The Task of Schizoanalysis: The Formation of the Post-Intentional Society


The task of schizoanalysis is that of tirelessly taking apart egos and their presuppositions; liberating the prepersonal singularities they enclose and repress; mobilizing the flows they would be capable of transmitting, receiving, or intercepting; establishing always further and more sharply the schizzes and the breaks well below conditions of identity; and assembling the desiring machines that countersect everyone and group everyone with others.

– Anti-Oedipus, Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari

Capitalism is a system of capture that cages in the socius within the horizon of its global prison system or asylum of madness. Schizophrenia is the process of flight and escape from the limits of this repressive regime. In its decoded flows is the constitution of a desire toward the absolute limit of the capitalist horizon, a passage beyond the barriers, a break-out and break-through into a new type of socio-cultural world. Yet, capitalism is constantly countermanding this tendency toward flight and escape, exorcizing the limits by substituting internal and relative limits for it that it can reproduce on an ever expanding scale, or an axiomatic of flows that subjects the tendency to the harshest forms of despotism and repression.1 (p 362)

No one gets out alive. They only find themselves deeper in solitude and madness.

To counteract the schizophrenia process capitalism installs the Oedipal-machine as a limit value: it arrests the flows that would otherwise escape through lines of flight beyond the prison walls. This Oedipalization takes on three forms: Neurosis, Catatonia, and self-reflecting nothingness (Zizek’s “turning in the void” – the order of the pervert). Our world of global capital is essentially an asylum: a zone of madness where the inmates have yet to discover they are in fact sick. Instead we take as normal the psychosis and paranoia of daily life as the way it is: the production of social psychopathy. In this world they tell us that there is little “difference between reformist (progressive), fascist (neoliberal), or revolutionary (Leninist), who are distinguished from one another only in a preconscious fashion, but whose unconscious investments are of the same type, even when they do not adopt the same social body” (p. 364).

As they tell us the only way out of this deadlock is to forgo all belief – to, as Klossaski once said: “The day humans are able to behave as intentionless phenomena – for every intention at the level of the human being always obeys the laws of its conservation, its continued existence – on that day a new creature will declare the integrity of existence… The construction of the post-intentional subject is the schiz in process, living beyond all intentionalism whatsoever. (p. 368) Art and science will lead the way toward this post-intentional society. An art that is at once schizorevolutionary, that is no longer measured except in terms of the decoded and deterritorialized flows that it causes to circulate beneath a signifier reduced to silence, beneath the conditions of identity of the parameters, across a structure reduced to impotence; a writing with pneumatic, electronic, or gaseous indifferent supports, and appears all the more difficult and intellectual to intellectuals as it is accessible to the infirm, the illiterate, and the schizos, embracing all that flows and counterflows, the gushings of mercy and pity knowing nothing of meanings and aims. It is here that art accedes to its authentic modernity, which simply consists in liberating what was present in art from its beginnings, but was hidden underneath aims and objects, even if aesthetic, and underneath recodings or axiomatics; the pure process that fulfills itself, and that never ceases to reach fulfillment as it proceeds – art as “experimentation”. (pp. 370-371)

Next comes the sciences freed from their subjugation to the market economy of capitalism, enabled to move beyond the economic goals set by capitalism and its elite financiers, the sciences become once again a part of the flows of the socius and its needs rather than the goals of profit and State. An end to the repressive regime of surplus value extracted from labor, and the surplus-jouissance extracted into art and sciences subjugated to the strictures of a ruthless elite corporatism. As they tell us:

Everything in the system is insane: this is because the capitalist machine thrives on decoded and deterritorialized flows; it decodes and deterritorializes them still more, but while causing them to pass into an axiomatic apparatus that combines them, and at the points of combination produces pseudo codes and artificial reterritorializations. It is this sense that the capitalist axiomatic cannot but give rise to new territorialities and revive a new despotic Urstaat. The great mutant flow of capital is pure deterritorialization, but it performs an equivalent reterritorialization when converted into a reflux of means of payment and debt. (p. 374)

At the heart of this process beyond the intentionalism that has trapped us in the clutches of ego and capital is desire itself: “we believe in desire as the irrational of every form of rationality, and not because it is a lack, a thirst, or an aspiration, but because it is the production of desire: desire that produces – real desire, or the real in itself” (p. 379). Against those that accuse them of making the schizophrenic into a revolutionary hero they counter, saying: the schizophrenic process is revolutionary (not the schizophrenic as entity), in the very sense that the paranoiac method is reactionary and fascist (which we detest); and it is not these psychiatric categories, freed of all familializations, that will allow us to understand the politico-economic determinations, but exactly the opposite” (i.e., it is the political-economic determinations that help us express the underlying capitalist modes of capture as Oedipalization) (p. 380).

Is there a political program here? No. Is there a path forward? Yes. Ultimately schizoanalysis deals with the desiring-machines themselves, the ways in which they begin to invest in each other within the socius. The task set is first a negative one that must be violent and brutal: defamiliarizing, de-oedipalizing, decastrating; undoing the theatre of cruelty, dream, and fantasy; decoding, deterritorializing – a terrible curettage, a malevolent activity (i.e., the death of ego and the intentional consciousness: belief system (Hume)). But it all happens at the same time. Allowing the schizophrenizing task to be completed, the barriers of the prison of capital breached, the break-out accomplished, and the break-through into the new world begun through the processes of flight and lines of escape:

For the new earth is not to be found in the neurotic or perverse reterritorializations that arrest the process or assign it goals; it is no more behind than ahead, it coincides with the completion of the process of desiring-production, this process that is always and already complete as it proceeds, and as long as it proceeds. It therefore remains for us to see how, effectively, simultaneously, these various tasks of schizoanalysis proceed. (p. 382)

Well so far as we know we are still waiting… capitalism has been able to recapture, reterritorialize and recode all desiring-production into its own malicious and darkened goals. Will a generation arise that might allow the schizophrenizing process to complete itself – allow the new post-intentional process of subjectivation and the desiring-machines to finally break out of this asylum?

1. Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari. Anti-Oedipus Capitalism and Schizophrenia (Penguin, 2001)

4 thoughts on “The Task of Schizoanalysis: The Formation of the Post-Intentional Society

    • That’s one of the aspects Deleuze and Guattari tried to address: that there is a great difference between actual Schizophrenics (human entities) and the Schizophrenizing process itself… our civilization has always – or, at least so far captured the schizophrenic before they completed their task and repressed, labeled, institutionalized, or familialized (Oedipalized) back within the limits of the asylum/prison complex.

      Scott Bakker with his BBT theory is in the right direction with a non-intentional or post-intentional theory and praxis… neurosciences are moving in this direction as well…

      Yet, neither addresses the political economic aspects as did Deleuze and Guattari… and, their work was only a minor beginning in this direction….


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