Thursday, April 19, 2007

Affirming Desire

Navigating between Adorno-resque misanthropy and Deleuzian affirming concept creation is a tightrope. Let’s give the latter a chance.

“There are two basic forms of desiring-production: schizophrenia, the free form of desire promoted half-heartedly by capitalism and wholeheartedly by schizoanalysis. And paranoia, the fixed form of desire subjected to socially-authorized belief (in God, the father, the boss, the teacher, the leader).

There are various modes of social-production, each of which represses desiring-production. Capitalism is the most promising, because it is at least ambivalent. It actively fosters both forms of desiring-productions. Capitalism frees desiring-production from capture and repression by codes and representation.” (from Eugene Holland in The Deleuze Dictionary)

Of the two: schizophrenia or paranoia, which is the most life-affirming?

We may not like it. We may even want a different human species. But we are stuck with what we have.

Let’s not descend into the dungeon. Let’s find a way out. And let's be aware that " interpretation " belongs to the suppressive mental habits of ontological thinking that we should try to escape in order to dream up various unexpected ways of living.

9 Comments:

Anonymous Yusef said...

"There are various modes of social-production, each of which represses desiring-production. Capitalism is the most promising, because it is at least ambivalent."

That's the worst Eugene Holland quote I've ever seen... It's pathetically stupid... A horror.

I don't think this quote works on any level. I don't think it has anything to do with Deleuze's thought whatsoever. What the Hell was EH thinking here? That capitalism is unambivalent because Oedipal most starkly?

If so, there's no need at rebuttal -- this is self-rebutting.

2:15 AM  
Blogger Orla Schantz said...

Dear Yusef,

Let me give you the whole quote from Holland. My snippets might have distorted the passage,

Capitalism frees desiring-production from capture and repression by codes and representation, while at the same time it recaptures and represses desiring-production in mostly temporary codes and representations, but also in the more enduring form of State-sponsored nationalism, the Oedipus complex and the nuclear family.

It is because schizoanalysis insists that social-production always provides the determinate conditions under which desiring-production takes shape that it can hold the mode of social-production responsible for that shape; that is, schizoanalysis evaluates a mode of social-production according to the form of desiring-production it makes possible.

The value of capitalism as a mode of social-production is not only the extraordinary material productivity so admired by Marx, but even more its propensity for generating schizophrenia as the radically free form of desiring-production. And the corresponding challenge to schizoanalysis as a revolutionary psychiatry is to eliminate the countervailing forces that recapture free desire and subject it to paranoia and belief, forces operating in institutions ranging from the nuclear family and Oedipal psychoanalysis, to the bureaucracy of private enterprise, all the way up to and including the State.

9:32 AM  
Anonymous Yusef said...

Yes, Orla, I would have to agree that the original snippet was a distortion. Thanks, though, for this more complete selection -- there is quite a bit in it I would like to bring to bear ( eventually) on Kant's essay.

5:04 PM  
Blogger Orla Schantz said...

There is quite a bit in it I would like to bring to bear (eventually) on Kant's essay.

Now THAT is interesting, Yusef. I look forward to reading your thoughts on this creative combination.

Soon, please.

5:26 AM  
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