Saturday, April 25, 2009

Do You Realize How Simple Desire Is?

Do you realize how simple desire is? Sleeping is a desire. Walking is a desire. Listening to music, or making music, or writing are desires. A spring, a winter is desires. Old age also is desire. Even death. Desire never needs interpreting, it is that which experiments. Then we run up against very exasperating objections. They say to us that we are returning to an old cult of pleasure, to a pleasure principle, or to the notion of the festival… (Deleuze: Dialogues p. 71)

Creating concepts, however larval, is a desire. Forming lines of flights from figures of traditional philosophy as in the associative names of the philosophical canon is a desire. “Descartes” is a rhizome, a multiplicity of territories, a concept in spe.

The history of philosophy has always been an agent of power in philosophy, and even in thought. It has played the repressor’s role: how can you think without having read Plato, Descartes, Kant, and Heidegger, and so-and-so’s book about them? A formidable school of intimidation which manufactures specialists in thought – but which also makes those who stay outside conform all the more to this specialism which they despise. An image of thought called philosophy has been formed historically and it effectively stops people from thinking. (op. cit. p. 10)

Let’s look at the furballs of philosophy:

PLATO: The master of dualisms. The first computer programmer of binary thinking. 0-1. Why is he still relevant? He has never been more so. As the king to revolt against.

ARISTOTLE: The father of systems. The opponent of fluidity. That’s why he is also the generator of necessary flows and fluxes. The ultimate furball.

EPICURUS: The prophet of denial. The archetypal representative of Nietzsche’s “last man”: the bourgeois pleasure-seeking “Bürger” of small expectations.

CICERO: The modern spin-doctor: “perception is reality”. Language is a toy. And it should be. A pre-Wittgensteinean game-player.

AUGUSTINE OF HIPPO: The first Freudian: sexuality is everything and damning. God is the enemy who forces you to love him. How to escape? Really a liberator, a disciple of desire.

MONTAIGNE: “The deadliest death is the best”. Fear not. Take away the terror. Embrace daily pragmatism. The first American. Man is an animal-becoming, but an angel-becoming, too. Acceptance is the key.

HOBBES: The wolf man. The best cynic since Diogenes. Lesson: Philosophy is human and practical, defending us against metaphysics. We are doomed. Protect us against ourselves.

DESCARTES: The master of the personal pronoun first person. The prisoner of grammar. But also the linguistic revolutionary and free thinker. How do I know?

SPINOZA: The secret anarchist, lost in systems. The minority in the majority. Ethics as dogma. And thus the truly depraved hedonist.

(to be continued)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you may be making a serious mistake by using Deleuze's comments on the simplicity of desire to speak of a desire of concept creation and thus a simplicity of concept creation.

If I am not mistaken, this is just a relapse on your part back to square one: your view that it's all easy and unproblematic and if others aren't creating concepts (but not you yourself, you are excused) it's because they are necrophiliac or some such.


1:17 PM  

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