Notes on: Deleuze, G and Guattari, F. ( 2004) A Thousand Plateaus.London: Continuum. Chapter 4.  November 20, 1923: Postulates of Linguistics.

Dave Harris

[This is nearly intelligible!  As usual, I found Guattari's commentary on linguistics in Machinic Unconscious to be a useful preparation]

Section one

Pedagogic instruction, like all communication, involves giving orders or commands, even if these are not external.  What 'the compulsory education machine' (84) does is to impose semiotic coordinates including organizing binaries [reads bit like Bourdieu here].  The point is that the 'order word' is implicit even in statements that do not take the imperative case.  This is most obvious in political utterances which don't even attempt to be plausible or true, but in general, 'A rule of grammar is a power marker before it is a syntactical marker'[some nice implications for Bernstein here].  Information is necessary only as a minimum to transmit orders as command.  This explains the origin of language [I think this is a politicised way of saying that language is always social and communicates social relations].

Language actually moves from one saying to another.  Narrative transmits 'what one has heard, what someone else said to you.  Hearsay' (85).  This means that indirect discourse is the basis of language, with metaphors and metonyms as mere effects, presupposing indirect discourse. [Deleuze on cinema commends the technique in the French film-maker J Rouch, and uses it himself a lot].  A single voice contains a number of other voices, 'all discourse is indirect'.  This is one difference with the language of animals, such as bees, who can express what it is they have seen, but not what has been communicated to it.  This is how language becomes a matter of transmitting order words, it is 'a map not a tracing'.

Classic speech acts describe actions in indicative or imperative modes, but there are other relations between speech and actions, including the performative [the example is swearing {an oath} by saying "I swear"].  There is also the  'illocutionary' (86), which can also be seen as 'non discursive presuppositions'[where you assume that someone will act as a response to what you say?].  Together, the performative and the illocutionary 'has made it impossible to conceive of language as a code, since a code is the condition of possibility for all explanation' [more implications for Bernstein] .  Nor can speech be seen simply as the communication of information, since questioning, ordering or doubting involve some implicit act.  It also implies that semantics or syntactics cannot be described independently of pragmatics: pragmatics now become central to language, not something added to it.  Finally, language cannot be separated from speech, since both are implicated in speech acts.

It is true that the performative and the illocutionary do not always work smoothly, and the characteristics can be explained by formal mechanisms without referring to pragmatics - such as self referentiality, or some formal notion of intersubjectivity.  However, it is possible to explain the formal characteristics by the pragmatic ones instead.

Whenever a word or statement contains implicit presuppositions, we have order words.  They may not take the form of commands, but rather 'a "social obligation"' (87), and this clearly applies to all statements.  A language is simply a set of all those order words currently in operation.  Order words make acts and statements redundant [in the linguistic sense, so a statement implies an act, meaning it's not necessary to actually specify one].  Actual information is therefore only 'the minimum condition for the transmission of order words' (88), which may be supplemented by all sorts of noise or other inefficiencies.  Statements can be redundant either by repeating the information, or resonating [in this case, somehow activating the intersubjective obligations?].  It follows that 'There is no signifiance independent of dominant significations'[so social obligations are subject to power relations?], and that subjectification [insofar as this is defined by social obligations] is also implied by seeing language as order words.

[Pushing this in a characteristic French way] 'There is no individual enunciation.  There is not even a subject of enunciation', because language is irreducibly social.  What this means is that 'enunciation itself implies collective assemblages', which can produce individuated statements.  Again we see that free indirect discourse is fundamental to language.  Instead of interlocking individual statements together, we should start with a collective assemblage which determine relatively subjectified statements and difference subject of enunciation, but these are obviously interlocked and stem from the assemblage 'as it freely appears in this discourse'.  All voices are present within a single voice [and this is where the strange aside about 'the glimmer of girls in a monologue by Charlus' appears - I don't think this is the same Charlus as in Proust].  After all, schizophrenics hear voices.

We can specify the characteristic acts that appear in the collective assemblage, and we're going to define these as 'the set of all incorporeal transformations current in a given society and attributed to the bodies of that society' (89) [attending to the incorporeal becomes a major dimension in psychotherapy for Guattari in Chaosmosis].  If we clarify the term body first, we are referring to all sorts of bodies including mental ones, and it is clear that they are affected by actions and passions, the corporeal.  The incorporeal refers to expressions of these bodies in a statement [this seems to be about statements that attribute particular characteristics to bodies, transforming them dramatically, as when judges decide that somebody accused is actually guilty - this transforms his body and what can be done with it].  These transformations are immediate, and are seen simultaneously in this statement and the effect, which is why they can be precisely stated [November 20, 1923 was when the German currency was semiotically transformed into a more stable, devalued variant].  Descriptions of real changes in bodies imply the transmission of order words.  These transforming statements are what produce social change, and this is not ideology [again implying that ideology is some separate sphere, and that the devaluation of the German currency was not ideology but economics].  

Collective assemblages themselves vary and are in transformation, becoming more or less socially important at different times, making individuated statements more or less credible and socially appropriate [the example is the declaration of a mobilisation of the population for war].  It is not just external circumstances that have an effect, however, since these also require certain expressions 'that establish a relation between language and the outside'(91) and again these are not special cases of language, but are immanent to it.  It is the whole assemblage that we should be studying, not things like the relations between signifier and enunciation.  Again the concept of the order word already implies external effects and possible variations.  This is what makes pragmatics 'a politics of language'.

Lenin had demonstrated incorporeal transformations when he invented the global working class, or saw the party as the Vanguard of the industrial proletariat.  Again, his transformations can be precisely dated, like the one that transferred power to the Soviets in the early stages of the revolution.  Of course external circumstances were important, but the actual utterance, the incorporeal transformation was crucial politically, in providing a suitable vocabulary and structure, with 'implicit presuppositions' and 'immanent acts' (92).

Collective assemblages can be combined 'in a regime of signs or a semiotic machine'.  Regimes will normally be mixed.  Occasionally new order words arise that may not yet be part of the regime, suggesting another kind of redundancy [I think this means that the new order word already implies a new signifying regime].  Again, every statement 'belongs to indirect discourse'(93).  Direct discourse can be extracted from it, and the linguistic assemblage distributes and are signs direct discourses, while the collective assemblage remains as a background 'murmur', 'the constellation of voices, concordant or not, from which I draw my voice'.  Direct discourses are not formed in conscious minds, nor they determined by external circumstances, rather they live in the unconscious, and direct enunciations, say in the form of writing, involves a selection of different voices and secret idioms.  In this sense, 'I is an order word'.  A free indirect discourse continues to run through me, but I transform elements [incorporeally, of course] into direct discourse.  This is easy to misrecognise, to see as something other worldly, something strange, that apparently operates instantaneously and can even help us forget earlier order words [with some poetic expressions of the same thing, 93-94]

So order words and their assemblages and regimes make language possible as something 'superlinear'[ meaning 'more than linear' also defined as rhizomatic] when producing expressions.  Indirect discourse is also superlinear at a more virtual level.  Again this depends on putting pragmatics before linguistic structures with their apparent constants - 'the same constants in a given language may have different usages' (94).  Collective assemblages in particular contain the set of incorporeal transformations that again make possible specific enunciations.  Signifiance and subjectivity rely on these processes.

Section two

We can formalise language use to some extent by thinking of varieties of content and expression [based on Hjemslev.  Each variety will also have forms and substance].  Apparently, content revolves around 'the hand - tool pole, or the lesson of things' (95), whereas expression has a 'face - language pole, the lesson of signs' [this looks a bit like the difference between instrumental and communicative language in Habermas].  Apparently, we should not mix things, and expression never just represents or describes everything.  These two processes are independent and heterogeneous [and Deleuze wants to say it is the same as the Stoic distinction between bodies and their actions and incorporeal acts.  At bottom, it is the difference between a knife actually cutting flesh, and an incorporeal statement about it, which transforms it as we saw].  It is true that statements are attributed to bodies, but they are not the same, because bodies already have qualities, actions and passions of their own - some are red, for example, and this is different from expressions referring to becoming red.  Bodies are not just referents of the sign either, since incorporeal statements intervene in objects, as in the speech act.  The statements can anticipate bodily events, or combine them.  When describing bodily changes, we can have a combination of contents and expressions woven together [literally, they like the idea of warp and woof].

Stoic examples proliferate (96), inviting us to decide whether a statement about a naval battle tomorrow is a mere description or an order word.  Thus forms of expression and forms of content are 'parcelled together', and we can 'ceaselessly jump from one register to another'.  Any assemblage of enunciation shows this jumping between descriptions and order words.  One therefore presupposes the other.  Order words are never combined on their own without referring to contents, and a segment of one form 'always forms a relay with a segment of the other'.  More poetically, borrowing Foucault, 'We constantly pass from order words to the "silent order" of things'.

We still need to explore this interweaving.  To do this, we need to introduce the notion of deterritorialization, which affects both forms of content and forms of expression, although sometimes one form is more deterritorialized than the other [and the example is mathematical signs compared to the real particles to which they are attached].  Sometimes, real variation undermine semiotics systems.  There are also forces of stability, reterritorialization.  We can have variable expressions and contents.  The example of the revaluation of the deutschmark in 1923 is an example of how a semiotic transformation [a new name] brought about a real reterritorialization.

We can now understand assemblages as having two axes, of content and expression.  The machinic assemblage refers to bodies or actions and passions, but there is also an assemblage of enunciation of acts and statements and incorporeal transformations.  On the vertical axis, there is deterritorialization at one end and reterritorialization or the other, with mechanisms ['cutting edges'] of deterritorialization pushing in one direction [and, as they tend to favour deterritorialization, they are silent about the mechanisms pushing the way, except for the strange stuff about faces and refrains].  We can understand Kafka's novels in this way (98) [this seems to be just a fancy way of saying there are metaphors, and once you have established one, you have described bodies, but you've also liberated other sorts of meanings as well].  This is the 'tetravalence of the assemblage'.  Another example might be the familiar one about the development of feudalism, and how the stirrup produced a new combination of bodies and machinic assemblages, with armed knights and the rest, while there was also a different assemblage of enunciation referring to honour, obedience, courtly love and the rest, and they say we can see both of these combined in the Crusades.

Expression is certainly not caused by content, including empirical content, especially not the forms of content or expression, which are independent [despite all the earlier stuff about order words setting up binary structures?].  The [marxist] mistake was first of all to reduce economic activity to production and the means of production, and then reduce language to ideology.  One of the paradoxes is that the forms of dialectical and material struggle must be independent forms themselves [to guarantee the scientificity of the analysis].  One alternative is to see that expressions are themselves directly productive in producing meaning or sign value [the latter is associated with Baudrillard of course].  But this is still depends on some unknown process whereby matter turns into meaning, 'content into expression' (99) [so the assemblage is the result of a transcendental deduction here -- it can explain these mysteries and combinations by referring to a multiplicity or a more asbtract machine as below]. 

There are specific states of intermingling of bodies, and the forces that attract them together, alter them, amalgamate them and so on, regulated by an 'alimentary regime and a sexual regime' [as specific examples of desire? Very vague].  It would be a mistake to consider specifics, such as particular tools, without looking at the relations to the assemblage [the stirrup again].  There is a whole 'Nature - Society machinic assemblage' (100), and particular amalgamations appear, selected by a social machine, not just specific tools [see DeLanda for a much clearer discussion of the evolution of military technology].  This assemblage focuses on bodies, rather than tools and goods.

Applied to language, we can also see an assemblage of different regimes of signs as machines of expression producing different patterns of usage of elements of language and words.  Various episodes of deterritorialization link this one to the assemblage of bodies.  We can also see these episodes as [showing or producing?]  'lines of flight'.  They are often more important in social change than conflicts and contradictions.  We also need to replace the base/superstructure model, or any surface/depth model, with a flat 'plane of consistency' in which these various links and insertions 'play themselves out.

A similar mistake is made by those who see the linguistic system as entirely separate, a structure of phonemes or syntax that somehow produces expression.  These expressions are then linked to material contents via the notion of an arbitrary and simple reference.  Pragmatics is seen as something external to language.  We end with 'an abstract machine of language', with apparent linguistic constants acting over time.  However, this is not abstract enough, because it remains linear, and ignores nonlinguistic factors.  If we abstract still further [and this is the method of philosophising], we can see that the apparent constants of language are better understood as variables of expression 'internal to enunciation itself', which always intermingle with the supposed linguistic constants.  The so-called external pragmatics of language shows the necessity for an internal pragmatics, not some automatic system.  The concepts of signification and reference have to be abandoned.  Proper abstract model of language would refer to the 'assemblage in its entirety', not just based on a narrow definition of language, but to hold contents and expressions, which are not always just signifiers or signifieds.  [Chomsky's abstract model is particularly criticized here, 101].  Relations between the elements are superlinear.  Language and the social field are interpenetrated.  A properly abstract machine will consist of two states, one where contents and expressions are distributed in heterogeneous way on a plane of consistency, and another in which 'it is no longer even possible to distinguish between variables of content and expression'.  In the latter case, the plane of consistency throws up so many variants, that the duality of the forms become '"indiscernible"'.  The latter would indicate that an 'absolute threshold of deterritorialization has been reached'.

Section three

Linguistics claims to be a science because it works with structural invariants [see Levi Strauss on structural anthropology].  In such systems, there might be specific contents, for example syntactic ones; there might be universals of language with fundamental constituents of linguistic elements; there could be binary relations between constants [which is apparently Chomsky's arborescent model]; there could be some underlying grammatical competence; there could be some relation of homogeneity between elements or relations; there could be some synchrony, moving from language to subjective consciousness, and this might explain how linguists actually arrive at these deep structures.  All of these might be combined or some emphasized.  Linguistics also seems to offer a number of ad hoc hypotheses to defend this structure, including some early adding different sorts of competence, partly to introduce limited kinds of pragmatics (102).  The fundamental problem is that the abstractions derived are tied to something universal.

Chomsky and Labov disagreed about how to account for the heterogeneity of actual language, whether to extract some standard system, even for Black English [Chomsky's position].  Labov refers instead to 'inherent variation', not just permutations of structural constants or extras, but suggesting that variation is systematic, 'affecting each system from within', with its own power.  In one example, he shows that the young black person performs 18 transitions between Black English and standard English in a short section of speech, questioning the distinction between them, and undermining the notion that standard English is the one that we should prefer in our scientific models.

Continuous variation exceeds even Labov, however.  We all repeatedly pass 'from language to language', speaking as a son, boss, lover, professional and so on.  Are these just variations of one standard linguistic form?  Instead, we should see standard language as featuring 'the line of continuous variation running through it' (104), and change in linguistic systems might occur as a result of the accumulation of variations.  It is not just that there are explicable variations, more that 'all of the statements are present in the effectuation of one among them', that we are talking about variation at the virtual rather than empirical level, something 'real without being actual'.  This gives us an internal pragmatics, something immanent.  It is wrong to constantly seek to reduce language to some situation [and if we generalize from those situations, saying that all situations of threat produce similar expressions, for example we get a 'pseudoconstant' (105)].  We should see variation as open ended, and continuous, something that underpins empirical continuities.  Virtual continuity can even produce different episodes of empirical continuity or discontinuity, so that 'an absent development' can be explained 'as an "alternative continuity" that is virtual yet real'[classic transcendental realism, just like Bhaskar's 'absences'] .

Linguistic constants should be seen instead as functions, 'centres valid for all modes and endowed with stability and attractive power' [almost the language of strange attractors].  The example here is music where there are 'laws of resonance and attraction' which produce particularly valid patterns or forms. However, there are also minor modes in tonal music -the minor mode obeys these laws, but also has emergent effects of its own, a central ambiguity which can stretch the action of a centre.  In some circumstances, ' temperament' dominates, and variation 'begins to free itself', leading to chromatic [experimental] music, where forms are synthesized rather than regulated, and 'all its components [are] in continuous variation' (106), a musical 'rhizome rather than a tree'.  Apparently, chromaticism destabilized temperament and invented new modalities.  One result was to tap into 'the nonsonorous forces of the Cosmos that have always agitated music'. Is music the same as language?  The option should be kept open at least.  One connection is that the voices in music has often been linked to experimentation, and so we might see it as a form of speech.  Again voices in music have broken free from just holding language and have become heterogeneous and part of a musical machine [lots of detailed discussion 107].  In music, the experiments have raised questions about the more conventional arrangements of musical variables. The affects of continuous variation might produce new distinctions elsewhere, including in linguistics.  There might be the equivalent of minor modes still to be developed, new scales, chromaticism, and we find some of these in everyday speech anyway. 

This leads to the issue of style, 'the procedure of a continuous variation' (108).  Styles are not individual creations, but arise from assemblages of enunciation as 'a language within a language'.  Lots of authors they admire, including Kafka and Godard, can be seen as bilingual, and this gave them the opportunity to experiment.  The experiment included introducing nonlinguistic elements 'such as gestures and instruments'.  One form of variation is 'creative stammering' [attributed to a certain novelist, Luca].  This is a form of 'making language itself stammer'(109).  One way to do this is to develop increasing redundancy 'AND...AND...AND'.  It is like writing as if we were using a foreign language, said Proust, apparently.  Language 'becomes intensive, a pure continuum of values and intensities', and this is how the style develops.  However, 'all of language becomes secret, yet has nothing to hide'.  We need to get there through sobriety and 'creative subtraction'.

We can experiment with any linguistic variable, seeking the variations between apparently binary states.  Possibilities are inherent in the abstract machine, and we should not see these as less than real: creativity is real and it shows the limits of the usual notions of constant relations.  Lines of variations themselves stand outside syntactic, grammatical or semantic systems [they are 'asyntactic' etc.], not contingent [dependent on external forces?] [Some examples of experimental statements ensue on page 110. They look a bit like Joyce. We aslso have Deleuze's admiration for 'non-sense' in Logic of Sense  They also remind me of the ways in which you can decode apparent contradictions in ordinary speech, according to Archer, by filling in the transitional statements with all the conditionals and so on].  These atypical expressions deterritorialize as a cutting edge or a tensor [the latter, apparently pushes language towards its limits, until it ceases to become conventional, pursuing implications through a kind of logical chain].  Linking terms with 'and' can have this effect, when it does not offer a simple conjunction, but rather 'the atypical expression of all the possible conjunctions it places in continuous variation'.  What we do here is to subtract from this chain of conjunctions a particular constant [another sense of the expression 'n-1'].  Tensors are pragmatic values, but are also essential to assemblages of enunciation and indirect discourses.

This form of creativity might be 'confined to poets, children, and lunatics' and remain marginal by comparison to the potentials of the usual abstract combinations of constants.  However, the properly abstract machine of language, at the virtual level, contains all variations [and one is as good as all the others?], and the normal rules should be seen as 'optional'.  [There is also a hint that  the abstract machine produces singulars, special kinds of actualizations that help us work back to the machine, and that these weird forms of creativity might be singulars].  So we have two levels at work, drawing lines of continuous variation at the most virtual, and then organizing particular relations as functions of those lines at a more concrete level.  The two levels can be related according to particular degrees of deterritorialization.  We should not understand this as 'resistance', however, because we are talking about 'corridors of passage travelled in both directions'.  In this sense, the abstract machine produces singularities, sometimes 'designated by the proper name of a group or individual', but still as the result of collective assemblages: 'there is no primacy of the individual; there is instead an indissolubility of a singular Abstract and a collective Concrete'(111) [a combination of a particular realization of a virtual possibility and some more contingent concrete or empirical factors?].  Abstract machines need concrete assemblages and vice versa.

Section four

Real language is a heterogeneous variable, so why do linguists insist that there is some scientific process whereby we extract constants?  A scientific model here 'is one with the political model' of homogenisation and standardisation in the interests of power [so are linguists dupes or collaborators?]   The whole insistence on grammaticality and pure signifiers are markers of power, even in Chomsky.  If you cannot form correct sentences, you 'belong in special institutions'.  The mother tongue represents a power takeover.  The distinction between high and low forms depends on power.  Dialects for example are not separated by clear boundaries, and the whole notion of a dialect involves comparing it unfavourably to a major language: in some cases  [Quebecois], dialects actually borrow from major languages, sometimes [Bantu] from major languages that do not belong to locally dominant groups [English not Afrikaans] .  American English has a similar role today [including being played off against dominant major languages, as when dissidents in Russian satellites adopted American culture?] 

Minor languages are different.  They can still be described in terms of formal grammar, even Black English, and are thus not different linguistically from major languages: they can become local major languages.  The opposite process is a more significant, where major languages experience enough variation to yield a number of minor languages as well.  We can see this with global languages such as English, where all the minorities of the world introduce variations [that includes Black English].  Major language is developed through these variations.  The interweaving of major language and its own minor variations mean that both Chomsky and Labov are right [but limited in not developing transcendental connections?].

We can treat the variables as empirical, extracting scientific constants and relations from them, or we can stress continuous variation.  It is not just that there are both, despite the impression given above: 'that was only for convenience of presentation' (114).  Constants have to be drawn from variables.  They are treatments of variables.  If we treat variables as constants we can then develop obligatory rules.  What follows are other distinctions, for example between language and speech, synchrony and diachrony, competence and performance.  Other features are dismissed as non distinctive, including stylistic and pragmatic factors.  The linear segment dominates, and all else is excluded, including tone, accent, intonation.

Similar selections applied to distinctions between major and minor languages.  These are opposed by bilingualism, but there are more complications as well with regional variations of major languages, so that Kafka writes in Czechoslovakian German.  This is making a language stammer or stretch.  Minor languages are often characterized both by an impoverishment of forms, but also by 'shifting effects, a taste for overload and paraphrase'(115).  This is been treated as a flaw by dominant linguists, but we can see instead linguistic poverty as 'the void or ellipsis, allowing one to sidestep a constant', and the overload as 'a mobile paraphrase bearing witness to the unlocalized presence of an indirect discourse'.  Rules and reference points have been deliberately rejected in favour of dynamics.  This is close to music.

We get creative by subtracting or removing elements and placing them in variation.  This involves sobriety again.  If we do this successfully we pursue 'a becoming-minor of the major language'(116).  This is what we should do, not develop our own minor language, certainly not reterritorialize on a dialectic, but deterritorialize a major language.  This is what black Americans have done.  This is what creative writers have done.  'Minor authors are foreigners in their own tongue', and they have achieved this by stretching and subtracting their own major language.

Minorities are not just smaller than majorities.  Majority forms are constant, standard, based on some average subject speaking a standard language.  Very often '"man" holds the majority', and can appear both in the constant and in the legitimate variables.  Power and domination are assumed.  Even Marxism has its standard subject - '"the national worker, qualified, male and over 35"' (117, citing Moulier].  Any alternative will be considered minoritarian, regardless of quantity, and including radical political choices. 

The majority itself is always an abstraction, 'Nobody - Ulysses', but the minority is a potential for everybody.  All statements about majorities are based on this abstraction.  The minoritarian is 'a potential, creative and created, becoming'.  'All becoming is minoritarian', and women must enter this becoming.  So must agents of major languages who will develop 'the becoming-minor of the major language'.

Minorities in this sense should be seen as 'seeds, crystals of becoming whose value is to trigger uncontrollable movements and deterritorializations of the mean or majority'.  Again free indirect discourse is relevant as a source for challenge.  Minoritarian consciousness is universal [actually rendered as 'a universal figure' which is far more cautious].  We should approach it by pursuing continuous variation to challenge majority standards 'by excess or default' (118) [one reason Guattari supported free radio?].  As a universal figure of consciousness, becoming minoritarian will produce autonomy.  We have to connect up minority elements to produce 'a specific, unforeseen or autonomous becoming'[with a reference to Canneti].

We have to understand the metalanguage which produces both the extraction of constants and continuous variation.  We might begin by following Canneti on how order words severely limit subjective possibilities, especially for those who do not obey [this is put dramatically as 'the order word is a death sentence'].  Every time we order someone to do something, they experience it as a little death sentence.  However, order words warn us and encourage us to take flight, sometimes risking death [I am offering my version of these poetic bits].  If we only see order words like this, we can see that they are incorporeal transformations, separated from systems of action and passion.  The hints of death remind us that we must die before we can change, offering a limit to the bodily.  Apparently, Cannetti sees the notion of death of this kind as being crucial to politics [and accounting for class division and generational change, for example].

This might involve considering content as well as expression [which we've promised to keep separate], but this is what happens when we consider assemblages.  Order words express incorporeal transformations which also become 'the attribute of bodies' (119).  We should remember that there is no analytic resemblance between the two, however, although there may be isomorphism.  [I think the argument is that the two combine in reterritorialization, but I could be wrong].

Getting back to the possibilities of flight, what we have done here is produce transformations to the limit, that is, to make endpoints variations and not anything fixed.  We can see this with the development away from classical sciences [an infuriating diversion from politics, and one leading to more incomprehensible arguments about the different kinds of geometries - thank god for DeLanda.  The implication seems to be that we can dissolve apparently material forms in favour of 'fluid forces'(121)].  In such a limit case, the whole assemblage is deterritorialized, and we can consider both variables of content and expression as combined.  We will end with 'a single liberated matter that contains no figures, is deliberately unformed, and retains in expression and in content only those cutting edges, tensors, and tensions' [I assume this refers to language, or possibly music].  This will help us reach the abstract machine or the diagram, abandoning all the usual divisions between elements and intensities of various kinds, including different sorts of scientific and mathematical divisions.  Here, we find the rhizome [the whole section is kind of lyrical SF].

The problem is not to break with order words [which would be impossible] but with their death sentence implications.  At the same time, we have to be wary about any escape that would lead into black holes.  It is a matter of drawing out 'the revolutionary potential of the order word'.  It's not going to be easy to decide when to reterritorialize, however [with lots of lyrical stuff, 122].  It is a matter of preserving 'this virtual continuum of life', recognizing the virtual beneath the every day.  There are no simple answers, but 'life must answer the answer of death', by making flight positive, recognizing words of passage in order words: we need to 'transform the compositions of order into components of passage'.

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