Deleuze and Guatarri Study: the Anti-Oedipus:

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d63
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Deleuze and Guatarri Study: the Anti-Oedipus:

Post by d63 » Thu Jun 05, 2014 10:36 pm

Once again, the purpose of the following is a study that will follow a fixed reading list that will start with Professor Buck’s (just prodding you, man! (actually, Professor Buchannan’s reader guide, then move on to Holland’s, then end with the book itself –that is if anyone wants to follow along. I realize this seems kind of neurotic and odd. But as anyone who has engaged with me during the last couple of weeks during my vacation (the mad hours (could appreciate, these kind of repetitions (this Einstein’s wardrobe (are necessary to me to get anything done and keep me from succumbing to the perfect chaos of the creative difference and becoming that I have just found myself extraordinarily vulnerable to. Imagine Immanuel Kant questioning his assumptions about his own consciousness and workaholic that he was with a propensity towards beer and Jager , and you may get why I cling to such routines.

(I would also point out something brought to my attention, by either Levi Bryant or Williams, that the French word for experience is interchangeable with the word for experiment. Therefore, given that my choice to follow a given reading list is a choice to give myself whatever experience it allows me, and is, by definition, a kind of experiment, I would argue in my behalf that, despite my lack of spontaneity, I am still working in the Deleuzian spirit.)

That said, having gotten 64 pages into Buchannan’s book, I now realize why it was I found myself chatting with him and facing the anxious revelation that I had read his book and could not remember a thing about it. Unlike most of the other books I’ve read around this subject, the problem wasn’t that it was difficult. It was, rather, that it was too readable –in fact, to the point of being a page turner. I normally am easily able to limit my daily meditation to around 20 pages. Today, however, I found myself drawn all the way to 40+ and wanting to go further. The main book I would compare it to in Colebrook’s Routledge guide to Deleuze. The difference was, however, while Colebrook presented me with concepts I could immediately assimilate into my individual point in my process, Buchannan presented me with concepts that were intriguing but just out of my reach, but close enough to know I can eventually get at them.

This presents a practical problem for me in that after I do my daily meditation, I tend to go to the bar and engage in a process I call fishing. This is where the real stuff happens –and within a 20 to 30 minute window. It is then that I go back to a previous point in the book, focus on a small section, and take notes as suits me. This is where I mainly assimilate the points I will carry with me throughout my process into other books: something I can put into the 500 word payoff that comes after I get back from the bar. The problem is that if I’m shooting right through the book, I will have less of these fishing sessions.

In other words: love the book Professor Buchannan. But if I understate it in this run, I hope you will understand why.

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Re: Deleuze and Guatarri Study: the Anti-Oedipus:

Post by d63 » Fri Jun 06, 2014 10:30 pm

First of all, let me say (in the “dear diary” approach I tend to take with this) that today’s meditation took a turn for the worse. I suddenly realized, in the 20 + pages I read, that Buchannan’s thoughts on the subject and the terminology he is using is a little more out of reach than I previously thought. Therefore, I have to take an approach I was forced to with Difference and Repetition: simply start with what I THINK he means (or the words themselves) and work from there. The uptick, though, is that I now have a whole board of other poor souls who happen to be as sick with “that goddamn Frenchman” as I am and who can help me with it.

I want to start with the 3 syntheses (connective, disjunctive, and conjunctive) that Buchannan brings up in his reader’s guide and apply them in the context of the movie Jaws as he did, but in a way that most likely varies from what he was trying to do. And I would admit right away that my interpretation is heavily influenced by Hegel’s dialectic as it was interpreted by an audio book I have on him –not the schoolbook version of thesis, antithesis, and synthesis.

I would start with the connective function that Buchannan actually does describe in that the shark cannot actually be thought of actually symbolizing (or standing in) for anything: communism, Capitalism, the force of nature, etc.. As he quoted Zizek, you have to imagine it without the shark in which case all various dispositions and potential conflicts (the corrupt town politicians, the greedy business interests, the cop who wanted to just keep the peace, the partying college kids, etc.) would have existed regardless. In this sense, the intrusion of the shark serves the function of a connective synthesis in bringing all these different interests together into a common cause.

This, in turn, switches the shark's function to a disjunctive synthesis in that intensities are produced through the various interests that found themselves in conflict. This effect was produced by the BwO (the body without organs) of the tourist town being forced to move from a harmonious molar existence to a more molecular mode in which the individual elements become more pronounced and, consequently, the various conflicts between those individual elements.

Now, as concerns the conjunctive, I run into a bit of a problem in that the closest the movie came to it was officer Brody and Matt Hooper (the marine biologist) swimming back to shore after blowing up the shark. In this sense, the conjunctive synthesis becomes of matter of order being restored. But we need to make a distinction here. It would almost seem that the connective and conjunctive syntheses were the same thing. However, if I am reading the terminology right, there is a subtle difference. In the connective synthesis, all the different elements are simply brought together while remaining explicitly distinct: hence the various intensities created through the various conflicts. In the conjunctive synthesis, all the elements are brought back into a seemingly harmonious whole.

However, let’s take another Zizek-like flight and imagine the movie staying true to the book up to the point where Matt Hooper has sex with officer Brody’s wife, then departs in letting Matt Hooper live. Now imagine the conjunctive synthesis at work as the 2 of them swim back to shore. As Buchanan seemed to be pointing out when he quoted Colonel Kurtz from The Heart of Darkness, “the horror, the horror” the resolve, or conjunctive synthesis, seems to be an uneasy one in that the new one holds within it certain tensions (in the spirit of Kierkegaard) that are bound to produce new dialectical processes such as the one described above.

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Re: Deleuze and Guatarri Study: the Anti-Oedipus:

Post by d63 » Sat Jun 07, 2014 10:59 pm

One of the problems I face when writing about my readings of and about Deleuze is that I always feel like I’m stumbling out of my comfort zone. (And this is not to understate the role Guattarri played in it as the stream of consciousness style of The Anti-Oedipus Papers made all too clear to me.) And what I’m about to try to traverse (thank you, Professor Buchannan (only facilitates that experience of it. But then I guess that is what keeps me coming back to “that goddamn Frenchman” (I mean it: fuck the French and their weird obscure philosophies anyway. So if I fuck this up, please blame it on the French.

Anyway, Buchannan writes at one point:

"Essentially what Deleuze and Guattarri are arguing here is this: the movement of microscopic entities combines to produce macroscopic entities which in turn react on those same microscopic entities forcing them to adapt and change."

In this sense, we can see the back and forth that occurs between the individual and their social situation. The individual element, as a system, interacts with its supra-system that in turn interacts with it as sub-system. And we can see here how this goes to the question of what it is about desire that will turn on itself, what it is about people that they will seek out their own oppression. I paraphrase a quote made in another book (I believe it was Massumi quoting someone else:

“The strange thing isn’t that people steal when they’re hungry or strike when they feel exploited. It’s that they’re not doing it on a regular basis.”

In other words, we cannot simply explain oppressive regimes as someone with more power using it against those with less power. We have to explain how it is that such a majority would allow such a regime to get into power in the first place and often sustain it –even after they realize it is not always in their best interest. There has to be something at the core of the human psyche that allows this kind of situation to emerge.

(And on a personal note: this issue, as a progressive living in the American Midwest, seems all too concrete to me given the utter conservative and rightwing irrationality I find myself daily bombarded with by people I otherwise like, love, and care about –something I will go into later(

But Buchannan pushes deeper into the issue, at an earlier point in the book, when he brings up, in analytic fashion, the contradiction (via D & G themselves( involved in the Freudian notion that the prohibition on incest is simply a prohibition on a natural impulse:

"The possibility of incest would require both persons and names -sons, sisters, mother, brother, father."

In other words, the Professor takes a turn to the semiotic in noting that the only reason such social coding as incest exists is because there is also the social coding of familial ties. He then goes on to quote The Anti-Oedipus again:

"We can never experience the person and the name at the same time."

We desire what we are drawn to (not what we lack (think: kissing cousin (and everything else is the overcoding of the symbolic order. And this is what delegates us to the position of desiring machines interacting with other desiring machines (systems within systems equal with all systems while being equally below and above other systems (the univocity of being (and, consequently, desiring production acting within a universe of desiring production.

PS: has anyone else experienced a kind of Deleuzian (rhizo-nomad ( schizophrenic (processional(A.D.D. like I have?

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Re: Deleuze and Guatarri Study: the Anti-Oedipus:

Post by d63 » Sun Jun 08, 2014 9:13 pm

Today I want to elaborate on points I made yesterday. But, in order to do so, in order to bounce off of myself, I have to quote myself. This is because, given the nature of some of the boards I’m posting on, if I were to simply respond to myself, there would be no context for someone just coming into it to understand what I’m talking about. And it is for the sake of context and clarity that I do it; not, as some hecklers and trolls would have it, to irritate people or over load some board’s servers.

(Plus that, as someone who thinks of themselves as more of writer than a philosopher (one who writes about philosophy because that is what he is mainly experiencing (I see the potential for a Deleuzian rhizo-matic series of aphorisms that connects and enfolds and is enfolded by future points.)

Anyway:

"But Buchannan pushes deeper into the issue, at an earlier point in the book, when he brings up, in analytic fashion, the contradiction (via D & G themselves( involved in the Freudian notion that the prohibition on incest is simply a prohibition on a natural impulse:

'The possibility of incest would require both persons and names -sons, sisters, mother, brother, father.'

In other words, the Professor takes a turn to the semiotic in noting that the only reason such social coding as incest exists is because there is also the social coding of familial ties. He then goes on to quote The Anti-Oedipus again:

'We can never experience the person and the name at the same time.'

We desire what we are drawn to (not what we lack (think: kissing cousin (and everything else is the overcoding of the symbolic order. And this is what delegates us to the position of desiring machines interacting with other desiring machines (systems within systems equal with all systems while being equally below and above other systems (the univocity of being (and, consequently, desiring production acting within a universe of desiring production."

To approach this from a different angle, what we can see is how deep and immersive the conspiracy of overcoding actually goes. It is in this sense that we recognize that even our proper names are law. I did not choose the name “D.”. It was forced upon me. Yet, this is easy to overlook since I carry it with me like an appendage, this D. machine, this point of capture (pointe de caption), this order word that I carry about with me and acts like a dutiful bureaucrat that organizes the various sub machines that constitute my makeup: those unruly impulses and desires that are expressions of the passives syntheses (the dynamic and pre-linguistic element of the unconscious (as they deal with the various raw engagements in my universe. In this sense, my name is like the Lacanian mirror phase in which the multiplicity of my being is contracted into a coherent whole –an experience I will spend the rest of my life trying to repeat through the various roles ascribed to me by the symbolic order.

Furthermore, this D. machine will represent me, like an attorney, to the name machine of the other. It will act like a filter or doorway through which the various sub machines of the other will come to exchange flows of energy with my various sub-machines. That is, however, after the initial confusion:

“What’s the D stand for?”

“Well…. just D.”

And nothing could make it seem more like law than the fact that if I chose to alleviate that initial confusion, it would not be a simple matter of declaring myself to be Dave. That would require jumping through all kinds of legal hoops. It is this that lies at the foundation of the back and forth between the individual and the social:

"Essentially what Deleuze and Guattarri are arguing here is this: the movement of microscopic entities combines to produce macroscopic entities which in turn react on those same microscopic entities forcing them to adapt and change."

And this, consequently, is why we cannot think of oppressive social systems purely in terms of those with power oppressing those without, but rather in terms of our individual participation in those oppressive systems. Once again, the idea is to seek out and undermine all pockets of fascism, including, and most importantly, those within ourselves.

But as sinister as that seems, it gets diabolical when you move further into the social and consider the role that titles play in all this. I as this D. machine have attached myself to other machines: that of father and now grandfather machines. Of course, when I did so, I failed to read the small print and, consequently, failed to recognize the extent to which those roles were actually law. And nothing could make this clearer to me than the extent to which my social situation is constantly telling me I should give up what I desire (cigarettes, alcohol, free-time as compared to work time, social programs for the sake of fiscal responsibility, and whatever else the tyranny of the functional demands of me) if for nothing else, for the sake of my children and grandchildren.

And let us note here how the mandate seems to just dissipate when it gets outside of the tyranny of the functional. We should eliminate social programs in order to eliminate government debt for the sake of our children and grandchildren, but when it comes to handing them the legacy of an environmental shithole and depleted environmental resources…. well?

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Re: Deleuze and Guatarri Study: the Anti-Oedipus:

Post by d63 » Tue Jun 10, 2014 5:16 am

"But as sinister as that seems, it gets diabolical when you move further into the social and consider the role that titles play in all this. I as this D. machine have attached myself to other machines: that of father and now grandfather machines. Of course, when I did so, I failed to read the small print and, consequently, failed to recognize the extent to which those roles were actually law. And nothing could make this clearer to me than the extent to which my social situation is constantly telling me I should give up what I desire (cigarettes, alcohol, free-time as compared to work time, social programs for the sake of fiscal responsibility, and whatever else the tyranny of the functional demands of me) if for nothing else, for the sake of my children and grandchildren. "

Nor does it stop there. I am reminded, perpetually, of my title as law every time I enter a store. No sooner than we are done buying costumes for Halloween, there is little lapse in the change of display to remind us that Thanksgiving and Christmas is just around the corner. We must do it; they are our children. And it doesn't matter whether you have the money or not. There is always credit. And why wouldn’t they be so non-chalant about it. To quote the Anti-Oedipus:

"The infinite creditor and infinite credit have replaced the blocks of mobile and finite debts. There is always a monotheism on the horizon of despotism: the debt becomes a debt of existence, a debt of existence of the subjects themselves. A time will come when the creditor has not yet lent while the debtor never quits repaying, for repaying is a duty but lending is an option.”

They (it (whatever it is (have everything to gain and little to lose if I manage to die without paying it off. One only need watch the reality TV show Hardcore Pawn to see the kind of power it gives them. And Zizek, in The Plague of Fantasies, gives us a sense of the mechanism, and the power of it through the manipulation of desire, that makes this work. There is, it seems, a sense in which we will experience pleasure (an expression of desire (through the other. He cites the person who will timer record many TV programs on their VCR that they will never find the time to actually watch. This, he explains, is because they experience Jouissance through the VCR having experienced (in some transferred anthropomorphic way (the programs itself. And I can vouch for this (as I’m sure many can on these boards) in my tendency to accumulate books, many of which I now realize I may never get to in my lifetime. It is as if it is enough to know that the books know themselves.

Now imagine this same dynamic at work with our children and grandchildren. It would almost seem evolutionarily wired into us to take pleasure in their pleasure. Consequently, it wouldn’t be that hard to instill a sense of guilt in us when we fail to indulge that pleasure –no matter what the expense.

And it is this law of the familial, and your role (your title (in it that lies at the heart of something most of you, having taken a more academic approach to this than I, have experienced:

“So what did you go to college for?”

“Philosophy.”

“Really? How much does that pay?”

It is as if the only purpose the university could possibly exist for is your role (your title (your law (as producer/consumer, a role, title, and law that will be enforced by the alliances you form with your children. In this sense, even the spouse you decide to have those children with seems like little more than a means to an end. Is it any wonder that more than half of all marriages end up in misery and divorce?

And writing about it now, I realize (in some vague indescribable way (why D & G had such a problem with the overcoding of the oedipal complex.
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That said, I just finished with Professor Buchanan’s book which means I have to move on to Holland’s. It kind of sucks in that it went too fast and I have found so much in it that I could comment on: could bounce off of. And as much as I would like to tell myself that I can still do so as I go through Holland’s book, previous experience has shown that I’ll generally work from what is in front of my nose: connect and forget as Deleuze implores us. Still, Buchanan’s book was a pleasure to read (in the same immediate sense of Colebrook’s Routledge guide to Deleuze (and I would strongly recommend it. The French term for experience being the same as experiment (and given the success of this particular experiment –at least for me (I can only hope to get back to this book ASAP.

I generally rate a work by another by how much I can steal. And my plan is to rip Buchanan off as much as I can. Sorry, Professor.

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Re: Deleuze and Guatarri Study: the Anti-Oedipus:

Post by d63 » Wed Jun 11, 2014 1:26 am

This whole issue comes out of an inferiority complex philosophy tends to feel in the face of science. This, in turn, is based on the Capitalistic value of functionality in that philosophy, outside of the books it sells, does little to add to the GDP. Therefore, it sometimes seeks a quasi-market value in making claims about its ability to find "The Truth" like science.

But philosophy is like art in that if it is to fulfill its only distinguishing feature, it must embrace its non-functionality in the sense that beauty is non-functional. As Camus argues:

"All arguments for beauty are, ultimately, arguments for freedom."

And I believe the visa-versa to be true: all arguments for freedom are ultimately arguments for beauty. And beauty is the only thing that can justify our point A to point B. Everything else is merely a means to that end. I, personally, love philosophy not because it can fix my life: indulge the bad faith of thinking I can find some system that will make it all work like some fine-tuned machine; I love it because it allows me to fulfill, with the highest intensity, the one mandate that my existence seems to press upon me: to experience what the mind can do.

Think about it: we believe in things like higher powers, afterlives, and higher principles. But our point A to point B is pretty much a given. So what better thing is there to do with that point A to point B (consciousness (than see what the mind can do? And that is beyond considerations of the truth or fact value of what it produces.

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Re: Deleuze and Guatarri Study: the Anti-Oedipus:

Post by d63 » Wed Jun 11, 2014 10:35 pm

“To be more precise, Deleuze and Guattari use schizophrenia to refer to a specific mode of psychic and social functioning that is characteristically both produced and repressed by the capitalist economy.”
-Holland, Eugene W. (2002-01-04). Deleuze and Guattari's Anti-Oedipus: Introduction to Schizoanalysis . Taylor and Francis. Kindle Edition. (Yeah. Get that Professor? E-books make it all that easier to quote. Just copy and paste. It even adds who you’re quoting from on its own. You should consider it.)

Anyway, the above quote gets at a major question surrounding Capitalism (and one, I would add may have made post-structural and post-modern methods imperative: What it is about Capitalism that, by definition, should de-territorialize, but always ends up re-territorializing. The first thing to understand is that, historically, there is nothing that new about Capitalism. It all comes down to one thing: no matter what ideological banner we have worked under, there have always been a handful of people who felt they deserved a little (maybe a lot (more than others even if it came at the expense of others. As Claire Colebrook points out:

“This is just the sort of reading Deleuze and Guattari question ; for capitalism is not just a moment within history; it is a tendency of all social life. It is the very nature of any political space to produce exchange, system and ‘inhuman’ structures.” -Colebrook, Claire (2002-12-07). Gilles Deleuze (Routledge Critical Thinkers) (p. 130). Taylor & Francis. Kindle Edition.

How different, for instance, is the Divine Right theory that justified autocratic monarchs than the invisible hand of the market that justifies the excessive accumulation of wealth and power of the top 1%. And Capitalism, for all its claims to have overcome the religious justifications of old, still reeks of a kind of religion in its religious faith in the god-like nature of the market. It use to be:

Pray hard and follow these principles, and you too may enter the kingdom of heaven.

Now it’s:

Work hard and follow these principles, and you too may enter the kingdom of success.

And in this sense, you can see what the initial appeal of Capitalism was in that it offered a constant process of de-territorialization: an eternal freedom if you will. And we see the residual effect of this in the erroneous notion (the myth (that Capitalism holds some kind of exclusive and intimate relationship with freedom. But that, clearly, is not how it has worked. And Slavoj Zizek recently put the icing on that cake in recognizing that the scary thing about China is not that it is an authoritarian country; it’s that an authoritarian country (despite its residual commitment to Communism (has managed to beat America and its cowboy embrace of it at the game of Capitalism. And given that, and the nature of multi-national corporations that have no real commitment to the democratic systems of individual states, you have to wonder how committed the top 1% are to freedom, that is since it has been proven to be more of an ethical consideration than an inherent mechanism by which they sustain their power.

Holland then goes on to point to a possible re-territorializing mechanism in Capitalism:

“consumer preferences are first programmed by advertising to value one set of goods, only to be deprogrammed so as to consider them "out of fashion," and reprogrammed by another advertising campaign to value a "new" set of goods. The terms deterritorialization and reterritorialization thus presuppose and reinforce the notice of a "common essence...of desire and labor," referring without distinction to the detachment and reattachment of the energies of "production in general" (including "consumption") to objects of investment of all kinds, whether conventionally considered "psychological" or "economic." -Holland, Eugene W. (2002-01-04). Deleuze and Guattari's Anti-Oedipus: Introduction to Schizoanalysis (p. 20). Taylor and Francis. Kindle Edition.

Enlightening point. But I would add to that the broader molar observation that a lot of the (re(territorialization comes from our role as producer/ consumers. I would offer the possibility of the Tyranny of the Functional in which all discourses (in a form of Marcusian operationalism (are kept within the perimeters of our role as producer/consumers. And this would seem easy to pull off since Capitalism has a powerful way of mimicking natural forces. It is talked about as if it is some kind of natural force that we can’t act outside of –like the weather or earthquakes. We, for instance, hear a lot about how much smokers are costing our healthcare system. But what we never hear asked is why they are costing that much in the first place. And because of that, any progress we achieve (any advancement towards freedom and justice (must be kept within the perimeters of the molar producer/consumer.

Take, for instance, the TV sitcom Will and Grace. While we cannot downplay the role it played in the acceptance of the homosexual community, we cannot help but note the way it had to be done through Will: an attractive male who also appeared to be a viable producer/consumer who, like many characters in TV sitcoms (note Seinfield), never has to ask what a product costs, but rather what product to buy. In other words, in order to make the homosexual community acceptable, it had to be established that they were as useful to the market as any other social group.

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Re: Deleuze and Guatarri Study: the Anti-Oedipus:

Post by d63 » Thu Jun 12, 2014 10:20 pm

One of the interesting things that is starting to emerge for me in this particular study is the actual positivity and emphasis on production in the work of Deleuze (both alone and with Guattari (as compared to the cynicism displayed by both the right and the left -which includes myself at times. And I would offer as evidence a discourse I have recently engaged in with what is, apparently, a libertarian. He started, in response to this particular study, by arguing that philosophy is primarily about achieving power over others. I then went on to point out that that would only seem to be the case if you subscribe to the classicist notion of knowledge being power –a notion that emerged out of the pre-Neitzscheian focus on all-inclusive systems: metaphysics. I then went on to point out that he was working in the mode that most trolls (something that really needs to be gone into in Deleuzian terms (and wannabe Guru’s who are a perfect example of the very Oedipal overcoding that D & G go in to. I then pointed out that what he was embracing was the competitive model (that in which the our higher mental functions act in service of our baser impulses such as self interest, that which, in evolutionary terms, has served us up to this point (and that it was time for us to evolve to the next evolutionary step: the cooperative model in which the baser impulses see it to be in their best interest to act in tandem with higher functions. And I further offered as evidence the very fact (and may the wrath of Professor Strunk rest in its grave (that if we don’t evolve to the cooperative model, we risk the possibility of extinction through man-made climate change. And I want you to note the cynicism (the very kind that I think D & G were referring to (in the following response:

“Human beings will never ever be cooperative. You desire a phantom dream world that will never come to fruition.

What you can hope for is entropy for even there like Icarus humanity climbs to close to the sun in the service of its basic impulses concerned of self interests only to find itself crashing down through no fault of its own.

Change will only come when humanity pushes itself over its limits or when nature intervenes with a devised crises and catastrophe.

These are the only times that causes people to pause and reflect. Why? Because they're forced to.

Our manipulation of the environment could destroy us which is an unfortunate possibility but more than likely the limits of manipulating our environment will be intervened upon by nature thus saving us from our own self engineered extinction.

Capitalism is the natural existence of this world. The problem lies within the monopoly of the state.

As always with these sorts of things government and authority are the primary problems.”

In other words, instead of evolving as we have for millions of years, we should just accept the state we are in now.

Upon reading this, I could not help but think back to points made in What is Philosophy: that true philosophy rejects debate, that the minute someone says “let us discuss this”, it walks away because it has better (in other words more productive (things to do. I mean how could any discourse I could engage in with this person be productive? Their mind is clearly set and they have found their identity. Who am I to try to “save them from themselves”, to engage in the competitive model? I too have better things to do than be their savior and guru. I too (and I hope my close conservative friends will read this (have better things to do than try to break through their rigid filters that will not allow anything they don’t want to hear break through. And why would I need to when I truly believe that reality will prove me right in the long run as it always has the progressives? Why pick a fight with people you love when you know reality will win it in the long run? Why not expend that energy on causes that are not lost?

Now, of course, some (including my friends (will try to argue me to be some kind of pussy when all I’m doing is embracing the efficiency of not trying to convert a true believer. But what is this but Capitalist overcoding in its underlying notion that knowledge and understanding is some kind of corporate hierarchy? That knowledge is a matter of trying to be at the top of the Oedipal pyramid?
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It would be like trying to tell the people in The Land of Lotos Eaters that they should just leave.
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All you can do is talk to reasonable people and hope they overhear you.

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Re: Deleuze and Guatarri Study: the Anti-Oedipus:

Post by d63 » Fri Jun 13, 2014 10:48 pm

That's what I thought. I'm sorry, Joker, but it makes no sense to me anymore to risk alienating people I like because they hold ideological stances I could not be more diametrically opposed to. What good would it do? Who would win? I know I can't because, as is the case with a lot of my real world friends, you present arguments that are so base of the brain that they are impenetrable since we are all working from a common base: they ride on assumptions that, ultimately, float on thin air. And the only thing that could lead to is an impasse of assumptions: a kind of is-so is-not back and forth. I could no more expect to change your mind about it than I expect anything you have to say to change mine. This can only lead to a pissing contest that will do more harm than good. To me, it is not a matter of how intelligent you are. It's how you are using that intelligence. And, in ways I have yet to analyze, it seems to me that you have gotten so immersed in the KTS mentality that, like a drug addict, the only thing that can reach you is your own experience and consequences and how you respond to them.

And since you have hijacked this particular 500 word window, allow me to expand on it in ways I hope will stay within the Deleuzian perimeters of this particular study. First of all, I would point out that it is exactly situations like this the compel me to turn to French philosophers such as Deleuze. Here I am, a lone progressive in the Midwest, with old 70’s stoner friends who have, for the most part, evolved into staunch conservatives with an unquestioning faith in Capitalism. On top of that, I work, in a job I would prefer to keep, among I people I enjoy working with who are equally staunch conservatives. Then I have assholes like you and Satyr (who have become like old friends to me (who I also respect. At the same time, I see you embracing belief systems that can only result in one of 3 scenarios. The worst case scenario is the destruction of civilization as we know it through global warming. And your argument for man’s ability to adapt or Capitalism’s ability to find a technology to overcome the problem does little to console me. The middle case is the takeover of an emerging aristocracy/oligarchy in which we end up in a Bladerunner-like caste system similar to Neil Blomkampf’s portrayals in District 9 and Elysium. The best case scenario is the one we are in now: that which involves a lot of misery and suffering for a lot of people. In other words, I have gotten past the point where I can afford the perspectivism of the beautiful soul in believing that we are all just equal voices in a general discourse. When a belief system is wrong; it is just wrong. And that is all there is to it to me.

The dilemma for me is that it wouldn’t work for me to attribute this to your, or any of my other friend’s, stupidity or moral bankruptcy, not just because it would be the wrong thing to do to a friend, but because I don’t believe it to be true given the evidence I have through my engagements with my friends –not to mention the fact that they are still my friends.

Therefore, it seems imperative for me to look to the underlying structures of all human experience to figure out how this self destructing and self defeating mechanism works. And this is why I turn to guys like Deleuze –with and without Guattari.

But if it is any consolation, I don’t want to overthrow Capitalism. I just want to beat it into submission before it hurts itself and everyone around it. How does that particular expression of “the Will to Power” suit you?

d63
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Re: Deleuze and Guatarri Study: the Anti-Oedipus:

Post by d63 » Sat Jun 14, 2014 11:17 pm

"The connective synthesis concerns instincts and drives, and the ways they endow objects with value or erotic charge; roughly speaking, it translates Freud's notion of libidinal investment or cathexis and the functions he assigns to Eros or the life instinct. The disjunctive synthesis involves the functioning of pleasure, memory, and signs in the psyche, along with what Freud called the death instinct, or Thanatos. The conjunctive synthesis, finally, is about the formation of subjectivity." -Holland, Eugene W. (2002-01-04). Deleuze and Guattari's Anti-Oedipus: Introduction to Schizoanalysis (p. 25). Taylor and Francis. Kindle Edition.

In my struggle to crack the seemingly impenetrable surface of Deleuze’s Difference and Repetition, I turned to three secondary texts (that of Hughes, Williams, and Levi-Bryant) and got from it the impression of three different authors reading three different books under the same title. This, in turn, led me to the conclusion that reading Deleuze (with and without Guattari (and as is the case with a lot of post (-(  structuralist and modern writers (was a little like interpreting dreams or conceptual and abstract art: most of the meaning that comes out of it will be a result of the discourse that goes on around it. And don’t get me wrong. This is not some egalitarian proposal in which all interpretations are equal. They still have to stand up to the scrutiny of being compared to the original text.

Still, it gives you the sense that what Deleuze asking you to do is not so much accept his assertions as engage creatively with them until you arrive at your own conclusions that, hopefully, will be similar to his while being “different”. To paraphrase the Anti-Oedipus:

“A book does not reflect the world. It forms a rhizome with it.”

And it is in the spirit of forming a rhizome (at the risk of imposing my own agenda and predispositions (with the above quote (which is quite different (but still connectable to( than Buchannan’s description of the three syntheses (and engaging in a connective synthesis  that will involve the quote, Buchannan’s take, what I’ve learned from my approach to Difference and Repetition, and some of what I’ve learned from my studies of evolutionary psychology and the philosophy of mind -especially Dennett and his psycho-biological lean:

First of all, the brain is a machine consisting of a lot of sub machines that deal with the various aspects its environment –an evolutionary mandate imposed by its role as command center designed to protect the body. But to serve this function, it must interact with the various machines of its environment via the desiring machine and the various desiring machines that constitute its make-up through various acts of desiring production.  And it is an aspect of the passive synthesis (rooted in Kant (that moves from the sensible to imagination, to memory, to thought and involves various desiring machines of the mind attracting to various aspects of its environment based on attraction and repulsion that, in turn, results in the disjunctive synthesis of recording. As Holland puts it:

“The disjunctive synthesis involves the functioning of pleasure, memory, and signs in the psyche, along with what Freud called the death instinct, or Thanatos.” -Holland, Eugene W. (2002-01-04). Deleuze and Guattari's Anti-Oedipus: Introduction to Schizoanalysis (p. 25). Taylor and Francis. Kindle Edition.

It is at this point, I believe, that we encounter the Lacanian Jouissance articulated on by Zizek: this kind of push/pull relationship we tend to have with reality. And further believe it to take expression in a dialectic described by Zizek: attraction, repulsion, and the synthesis of intensity. Holland then goes on to describe the final synthesis:

“The conjunctive synthesis [of consumption/consummation] , finally, is about the formation of subjectivity.” -Holland, Eugene W. (2002-01-04). Deleuze and Guattari's Anti-Oedipus: Introduction to Schizoanalysis (p. 25). Taylor and Francis. Kindle Edition.

It is in this process that the residual effect of the self and subject starts to emerge.

I still have a lot of connections to form with what I have just described here (bad day (my routine really got fucked with: bad performance (but I want to finish by pointing out that there seems to be connection between this Holland inspired take and my Buchannan inspired take based on the movie Jaws in that Buchannan’s Zizekian approach feels like a Jungian archetypal expression of the basic processes at work here. And this only brings me closer to connecting the oppressive nature of Capitalism (and the hegemony that props it up (with the basic processes by which we engage with reality in that the brain machine is, much as is said of computers, basically a dumb machine (with various dumber sub machines (interacting with various reality machines that, in turn, provokes our various desiring productions that result in our various social productions. And this is not a one way process: our various reality machines project back to our various brain sub machines and take expression (via recording (through brain plasticity.

And given this back and forth that occurs at various levels, it seems no wonder that we would be so immersed in our own oppression.

d63
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Re: Deleuze and Guatarri Study: the Anti-Oedipus:

Post by d63 » Sat Jun 14, 2014 11:31 pm

No matter what happens, it always starts with the raw engagement with the object in space. There is no way around that.

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Re: Deleuze and Guatarri Study: the Anti-Oedipus:

Post by RickLewis » Sun Jun 15, 2014 10:03 pm

Thanks for sharing this. I haven't read much of this thread yet, but have read enough to know that I'll want to return to it.

d63
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Re: Deleuze and Guatarri Study: the Anti-Oedipus:

Post by d63 » Sun Jun 15, 2014 10:40 pm

I look forward to it, Rick. Look forward to the jam.

d63
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Re: Deleuze and Guatarri Study: the Anti-Oedipus:

Post by d63 » Sun Jun 15, 2014 10:40 pm

“First of all, the brain is a machine consisting of a lot of sub machines that deal with the various aspects its environment –an evolutionary mandate imposed by its role as command center designed to protect the body. But to serve this function, it must interact with the various machines of its environment via the desiring machine and the various desiring machines that constitute its make-up through various acts of desiring production. And it is an aspect of the passive synthesis (rooted in Kant (that moves from the sensible to imagination, to memory, to thought and involves various desiring machines of the mind attracting to various aspects of its environment based on attraction and repulsion that, in turn, results in the disjunctive synthesis of recording.”

And given Deleuze’s assertion that the passive synthesis described above is equally productive (that is as compared to philosophy’s previous assertion, from Plato on, that the real work goes on in the active synthesis ( you can’t but feel that everything becomes suspect as it moves from the brain machine with its various sub machines (that are equally desiring machines in the sense that they act like sensors responding an environmental stimulus) to the social machine (desiring production to social production (in that, as it moves from the raw engagement (raw data) to the concept then to language, it finds itself entangled in the semiotic web of the symbolic order –that which, in a Capitalist society, imposes the Oedipal over-coding. Furthermore, it seems no wonder that he (and most other post structural and modern thinkers (holds such repulsion to representation.

And our everyday social and political reality supports this. I engage in a conversation with a conservative friend. And it is, for the most part, cautious and reserved and, consequently, polite. Either that or it becomes a playful act of verbal sparring (a language game (which is the ideological equivalent of rough-housing. And the reason we can do this is because, having each other before us (as a whole person), we both recognize that the other is more than any one of their belief systems. Even if it does get hostile, we always come back because we always know each other as being more than what we display at any given point in time –that is due to the linear nature of language.

At the same time, should I or my conservative friend get around others of the same ideological lean, then the tone changes considerably. Then we find ourselves caught in an ideological war rally based on shared concepts, built in our own little mental labs, about what the other means to us. In other words, what we get caught up in is a frenzy of representation that tends to forget our allegiances with our friends of different ideological leans. But this, for the most part (that is outside of the guilt we tend to feel in the comedown (is innocuous.

However, it takes a dark and sinister turn when you consider the cult-dynamic that tends to emerge in such social groups as neo-Nazis. This results from the individual holding belief systems (mental concepts and representations (that are generally not accepted. Therefore, when they find other individuals that share those beliefs, they tend to draw into an isolated circle defined by its repulsion to “those others, those non-believers”, which is why their approach to outsiders (those who have different opinions) tends to be so aggressive. This, in turn, allows them to engage in a dialogue that is not based on reality, but on the mental concepts they have developed in their mental labs that have no reality, outside of their tight little circle, to test them against. They, to a dangerous point (that which results in people actually being killed (are engaging in a frenzy of representation that lacks any real break from its own reinforcement by those who share those representations.

This is why, for instance, any time you encounter TlBs (Troll-like Behaviors) on these boards, you never deal with them alone. They always come in packs. The leader, the one you will be mainly dealing with, will always come with their cheer-squad. Think: guru complex based on a hierarchical sense of understanding.

In a sense, it’s a kind Kierkagaardian continuation of sin in that rather than face the failure of their belief system suggested by its general rejection, they throw themselves so thoroughly into it that self doubt or self questioning becomes a non-existent option. And let us put in mind here that if you look throughout history, you will find that most if not all of the atrocities committed throughout have been committed by those who have lost the ability to question themselves: those who have immersed themselves in the frenzy of representation to the point of being unable to get outside of it.
*
Anyway, it was a little ironic that I, on father’s day, would come home from work this morning to find the History Channel covering hate groups with their ideological father figures: those who promised the satisfaction (in terms of Oedipal over-coding (the same as psychoanalysts (of being whole by resisting the desire to have sex with your permissive and always forgiving mother and being more like them.

d63
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Re: Deleuze and Guatarri Study: the Anti-Oedipus:

Post by d63 » Tue Jun 17, 2014 2:31 am

Coming from the experience of having started out as a musician in his teens (I thought it, at the time, to be my manifest destiny to become a rock star (which explains a lot concerning my approach now (then worked his way through about every medium he could (poetry, art, fiction (to arrive at this focus on philosophy: I can’t help but feel that throughout Deleuze’s career, the creative act has always been at the back of his mind. If I take the notion of Difference and Repetition at an instinctive face value (that is aside from the many connotations he attached to it (I can’t help but feel that what he is referring to is the very method by which creativity works: repeating what you know and that you know gives you pleasure until you somehow get beyond it and create something new to repeat to yourself. And, in this sense, it is easy to see how Deleuze might apply that to fundamental human experience.

Take the creative act involved in language, for instance. One person makes a statement they have stringed together based on previous similar statements they have made, but which is still different than any statement they have made. Still, the addressee is able extract meaning from it based on the similarity to previous statements they have made and heard and, in turn, responds with words they can string together in ways that they never have before. You almost have to wonder if it was Deleuze that wrote Difference and Repetition, or if it was language expressing itself through Deleuze.

But this is creativity at the level of active synthesis. Deleuze, however, and maybe even language itself (via Difference and Repetition, wanted to take this creative aspect down to the very act by which we engage with reality: the very act by which the various modules of our brains resonate with the objects that they resonate with. This involves the connective synthesis in which partial objects (the various qualia (are gathered and assimilated into what will eventually result in the conjunctive synthesis of recognition.

But in order to truly understand the creative aspect of this fundamental act, we would have to consider the 3 syntheses of time. And in the spirit of Derridarian differance (the recognition that philosophy, like language, is highly dependent on deferred meaning in that in order to extract meaning from one thing, you have to have extracted meaning from something else that, in turn, is dependent on extracting meaning from other things, and on and on until it converges into the nothingness and establishes the basis of Camus’ Absurd which I think lends some credibility to Deleuze’s vision (but anyway: I digress (what we need to recognize here is that, time being a subjective experience, any object we might encounter, no matter how stable it seems, is always in a state of motion. This very post seems to be a stable object. It is just there. Yet, the more time you spend with it, the more different it becomes. This is because it is always (that is as you read through it (a different object at a different point in time. In other words, the whole time you are reading it, you are equally creating it. And even without linear nature of what I’m writing, the rule still stands. Getting down to the metaphysical/analytic core of difference and repetition:

Even at its purest, the repetition of a given object in time can only be a different instance of the same object at different points in time. Therefore, the only thing that can be truly repeated is difference.

And the creative aspect of that comes out in the 3 syntheses that start with expectation and habit (what we tend to anticipate in any isolated act of perception (then moves on to archiving which involves storing the experience and applying what we have already stored to it (and, finally, chancing: the roll of the dice: that which defines the creative act in that if it is worth doing, it has to surprise us: becoming. This is why Deleuze (or Holland’s Deleuze w/Guattarri ( brings up the illegitimate aspect of the connective synthesis as that which pursues a specific end.

As Deleuze wrote in Difference and Repetition (and I am paraphrasing here:

“We write at the edge of what we know.”

And this, as I see it, is for the purpose of bringing in chance elements (that which defines creativity (into the very act of engaging with the world.

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