Thursday, May 11, 2006

Drenched in Concept

Writing in Anti-Oedipus, Deleuze and Guattari make a very interesting and provocative suggestion which to the best of my knowledge has not been taken up or even scrutinized very seriously. They suggest that as a form of political resistance we attempt to create concept after concept, concept upon concept, until we become saturated with concepts.

I think that it is very unusual that their suggestion has not received much commentary - and I don't know how it can be that other parts of their work even can receive attention without greater elaboration of this point - for example, their concept of " becoming minoritarian," which has been extensively remarked upon, would rely, in my opinion, on the development of this idea of saturation of concepts.

The political problem, and this is a psychological, sociological, and aesthetical problem as well,( heck, let me go whole hog - it's an ecological and environmental problem, too,) is that only an artificially restricted number of vital connections have the capacity to get made in our society. In previous societies, the restriction of the numbers of vital connections could be traced to the codings of these societies. In our society, however, these codings have to an enormous extent been decoded... we might expect to see a powerful explosion, a proliferation, of new vital connections in their absence, but we don't.

What we do see is a disturbing uniformity and standardization of connections - which seems, ( and is,) in our lifeworld of decoded flows, inexplicable. Maybe instead of saying inexplicable I would be better to say absurd - I believe that Deleuze and Guattari do explain this uniformity and standardization pretty well - I just don't want to get into that here.

If we began to build these vital connections - ( what prevents us?) - we would get some of them lodging into and wedging into the blander, wellworn ruts of the older "connection world," and begin a creative and stimulating disruption of this monotonal monolithic monumentally alternative-lacking situation.

What prevents us? Well, I am not sure that I can make even one concept, let alone create such numbers as to induce a saturation. But I want to get to work on finding out whether it is true that I can't make concepts, and if it is, what I can do about it... And get going.

4 Comments:

Blogger Dr. Spinoza said...

Where is this mentioned in Anti-Oedipus? I'd like to look it up.

This could shed some light on Adorno's theory of the constellation (or vice-versa).

Yesterday I was reading a section of Dewey's Experience and Nature which sounds remarkably like Deleuze's criticism of the dogmatic image of thought.

1:31 PM  
Anonymous Yusef said...

I'll get back to you on that. I thought it would be useful to put the excerpt in my post, but I was too lazy to walk downstairs and get the book. Now, too.

"This could shed some light on Adorno's theory of the constellation (or vice-versa).

Yesterday I was reading a section of Dewey's Experience and Nature which sounds remarkably like Deleuze's criticism of the dogmatic image of thought."

Could you speak further on these points? Very interesting.

3:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Yusef,

You need to give us the quote and explanation from Anti-Oedipus so we can explore this further.

Remember that it is always about BECOMING and not about finality. We will continue creating concepts,
even some we haven't dreamed of so far.

By the way, does any of you know the fascinating (and very much alive) German philosopher Peter Sloterdijk?

He is a great creator of concepts - like his ideas about post-pessimism in his Sphären from 2004.

I haven't read this particular work only his book from 1983 Kritik der zynischen Vernunft, only the reviews,
but will be happy to give you the highlights.

All the best,

Orla Schantz

Orla Schantz

5:35 PM  
Anonymous Yusef said...

I have not heard of this German philosopher, Orla, but I am interested in hearing about anyone who is even attempting to create new concepts.

2:13 PM  

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