June 23, 2014

The Truth

“The truth is, Deleuze and Guattari explain, ‘sexuality is everywhere: the way a bureaucrat fondles his records, a judge administers justice, a businessman causes money to circulate; the way the bourgeoisie fucks the proletariat; and so on. […] Flags, nations, armies, banks get a lot of people aroused.’” (from Wikipedia's Anti-Oedipus page).

I just love the way they slyly slipped that bit about fucking the proletariat into this (that’s metaphor, dummies! I want to shout). Actually, the truth is I find this sort of writing fairly congenial, as is the idea that desire or sexuality underpins everything in a fundamental way rather than being part of the (Marxist) superstructure. And the Wikipedia page is actually pretty damn good as far as these things go. But Anti-Oedipus itself was always almost unreadable for me, a luxury spread of inedible all-you-can-eat gnomic pearls. Maybe that was the point (you don’t want the rubes satisfying their desire for meaning too easily). For me it’s also way too full of the usual shell games, slippery evasions and weightless ideas, and (scientific) signs taken for metaphors. Sometimes a word is just a word.

(Compare this to the quote from David Cooper in the same article: “[Anti-Oedipus is] ‘a magnificent vision of madness as a revolutionary force, the decoding, deterritorializing refusal of fixity and outside definition by schizophrenia (they insist on this term) as opposed to a paranoid-capitalist pole and as a depassment of the oedipian, familial neurotic state of non-existence (paranoid-fascist as opposed to revolutionary schizophrenia - but clearly showing that 'the schizophrenic' is not 'the revolutionary', nor the revolutionary schizoid). These authors effectively used the psychoanalytic language and the discourse of Saussure (and his successors), linguistics against itself in what is already proving to be an historic act of depassment.’” Depassment?! Historic?! This sort of writing could be described as Anti-Desire…).

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