Deleuze & Guattari’s Accelerationist Manifesto

deleuze-and-guattari

The Real Accelerationist Manifesto (Non-teleological Permanent Revolution) of Deleuze & Guattari:

“…the task of schizoanalysis is ultimately that of discovering for every case the nature of the libidinal investments of the social field, their possible internal conflicts, their relationships with the preconscious investments of the same field, their possible conflicts with these—in short, the entire interplay of the desiring-machines and the repression of desire. Completing the process and not arresting it, not making it turn about in the void, not assigning it a goal. We’ll never go too far with the deterritorialization, the decoding of flows. For the new earth (“In truth, the earth will one day become a place of healing”) 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.” (Anti-Oedipus: p. 401) [my italics]

Of course the above echoes that other famous passage from The Capitalist Machine of Civilization chapter:

So what is the solution? Which is the revolutionary path? Psychoanalysis is of little help, entertaining as it does the most intimate of relations with money, and recording—while refusing to recognize it—an entire system of economic-monetary dependences at the heart of the desire of every subject it treats. Psychoanalysis constitutes for its part a gigantic enterprise of absorption of surplus value. But which is the revolutionary path? Is there one?—To withdraw from the world market, as Samir Amin advises Third World countries to do, in a curious revival of the fascist “economic solution”? Or might it be to go in the opposite direction? To go still further, that is, in the movement of the market, of decoding and deterritorialization? For perhaps the flows are not yet deterritorialized enough, not decoded enough, from the viewpoint of a theory and a practice of a highly schizophrenic character. Not to withdraw from the process, but to go further, to “accelerate the process,” as Nietzsche put it: in this matter, the truth is that we haven’t seen anything yet. (AO, p. 239) [italics mine]

3 thoughts on “Deleuze & Guattari’s Accelerationist Manifesto

  1. A few dissembled thoughts: people have often commented that the specter of “accelerationism” (which might often be a poor choice of a signifier, but hey, we can roll with it) disappears in the passage from AO to ATP. However, the necessary move in connection the notion of the “new earth” to accelerationist discourse reveals that this same question lurks at the heart of ATP. The “new earth” and its “people to come” are the ghosts that haunt that latter work’s pages.

    Also, there are two points in AO where D&G quote other authors at extreme length. Given the high level of emphasis put on these two quotes, I would argue that they are of utmost importance, particularly where an “accelerationist politics” is concerned.

    The first is from R.D. Laing’s “The Politics of Experience”:

    “If the human race survives, future men will , I suspect, look back on our
    enlightened epoch as a veritable age of Darkness. They will presumably
    be able to savor the irony of this situation with more amusement than we
    can extract from it. The laugh’s on us. They will see that what we call
    ‘schizophrenia’ was one of the forms in which, often through quite
    ordinary people, the light began to break through the cracks in our
    all-too-closed minds . … Madness need not be all breakdown. It may
    also be breakthrough …. The person going through ego-loss or transcendental
    experiences may or may not become in different ways
    confused. Then he might legitimately be regarded as mad. But to be mad
    is not necessarily to be ill, notwithstanding that in our culture the two
    categories have become confused …. From the alienated starting point
    of our pseudo-sanity, everything is equivocal. Our sanity is not ‘true’ sanity. Their madness is not ‘true’ madness. The madness of our
    patients is an artifact of the destruction wreaked on them by us and by
    them on themselves. Let no one suppose that we meet ‘true’ madness
    any more than that we are truly sane . The madness that we encounter in
    ‘patients ‘ is a gross travesty, a mockery, a grotesque caricature of what
    the natural healing of that estranged integration we call sanity might be.
    True sanity entails in one way or another the dissolution of the normal
    ego.”

    A footnote (not an endnote) is added to this quote, which reads: “In a closely connected sense Michel Foucault announced: “Perhaps one day one will no longer know clearly what madness really was . … Artaud will belong to the ground of our language , and not to its rupture …. Everything that we experience today in the mode of the limit, or of strangeness, or of the unbearable, will have joined again with the serenity of the positive. And what for us currently designates this Exterior stands a chance , one day of designating us …. Madness is breaking its kinship ties with mental illness, … madness and mental illness are ceasing to belong to the same anthropological entity” (“La folie, I’absence d ‘oeuvre,” LaTable ronde, May 1 964).” This Foucault quote is from “Madness, the absence of an œuvre”, which was part of his text “The History of Madness”, of which “Madness and Civilization” is but an abridged version. Here’s a link to a translation of it: http://foucault.info/doc/documents/foucault-historyofmadness-html

    The second lengthy quote is from Klossowksi on Nietzsche:

    “”Every sovereign formation would thus have to foresee the destined moment of
    its disintegration …. No formation of sovereignty, in order to crystalize,
    will ever endure this prise de conscience: for as soon as this
    formation becomes conscious of its immanent disintegration in the
    individuals who compose it, these same individuals decompose it. …
    By way of the circuitous route of science and art, human beings have
    many times revolted against this fixity; this capacity notwithstanding,
    the gregarious impulse in and by science caused this rupture to fail. 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 …. Science demonstrates by its very
    method that the means that it constantly elaborates do no more than
    reproduce, on the outside , an interplay of forces by themselves without
    aim or end whose combinations obtain such and such a result ….
    However, no science can develop outside a constituted social grouping.
    In order to prevent science from calling social groups back in question,
    these groups take science back in hand . .. [integrate it] into the diverse
    industrial schemes ; its autonomy appears strictly inconceivable. A
    conspiracy joining together art and science presupposes a rupture of all
    our institutions and a total upheaval of the means of production …. If
    some conspiracy, according to Nietzsche’s wish, were to use science
    and art in a plot whose ends were no less suspect, industrial society
    would seem to foil this conspiracy in advance by the kind of mise en
    scene it offers for it, under pain of effectively suffering what this
    conspiracy reserves for this society: i.e., the breakup of the institutional
    structures that mask the society into a plurality of experimental spheres
    finally revealing the true face of modernity-an ultimate phase that
    Nietzsche saw as the end result of the evolution of societies. In this
    perspective, art and science would then emerge as sovereign formations
    that Nietzsche said constituted the object of his counter sociology-art
    and science establishing themselves as dominant powers , on the ruins of
    institutions.”

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    • True. Over and over they speak of the need to differentiate the process of desiring production itself as schizophrenizing rather than schizophrenic (i.e., as a continuous revolutionary forces without end). The schizophrenic in the institution is the one for whom the schizophrenizing process was blocked producing the disease which is the opposite of the infrastructural flows to which desiring production leads. Capitalism captures these schizophrenizing processes and gives them a goal, hitches them to Industrial production and the capture of surplus value which has produced the schizophrenic socio-cultural world of global civil war we see all around us.

      As they said earlier in the book: “Why the same word, schizo, to designate both the process insofar as it goes beyond the limit, and the result of the process insofar as it runs up against the limit and pounds endlessly away there? Why the same word to designate both the eventual breakthrough and the possible breakdown, and all the transitions, the intrications of the two extremes? (139).

      We no longer know if it is the process that must truly be called madness, the sickness being only disguise or caricature, or if the sickness is our only madness and the process our only cure. But in any case, the intimate nature of the relationship appears directly in inverse ratio: the more the process of production is led off course, brutally interrupted, the more the schizo-as-entity arises as a specific product. That is why, on the other hand, we were unable to establish any direct relationship between neurosis and psychosis. The relationships of neurosis, psychosis, and also perversion depend on the situation of each one with regard to the process, and on the manner in which each one represents a mode of interruption of the process, a residual bit of ground to which one still clings so as not to be carried off by the deterritorialized flows of desire. (139)

      Right there in that passage above “…the intimate nature of the relationship appears directly in inverse ratio: the more the process of production is led off course, brutally interrupted, the more the schizo-as-entity arises as a specific product.” The accelerationism of D&G is to cut out that goal, that blockage that capitalism puts there as a false limit, and break through the false barrier into the free flows of art and science working in unison to endlessly revise and explore under a goalless or non-teleological regime.

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