What’s wrong with Deleuze and Guattari?

I’ve had a go at D&G’s ideas a number of times on this site and within the Doctrine — occasionally cutting-and-pasting, often reacting to, certainly abusing or subverting:

  • Incorporeal transformation was central to my groundbreaking reevaluation of jihad within my former religion: that the “lesser jihad” is a kind of speech act that transforms, while the “greater jihad” is truly bodily, but over a “body without organs”, not a body in the normal sense of biology. This is argued within Chapter 6 of the Doctrine.
  • I took their notion of sign regimes, lines of flight and characterisation of the nomad versus the city and, drawing on their own readings of Moses and Muhammed in A Thousand Plateaus, re-read the nature of Medina, Mecca, hijrah.
  • I subverted/abused their notion of faceology, linking it to Kabbalic concepts of the Face/Head of God, triangulating the Qur’anic “Face of Allah”.
  • So what’s wrong with Deleuze and Guattari?

    It’s that, underlying their work, is the Anti-Oedipus: the denial of sublimation’s role in the origin of meaning. The belief (a schizo position, as they call it) that desire is purely productive, pure metonymy, a factory and means to production that is shackled by philosophers, bankers, psychoanalysts, armed with imaginary complexes (Oedipal), falsifying the claim that sublimation as a reason for desire’s existence. They deny that desire is desire for the unobtainable — rather, it is raw energy, capital. They free desire from the family (mother-father-child), and interface it immediately with society: applying hyper-Marxism to liberate the desire from familial control (from the control of absence/presence/desiring subject).

    The schizo position is great in principle — and I think is one that genuinely underlies religious revelation.

    But, coming to think of it, everyone I’ve met who reads and admires D&G (including myself) is an incurable neurotic, not a schizo. Who’s got something to hide, repressed, something kept out of view, some hidden motive that drives their need to read and admire D&G.

    There’s an underlying reason why the schizo position is held up in high esteem by the neurotic. Fundamentally, it comes down to their biological need, biological trauma that is unresolved and unaddressed.It comes down to desire in the face of absence. The schizo position is a rant, a rave, a religious incantation, a mystical hysteria, a fantasy dhikr.

    Ditto for other schizo authors (need not mention names here), presenting visions of schizo lifestyles, schizo wars, schizo revelation.


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