[Sporadic] Notes on: Guattari, F.  (2015) [1972] Psychoanalysis and Transversality.  Texts and interviews 1955-1971.  Introduction by Deleuze.  Translated by Ames Hodges.  South Pasadena: Semiotext(e)

Dave Harris

[nb all of these articles were written before Anti Oedipus . There are some key terms introduced, including territorialization, but also 'order words': order words can be identified in capitalist societies but also need to be developed by revolutionaries, as a kind of implied society. The Lacanian phrase about being 'structured like a language' also has a 'good' side, unlike as in Anti-Oedipus, because it shows that institutions or practices are not natural, not even homogenous or unitary,  but composites constructed in language {ideology is defined in a similar way} -- another hint of a link with gramscian marxism and the stuff on political discourses and hegemony. The marxism here , in Ch 10, is thoroughly revolutionary, rather orthodox in economic terms, and rather class-derivationist -- no support anywhere for political multiplicities and new groups etc, so closer to Badiou than Deleuze? No doubt '68 made all the difference?]

Deleuze.  Preface

Guattari is both an activist and a psychoanalyst and the two areas 'ceaselessly communicate'(7). The self has to be dissolved, using political and analytical forces.  The notion of a groupuscle leads to a new subjectivity, 'a group subjectivity', which has not reunited the conventional self but 'which spreads itself out over several groups at once', all of them 'divisible, manifold, permeable and always optional'.  These groups are plugged into the outside so as to examine their own 'possibilities of non-sense, death, and dispersal'.  The individual is also a group.  Guattari shows the possibilities himself, as both catatonic and extremely lively.

The issues for him have always been: (1) how can politics be introduced into psychoanalytic theory and practice, recognizing that politics is already found in the unconscious; (2) how might psychoanalysis be introduced into militant revolutionary groups; (3) how can specific therapeutic groups be formed to react to both therapy and politics.  Guattari works through a series of hopes and despair after the Liberation, and after May 1968.

The first problem is addressed because the unconscious is seen as directly related to a social field, to the economic and political rather than the mythical and familial libido. Desire and sexuality invests in particular flows at work in the social field, and can also produce 'cuts in these flows, stoppages, leaks and retentions'(8).  Latent desire in the social field ruptures causality and lets singularites emerge, as 'sticking points'.  We are not affected by 'a mythical Mommy-Daddy' but by social reality and its excesses, the 'interferences and effects of flows'.  As a result, we make love with everything [ie sexuality is everywhere].

Psychoanalysis reduces all this social and political content, starting with 'a kind of absolute narcissism' (9), and refers to a 'cure' when it means 'an ideal social adaptation'.  It works with some 'abstract symbolic unconscious' instead of 'a singular social constellation'.  This context is not a horizon that constitutes an individual person, but 'the social body serving as a basis for latent potentialities', like revolutionary or lunatic equalky [with a hint of labeling theory in which identity prevails].  Our parents are less important than all the other people ['personnages'] implicit in the great questions of society, including class conflict.  Similarly, the affect of Oedipus on Greek society is less important than the massive split in the French communist party.

The state has an obvious role in restricting our libido and channeling it into images of the family.  The castration complex is deeply linked to 'the unconscious role of social repression and regulation'.  Social relations are not just something beyond the individual and the family.  We see this in detailed investigations of particular syndromes like psychosis.  The subject can explode into fragments, history can become hallucination, war and class conflict can be instruments of personal expression [quoting Guattari].  This compares with Freud who saw war as the result of a death drive. We have to put the unconscious back into history, and see it as something unknown instead of fully understood [as in Deleuzian empiricism?].  Psychoanalysis colludes with traditional psychiatry to depoliticize insanity, although political elements are clearly present in insane discourse [citing another study, 10).  Historical political struggle affects even the asylum.

This is different from Reich in that libidinal economy is not separated from political economy in the first place, and thus requires no connection or transformation.  Nor does sexual repression internalize economic and political domination.  Instead, 'desire as libido is everywhere already present'(10), and 'sexuality runs through the entire social field and embraces it'.  The sexuality of desire is latent and becomes manifest only when sexual objects and symbols are chosen.  As a result, the flows of desire operate in the same economy as political economy: 'there is only one economy, not two; and desire or libido is just the subjectivity of political economy'.  Thus the economy of flows drives subjectivity.  An institution arises from 'a subjectivity of flows and their interruptions' which take subjective form as a group.  There are no dualities between objective and subjective, infrastructure and superstructure, production and ideology.  Instead there is 'strict complementarity of the desiring subject of the institution and the institutional object'(11) [these analyses are compared with those found in Socialisme ou Barbarie, by Cardan, as part of 'the same bitter critique of the Trotskyites'].

The second problem rejects many applications of psychoanalysis to historical and social phenomena, including the usual 'ridiculous' ones, like finding Oedipus everywhere.  The real problem is that capitalism itself and the conventional revolutionary oppositions to it, like the Russian one, have produced the same problems.  The central tension of capitalism, the contradiction between productive forces and the relations of production, reproduces capital, but it has developed into an international phenomenon, with a worldwide division of labour.  However national frameworks cannot be overcome, and nor can the State, despite their archaic structures.  Thus state monopoly capitalism is the result of a compromise [not a triumphant final development].  National bourgeois find themselves trying to restrain capitalists and institutionalize the [local] working class.  Thus the location of class conflict is really found in international economies but this is disguised.  In the third world, there is only a limited and narrow development of international capital, while the old pre-capitalist relations of domination persist.

In these circumstances, some national communist parties have wrongly attempted to integrate the proletariat into the state [Euro communism?].  This is propped up by bourgeois sense of national identity, and divisions reflect those in the proletariat [on the matter of national identity?]. Even revolutionary struggle has usually confined itself to bargaining over national issues.  What the policy has turned into is an imperative that even the proletariat must defend national productive forces through the development of a state apparatus.  For Guattari, this led to Leninism and the claim that the resulting social upheaval was really a victory for the masses.  Socialist revolution itself now depended upon the establishment of a revolutionary party, taking the form of 'an embryonic State apparatus able to direct everything, to fulfill a messianic vocation and substitute itself for the masses'(12--13).  The confrontation with capitalist states became a conventional matter of relations of force, while the economic policy was directed to peaceful coexistence and competition.  'This idea of competition spelled the ruin of the revolutionary movement'(13).  Peaceful coexistence meant a socialist economy must accord with global markets and the objectives of international capital. It is not that two kinds of regimes and states evolved and converged.  Nor is it that bureaucracy corrupts a healthy proletarian state, as in Trotsky.  The outcome was decided as soon as the state party responded to the conventional states in capitalism, even if those were hostile responses.  Weak capitalist-like institutions were created in Russia following the Soviet liquidation of existing forms, for example conventional car factories with all their imported relations of production and consumption.

For Guattari, the underlying distinction runs between subjugated groups and group-subjects.  Groups can be subjugated by the leaders they themselves accept.  They feature a hierarchy designed to fight off any threats of non-sense death or dispersal, including 'creative ruptures' (14). Other groups are kept at a distance.  They are centralized, structured, unified, replacing genuinely collective denunciations with assemblages dealing with 'stereotypical utterances cut off both from the real and from subjectivity', and this is where imaginary phenomena like oedipus and the rest are constructed.

Group subjects are characterized by transversality that prevent totalities and hierarchies and permits genuine denunciation, 'environments of desire' and institutional creation.  They constantly explore the limits of their own existence and non existence.  However,  they are always in danger of being subjugated, as a 'paranoid contraction', in the interests of perpetuating itself and living forever as a subject.  There is a converse too where a subjugated political party can still serve to express the revolutionary discourse it has disowned, preserving 'the potentiality of subjective rupture'[quoting Guattari.  Deleuze adds the example of archaic political notions energizing revolution, the Basques and the IRA].

The characteristics of the group must be addressed, since too many emergent groups already display a structure of subjugation, leadership, approved forms of communication, core membership and the rest.  Guattari himself experienced these tendencies with his own membership of trotskyite, entryist, and finally leftist opposition groups ending with the March 22 Movement [D Cohn-Bendit's outfit].  In each case, the issue was one of desire or unconscious subjectivity, how a  group's desire is pursued, connected to the desire of other groups and to the desire of the masses.  The aim was not unification but the multiplication of utterances. However, desire and its manifestations were often subjugated and bureaucratized, for example when 'the militant style composed of hateful love [produced] a limited number of exclusive dominant utterances'(15).

Such groups produced a detached avant-garde of experts and expected discipline and hierarchy from the proletariat, except for those who were selected for future education.  This mirrors bourgeois structures introduced into the proletariat.  Trying to use them to oppose the bourgeois 'is a lost cause'.  Instead, all distinctions within the proletariat, all 'mechanisms of detachment' should be obliterated so that 'objective and singular positions capable of transversal communication may emerge instead'.

This is not just a choice between spontaneity and centralism, nor between guerrilla and conventional warfare.  It is pointless to demand initial spontaneity followed by a necessary centralization.  Instead, 'from the start we have to be more centralist than the centralists'(16) in the sense that revolutionary machines must focus from the beginning on a central issue and on central excessive demands.  Unification can only be achieved through transversality and 'multiplicity proper to desire'.  It requires a war machine and not a state apparatus [first mention of the term?].  Analysis is required, of the desire of the group and the masses, not originals synthesis through rationalization or totalization.  Guattari went on to specify what a war machine was, as his main theoretical task.

It is not just a matter of applying psychoanalysis to groups, nor developing a therapeutic group to liberate the masses.  Instead, the group must pursue 'an analysis of desire' applied to oneself and others.  The many flows that offer lines of flight in capitalist societies have to be pursued, to bring about ruptures and interruptions instead of social determinism and historical causality.  Collective agents of enunciation must emerge and be encouraged to produce new utterances of desire.  Instead of avant-gardes, we need 'groups adjacent to social processes', pursuing the truth.  Overall, we need to develop a revolutionary subjectivity, without having to prioritize libido, economics or politics, since subjectivity should operate above such borders.  Indeed, we should focus on a point of rupture where the libidinal economy is the same as the political economy.

The explosive potential of the unconscious should be developed as a form of group subjectivity, taking on existing signifying structures and causal chains.  March 22 is the best example of such an analytic group discussing all forms of free association, and analyzing workers and students without claiming to be an avant-garde, although 'it was insufficient as a war machine' (17).  This was a form of actualized analysis, characteristic of a group subject, demonstrating the links between the political, economic and libidinal in an open environment, 'wherever a truth shows up'.  Truth is not itself a function of structures or signifiers but is 'the war machine and its non-sense'.  The truth emerges, and political organizations have to deal with it: so does theory.

Psychoanalysis becomes schizo analysis.  One implication is to rethink the notion of madness, away from the usual 'positivist determination' (18).  This links with Foucault.  Positivists often mock, but Guattari finds it pleasurable to express metaphysical or transcendental points of view designed to remove the usual link between madness and mental illness.  He has asked, for example, why schizophrenics like Schreber and Artaud are not treated as serious theologians, or why human sciences and concrete analysis should be separated from pure theoretical critique.  Even anti psychiatry is criticized for confusing mental with social alienation, 'and thereby suppressing the specificity of madness' [by arguing that social forces cause all madness].

There is no attempt to offer some general theory of madness, in order to invoke 'a mystical identity' between revolutionary and madmen.  Instead, the modern world must be grasped 'in terms of the singularity of the lunatic' (19).  Militants should concern themselves with delinquency or madness, but as examples of proper difference [and more generally being able to tolerate the insane in a group].

[Third problem] Guattari has offered important implications for institutional psychotherapy with his distinction between two kinds of groups.  He has also distinguished group phantasms and individual ones, and introduced the notion of transversality.  These notions are practical.  They have led to 'a militant political function' in the institution, as a kind of monstrous hybrid between psychoanalysis, hospital practice, and a universal group practice, 'a machine to produce and give voice to desire' (19).  This is a third stage for psychiatry, moving from the initial repression, to Freud's discovery of neurosis and the notion of a contract with people to lead them back to traditional medicine [the contract is seen as a classical liberal one, and it was a significant replacement for hypnosis]. 

One consequence of this contractual model is to fail to grasp psychosis and ignore its clinical implications.  It led to a pyramid organization and to subjugation of patient groups, hence Guattari's interest from the beginning in doctor- nurse relationships.  Institutions were to replace detailed laws.  Anti psychiatry is right to challenge the ways in which these contractual forms produced another kind of police control.  Guattari is interested in the construction of 'cured-curing' groups which can form group subjects, where the institution is genuinely creative, and where there is connection between madness and revolution without denying their singular positions [and there are references to the actual articles in this collection]. There has always been a particular interest in non-sense as against law and 'saturated speech', 'legitimized schizo-flow' against hierarchy and compartmentalization.

The book is a montage or 'cogs and wheels of a machine'(21), the war machine, a machine of desire, a machine of analysis.

Chapter one.  On nurse- doctor relationships

This is Guattari and the original founder of La Borde, a certain Jean Oury, trying to grasp what madness is using a variety of philosophical resources like existentialism and Marxism.  It is highly reminiscent of the early phases of UK sociology of education where a number of resources were used rather indiscriminately, before the purist and scholastic phase. They try and grasp exactly what was wrong with positivist conceptions of madness as an illness requiring often corporeal treatment, and even briefly discuss the politics of labeling theory. Guattari is interested in developing a 'metaphysical' notion of madness in the sense of trying to grasp what it might be in its essence before and beyond its social definition and history.  I see this as experimental rather than attempting to deliberately tease positivists, as is the occasional reference to transcendental analysis or dialectic.

The main focus is on the institutional dimensions of psychiatric work.  At the most general level, there is a recognition that vested interests of psychiatrists pursuing professionalization, and some rather under- specified political dimension where psychiatry is a kind of disciplinary apparatus.  At the more specific level, we get close to the idea that specific work relations determine stances towards power and domination, in particular the division of labour between doctors and nurses, which is partly an issue of theory and practice and partly a matter of high status vs. low status 'face work'. Also, doctors 'cure' and nurses discipline. There is some ambiguity about whether this represents a class or a caste system.

Chapters two and three.  Monograph on R.A.  and Collapse of a life not lived

Both of these focus on a specific case study, the inmate R.A.  The first chapter details Guattari's strategy towards this catatonic and paranoid patient.  Basically, they involve trying to get him to communicate again: through interviews and then using a technique to record them and then letting him edit the recordings; eventually he is encouraged keep his own journal and to edit it.  Guattari gradually tries to introduce the presence of others.  There are also some more conventional attempts to explain the origin of some of the symptoms in family disorders.

The second one consists of extracts from the journal that the poor chap keeps for himself.  There is some harrowing detail about the crippling and isolating nature of his catatonic conceptions of himself—almost as a body without organs, but more in terms of feeling dead inside, cold, machine like, or feeling like a small and insignificant twig.  He gives his response to some of the treatment that he has received.  He blames electroshock therapy and incarceration for causing the very symptoms they are supposed to fix.  He remembers and considers some of Guattari's analyses, including those about the pathological family.

Chapter four. Ladies and gentlemen -- the SCAJ

The SCAJ  (Sous-commission d'animation pour la journée) was a local form at La Borde designed to facilitate everyday encounters and discussions among patients and staff , with a covert therapeutic intent. It existed alongside 'the grid' which allocated tasks to people and was written by different groups in turn (good link here).

Guattari says that as it grew and became popular, discussions became less structured and focused on activity.  It also revealed the usual tensions based on different abilities to speak and contribute, and signs of group pressure on the uncommitted.  That happens in all institutions and committees and meetings, of course.  There is often a phony intimacy woven into the sales pitch, for example.  Madman are deemed capable only of interacting with psychiatrists, but they do so on the basis that they have accepted the contract. SCAJ was intended to replace this rigidity and contract, and it works because 'nothing that is done there is really serious' (58).  This permits healing.

Most institutions are actually ritualistic and there is a strong element of compulsion to participate.  Power is often disguised by making it appear that it is a patient who makes the first step ['wants' to participate], even though everything is already prepared [compare this with discovery methods in education]. SCAJ deals with openly heterogeneous exchanges and 'imaginary behaviours', although there is also 'symbolic integration', expression of disagreement and exchange even if only at the verbal level.

Chapter five.  Introduction to institutional psychotherapy

The institutional psychotherapy movement began before the Liberation, with a number of experiments like those at Saint-Alban, and those associated with the psychotherapist Tosquelles.  There was a revulsion towards concentration camp type institutions, and a militancy drawn from resistance.  There were Marxist surrealist and Freudian tendencies too.  It was important to focus on the local institution and to develop therapeutic clubs, with new relations between staff and patient.  Theoretical work was also done and that helped heal some of the old splits like the ones between Freud and Jung.  Guattari had joined a group in 1960 (GTPSI) which became the Institutional Psychotherapy Society (SPI).

There was awareness that research in the social sciences did not give direct access to an actual individual.  There was also an awareness of observer effects and suggestion.  Reaching the proper subject was seen as impossible, and certain detours and mediations were necessary.  This led to the problem of the institution and who produced it, and the dangers of reifying the object of study.  Communication could turn out to be a kind of mirage [later 'phantasy'], projection on to the object of study.  This hit particularly at psychology claiming to be universal and abstract.

The definition of the psychiatrist expanded to include the relation to the state and institution [with semi-professionalisation?] , and the relative autonomy only of the latter.  This became apparent by looking at psychiatric roles and functions.  If madness is seen as something beyond social determination, the social relations become obscure, a tension emerges between a vocation of responding to madness and the role of agent of the state.  Such an agency 'inserts this madness into a structure of social alienation' (63).

The social dimensions of psychiatry emerge particularly clearly with Tosquelle's politicized stance, but the general issues also emerged, suggesting 'cultural and anthropological research' to locate psychiatry as a part of cultural practice.  Such conceptual problems require investigation from groups outside of psychiatrists themselves.  The method of writing up resulting in monographs [case-studies?] is unlikely to illuminate cultural dimensions.  The GTPSI itself underwent this transition, starting with what seemed like personal concepts and then discovering that they were also '" order word" concepts' (63) relating to how the group should actually operate.  Conceptual analysis drawn from different fields might counter the 'opaque ideology' found in normal psychiatric situations.  This is not humanism [not just about being nice to humans], but a more practical question of knowing how to move on from being stuck.  Avant-garde groups can assist in developing a common approach and a general strategic one.

We also need to think about groups.  Classically, they have emerged as subjugated groups dominated by universal external laws.  The alternative occurs when a group founds itself.  The mechanism by which subject groups bring about social transformation is not clear, but usually, assertion as a subject produces a reaction from the existing system.  New subjects are excluded and have to assert themselves, and if they do so successfully they can produce 'a subjective cut in society' (65) that can persist as a legacy.  At the local level, GTPSI might not survive, but it might be 'recuperated as the phallus of progressive French psychiatry', although with all the risks that entails. New subject groups can change subjectivity itself, by becoming 'a potential unconscious subject' [a  suppressed radical alternative? Producing loss of legitimacy of the current order as the only possibility, at least?], affecting subsequent generations, but they must offer progress towards the truth: the alternative is to remain as just another school.

There is thus an interesting seriality, where a conscious subject can develop into an unconscious one that can determine others.  Language is clearly important, if only for putting into circulation information and expressions that can find a place in [local] social codes.  When we use notions such as institutional psychiatry, they are 'already manipulated externally', but can be given a private use.  This is crucial in constituting subjective unity in a group, especially if a subjectively consistent dialogue between members emerges.  GTPSI realized that it was likely to be completely ignored by all the existing psychoanalytic groups and radical currents including Marxist, Christian and existential ones. 

There is therefore a problem of developing a 'structure of social utterance'(66).  This can be seen as using speech to appear 'in the field of the Other', while resisting integration in a particular social field. This begins with 'absolute narcissism'[purely private language?] but develops with a potential to open on to society itself.  [Ranciere's discussion and  paradoxes seem relevant here?]  There remain many problems of integrating with already subjugated groups, but even thinking about those as a social constellation helps 'move towards uncovering of the abstract Unconscious'.  We might be able to ask what it is that divides critics into a madman on the one side and revolutionaries on the other.  We can also suggest that there is a missing group subject that can 'refocus these elements'.  Liberating implications work the other way around too, when conventional words are related to personal events and can thus cease to be repressive.

Groups still operate with a destructive unconscious, and this can be activated by the response of the existing social world that did not welcome it.  A kind of relativism can also emerge: '" Why take part in one group instead of another?"' (67).  Groups show a death instinct, for example in the violence addressed to initiates, obligations and sacrifices, which appear even in revolutionary groups with their conventional organizations and rituals: 'in this way, social violence is repeated, reiterated and accepted'.  Militants in particular can expect no transcendental guarantees or even conventional rewards.  The death instincts needs to be located in order to understand aggression and violence in the group, and this can produce a demand for quick answers from the young recruits, a demand which does not subvert dominant models.  All groups therefore display 'a complexual [sic] structure' (67-68), some of which oppose the emergence of a subject group: the use of 'syncretizing terms' [attempts to combine different approaches], a block to desire which can be provided by subjugated groups; the risk of alienation.  Such links with dominant structures can produce 'deadly phantasies' (68), as well as more sublimated forms like 'ritual elements, empty words, meetings that give a feeling of security' and all the pleasures of joining a group.  All these things are unavoidable, but they always offer unconscious threats.

The rights of patients as citizens are threatened by their status as mentally ill people who engage in what can look like non rational speech.  Normal society blocks certain signifiers by making them possible only in particular institutional contexts [where experts can transpose them—transference?]. Patients then have to establish how to become a speaking subject in those conditions.  We are not referring here to individuals or even single individuals [but to a more general problem of the subject].  Alienation has to be overcome and potentials re-established.  This can sometimes be done by sidestepping official diagnoses and recommendations by, say, allowing other patients to greet the new arrival.  [I think the argument is that official identities act as unconscious subjects as above, so] a more freely subjective speech act can 'cause him or her to come to his or her senses' (69).  Official definitions only makes sense in particular contexts of treatment and psychotherapeutic vocations. Psychoanalysis therefore operates only with 'a pitiful range of interpretations'.  The institution itself requires analysis as a kind of individual, although it usually remains as 'a blind structure', active only in maintaining alienation. 

With institutional therapy, there is an effort to do away with doctors and others as spokespersons of the subject [including speaking for the institution as subject].  Such spokespersons are often 'unconscious prisoners' of other structures themselves, and it is a problem to see how they might be able to develop 'a relationship of truth with...  all those who engage with what is spoken'(70).  But this is the precondition to integrate different levels of treatment and also 'for the possibility of writing real institutional monographs'.

We have to see the subject as an unconscious subject [in the sense above, a cultural influence] , 'or rather as a collective agent of utterance' if we are not to reproduce institutions as things or fixed structures.  This will only lead to a dichotomy between the institution as both therapeutic and alienating.  The normal notion of the subject only permits the full articulation of social systems and a paralysis of oppositional utterances [maybe—this is quite dense].  We will risk reinstating roles, perhaps more flexibly, together with all their hierarchies and 'phantasy systems'[this latter phrase is interesting and reminds me of the 'fictional subject' of conventional academic discourse according to Bourdieu].  It would be just like the ways in which representatives of the church interpret religion in the light of new situations [picked up in the remarks about interpreters in Deleuze's work on Nietzsche?]. 

If we can change the total nature [sic] of the institution and think of it as a subject, it can start to make changes and challenges as matters of subjective consistency [ie with its own motives and interests?].  This was the point of drawing up the slightly exaggerated differences between groups, either  passive and active.  Subject groups are potentially able to be 'psychiatric, analytical and political at the same time' (71), but we should not romanticize: no group simply has analytic virtues on its own, since these stem from particular practices which produce '"analytical effects"' [a bit like Althusser on production?].  Such practices depend on a collective agent wishing to become a subject, 'not only for itself but for history'.

Conventional psychiatry grasp symptoms using references to personal history which is then generalized as some 'imaginary historicity', as when individual myths are connected to some more general ones.  This is just like the way 'a primitive society' relates everything to a central myth, even if that myth has to be modified [overcoding in later work].  It reflects the desire of everything should fit together, form a territory [sic --very early], with a given language and collective codes.  Some analytic procedures only exacerbate this situation, so that even they fit the overall framework of a closed society ['a sort of deranged Hegelianism'].  This affected Freudian theory, precisely with its attempt to connect with classical mythology.  These 'homogenous references' were also convincing and reassuring [for elite audiences].

This raises the whole relation between language and being and their relation [is it a 'biunivocal correspondence' for example, (72)]. This would stabilize references by saying they are founded on being, as in Heidegger.  Such efforts offer a sense of permanence and eternity for both language and being.  Luckily, Freud did not develop in this way [ into 'poetic etymology'].  The only effect on psychoanalysis is to make it doubly selective, choosing repressive and limited myths which happen to fit particular categories of neurotic patients, or at least some of their symptoms.  Social categories were also reproduced.  Eventually, real patients might be unable to be treated at all, and psychotherapy would become like a religious society devoted to meditation.  Psychoanalysis is as unsuitable as medieval religion is to the modern factory.  It increasingly defends itself by exorcism and excommunication.

The problem of practice remains.  The first step is to open oneself to 'the complete alterity of the situation'(73), denying any predictability.  More generally, can the unconscious be structured like a language, and does this mean some 'impermeability or permanence', with eternal connections with other structures?  Research tends to show that the characters inhabiting the unconscious are not always fathers and mothers or other monsters, but characters found in social life, such as class struggle.  Psychoanalysis should be elucidating these cultural and social fixtures.

Neurosis cannot be dealt with without reference to some external situation.  Much psychoanalysis actually avoids the most serious dimensions of neurosis which do not appear before them.  As a result, undiagnosed 'crucial problems sizzle in the signifier at different levels' (74), which are much more relevant than how the oedipus myth affected Greek Society: the split in the communist party and how it has affected systems of reference is an example [paranoid Maoists, perverse revisionists and so on].  Failure to address current events like this will lead to an inability to access real problems including  'unconscious axioms that are shared by people living in real society'. There are fundamental questions raised by madness such as what it means for humankind and its destiny, especially since actual 'referential myths' may not be the old religious ones any more, especially with modern theology.  Analytic research must undo the current prohibition of such problems.

The subject may need to be restored, even if only as a blank or hole.  Nevertheless, that which surrounds the whole must also be considered, not least because a misplaced input can decentre the subject radically [raises an important question for those arguing to restore the subject -- which subject? A 'normal' one?]  Inphantile subjects and schizophrenics alike are connected to the contexts [their 'being'].  Engagement with the context can lead to the emergence of blocks.  Neurosis can develop so that it cannot reconnect with the context and external determinations, except through articulations in phantasy.  This can be overcome by producing 'a few new holes artificially'[ new subject positions?]  that can reconnect somewhere else (75).  This can involve 'absolute alterity', but there is always a risk that such alterity might appear as something fixed, and there is a need to think of it instead as something 'that does not come in one piece', that is like [original emphasis] a language [but not structured like a language], something that contains potential [again this is only a gloss].

Chapter six.  The transference

[interesting attempt to contextualize and de-eternalize both Freud and Lacan on structures of the ego, how the outside gets inside, and how transference can be understood as a general process of communication, not just communication between patient and therapist]

Psychological transference is clearly a linguistic matter, and relates to groups and how they might communicate with institutions.  If the group is also structured like a language, how does it speak?  Can it develop as a subject of enunciation?  Must it always speak only a private language?  In particular, how can such speech develop within alienated institutions like psychiatric hospitals?  Should we just wait for more general social revolution?

At least the group and its dialogue can offer 'a potential alterity' (77), as above, and circumstances might prompt questions about why groups are unable to express themselves in the current language.  In this way, subjugated groups can turn into subject groups, and subject groups can persist at least as a kind of virtual alternative, as above.  There is always a possible subjective cut.  This helps us see that alienation and disalienation are not fixed and eternal things.

We have to guard against things that close off groups such as leadership, and also 'identifications, effects of suggestion, disavowals, scapegoating'.  We need to avoid anything that promotes localism and idiosyncrasy, including local rites.  Misrecognition in particular needs to be avoided, where threats appear to issue from the outside only: this produces group delusions including a view that perpetual struggle is required, or strong phallic leadership.  Instead, we need to face up to 'nothingness' as a final outcome of our projects.  We should not have to defend ourselves against solitude or anything transcendental [in this case, something that goes beyond the group and its local meanings?]

In particular, all the internal tensions and battles, splits and so on need to be avoided.  We need to engage in dialogue with other groups, even if this means a possibility of death or rupture for the group.  When a subject groups speaks it can compromise the status of its members, and it is not unknown for a 'a paranoid contraction' to ensue (78), where groups want to preserve themselves as subjects at all costs, denying genuine otherness.  We see this with so many groups including religious literary and revolutionary ones.  It is a kind of 'borderline madness'.

Hospital experience can help.  Reintegrating patients is not just a task for therapists, and they are sometimes rejected by subgroups.  Sometimes this can lead to conflict for the group or the patient.  The best ones are subject groups that go beyond 'individual symptomatic impasses' (79), even if they a risk serious threat to their meaning-systems.  Misrecognition cannot be used once a group becomes a subject, because there is a modified superego which recognizes finitude and death.  In psychological terms, this alters the impact of the castration complex in its actual context.  Belonging to a group is no longer a matter of defence or collective neurosis, but one which focuses on a particular problem, not an eternal one, but a transitory one: 'This is what I have called the structure of "transversality"'.

Conventional transference in psychiatric encounters is not a dualism.  Even relations between mothers and children are always triangular.  There is some mediating object which helps displacement or transference to take place, as there must be in language.  This will be something 'that can be cut or detached'(80), something that is not subject or object, but something outside or adjacent.  We can see this when considering the actual structure of metaphors [there must be a third term?].  Lacan called this 'objet a'.  However, we should avoid universalism, including that in the form that thinks there is some underlying key, or linguistic essence that might permit us to somehow immediately understand other cultures [a dig at Heidegger and his etymology].  Nor should these intermediaries be seen as messages from the unconscious, in particular when Freud used myth as metaphor: he denied any special etymological significance to elements in the chains that produced the jokes, for example, and anything would do link the chain, a phoneme or displacement.  The mythical references were somewhat arbitrary [but see below].

There is no hidden meaning to be uncovered by referring to myths or linguistic constructions.  Instead we need to look at what is remarkable.  Freud's approach is limited by its desire to return to some origins, basically a romantic myth to uncover the truth of nature beneath the existence.  Instead we should focus on history and the 'diachronic cut out of the real' (81) and its drive towards totalisation, best understood as a kind of social construction and bricolage.  We need to enquire into the precise status of the law and where it is located, but to ask this question is already to accept precarity and transience [because there is no universal law to comfort us].

At the practical level, psychoanalysis works if patients overcome their anachronisms and resume ordinary social life.  There is an implicit notion of normality.  Although not fully intended, it works by getting the patient to identify with the analyst, or rather with some ideal human profile seen in the analyst.  It involves the patient accepting his 'branding' by institutions.  The analyst has to actually create such an ideal, but modern society does not offer a satisfactory model—hence the need to borrow myths from earlier societies.  The ideal is also seen in developing [seemingly abstract] models of drives and ideal types of subjectivity and families, often themselves composites.  The main thing is that these models can function in modern society.  This is actually a kind of acceptance of the castration complex as a necessary initiation [nothing to do with oedipus].  This also explains the commercial success of psychoanalysis.

Must these alienating models always be used, and must subjectivity always be found alongside social constraints and mystification—or can humans found their own law?  If there is some total set of values, it will appear metaphorically in subjugated groups.  Domination is sometimes seen as necessarily human, something transmitted between the generations, where the transmitting medium itself becomes a message.  However, this seems to ignore the communicative potentials of language, and gets close to notions of divine communication.  When women interact with their embryos, they transmit not just nutrients but 'fundamental models of our industrial society' (84), even before speech.  There are already non linguistic signifiers, and these are not restricted to existing channels, but represent more heterogeneous objects and do not require apparently universal signifiers [compare this with Ettinger on the matrixial, allegedly drawn from Guattari, I recall]. [Nice idea,but maybe even maternal communication with embryos has been medicalised and socialised these days -- think of Barad on the CT scanner and humanising the embryo, or US moms wanting superbabies playing Mozart to their embryos]

This expanded notion of communication reveals what can be cut [articulated by signifers].  The whole thing can be seen as a driven by the need to nourish children.  There is a law of exchange but it is far broader than the conventional one: 'It is played out and exposes itself anew at every turn'. This offers 'a fundamental precariousness in the [very] structure of exchange', with this sort of exchange between mothers and children 'clearly at the foundation of society...and of all the signifying systems'.

Animals do not need speech, but humans do.  This is the result actually of a 'degeneracy'(85), which Lacan sees as the fundamental split in human beings ['dehiscence'] [There is a useful potted summary of Lacan here which shows that this fundamental split arises at the mirror stage when people perceive a contrast between their ideal and real selves.  This in turn means there is always a split between self and other, and desire fits in as a constantly thwarted attempt to heal the split.  Guattari seems to go along with it here, but he and Deleuze were to reject that structure fundamentally in Anti Oedipus].  As a result, we need forms of division of labour.

Perhaps one day computers might solve this problem for us [some knobs think], and this raises absurd possibilities, like whether computers would therefore become divine, or whether they are part of god's plan.  At least discussion like this shows the modern impasses better than the old language of families or nationalism, each of which displays [defensive] neuroticism.  This old language only works because of misrecognition, and has the effect of 'forever condemning the subject to compulsively resort to degenerate forms of need'[the dissatisfied consumer, desire as a lack etc].

Chapter seven.  Reflections on institutional therapeutics and problems of mental hygiene among students

[V clear links between psychotherapeutic practice and university pedagogy]

Mental health problems should be studied as a part of anthropology, although it is interesting to see how it has become an exclusive domain run by specialists, just as did medics in the medieval period.  Psychiatry remains archaic, partly because science has made little impact on it so far, in the form of effective medicines.  The hospital infrastructure does not help doctors in psychiatric hospitals, but there is also a professional ideology that says that psychiatrists should look at only the pathological part of the subject while excluding other contexts and problems, even though things like family context are essential in successful treatment.  [In all of this, you could cross out psychiatry, and put in teaching!].  In this way, new medications simply 'reinforce mechanisms of misrecognition, avoidance, escape and rationalization' (87).  Patients have become things, and mostly they are treated by having their agitation overcome by heavy doses of drugs. Psychoanalytic practice is equally marginal, partly because of its original aristocratic notion of the analyst, and its focus has classically been private patients.

We would benefit from studying [total institutions] including prisons, concentration camps and barracks.  These areas need to be recovered for research since they are already isolated from the normal social domain.  Studying them would help us see how a society creates effects as symptoms [it's the marginal strategy, another hint of Goffman].

All these different social groups together are imprisoned by the problems they address.  That is because societies require particular modes of alienation associated with groups like families or hospitals, and this general alienation masks the characteristics of mental illness specifically: the context which produces mental illness shows different levels of social alienation.  What we need is a reworking of semiology and nosology [study of diseases or medical symptoms].  Analysis should similarly cover the entire field including the biological, social and ethical.

There are endless ossified subgroups and splits between and among specialists, each with privileged concepts, however, and so the subject as a whole will be missed.  Some efforts to undergo group medicine will be adequate only if the group acts as a group subject focused on analysis and research, with the possibility of subsequent referral to specialists.  Current training of therapists works on 'a strictly individual basis' (89), however.  The emphasis should be on groups working together after practical training.  It is not only an exchange of information is required, but a suitable institutional environment operated by the personnel themselves. This would also help avoid the 'imaginary traps' which beset professionals particularly: they can see themselves as 'the modern mage, shaman, alchemist etc.' (90).  Instead personnel must accept being involved in contestation of their roles, and 'radical questioning of traditional status'.

The mentally ill are used to being fragmented and offered discontinuous therapies, but it is important to break the myth of these habitual categories if we are to grasp the whole subject.  Practitioners themselves often transmit these alienating categories, with a 'quasi religious hierarchy' between doctors and analysts at the top, and nurses and social workers at the bottom.  This prevents some people like nurses misrecognizing their own therapeutic powers and thinking of themselves as inferior doctors.  Patients can also reproduce this hierarchy, demanding access to the head and his privileged words, as a 'master slave dialectic'(91).  Nurses display '"minorization"' [!], and exclude themselves from the sector of life run by doctors.  The same goes with all the other workers in an establishment like cooks and drivers.  These artificial restricted performances must be replaced by 'playing an authentic human role with patients', with multiple contacts and shared activities, monitored and controlled by the group.

It impossible to remove all social disparities, but their pathogenic effects can be mediated through meetings and gatherings to express problems before they threaten the system.  There is no formula, and sustained effort is required to overcome sources of resistance: 'it is less a struggle than group psychotherapy'.  Analyzing processes must be a feature of the organization itself, even though concepts may be borrowed from somewhere else externally.

The processes of alienation in different environments are overdetermined [sic] (92), but there is no underlying model.  In state run institutions, everything is homogeneous with the rest of industrial society, including residual archaic relations, say with kitchen staff—and patients.  Traditional and modern establishments need to be reworked, however: the latter can offer more comfort but include the same social relations, and the overall mix can be 'even more inhuman'.  There is a parallel with the reforms in small rural schools, and the resistance encountered by experimental approaches in '"barracks schools"' [with a reference to a piece by Oury].

Other organizations, like public administrative ones, no doubt present particularly enduring obstacles to change [with this curious terminology 'problems of mental hygiene' used here and elsewhere].  There is general goodwill towards equality in France, but a general inability to understand human realities and forms of organization other than bureaucracies, despite occasional recommendations to experiment with different psychiatric regimes.  Such experiments are usually doomed if they are imposed by administrators.  Nor should we wait for a revolutionary political transformation of all forms of exploitation.  'Changes are possible in every concrete situation' (93).  No one thinks it's going to be easy to eliminate hierarchy and break top down systems, although we are becoming increasingly aware of the non-economic consequences of excessive human exploitation, providing a possible 'immense source of energy' for revolutionary change (94).

There have been permanent changes in organizations after 'victories by workers', including substantial changes in social security and investment in health [immediately after the Liberation] although the state soon recovered, because worker organizations lacked clear objectives [sic] and failed to clarify the differences in organization that were possible.  Thus the National Mutual of French Students (MNEF){provides mutual health insurance -- big scandal in the 90s discussed here ] is currently discussing co-management, but it has focused more on administrative aspects, and failed to address issues such as how conceptions of illness themselves mask true psychological and sociological problems, and only present in the form of 'the individual "drama"' (95).  

Students have specific dimensions of alienation.  The university attempts to reshape personality in line with the 'pathogenic traits of the entire environment', and student activists must widen the scale of their efforts.  Students are also transitional in various ways, undergoing biological and intellectual maturation, and adverse effects from the image of the adult society complicates their perception.  They are considered only in terms of a formal 'cut' [through this nexus], the role they will play as adults: until then, they, are not subjects in their own right.   Here,  pedagogy and university practices overlapped with problems of mental hygiene, since the entire structure attempts to diminish individual spontaneity, personal forms of cultural expression, and the detours necessary for maturation.  There is a similarity here between neuroticism and student experience—both display chronic anxiety, and the way to overcome it through stereotypical behaviour [in the case of students 'cramming, obsequiousness towards professors, or systematic opposition'(96)]. Universities are stifled in responding to these needs because they also have to respond to the hierarchical structure of private companies and public enterprises.  Students have enough problems facing the challenge of scientific literary and philosophical problems.  They are treated as 'poor relatives of society', as marginal [parental background and wealth do not seem to 'fundamentally change' this status].

Although we can see general problems, we also have to see how they are specifically embodied. so student therapists need to know something about 'the realities of the student environment' [so do study skills peddlers].  It is as important as personal and biological factors.  Student organization should take on this therapeutic vocation, organizing dispensaries and health clinics, as well as clubs and activities and psychological counseling.  Student movements are beginning to understand this.  They also benefit by being more open to 'reciprocal contestation'.  They should be treated as such by the various medics who would deal with their mental hygiene.  It is not that medic should become militants nor vice versa, rather that they should meet and develop social interrelationships.

Some reforming doctors and nurses after the Liberation already had some relevant experiences in youth organizations [including parties -- and the Scouts! ].  The student movement could offer a similar stimulus, especially after its experience, say in protesting the Algerian War.  Younger reforming therapists might emerge.  Current campaigns to reform the university have a similar perspective to psychoanalytic reformers, but we need to multiply the examples in psychiatric hospitals, say by putting patients in charge of their illness with the support of the student movement.  Students as patients or who are interested in psychopathology might be interested in participating in clubs with patients: thus would also help them keep in touch with their field of study and training.

Students could also develop their own associations to discuss and at least clarify their problems, before they need treatment in institutions.  'We all know how confusing it is for students to arrive in the Kafkaesque world of the university' (98).  However, such groups should not just be confined to the problems of university work.  The possibly pathological aspects of student leisure might also be addressed, as '"ersatz"... obsession with work, idle and guilty wandering, the role of cafe terraces etc.' (99).

Sufficient finance should be demanded from the student movement, together with intermediate steps to address mental hygiene.  There is a risk of being incorporated, so this must be linked to the deeper goals of the student movement.  There is always a danger of reformism and recuperation, as we know from practices such as youth centres.  However, opportunities for large numbers to meet and debate should strengthen the student movement [dear dead days!]. Such activities would also help students get out of their ghetto.  They would be able to discuss problems that do not appear on the university curriculum, and help to overcome the separation from many other sectors of society.  'Collective surveys' that have been used in active methods in schools might be pursued (100). Meetings between workers and students would be popular with young workers. The last objective has been recognized, but it is difficult to find ways to engage.  Students would undoubtedly benefit.  It might go along with a demand for students working in training.  Currently, professional training for workers largely ignores their cultural understanding, but so far this has not affected student training [how sad—it has now].

Alienation exists at a number of levels in industrial societies, and most individual subjects have to accept this or face the consequences of not being integrated.  Domination takes the form largely of 'certain unconscious laws' (101) that regulate the relations between subjects and social structures, within systems based overall on profit and state power, dominated by a non progressive class.  We should aim at a social structure with the purpose of responding to real needs of human subjects.  The reforms suggested above will only happen by being part of a revolutionary perspective and an effective practice of class struggle.  We need to be aware how precarious they are, but at least this will also remind us that they are not just palliatives, soothing the conscience of the established order.

Chapter eight.  Transversality

[Very important early work on schizophrenia as a political response, links between psychoanalytic problems and social signifiers, subject groups and transversality etc.]

Changes in institutional therapy have often been recuperated.  It is essential to connect with the whole social problematic.  Failing to do this partly explains the splits in the psychoanalytic movement, and the continued segregation of the mad.  One consequence is to 'psychologize social problems' (103). The overall connections between the individual and the 'social signifier'must be analysed, particularly where a psychosis appears to be extremely '"de-socialised"'.  Freud recognized this, at least in the connections between the neuroses and the various stages of development: he says that the inphantile determinants of anxiety should no longer apply as the ego is strengthened, but that this is usually incomplete.  In particular, fear of the superego, initially developed in the latency phase, is required in the form of moral anxiety which preserves social relations. The survival of neurotic anxieties into situations where there is no immediate reason for them also reveals that anxiety in inphants is caused by external dangers and is real, but that it can be evoked and determined by internal factors, that they developed internally first.  

However, the castration complex is unending, because internal renunciation of the beloved object is insufficient and is 'irreversibly caught up in the working of the social signifiers' (104).  [I think because there is always a third term, literally the father, but also the social and social reality].  In this way, social reality survives because an initially irrational internal morality gets repeated blindly.  It is no good trying to resolve it by appealing to the absence of actual danger, 'through some impossible dialogue between the ego ideal and the superego' (105).  In this way, the whole social framework develops a 'specific "signifying logic"', which has to be analysed as much as does the individual.

The persistence of this anxiety shows that there is a repetition of the death instinct, not just a continuity which can be eventually resolved by successful integration into society.  Because it is used in constant social regulation [it must be constant], there can be no resolution.  Instead there is a fundamental incompatibility between the function of the father as a possible solution and the actual structure of families and industrial societies: modern societies do not anymore validate the charismatic father, King or God [so connections here between Adorno and the authoritarian personality study].  Even in regressive cases, like fascism,  'collective pseudo-phalllicization" ends only in plebiscitary voting, and the continued dominance of the economic system—or the sacrifice of the leader [Kennedy and Khrushchev are the examples]. Subjectivity and modern states cannot easily be identified with individuals or small elite groups because it is 'unconscious and blind'(106), unlikely to be focused by any modern oedipus. Reviving ancient forms will not work any more than will revisiting inphantile anxieties.  Instead we need a new institutional therapeutics to overcome 'the blind social demand for a particular kind of castrating procedure'.

Some formulations have been useful in local institutional experiments, but they must be recognized as only temporary.  They turn on noting a parallel [actually a grid] between meandering psychotics especially schizophrenics, and social discordance more generally, where individuals are expected to identify with various kinds of consuming and producing machines.  Catatonic silence makes sense, especially if the spoken word itself is complicit in this discordance.  The overall process at work reduces the spoken word to a [dominating] written system. 

We need to distinguish between two groups according to whether they are just functionally defined by role or activity, or are independent subject groups, trying to develop 'tools of elucidation' (107).  [I am freely glossing what follows -- and the last bits of the above].  Hierarchy in the first case means that the group is required to adapt to other groups in order to play a role ['be heard'], while in the second, the point is to become open to a world beyond immediate interests, develop perspective, make a statement, but hear as well as be heard.  Most groups will oscillate between these two, trying to develop a subjectivity that speaks, but one that is also lost in the 'otherness of society' [reminds me of Ranciere again, and the tension between autonomy and heteronomy].  Analysing this tension is far more important than just a formal role analysis, and it also raises the whole question of individuals and groups and the right to speak: formal analysis simply misses meaning and content [I thought of all those pointless debates about whether members should be elected or appointed to university committees, all without asking what the meaning or content of members' contributions should be]. There is also a need to distinguish manifest content from latent: the latter might be seen as group desire, articulated by specific love and death instincts.

In Freudian psychoanalysis, the analyst reintegrates the instincts to [cure the patient and] make them more acceptable and functional.  This assumes a particular structure for institutions, including imaginary ones with an ability to offer symbolic mediation.  This is more than just psychoanalytic transference, which depends on the analyst interpreting imaginary investments.  At the group level, symbolism is always involved, no matter what the images are [that is, there is always a social dimension?].  The inertia of groups can be explained by the endless return to insoluble problems.  In psychiatric institutions at least, individuals are rarely aware of this group symbolic dimension, and there is a tendency to see particular roles as natural, and to overlay them with particular images.  These often turn on matters of efficient organisation or prestige on the one hand, and incapacity on the other, and their 'natural' appearance makes change difficult: this is how a dependent group emerges.

The unconscious desire of the group is not easy to state in words, and this can produce a range of symptoms.  These may indeed be 'articulated like a language', but this does not lead to coherent dialogue about the ways in which institutions construct totems and taboos which prevent real speech in the group.  The forms of false speech that result will not access group desire, and it remains unconscious, like a kind of neurotic defence against rational explanation.  However, it is necessary to at least clear space for group desire and to see it as an inherent problem of organisation, which cannot be grasped by formal description.  In this way, it takes the form of 'a trial run for any attempt at group analysis'.  Analysis is not the same as group therapy. Forms of communication like that work with existing likes and dislikes, and channels for creativity.  But what often results is ritualistic behaviour about terms of reference, no intention to ever say 'anything real', (110) or anything connected with other important human activities and discourses.

Some political groups claim they have been condemned by history, and can only turn in upon themselves, producing mechanisms of defence, denial, myths, dogmas and so on. If we analyze them, we will discover a group death wish connected to defeated masses or classes: this is just like the psychoanalytic problems of groups and individuals.

In traditional psychiatric hospitals, there are dominant groups who can block the expressions of desire of other groups.  This desire appears in symptoms like disturbances and divisiveness, or alcoholism or stupid behaviour.  Only some continued belief in the mystery of mental problems keeps dominant groups attending to the needs of others at all: this might explain, for example, a legitimating aesthetic stance among the elite psychiatrists [explaining neurosis as something aesthetic rather than a major social question -- gets close to Deleuze's admiration for Artaud?].

The analysis should not aim at some static truth, but create conditions favourable to interpretation, which would be similar to transference.  Both represent symbolic intervention.  However, group analysis does not depend on an appointed experts, since any member can note occasions when a particular signifier becomes active, 'for instance in organizing a game of hopscotch' (111).  Preconceptions must be left behind.  All participants must take care not to destroy possibilities for expression.  We are far from the usual rigid obligatory and '"territorialized"' conventional notion of transference.  That form leads to interiorized repression and the reproduction of castes with consequent group phantasies.

A better term is transversality.  It is opposed to verticality and pyramids, and also to the sort of horizontal links where people just have to fit in to a structure (112). It is like horses in a field who wear adjustable blinkers: if they are really closed, movement is obviously highly limited and only traumatic encounters can occur.  As blinkers are opened, movement becomes much more easy.  It is the same with the affectivity generated by other people—it requires just the right distance between them.  We can think of a '"coefficient of transversality"' in hospitals, according to the limits of vision imposed.  Opening the blinkers and the subsequent communication tends to depend on the hierarchy, however, although there may be pressure from the underdogs.  This requires wholesale reconsideration of roles and structures in general rather than on an individual basis.

Transversality implies ' maximum communication among different levels and, above all, in different meanings' (113).  We can move towards it by, for example, replacing formal communication between superintendents and doctors, or between nurses and patients, where problems are heightened.  Although we can isolate specific coefficients of transversality of different intensity, they are limited by the structure as a whole—for example house doctors may have a high coefficient, but that would apply only in a limited area.  There is institutional entropy which absorbs efforts to change.  It is difficult to identify the groups that are actually responsible for entropy, who may not be the official authorities: there is latent, real, as well as manifest power, groups with de facto power.

Widespread involvement and questioning is required, 'a decisive re-examination' of institutional truths.  The state and its finance policy might be questioned, the marginal status of group therapy, the classifications used in medicine, or official hierarchies and unofficial ones, even in liberal institutions. All these will require  the development of a subject group, able to speak.  This will also involve acceptance of a form of castration, the obliteration of powers of imagination. We can use Freud to understand this, using the analysis of those objects which have symbolic [social] significance for the subject, including the part objects.  This can be extended to include 'transitional objects' [which seem to be consumer durables which enhance lifestyles].  All these are commodities on the market, and this provides 'unconscious control of our fate' in industrial societies, taking a particular individualized and disjointed form.  It is impossible to recapture control—depriving people of the use of these commodities would only displace their symptomatology [the analogy is with an obsessive hand washer who is prevented from washing his hands where the symptomatology is displaced on to other forms of anxiety].

Transversality is essential for adequate group analysis and the development of liberated individuals who can 'manifest both the group and himself' (116).  [so transversality and subject-group analyzing are co-dependent -- or circular] If the group is able to act as a signifier for him, he will be revealed as something more than a neurotic.  However, joining a group that is already alienated with distorted imagery can reinforce the narcissism of the neurotic, while the psychotic is left to his own individual passions and universe.  Individuals must join groups as both listener and speaker, able to 'gain access to the group's inwardness and interpret it'.  If transversality is established, new forms of dialogue can begin in groups, and patients can begin to achieve collective expression.  The superego can be modified [it seems to develop initially when a particular model of language is connected to ritualistic social structures].  This would transform the psychoanalytic movement and refocus on 'real patients where they actually are'—in hospitals.

Medical superintendents preserve their social status by being remote.  How might they be persuaded to accept group criticism and analysis?  Doctors must abandon their phantasy status and recognize this symbolic functions.  The benefit would be that the medical function as a whole would be split into a number of different responsibilities, away from totemism.  Different sorts of institutions might be established to perform different sorts of roles.  The overall role would now be seen as structured like a language [sic --rather than as some essential expression of a natural whole].  This would be an essential first phase for setting up transversality, because it would necessarily engage with the group's phantasies and signifiers, and roles would be seen as not components of a reified group, but something open to redefinition and questioning.  There would be wider repercussions. 

Ego ideals would necessarily be modified, the conventional superego questioned, and thus 'a type of castration complex' developed.  People would be put on trial, challenged, their privilege denied.  Some of this might be reciprocal and accompanied by humour, and [eventually, as in Durkheim?] a new kind of group law would appear.  One consequence would be to actualize the transcendental dimensions of madness which have been repressed.  phantasies of death or destruction, common in psychosis, could be 're-experienced in the warm atmosphere of the group' instead of being exorcised.

There is a constant danger, however, of the 'besotting mythology of "togetherness"' (118).  This can be countered by making explicit instinctual demands which will force everybody to consider 'their being and destiny'. An ambiguity will develop: the group will be reassuring and protective, generating a comforting form of alienation, but it will also reveal in detail 'human finitude' where every undertaking will involve a sort of death, involvement in the existence of others, necessary to guarantee the effects of [genuine] human speech.  There can no longer be imaginary references to masters and slaves, however, so this will indicate a possible end to [one conventional form of] the castration complex.

Transversality is opposed to hierarchicy and empty communication.  It is the unconscious source of group action, and carries the desire of the group.  It can be seen best where groups are attempting to be subject groups, even though this inevitably means they must 'put themselves in the position of having to bring about their own death' (119).  Dependent groups are determined from the outside, and aim at self preservation to 'magically protect themselves from a non-sense'.  Group analysis aimed at transversality is possible, but must avoid any 'psychologising descriptions of its own internal relationships' [which apparently will destroy the necessary 'phantasmic dimensions particular to the group'—its ideology or organizational myth?].  They must avoid being compartmentalized.  However, an effective group signifier will induce a 'threshold' castration complex on subjects, who must abandon some of their own instincts in order to be part of the group.

The group desire and the practical possibilities for each person may or may not be compatible.  This will affect their support for experiment.  The development of the group can also alter the level of tolerance towards individuals and still fail to explore recurrent 'mystified issues'. A group analyst is required to notice [hierarchy then] these events and that lead the group in confronting issues that are raised.  Overall, bureaucracy is not inevitable, and nor are the unconscious mechanisms that prevent transversality.  It is important to accept the risk, which includes confronting 'irrationality, death and the otherness of the other' (120), in order to arrive at 'real meaning'.

Chapter nine.  Reflections on institutional psychotherapy for philosophers
Themes here include:

(1) A rebuke to philosophers.  Guattari says he is not a philosopher does work mostly with the pragmatics of psychotherapeutic institutions.  There is a need for theory as below, but philosophers find it difficult to deal with the material offered by psychoanalysis, like the many monographs.  They can even express 'disdain' (121) for concrete problems in psychiatry which will prevent adequate theoretical development connected to the pragmatic field, sometimes seen as being as a mere assistant for the sciences.  Philosophy has long operated with a 'phantasy'—the development of a complete homogeneous system of concepts.  Hegel showed the tendency best: Hegel never developed into anthropology, for example.   The phenomenology which followed still misrecognized subjectivity, for example in having to deduce the existence of collective subjectivity instead of beginning with it [see 133].

(2) A [linked] theoretical exploration of the social dimensions of subjectivity,  itself prompted by considering institutional psychotherapy and its problems.  [This will lead not only to sociology but to critical politics as well as a new focus for philosophy].  It is clear that the institution itself has effects.  It prevents some psychoanalytic techniques from being practised [presumably the intensive individualised ones].  To analyze these effects requires thinking of an institutional object as the one specific to institutional psychotherapy.  This will not just involve the usual studies of group dynamics, which classically fail to explore reasons for failure: nor are the theoretical discussions of group psychology found in universities very helpful, usually because they often depend on causal explanations and do not focus on 'the dialectic of human speech'.

Focusing on the institutional object requires thinking about group subjectivity as constitutive of various subjective positions: 'group phantasies and ideals, resistances and superego mechanisms, derivation, repetition and displacement, compensatory activities, the emergence of a neurotic or fatal group passion adopting speech that allows it to get out of its circular totalization by connecting with the outside of the group and reworking its principles of conservation in spatial temporal and imaginary terms as well as in institutional and historical signifying chains' (123).  Some of them can be connected to Freudian doctrine such as superego and phantasy, which applied to groups as well as individuals.  Concepts like transference need reassessment [see above], especially in terms of whether a group can act to interpret the symptoms.

Obviously groups can reflect individual reactions back and amplify them, but the point is whether institutions can develop groups that can analyze.  Therapeutic groups already exist to assist and support.  This involves thinking about group subjects, a group unconscious that is not just the sum of the individual subjectivities.  This will have both theoretical and practical implications.  Can such a group speak in an institution without further alienating the individuals, and how would it mesh with conventional relationships?  In particular, there is a danger of inducing 'institutional shame and guilt' (125), from a form of group incest.

However, individuals are already institutions, subsets of social institutions like family or social class.  Ignoring the social and public dimensions to arrive at the individual coterminous with thought and cognition actually required major philosophical effort.  Instead, group subjectivity is 'an absolute precondition for the emergence of any individual subjectivity'.  The individual cognito looks more stable, but groups produce value systems and symbolic structures, based on encounters with others.  The meaning of human gestures and words requires an examination of these processes.  Group symbols affect not only ordinary speech, but the symptoms presented by mental patients as well.  It might be possible to find an unconscious structured like a language behind what looks like the nonsense of symptoms, a signifying chain: this would permit interpretation based on the 'articulation of over determined pairs'(126): 'symptom and unconscious subject, language and speech, demand and desire, superego and ego ideal, social persona and individual responsibility'.  This would exceed not only the 'bureaucratic absurdities' of the institution, but also conventional analysis based on 'the assumption of the ego'.

This would require a more systematic study of apparent nonsense [a clear connection with Deleuze and the Logic of Sense].  This in turn would inevitably lead to questioning human institutions, their goals and definitions of normality.  This would be to take advantage of the social space devoted to and excluding the mad.  It would make it easier to see how industrial societies, including bureaucratic socialism, have produced institutions that turned the masses into 'objects of the economic machine'.  Psychiatric hospitals give us the best examples, exaggerating mysterious individual disturbances, and the solitude and nonsense of the patients.  They also produce obvious reactions for the worst, 'social alienation', on top of 'psychopathological alienation'(127). 

Pursuing parallels like this will help us interpret individual cases and all the affects at work, including those of 'global society'.  It will also lead to social critique which can be articulated with other struggles.  Analyzing industrial society through the fundamental connections of political economy and social subjectivity, the adjustment of production to consumers and users, will expand the currently limited debates about changing structures of work and new social classes.  It would be possible to think of it in sci-fi terms as having a giant computer producing every desire and response, leaving apparent subjectivity as a mere 'refrain that comes from somewhere else': it will all look entirely plausible since ' the supreme economic god is incapable of deception', following natural laws, unable to control any alternative desires with consumerism or drugs.

Group subjectivity must be explained by looking at the development of signifiers in the social field, and abandoning devices such as 'Jungian metaphors on the collective soul', or some teleological understanding [humans as natural cooperators --a reference to Moreno here?].  Existing cooperation between psychoanalysis, social science, ethnology and linguistics [in Guattari's own work] might still any doubts about the ontological status of this subjectivity.  Self contained definitions are not yet available, however.  We need to analyze all the different forms provided by modern society to see if we can find a common term, in all the regulatory bodies and institutional objects.  Overall, the state is a signifying machine which reifies social processes, and regulates the imaginary order and its effects on human desire: any resistance is seen as atypical, as 'guilt, perversion, "pathology" or revolution'.

Unless they are replaced by a classless society [a classic definition of one imposed by a class which can transcend its own interests], social institutions will always turn individuals into cogs in a machine, and produce a social subjectivity compatible with advanced production.  Alternatives may look idealistic, and there is a danger of developing a mythical subjectivity, 'the redemption of the lost subject and its counterparts, the god who died in reality but still speaks in dreams' (129).  Capitalist systems remain 'frighteningly dynamic'.

The link between social symptoms and individual alienation can be seen in things like 'wild and spontaneous forms of sociality' found among groups of adolescents, attempting to overcome oedipal impasse and the problems of the traditional family.  This is usually [wrongly] understood as a collapse of the paternal function, or as dysfunctional families.

The individual I can take on a separated form where it is invested in consumer durables or conventional social positions: 'the "I" escapes me. I is an other' [Lacan here].  But these others are signifying machines, not subjects themselves, manipulating subjects.  Could we return to some earlier model, of a political totem or King?  Freud would help  [Totem and Taboo] despite the myths, although university philosophy of psychology has tended to dismiss this stuff, even creating 'a system to resist access to them'.  The same goes for terms like the death drive, or even the unconscious and the unconscious subject—all dismissed as unscientific.  However Lacan has suggested continued mileage in the form of commentary on philosophers of the subject like Descartes or Husserl.

Group subjectivity can be understood by extending Freud too, even though he constantly misses social reality himself.  He did provide a way to analyze the relations between subjects and others without idealism.  Lukacs has to work with a class unconscious [which counters social determinism] which never interrogates the subject, but Freud does.  The subject is fundamentally unconscious, which leaves individual determination both uncertain and also inevitably linked to groups and modes of communication.  We can extend this to think of the institutional level, with its own laws, groups and privileged interpreters: specific forms of resistance, misreading and phantasy will emerge, not just based on individual forms.  Individual phantasies arise in articulations between the individual organism and the imaginary structural order [picked up by Deleuze in his work on the phantasm in Logic of Sense], but group phantasies link with the 'totality of signifiers and social structures' (131).

All these points are based not on philosophy but on reflections arising from practice.  Everything remains in suspense and in question.  Could there be a group interpretation?  Would not a leader emerge as a spokesperson?  What connections are there between the '"order word" of a particular group' and outside historical truth?  However, language and the subject must not be seen as essentially 'stuck' with the individual.  Although individuals articulate particular words, language refers to 'the totality of what is said in every place by every individual' and includes 'everything that is articulated by all economic machines'.  Behind every individual spokesperson, for example, lies a whole signifying chain, so who is the subject of this chain? [Deleuze says it is easy to see the problems if we think of sentences without apparent subjects like 'It is raining'].

Self consciousness guarantees being conscious, but subjects also have a connection to meaning, to registers established by others.  Some groups have always claimed to be the subject of history, of course, but this can always be doubted.  Social facts may not be things, 'and yet they first present themselves as things', with a status as objects independent of 'humanist observers'(132).

If social subjectivity is to develop, it will be in the context of existing groups and institutions, historical phenomena, existing social and political problems.  This will extend far beyond local practices, depending, for example on how consumption is adjusted to fit production generally.  Institutional models welcoming the logic of nonsense are unlikely to emerge.  There are now no traditional sponsors for human existence, no churches or traditional political groups [no universities either] . 

There is a role for philosophical research that would develop concepts adequate both to the objective sciences and concrete human existence.  The alternative is endless parallelism, between say form and structure, even superstructure and infrastructure [we can see how this might have informed the rambling broad commentaries of ATP, although Deleuzian concepts are far from this—may be transcendental empiricism will do this?].  Existing philosophy only exists as 'the head curator of the museum of outmoded concepts' (133), safe from any innovation.  The same goes for official Freudism.  New concepts are required, but also new power to the fundamental concepts of philosophy.  Hegel needs to be applied to anthropology, individual existence should not be seen as a primary: the existence of others,  intersubjectivity and social order need not have to be deduced.  These limits have affected the human sciences too.  Institutionalised Marxism has been sterile for decades and is wedded to mechanicism.  These limits have been internalized by some practitioners, so that some therapists consider that their field is closed off from other disciplines, or that they uniquely qualified to gain access to social subjectivity.  However, all specialists need to respond to 'the critical questions raised by history'(134 ).

Is there any philosophical research that would lead to a notion of the subject independently of the constraints of contemporary historical subjectivity?  If not, does this not raise questions for the philosophical object too?  There is a need to reconfigure a number of apparently separate problems, social political or moral, for example. Perhaps philosophy could become the interpreter  mediating between the languages spoken in these different fields.  It would then be grasping social subjectivity manifested through particular contents, shaped by historical accident or academic contingency [close to a notion of the virtual?].  Philosophers would be able to play the role of analyzers.  Psychoanalysis and other forms of institutional analysis, along with ethnology and linguistics, have shown the need for such redefined philosophy, but crises will appear—it is unlikely that the views of Schreber or Artaud on God will be taken seriously as those of Descartes or Malebranche (135).  There will for a long time be a split between theoretical critique and analytical activity in the human sciences, an iron curtain.  New splits will be appearing as states develop: individual experience already gives an awareness of these splits ['cuts'] and this has an effect on the imaginary which is far more important than the antique myths beloved of psychoanalysis.

The final implication is that philosophy would have to become interested in analysing, as well as 'establishing and maintaining a logic of nonsense' in every domain, to extend 'the possibilities of signification of human existence'.

Chapter ten.  Nine theses of the left opposition

[Lovely stuff, reminiscent of the dear dead days when people were thinking of how to apply various kinds of Marxist tendencies.  Still highly relevant today in my view.  I have omitted lots of the contextual stuff about internecine conflicts.  It is very dense and I have reduced it quite a lot] [NB much of the political background assumed here and in the chapters that follow is discussed in Dosse's book Intersecting Lives..., ch.1]

Thesis one: capitalism and the state

We have to think of capitalism as offering 'a structured totality, a concrete whole'(136), resulting from historical developments.  We must resist the tendency to see separations, say between nation states and international capitalism, or state socialism and monopoly capital.  Official communist movements do not see the world this way however.  There is no simple model of capitalism, nor an underlying structure which needs to have individual national circumstances added to it.  There are still tensions and contradictions, between globalised productive forces and national relations of production.  Most goods are still provided from a production process in several countries, yet the national framework has persisted, even though it hinders international development.  The state is now integral in the process of circulating capital and realising surplus value.  In particular, it can support capital where there is only weak profit. 

The integration is such that we can now refer to 'an organic whole, state monopoly capitalism'(137) [although this is not the stamocap of western Marxism fashionable in the 1970s].  This emerged first in times of crisis like war as an depression, which reduced international exchanges and linked local capitals to the state.  International phases emerged again, but the contradiction has remained, and can even develop.  However, international capitalism is not just the sum of national capitals, but the two are related in a particular mode of realization of economic life.  States can still operate as 'historical archaisms' opposing further international development, but they are still needed and play a key role in the maintenance of bourgeois domination.  Bourgeois weakness has meant the inability to modernise: 'the bourgeoisie needs the national state to survive' (139).  This has brought about the need for new forms of state activity, but economic relationships exert an increasing pressure upon national forms.

Progress will only come from the creation of proletarian institutions and in particular 'a revolutionary subjectivity'.

Thesis two: capitalism and the strategy of the international labour movement

'The history of capitalism is the history of class struggle', and there are no independent physical or cultural developments which constrain class struggle from the outside, as in official communism.  'Capitalism is not external to the proletariat'(140).

Social democracy strengthened the state and developed state monopoly capitalism, drawing on chauvinism, patriotism and nationalism.  This restored instruments of domination to the bourgeoisie.  The communist movement also repeated this process.  While waiting for the final crisis of capitalism, they actually stifled revolutionary tendencies.  They also failed to predict the persistence of bourgeois domination through various state regulatory mechanisms. 

There is a modernist view that suggests that accelerating [sic] proletarian integration into the state will form an alliance with International Capital and restore the evolution of bourgeois society again, but it is not accepted by official communism.  'All political ideologies are the product of the same type of error, which consists of combining forces of a different nature: social classes and state or economic decision-making centres' (141) [a proper account of fashionable discourse theory].  As a result, international struggle can be resisted on national grounds.  On the other hand, modernism involves alliance with nationalist and reactionary forces, in the name of the 'new working class'[working class support for the EU in a nutshell].

All this is recent, and once it was argued that proletarians had no country.  Reactionary nationalism is a major opponent of communism, and parallels thinking of the relationship between the party avant-garde and the popular masses.  Communist support for parliamentarianism and national struggles involves the reconciliation of classes—hence the party is the only source of political theory for the working class.  Such illusions will inevitably wear thin, and bureaucratic developments in the labour movement will grow.

Lenin advocated a status quo between social forces at a time when Soviet power was weak, but Stalin turned it into an ideology, a philosophy of coexistence, and 'a reactionary myth' which saw the Russian proletariat as integral to developing national productive forces as the only defence against 'cosmopolitan trusts'.  This only helped monopoly capital dismantle traditional economies, and thus assisted in systematic global under development.  The Soviet State was able to impose itself as the only body to represent the interests of the masses, but that actually involved coexistence with imperialism.

What is needed is a revolutionary avant-garde that does not just represent the masses, but structures them, coordinates their struggle, following a 'collectively developed strategy' (142), and aims at suppressing capitalism.  The power of the Soviet model has diminished given the spread of socialist and anti imperialist regimes, and the USSR was forced to develop a more cooperative relation with other parties.

Thesis three: inter- imperialist contradictions

This is officially emphasized by communist parties, but it is a classic ideological theme, operating 'at the level of appearances of reality without trying to grasp the political causes' (143).  The USA appears to be the defender of the entire system, and it rose to power in particularly favourable circumstances, including a large internal market and an abundance of capital and labour.  The Second World War ruined Europe and favoured the USA.  The IMF sponsor the dollar is the major international currency.  American aid to Europe restored European capitalism but also created a potential market.  The USA has always sponsored international exchange and international division of labour, to deepen capitalist division of labour between nations: it has always been favourable to establishing large markets.

The USA still faces contradictions and setbacks, or for example since nations are diverse, and national bourgeois aim to restore their local dominance.  The proletarian response to continued nationalism has often embraced archaic structures, even pre-capitalist ones, agricultural forms, for example.  Local French monopolies despite their rhetoric, have to support a large international agricultural market, leading to policies to reduce national support: one consequence was a rural exodus [the EU might have reversed this a bit, but faces the same contradictions with complaints about the large agricultural subsidies].  Local bourgeoisie have to ally with local farmers and workers, even in Germany.  Archaic systems cannot be overcome.

We see all these contradictions in the national state [Habermas and Offe identified some more].  National states have to achieve compromise with their classes despite international developments.  The incapacity of the bourgeoisie to remove archaic residues is clear, although it is a puzzle to official communism [which cannot see the necessary corporation of the proletariat in these policies].  Inter-imperialist contradictions are really only the 'mystified flip side' of the tensions and contradictions inside the proletariat in a national context.  Although there is an objective reality here, the international communist movement has also provided objective consequences from their politics of peaceful coexistence: it is comical to see the movement puzzled by the consequences.  It assisted national struggles unconsciously, 'but its theoretical consciousness completely forgot it and is unable to understand it' (145).

Capitalist institutions in a mode of production work 'like a language'[another example of this phrase being used to deny the objectivity of apparent composites—again close to gramscian discourse theory].  The communist movement is now a part of the system because it refused to break with it as a whole.  There are still disputes about the degree of reality of institutions as superstructures, and this formulation has always provided puzzles for Marxist theory: usually they adopt either for Hegel, where the superstructure is materialized class consciousness, or for mechanism.  Some would see institutions as '"real-ideal"' as opposed to " real - material"', but this is only an imaginary resolution of the contradiction.  The problem has not been posed correctly.  It turns on the relation between objective reality and 'the subjective reality of proletarian organizations'.

Thesis four: the third world

Pre-capitalist structures are evident, as is substantial exploitation and domination [rather than under development, which fails to locate third world countries in the overall international division of labour].  There are deformed economies where capital was invested according to the interests of industrial nations, and an imbalanced exchange of goods and capital, as surplus value is drained away to be replaced by International Capital.  Only a small amount of production contributes to the global process of reproducing capital, leaving substantial pre-capitalist and feudal relations of production.  As argued above,international capital supports these, and props up the old ruling classes.

The Chinese communist party offered a substantial challenge to reformists Soviet thinking with its call for revolutionary struggle to overthrow imperialism, but this was not actually based on Marxist analysis, but rather from an empirical awareness of revolutionary struggles on the margins of imperialism rather than at the part, a 'pseudo theorisation' (147), that permitted continued allegiance to Marxist Leninism, 'a mainly verbal purity'. For the Chinese, struggles in capitalist countries were secondary to the anti imperialist struggles.  This position led to no critical theory or revolutionary strategy.  In particular, the Chinese also coexist with imperialism, and on imperialist terms.

International communism has often built upon struggles led by petit bourgeois liberation movements.  The particularism that results often preserves colonial defects and 'false national questions' and can preserve institutional frameworks.  There is sometimes justification in the form of arguing for an intermediate phase, but this is really an abandonment of class struggle.  There is no great difference between China and the USSR here.  There is no critique of the spontaneous nature of nationalist struggles, but 'anti dialectical realism and objectivism' (149).  Nationalist struggles are favoured instead of universal class struggle, with the led by a coalition for national democracy or a communist party [Cuba is included in this].

The potential of petit bourgeois struggles has been overestimated.  The bourgeois state often remains and is even strengthened by the USA claiming to be peacefully coexisting.  There is no alignment between the struggles of petit bourgeois and proletariat [no popular front against stamocap specifically].  The point is not to oppose monopoly power as such, but bourgeois power in each country.  It is bourgeois power that is supported internationally by the USA, or by French politicians advocating peace [those advocating war and peace are simply sharing roles].  Real support for the Vietnamese, would involve struggles against each, bourgeois state, rather than focusing on American imperialism [seen as a kind of symbol].

Chinese and Soviet politicians are now opportunistic, even supporting reactionary demands.  This leaves them passive in the current state of affairs which might include spontaneous conflict or nationalist stand offs.  They over estimate petit bourgeois movements, and even eliminate communist movements [the examples are Iraq and Egypt, suppressed by Moscow].  The conflict between China and Russia involves different international strategies of the state and support for violent conflicts 'with no specific class perspective' (150), but what is needed is an international communist avant-garde, restoring revolutionary theory and practice, and offering aims and objectives to the masses that cannot be appropriated by 'class enemies'.

Thesis Five.  Socialist states

The Soviet State is too riddled with contradictions to be an adequate model.  There are ideological deficiencies and bureaucratic relations in the apparatus of power.  More than that, socialist economy is woven with capitalist economies: their internal contradictions are the 'indirect reflection' (151) of global contradictions.  Coexistence really means accepting capitalist mode of production as hegemonic [sic].  Evolution of capitalist and socialist states have followed parallel lines: state capitalism has had to emerge in capitalist societies, and decentralisation and a turn to the market with socialist ones.  Agriculture in particular seems to display individualized even 'ancestral' forms of production.

Internal contradictions have always developed, seen in the crisis in international communism as with the 'Yugoslavian breakdown' and Sino Soviet differences.  The crisis reached a peak in 1956 [certainly for the French communist party after the Khrushchev secret speech denouncing Stalin].  Economic relations have always been based on those of global capitalism, including the '"might is right"' principle (152). International market prices have prevailed in exchanges.  Popular democratic movements have been exploited, but as a consequence, religion and other archaisms have returned, including working class passivity, nationalism, and seduction by consumerism.

For example, Soviet agriculture was developed using capitalist methods, rewarding differentials of capital not need.  This only increased differences between those more favoured and less favoured by state enterprises, and inequalities with cooperatives.  The insufficient production that ensued spread the unpopularity not only of the regime but of communist ideology itself.

Perhaps the Soviet System is returning to capitalism?  [Oh dear, it did].  For Trotsky, this was because the revolution was incomplete and failed to restrain bureaucracy, so there was a potential which had not been overcome.  The analysis depended on permanent instability, although this have not led to permanent revolution.  Trotsky's analysis of other aspects is still 'invaluable' (153), however.  Nevertheless, workers were integrated rather than experiencing a fundamental contradiction and a more technocratic and ideological form has replaced straightforward bureaucratic control.  At the same time, the Russian masses did not fall for Khrushchev either, and his notion of the state representing all people.  The bureaucracy remains and is even developing its ideology, including 'petit bourgeois moralism' and a disinterest in  and revolution elsewhere.

There is a move towards decentralization in economic decisions, more flexible planning.  But this does not mean a return to capitalism, despite Chinese condemnation.  There may be a rational case for a way to calculate investment in economic mechanisms, with its own 'requirements and logic' despite ideology.  However, value must still be seen as only crystallized labour, and prices and money only as translations of the relations between producers and means of production.  If this is lost, the monetary system will be simply manipulated by a minority social group, in this case the bureaucracy.

There is some 'symmetry' between socialist and capitalist regimes in responding to global problems.  The state in capitalist societies can no longer be understood as the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie, and must now manage social integration, including supporting 'different archaic layers of the bourgeoisie' (155).  The USSR is becoming more integrated into global markets, even helping the USA with chronic overproduction, especially in agricultural produce [interesting way to put it -- the USSR had to import US grain to stave off famine].  So called international tension also produces complementary investment in arms.

A revolutionary avant-garde must reject Stalin's policy of simply defending the first socialist state, and opting for a peaceful coexistence and of their necessary class compromises.  These policies have been exploited by bureaucrats, covered by a myth of the degeneration of the state into a state of all people.  This parallels western modernism, where capitalism expropriates the bourgeoisie and some neo socialist society emerges, backing away from excessive political control in the name of arguments like the maturation of the working class.  Class struggle on an international scale must counter state politics.  There must be antagonism towards international monopoly relations and the suppression of political societies that aim at integration and differentiation.  These include the development of 'imperialist metropolises' in third world and socialist states.  We need to revive the notion of a first stage of socialist mode of production leading to a proper stage involving the international proletariat.  The goal must be to 'lead class struggle to its conclusion': the destruction of states as class domination and the suppression of class.

Thesis six: the state and modernism in France

French labour movements helped develop state monopoly capitalism.  The French bourgeoisie has allied with both petty bourgeoisie and farmers, but this led to a delay in industrial development.  Investment tended to be in state funds, often foreign funds.  In wartime, state intervention developed and the emergence of the Popular Front lent proletarian support to the bourgeoisie and to further state intervention, especially during the depression.  The communist movement was a major actor here, and after the Liberation: the CP helped return the bourgeoisie to power.  State monopoly capitalism then developed rapidly, even to the extent of extensive nationalization from public funds.

There were inevitable disparities and imbalances.  Agriculture remained archaic, regional disparities increased, and social needs for things such as housing or training and infrastructure grew.  As a result, three different economic ideologies developed.  On the far right, it is traditional bourgeois ideology, free markets, the return of the gold standard, market determination of interests, and general anti state perspectives, meaning relatively moderate intervention.  Modernism seeks to change capitalism as productive forces change, and use the state in pursuit of such change, and to regulate any crises.  The C P and other leftists offer a more traditional left stance, awaiting catastrophic economic crisis 'without really believing it will come' (159).  It opposes centralization and defends archaic forms. The CPF always insisted on an alliance between merchant and agricultural petty bourgeoisie instead of nationalization in one case.  Even after 1945 it attacked nationalization and the reform of distribution in favour of 'familial agricultural property and small businesses'(160).

Bourgeois modernism aims at state monopoly capitalism and the integration of the proletariat, justified with myths of the state and public service, and the concept of the nation.  Yet modernism has also influenced the working class too.  There is a belief in the role of experts, and technocracy, but also in participation and dialogue.  There can be a rejection of actual nationalism in demands that the state intervene progressively, but there are clear links with progressive bourgeoisie bosses.

In particular, modernists talk about the new working class,, no longer just interested in salary negotiations, but having a more general interest in labour and production. It emerges in consumerism. There have been changes in the working class, but these ideological formulations are mythical: there is no modern vs. traditional split, but only one working class 'in which civil servants, employees and agricultural laborers should be included' (161).  This is the fundamental unit for revolution, not class alliances.  However, the notion does indicate the difficulties of real unification, including 'the powerlessness of the unions to emit unifying order words', or 'an image of the proletariat in which it can be recognized as a whole'.  The existing framework of state and nation has been accepted, and only transitory demands put forward.  There is a need for '" subjective units"', which will undertake dialogue between different branches [a note on 378 says that the term subjective is used instead of class consciousness, and should not be used 'in the sense of subjectivism'  but rather as an opposition to objective {reality}, as in 'passivity of the base, etc.'].  A new restructured working class is required.

This is really only 'a new formulation of basic Marxist Leninist tenets'.  It argues the working class should have a party and revolutionary unions, but also a distinctive organizational framework, like committees or Soviets 'through which it can express its deepest desires'.  This will also help avant-garde organizations assess combativeness and level of awareness, 'their understanding of advanced order words', and combat manipulation by bureaucracy and reformist leaders.  Such a network of basic committee's would offer 'a double embryo of power...a kind of spare proletarian legality' (162).

Thesis seven: political society

The Gaullist State produced an effective alliance between factions of the bourgeoisie, supported by the labour movement.  It is wrong to think of it as showing the power of monopolies.  There is 'no coherent social force behind it'.  The alliance also placed the PCF in the position of the leader of the opposition.  Policies were aimed exclusively at the national context 'like any bourgeois solution'(163).  Kennedy might have been the Gaullist of the international movement, although there can be no proper international solution to capitalism: this is what will eventually condemn it.  So gaullism is but 'the expression of a dying bourgeoisie'.

Although the productive forces are at a higher level, class consciousness of the proletariat is not, and this opens the possibility for revolutionary militants.  Conversely, the over mature modes of production of western countries must also be unblocked.  It is still a mystery to explain the 'almost hegemonic control' of the PCF over the labour movement.  The answer might turn on the historical connections between the developing consciousness of the proletariat and the growth of particular organisation that managed to control it.  The PCF developed only after the strategy of socialism in a single country, and it never developed an interest in internationalism or revolution.  Enacted mostly as a diplomatic pawn"'(164) for the Soviet State.

Internally, the PCF drove out the right and then excluded the left after the death of Lenin.  It managed to pose as ultra leftist but never developed an adequate perspective.  It soon split from workers' avant-garde groups.  It was willing to play a part in the policies of the Popular Front.  It did manage to find some routes between ideological hostility to the USSR and political institutionalization.  However, it stayed 'close enough to the reality of the labour movement that it could continue to monopolize its expression'.

There are now challenges to this 'hegemony'.  There have been international splits, producing tensions, met only with 'tradition, an empty organizational discipline and completely vulnerable propaganda themes'(165).  Sectarianism has resulted.  All opposition groups have misunderstood the extent of Stalinist influence, however [including Left Opposition].  They have focused on recruiting rather than organizing militants, aiming at the collapse of party hegemony.  A campaign to build leaders became the only 'a sterile groupuscular activity'.  Left Opposition remains as an organization for abstract critique not connected to militant policies, and to doing underground entryism.

Thesis eight: revolutionary organization

A revolutionary working class must break with bourgeois legality.  There are currently no means to develop outside a capitalist nationalist framework.  Capitalism has been able to resolve certain national problems at the international level, so that must be questioned as well.  However, there is no international labour organization.

The proletariat is still the source of surplus value and capital, and still has 'vast power', however (166).  Avant-garde militants can paralyze production and produce crisis.  The willingness of reformist unions to accept contracts and the regulation of strikes shows this.  Socialist revolution will only happen in highly developed industrial nations, but this also needs a new revolutionary party and new organization for the masses.  Communists have only adopted social democratic methods.  The current centralism needs to be replaced by a new kind of leadership of decentralized levels of struggle, to prevent localism or other archaisms.  This is the only way to develop a transitional program.  The avant-garde is needed to interpret struggles. 

The working class needs to find a place to speak, to engage in 'the signifying web of history'(167).  Particular organizations will provide 'the irreplaceable signifying change', as will had different work habits, radical differences with bourgeois practices.  It will still not necessarily be able to appear as 'signifying something for itself and by itself'.  The ' syndical and political order words' of current communist parties referred only to the formation of a revolutionary movements in a national context: they 'sociologize the different wage classes', like the bourgeois reformers, referring to matters such as ages, genders, cultural conditions and so on.  This sometimes intends to unite all those who suffer from monopoly, but in only divides the working class and disperses it.

Marxist research should be able to develop responses that go beyond bourgeois solutions, examine economic cultural and social problems, and 'express them by means of order words' (168).  They should maintain a link with 'the fundamental historical chain' the produces goals.  There should be no dialogues with other groups, but only with itself, the only class that does not just represent its own interests.  It must be protected from outside ideologies, although any traces of truth might be extracted.

Existing struggle still have a potential for global revolution, and Trotsky was right in this respect.  History will never repeat itself with individual nations, so some emerging countries [the example is Yemen], moved straight to 'rootless cosmopolitan oligopolies', without a bourgeois revolution.  There is no normal stage of development.  However subjective conditions are important in producing a kind of '"permanent immaturity"' (169).  There are dangers here, in ignoring the continued role of bourgeois reformers and national liberation movements.  There is also a danger of bringing back 'anarchist and populist themes', or spontaneism.  The working class might play the role of the good savage, someone naturally pure and intelligent, only seduced by large organizations.  The real working class 'in large majority' is closer to what the labour movement bureaucrats suggest.  As a result, there is no mileage in appealing to philosophies of freedom or humanist democracy: the development of industrial societies itself is the proper foundation for challenge.

No current organizations and institutions are capable of solving these fundamental problems.  We need planning on a global scale.  We should remember that capitalism has never been able to establish global planning because of all the zones left behind: these will have to be 'recaptured' (170).  However, it is not just a rational planning issue: people have to express their desires and look for remedies that would involve the least alienation possible.  By contrast, political society in capitalist societies is a new kind of marketplace for the various factions.  Socialist political society would involve dialogue between the forces of production and human institutions in order to meet material needs and aspirations 'of each individual'[!]. There can be no overall centralization because of different social needs.  Different sectors of the masses have to speak out.  In this sense, it will be necessary to plan to produce institutions themselves.

Some sociological work tries to show that working class groups are also influenced by bourgeois ideology.  This may be so with consumption, but when it comes to production, with matters such as relationships with professionals or supervisors, we still have 'two distinct races'(171), divided on 'cultural, ethical and even unconscious levels'.  The working class will never be at home in capitalist society.  Areas such as urban planning, hospitals 'and universities' are dominated by a culture 'conditioned by television' that forbids any [oppositional] creative social activity [the double bind of hegemony theory].  Everything aims at isolation, 'social seriality', and tranquillising leisure. 'Order words such as " Bread, Peace and Freedom"' have become abstract, just like Liberty, Equality and Fraternity.

The revolutionary movement should take a stand against functional relationships based on production and consumption, stress the 'fundamental goal of struggle', and reconstruct a revolutionary working class.  The key will be to overthrow the institutional object—the state.  It is not a matter of organizing struggle against monopoly, [the policy of the PCF] which will divide people.  The fundamental objective should be to overthrow 'bourgeois control of state power' (172).  Militants should form relationships with corresponding groups in the EEC [the old dream that led me to support the EEC in 1975], and extend the struggle to look at those producing the raw materials and so on: both syndicalism and communism would have to be changed.

The PCF has organized lots of committees and commissions, but this only shows their inability to address problems: specialists miss what is essential.  Nevertheless, the old work methods of party leaders persist, including turning the wishes of the leaders into policy at the expense of research.  There are many empty speeches and exercises.  All this closely resembles a traditional bourgeoisie.  A revolutionary avant-garde must develop different work methods, which also resemble those of large organizations at the moment.  The key will lie in addressing the reality of class struggle.

The problem is the relationships between parties and mass movements.  Marxists will not understand events in the same way as the masses, but there must be constant explanation of the 'signification' (173) of these events.  [Examples seem to turn on claiming moral victories after defeats, like the Commune]. There is, however, a constant risk of recuperation, even of avant-garde libertarian organizations.  Revolutionary syndicalism is an alternative to unionism, which has become reformist.  There may be occasions in struggle when a union can operate on behalf of the entire working class, but normally, it relates to 'the average level of the masses', which will only reinforce reformism 'and the dominant ideology'(174).

Mass revolutionary politics would involve the youth avant-garde, for example, and help it develop its own politics and train its own militants.  Alliances of other movements would then be possible.  However, the mode of organization is crucial: communist bureaucracy must be rejected as incapable of capitalizing on spontaneous struggle.  Without support from the masses, there will inevitably arise manipulations from the top, and the domination of cartels operating at the level of the greatest common denominator.  As a final example, the United Federation of Women has turned into a 'coterie of "old wives' tales"', instead of running campaigns, say on the question of abortion.

Thesis nine: the regrouping stage

The intention is not to offer specific advice, but to try and think about possible forms of regrouping that will lead to a revolutionary party. A general outline is possible.  Existing revolutionary militants and groups might be indispensable, but they will never form such a party.  Instead, revolutionary thinking has to make theoretical and political progress within existing organizations.  One consequence will be the detachment of militants from the PCF.  Passion and conspiratorial styles are not helpful either.

Is it just a matter of working classes regaining their consciousness? The avant-garde of the working class is well aware of serious impasse, and their tendency to go round in circles.  They know there is no ready alternative.  The working class itself can express itself only in existing organizations, and feel, with no alternative, that they are forced to remain faithful to them and united.  Many attempts to create new parties and unions have failed.  The point is to develop revolutionary organization before specific forms, in order to change existing organizations.

Intermediate stages suggest themselves, and these must not be seen as foreign to class interest.  If the revolutionary party relates to the working class adequately, listing a programme is not enough.  Consciousness must be changed toward a revolutionary politics.  An avant-garde can lead by updating revolutionary situations and explaining them, to but they cannot impose conditions from above to [with more sympathy for Trotsky again].

It might be necessary to think of particular demands that would engage the masses.  Such a list must be accepted by the avant-garde, and will involve a certain 'relationship of subjugation'(176) towards the masses.  Overcoming these tendencies will be difficult, and not achieve just by having good intentions.  Small revolutionary groups also misunderstand this problem and thus recreate the apparatuses of larger organizations.  It is not enough to blame the bureaucratic tendencies of leaders, or to explain them away by invoking particular historical circumstances.

If properly organized, the working avant-garde at least will be  "'recognized"'(177) [sic—no problems with this term for a Marxist?] by the masses.  Verification will take place at the level of class struggle.  The bourgeoisie will react.  Bolshevism is an example, and its emergence changed political organization: struggle in return changed the party.  Imagining similar developments in the France of the current period can only be 'utopian'.  National factors and conditions of struggle and politics will be supplemented by international ones.  This international dimension could lead to the spread of socialist revolution, especially if it affected state socialist countries.

More detailed analysis is required to guide intervention in different sectors, but this must also be based on some practical results.  The alternative would be to become an avant-garde which exists only to formulate critiques and promises while 'turning in circles' (178).  This is quite likely to happen anyway, and so perhaps it is better to remain silent but 'retain...the benefit of the doubt'[what a damp squib to end].

Chapter 11.  From one sign to the other (excerpts)

[Freewheeling thoughts off the top of his head on various topics, including how signs work, the problems of binaries, and, eventually, speculations about transversality and the subject.  Presumably there is a context here of work he was reading, but it is impossible for me to reconstruct all of it, especially without references.  What a contrast to the chapter above!  I suppose a dedicated Guattari reader will be able to trace into it some of the themes that later emerged in the work on faciality, or linguistic regimes and Hjemslev.  It also reminded me in parts of Lacan and Althusser on the paradoxes of the subject. I have just had tried to pick out a couple of nuggets, freely translated away from the original poetry].

What is a minimal sign?  Is it a stroke or point or spot?  These raise the issue of what a sign is, whether it has a content or whether it can only be defined by reference to something else.  At one stage, Guattari seems to be arguing that since things like spots can be reduced to many other things, they might constitute a multiplicity [of possible meanings] , but as soon as they are put into relation with something else, including another spot, this multiplicity is negated.  The contents do not matter if we have the shape, especially if there is a background of light. The contour of things like spots can be supported [given some meaning?], say by a totally black content, but this blackness gets transposed to other signs once there is a relation between them.

The point-sign is produced by two spots in such a way as to be 'unique and indivisible' (181) [drawing upon some logical issues, apparently].  It will have a false interior, falsely implying some 'anti cavity' relating to either or both of its originating spots.  This will appear to be identical to its exterior.  It will be a sign of nothing, referring to nothing, and carrying nothingness.  It can be joined to other signs with nothingness, understood only by reference to something outside.  However, we are not talking about an identity of signs of nothingness.  It would be wrong to assume a simple repetition either of the nothingness or of the outside something.  There is no 'univocal  passage' between the two, but rather 'an accent, a trembling of being on its passage' (182) [an early indication of becoming?].

We can have a chain of point-signs.  Relationships do not eliminate  the multiplicity as they do with spots, because both interior and exterior are signified in its nothingness.  This is the basis of the signifier: 'an emptiness hollowed out by an anti hole' [as in arbitrary but acquiring content?].  This is what is indicated by the materiality of the sign.  The unity of point-signs produce a 'unary trait', a line or trial of equivalent points, except those at the beginning and end [which will be singularities?].  It follows that any point can be treated as a 'point tangent to a cut', either one that leads to repetition or to a death sentence [with some strange link to 'narcissistic passion'].

What this apparently gives us is a universal binary system, a matter of white and black, more and less, at least when we consider the use of the sign.  If we look at it more closely, the notion of a binary, a plus and minus, for example, also implies a blank space between them, although this is not apparent.

When one unary trait crosses another, we have 'four point-signs face to face' (183) [shades of the 'four eyed machine' in Plateau 7 on faciality], with different relationships between them, 'axial repartition around a point'.  These different relationships offer different possibilities between total nothingness, through unary traits.  Logically, however, only three points are required to provide these possibilities, and the fourth point just adds to the relationship: squares have to lose one of their possible poles to produce an interception [wha??]. [so the trinary is the basic unit].

Such intersections can be seen as something positive.  This leads to the usual view that signs are positive, characterized by 'differentiation and distinctive oppositions'(185), but his is a better way of starting with really basic points and all the possibilities: it gives an account of the emergence of positivity, a creation.  We have to account for more than the necessary presence of negativity, which is not just the absence of positivity, but the support for it [so let's hear it for negativity, difference etc]

Binaries always have three elements, including the separation between the opposites, the blank as well as the plus and minus.  We have to replace binary thinking with the notion of a basic sign formed of 3  point- signs.  Chains can only emerge if there is a blank sign between them [because junctions would not be possible if the plus and minus were some self-consistent unified system of simple opposites].  This is how we generate complex structures: the arrangement of pluses and minuses and blanks give us three basic signs.  This structure can collapse, back into two signs again, or even into one, or nothingness.  This requires yet a fourth  term [to ensure the persistence of the positive options,  'law' rather than 'death, closure and indetermination' to quote his ridiculous terms].  Opting for positivity does not do away with the other possibilities, and they remain as a kind of possible interference or ornament.

Systems of signs like rosaries are clearly binary, but those of organic chemistry are different: they have different signifying worlds.  [Then there is a really mysterious bit about how he is not certain what conditions support the positive options that produce chain signs, maybe whether it is something inherent in the signs themselves.  Apparently this is something to do with the mysteries of transversality, in that what might be implied is that the shortest path between two points must actually run through the third point, maybe that some third term is required to make a transversal connection between two signifying systems, some blank, maybe of positive nothingness,  rather than a positive third term?].  Another implication is that the binary system around the phallus can only operate if nonambiguous responses are rejected as third terms [that is, there's a necessary restriction on ambiguity, a socially accepted one,  that gives the signifying power to the phallus?].  Signs are therefore 'intrinsically linked to the space' where they work and which they cut into (188).

Sound signs might be different and suggest another analogy, not a triangle but a curve, something exhibiting wave effects [instead of linear relations?].  This would have been more imaginative.

Have we not developed a notion of nonbeing with this third term?  Can the fourth term only operate in a zero dimension [not included in the nature of the sign itself?], and could this be where the unconscious operates, or the dream, passing from 'subject to being' (189).  In already constituted languages, the space of signification is already regulated by an 'implacable signifying battery'.  Here, the reduction of words to 'phonetic chunks' has yielded a binary system [Saussure?].  However, there might even be alternatives inside phonetic syllables, producing further ambiguity to be managed.  Nevertheless, the binary phonetic structure can be used to explain different combinations which operate to signify.  It seems to be able to deal with 'any type of ambiguity' (191) relating to 'rhythms, accents, intonations, letters, phonemes, monemes, morphemes, semantemes, riddles, puns, etc.'.  However, this is still reductive, like listening only to the timpani at a concert—no doubt,the musical text could be reconstructed afterwards, but that would require a good deal of information about musical codes, as well as interpretative ability to focus on the essentials.  Or perhaps a computer could do this? Most transcription systems ignore this kind of knowledge of signifying codes, provided by custom or personal understanding.  We know that musical conventions developed over a long historical period, one which still relies on oral traditions.  At the moment, formal 'signifying rationality' (192), works only with the products of mass production and consumerism.

If the computerized systems were to work, 'The individual subject would then have completely lost its natural right to "consume meaning," the conquest of which culminated in the Enlightenment'.  No doubt the status of subjectivity in other areas would also be affected.  At the moment, though, there is still the potential of a cut to [the characteristic of subjectivity or at least human thought], and even the emergence of group desires that are not actualized anywhere at present.

Notions of cause and effect in history assume some 'immanent emergence of the same' from the other.  Inertia will build up, however, leading to a possible breakdown of the supporting structures, and the crisis might open another order ['a ternary order' (193)].  Certainly dialectic requires a third term, although it has a precarious status, tending to be confined to 'trifles, accidents, pustules of nonsense' [before being 'applied' ?].  In general, multiple meanings and problems of translation only arise because 'univocal determination is lacking' in some coding systems: we can arrange such systems on a scale from empty, where everything can be represented, to 'rigorously encrypted' with no freedom for interpretation [substantially modified in the discussion of different sorts of coding and over coding in Anti Oedipus].  Readers, whether individuals, groups or machines, must develop their own interpretations.  Indeed, nothing is self evident anymore and interpretation is required more than ever.  This is despite the tendency for economic growth to reduce the 'signifying batteries of reference of individuals' [fluctuating optimism and pessimism again].

It is not technical progress that produces uniformity and mediocrity but a 'social order with its own subjective purposes' (194) .Eventually, we will be able to see assembly line work as requiring human gestures while waiting for the 'socio industrial machine' to develop ways to signify and articulate it.  The subject must remain as a position for human collectivities, an example of the further antagonism between productive forces and relationships of production.  Economic improvements will only increase the 'unconscious demand for subjective parity' in terms of the power of collective production compared to 'systematically disqualified human desire'. Economic inequality increases disparity.

The scientific community might offer a possible model.  Theoretical physics still offers collective utterances which shape the signifying machine, offering a new kind of interconnection between signifiers and the technical machines required to study fundamental particles.  Not only do those particles defy interpretation, but they only exist because of the technology and theoretical enterprise itself.  This shows that there is no need to operate only with the 'alchemy of desire' (195), where objects are given up rather than absorbed: in physics, 'signifying surrationality' recreates objects as soon as it destroys them [in other words, it generates endless desire?].  Institutional objects are produced by class hegemony and they depend not on rationality but on tensions and tests of strength, and include 'effects of nonsense'. Perhaps this can only be described with dialectical logic.

The human sciences still attempts to find rationality, but do so only by ignoring 'the discrepancies and singularities of the subject': they do not develop a specific methodology for subjectivity, although Freud did.  In particular, human subjects cannot be treated like elementary particles, because they have an 'autoreferential capacity' and can play with their own normative systems, evading some and choosing others.  Anthropological laws must see their axioms as open to unpredictability, and also to the possibility of accessing 'a space of nonsense' [something that looks like nonsense or non{common}-sense -- let's hear it for nonsense, just as in Logic of Sense].  Overall, the subject can be found in 'all of the missing intersections of the signifier'(196) [so a bit residual?]. There is no autonomous subject  such as the one God could have created 'if only he had not been in such a bad mood that day'.

However, particles are closer to the subjects than individuals are to objects, which have an additional heritage of archaic meanings.  At least the fundamental particles of physics are taken as fundamentally other, incapable of 'intersecting with themselves' [that these identifying themselves with this historical subject?].  They lack speech, but even that 'may not be essential' if we are to explain 'the strategy of desire'.  We might be able to develop a connection between anthropological semiology, and the methods of theoretical physicists [not old realist and positivist theorists] [Could be Barad?]. 

After all, children operate initially with only a few distinctive oppositions to understand themselves and acquire language.  These are often connected closely to relationships with others.  Speech can be seen as 'symbolic overdetermination' (197), while it is the unconscious relationships with others that produce the first notions of a subject.  It is only by incorporating relational and linguistic 'ambivalences' that leads to taking the 'bad law of the group'.  This law represents 'contingent prohibitions and structural demands' which rectify the inherent nonsense 'at the heart of the sign'[its arbitrariness].

Only unfulfilled desires, dreams or thinking about death will prompt further explorations beyond this 'mirror of significations', but in each case, 'the fundamental duplicity of the subject in its relationship with the signifier' arises.  There is no factual texture to social reality, no provision for different readings, so the signifying chain always features indecision [and contingency].  This is the origin of the subject ['the subject is temporalized there'].  The same structure affects the other: the apparent 'depth of field' provided by otherness is another betrayal of the demand for something outside the system.  Indeed, the notion of subjective inside and social outside can even be reversed, leaving no recourse to 'ordeals of anxiety and madness' (198).

Structuralism [and mechanism] tends not to refer to the subject and its internal articulations.  The subject remains as a limit, with no further consideration of its ordeals.  Principles of transformation of subjects have to be imported from outside.  Mechanistic structures are subject to effects from the outside in a different way: there is no desire, the space they operate in is sterile.  Once we admit the nature of human existence, we cannot go back, despite attempts to explain significations as the result of economic or social bases, or by the interplay of myths and phantasies as causes operating in the unconscious.  Not even the dialectic can explain 'the capacity of the subject to articulate itself with one code starting from another code'[very much like the Logic of Sense].  There is always a possibility of 'a logic of alterity', where the signifier can be created from nothing, and acts as a precondition for the understanding of facts and being in 'an unimpeachable field of determination'[dealt with by the concept of bricoleur in Levi Strauss, or the 'empty space' in structural linguistics, the inexplicable but inevitable deviant in functionalism and so on].

Signifying chains that can rework facts or recreate them can sometimes be found in those developed by children, adults, '"primitive"' artists or mathematicians.  Concepts of being and nothingness cannot explain this linguistic capacity, this 'infinite game of references from one structure to another', the ability to both totalize and detotalize (199). 'One word on love or death and other logics and other spaces appear'.  It is not possible to say whether signs precede intersubjective relationships, unless we're going to see linguistic systems as abstract things without desire: avoiding the intersubjective dimension here is a way of preserving certain signifying chains as necessary, denying 'the negation and exteriority of the space of the cut'.  The effects of signs are apparent whenever we consider the 'cuts'[subjective choices, categories or perceptions] of human and natural law. 

Signs also domesticate the unconscious, permit it to be channeled into a structure, becoming 'a bandage on the wound of desire'.  Sometimes this is a relief for subjects, suspending the pressures of desire or converting them to writing and language.  The subject can even be reconstituted as desire, seeking out transgressions of the law, and even enjoying the subsequent punishment [as a kind of guarantee of subjectivity?].  Subjects are never completely trapped by signifying chains, nor ever completely at ease.  They find their satisfaction 'with less noble objects' [the every day satisfactions of life?]. Calling oneself 'I' is not a form of resistance, but rather 'a necessary deceit': those who value such activities are seeking virtue within the law.  In this they become self regulating [requiring no devil].  [A really obscure example here depending on us all knowing about the music of the 12th century and its turn from the notion of the devil.  So classic, I will reproduce it:

'Let us only mention here the respect with which the musicians of the 12th century avoided the "Diabolus in musica" and what later happened with the Ars Nova and the dodecaphonists!'(200)

The 'I' depends on a relationship with the other, but this in turn makes me other, and involves an endless chain as I realize that the other has its others: hints of death [of the subject] arise.  This is the same mechanism as signification, which also has an endless signifying chain as its 'principle of immanence'.  Indeed, such immanence becomes the only guarantee of not disappearing altogether.  Both sign and subject alternate between one and multiple, a series of articulations involving an inherent sense of temporality.  We manage a relationships with others in order to give ourselves 'an illusory permanence' (201), and these activities leave behind 'a stroboscopic line, like a ribbon in the spokes of the bicycle of a conscript on leave'.  [It's dead lyrical stuff].  Desire turns out to be for nothing, we slide from same to other, a lingering connection between death and the subject, the source of anxiety and despair.

Subjects also relate to the partial objects, another example of 'humble and pitiful resurrection'. Such a relation also shows a crack in the codification of demands, but also an overall acceptance of the need for relations which offer 'foreign' dimensions and which will absorb the 'I'.  We have a 'reconciliation of the sign and the subject in a third object'(202), which should satisfy the dialectic [sarcasm?].  The reconciliation involved really depends on a central mystification, producing the illusion that everyone works for themselves [so there must be a self] and we can find ourselves in alterity.  This alterity itself can only be expressed using signs, though.  Thus what passes as alterity is really 'pure seriality'.  Human desire therefore depends on illusions and 'mythical triad games', or a recourse to divine universalism, with the Fall as the source of otherness. These myths remain only as suggestions of another origin, a divine cut.  This remains as a part of  'the impossible passion between same and other'(203), which both need to exist.  Another consequence was 'a pagan cult of icons' representing alterity, which includes the sponsorship of heterosexuality [maybe].

The relation of signs to being is mystifying, but there are uncertainties emerge with subjectivity and its cuts.  But 'signs resent the subject'[!], and disorient and devalue subjectivity in terms of knowledge: we need science to progress beyond common sense.  The effect of this is to privilege signification, even at the expense of the mutilation of subjectivity.  Sex can also be disruptive, but needs to be reminded to respect order, and channeled into the public good: nevertheless, there is a constant danger that it will be seen as something eternal and therefore possessing a particular authority.

Occasionally, 'madmen, perverts and cranks'(204) assert their subjectivity beyond the power of signs, as witnesses to some truth beyond signification, but once more, this does not lead to a full exploration, but rather 'they refuse depth'.  Discourse itself offers a cut based on signification, and this domesticates the tensions between self and other, same and different, while channeling desire.  There is always an illusory something to be obtained, some novelty.  Hence 'Truth is suspended on the scar of non-return', and few are willing to risk the gamble.

Perhaps we will recover subjectivity once signification breaks down, perhaps when it saturates meaning and thus fails to differentiate [a hint here of Baudrillard's argument that hyperdifferentiation will eventually lead to dedifferentiation?].  This might at last dispel the suspicion of underlying nothingness, the 'feeling of futility', and open the pursuit of desire in 'an imaginary space of polyvalent and infinitely expandable coordinates' (205). If being is full of holes, that we should not model reality on caves or Swiss cheese: it is more like rethinking the connections between visual tricks and a trick death [fuck knows! -- a magic trick?].

Chapter 12.  The group and the person: a fragmented balance sheet

[This is Guattari speaking at some conference or justifying himself afterwards, and showing himself as a bit defensive, having to guard against theoretical purists, including Althusserians, and justifying his attempts to weaving bits of Freud with Marxism]

Not only are the central texts controversial, but there is no agreement on how they might bear on the present day.  The need here is to follow some questions rather than systematically address a theoretical agenda.  The first issue is whether his analytical work actually benefits anybody.  Mostly people just carry on with their routines until they meet an obstacle, but some militant groups have expressed an interest, although they tend to see the project as just too eclectic, with bits of 'Marx, Freud, Lacan, Trotskyist criticism and so on close' (207).  Theory does need to be developed, especially if we are to avoid other trains of ideological ['psycho-sociologically inspired'] thought, or to avoid 'the demands of the superegos of hardline militant groups'.

One such is Althusser [quoting the bit about philosophy is also class struggle, and is the only way to separate true and false ideas].  This simply excludes non philosophers.  Even Althusser knows that the intellectuals have no class instincts, and are unaware of the daily realities of class struggle, but it all seems to come down to a struggle between classes of words.  Lengthy theoretical criticism is tedious, however.

A quote from Freud shows that he was interested in group formation as a possible therapy for neurotics.  Again, purists have criticized G for extending these remarks into areas of class struggle. Group subjectivity is at the heart of the controversy.  Marx himself refers to social group subjects [a note says this is in the intro to Grundrisse], although of course it is a different use.  G's use involves phantasizing and social creativity, 'which I have sought to sum up as "transversality"' (209).  Enough of the quotations game, although it does help guard his back!

It is simply 'obvious' that history has had an effect on the development of the unconscious and its demands.  His personal history shows this clearly, and influences include Trotsky, the Liberation, groups from youth hostelling to anarchist groups, journals like Recherches, and so on.  There is also a kind of inwardness, developed in philosophers like Descartes, or writers like Proust and Gide as well as 'Jarry, Kafka, Joyce, Beckett, Blanchot and Artaud' (210).  Classical music is a pleasure.  This indicates that he is 'a divided man', a petit bourgeois with links to the workers' movement.  Perhaps he needs to make a choice and become a theory monger, like Althusser: rejecting this option raises the danger that he is peddling bourgeois ideology, to bridge the classes, in the name of social integration.

Sartre has also been a big influence.  His theoretical contributions are inconsistent, but this is precisely his value.  Again, this might be risking flirting with humanism.

Simple linkages between the individual unconscious and history must be resisted [Lacan is cited here, possibly critically for offering a simple link].  Experience with mental illness shows that 'beyond the ego, the subject is to be found scattered in fragments all over the world of history' (211), and we see historical and social examples used to express delusions.  Is this linked to the history of social groups?  Again it is not possible to systematize, but there is a danger of just oscillating between the two cases.  Perhaps there is some search for an account of 'being for existence', or suffering, itself?

No one has access to a true self, because all communication involves location in 'the context of the discourse of the Other'. Freud knew that too.  Any of the discourses being employed by young people or workers, or university students all require an adaptation and mastery, but this only fragments the self.  In G's case, there was a 'more profound reuniting'(212) eventually, so that reading a novel would open new political possibilities, 'polymorphism with more or less perverse implications'.  The dilemma of which group to join was resolved in becoming a psychoanalyst.

The problem is that joining a group inevitably leads to passivity.  At first, joining militant groups did lead to 'a break with the habitual social processes, and in particular with the modes of communication and expression of feeling inherited from the family' (213).  This sort of break lead to a more schematic distinction between subject groups and object groups.  There is an implication for the division between intellectuals and manual workers, in particular helping to escape from determinism produced by the usual social groups [they look a bit like the list of ISAs—family, church and so on].  Small groups of militants are not even necessarily tied to some immediate project, and this can give institutions 'a kind of plasticity'.

Castro always opposed planning from the centre, and saw the general problem for socialists.  They tend to ignore the subjective aspects of institutions, seeing it only as a means to an external end.  Specific problems dominate, while the production of the institution itself is less well theorized [Lacan on the petit objet a is cited here-- a kind of residual otherness,not a human Other -- see wiki entry].  Institutions never emerge clearly from revolutionary situations: there is no master plan.  Marx's influence on the workers' movement included the need for a conscious plan, avoiding utopianism, but the problem has always been to meet the demands of class struggle.  It is more usual to produce splinters and schisms.  For Lenininism, developing an organization became the major problem, often concealed under disputes about the party line.

The subjective processes of revolutionary groups has been much discussed.  We can also see one conspicuous example of the suppression of an initial creativity—Stalinism.  The legacy left by Lenin and Stalin is still apparent, and its confining aspects contrast strongly with the flexibility of imperialism and its greater capacity for institutional creativity.  Russia was always ready to import capitalist forms of organization in industry and consumption.  It has lost the capacity for creativity responding to the demands of different social groups.  It was different at first before Stalinism, and there were a number of 'intensely creative years', producing great developments in cinema, education architecture and 'sexuality' (216). These left a kind of erotic charge that persists.

There may be a new revolutionary impulse, but bureaucracy developed so well in the Bolshevik party and the Russian State.  There is a parallel with neurotic processes that become more violent as their underlying instincts become more powerful.  Stalinist dictatorship had to repress social expression.  Leninism mistrusted the spontaneity of the masses.  Overall, 'there was no real theory of social organization'—the Soviets were transitional and were soon centralized.  Centralism developed around the state, party and army.  The International was militarized and movements had to accept Soviet programmes.  Revolutionary movements across the world became separated from their context, especially in the Third World.

The international communist movement shows the same tendencies, where 'militant superstructures' having to be reconciled with a highly industrialized state.  As a result, a centralized party now finds itself responsible for directing everything, with no autonomous intermediaries, no sense of local contradictions.  The pro Chinese groups have recommended a return to Stalinism as corrected by Mao, but it is hard to see how this will address the problems.  In particular, there are no more militants, breaking with dominant ideology, and engaging in struggle motivated by hoping to end capitalism.  Cuban guerrillas, especially Guevara may be the only surviving examples. Communist organizations are 'humourless' (218) and separated from daily life.  Genuine militants are mistrusted and often expelled. 

It is the masses who have always been creative, however setting up things like Soviets and strike committees.  The PCF has often recuperated them.  What was creativity shows is that something more is being sought, something that better acts as 'the signifier of the working class's discourse'.  The Party has become separated from this discourse, 'closed in upon itself', and hostile to any form of creativity.  Instead, group subjectivity expresses itself only in the form of the phantasm, which opens on to the imaginary [the Freudian notion of the phantasm is as an early form of narrative structure or account of the world-- early, but often persisting into adult life-see the 30th and 31st series in Logic of Sense].  Workers occupy a group phantasy.  Militants have to reconnect to real organizations, located in history.  This will also reconnect with theoretical and political thinking: 'There is thus a double articulation [in this case a reciprocal connection?] at three levels: that of the spontaneous, creative processes of the masses; that of their organizational expression; and that of the theoretical formulation of their historical and strategic gains' (219).

Without such connections, bourgeois individualism appears, seeing groups as just a number of individuals, with a tendency to slide towards delegated individuals as spokespersons.  Subject groups must resist.  They are not just for the production of theoretical concepts, despite Althusser: 'it produces signifiers not signification', institutions not parties, interpretations of history.  Examples include the NLF in Vietnam and other revolutionary organizations.  None of these produce philosophical concepts, but their action 'become speech and interpretation', without formalizing or  generalizing.  It is more important to engage in action than speech [in those contexts. Hints of DeBray in here too?].

It is not just a matter of producing an internally coherent discourse, that makes sense in its own terms.  Marx suggested that every mode of production included 'symbolic production' that constituted every other relationship [hints of hegemony again].  This includes research and teaching.  State machines 'produce anti production'(220), that block subjective processes.  This is a dynamic process, akin to the dynamism producing psychic repression.  The ideological sense of rightful place is found in 'bureaucracies, churches, universities' [universities are added to the ISAs --long overdue!], together with phantasies of repression.

At the moment, the workers' movement has failed to analyze these conditions of production.  One example is their failure to critique the university, which does not just transmit bourgeois knowledge, but moulds people to fit bourgeois society [inextricably, as Bourdieu argues so well].  The army provides a way of relating to others, through 'subordination in their imaginations' (221).  It is just the same with traditional ceremonies of initiation.  Beneath the rational account of such activities lie phantasy mechanisms.

The workers' movement tends to see subjectivity as an individual phenomenon, and has not analyzed the phantasies  involved that affect notions of organization and solidity.  Rationalism and positivism must be abandoned in favour of grasping underlying unities as 'modes of symbolic communication proper to groups', even if this might not necessarily be spoken.  These can appear as self managing structures like 'a flock of migrating birds' (222).  We can find them in groups formed by young men that do not require specific words but only images, the way they act out phantasies [anticipates CCCS on youth culture here!].  Analysis just of organizing ideas misses the point.  For example, there is no analysis of the characteristics of people who formed the Commune, no grasp of their 'creative imagination'.  The way images form are not  deducible like contractual laws based on explicit motivations. 

Sometimes, a whole phantasy order appears, complete with identification with a leader, as in Nazism.  Leaders were able to exploit the underlying images, even though these are not always made explicit. A symbolic solidification is established first.  'There is a territorialization of phantasy, and imaging of the group as a body, that absorbs subjectivity into itself' (223).  This then goes on to produce misunderstanding, or racism, nationalism and 'other archaisms'.  It is a mystery to some analysts why regionalism and particularism have persisted, despite increasing universalism of scientific signifiers.  This extends to literature and art as well.  However this may affect the real, but the imaginary has not been affected: indeed they seem to go together, that increased universality also supports local distinctiveness.  As capitalism moves to '"decode"' and " De territorialize"' (224), the more artificial territories and residual encodings appear.

'Machinic universality' is coupled with 'archaic particularity', and here we need a distinction between subject groups and dependent groups.  The first is 'articulated like a language', and can connect to universal discourse, while the second is confined to a 'spatial' mode [sounds like Bernstein on language here!], with an imaginary [symbolic] form of representation as a group phantasy.  Perhaps it is better thought of as two functions inside groups.  Certainly, sometimes a dependent group can become subjective with the new dynamic, and conversely.  There is always a tendency for a group to become ' a prisoner of its own phantasies' and then further analysis is required.  Perhaps dependent groups are best seen as a permanent subgroup of the subject group.  Perhaps the latter's basis is also 'the partial, detached institutional object' [intended as a critique of Lacan.  Maybe the point is that this is a kind of creative alienation from the other?  A note refers to the possibilities of doing away with reification as an expressive totality, but against Russell rather than Lukacs].

We see this with psychiatric hospitals which depend on external social systems and which display group phantasies around things like illness and psychiatry.  However, particular departments might be able to reorder this phantasy and act as a therapeutic club.  This would be the institutional objective ['objet petit a'] and it would help start analysis.  The club is the background to the analysis, something still dependent on the institutional objective, an 'institutional vacuole' (225).  It might be complemented by an unofficial group.  Another example is the Communist Party, again colonised by the state, perhaps even with the function of regulating the relations of production and modernizing capitalism.  However, on the smaller scale, such as the party cell, a new process of subjectivation can appear.  A working class interest in revolutionary movements might serve as a source of tensions and contradictions here, even if it is not explicit or publicized.

Individual phantasies lead back to the desires of solitude, but they can become collective and put into circulation.  Freud helps here with his explanation of how neurotic structures lead to group formation.  Groups can organize their phantasies around individuals like successful leaders, and here, the individual becomes a 'signifying mirror', refracting back collective phantasies.  This may occur despite official separation of the leader, as a dialectic.  Even the split between totalitarian ideals and partial phantasies can produce contradictions that weaken territorialized phantasies.  At the individual level, there seems to be no escape from the overdetermined oedipus complex, but at the group level there are other possibilities of 'revolutionary reordering' (227).  It is hard to stabilize identification with the images of the group, especially if it includes 'narcissistic and death instincts'.

Some identifications by individuals with groups are almost accidental anyway, with no fundamental connection with anything outside, at best a refuge from solitude and anxiety and the absence of any real bodies to identify with.  In these cases, the group itself becomes a damaging partial object [objet petit a again], dominated by the phallic function and imprisoning individuals.  However, there is no underlying connection with 'the libidinal instinctual system', which makes group solidarity temporary and unstable.  They can really be defended explicitly, but have to pose as operating 'on behalf of the law'.  Any spoken words tend to become slogans. Then, group signifiers are unable to represent subjects, and produce a split in subjectivity, and thus the splits in the group between those who claim to monopolize legitimacy. 

This must remain precarious.  There is always a tendency to return to imaginary structures of the phallus in place of discourse.  We also find different kinds of phantasies—basic ones where the group is still seen as subordinate to its members, and transitional ones where subjectivation varies according to reorganizations within the group.  The group itself takes on the status of either established institution or transitional object [the transitional objects is a kind of safety blanket, according to Wikipedia].  In the first case, the institutional object itself is not explicitly discussed, any more than in any other form of dominance.  But the second, there is constant enquiry about whether goals are being achieved, whether transformation is necessary and so on.  However, transitions can involve the replacement of one myth by another, and some social bonds are incapable of proper development and are discarded without any particular thought of consequences.  The revolutionary group should be able to change its theories more rationally, with no need for a religious war, but rather an adequate adjustment to deal with new circumstances.

The problem is that imaginary groups can take on a religious aura.  We see this with cases where capitalism suddenly abandons old industries or organizations.  Effects are often like those experienced by 'children..women...the mad...homosexuals' (229), and ignoring them can produce damaging consequences.

We need to make the imagination more adjustable, to move from one representation of ourselves to another, just like when an animal moults [sic].  Groups split from the outside can develop a kind of schizophrenia, again as discourse gives way to 'non subjective utterances' (230).  If there is no coherent discourse of the aims and purposes, identifications are free to roam more widely, just as when schizophrenics are disconnected from bodily representation [a bad side of the BWO].  Groups can hallucinate and develop 'irrational acts' including suicidal behaviour and play acting, until phantasies can be expressed in discourses again.

[Existing] social groups can never resolve the contradiction between production processes that produce alienation, and the need to bring to light a conscious subject, including its unconscious, so as to dispel more and more of the phantasies, things like god or a belief in science.  How do groups pursue their immediate economic and social interests while allowing an access to desire?  In Freudian terms, this will involve facing the problem of death of the group, the end of a mission, like the withering away of the state itself.  This leads to a difference between the group phantasies of dependent groups, and those of subject groups, which should only be transitional not eternal myths.  One outcome of the former is the ways in which roles are identified with people, but there is a group dimension again, relating to the individual's place in something eternal—the French army, say, which provides a compensatory status by identifying with an institutional object.  At its most developed, it is a way of avoiding self questioning about life, and a way of justifying any inhuman activities.  Phantasies support these denials at the individual level.  They are found with capitalist trusts as well, with CEOs as priests,  'ritualizing eternity and conjuring away death' (231). Nevertheless, these efforts are never fully successful [because their signifiers are always ambiguous]  and there is always a possibility of the emergence of the truth.

Transitional phantasies of subject groups are different.  At La Borde, people felt they were achieving something even when working on the most tedious jobs.  Relations took on a new meaning.  People knew each other better and took an interest in them.  In particular, the rigid differentiation of roles is abandoned, and everyone becomes '"one of us"' (232), although this has archaic residues. The phantasy may be absurd, but he adds to a sense of belonging, helps people feel at home,  become reterritorialized.  Real belonging replaces phantasy belonging.

Explicit rationality does not do away with phantasies.  If they are not analyzed, they will become 'death dealing impulses'.  In Freudian terms, we are dead once we identify with the eternity of the group.  We have to short circuit this process, even if radical change looks impossible: the phantasy must become transitional.

Revolutionary demands must extend to desire, not just increasing standards of living, which will only reinforce passivity.  At the moment, the workers' movement is dominated by 'philosophical rationalism'(233), which acts like a superego and deals with myths of paradise in another world, or a 'narcissistic fusion with the absolute'. Communism claims to be able to use scientific knowledge to create an liberating organization, but this is false.  Industrial production might well be organized nationally, but the desire objectives of individuals and groups cannot be specified in advance.

If the way to truth is an individual matter, as implied, it looks like we are flirting with humanism 'and other nonsense of that kind'.  It also looks as if we are nostalgic for membership of the Party or its various groupuscles.  But there is an important issue here at the corner of a revolutionary struggle, not just the war of words, but real guerrilla struggle.  We need to move beyond the legacy of Stalinism.  If the revolutionary workers' movements do not develop as 'collective agents of utterance' (234), they will be caught up again in anti production relations.  The current bourgeoisie is not modernist, but his 'undoubtedly the stupidest that history has ever produced'.  They cannot be relied upon to develop a better society, but will 'keep trying to cobble things together, always too late and irrelevantly'. If there is no drastic change, things are going to go really wrong, and there is a possibility of 'fascisms a thousand times more frightful' than in 1939.

Chapter 13.  Causality, subjectivity and history

[More on each, with good criticisms leveled against Althusser and Lacan. The links between the collective subject struggling to express its creative subjectivity, the refiied structure of languag4e, and 'objective' history makes clear the background of the later stuff on coding and terrirorializtion etc]

The subject of history is often just assumed as something that produces history, particular discourses and actions.  More discussion will turn on what sort of subject it is, in particular whether it is a subject that is destined only to repeat signifying chains or operate linguistic structures.  Thus the working class tends to be seen as the subject that perpetuates certain words relating to class, whereas it should really be aiming at the abolition of class.  There is insight to be gained by using particular words and how they are pronounced, and metonyms are inevitable in any group.

It is a particular notion of historical development that needs to be addressed, against Lacan, who considers history to have begun with the development of the signifier, with development only within a linguistic system, something ahistorical, a structure.  Developments are really only accidents of circumstance that happen to have begun a series.  One implication is that we can subdivide time into a series of 'orders of manifestations', which leads to Althusser and the relatively autonomous levels of society. Lacan proposes  the system is regulated by an underlying 'order of pure significance'(236).  In the case of Althusserians, the regulating order is to be discovered: the technique also enables different stances in the different areas—Stalinism in politics, Kant in philosophy [surely Spinoza?], Lacan in psychoanalysis.  The only guarantee of cohesion is Althusser and other priests of pure theory legitimating particular approaches as science.

History disappears in this process, that history 'made, articulated and remembered by human beings' (237). Such history is a subject, despite its 'residual realism', in providing a real world that cannot be subdivided.  Nor is historical time a thing, because it has consequences and affects human choice.  Capital does the same, ceasing to be an optional category.  Obviously it is not part of the natural order, but it affects 'the air we breathe'.  The subject and signifier work in the same way: they were always related, and it is the subject that produces utterances, sometimes an utterance that denies the subject.  The resulting realism leads to the 'structuralist temptation'. The problem is that the subject necessarily refers to the other, but the signifier refers only to another signifier, and this seems to leave behind reality.  The subject itself appears to have no internal consistency, and thus to act at best as 'the purely symbolic operator'.  Signifying time then appears as an external logic, which is the only temporality affecting the subject.  The result is that reality and history 'become subject to an eternal symbolic order'(238). Subjectivity becomes identified with the signifier, [great example with the work of Gale and Wyatt] and human activity is understood only within a linguistic system.  It is no longer connected to [that residual kind of] subjective human practice.

Lacan has argued this differently, saying that the subject depends on its relationship with a residual other [objet petit a again].  In this way, it is not a [single element] pure signifier.  It is alienated from desire in the sense that it is inevitably connected to ' a burden of reality' (238).  Part objects destroy its symmetry.  Even using linguistic structures to revive it risks totalitarianism [a bit like Lyotard on Habermas?  Or maybe this means by losing yourself in a total system?].  The signifier can be seen as a universal category, in a way which idealizes it, losing its linguistic origins and links to signification and social reality.  Or, with Lacan, it is a screen filtering out the unconscious, except for things like slips, dreams and so on.  In both cases, the signifier loses its contact with history.

In that case, history can become meaningless unless we add some supplementary dimension from the development of the signifying order.  This inevitably involves repetition of 'reified blocks of the signifier' [the endless elaboration of fixed categories, desperately trying to make them fit] (239), akin to the endless circularity of the neurosis.  The solution is to let a [collective, class]  subject emerge, something that produces a new utterance, operates with a different signifier.  We can then see signifiers as actualized forms of subjectivity , and linguistics ceases to be some objective foundation for capitalism.  Traditional history is connected with linguistic development, the [mere] development of the signifier, which provides it with a structure.  Only then can we talk about signifiers existing without subjects, but this is exactly like referring to music as a score which is never performed.  Without a link to enunciation, the signifier loses its meaning.

However, ideology manufactures history precisely to close up personal identity, to offer a false ground for it, and for the subsequent impersonality and bad faith.  It is quite understandable that people attach themselves to it, but the relation is exactly like the one between the desiring subject and the part object.  False totalization ensues, with its accompanying binary values, notions of determination, 'desire for eternity as a childish negation of time' (240). The subject ceases to be [for itself], but becomes dependent on the social chains which have been established.  The signifier itself, lacking the ability to enunciate, becomes determined by the signified.  The only exception is confined to the imaginary, still limited by 'the order of reason'.  The counter production of phantasy domesticates any revolutionary rejections of these limits, so that at the very moment the people were opposing Tsarism, they were embracing some imaginary unity with the peasantry and their power to resist based on feudalism and archaism.  The result was worship of 'a mummified Lenin...and...  Stalin as a god'.

Evolutionary history takes place within the system of signifiers, but revolutionary history breaks through.  No compromise is possible.  However, there is a need for constant rethinking to oppose the constant qualities of the signified—'repetition, death, tedium' (241).  The signs of such change were apparent immediately after 1917.  The significations had changed their meanings [the example is that people no longer did things like going to the races, and the Winter Palace had become quite a different object].  It is hard to identify the actual historical moment when the breakthrough occurs, and to distinguish wholesale change from some local rearrangements of signifiers.  There are times when things are balanced, where conventional signifying chains become inadequate.  Then events can be understood using 'a short term, inconsistent, absurd semiotic'.  Eventually, 'a new plane of reference " structured like a language"' emerges, as we can see with the changes in the ancient world, faced with irresistible challenges to institutions [the example is the challenge to the Roman empire offered by Christianity].  Certain aspects remained, though, like the death instincts and the military, an early source of constant innovation helping to establish mechanization in capitalism.

The contemporary example involves the relationship between the USSR and the USA.  The Russians imported technology and its accompanying economic models, rapidly closing down the potential for new subjectivation.  This made it even less capable of change than western capitalism.  Change in the conservative bureaucracy will not come about by importing western 'models of desire', expressed in 'jazz or western fashion'.  Instead, institutions have been developed that import 'human relationships foreign to socialism' (243), including hierarchies between research and industry or between mental and manual work.  These are even more dangerous in the USSR since they lack capitalist forms of regulation based on adverse public opinion or the market.  However, the transplants are so obviously 'monstrous' (244), that they will inevitably produce 'revolutionary signifying breakthroughs', exceeding even the merely political revolutions that Trotsky advocated [he thought the basic structure of the USSR was still capable of revolution,says G]

Here, we see that an impulse is required apart from linguistic effects, and that a breakthrough can extend beyond the immediate register.  This has to lead to a 'breach in the signifier', to reawaken the potentials of subjective action.  There are these potentials in existing linguistic and production systems [and this is described as something that is 'machinic', something that can challenge existing structures.  Then there is an odd bit about how the erasure of linguistic or formal logical differences can weaken the divisions between specialized work, and produce even 'strange consequences in the world of phantasy' (245)].  These are only examples, but they make the point that economic distinctions fundamental to a system of production are still governed by the same signifying laws, repetitions and impasses as those found in literature.

There will be changes in the class structure.  The revolutionary movement is already thinking about action 'on the plane of subjectivity and the signifier' [with a literary and cultural avant-garde?].  This will cause further breakthroughs.  The bourgeoisie will be left defending irrelevant distinctions in language and life no longer tied either to the unconscious or to economic production.  Class struggle may well change its 'accent and pronunciation', and this 'new unconscious syntax' (246) must be recognized as a potential revolutionary breakthrough.

The proper subject as an agent of breakthrough has been replaced by the notion of the ego.  The infantile ego is classically flexible, until it comes to identify fully with what had only been an imaginary phallus.  General symbolic designations become apparent, in the place of 'all its little partial machines working'.  Social convention intrudes to fix the objects of the imagination [the example is when children recognize that their mothers are also adult sexual objects for other men].  Such small events get internalized, at the level of both history and 'all the small, sordid histories as well'.  Further structural remolding develops, unleashing the death instincts, splitting the ego and the subject, reality and pleasure, and eventually signifier and signified, 'between the power of uttering and the impotence of what is uttered'. It becomes apparent that the subject and the ego do not coincide, and never really did, and this becomes 'officially intolerable'.  It is a form of dismemberment, and we must all participate in the drive to stick back the two bits together again, the subject and the ego in the 'ambiguous status of the individual and the person...  A totalitarian myth' (247).

The 'schizzy subject' remains, but in the background, the subject of the unconscious, something appearing in repressed utterances.  It still represents a potential breakthrough to developing signifying chains that can do anything, 'to ravage the formal gardens of the conscious mind and the social order'.  It is a form of subjectivity that replaces the subject confined to law and history.  It has no concept of death, or its necessary connection with the conventional subject.  To make subjective history is to 'stop making death', to 'dissolve the illusory power of structures to give consistency to [subjectively] meaningless utterances about history and death'.

The Leninist breakthrough

[Lots of detail on the sad course of the Russian revolution.  Lenin, Trotsky and Stalin all get rebuked.  I have noted mostly the interesting stuff about subjectivity, collective phantasy and transversality].

A suitably dialectical version of determinism is perfectly adequate to explain most of what we understand by history.  However there are obvious complications, like those shown by the PCF, which has also been affected by international relations with state capitalism, the need to compromise with both French and Russian politics.  There is still a revolutionary path for France, however.  History does show circumstances in which a breakthrough has occurred—Cuba, and 1917.

The Bolsheviks had to improvise rather than wait for the natural development that they had initially expected.  They had to see the crisis as a victory for the masses, the defeat in the War as '"revolutionary defeatism"' (248). Lenin played a crucial role  in interpreting the possibilities, although he had disagreed with Trotsky earlier about some sort of spontaneous revolution.  Lenin had to convince his own party by way of what was a coup.  The April Theses gave a central role to the party, although this was not unopposed by other Bolsheviks.  Both Lenin and Trotsky decided they must act, in 'a kind of collective voluntarism'(249), to force history onward. 

For some people the sad events showed that history could not be defied like this, that it obeyed laws after all, usually positivist ones, but there was a significant breakthrough which has also advanced theoretical understandings.  One option is to operate with a necessary recuperation, assisted by the general international situation, including the failure of the German party.  Better would be to consider the links between 'different orders of determination—economic, demographic, sociological, the unconscious, etc.'[I thought he had just condemned this in Althusser].  We could trace the links through the 'winding trial of the signifier'.  History, economics, psychoanalysis and linguistics will be involved, as a model for a new form of 'militant' analysis.  We could ask, for example about the 'complex network of signifiers' that lay behind the Bolshevik coup, and what limited their further development.

The Bolsheviks failed early to contact the masses, but stuck to their own fundamental arguments and principles.  In the circumstances, they were forced to set up an embryonic state as an inevitable compromise between national defence and the withering away of the state.  The revolutionary army that had to be formed also incorporated officers of the old tsarist army, with their traditional military methods.  Without consulting any other parties, the Bolsheviks 'improvised' a new international out of disparate groups.  The party became responsible for everything, acting as the vanguard of the proletariat.

Bolshevism itself should be analyzed in terms of its different areas and currents.  Even the old Bolsheviks were not convinced of the dominance of the party, but nevertheless contributed to 'a collective phantasy of omnipotence'(252), and the 'messianic vocation' assumed by the party.  There were residual mechanistic notions [among intellectuals, the prats]concerning how ideas were to be just transmitted between party and the masses.  Leninism was not capable of analyzing the institutional effects, but remained with the traditional pattern rather than developing any 'lasting institutional innovation': even the Soviets disappeared.  All opposition was outlawed.  A massive technocracy developed in all areas, including the militarization of the red army by Trotsky, and his subsequent plans to militarize the workforce [apparently based on the claim that feudal serfdom had been progressive!]. Kronstadt was rejected and slandered as early as 1921.

Trotsky particularly was a reluctant participant in the coup until persuaded by Lenin, but he then became particularly rigid in enforcing Bolshevism, despite his earlier views as leader of the Petrograd Soviet.  At the time, there was no attempt to connect this new view with reality, although he spent his subsequent literary efforts trying to establish compatibility.  He was always simply in an impossible situation, committed to iron discipline and regulation, although he had earlier warned against 'political substitutionism' (253).  He was late to Leninism, but always tended to excess.  For Lenin, there was less of a problem: more of a politician, altering the line was no real problem as long as the objective was being pursued .  The individual did not matter.  His view developed during the great split in 1903 at the party Congress.  Initially a rather trivial technical dispute about membership escalated and reawakened the latent disputes between '"the economists"', who were mostly working class militants, and intellectuals worried about revisionism which meant that they should focus upon political [and cultural?] action. 

There was also dispute about the Jews and the decision to exclude a particular Jewish organization of workers ['the Bond'] (254).  Oddly, Trotsky was selected to be the main Leninist spokesman here.  The split escalated into a serious division.  Yet this 'black theatre' (255) also help produce a new signifying system, which became axiomatic.  The tendency spread, to develop dogma out of arguments stripped of their context, and then to control any divergent utterance.  Professional political Bolshevik style, including micro political maneuvering, became a part of 'militant subjectivity'.  Specialists in linguistics will be able to trace this 'crystallization' that led to stereotyped formulae and special languages, all arising from 'this theatre of the absurd' but achieving solidity [current critical discourse analysis might be a possible model?].  The discourse also restricted the openness of militants, encouraging uncritical acceptance of slogans.  Above all, the function of desire was minimized, and replaced by a suspicious 'love' for the masses, offering the party line, inflexible and 'joyless' (256). The working classes are not necessarily anarchist, but they do need to be able to fight at their own pace and for their own inclinations.

The fundamental encoding of the Leninist machine was in place.  The 'fundamental signifiers' entered history and were to spread, although this is a 'simply a working hypothesis that must be examined with care'.  There is a danger of following psychoanalysis to take myths as reference points, fully explaining the unconscious.  However, lacking revolutionary interpretation, 'historically definable myths' (257) are chronically likely.  Another example might be the events in France of 1936, the popular front with its myth of the alliance of all the people, which assisted imperialism.  Here, Stalinist bureaucrats responded to the rise of Hitler to launch an 'appalling opportunism', even leading to a pact with Nazism.  The '"popular front complex"'endured even after the Liberation, mixed with prewar illusion pacifism and nostalgia, an overall 'systematic méconnaissance'(258).

It might be difficult for any revolutionary practice to avoid 'collective phantasy formations'.  The answer lies in encouraging independent groups to develop their own phantasies, transitional ones as above.  Analysis here might include focus on the authors of the 'utterances of history'.  Thus the delegates of the 1903 Congress 'were clearly quite incapable of facing and admitting the truth', perhaps even Lenin. Lenin had undergone a personal crisis  when his elder brother was executed after an attempted assassination of the tsar.  The usual views to contrast the terrorist with the serious Marxist, but Lenin had actually been a slow convert to Marxism, and had even flirted with terrorism.  This might account for the split between theory and reality [because Lenin was completely unprepared for 1917].  Trotsky was different, and his 'imaginative capacity' had been limited by his Jewishness, which left him with a longing to be accepted and legitimated.  Even his pseudonym was the name of one of his former gaolers.  There may have been a subconscious craving for safety [citing Deutscher].  This might have led to the apparently strange refusal to become president of the first government of Soviets—Trotsky refused because he was a Jew.  He also refused to take office to counter Stalin, and prevaricated rather than take decisive action against Stalin, the result of 'innumerable successive inhibitions' at the time (260).

So 'unconscious chains' were probably already at work in the early debates within Bolshevism, and these probably limited rationality and tempted stereotyped and prejudiced views, as well as Lenin's new determined centralism—although even he regretted the split according to one of his letters.  Nevertheless, there was no choice but to proceed.  Opponents drifted towards alternatives like the Mensheviks, and some remained indecisive.  There were other alternatives at the, time, however, and a certain fluidity of adherents.  Stalin was to develop into 'leader of a sadistic pseudo Bolshevism' (261), Trotsky was still not the target of a hate campaign: that campaign also distorted Stalinist capacities, condemning them to invert Trotsky's pronouncements.  Old Bolsheviks like Zinoviev were still loyal.  Even Lenin himself was not so intransigent, although centralism was being discussed in 1903—indeed even Trotsky embraced it.

The split could have been predicted, in other words, using the Freudian notion of 'deferred action', and without the usual historical analyses.  This is particularly so with '"militant representation"' (262), which is best understood as 'the manifestation of unconscious signifiers, potential utterances and creative crises', issues that seemed insignificant at first yet which produced subjective effects.  The notion of breakthroughs pursued by 'agencies of collective utterance, that is to say subject groups' still seems contingent to historical development and might be seen as trivial, although such matters can seem really important, indeed the 'salt of life [and] source of..  desire' of the masses, important enough to prepare people to sacrifice themselves and come to assume their apparent historical role. 

No doubt, the pleasures of the masses can shock political leaders, as when Petrograd became the scene of an extended 'drinking spree'(263), but this should have been understood.  Desire and subjectivity like this must remain close to the masses and it is difficult to relate it to fundamental historical goals, abstract programmes.  The two orders must be connected by analysis, especially if politics goes on at the unspoken level [and offers disconnections between 'what happens and what people say'].  Every day desires do 'condition the possibilities of popular expression', and can even end in fatalist self repression.

Analysis should aim at the identification and interpretation of 'the coefficients of transversality relative to the various social spheres under consideration'.

Integration of the working class and analytical perspective,

After 1936, working class organizations became increasingly integrated into the capitalist system.  This often began as a response to particular crises, but integration soon became a part of the legal order.  POlicies of peaceful coexistence between regimes and classes weakened class struggle.  The emphasis turned to practical movements to improve wages and conditions rather than anything that could threaten capitalism.  In both 1936 and 1945, where there were possibilities, communist leaders settled for working class integration and reinforced capitalism.  Khrushchev assisted the process in developing social democracy among communist parties, and the result was that even communist ministers became seen as useful [in France]  in running a 'capitalism of the "left"' (264). The move to liberalism by both the PCF and the PCI is probably an outcome of this policy [it is certainly not 'purely coincidental!'].

As working class political life has declined, so has all political life.  It is been replaced by 'a pseudo participation,a "consultation" of "consumers"', inviting discussion about economic growth where the agenda is already manipulated by groups including technocrats [among working class organizations?]  Such depoliticization corresponds to decision-making taking place increasingly in an international context, where policies opposes national barriers.  Bourgeois political society was required to manage the class struggle, but the working classes are neutralising themselves and their organisations [hence the weakness of the bourgeoisie discussed above] .  The PCF's political role now helps to contain any mass movements.

It is not so much treason as an attempt to maintain the traditional policy and organisation when production relations have altered.  No one is now interested in politics except for the specialists and trade union leaders [and special interest groups like nsms?].  The PCF offers no alternative to the consumer society.  Left wing groupuscles have kept alive revolutionary themes, but have failed politically.  The PCF is opportunist rather than Marxist and lacks an overall perspective, while groupuscles have an ideology which limits of vision and analysis.  Nevertheless, the PCF is the only organisation 'with some slight grasp on social reality'(266). However, instead of converting reformism in the working class, it merely adjusts itself to it: there is still no analysis of working class unconsciousness.

We are left with a split in working class subjectivity, between reformism and revolutionary variants in the groupuscles.  Analysis is required, although experience suggests it is risky, as with claims that there is a new working class, or that interdisciplinary research is required, '"based on mass study"' (267) [citing Recherches -- or actually the group that produces the journal, the FISRG], but there is a need to change the direction of politics.  At the moment, FISRG can only offer vanguardism, and has probably lost its way.  Perhaps they should have rejoined the other conventional left wing organizations, but this would close the possibilities again.  There are many good reasons for suggesting that nothing can be done, and that the workers will not understand, that syndicalism is more popular.  The development of a revolutionary praxis is still required.

Identities are offered in relation to production and consumerism, and also 'results, diplomas and so on' (268).  People have only the option of turning to organisations that claim to act for them, 'a sociological manifestation of the preservation by inertia of institutional objects', bureaucratic repetition and meaningless words [a note points out that this was written just before the events of 68].  These powerful mechanisms of alienation can be evaded, through enclaves or entryism, but these attempts are doomed to failure, which leads to further justification for the traditional organisations and their fatalism.  What is required is completely new forms of organization.

The revolutionary vanguard has not understood 'the unconscious processes that emerge as socio economic determinisms' (269), the 'social neurosis'which produces bureaucracy.  Until this analysis is pursued, there will be no collapse of the structure.  Liberalism will simply make the bureaucracy look benevolent, and produce 'the playboy image' of current leaders.

Capitalism has been able to develop and overcome institutional contradictions.  It still needs to control the movement of labour.  Existing working class organizations are committed to integration, and there 'is no conception of 'dual power'(270). Participationism stupefies the working class, and works at the level of the imaginary.  Lenin understood the tendency towards trade unionism, 'the primacy of demand over desire', and argued for a separate institution.  But Bolshevism is not suitable for highly developed capitalism, since power is not concentrated, but is diffused through a complex network of production relations on an international basis.

Leninism has rightly prioritised the need for a breakthrough, the emergence of subject groups, but the development of a revolutionary machine these days requires much more analysis of things like how the wage mechanism produces an acceptance of exploitation, why the PCF is underpinned by the forces of continuity, and why workers go on trusting them 'despite the repulsion they inspire' (271).  Any vanguards must expose themselves to such repetitive mechanisms.  Syndicalism and integration are 'rooted deeply in people's minds'. Individual capitalists may be rebuked, but the legitimacy of their power is never questioned.  What is required is a new decentred style, 'another politics, a politics of otherness, a revolutionary politics' [later to be called minoritarian politics?].

 Recherches has had an effect in those areas relatively free of capitalist interference [which included education and health at the time, although Guattari was pessimistic about the future, which would involve the tertiary sector becoming proletarianized].  We can see this with psychiatry where the profession of nurse is developing as new medical techniques emerge.  Nurses are becoming technicians.  Unions are silent on these developments and tend instead to try to defend the existing division of labour.  Independent staff associations have been developing, to discuss work conditions and involving a wide range of staff, although they have been threatened with expulsion from the union movement.  The associations have now been closed down, but not the idea.  However, these developments were limited because they had failed to articulate political and theoretical goals and did not attempt to find a balance of forces to defend themselves.  They remained as experiments, akin to those in the Hispano group [workers committee at the Hispano-Suiza engineering works], and more need to develop especially in the key areas of production. Overall, 'one should still be a Leninist' (273), at least in denying the spontaneity and creativity of the masses to develop any lasting analytical groups.  Of course, it does not mean developing a centralist party.

What we need is analysis of the way in which capitalism contaminates everything.  We need an effort to challenge apparently natural understandings of things, to create 'trouble out of events', even simple ones, ordinary things—'the problem of the housewife and the kitchen cupboard, of... everyday humiliations'.  We need to work back from these to the 'key signifiers of capitalist power'.  This is not just an extension of ordinary demands, but their preliminary to a breakthrough to politics.  In this way, social subjectivity and desire can reemerge.  There is a particular role for 'the peculiar, the unpredictable, even the nonsensical' to be introduced into political discourse (274). Analysis should be permanent [a reference to Trotsky's slogan about permanent revolution].  What counts as politics is to be continually reexamined and worked out.

'Nothing is more dangerous than to throw oneself into promoting the idea that the scientific accuracy of a political concept can be ensured by the appropriate philosophical processes'[take that Deleuze].  It is not a matter of developing concepts alone, and, in the case of Althusser, the result has been only 'morbid rationalism'. The death instinct lurks in such efforts, which probably explains the attraction for leftists disillusioned after the collapse of Stalin.  Theories belong in the symbolic order, not in 'immediate practical effectiveness'.  Political knowledge always requires analysis, but its location must be in the middle of [in a 'vacuole'] revolutionary praxis: it should aim only at 'effecting a political utterance and breakthrough'.

It needs to be developed by a group without any  wish for leadership or any other pretensions.  Analysis must take place against the background a revolutionary praxis.  Exploring the unconscious is a necessary act, because the unconscious 'is none other than the reality that is to come, the trfansfinite field of the potentialities contained in signifying chains that are opened' (275). This means that signifying breakthroughs are possible even in private life.  Perhaps even radical literature [Lautreamont, Kafka or Joyce] can provide themes.  Both imperialist and socialist regimes are propping up archaic institutions, like the family, and developing consumerism.

Breakthroughs go on at the level of the subject and of history.  The international order is irreparable and contradictory, incapable of developing any signifying breakthrough at the level of international relations.  We see instead serious challenges in China, Yugoslavia and Vietnam, despite every attempt to prevent them by the existing international organizations, or the assumption of regulatory power by dominant countries like the USA.  The development of Israel had the accidental effect of radicalising the Arabs.  Repressed people all over the world are no longer represented by conventional institutions, including Stalinist ones, yet there is no decisive alternative as yet.  Bloodbaths will continue.  The international workers' movement in particular have left victims like the Vietnamese to struggle alone.  We have to simply put the old era behind us.

Vietnam 1967

The war as an attempt to show that American imperialism could intervene anywhere, even at the expense of its image as 'protective elder brother'(277).  The Vietnamese resistance know that they are acting on behalf of the oppressed everywhere, and their interests are 'fundamentally the same' as those of workers, intellectuals and any one threatened by capitalist repression:  'the defence of truth is at the root of every fight for emancipation'[fully endorsing the romantic myth of international solidarity here]. 

It is important not to just see American aggression in Vietnam as an accident: instead, we need a 'worldwide perspective'.  The intervention can be a useful case to research.  The war draws upon puritanism and myths of destroying the bad object, 'whatever is different' (278).  However, public consciousness is systematically shielded by '"information machines"', just like in fascism [Christ -- he should see the heavily censored images on TV of war these days].  This sort of repression and ideological defence is explicable by Freud.

Psychoanalytic interpretation must recognize that all the objects of hate, love and identification are connected to historical processes, that there are unconscious determinisms.  The truth cannot be divided into private and social variants.  Values do not just turn on conscious knowledge.  This is why violence can appear to be right throughout history, whether in the form of fascism or American aggression [fascism produced 'one unprecedented and overwhelming form']. Naive optimism that the Americans will come to their senses and that normality will be restored could be another defence mechanism, an avoidance of anything unknown or disturbing, A 'phantasy system of historical memory...what Freud described as the death instinct' (279).

International relations are unstable, and must be all the time that the third world is in such economic distress.  It is a myth that there can be peaceful coexistence, except as a de facto compromise between the dominant industrial powers.  Poor nations are seen only in terms of their strategic and economic value.  Capitalist production remains the same in essentials, and socialist states have produced no alternative international law.  The USA is attempting to set up 'an international police force' to follow its own advantage. The hopes of the postwar period and its regulatory international bodies are at an end.

Instead, we have a more ruthless process attempting to become legitimate, as in the incredible idea of the "right of pursuit"' (280). The old appeals to anti imperialist struggle need to be changed, especially as imperialism has taken up much ideological baggage from its opponents.  The point is still to change production relations on an international scale.  It is not only the Vietnamese who are isolated in their struggle, but the oppressed classes everywhere.  We need to examine again the 'secret and paradoxical despair of revolutionaries in the west', and their sense of powerlessness.  The economic system has increasingly forced workers to just accept their fate, and even to enjoy it 'in a banal kind of way'.  By contrast, the heroic creativity of the Vietnamese, and their development of productive social relations 'seem like a sheer hymn of hope'.

Chapter 14.  Counter revolution is a science you can learn.

The specific student action [March 22] is not a spark or a drop that caused an overflow.  This is despite various 'sociologizing minds' (281) arguing that consumer society is quite different from the old violent forms.  What the reaction did was to formal 'the channeling methods' of state, unions and party.  The 'normal' state of affairs involves negotiation through conventional representatives, but the students occupied, and so did some workers.  The students recognised no intermediaries.

There has been a call for renewed discipline and organisation, even by revolutionary groupuscles, but the protest movement is actually 'seeking new means and new weapons', and rejecting the pyramid structures of the conventional organisations.  There is a struggle for a new revolutionary organization, denying the expertise of the old specialists.  Should the old militants regain control, there will be disorganization and retreat: March 22 should defend its independence and grassroots committee's.  It should act like guerrillas, not moving immediately towards unity old general structures.  It would be important to establish 'freedom of expression, creativity from the base'  (282).

Chapter 15.  Self management and narcissism

Self management seemed an option [in June 1968, when this was written] for worker control, but it is an abstract 'order word' that can be applied to anything.  It can be reduced to a mere moral principle.  The real self management of the school or university, for example, would be highly limited by its dependence on the state and the commitment of its 'users'[employers?].  It would be at best 'an order word for transitory action'.  It would be open to recuperation by 'psycho sociological reformist ideology',stressing the need for cooperation in the interrelational domain, the employment of group techniques and so on.

Hierarchy needs to be contested in reality as well as in the imagination.  Instead, it is being given a 'modernist foundation and dressed up in Rogerian or or some other morality'(283).  It should be a matter for effective control of production and other programs, including investment, business relationships and so on.  Any attempt at self management would introduce these problems with the outside, but it could not succeed unless the outside was also organized as self management.  Sometimes, self management during strikes [or occupations, of the kind that interested Ranciere] has led to a necessary organization of supplies and self defence, and this has been educative, showing a way 'to organize revolutionary society during a transitional period'(284), but there will be no long-term answers. Thus a self managed lecture hall can be 'an excellent pedagogical solution', and occupying a factory can raise some immediate problems and showed national and international dimensions.  There should be no recourse to bureaucratic organizations like current parties and unions.

Political self management might be a deceptive formula, a way to accommodate different groups.  It cannot be an end in itself.  It is useful if it helps us define the sort of relationships and types of power that need to be instituted.  It can be a distraction if it prevents the suitable 'differentiated responses to the different levels and sectors according to their real complexity' (285). Changing the whole system is different.  Self management is likely to become an order word useful to protest against bureaucratic structures in universities, but appropriated by reformism.  It can never be a general term that would apply everywhere, and is most suitable to refer to establishments of dual power or of revolutionary democratic control, a way of coordinating the different sectors of struggle.  If it is not clarified theoretically, it will be recuperated to buy reformism, and rejected by workers in favour of democratic centralism and other ideologies.

Chapter 16.  Excerpts from discussions: late June 1968

[That is after the events of May '68 had been recuperated.  This discussion, between unknown participants other than Guattari discusses the reasons for the incorporation. Ther is quite a good wikipedia account of the 'The Events' here, if you are not up to speed].
If the masses are structured like a language, the danger is that their conscious expressions will be structured like a neurosis.  'The masses' is a redundant concept anyway.

When the students built barricades, this was not actually rational because there was no need for defence.  There was an element of a common French political myth, of the Commune, the barricades, the international and so on. it is this phantasy that  structured the crowd.  Hierarchical organisations cannot express the rationality even of the economic process, but the subject groups discussed earlier seemed to offer only a kind of symbolic rationality.  Perhaps this is their function, to express irrationality and allow the expression of phantasy.  Phantasies including historical ones, are the only way to express the rationality of unconscious processes?

Perhaps the barricade phase was not entirely irrational, but expressed the rationality of the unconscious.  It certainly led to and was produced by 'a method of revelation, self teaching, self training to recognise instances of repression in all their forms' (287) [certainly the lasting legacy of the events for me].  More direct action, of the kind advocated by the Maoists, would have led to fewer possibilities of the progression of phantasy.  Geismar [president of the French students union, I recall], shows some insight when he said that they were building barricades, but that would also help them if they were to be attacked, 'an eminently dialectical phantasy situation'.  The barricades would reveal repression.  So this was not irrationality but another kind of rationality.

We know from Freud that there is a 'super rationality' in things like phantasies or parapraxes, but it is normal to understand this at the level of individuals.  Nevertheless, transgression begins with subverting established signifying chains. It is difficult to avoid being manipulated by historical signifiers.  We see this with the way in which student leaders [especially Cohn-Bendit] were active in the early parts, but eventually rejoined the official organization of the protest: the first example showed transgression from the base, but this was blocked by the alliance with the PCF and CGT [French trade union federation].  Cohn- Bendit and Geismar ended as representatives of organisations involved in concluding agreements.  But in the first phase, March 22 could not be represented, because it was more collective, every initiative was allowed, there was no constraint or internal discipline, no need to choose always the middle option to maintain group cohesion.  In this way, it acted as the analyser for a large number of students and young workers.  There was a certain amount of duplicity in CB and G letting the authorities believe they were spokespersons.  CB disappeared [fled to the UK -- and LSE where I met him] and then 'even the simulacra of representativeness'(289). March 22 collapsed into groupuscles, and the PCF was able to campaign against irresponsible minorities.

March 22 became a groupuscle itself.  We can see what happened in terms of transversality.  There were degrees of openness and closure in terms of collective acceptance, of superego investments and the 'oedipal data of the castration complex', which could return collective power to the group and reduce inhibition, including fear of being punished because of anxiety about the transgression of signifying chains.  We saw transgression initially at a number of levels: the challenge to the term property as a result of occupation, the realization of the limits of bourgeois personhood when people were arrested, and even an undue familiarity being expressed with various 'venerable objects' like the Sorbonne.

Such transgression acted as an nodal point, and spread into other areas in social and subjective life.  There were personal challenges to professors who were told to shut up, or to ministers.  'Making waves came before the first paving stones' (290). Unfortunately this sort of humour disappeared in the more responsible phases and was internally disciplined.  Even the national union of students developed 'enforcement services', informal cops, showing they had internalised not only a police force, but many of the standard fears of being misunderstood, all wanting to respect private property.  [There is a reference here and there had to the 'Katangis'—I can't track these down, but I assume they mean people who were prepared to resort to violence if necessary, perhaps a reference to the uprising in the Congo province of Katanga?].  This is just what happened in 1936, when occupations lead to a weakening of 'the signifiers of property'(291), but which upheld syndicalist notions of work and were seen as a defence against revolutionary outsiders.

The [subversive] university signifiers were 'paralysed' first, and then the chains of signifiers were neutralised.  In particular, students and workers did not come together even after they had mingled in each other's areas of action.  Instead there was 'a pathetic and depressing folklore show'[does he mean revolutionary carnivals?].  So transgression was rapidly followed by reinhibition.

Transgression possibly began in universities with opposition to the segregation of university resident halls.  The subsequent occupation had sexually transgressive undertones.  Other communist parties might have helped in other countries [Berlin and England are mentioned!] but not in France. In Italy, the PCI attempted to integrate protesters into the party and this stopped the movement entirely [partly as a jibe at the 'pro Italian contingent' (292) in the PCF - -maybe the postion of one of the contributors?].  The PCF was able to appear as an interlocutor via the CGT and the revolutionary communist youth, stressing order and discipline.  This had the effect of domesticating the large demonstrations that took part: the working class was seen as the only leader, and the time was not right.  Whenever the party or CGT took control, they defused the conflicts.  The student militants had to negotiate to gain access to factories.  The working class were constantly asserted as the main location and bearers of the revolution [Althusser's line] , partly because the groupuscles thought it would be shameful if workers had to follow bourgeois students' lead.

Nevertheless, revolutionary students were seen for a while as models for youth, even serving to legitimise those who wanted to go to various demonstrations and 'brawl'(294).  The role of students does help to call into question the issue of class and where the proletariat is embodied or represented.  There are also descriptive sociological notions, but if we ignore those, it does seem as if 'permanent class consciousness' is no longer embodied.  Transgression arose in all sorts of locations, including those who stole paper for the revolutionary presses [with an ironic aside about how does Stalin authorized theft in the early stages of 1917]. Joking aside, themes of the labour movement of 100 years ago included the right to leisure, and notions of appropriation and violence were not moral but strategic issues.  Bourgeois legalism was only consolidated in 1936.  The reformists were mostly responsible.  Stalinists condemned acts of individual violence, but continued to use them, for example against leftists in the Spanish civil war.

The general strike of May 13 [1968] should be seen as the result of a system of resistance emerging in the face of an 'unconscious rift' opened by the first conflicts.  This led to a phantasy normalisation in the form of a call for a general strike, something that already showed the diminution of transgression.  However, the entire state was required to counterbalance it, leading to a 'signifying haemorrhage' (295).  This was unexpected, and was dealt with by reviving the old myths of the revolution or communesThe CGT intervened to make sure that director hostages [!] were released, and workers called for a ban on outside militants or students.  In this way, the strike channeled the movement into ritual.  CB even marched with the head of the CGT.

Local agitations were more significant, and lead to insightful confrontations with the government which had potential.  They might have developed still further had the strike had not happened.  In areas like Flins ['wildcat' Renault car factory occupation]  and Sochaux, the authorities panicked faced with uncontrollable elements and 'wild forms of struggle'(296) [both Flins ansd Sochaux saw deaths arising from police action] . The revolutionary activists had to defend themselves not only from attack from outside, but from internal attempts to domesticate their activity.  Their action committees did not follow the usual syndical or political forms, but still served to 'house militants'.  [Someone disagrees --Flins lacked political objectives and served more as an armed wing of the working class, 'the Katangis'].

It is important to have heterogeneous elements to disjoint the system.  However, people still operate with an 'imaginary system of castes'in these matters, and this often leads to an insistence on conventional leadership. Flins did act as a melting pot.  An 'event' occurred there, an encounter, on the terrain of labour struggle.  Workers did not join students on the barricades: students joined them, and this had a more important effect on the signifying order—'something broke...something opened up' (297). 

It is important that groupuscles break with their ideology and engage in the 'imaginary dimension of the struggle'.  Conventional politicians believed that students should not mix with workers, for example.  In the 1920s and the USSR, intellectuals were sent to join cells that did not resemble them.  The hierarchy is also important, but workers heard about what had happened in universities, and how authority was being rejected.  This is often how insight begins with the working class, on the part of those who do not have an official voice and are not affiliated and therefore 'and either suffocated or crystallised' (298).  This shows that 'everything that happened was a phenomenon of language, a problem of speaking'.  Had workers been able to speak, they would have probably denounced the general strike and all its old symbolism, opting for factories to serve as bastions of self defence and operation, 'a prototype for labour struggle' [with definite undertones of autonomism].

When [a contributor, perhaps a member of M-L -- see below] was invited to join the Hispano-Suiza group, it was clear that lots of workers were against the CGT, and they were invited to speak inside the factory.  However, student participants frightened the apparatchiks, who promptly attempted to hijack the events, claiming to represent the workers against student representatives.  In the end, the decision was that there had been a good discussion [between these apaprently natural opponents] but that business should return to normal.
This was not entirely successful, and some potential for transgression remained.

However, such transgression needs to be turned into reality.  The student movement still remains difficult to classify—not just a  coordination of mass movements or of avant-gardes.  Officially, they were called a spontaneous avant-garde [by a group called M-L, Marxist Leninists].  Definitions aside, the issue is what sort of organisation enables speech and institutes transgression.  That was seen as most dangerous  in March 22 by the authorities.  Perhaps the analytic group interpreting the situation is the best category, something that 'acts out' and provokes.  Analysis is required even for oppositional groups, who still feel fear and terror when faced with transgression.

The Nine Theses above needs revision when it comes to revolutionary organization.  Perhaps the themes between the issues ought to be stressed much more as well.  The Theses were pessimistic when it comes to traditional parties and even groupuscles [the analysis of Maoism took place before the cultural revolution].  Impasses were stressed as against contradictions.  We saw that the crisis could get worse with internationalism.  All this was timid.  We even thought that the guerrilla movement was a prerequisite.

We now see that the economy is 'in the end' (301) the 'driving force of subjectivity'.  Splits at the economic level lead to immediate questioning, to the possibilities of struggle and different existences.  Articulating Freud and Marx can help.  The numbness of consumerism is not a result of people wishing to be accomplices of the system, nor does affluence have a direct effect on consciousness.  Alienation and integration both increase through consumerism, but the contradiction grows and produces a problem with unconscious subjectivity.  A group subject, through collective ideals and group phantasies, offer the only possible solution—a new institutional subjectivity.

There is a lot of stupidity and repression in mass culture, but also another possibility, a potential in key signifiers.  This will not seek more consumption, but the power to question institutional arrangements in families, groups, industry and nations.  Since 1936, the labour movement has joined with official ideology to defend nationality but this has not defeated [progressive] internationalism and its signifiers.  These have sometimes reemerged in the Events, such as when people wanted to learn the International, despite the efforts of their groupuscles.  A proximity to cuts in the economic field helps understand best the way to critique radically institutions and their myths, despite fierce opposition [including to socialist schemes for non capitalist production].

There is still a long way to go to develop an institutional formula.  Current action committees showed the dilemmas of organizing without being centralised.  The answer has implications for the largest economic scale, affecting, say, the tension between producing cars as commodities, while insisting on the social functions of transport.  Perhaps what is needed is local groupings ['a communist party of the automobile'], to discuss the issues raised by the car, which would then enter into discussion with some sort of 'communist party of metalworking', then with textiles and so on, at both national and international levels.  Such local institutions would have to consider policies at every level and suggest new forms of regulation of things like investment, standards, pricing, salaries and so on.

Regulation at the moment is a matter of adjustment to capital and state policies, irrespective of social subjectivities.  Fully engaging subjectivity would permit more effective planning for social aims and might even be more profitable.  Only the working class has a vocation here, to suggest alternative institutions, subjective counterparts to productive forces.  Only a revolutionary working class could respond to unconscious demands for institutional revolution, and reveal in its own immediate organisations its longer term perspectives.

For participants in March 22, there was a enthusiasm for things like country trips or delivering supplies to factories.  It was not just ergotherapy or charity, but served to illustrate something else, 'no matter how ridiculous', a model of action, and 'almost unconscious signifying prefiguration' (304), of what might be possible with relations between peasantry and working class, both conceived differently.  None of this was explicit in March 22, but it shows that alternative signifying chains were at least in the unconscious for the main actors. 

Chapter 17.  Students, the mad and "delinquents"

The events of May '68 led to much debate inside the world of psychiatry as well, but more as a trauma rather than as something fully assimilated.  Institutional psychotherapy should have grasped the implications best, because it insists on studying social and institutional contexts for mental illness.  However, professional ideologies resisted,  their claimed neutrality and a determination to avoid anything political led to a marginal interest only.

The events did show that it was not just local problems at work.  Some psychiatrists had already been in touch with students and had realized their criticisms of university institutions, including 'the absurdity of teaching methods' (306).  Common ground exists in that critics in both areas felt socially segregated, which might be described as showing the inability of '"residual situations"'to be fully integrated into a state machine.

We argue that there is a fundamental interaction between individual problems and the social political and work context.  The student movement could be seen as either an aberration, or a display of symptoms of a much wider social crisis.  Although the movement developed a momentum of its own, this issue might well be worth reexamining.  We might start with the role of group phantasies for example.  These have played an important part in generational politics, where one group phantasy can find an echo in another.  The phantasy that led to the May barricades was inspired by American aggression in Vietnam, but not French atrocities in Algeria.

This sort of social contradiction does not appear as a theoretical problem.  In the order of the imaginary, they are simply alternatives, often including both social death instincts and visions of progress.  When the Algerian war was over, a new focus for militancy was required, some 'mobilizing vision' (307).  At the same time, the national students' union had tried to develop a local focus on universities and their problems.  Both university structures and teaching methods were the focus, and this had already led to a demand to occupy the Sorbonne in 1964.  This embryonic student movement was systematically ignored and sabotaged by the government and the workers' movement, including the PCF who had disbanded its student organization. As a results, radical plans to transform universities were abandoned, and problems specific to students were neglected in favour of general political theorizing. Militancy grew again after mass campaigns against American policy in Vietnam, and solidarity with anti imperialist movements.  However, even the Vietnam war could only involve 'a tiny vanguard' (308). The struggles only had a 'metaphorical importance' compared to the daily struggles faced by students in their 'absurd world'.

 Nanterre in 1968 symbolized the problems.  Its architecture induced anxiety; it was cut off from the rest of society, despite being located in one of the 'oldest communist municipalities'(309).  The crisis there was unique and enabled the development of transitional phantasies which were to contact reality through definite activity, 'far more than chucking paving stones about'.  Subsequent student activists, like those of March 22, were influenced, in the form of analysis and transference [in the special senses used above].

A signifying chain developed from Nanterre, which escalated into widespread questioning of French society.  This challenged both state power and conventional workers organizations, and heightened the sense of crisis in industrial societies.  Initially, surprise lead to inaction, although the bourgeoisie are now prepared.  Something appeared that would have been unimaginable before.  It took the form of a transitional phantasy, 'a mode of representation for what is essentially non representable' (310).It was not the same as the Bolshevik phantasy which had repressed all notions of anarchy for individual freedom.  Critics saw it as a form of compensatory psychodrama, possibly even helping students to reintegrate.  However, it could be understood using a different psychoanalytic method.

Perhaps this reversion to pre-Bolshevik activity showed that the mechanisms of defensive society were still being challenged by deep drives.  This would challenge the consensus between social democracy, the state and communist organizations.  Trade unions had helped the government regain control, by limiting a [rail and electricity] strike before it could escalate into a 'revolutionary confrontation'(311). The institutions seemed unable to express these desires, but militant revolutionaries lacked the theoretical material to interpret their inadequacies.  The result could only be a mode of phantasy as an expression, leading to all sorts of symbolic actions, allusions to the past, festivals against consumerism, even attacks on consumer goods like cars.  These were archaic, but the only signifying material available.

Individual producers and consumers have limited images of themselves, as a result of the development of forces of production.  Those images are now part of the economic machine.  Identity increasingly depends on your place in the economic structure, rather than on institutions like families or other social groups.  Consumption is so important in regulating production that stereotyped images of individuals are required.  However, non stereotyped elements are still needed, say in guaranteeing the quality of work [other examples include technological innovation and research].  It turns on the production of particular signifiers which in turn produce subjectivity—institutions.  Stereotyping has to go along with complex units of subjectivity as well. 

Production was once not so important as other institutions, and there was some separation between them, the heritage from precapitalist relations.  The older ones were particularly under attack in May.  Institutions included those that legitimized professionals: they produced a particular order that was seen as valuable in itself, a route for unconscious desires, a form of expression that included things like emblems or particular forms of dress.  Industrialization gave precedence to the production machine, stripping institutions of their 'metaphysical substance' (312). None of this is easily grasped by consciousness, and the different social classes develop 'a kind of phantasy state of nature...  a phantasy stability'.  This produces discrepancies with the production system.  Thus both the nation and the working class are terms that depend on people upholding a phantasy, including conventional politicians and militants: we see this both in conventional politicians claiming to be dedicated to the public interest, and in militants who claim to be faithful to the working class.  These examples show how limited and constricted is the 'official world of representation'(313).

Signifiers produced in universities are becoming detached from society, especially in literature and art.  Research which challenges the social order is seen as unsalable.  Mass consumption involves turning away from the truth, avoiding anything active or eccentric.  Students and academics eventually react to signifying production in the same way that mental patients do, and any deviation is seen as neurosis and madness, to be suppressed. 

Freud discovered that symptoms can reveal the truth, but faced massive attempts to take over his work, and this is because madness had to be contained and domesticated.  All revolutionary militants have the same problem, seeing 'deviant symptoms' as a means of interpreting social life.  This actually involves interpreting the modern world from the position of unique subjectivity, as opposed to reducing everything to generalities.  Ignoring the suffering of desiring subjects is only possible by revitalizing archaisms.

Thus current social problems such as regionalism or racism are addressed by 'large scale propaganda' but not really understood at the level of the unconscious.  International dimension of production clearly makes nonsense of patriotic politics, which goes along with nostalgia towards families or regions and nations—and the individual.  However, social agents are not necessarily individual subjects at all.  There are group subjects which explains social actions better than working with 'a mass of disconnected egos' (314) [the example is trying to identify 'signifying connections' enhancing policy, to explain the apparent binary between single family houses on the one hand and 'concrete housing jungles' on the other].

March 22 was a group subject when it began, able to resist being incorporated into any other political group, acting to interpret its own situation instead of adopting any programs.  The reactions of the state and the police tried to relocate them in some conventional structure, but the original founders refused to see themselves as expressing a situation in a conventional way.  Instead they offered 'something upon which the masses could effect a transference of their inhibitions' (315). They tried to work towards a new model, and to lift prohibitions to develop new understandings.  This was the first time politics had connected to psychoanalysis, despite the limitations of psychoanalytic theory.  However, the cult of spontaneity showed an emerging anxiety at facing the unknown, and this helped the PCF and others to label them as mere anarchists.

The original question was increasingly closed off.  Nevertheless, the workers' movement requires some 'recognizably Freudian theory'.  Criticisms of bureaucratization will be limited otherwise and seen as mere mistakes in strategy or tactics.  We have to realize that there is a 'whole logic of signification behind the pyramidal organisation', which affects even grass root militant opponents: all are stuck with categories that prevents 'authentic self expression'.  Instead of a genuine access to the Other, even militant organizations are limited by 'a desire economy of a homosexual nature'. Political organizations inevitably echo dominant social organizations

There are however no blueprints, no cures.  Some action committees have moved towards analytical activity among the members themselves rather than by outsiders or vanguards.  Flins showed genuine interaction between workers, local people, and student militants.  The analytical activity did not try to adjust individuals to the group, nor to provide a substitute for the mass movement.  It did break off the signifying chains and opened other potentials.  It studied signification.  It did not provide ready made answers, but tried to deepen the questions, and make unique specific phases.  March 22 similarly managed to keep its particular message intact long enough to be heard in different situations and countries [Guattari claims that it had an effect in Czechoslovakia, even if only to alert the authorities].

Psychiatric dilemmas often take the limited form of changing the hospital or offering community programmes.  Arguments can depend on revolutionary phantasies even here, and perhaps might be connected with more widespread ones.  This is not the same as Anglo Saxon anti psychiatry, which tries to absorb psychiatric illness into society, 'thus equating mental alienation with social' (316) [in the sense of reducing mental alienation to the general - -maybe inevitable -- condition ].  They still take madness to be something shocking to be disowned.  Of course institutions should be humanized, but they could do more, as classic residuals—critique the human sciences, political economy and all the other institutions that suggest 'a systematic disregard of the subjective attitudes' of all those outside of social control, '"Katangis" the world over' (317).  Such people are prototype revolutionary militants.  Psychiatry and the human sciences seem to be outside the political domain, but the politics of May '68 can suggest a link.

Chapter 18.  Machine and structure

[This is the notion of a machine that does not quite get to the level of the virtual.  It really remains as an account of something pragmatic that operates on linguistic structures.  We already see an attempt to blur the distinction between humans and machines in the normal sense, rather as does Actor - network Theory.  This is also the first piece that cites Deleuze explicitly—and actually disagrees with him! It is very heavy going, and spends some time also explaining the Lacanian view of desire, that it is always implicated with objects of desire {others with a small o --small a in French as in 'autre'}, and thus with signification structures that represent and make sense of these objects. Machinic interruptions that challenge structural signification can themselves be recuperated by not understanding this connection, and seeing breaks in signification as something entirely subjective and human and not the result of a machinic interruption -- maybe]

The machine is distinct from structure.  We have to extend the way we define a machine to include a written device that solves the problem [compare with the writing machines identified in Proust or Kafka].  Machines are not strictly separable from structural articulations, however, but each 'contingent' structure is dominated by a machine.  This will help us understand subjectivity against [causes of] events or history.

Structures classically locate elements in a system of references that relate elements to each other.  A particular structure can be an element in a broader structure.  An 'agent of action'(318) can be included in the structure.  A process of 'de-totalized totalization' encloses a subject [horrible phrase, presumably meaning a localised version of a structure?].  Structural determination is a stubborn process, and even if an individual agent seems to escape one structure, it can be recuperated in another one [as when agents escape ideology, but only by fulfilling their pre-determined historical roles?]

Machines seem to be 'essentially remote' (319) from agents.  They show the influence of temporalization, and take the form of an event [in time].  This gives us a notion of a date or change rather than a structural representation.  We can see the history of technology as showing the emergence of different types of machine, but scientific theory itself can be understood as a machine [with epistemological breaks rather than continuity?].  Each machine negates its predecessor, and may well be negated in its turn.  So machines are not related in time by structural determinations but by [concrete] history.  They are to be understood using a 'signifying chain extrinsic to the machine'[confusingly, analysis is then called 'historical structuralism', perhaps meaning that we need to look at the real concrete processes and how they are linked, or that structuralism is difficult to dispense with]. 

It follows that the subject of history is outside the machine [ie machinic breaks do not depend entirely on a {conscious?} subjective break first Nor on some historical structures which determine events?].  We have to think of subjects of structures, arising from systems of detotalized totalization as above, forming the equivalent of an ego, and therefore alienated from a system [sometimes in a constructive sense, permitting it to be an agent of change?]. Such an ego would not be a subject of the unconscious as in Lacan, which is easily recuperated for structuralism since it is understood where 'the signifier represents it for another signifier'[as soon as the ego emerges into the symbolic order?].  The unconscious subject is better understood in relation to the machine.

In most cases, human work is nothing compared to that done by the machine.  It is either a matter of response to a machine, or operating with some residue that has not yet been mechanised. The relationship between individuals and [ordinary] machines has been seen as involving 'fundamental alienation'[with a sociologist called Friedmann cited here], but this is only true if we see individuals as capable of totalizing the imaginary.  This sort of the notion once underpinned the idea of craft or trade work, and this has clearly become meaningless with technology.  However, the constant innovations introduced by technology might indicate 'that essential breakthrough that characterises the unconscious subject' (320) [it shows the creative potential of humans as such?].  Certainly the old hierarchies of work are constantly subject to new cuts [in this cognitive sense].  As a result, the worker's relation to the [ordinary, productive] machine appears as one of constant realignment, possibly even castration, where all security is lost.

To cover this intolerable change, new systems of equivalents, imitations and institutions are developed [to reconcile people to this new kind of work].  We find them in fascist and socialist regimes, the latter idolising the model worker as a kind of hero.  Existing human operations will eventually be incorporated.  Repetitive human actions no longer offer security or ritual, nor does it mean individual expertise.  It is now only a partial procedure.  The machine is now even at 'the heart of desire', and the myth of humanised work really represents this intrusion into the imaginary [with a reference to Lacan and the dreaded objet petit a -- I think this means that machines produce all the objects that are so important to our imaginary and our desires, but that this is, of course, misunderstood].

New discoveries act 'like a war machine'(321) [first mention?], changing structures radically, including structured theories.  Even researchers experience this when discoveries have unintended consequences and restructure entire scholarly fields.  Ironically, these radical changes are often given a particular name, turning a personal name into a common noun [another paradox of the subject then?].  This could spread to other forms of production [already does? corporate research is now the way forward, not to mention the sort of collective efforts that Latour describes, where funding and regulation become as important as scientific discovery].

This [generalised human] unconscious subjectivity is a split, but it is usually overcome in a signifying chain.  It is now increasingly transferred to the world of machines, where it remains 'just as unrepresentable' (322). Indeed, machines chronically do this, detaching signifiers, destroying their representativeness, turning them into something that now differentiates, a break [words change their meaning and come to signify something new—entertainment, culture and so on].  This break with structured orders 'binds' machines to desiring subjects, but also to the various structural orders in which they are located [seen best in the appropriation of productive machines by capitalism, goods produced for exchange not use value, machines used in 'deskilling' etc]. 

It is a delusion to attempt to criticise this process by referring back to a time before machines, where there was some pure signifying chain [no primitive communism] that can be used to critique current events.  This would involve a wrong conception about the reason for the break, and the relation of the subject of representation and social codes [subjectivity was always overcoded].

We can understand the voice as a speech machine, and see that it determines the structural order of language, not the other way around.  [Far from expressing their subjectivity] humans are at the junction of different sorts of signifying chains.  These cut across and tear apart individuality.  Individuals occupy an uncomfortable space where machines and structures meet.  As a result, interpretation is often successive and contradictory, or metaphorical, still dependent on structural orders like those found in myths.  These arise to manage the intrusion of machines, and take the form of 'a system of anti production', representations specific to conventional structures.  The implication is that anti production 'belongs to the order of the machine [arises from machinic interventions]'(323).  It takes on the characteristics of a subjective change, showing its connection to every kind of production [anti production is a kind of production—witty French thought here].  We should develop this notion of general systems of production to avoid undue compartmentalization of analysis.

Anti production is central to [capitalist] production relations.  It attempts to influence phantasy, not only in the direction of inertia and conservatism, but offering new forms of production, accumulation and distribution, or 'any other super structural manifestation of a new type of economic machine'.  The phantasies it offers are transitional ones.  We can examine the other extreme, dreams and their production.  Anti production would be emphasizing the manifest content of the dream at the expense of the latent productions, 'linked with the impulse machine that constitutes part objects'. Anti production arises because of the intrusion of the objet petit a.  The subject 'is being rejected by itself'.  The little objects [I tire of spelling the French for my voice recognition] produced by the 'objet machine petit a'.  The extent of the intrusion affects the way in which other kinds of otherness are understood and represented.  In this way, individual phantasies are affected by 'this mode of structural signposting' (324), a specific language which gets linked with the '"machinations"' of desire [see what he did there?].

In general though, the little object that begins with a is unrepresentable,  and can relate to linguistic structures only through splits, metonyms.  Thus subjectivity itself can never be fully represented using conventional language and its '"stencils"'.  As a result, there is a renewed need for otherness to define the individual subject.  There can be no fully sufficient notion of subjectivity, no refuge inside oneself, and, similarly, no full passage to the other, but different levels.  We find these impossible reconciliations of levels represented in individual phantasies.

Group phantasies have no specific objects of desire, however, and thus no constant reminders of 'specific truths' (the example is those arising from the body's erogenous  zones, and maybe the constraints on touching other people].  Group phantasies can manipulate the different levels and substitute them for each other.  However, there is still a constraining 'circular movement' producing dead ends or no go areas ['impassable vacuoles'].  In practice, [political] groups are unable to evaluate different phantasies, but operate constantly between the general and the particular.  The group subjectivity can be represented by things such as leaders, scapegoats, schisms or other phantasies.  They can undergo constant crises, requiring constant renewal and rewriting of history.  Psychoanalytic experience suggests that there is a transference going on, producing repetition, operating like a machine [in a bad sense here?] rather than preserving a desiring subject [so a deep psychoanalytic underpinning for the processes of conservatism and recuperation in subject groups].

Lacking the ability to connect desire to conventional little objects starting with a, groups can only multiply phantasy identifications.  There is a disagreement with Deleuze here, who thought there would be a structured 'differentiating factor'as well as all that repetition [Guattari's note, 382, sees structures as inherently repetitive—apparently it all stems from an original definition of structure in Difference and Repetition.  They agree that there should be two heterogeneous series, acting as signifier and signified, each one offering terms that exist only as a relation with the other, but Guattari denies that there will be some structural convergence towards a paradoxical element, acting as a differentiator.  For him, differentiation is a characteristic of the order of machines].  No break is acceptable.  Structures are seen as linked together in an obsessional way, in a 'phantasy logic': this excessive logic produces the eventual impasse. 

A 'mad machine' can develop (325), a kind of sado masochistic logic, where everything is equivalent [fascist and liberal democratic regimes for example].  The truth is always somewhere else.  The point is to be politically responsible, so that generalisations no longer have an ethical dimension.  As a result, the real conclusion will be death, or 'radical abolition of any real identifying marks'(326), where truth does not even exist as a problem.

Such group structures produce another kind of subjectivity, something opaque, linked with the ego.  For individuals, objects of desire produced machines, but for [obsessionally vanguard] groups it is the emergence of a relation with smaller subgroups or other groups.  These become structurally equivalent, and prevent or conceal the role of any particular object, whether desired by a human subject, or found at the level of unconscious signifying chains.  Groups like this are constrained by systems of machines which they cannot control: they cannot relate to those small objects of desire that produce a unconscious desire as a machine, nor can they effectively experience the break or cut with 'the order of the general'.  This misses the essence of the machine as something that breaks with structural determinations.  This is misunderstood and confused with the unconscious subject of desire [I think this is saying that political groups of this kind imagine that change is brought about through the operation of their collective desires as some sort of representation of human creativity itself.  Instead, it is machines of this general kind that produce breaks].  It is the mechanism of the small object beginning with a that produces all desires, including desire for change [maybe, 326] [if so this gives a lot of credit to Lacan and his universal mechanisms, including the rather pessimistic conclusions that others with small os are essential complements to subjectivity, so desire will always express a lack, and we will always be bound to the objective world and its political operation.  Deleuze would certainly not agree with this, and I wonder when he was able to convince Guattari].

To take a concrete example [at last] the black community in the USA is trying to act like a subject, but its identity has been 'imposed by the white order'.  Modernist consciousness finds it difficult to grasp radical otherness, since it also threatens domesticated economic otherness.  Certain events display this apparent impossibility—the assassination of Kennedy, the otherness of the third world that baffles international organisations, the commitment to destroy Vietnam.  These issues all display 'the points of interception and continuity between the economy of desire and that of politics'(327).

Desire tends to be localised at particular points in structures.  We can use the general term 'machine' to illustrate this.  It might be a new weapon, a production technique, scientific discoveries or religious dogma.  Structural anti production arises to try and manage events like this.  When this fails [via 'saturation'], a revolutionary breakthrough can develop.  However this can be met with 'another discontinuous area of anti production' to heal over the intolerable breach  in subjectivity.  This can take the form of producing oppressive superstructures.  Revolutionary politics arises when the machine represent social subjectivity but not in the specific way produced by the structure: instead, there opens up 'a pure signifying space', where the machine itself can become a subject [confusingly, 'for another machine', implying generalization? ].  This goes beyond the notion that history, as a production of the unconscious, is structured like a language, because they can be no written form of language that allows for these machinic interruptions.

We can not make systematic the real discourse of history.  In some circumstances, a signifier can come to represent a particular event or group, or an individual or a discovery can emerge.  There is no continuous movement to history, nor some decline of the of gold and truthful age.  History develop structures with peculiar underpinnings, tensions in signification in our unconscious until they surface.  The structures express 'the three dimensions of exclusion, perseverance and threat', and are often managed using historical archaisms, invariably conservatively. Thus internationalism has not yet developed a signification system to match its economic and social machines, so it withdrew into nationalism and then regionalism, and even more localism, even in the supposedly international communist movement.

Revolutionary organization requires establishing an institutional machine, based on both theory and practice, which would break with various social structures, especially the state structure, which is still some signifying keystone despite the changes in economic forms.  Current political visions are limited by seeing this structure as permanent and universal, even for socialists, especially those who want to just seize the state.  This is a conceptual trap, and it means a further divorce with the economic and social reality.  Further talk about supranational markets or states reinforces this trap, as much as reformism.

The subjective underpinnings of society are invisible, and the institutions that express it are 'equivocal' (329).  It is difficult to organize alternatives, even in May '68, although they eventually formed action committees.  Any revolutionary programme should show subjective potential, and should resist any attempt to confine such subjectivity within existing structures.  To grasp machine effects on structures, we not only require theoretical practice, but 'specific analytical praxis' at every stage of the struggle.  Those who can then theorize could then be adequately located, and the effects on struggle understood, especially in the way in which the theoretical discourse affects {domesticates?} unconscious desire [maybe].

Chapter 19.Reflections on teaching as the reverse of analysis.

[Teaching psychoanalysis that is.  Guattari takes us through lots of the labyrinthine contortions of the different schools or groupuscles, often centred on Lacan.  I have left out most of the details.  I have not really done my homework on Lacan either, so I have no idea what he means by '"the one extra"', despite a fruitless half an hour on wikipedia—maybe you will have better luck.  There is actually a page reference to Ecrits p. 401.  I have pursued my own glosses, no doubt at the expense of considerable simplification]

The knowledge of the analyst is extra in an important sense, something outside the patient's subjectivity.  This  exteriority does not actually last long usually [an important difference between teaching and practice?].  Lacan still exercises a great influence on teaching, despite the different wings of the movement.  [Then a bridge from the notion of the one extra to the difference between face to face and group therapy]

In most face to face encounters, the analyst is not so much something extra as something reduced, to an embodiment of the little a.  With four or more, colleagues share the responsibility of being the little a, and can even displace it on to others.  Lacan used the term 'cartel' to refer to these groups and thought they could avoid this mobile otherness.  However, Lacan actually broke through as a teacher by pursuing personal commentaries on Freud's text.  The cartel was supposed to prevent the sliding of small otherness, but the details are obscure because of the appalling pseudy intertextual nature of Lacan's work [even for Guattari].  As opposed to analysis of patients, the point was to desubjectivize and study the sliding of the small other.  It required constant vigilance to avoid the 'mirages of the profession', its sacred symbols like the couch.  Properly pursued, it would extend into much wider areas like caste and class, or the appropriation of surplus value.

The events of May '68 raised the whole question of the contribution of Freud to social revolution, and also the ways in which the leaders of revolutionary groups domesticated the '"truth without knowledge" of the masses' (333), instead of acting as a one extra.  The same goes for psychoanalytic organizations, the [overall?] School.  It should use a different approach, functioning for its members, offering 'analytical deciphering' (334) and not just in a form that mimics the psychoanalytic relationship.  It should develop the general scope of the approach, avoiding sociological distinctions between groups, investigating the 'various modes of phantasy'. Teaching itself should permit group phantasies, including the Stalinist phantasy.  [Note that here, and in several other places in this chapter, Guattari refers to the pleasures of gaining  analytic knowledge, and contrasts this with the lesser pleasure of simply feeling you are in a cutting edge group with a master].

Above all, the orthodox School prevents any teaching which is not Lacanian, and thus develops 'the pedagogy of mimeticism'.  Instead, teaching should investigate 'the conditions of signifying production', even at the expense of missing the pleasure of working with Lacan.

[Referring to work by a certain Jacques Nassif] analytical discourse discovers a form of little otherness and articulates it with 'the discourse of science'.  However, this is not like university discourse 'which consist of hypostasizing a subject beneath knowledge' (335). Such knowledge can never be turned into yet another item in the university archive.  Nor can it be reduced to an '" author function"'.  Instead, it can be seen as something that must necessarily deal with [psychological] reality, even if it is really an impossible discourse, while also operating in the symbolic order, something general rather than concretely real.  There is no need to privilege any particular concept.  Analysis would be closely based on actual phantasies, while Freud's work would be treated in the same way as other discourses of science, even at the expense of avoiding asking questions about desires or other knowledge that informed it.  Specifically, the analytic discourse must constantly guard against 'ideological contamination', for example by masking events by proper nouns --analysis interests itself only in the repetition of such attempts.

We must take care not to see science as totally objective in pursuing the truth, again without mentioning desire and the necessary production of little others.  Seeing psychoanalysis as fundamentally pure and scientific also avoids political responsibilities.  Nevertheless, the proper noun, Oedipus, must be critiqued, and psychoanalysis connected with other discourses.  We must also restore an historical dimension in its own right, not just as a procession of concepts.

Nassif suggests that to become scientific, psychoanalysis needs to possess a properly defined domain, in a recognizable field of knowledge and to operate with a structured discourse that produces such knowledge [shades of Althusser].  Yet the historical reality of the object of knowledge is also crucial, as are the links with politics.  This would help us to recognize another domain in psychoanalysis, institutional discourse on psychoanalysis, received ideas about it, and localized groups pursuing rival approaches.  At the moment, training simply follows a vector produced by these different performances.  Teaching also has to deliver credentials, which involves inevitable selection.

Could psychoanalytic discourse disengage itself from such networks and accompanying myths, all of which make it conformist? Nassif's conception is already being located as one among the other discourses.  Could Lacan say more on this distinctive discourse?  Nothing will replace collective involvement and common political projects, and the goal will be to get the School itself to replace the traditional cut between teaching and practice, with a suture: teaching will become 'the topological reverse of analytical work' (338), instead of practice being seen as the implementation of the axioms of teaching.  All the political institutional and other domains would be relevant, and even university discourses would not be able to avoid them.

To pursue this idea further, let us argue that 'Lacan's teaching is not the teaching of the School' (339).  The existence of cartels is unquestioned, although their role in structuring the field is less well analyzed [needs Bourdieu].  They are sometimes seen as offering accessible versions of Lacan, a simplification or just a copy.  However the texts face the same problems as all teaching in that they control the discourse.  They need to be reexamined by another discourse, one which approaches the issue of group phenomena inside the cartels [where little otherness is not seen as a helpful analytic step but as the basis for micro political differentiation].

Such an approach would be the reverse of how analysts work with patients, aimed not at grasping the object spelt with a little a, partial objects and so on, but more the affects of group phantasies and their links with the social field.  Exploring the narrative of psycho analysis should be seen as the 'advent of a repeated cut', showing how, for example the discourse of particular patients affected the discourse of Freud, but also the history of the psychoanalytic movement, with all its schisms and exclusions.

Recapturing the meaning of the text involves a repeated cut, not reducing it to the subject, but criticizing 'paradigmatic perversion' (341) [the target is one particular school, that apparently saw the body itself as something fundamental, 'a univocal linguistic substance']: letters are not just inscribed on the body but on other supports and chains as well, including some deterritorialized [sic] ones.  The School needs to operate as a reading machine 'to pursue analysis of teaching and training including the origin of ideological currents that have nothing to do with freudianism'. There is a danger that it will close things down instead.

In particular, theories of phantasy need to be developed, especially group phantasies which lurk within ideological discourses.  Praxis has to replace the activity of archiving knowledge.  Any splits between scientific and practical discourses in psychoanalysis are useful only to locate particular domains of operation.  It should not be 'an epistemological presupposition' (342) that helps it gain status.  Psychoanalytic discourse is not just confined to psychiatry.  The danger is that teaching becomes a matter of endless repetition of theoretical insights, 'impervious to contingency and historical icons'(343).  This has developed within treatment as well.

There is no overall 'theoretical balm' to (344) to soothe the splits.  Psychoanalytic discourse will not offer a miracle cure for the passivity of the labour movement and its ignoring desire.  There will always be internal bureaucracy and misunderstanding of the masses, an obsession with control and so on.  Yet psychoanalysts must get more interested in politics, and not see themselves as confined to an apolitical discourse.  They need to help create a theory of desire to be extended into other domains where desire is found.  The analytic groups need to be set up to counter institutions and analyze the imagination even of bureaucrats.  Proceeding on a number of fronts could actually produce results more quickly than anticipated.  Above all, we should not split the inside from the outside of analysis, which only limits the interventions of the School.  The cartels should operate in different domains while waiting to develop their overall theory of desire.  We need to not only archive and read, but to pursue institutional, or political, analysis.[Marvellous! Sociologists should do this too!].

Chapter 20.  Where does group psychotherapy begin?

Group activities are not always the best option.  Groups can have harmful effects if individuals withdraw the group takeover.  They can also regress.  There are 'groupist traps' (345).  At the same time, they are popular and they work.  However, it is true that other groups, found in daily life, would also work.

The issue turns on 'subjective consistency'(346).  With face to face, there has to be some mutual understanding. At La Borde there are always others around any way.  There should be an intermediate number to achieve consistency.  Families are often the right size, but they do not always work as we know: people sometimes speak for everyone else, and it is hard to exclude the voices of ancestors.  At La Borde, they tried to develop '" basic therapy units"', like artificial families.  The unit does not dominate individuals, but it can supplant them and energise them.  It acts as 'a surface of reference'(347), and is enough to stop people avoiding the group responsibilities: people have to talk although it is sometimes tough to do so.  It is not like a family where arguments often develop, and nor does it depend on the individual alone formulating their thoughts and having to formulate in inner discourse.

In the units, people take turn at being psychoanalysts, and sometimes a cooperative activity can offer analytic possibilities.  There is a degree of openness, but also a certain subjective consistency.

Chapter 21. Raymond and the Hispano Group

A youth group was formed in the Hispano Factory and that helped to promote 'an activist lifestyle' with political consequences.  Trotskyite groups were also formed up, but they became sectarian and paranoid, in the conflict with the Stalinists.  Guattari's own involvement in the youth hostel movement led to him joining the International Communist Party, an early trotskyite movement, but he was always ambivalent, and there were frequent schisms.  However, at least they remain friendly with the communists, partly because they'd all mixed together in schools and in the hostels.

Management at Hispano attempted to incorporate the agitators, especially Raymond, and to focus the Group on leisure opportunities.  There was a constant struggle for autonomy with the other parties and the unions.  Raymond found a way to persist [Raymond Petit, a militanat -- discussed in Dosse's account of the D/G relationship]  At first it seemed too complacent and inactive, but the official militant organizations were very actually quietest and egoistic.  There were arguments over things like whether or not trotskyite groups should visit Yugoslavia, to see for themselves whether it was indeed now fascist, as the PCF claimed.  Guattari had to undergo a number of loyalty tests, and was initially in favour of the visit, but Raymond seem to take a less active stance, in order to preserve his longer term forms of resistance.

The ICP split over entryism and what it amounted to.  Guattari was disillusioned and turned to Jean Oury and his new forms of psychoanalysis.  However, he had also helped Raymond to develop 'an autonomous political group' (351), consisting of veterans of youth hosteling, core members of the Hispano youth group, students from the Sorbonne, especially from the philosophy cell of the PCF.  A number of projects were developed, including a friendship association with China and subsequent visits.  Students and militant workers were mixing, but bureaucrats reacted, both in the Hispano Factory and in the local political groups.  They turned to entryism and this began the path to membership of the ICP.

The leadership of the ICP was suspicious, and it was necessary to quietly form a dissident journal inside the PCF.  Lots of intellectuals joined in around the journal, even Sartre.  Leadership by workers was a bit of a myth, but a helpful one.

In 1956 things came to a head with things like the rejection of Stalinism and the Algerian war, Suez, Budapest, and some internal terrorism.  Other journals were founded.  Communist opposition to them eventually weekend.  The ICP led amalgamations of different journals and there were different splinter groups.  The Raymond Group defected from the ICP, in the name of preserving dissident elements.  By this time, it was necessary to remove trotskyites from groups supporting journals.  The main dissident journal was La Voie Communiste.  The Hispano Group was crucial as a kind of model for a suitable 'open and non sectarian group'(353), opposed to trotskyites and their 'maniacal centralism'. The reputation of the group was an asset.  49 issues of the journal were published.

It was unusual in supporting the Algerian struggle, stripping off the romanticism, and trying to link to the struggles of French revolutionaries.  There was some state repression including imprisonment.  Raymond was eventually dismissed from Hispano and became a fulltime staff member on the journal.  The militant groups became isolated from each other, and the Hispano group was distributing the journal, despite official allegiance to the PCF.  The end of the Algerian war led to further isolation and dissipation.  There is also too much optimism about the possibilities in China.  The journal eventually closed.

Guattari became close to militants in the national union of students, and tried to form a wider Left Opposition group, with militants, students and some of the old members of the journal.  They united around opposition to the U.S. involvement in Vietnam,  and supported struggles in Latin America.  A new journal, Recherches, attracted attention, together with its organizing group.  The Hispano Group decided to collaborate, and it is they who published the Nine Theses [above].  They also led the study and work group on the workers' movement.

There was a real dialogue between militant workers, teachers, students and healthcare workers.  In particular, they broke through to being able to discuss politics.  This prefigured May '68.  The events in 1968 overwhelmed these efforts, and all the militants supported March 22 and the action committees. Hispano Group militants were active and important.

Overall, this could be seen as 'a psychoanalytic attempts at demystification' (356), over many years.  The aim was to explore and overcome the blocks in traditional revolutionary militancy.  Raymond and some others were particularly passionate about psychoanalysis, to the surprise of the allegedly serious militants, although seriousness itself involved psychoanalytic criteria.  Militants trained in this tradition 'had a talent for annoying and disorienting interlocutors from traditional political and union apparatuses'(357) and in attracting young militants.  The Hispano Group was successful precisely because it broke with the usual conceptions of militancy.  It was even successful in the middle of a major company!

It was an analytical group, standing against the normal order, a '"parapraxis group"', [nice] permitting the deep desires of young workers to be expressed, ending formalism, dogmatism and bureaucracy, including boring meetings which are only narcissistic displays.  The intention was to talk about real things, even if this made people uncomfortable, and to encourage them to see that revolution was necessary and things had to change.

Chapter 22.  The masochistic Maoists or the impossible May

Self criticism by the Proletarian Left has an interesting Freudian slip, rendering dans as sans.  They were claiming the universal relevance of Maoism, but in fact there was no Maoist reality in France [sans reality not dans]: this is actually the source of its current popularity.  Revolution is impossible in France, but beneath this manifest appearance does lie a latent reality, 'a social unconscious of revolution (359). It is no good just siding with the Chinese.  Instead, the impossible reality has to be understood without illusions.

It is true that Maoism has inspired some militants since May '68, but this took place within disorder and a war of words, akin to the 'paralysis and inhibitions' found among anarchists and enlightened intellectuals.  People are even trying to revive 'the decaying myth of the Resistance'.  They are recycling phrases spoken by Mao, despite a very different context.

This literal form of interpretation has been discussed within limits—in psychopathology, in surrealist literature—and this is one way to understand the turn to Mao in a number of revolutionary movements, including the Black Panthers, and the Zengakuren [amazing Japanese student militants engaging in confrontation with the police].  Perhaps this shows the revolution now requires 'parody, black humour, spectacle, provocation, and desperate violence' (360) [exactly what the Situationists were advocating].  The Chinese Cultural Revolution seems to have been understood as offering a model of spontaneous struggle, despite what the Chinese Communist Party suggests.

There is an encouraging audacity in calls for sabotage, to organize the kidnapping of bosses, even of military expeditions.  However this is not exactly Maoism, and even offers hints of Stalinism with its directives, courageous labour, military solutions and so on.  Eventually, the struggle will reveal the essential contradictions of centralism, and militants will see the limits of simple formulae.

The problem is that no theories of the labour movement have considered desire.  In effect, dominant ideology in the form of sexual repression has been maintained.  Bureaucratic superegos will eventually be destroyed by changes in the productive forces, and the bankruptcy of bourgeois or institutions like family and state.  Stalinist Maoism represents the last attempts to preserve this image of the person in the workers' movement, still policed and required to show good behaviour.  A proper recognition of desire would be much more difficult to contain and would oppose such imaginary alienation.  The events of May already introduced permanent cracks—'they [old institutions] are still in place, but no one still believes in them' (361). The old militant traditionalism and its theories persists only as a simulacrum.  Something new must be found, combining 'revolutionary efficiency and desire'.

Chapter 22.  We are all groupuscles

A huge effort will be required to overthrow capitalism.  There is now a 'vast petit bourgeois interzone'(362) designed to blur class divisions.  The working class itself has been penetrated and misled, and workers now participate 'materially and unconsciously' in the dominant structures of capitalism and state socialism.  Material participation involves complicity in the exploitation of the third world.  Unconscious participation involves endorsing dominant social models and value systems, including hostility to theft or disease, and supporting the conjugal family with all the 'intra familial  repression between the sexes and ages that it implies' (363). There is also nationalism and the implied racism, supported by all sorts of organizations including sport related ones.

The victims of oppression feel unconscious anxiety and guilt, and this is an essential system of 'individual self subjection' (363), a system of 'internal cops and judges'.  This develops after an antagonism between an imaginary ideal, taught to everyone, and the different reality that awaits.  The mass media is important.  An overall imaginary world is produced, dominated by masculine values, and promoting an ideal of love comfort and health masking 'the negation of finitude and death'.  Ultimately, it binds people to a system of production and its incentives.  What results is 'the serial production of individuals' who are not able to cope with the trials of life.  They have only secondhand morals and ideals, and this makes them fragile and vulnerable, eager to gain institutional support from schools, armies, a taste for work and family and so on.  Continuing uncertainty about their relations with production makes everything painful and risky.

It seems necessary to climb the pyramid.  Student entryists already have a place to go if they get fired from the factory, but workers are entirely dependent on the productive machine.  This crushes their desire except in standardized forms.  Drug taking and even suicide [and madness] can result.
Despite some local improvements, everything has become worse.  The world's population is increasing, and emerging political consequences might include fascism.  Even revolutionary actions have probably now been predicted by computers, so a new May 1968 might be impossible.

Revolutionary programmes need a thorough overhaul, recognizing that even revolutionary organizations have been penetrated.  There is no longer socially obvious class struggle, although it is widespread.  It now has to be 'deciphered' in various vocabularies 'manners of speaking, car brands, fashions, etc.' (365).  Class struggle affects everyday social relations in schools, families or even medical centres.  It has penetrated individual egos in the form of ideal standards that we all think we have to maintain.  The strategy needs to be developed for each of these levels.  In particular, it is no good if militants continue to operate in a bureaucratic manner, imposing rules, denying desire. if desire is not permitted to express itself in politics, it will appear in the form of symptoms and anxieties

There is no immediate and obvious program or theory.  Libido needs to be channeled into social structure.  The old formulae of contradictions is too abstract, even a defence mechanism permitting group phantasies and bureaucracies.  People are prepared to swallow a lot in the interests of the final good cause, but this is a perversion.  Revolutionary leaders who develop monomania do so with the complicity of the masses, and the result is often particularism.  Revolutionaries should not be focusing on models, pictures and the correct words, but should rather 'tell the truth where they are, no more and no less' (367).  We can recognise revolutionary truth by the way it preserves strength and doesn't piss people off: we saw it in May '68.  It is not a matter of theory or organisation, which get involved only afterwards—then they try and take things over.

Given the ubiquity of the problem, it is not surprising that we are left with groupuscles.  These should generate analysis on themselves.  Instead there is a delusion of grandeur, 'the madness of hegemony', a desire to return to the great days of the PCF.  Groupuscles should multiply rather than attempting to replace each other, being established in factories, streets and schools, and perhaps even finally replacing bourgeois institutions.  They will need to ensure the 'material and moral survival of each one of their members' (368), while maintaining revolutionary goals.  There need be no central coordination.  The Weathermen in the USA show the potential [they were fairly easily mopped up by the FBI].

Coordination will not be between individuals any longer but between 'basic committees, artificial families, communes'.  The model of the individual has already been weakened by the dominant social machine.  The minimum of collective identity is required, but without megalomania.  Then a suitable form of desire might be created.  First, respect for private life must be abandoned, as the 'beginning and end of social alienation' .  Any subversive unit doing analysis 'has no private life', but faces both inside and out.  So the urgent requirement is for a new form of subjectivity, that no longer relies on individuals or the family.  Capitalist abstract models must be rejected in order to reengage the masses in revolutionary struggle.

There is no point drawing up plans because there is no one who would support such utterances.  'Collective agents of enunciation'are required (369), to explore things in reality and break with dominant ideology.  Until this happens, we will always be ready to commit 'stupid acts and repetitions' and we will be beaten on the same territories.

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