

And I’m starting to see the connection between the BwO as described above and Deleuze and Guatarri’s sense of desiring production or the rhizomatic network of it –at least within Spinoza’s emphasis on the infinite as compared to the finite. And I would also note the possible foundation of Deleuze’s materialism in:

“That thing is called free, which exists solely by the necessity of its own nature, and of which the action is determined by itself alone. On the other hand, that thing is necessary, or rather constrained, which is determined by something external to itself to a fixed and definite method of existence or action.” -Ibid

And I, once again, have to approach this with the same provisional materialism I approach Deleuze with(as well as Rorty (for the sake of a workable model –that is in a pragmatic spirit. And I do so with full acknowledgement that this is the very same argument that hardcore materialists have been throwing at me over the years.

This, of course, has been wide swipes and the fumbling around of someone out their comfort zone. But as Deleuze tells us: we write at the edge of what we know. And we do that to hopefully zero in on the particulars. May I not waste my time and yours.