Brief notes on: Genosko G (Ed) (1996) The Guattari Reader. Oxford: Blackwell.

Dave Harris

[The Intro is a very useful survey of G's work organized into sections:'Anti-psychiatry and French policy,  La Borde, becoming animal and therapy, schizoanalysis (incl. prgamatism and diagrams), International World Capitalism (IWC) ( and the work with Negri and French Greens). The introduction is written in a very confident literary style. What follows is literally a set of bits that grabbed my attention after a quick reading. The pieces are often short review articles or essays

From Genosko's intro:

The interest in becoming animal is that it helps us understand the concept of the assemblage and connections through 'unnatural participation' (12). There may indeed be a 'zoological vision' in the many references to animals, and a dig at Freud in the Plateau on the Wolfman for Freud's 'blindness to animals'. Psychoanalysts only understand individual animals, pets or Oedipal ones.

Becoming animal involves not taking on the features of an animal or actually becoming one. It is 'neither totemic nor biological' but something much more unnatural. There is a connecting up with elements of a wolf, say, to 'compose a molecular wolf'. This can happen in everyday activities, perhaps bumping against your friends as you run together. Assemblages are composed and recomposed 'without a molar unity informing them'. Freud only referred to 'phobic animals' and thus missed the point that every animal is a pack.

Freud actually had little early contact with animals, except for Anna's dog. That dog, a German Shepherd, apparently became 'a potent sign of national socialism' (13), with Jewish cultural suspicions referring to guard dogs. These cultural codes were replaced with an 'emotional investment'. Freud was obviously aware that animals were commonplace. He also knew about animal hallucinations, and from Little Hans's 'early sexual research' apparently carried out at a zoo. Generally, Freud loved dogs and 'every time Freud heard wolf he thought dog'. Classically, phobic animals are substitutes for the father in Freud's bestiary. The characteristics of the Wolf were invisible. He gazed himself on animals 'as if they were  an unseeing object for our inspection'.

Deleuze and Guattari do not just replace daddy by a molecular assemblage. Daddy can be deterritorialized and can link with different elements on the BwO. This is part of their general point that there is no simple opposition between the multiple and the one, and no simple dualisms. Assemblages are multiplicities 'in which we are caught up at one time or another'. They admit that sometimes they slipped themselves back into a hierarchy favouring wild multiplicity of a domesticated individual. Miller has noted another series of sanitations [in their anthropology], their nomadic happy talk for example.

There may be another assemblage between the wild pack and the domestic father substitute. The Wolf man had an interest in wolves from his own experiences on his father's estate. There would have been domesticated packs of wolfhounds used in hunts. Deleuze and Guattari tend to reject the domesticated versions, although interactions between them show many possibilities.

That they discussed becoming animal shows the importance of the 'psychoanalytic bestiary'. This is a way into schizoanalysis. Transversality for Guattari, for example is a way to 'schizophrenize the transference'. Transference has always been both useful and a threat for psychoanalysis and it needs to be resolved. For Guattari, transversality displaces the relation onto group relations. This offers a 'vehicular' version, although there is still a danger of fixed hierarchies even with groups, bourgeois repression, the development of castes. Transference will require institutional analysis, schizo analysis, as in the example of the horses with blinkers. Guattari also talks about the porcupine parable, where each animal discovers an optimal distance between his fellows. There is no simple group togetherness in these examples, but balance can be achieved, a matter of 'the siphoning of excess affect'. Such siphoning is confined in Freud to children's animal phobias, but Guattari wants to extend it much further.

The Divided Laing

A review and good critique, contrasting English creativity (in the form of Laing's thinking) with French notions which are much more theoretical. The comparison between Laing and Sartre are mistaken, for example — the former is far too contemplative and interested in phenomenological exercises, like those described in Knots. Laing is not interested in major psychoanalytic theory either: 'Is it possible today, when it is a question of madness, to ignore the contributions of Freud and Lacan? Is it possible to take refuge in a personalist and mystical wisdom without becoming the unconscious prisoner of ideologies whose mission is to suppress desiring every way?' (40). Without such inputs, Laing cannot really engage in concrete struggles against the repression of the mentally ill or develop a proper revolutionary psychiatric practice that can be adopted by patients and workers.

Franco Basaglia: Guerilla Psychiatrist

B and his partners were the director of a psychiatric hospital opening up practice to full communication. They also explored psychotherapeutic communities, including some in England [Dingleton]. They became suspicious of attempts to organize consensus and suspected notions of ' improvement', including the development of these ideas in French policy and reform. Inevitably, these experiments would revert to didacticism and staff-initiated therapy. However, anti-psychiatry itself seems to focus mostly on the negation of the institution not necessarily based in social reality. B admits that medication has its uses -- one is  to calm the doctor's anxiety. Guattari thinks that this should alert us to the context in which the results of psychopharmacology are applied. Nor should we overdo the policy of trying to normalize madness: we should not 'refuse the mad the right to be mad' (44). If we blame society for everything, we run the risk of 'suppressing all deviance'. Even Freud set out to give a voice to neurotics: collective suggestion is as repressive as medical suggestion. It would be a mistake to reduce mental alienation to social alienation. 'Political causality does not completely govern the causality of madness'. It's one thing to critique a repressive organization, but this is not the same as understanding madness. Overall, madness is found in 'an unconscious signifying assemblage' and that determines the whole field in which political options including revolutionary ones operate as well as social and economic determinism.

Mary Barnes's "Trip"

Mary Barnes, a nurse and later a famous painter, was a participant in an experimental psychiatric community run by Laing, Esterson, Cooper and others in London (Kingsley Hall). The idea was to liberate people by releasing all their inhibitions and symptoms. This was the final flourish of anti-psychiatry, a radical alternative to the available community psychiatry.

Horrendous details of life in Kingsley Hall are revealed in Barnes's account.

However, although abandoning conventional constraints, the residents 'secretly continued to interiorize repression' (46) and reproduced even the Oedipal triangle. There were many internal power struggles and differences about the need for any sort of discipline, including the need to restrain Mary Barnes from starving herself to death. Barnes's account therefore serves to reveal 'the hidden side of Anglo-Saxon anti-psychiatry' (47). It is not at all clear that 'understanding, love, and all the other Christian virtues, combined with the technique of mystical regression, suffice to exercise the demons of Oedipal madness' (48). Even Laing himself failed to throw off his own constraints — '"psychoanalysm"... with its delirious signifying interpretation, representations with hidden levels, and derisive [sic] abysses'.

For Laing, everything starts with the family and its knots, and the technique was to break out, 'merge with the cosmos', pursue meditation [a spiritual version of transversalism?] . But none of this could 'guard against the intrusion of a capitalist subjectivity with the most subtle means at its disposal'. You have to grasp Oedipus as inherent in and essential to capitalist repression.

Real schizophrenics are actually 'not all that interested in "human warmth"' (49) as the account of one subject indicates. Schizophrenics don't behave like children, nor do they refuse to have anything to do with money and finance, unlike the anti-psychiatrists. Economic exchange can stabilize things. Community can be seen as one of several 'interfering stories' which only interrupt their 'singular relation to desire'. Mary Barnes did want to recreate families as a neurosis, denying social reality, avoiding any 'real fluxes', creating a safe territory.

Psychoanalysis offers three universal 'screens', from Freud to Lacan. First interpretation where things always signify something other than themselves, and the analyst plays a kind of game while ignoring the actual intensities and forces at work. Second familialism where everything is reduced to family representations, which we get to through regression. However the childhood to which one regresses is a matter of 'memory, myth, refuge, the negative of current intensities' instead of being put into relation with current ones. Third there is transference, which reinstalls family desire in a particularly 'cramped space' ( the analyst's consulting room) : the analyst remains silent and paternal, while the patient merely obsesses about 'valueless subtleties' which ignore all the other forms of social investment.

This approach has never worked well with the mad who have images distant from the whole system. At Kingsley Hall they tried to replace the single analyst with communal interpretation. Some improvement resulted in moving away from the awful 'mirror game' of individual interpretation. However, the old family coordinates proved irresistible — patients formed family bonds with each other: they would never be free of each other or of analysis. Nor did Mary Barnes cease to feel guilty about relations with her mother or to overcome her early guilt about masturbation, try as she might to be a loyal practitioner of Laing's method.

The method of regressing to childhood was only amplified by the community. At least the artificial and limited nature of psychoanalytic sessions offers a kind of barrier 'against imaginary outbursts' (51), but the whole community suffered from Mary Barnes. Esterson had to forbid her to starve herself to death. Unfortunately, that paralleled the equally brutal prohibition against masturbation by an earlier catholic psychoanalyst. It's possible that a return to authority is inevitable with this technique of total regression — the imaginary 'secretly invites' social repression.

It is an illusion to think we can get back to desire in a pure state by undoing the knots in our unconsciousness. There are 'real micropolitical conflicts in which the subject is imprisoned' (52) requiring no mystical interpretations. There is a deep connection between transference and family Oedipalism because the individual is 'familialised'. [Slightly more mysteriously: 'There is nothing to discover in the unconscious. The unconscious is something to be built' -- that is, there is no eternal unconscious outside of social construction?]

There is an endless desire for Oedipus. Conventional transference just diverts it. It is only managed by self-denial and sublimation, 'a shoddy sort of asceticism' which never does away with collective guilt and which depends on 'real repression'. When guilt interacts with 'the deterritorialized fluxes of capitalism' it becomes a specific form of libido. This is the familiar insatiable libido followed by guilt. At Kingsley Hall, it possessed the whole institution. Mary Barnes's neurosis came to dominate the institution in the end.

There is no particular 'proof' that her problems lay in infantile regression (53) or blockages of communication in her childhood family. What was happening around the family? [Guattari is going to offer another of those remote interpretations based on writings, just as with Schreber or Freud's account of his father's account of Little Hans]. She was already blocked from going outside. She was not fixated, she never found a way to contact the outside and in the end this desire for an exit was 'too violent and too demanding to adapt itself to the compromises of the outside world', as her autobiography reveals [she didn't like school, she was guilty about wanting to be a boy and about masturbation, her commitments were seriously questioned at every turn]. These social rebuffs were what caused her problems, and she was inevitably brought back to the family. She met the family at Kingsley Hall as well, where 'the familialist interpretation was the game of choice at the place' (54) and she played that game particularly well. Properly read, the whole episode shows that she could at least reveal to the Laingians  'the reactionary implications of their psychoanalytic postulates'.

The Four Truths of Psychiatry

There has been a great upsurge in challenges to conventional psychiatry associated with the 60s, possibly part of a more general challenge. Although those challenges may no longer be active, the problems remain. We either attempt 're-appropriating individual and collective existential territories' (55) or head towards collective suicide and madness.

[A history of some experimental approaches follows] The challenge is still to transform existing apparatuses, maintain alternatives and experiments, make connections with more diverse social partners, develop new methods for the analysis of unconscious subjectivity at individual and collective levels. [Then various historical alternatives are discussed looking at how they addressed each of these items. That includes the English communitarian experiments which are credited 'with a certain social intelligence and an indisputable analytic sensibility' (57) although they failed to develop any links with either the state or the forces of the left. La Borde tried to develop 'a collective analyzer', although it has also never received support from the state. It continues to attract lots of enthusiasts, but it is still isolated. It really requires a whole network of alternative initiatives.]

It is important to do away with incarceration while retaining certain 'structures of hospitality and collective life' (58). It is not just a matter of reintegrating people since this often involves a return to the family. Instead 'other modes of individuality and collectivity need to be found'. This is what requires research and experiment. Basaglia was one of the first to try and find alignments with the left, even though his method was more problematic.

The issue of method is still just as important. At the moment, psychiatry and welfare offer the 'desperate serialization of misguided individuals' (58) variously designated as users or in other official ways. What's really needed is a major effort to study the subjectivity 'produced in all relations of social assistance, education,etc'.

Capitalist subjectivity threatens to sweep all before it. It is 'the subjectivity of equivalence, of standard fantasy, of massive consumption and infantilising reassurance'. It has led to widespread passivity with subsequent apathy towards democracy and racism. It is spread by the mass media and the other cultural industries. It offers both 'conscious ideological formations' and 'unconscious collective affects' (58-9). Psychiatry must respond and align with other movements trying to change subjectivity, such as 'ecological, nationalist, and feminist interest groups' which not only offer alternative practices but attempt to grasp the perspectives of 'an ever-increasing crowd of marginalized and non-guaranteed people'.

However activist groups must also break with models based on the old dominant repressive forms. They must offer 'a collective analytic assemblage of these unconscious processes' (59), directed inward as well as outward. This will be entirely new. We have to critique the whole 'ensemble of social practices'. This has been the goal of his own alternative psychiatry.

The goal is to 'reaffirm, stronger than ever, the right to singularity, to the freedom of individual and collective creation, and the removal of technocratic conformisms'. One opponent is post-modernism which offers to level out all subjectivity and thus conform to the new technologies.

These issues will revitalize current debates — for example we should simply oppose the reintroduction of asylums, recast reception hospitals as places of research and experimentation, develop new forms of social mobilization, especially those that will combat racism: this will require a new type of social movement since the old ones are too bureaucratic.

The Transference

[This is the excellent argument which also appears as Chapter 6 of Guattari Psychoanlysis and Transversality -- see notes here]

Psychoanalysis Should Get a Grip on Life

[An argument that the individual and the social are always interconnected, but the social is treated with a broad brush approach involving various stages of cultural development, like mythical, religious and so on. This might be Weber as much as Marx? Actually, Guattari gets on to talk about the 'social functionality' of these cultural systems, which are ignored by those bent on developing science and grand theory. His own pragmatic or cartographic approach just tries to trace these links at the level of patients, and to engage with the social in the form of politics not theory].

The critique of Freud in AO has now become banal. He did focus on 'subjective facts' (69) and change our thinking about them. Lacanian structuralists, however have developed a cult,  a theology complete with its 'affected and pretentious sects'. This development shows the great break between sophisticated theoretical propositions and attitudes toward the clinical domain — sophisticated theory did not mean responsible therapy and conversely. It is important on first contact with the patients not to alienate them. Grand theories in other spheres, including Marxist theory, have also had 'dreadful consequences' in practice [the examples are Pol Pot and some unspecified South American Marxist Leninist groups]. At the same time, we should not 'sink into reductionist, neo-behaviorist or systemist perspectives so typical of the Anglo-Saxon tradition' (70), then focused on family therapy.

If we have to live our life, including our madness as well as abnormality, each person has to refer to public or private myths. In 'ancient societies' these were consistent enough to produce a whole system of reference relating to morals or religion or sex, and not a particularly dogmatic one [for example when trying to fix illness, a pragmatic attitude was taken so that if one ritual did not work another one was tried, showing 'indisputable pragmatism' — the reference for this is not specified: could be witchcraft among the Azande!  Or, the Savage Mind?] Codes of conduct were shared by the whole social body and that body provided grounds for testing the consequences of the codes.

Well integrated societies like this were taken over by monotheistic religions. At first, these were a response [!who is responding? 'Society'? People acting to achieve the underspecified goals of 'Society'? ] to cultural demands of different groups like castes, but eventually these collapsed following deterritorialization of the old forms. This brought about a decline in monotheistic religion in its turn, including its influence on 'collective subjective realities' [Guattari sees religious societies today like Poland or Iran as paradoxical]. Thus references to sin or prayer are no longer authoritative and do not intervene in the problems of individuals who are suffering mental distress. Sometimes one response is to revert to things like 'animistic religions and traditional approaches to medicine' (71) as with Brazilian candomble or voodoo.

As compensation [!] there are new 'great devices of subjectification' to convey modern myths — the bourgeois novel, the star system of cinema and generally the whole of 'mass mediated culture' (71). Family myths are ruptured. Psychoanalysis and family therapy uincritically takes this sort of 'profane' [Durkheim here?] subjective formation as a background reference.

The general point is that no one can live their life independently of these 'subjective formations of reference, although individual versions might lose their power, say by becoming banal. They all seem to survive though, even Freudianism and Marxism, which persist as a collective myth still, 'a kind of chronic collective delirium'. The same goes with the Hitlerian paradigm. Here, we can see with Kuhn [sic], that paradigms that retain some consistency are never simply replaced but remain, 'like an ailing patient'.

Purely rational critique of psychoanalysis or of modern forms of therapy is therefore useless. Actual psychologists and social workers seem to need to rediscover frames of reference. Universities can provide these with scientific bases. However, mostly theories get reduced and then positioned next to real problems – 'a metonymic scientificity'. In practice,'users' know they are not visiting scientists but rather people who offer service in a particular way. In the past, at least the workings and methods of priests were familiar to the public, but psychoanalysts are more isolated. They will lose credibility by referring to 'deflated myths' [presumably, like myths of Freudian science].

Mythic references are necessary [!] and legitimate, and we need to direct attention 'towards their social functionality' (72) [gotcha]. This is where we need theoretical research. We can theorize this production of subjectivity with groups or in particular contexts without referring to the whole authority of science. Instead we should refer to something 'that would imply a formalization of a sense of the universal in order to affirm itself as a universal truth' [very strange and not at all like Deleuze? We're going to tidy up and generalize what is already held as common sense?]

However, we are not developing general theories of human sciences. Theorization can never amount to more than 'a descriptive or functional cartography' (72). That would follow asking all concerned parties and groups to participate [how? as theorists themselves, as providers of 'data'?] in creating models that relate to their lives. Ways of life [which I think is what he means by 'appropriate modalities'] that is 'the essence of analytic theorizing'. It would be no good applying general theories, referring to symbolic castration for example, to support those powerless Brazilians currently dying of hunger.

Those in challenging situations 'would make unmistakable gains' if they could create social instruments and 'functional concepts' to deal with their situation. They will also clearly see 'the political dimension of the production of subjectivity'. Yet there are variables introduced by different modalities and contexts. We are not intending to induce guilt and responsibility — that belongs to those who claim to be speaking in terms of 'truth or history' [that is with absolute standards, as in conventional philosophy?]. That would also defend philosophers who have been held responsible for social problems [Sartre was one case where people saw his Nausea as responsible for suicide and delinquency]. Intellectual theorists can disapprove of particular states of affairs and can take responsibility for the consequences that follow, but this is not 'a direct assuming of responsibility'. They must also beware of inhibiting the emergence of problems in particular terrains.

He is always politically involved personally. He's always been involved in social movements. His psychoanalysis rejects 'any tight compartmentalisation between the individual and society. In my view, the singular and collective dimensions always tend to merge' (73) [singular in the technical mathematical sense?] Problems must be located in their political and micropolitical contexts if they are to display the 'impact of truth'. It is necessary to intervene with intelligence and whatever means are available as an essential part of 'any propadeutic, of any conceivable didactic process'. We used to be seen as cops, but how did this happen? More important how can we contribute 'to the overcoming of the realities of segregation, social and psychological mutilation' and, at least, minimize the damage?

The First Positive Task of Schizoanalysis (with Gilles Deleuze)

[This is apparently derived somehow from AO, and the dreadful freewheeling style shows that. I saw my task in notes on that book as turning poetry back into prose. I have eschewed all the mad examples and pseudy throwaway literary references]

Schizo analysis is both positive and negative. We need to understand the functioning of actual subjects, their particular desiring machines, instead of ready-made interpretation. 'The schizoanalyst is a mechanic, and schizo analysis is solely functional'(77). We should not work with models of social machines or technical machines, not even how they appear in dreams and fantasies. Such machines owe much to representation, and the units are too large. Analysing the actual object was always the weakest part of psychoanalysis, and it was common to just connect real objects with imaginary ones — 'a psychoanalysis of the marketplace' it ended in.

We do have to examine these machines but only as 'functional indices' of underlying desiring machines. These are to be understood first by rejecting any imaginary or structural unity, because that would deliver us back to interpretation and the operation of signifieds and signifiers. Desiring machines are made of partial objects, often dispersed so that one part refers to apart from an entirely different machine [and bugger me if we don't get wasps and orchids again, and references to nonhuman sex]. We should not look for terms like the phallus which structures the whole. Libido should be seen as machine energy, with none of its parts being privileged. Parts become privileged in cases where people have to abandon their machines and focus their efforts on something simple [the example is 'fighting for a war trophy'], and this will only end with the 'ridiculous wound' of symbolic castration. We need a better understanding of the will to power, and of sex, instead of this 'anthropomorphic representation', the product only of abstract reason [lots of references to DH Lawrence for some reason], and confined usually to comventional human sex and other features of the molar. Analysis should deal at the machinic level not the human, except when it wants to do negative critique.

The parts of desiring machines are mutually independent. It would be wrong to see them as oppositions or as just differentiations of a single being [or single qualities like binary sex]. They are distinct beings but more dispersed, as in nonhuman sex [the clover and the bee this time]. This is really what partial objects are. Someone called Leclaire is cited on the erogenous body, nothing organic, but rather 'an emission of pre-individual and pre-personal singularities, a pure dispersed and anarchic multiplicity'. Its elements are welded or pasted together, based on some distinction or even the absence of one. Examples might be the schizoid sequences of Beckett — 'stones, pockets, mouth; a shoe, a pipe bowl...' The existence of recurring sets of singularities helps us be confident that we've grasped the singularity of the subject's desire.

Links between these elements can be established from the outside — links between organs or fragments of organs, psychological or axiological links that will finally refer to persons or to crucial scenes. We can also impose structural links between ideas or concepts which correspond to them. But these partial objects are not elements of the unconscious. We don't even like Klein's version. We have to insist that partial objects do not refer ultimately to an organism as some lost unity. Their dispersion does not indicate a lack. They occupy multiplicities. When we've avoided conventional links, we can see them as 'dispersed working parts of the machine that is itself dispersed', or 'molecular functions of the unconscious'. Desiring machines do not correspond immediately with more molar machines.

How then do partial objects form machines? We have to understand the idea of a passive synthesis, indirect interactions. Each partial object emits a flow, and this is associated with another partial object. This defines a potential field of presence for the other, which itself can be multiple. The synthesis of partial objects must be indirect because each of the partial objects served to break the flow with another object emits and itself emits a flow that those other objects can break. We have two-headed flows and it's these that make productive connections. Terms to describe this might be 'flow-schizz or break-flow' (79) [classic having it both ways — partial objects are heterogeneous, not connected by any normal links, but they must link to form overall machines, so we need to think of this mysterious 'passive synthesis'].

When respective flows partially overlap, they still have distinct flows, but a shared field of presence as far as their products are concerned — so produced partial objects become 'indiscernible'[as in the psychoanalytic elision between mouths and anuses]. This indiscernibility persists even where the flows no longer overlap, and there they occupy a new form of passive synthesis, the 'paradoxical relationship of included disjunction' (80). The objects themselves can display 'fringes of interference' on the edge of shared fields and these can form 'residual conjunctive syntheses' guiding becoming from one to the other [the example is the endless permutations found in the Oedipal triangle]. All these syntheses engineer desire, but how can we analyse this [Mozart is cited!].

These syntheses imply a Body Without Organs (BwO). That is produced in the first passive synthesis as something which is a neutral ground putting in motion the two specific activities or heads of desire. It can be both the support for flow production and 'the amorphous fluid of anti-production'. It can both attract and repel partial objects [now also rendered as 'organ-objects'], but this should not be seen as an opposition to those objects: it is an opposition to an organism. Instead, both the BwO and the partial objects are opposed to the organism. The BwO is produced as a whole alongside its parts, a non-unifying whole, something that is added rather like a new part.

The BwO repels organs in the case of paranoia, and this marks the limit of the multiplicity formed by these organs. When the BwO fits over the partial objects as in the case of the miraculating machine [of Schreber, and also in fetishism], there is still no unification. Instead, partial objects cling to the BwO. There can be new syntheses like 'included disjunction and nomadic conjunction' as well as new kinds of overlapping and permutation (81). Partial objects are the intensive parts that produce the real in normal space, but this requires some matter at zero intensity — the BwO. This is like Spinoza's immanent substance, with the partial objects as attributes, distinct, but unable to exclude or oppose each other. The partial objects and the BwO are the two material elements for schizophrenics — the immobile motor and the working parts, the giant molecule and the micro molecules. Their relation can be seen throughout the chain of desire.

This chain transmits or reproduces desiring machines. It brings together without unity the BwO and the partial objects. It both distributes partial objects on the BwO, and permits a certain 'levelling effect' exerted by the BwO on the partial objects. It also implies another kind of synthesis, not flows not lines of connection traversing the productive parts of the machine but 'an entire network of disjunction'. This is recorded on the surface of the BwO. This is a logical reconstruction of what happens, but 'the disjunctive synthesis of recording' actually follows the 'collective synthesis of production', borrowing a bit of the libido. The machine itself does not impose a coexistence of chains and flows, BwO and partial object. Borrowing libido is both preliminary and constant.

The flows have to be codified to be recorded on the BwO, but the issue is whether this is a conventional code. Certainly there is no implication that these specific codes will connect two things together consistently, which would imply either the BwO as some actual full body, or the development of some despotic signifier to construct the code. No axiomatic coding can succeed in grasping decoded flows except by reterritorializing then or imposing some unity. Coding in this sense seems to really be valid for molar aggregates where signifying chains are linked definitively to more determined social supports, and where signifiers can be detached [in the abstract, so they can be applied to other signifieds?]. This will necessarily involve exclusions of parts of the disjunctive network, and the granting of particular global and specific meanings to particular connections.

The properly molecular chain is different. The BwO is not a specific or specified support for molar groupings. The chain has no molar function. It only deterritorializes flows in ways which break down conventional significations and undoes codes. It does not code flows on full bodies like the earth or despotic capitalist societies, but rather decodes them on the BwO. It's more a chain of escape. It must be seen as the reverse of coding. It still signifies with its signs of desire, but these signs themselves no longer signify [anything molar]: all disjunctions are included and thus 'everything is possible' (82). It doesn't matter what the nature of the sign is. They play freely. They do not produce structured configurations. We are talking here of machines that are to be understood by functional properties but not structure, and there, we have to consider '"the play of blind combinations"' [quoting Monod]. Genetic codes are ambiguous, for example, and include all possible figures: in effect this challenges conventional coding [in their terms, a 'genic' code undermines a genetic one]. Even for Lacan, the symbolic organization of structures implies 'the real inorganization of desire' [which has to be channelled through the signifier?].

We have to see decoding and deterritorializations positively:  they point to a chain which is stable but not axiomatic or conventional. They enable the genic unconscious to reproduce itself. Psychoanalysis should focus on that rather than adding its own codes. Properly understood, the signifying chain of the unconscious produces 'absolutely decoded flows of desire' (83). Desire actually scrambles all the codes and deterritorializes. Psychoanalysis uses something like Oedipus to revert to a simple code, and even to try to act as an axiomatic, inventing separate 'psychoanalytic scene[s]', and operations that have the happy result of apparently curing patients and justifying psychoanalysis at the same time. In Freudian terms, this cure is really 'a successful castration': psychoanalysis uses a molar signifying chain and this can never understand the actual syntheses of the unconscious.

The BwO is a 'model of death', because catatonic schizophrenia is really death. The organs are repelled and laid aside to the point of self-mutilation or suicide. Yet this is not a struggle between the BwO and the organs, but really an opposition to the molar organism. In schizophrenic desiring machines, the immobile motor silences the organs, but only in a conventional way — they are still animated with non-molar movements. 'Schizophrenic' and 'normal' operations of the BwO just indicate the workings of different parts of the machine, so we cannot oppose a life instinct with a death desire — both are forms of desire, two parts in the same machine.

So what helps them function together? Both are conditions of a molecular functioning, when organs are related to the BwO. We can grasp repulsion as a condition of the machines functioning, and attraction as 'the functioning itself' (84) [2 notions of functioning here, technical and social?]. [Normal] functioning involves a constant translation of death models into something else, converting internal impulses from the way the BwO works into something accomplished on the BwO itself.

[At this point, they realize that 'things are becoming very obscure', (85) because they try to distinguish between these two states by referring to the experience of death and the model of death. They seem to have to do this to build up to discussing the death instinct in Freud. Classically, they do not decide to censor or discipline themselves to get on with this -- they are going to solve this by obscuring even more!] The experience of death is very common because it occurs in life, in its intensity. Every intensity implies a zero intensity at the start [citing the equally obscure Klossowski]. Both attraction and repulsion reproduce the states and emotions, and this gives them an energy for a third kind of synthesis, 'the synthesis of conjunction'. The unconscious of the real subject has apparently produced a 'scattered... residual and nomadic subject' around its cycle, a subject that passes through all the becomings implied by the included disjunctions. These are intense becomings and feelings, and they feed deliriums and hallucinations. But they also control the unconscious experience of death — that is felt in every feeling, in becomings which produce zones of intensity on the BwO. [Then Blanchot is cited on different aspects of death — when we cease to become a 'one', and when we actually die. Actual death stops the other kind, or perhaps fulfils it, finally ending in real zero intensity].

We constantly experience the death of one I and the birth of another, although we know that desiring machines themselves do not die. The subject is 'an adjacent part', something that apparently conducts the experience but does not grasp the model, because that is not a subject but a BwO. Every time subjects attempt to assert themselves in the model, they are starting out on another experience. This passage from model to experience, constantly starting again is a form of 'schizophrening death', a secret and terrifying experience, worse than both delirium and hallucination. Of course we will be able to follow new attractions and functionings, other working parts of our BwO, and this itself entitles us to refer to ourselves as subjects. [There is also some obscure link with Nietzsche and the Eternal Return — the 'deterritorialized circuit of all the {specific} cycles of desire'].

Psychoanalysis ought to teach us to celebrate this sort of life, and to see how the 'sad song of death' really comes from it [Nietzsche on Dionysus here?] Freud could never see this because he saw dualism between the drives, between desire and death, with death liquidating the libido instead of merely limiting it. Reich was better, aiming at producing free and joyous persons, full of life flow, even if he ended up with 'the appearance of a crazy idea' (86). At least he showed that Freud, Jung and Adler had repudiated sexual energy, had allowed the death instinct to produce anxiety with the necessary repression of sexuality, rather than offering a suitable 'social critique of civilization'. Indeed, only civilization could oppose the death drive, somehow making it into a force of desire, producing conventional repressed life through 'an entire culture of guilt feeling'. This theory of culture reinvigorated the older 'ascetic ideal', a resignation to death, allowing life only to operate with what is left. Freudianism did restore Eros at least, but made its practitioners into priests, policing bad conscience. He was right to address the death instinct, but did not understand it — for him it is 'pure silence, pure transcendence, not givable and not given in experience', something transcendent. This notion could be opposed on the grounds that there was no model or experience in the unconscious, or supported precisely for the same reasons! D and G argue that there is both the model and the experience of death in the unconscious, that death is part of the desiring machine, not an abstract principle, but something that is found in the functioning machine and the way it does conversions of energy.

Freud needed death as an abstract principle because he worked with dualisms between the drives. This underpins the dualism between sexual drive and ego drive. There are no desiring machines for him. He saw the libido not as a machinic element but as something [independent] that needed regulation because it was able to pursue various 'energetic conversions'. The energy itself was something indifferent and neutral, coming from Oedipus, and something that could be added to either life or death instincts. Various dynamic dualities were preferred against 'functional multiplicity' -- the latter at least explains that only two drives seem to be important at the molar level rather than N drives.

Freud's practice also supported his transcendental principles. Principles have nothing to do with facts, but rather with the psychoanalyst's conception which is to be imposed. Freud discovered the most important essence of subjective desire, libido, but re-alienated it. It was controlled in his models of the ego and recoded on the territory of Oedipus. Castration became a 'despotic signifier', and life itself could not be understood except when it turned back on itself to become the death instinct. This is, however, 'the last way in which a depressive and exhausted libido can go on surviving, and dream that it is surviving', another link with asceticism. It's the whole Oedipus scene that reeks of death and decay. [Full] desire is nothing to do with it and becomes some productive virtue. Desire always turns against itself in the name of some 'horrible Ananke' [ '
a personification of inevitability, compulsion and necessity' says my source.](88). Desire must produce this dark shadow and find a force to defeat it, because it has lack in a central position. Deferred gratification will only lead to continually frustrated desire, constantly reborn, 'abjectness... a snivelling desire to have been loved, sick desire' based on anxiety that daddy and mummy didn't love us. The whole scheme offers a two-stage castration — first time in the family, second time in the clinic in the psychoanalytic scene.

All the destructions of schizo analysis are worth more than this. Better to question whether the analyst is not as human as you with all the same frailties, rather than possessing some great wisdom. Confessing and complaining 'always demands a toll', so we should sing [sic] instead. That can even enrich others.

The phantasmal world traps us in the past not the future. Trying to get rid of Oedipus through fantasy only produces an internalized Oedipus. So 'Shit on your [you Freudians] whole mortifying, imaginary, and symbolic theatre' (88). Schizo analysis wants us to relate to the outside, 'a little real reality'

Freud himself saw the link between the death instinct and World War I. There is a deeper link between psychoanalysis and capitalism. Capitalism benefits from some transcendent death agency as a despotic signifier. This agency has now flourished. The full body is 'capital – money', going beyond the old divisions between production and anti-production. These are both mixed everywhere in the capitalist axiomatic. The enterprise of death absorbs surplus value. It is this effusiveness that psychotherapy has rediscovered, assisted by the powerful empty signifiers in capitalism, effectively blocking any schizophrenic escape.

The zombie myth is the characteristic modern one, the schizo is brought back to work and reason. 'Primitive' codes of death are nothing in comparison. Modern man lives a delirium of multiple connections to the world [requiring an ever-present death instinct]. The death instinct is almost as important as egotism.

However, how can the decoded flows of capitalism engage with desiring production itself, which is decoded and deterritorialized? Modern molar social aggregates were always more or less in affinity with molecular formations of desire, and the capitalist aggregate 'is the least affinal', since it decodes and deterritorializes itself. The death instinct provides the answer. The basic conditions of life remain even in capitalist systems. The molar and the molecular can be identical in nature, but different when it comes to regime. Both are 'actualized only in inverse proportion', so close regimes can compensate for a distant natural identity. In 'primitive or ...barbarian constellations', the large molar aggregates precondition and control the flows of desire by forcing them into systems of representation that look objective. Any natural identities can be hidden by a widespread repressive apparatus [including the monopolized right to do anti-production, that is destruction]. Desiring production is controlled by exterior limits, and sometimes develops its own interior limits as a result. Primitive codes can be polyvocal, but models and experiences of death are unified in the social apparatus. There is constant work to connect desiring machines with social machines, and even implant the social machine. In systems of cruelty, death is attached to primitive mechanisms of surplus value, connected to debt [you justify cruelty as  a payment of debt eg to the sovereign -- Foucault as I recall]: in despotic terror, death appears more of a latent instinct, but it can still be overcoded, with anti-production still seen as the rightful share of the overlord.

It is very different in capitalism, because flows are decoded and deterritorialized. Debt is infinite. The interior limits of production are expressed in some 'subjective essence'. In these circumstances, natural identities appear more important, although strangely, there is instability, with constant differences [between inner and outer, subjective and objective]  reproduced. The old molar objectivities have collapsed and are not recoded. Instead, a 'codeless axiomatic' tries to grasp them but in a way that places them 'in the universe of subjective representation'. This universe operates with a split subjective essence [the natural] — abstract labour appearing in private property, and abstract desire in the privatized family. The double alienation of both labour and desire is increased and deepened, at the price of deepening the split between personal and social regimes. Death, similarly, is decoded and becomes abstract, an instinct, and rather than being socially located, it can spread to include all anti-production. It is seen as a final undoing of codes, and this helps constrain the libido — 'a mortuary axiomatic'. Death itself is not desired, 'but what is desired is... already dead: images'(91). Now everything wishes for death. Capitalism has nothing [real] to incorporate any more — even revolutionary groups are already co-opted and can help absorb surplus value in the future. Now living desire can produce an explosion in the system, no new regime.

[And this is the bit that I quoted verbatim in my notes that produced such despair]. Desiring machines have three parts — the working parts, the immobile motor, and the adjacent parts. There are three forms of energy: libido, an energy used in representation and one grounded in sensual pleasures [my vulgarisation of Libido, Numen and Voluptas]. They work with different syntheses — connective syntheses between partial objects and flows, 'disjunctive syntheses of singularities and chains', and conjunctive syntheses connecting intensities and becomings. Schizo analysis does not interpret, or direct some theatre, but does mechanics at the micro level. There are no excavations or archaeology. The point is to examine machinic elements including some belonging to very 'deterritorialized constellations'. The point is to learn what a subject's desiring machines are and how they work, what syntheses and energies are involved, what flows, chains and becomings, where things misfire. This is the positive task but it will involve an inevitable destruction of molar aggregates and their representations which control the machine. It's not easy to get to the molecules which lurk inside the large accumulations in the pre-conscious and that affect the unconscious through their representatives. These immobilize and silence machines. We need to examine the unconscious not for 'lines of pressure' but for 'lines of escape'. It is not the unconscious that pressures the conscious, but rather the other way about. The unconscious has to relate to its opposite, to escape it or to undergo a fatal merger. Unconscious productions and formations are not only 'repelled' by psychic repression, but actually concealed by 'anti-formations' that disfigure them by imposing all sorts of causes and understandings, all the Oedipal images and phantasms, the symbols of castration, 'the perverse reterritorializations'. We cannot use conventional interpretations to examine repression directly because of these false images, imposed syntheses, acting out what repression offers in the form of conventional representation. Conventional interpretation will only lead to illusions, including illusory structures or conventional signifiers, interpreting and image of the unconscious, but one which is consonant with these illusions. Conventional psychoanalysis is still 'pre-critical' (93).

These illusions are supported by something in the unconscious itself, 'primal repression' based on the way in which the BwO repels its organs. This is at the heart of all molecular desiring production, but it leads to psychic regression in the unconscious produced by molar forces [we have to have some limits to desire] . Without such a mechanism, regression would not be able to interfere in desire. Unlike psychoanalysis which is complicit, schizo analysis wants to establish lines of escape. It identifies machinic indices in order to get to the desiring machines themselves. The first task might be seen as attacking the Oedipal trap, with its specifics in individual cases. More generally, the positive task is to convert primal repression, again adapted to specific cases. We must undo the blockage linking this primal repression to external forms. We must see primal repression as necessary for real functioning in the forms of 'attraction and production of intensities' [establishing a gradient between zero intensity and more positive intensities]. The failures of this functioning should also be integrated as part of positive functioning more generally, and zero intensity should receive an adequate place — both are necessary to get the desiring machine started again. This is the focal point of transference in schizo analysis, something which disperses and schizos the conventional form of transference in psychoanalysis — this latter is [only one] 'perverse' form (93).

Regimes, Pathways, Subjects

[This is the 'preliminary' to Guattari's Schizoanlytic Cartographies and I have notes here. Reading it this time, I focused on its dodgy methodology. Just as Miller says the anthropological references in ATP are indebted to bourgeois social sciences  while pretending to radically reject them, so you could spot the steps in this.

The argument starts with stressing the great complexity of the issues -- understanding in detail how various machines have constructed subjectivity in the past: 'As I see it, neither history nor sociology is equal to the task of providing the analytical or political keys to the processes in play' (96), so that rules them out!

This enormous complexity must not stop us from discussing the issues though, of course. G doesn't know anything about, say,figurational sociology, so how does he proceed? 'I shall therefore limit myself to highlighting several fundamental paths/voices that these apparatuses have produced, and whose criss-crossing remains the basis for modes and processes of subjectification in contemporary Western societies. I distinguish three series' (96). So he is limiting the complexity in order to do any sort of preliminary analysis. So do historians and sociologists!

And where do these themes and categories come from? He made them up? A more patient scholar than me could probably find implicit reference to Foucault or Marx,maybe even Comte? Guattari himself says he 'will make only very limited use of dialectical or structuralist approaches, systems theory or even genealogical approaches as understood by Michel Foucault' (97). Of course, he will not bother to actually reference any of these approaches or detail the use he made of them. Happily, we can just pick and choose because 'all systems for defining models are in a sense equal, all are tenable, but only to the extent that their principles of intelligibility renounce any universal pretensions, and that their sole mission be to help map real existing territories (sensory, cognitive, affective and aesthetic universes). I am not sure that any modern social sciences have any universal pretensions left. Guattari sees nothing problematic in referring to 'real existing territories', which must make it easier by sidestepping a lot of problems much discussed in sociology. There is also the cheerful pragmatism of insisting that these other disciplines help support his particular project — mapping.Incidentally, he justifies this cheerful opportunism by confusing it with relativism, which happily is 'not in the least embarrassing, epistemologically speaking'. That is because we are interested primarily in subjectivity, or self-referential self modelling in his terms. And that itself offers innumerable discursive links which do not map closely onto the 'ordinary logics of larger and institutional discursive assemblies'. This means that 'to put it  another way: at this level absolutely anything goes' (97), but what he means is that anything goes for the formation of subjectivity. It is not at all clear why this justifies a pick and mix approach when trying to do theoretical analysis.
His general 'considerations have led me to distinguish three zones of historical fracture on the basis of which, over the last thousand years [no less!] The three fundamental capitalist components have come into being' (98). The model then offers a simplified version of what we got in Anti-Oedipus, an age of Christianity, age of capitalism, and an age of planetary subjectivity. In this article, he 'has no other aim than to clarify certain problems' (98). We are promised that the problems will include neoconservative ideologies and other 'pernicious archaisms'. Overall, 'these terms are instruments for a speculative cartography that makes no pretence of providing a universal structural foundation or increasing on – the – ground efficiency', although the whole thrust of the claimed importance of the article is precisely that it makes a pretence to provide such a foundation.There are other disclaimers later — 'nothing [about the possibility of revolutions] is a foregone conclusion... Nothing that could be done in this domain could ever substitute for innovative social practices' (99).

Nevertheless, there are most absurd generalizations — 'in Western Europe, a new figure of subjectivity arose from the ruins of the late Roman and Carolingian empires' (99). There are throwaway unreferenced conclusions like the descriptions of Georges Duby (on the 'high perfusion character of Christian subjectivity'). The 'original base' for Christian discipline 'was the parish school system created by Charlemagne' (100). The beginning of capitalism, we are assured 'is marked above all by a growing disequilibrium in the relation of human being to tool'(101) while other aspects of capitalist development just seem to be listed with no apparent justification except the common sense of the French intellectual — printed text, steam powered machines, the manipulation of time, biological revolutions. In terms of reactions to planetary subjectivity, 'paradoxically, the neo-Stalinists and social Democrats, both of whom are incapable of conceiving the socius in any terms other than its rigid insertion into state structures and functions, must be placed in the same category' (104), a kind of ultra leftism that risks serious consequences as we know.

There are anticipations of criticism, and ready-made ad hominem reductions: 'I imagine that this language will ring false to many a jaded ear' (105). To convince the jaded we are urged to 'look at Japan... Consider... The case of Brazil', each dealt with with a paragraph. Guattari finds his allies where he can, including unreferenced mentions of 'some futurologists, who are in no way crackpots' (106).

The Postmodern Impasse

[Horribly wordy and elitist]. We have lost confidence in the usual notion of progress and modernity. There seems to be no movement in social relations, and unions and political parties have become either incorporated or ossified. The result is 'this new order of cruelty and cynicism' (109). Must we accept it or find a way out?

Painters promoting themselves as postmodernists were really doing nothing but reacting to the last gasp of modernism and its 'formalist abuses and reduction'. This sort of art will never 'revive the creative phylum'. Architecture on the other hand is more connected to structures of power as always. Painters have to submit to the art market, but architects have always been more ready to adopt 'the values of the most retrograde neoliberalism' (110). Painting has only ever been something to do with spirits or prestige for the powerful, but architecture actually marks out territories of power and provides emblems.

The background is the combination of de- and reterritorialization in capitalism that erodes the old cultural groups and tries to reconstruct subjectivity. This has been accelerated by new technologies. The inadequacies of this reaction has led to the new wave of conservatism.

Lyotard's post-modern condition simply involves submission or compromise with the status quo. The grand narratives have collapsed. Any concerted social action must be outdated, and only little narratives, multiple, heterogeneous [G would like this?] and locally limited [but not that?] can offer any kind of freedom. Baudrillard similarly says any notion of the social or political offers but 'semblances' attracting only nostalgia. The underlying argument is clear, that somehow crises in artistic or social practices mean the end of any large-scale social action. We should work locally first, just drift with the market.

Underneath this view is an argument that the social can be reduced to the linguistic, and the linguistic in turn to binary signifying chains. These views are long established in structuralism, which itself has been carried over 'from the worst aspects of Anglo-Saxon systematization' (111). These reductionist conceptions, immediately implemented by information theory have been substituted for a proper understanding of the possibilities.

But concrete social assemblages are more than just linguistic performances. They have methodological and ecological dimensions as well, and various semiotic components that cannot be reduced simply to conventional language ['aesthetic, corporeal and fantasmatic' components]. An allegiance to the structuralist conceptions also mean an absence of any pragmatic research, any actual articulation of how subjective matters are put together in various formations. This means that we have abandoned proper philosophy [and sociology,but G would approve of that?] in the name of some 'prevalent state of mind' (112) or condition. There is no need for any serious argument in favour of the rejection of the social. In the absence of it, any social link can now be accepted, even those found in the mass media. Without philosophical resistance, the 'capitalist production of signifiers' will infantilize and desingularize us. It is a horrible example of the dangers of the old Lacanian adage that only signifiers stand as subjects for other signifiers.

However, there is work on enunciation [Foucault?] and the speech act, showing that there are pragmatic dimensions to language. These solidify the positions of speaking subjects and situational frames [the example is something like the performative speech act — the president declares a session open which actually does really open the session]. However, these activities are seen as secondary — what they really imply is a definitive break with structuralism.

The linguistic signifier goes together with capitalist subjectivation. The signifier helps develop the 'logic of generalized equivalents, and its politics of the capitalization of abstract values of power' (112). There are other 'rhizomes woven [sic] by the realities and imaginaries' of the system of symbolic signifying, but these are to be constructed by new analytic and social practices, not 'post-modernist spontaneity'.

Post-modernism and Ethical Abdication. An Interview by Nicholas Zurbrugg

[I have just picked some main points out of these exchanges]

American performance poetry overlaps to some extent with psychopathology in demonstrating 'semiotic reintegration' (114) of gestures, bodies, spaces and so on Burroughs's cut ups create whole universes of mutating meanings. It is important that poetry reinvents itself and does not die out 'Because poetry is as important as vitamin C', especially for children and sometimes for psychotic patients. It is important to undo the usual links of language and open up new practices.

Post-modernism may have raised terminal doubts about the civilizations of the past, so we must look towards open spaces [Québec or Australia, Mexico or Tokyo]. New communicational technology can help. It is already developing independently from traditional forms of language, and this in turn means that we no longer have to operate with the old modes of subjectivity. Voice recognition might be important in helping us discover a 'new kind of sociality' [he seems to mean the ability to communicate with remote persons as well as machines]. The earlier notion of a desiring machine helped address this connection of machines and subjectivity.

Currently development is limited by our dominant institutions 'such as academia, the media, and so on', and we are now cut off from the Third World (115). Cultural avant-garde movements tend to be dogmatic [the example is the rejection of Artaud by the surrealists]. Unusually, performance poetry tries to make subjectivity and creativity more individualized rather than as something programmatic.

Post-modernism has only a limited validity that risks the cultural market penetrating everything. Architecture and art both display 'prostitution', and there is an absence of ethical and aesthetic considerations. [A cultural Club Mediterranee, suggests Z, and G agrees]. There are few exceptions in post-modern culture, some advances in ecology, for example, although even they tend to be dogmatic. There are some political developments in the Third World, like those focusing on women's issues, but none of these offer a polar opposition to capitalism. Capitalism has dominated after the collapse of Eastern Europe, and ever wider internationalism is likely in the future.

There are no more organic intellectuals — 'there are no more organs' (117). Intellectuals must become self assertive and brave individuals, 'resisting the fascination academia, of the media, and of other such institutions'.

Institutional Practice and Politics. An Interview by Jacques Pain

[As above, I have not reproduce the interview format. This is quite an important clarification of some of Guattari's main arguments]

Originally, he was a practitioner in various domains — youth and political organizations, La Borde, later analytic practice — and he drew upon a variety of quite discordant theoretical references. At first he would switch between them – drawing on Trotsky for militant practice, Freud and Lacan for psychoanalytic practice and Sartre for theoretical enquiry. Tosquelles persuaded him initially to think about combining different perspectives, to 'walk with two legs', one Marxist and one Freudian. Another possible path was revealed, initially called institutional analysis. This turned on the possibility of developing an analytic method that would traverse multiple fields — therapy, pedagogy, struggles for social imagination — and this was the first meaning of transversality.  It soon became evident, for example, that there was '"institutional transference"' (121) so that the institution itself affected the mentally ill patient. This was initially taken up by those who would impose a reductionist 'Psycho – sociological perspective', and this missed the whole issue of singularities, both individual and pre-personal.

His own thought has deepened after reflection to consider the main problems of metamodelization. This is not going to be just an overcoding of existing models, but more a procedure 'which appropriates all or part of existing models in order to construct its own cartographies, its own reference points, and thus its own analytic approach, its own analytic methodology' [aka 'auto-metamodelization']  (122). This was going to stretch much further than institutional transference. The conventional frameworks of the person and the family had to be replaced by the notion of 'assemblages of enunciation', of varying sizes. This provided 'the ulterior problematic of Capitalism and Schizophrenia' with Deleuze. The focus was on 'pre-personal subjectivity — prior to the totalities of the person and the individual' and also the 'supra-personal' relating to groups and social phenomena. There was also an early awareness that assemblages of enunciation had machinic components.

The best of Freud and Marx could be recast. It is not that subjective formations simply coincide with the form of the individual. There are complex relation to others and also to social matters like class struggles, the whole area of social interaction. Lacan initially took this up and attempted to locate the unconscious in language, but then developed a system based on universals and structural '"mathemes"'. Here, conventional subjective individuation was allowed to 're-enter by the window of theoretical phantasms' (123).

Subjectivity is not just a black box. There is an entire social and pre-personal context. There are machinic circuits and assemblages which cannot be reduced to interpersonal relations, including those in the Oedipal triangle. [And then figurational – type analysis of the court of Louis XIV, a machine for creating subjectivity as before, embedded in social arrangements and even 'ethnological – architectural dimensions'.] Teachers, shrinks and all 'workers of the socius' are both produced by collective apparatuses and producers of subjectivity. The industries we work in produce the primary subjective matter for all other industries. There are developments attributed to individuals, but we're not just talking about 'a simple plurality' of individuals, but lots of other entry points to construct subjectivity — 'political, social, ecological,etc'.

He is still Marxist to a certain extent, partly because you can't just change of points of reference. Perhaps the echoes are best seen in discussions of militant analysis. But there is no intention to complete any scientific analysis. Cartographies of subjectivity only help us get an 'analytic bearing'(124). An emphasis on the processual means abandoning any scientific ideals. Furthermore, social struggles are found in a variety of subjective locations, which include relations of objective force, but also ways of producing subjectivity, through institutions of the labour movement, for example. Things like the Paris Commune produced types of workers that were so mutant that they had to be eliminated. We can see history in terms of 'veritable wars of subjectivity', so we must examine subjectivity and its mutations. Even Lenin became interested in a new mode of subjectivity which would break with the old social democratic form.

These days capitalist subjectivity is produced through a range of collective apparatuses like the media, and rapid forms of communication, and this has constructed quite a different notion of nature. The precapitalist one constructed direct servitude or 'indirect symbolic allegiance' in definite territories. Today these are deterritorialized and modes of subjectification show signs of 'a completely artificial production' no longer the effects of the primary group for the family. The task here is to reassemble the 'de-alienated, de-serialised subject'. This subject is processual, in that it produces itself 'across processes of singularization' (125) and in existential territories

[That leads him to oppose some recent educational reforms in France, 'a return to training, civic instruction, and other throwbacks'. French ministers of education seem obsessed with Japan, with discipline regardless of any affective or social dimensions. It is a regression. Technocrats who become ministers have no actual idea about education].

The notion of the machine is essential. It is not just that they produce desire. The notion of a machine is common in other sciences and mathematics. The diagrammatic machine was also described by CS Peirce. Machines are inhabited by plans and equations, and technical machines are articulated with others, theoretical and abstract machines, economic and political machines [this whole section sounds rather like LaTour]. If we are not just to embrace simple binaries, we have to operate with expanded notions of the machine. A machine links with anterior machines, but also 'throws out the evolutionary phylum for machines to come' (126). It is both material and semiotic. It traverses both time and space but also the very diverse levels of existence which include biological brains, the world of sentiments or collective investments.

[This would not just be a theoretical work to construct the machinic phylum]. It would have a social practice. The social still exists despite Baudrillard. Different political and social approaches might have collapsed and failed, but that means new ones must be invented to respond to the new 'complex actual conditions'(127). This will transcend the old political parties. We are also aware that it is no good to change the macro if we do not also change the micro social relations — that educational reform, for example, will also engage 'the mentalities, the relations of knowledge, the relations to bodies, to music'. New social practices will no longer be limited, like to social classes. New subjective territories are equally important — those of women, children, the precarious, ethnic and national minorities and so on — these do not relate to national or regional territories either. Matters like north-south relations intersect with relations of class, and there are still relations of force between East and West. The result is a 'segregated pyramid on which planetary capitalism rests', IWC.This system has also set up machinic networks to produce information. This might change the terms of any struggle, away from arguments about basic salaries towards ones of 'a minimum social guarantee', including those who are currently nonguaranteed, marginal workers. The whole conception of work and its nobility has been falsified.

People may have read AntiOedipus as an account of a theory of desire as opposed to the system, but many intellectuals 'have not read, or do not want to understand, what was said in the post 68 period. Our conception of desire was completely contrary to some ode to spontaneity or an eulogy to some unruly liberation' (128). Desire was always seen as artificial, constructed, hence the definition of it as machinic articulated with other machinic types. There is no place for Reich and orgone energy. We never said things like that there should be complete liberty without any social regulation. Desire may be on the side of the minorities, if we think of it as 'a process of singularization, as a point of proliferation and of possible creation at the heart of a constituted system' (129). These processes might be marginal at first or even become minor in order to locate this nucleus of singularity.

We can see in institutions like La Borde, an unexpected event which changes the whole atmosphere, creating different universes of reference. Subjectivity changed as did the fields of possibility and life projects [he tells the story about the cook from the Ivory Coast who went back and then returned to France to work, creating a support group, and eventually leading to patients going off on holiday]. This is 'the process of institutional singularization', not really just psychotherapy or militancy. It modified local subjectivities, including latent racism. 'Desire is always like that', some moment where a closed world generates other systems of reference which authorized if not guarantee new degrees of liberty.

Desire does not just make up an infrastructure: subjectivity does not produce reality. Nor is subjectivity merely a superstructure, partly because the old infrastructure has been radically deterritorialized by capitalist forms. One no longer becomes something after a local initiation — 'it is only universities that still believe that'. (130) Most people don't know where they are or what they are. Machinic systems affect them. Individuated subjectivity 'has become the object of the sort of industrial production' [the examples here are post-war Germany and Japan, both devastated, but both producing economic miracles. That was because they were able to reconstitute 'a prodigious "capital of subjectivity"', knowledge, collective intelligence, will.] Sometimes archaic elements of subjectivity were reworked, as in Japan. Subjectivity in this case was as much part of the infrastructure. The process of producing subjectivity also released a number of creative processes, some of them 'hyper alienating'. This sort of subjective base, can sometimes offer forms of resistance to modern regimes — local nationalism influences capitalism and produces problems [Irish, Basques, Palestine] . Governments cannot impose rational solutions because there is still 'the resistance of a collective subjectivity': instead they try to produce some '"subjectivity of equivalence"' with standardized sentiments, but here they run into the problem that subjectivity is produced by things other than capitalist machines — families, sometimes ourselves, sometimes by a novel or a voyage.

These are examples of the singularization of desire and that is a component of current crises that resists the imposition of abstract management techniques. There is a constant appeal to postpone desire. The demands in 1968 for everything now were poorly formulated, but are still relevant [then some strange warning about the need to construct a multiracial society in France in order to absorb the immigrants that are needed. Otherwise 'France will be a power of the 10th order' (131) — but why should he care?] Standardisation of social normality will extinguish all kinds of alterity and singularization — children will not be able to manage the singularity expressed by a foreign person unless they are assisted. Conditioning to reject anything different will produce other prejudices too, against the disabled or the old. Television struggles to 'keep alterity in its place' and accomplish infantilization.

There have been some attempts to generalize these insights 'in the Sartrean sense', in the establishment of the journal Recherche and in various research groups. Others including architects and educators were interested, there was a broad range of issues discussed from pedagogy to the question of women. Then 1968 took place 'and everything overflowed'. There was nothing to analyze! It was all a matter of slogans and splinter groups, very insightful, not to be regretted. The echoes include the 'masked war between the North and the South' over development and how social life is to be managed.
The Greens may be able to arbitrate and form up all those who oppose the waste and cruelty of capitalism.

Schizoanalysis is a method in the sense that it uncovers 'a certain number of fundamental dimensions relative to singularities, to processes of singularisation' (132). This is fundamental to social practice and struggles from industrial to the everyday. Without it there is demoralization. Schizo analysis can never be a general method with its consistent ensemble of problems and practices. It is more a 'theoretico practical reflection' mostly focused on institutions. It intends to create new networks and rhizomes to break out of conventional models and the old terms, including residues of psychoanalysis and dogmatic Marxism. These will be difficult debates.

There is one fundamental question for schizo analysis: ' "how does one model oneself"?' Psychotics may have idiosyncratic references or find themselves limited to Oedipal territory. Others are wedded to the conventional collective apparatus like the education system. However, scenes can change and so can protagonists and their myths of reference [he cites Kafka here on metamorphosis]. Change can be simple and local or require 'a hyper- sophisticated disposition' 'everything is possible... But nothing is guaranteed'. There are no cures or privileged interpretations.

We are not offering an alternative model, but rather metamodelization. We have to understand how we got where we are, what models we have, and whether they work, whether we can find other models. There is no standard model. The criterion of truth becomes one of identifying the point at which 'metamodelization becomes auto-modelization' (133) [when it starts to inform personal understandings?]. We might take the practice of Tosquelles and his 'doctor – workers' as an example, operating as a 'bricolent'. This would be rejected as proper analysis, but it does oppose reductionist terms and open all sorts of possible explorations, including openness to 'the arbitrary points of semiotic conjunction'. It clearly implies a theoretical approach that can follow 'transferences of subjectivity from one domain to another', and the transference of sense between semiotic components, asking, for example, how economic relations impact on an obsession. This is not simple, and conventional terms like partial objects and the signifier are not enough. We need a 'concrete cartography of the assemblages of enunciation', looking at how phenomena escape planes of consistency [which are therefore bad in this sense], how semiotic systems enable passages between recognized significations and the a-signifying [the ritornello is one such a- signifier] which constitute new existential territories. There are no master concepts including sexuality, which itself varies, say between the pubic and the adult: they are 'radically different modes of composition' and they never directly communicate, at least not through causality.

We cannot simply expect the 'users' to simply take over from the technicians and fix themselves. People like social workers or teachers are not be eliminated, but rather to be rearranged so that 'their knowledge capital and their transfer ritual potentialities are not manifest to the credit of perverse functions of power' (134). It could be that it's a matter of applying scientific knowledge, or perhaps it is that all scientific qualifications of knowledge should be rejected in the interest of 'the singular procedures of analytic cartography'. We should not be drawing analytic maps separated from existential territories, and thus the object of knowledge becomes a subject of enunciation. Scientificity anyway has been seriously challenged by Kuhn [again!], even in the hard sciences. Theorists, technicians, creative people, recipients of welfare and the agents of the state are all 'components of the assemblage of the production of subjectivity'. The issue is one of the micropolitical implications of practical options, not the scientific implications. In the production of subjectivity, people in society who hold power are important, not only the old traditional groups of industrial workers or bourgeoisie.

[Pains puts his finger on a real problem — all this is very dialectical, complex and abstract. Therapy is restricted by a formalism. There is all this stuff about semiotic scaffolding and machinic unconscious to get through. Is wading through all these apparatuses really necessary? It can certainly be intoxicating for intellectuals and help them operate in very different fields!]

It's only meant to be scaffolding. That works like a work of art, all the literary dimensions in Freud. There is no search for some fundamental machine or equation. He was tempted when young to play in different fields, but then tried to connect everything together — but never as a system.

He still practices on an individual basis, and connects what he does there to interventions in various groups and institutions. No one can escape institutions anyway — even fully individual interaction would still imply institutional authority. We can even say that 'at base, the individual is nothing but the intersection of institutional components' (135) [this is the key to the notion of singularization?] . Even dreams have institutional dimensions, connecting with film and television.

Individual innovative experiments might wither or be incorporated, but the problematics they develop 'are forever taken up again, forever reworked. That is an abstract machinic phylum'.

Schizo analysis is never simply a practice to be applied by a technician. It is more general even than working with schizophrenics. It is and should be everywhere — 'in the schizzes, the lines of flight, the processual ruptures that are taken up by a cartographic self-mending' (136). It is the process and the milieu that are important not the end. It does imply some confidence in deterritorialization, instead of trying to work with pre-existing models. 'One no longer wants to make a definite object', so there is no need to follow a set program. Instead it's important to 'live the field of the possible that is carried along by the assemblages of enunciation'. It's like being swept away by a novel. You never know what you're going to find. It is not a matter of mastering an object or a subject.

We have to work with a certain notion of finitude singularity and 'existential delimitation', to avoid the folly that we are immortal. The focus on 'ethical de-centring and micropolitics' will be the complete reverse of the existing system of education. It is not just a matter of saying value the means and not the end, rather a rejection of that whole formula: 'there are no longer either ends or means, there are only processes, processes of auto construction... with [unexpected] mutant effects' [the ethics and aesthetics of the financially and culturally secure].

This is idealist in that there is a belief that we can affect the course of things 'by virtue of an ideal engagement'. This will help overthrow the notion of determination or destiny, or that capitalist subjectivity is natural and necessary. History is not programmed like a computer. Programming only takes place at the expense of 'systematically deforming all singularities' (137). 'That is modern capitalism: desire, madness, gratuitousness — all this counts for nothing' [Rather, these are irrelevant use-values?]

There is no protocol or model and therefore there can be no fixed method of application. Instead, we should begin with a concrete situation and ask how it is constructed and how we are incarnated in it. We would then develop our interest slightly differently, to examine 'indicative elements, the experienced sequences of non sense as a symptom', the effect of 'institutional lapses' and the extent to which they might offer a new field of expression. Thus another cartography might become possible. Univocal expression will be replaced by 'a polyphony of enunciation'. That is how we work the unconscious, not just to uncover it but to help it produce its own lines of singularity and develop its own cartography, central to its own existence. But 'there is no recipe!' Current institutional practice must be retained, but it should be focused on 'the interpretation of singularities'. We should see how collective assemblages and group practices have an effect as well. Thus a silent catatonic patient can be seen as contributing to 'an institutional assemblage of enunciation'. The pre-personal dimension of singularities is important too — hence the space left by Oury and Tosquelles for 'non sense...the empty word', and for 'institutional signifiance'.

Semiological Subjection, Semiotic Enslavement

[Has some remarks about Hjemslev, some implications which I had not picked up. The overall implication is that linguistics should address referents and acknowledge that reality can to some extent express itself to break with linguistic formalism]

Power is not just an ideological superstructure, nor is it the worldview of social groups. It does not just extend to human communication because there is a complex of semiotic machines which are '"extra-human"' (141). We see this with the classic role of the superego being just as powerful as the ego. Any existing state of language really represents an equilibrium between different levels of power. However these levels are not just random, matter is not amorphous. We have to go on and examine and articulate domains such as individual human acts of semiotization; the semiotics related to social machines including economic and technical ones; machinic indexes of abstract machines, machinic phyla and the plane of consistency; systems that allow links between these domains, both territorializing and deterritorializing ('components of passage', lines of flight).

We need to focus on the collective assemblages of enunciation, the true sources of linguistic creativity. It is not just a matter of human competence and performance, nor the distinctions between individualized and universal subjectivity. Others have pointed to the importance of judgements of grammatical validity, but we must avoid psychologism. Of course there are patterns of grammar and significations, but that results from a control of 'capitalist pragmatic fields' (142): it is a mistake to see them based on abstract categories. Those efforts are following the classic process to legitimate power formations by universalizing them. It is always possible to reduce linguistic performances to systems of binaries, but a mistake to think that this system is eternal or even that it has produced capitalism or cultural forms. Instead, it is the 'real processes of power' and their 'machinic mutations' that are 'absolutely indestructible'. The abstract machine takes different forms but cannot be broken down. We have to get to those 'piece by piece'. They are supported by each other in assemblages. Sometimes they act silently on the 'plane of pure machinic virtuality'.

So we experiment on the pragmatic fields produced by power, ideally before they are fully stabilized in language systems. Apart from anything else this helps us grasp all linguistic forms as 'intermediaries', from delirious individual semiotic performances to the 'sclerotic encodings of the standard dictionary', including various religious or political systems of belief. All these specific forms depend for their effectiveness on dominant forms of semiotization [in a classic circularity, the specific forms put the dominant ones 'into place']. The most effective will activate particular abstract machines '(financial, scientific, artistic, etc)'. A suitable pragmatic micropolitics would examine these assemblages, both those that operate at the level of 'corporeal intensities' and those that operate at the level of the socius.

The latter when crystallized in signifying powers will overcode the libido through processes of semiological subjection and semiotic enslavement [relating to 'fields of resonance' and 'fields of interaction amongst machinic redundancies' respectively — finding coherence at the level of personal culture and at the level of overlapping social cultural systems? It's a bit clearer below (143)] [NB a note on 147 explains that he means enslavement 'in a cybernetic sense' -- as in master and slave systems?]

A signifying assemblage operates as an abstract machine if it can harmonize these two types of encoding. Then it can: impose a dominant grammar on expression, increasingly colonizing a-signifying expression; form up whole ideological assemblages relating to linked content, replacing cultural resonance; producing assemblages of enslavement based on decoded capitalist flows and aimed at the referent — systems of abstract labour, monetary signs, standardized and impersonal forms of communication.

In the circumstances, individuals become ' a speaker- listener', having to comport themselves in these dominant modes of competence, which will involve assuming particular positions in society and production. This form of semiotic enslavement is a fundamental tool in the exercise of power by 'dominant classes' [sic]. Capitalism miraculously directs language so to adapt to its own development, and this just seems self-evident, because the 'syntagms of power' work through the unconscious. This is what any new model of the unconscious should examine, instead of assuming that languages somehow just express the underlying fundamental requirements of human beings. There have been definite semiological transformations, which look harmless. This is what linguistics and semiotics has traditionally overlooked. The signifying machines of the state overcode all other machines and 'tend to coincide' [weasel] (144) with the forms of the state and its characteristic collective assemblages.

There are new developments with expression which now produces 'a homogeneous plane of content' to replace the old local segments. At the same time it expresses the necessity of class, the demands of custom, and the 'repressive habits of the majoritarian consensus'— 'the persecuting themes of the ambient superego'. This is how the old intensities of desire are expressed in polarized subjects and objects, and how in turn these become seen as a social need, requiring submission. These dubious polarities constantly resonate with significations in the mass media, or can become just privatized.

The rise to power of the 'decoded flux' like this was found prior to capitalism, but they escaped any control in the Middle Ages, seen first in 'a kind of generalized Baroque style' affecting economics, politics, religion, art and science [echoes Deleuze explaining Leibniz's insights as some sort of weaselly cultural affinity with the Baroque in architecture or clothing]. That led to developed capitalist societies.

The enslavement and subjection are also a reaction to 'an uncontrollable dispersion of territorialized codes'. They impose new types of division between sexes, generations, classes and other social segments. They colonize, so that the slightest effects of  meaning, becomes controlled by social hierarchies. There is a constant '"rethinking " in detail' [hegemonic struggle one might say] to signify linguistic relations and allocations. Children first have to grasp 'infinitive intensities' [a note explains that children first master past participles and then use infinitives for the future — there is a reference to a French linguist], but this also opens them to a form of pragmatics dominated by strategies of power: hierarchy is encoded, roles explained. Sexual division is also encoded like this [especially in French or other gendered languages?]. Having a body that is becoming-social is a link with a body becoming-sexed, through 'the regime of pronominality' [see the current struggles over choosing the pronouns with which you wish to be labelled], and there are also genres which 'axiomatize the subjective positions of feminine alienation' (145). National languages in particular are meta-languages, overcoding local languages: they must do this to be efficient, but it also shows how they have been interiorized. Linguistic components of syntax, phonology, even lexicography and prosody have been transformed in a system of the 'semiological economy of power'. It is this language that underpins pragmatic fields of enunciation, including polemics [an example that helps in getting a reference to someone called Ducrot — polemics here is something very general]

[On Hjelmslev]. The basic categories of conventional linguistics and semiotics have to be rejected because they leave out society and politics. Hjelmslev is useful, although we do not need to follow the work fully. We can start with the categories. These seem to be the result of a proper examination of the totality of semiotics. For example, he challenges the conventional distinction between content and expression — these are '"based on established notions and are quite arbitrary"' [quoting Hjemslev], because they are not functionally different. Indeed, they are mutually identified, only logical opposites. There is a resemblance to the notion of signifiers and signified, which was the start of the colonization of semiotics by conventional linguistics.

However the forms of expression and the form of content are contracted into a common semiotic function instead of being opposed as in signifiers and signified. We see this best when considering substance which possess a certain sense or purport, both of content and of expression. This will replace the search for underlying forms, because these are always manifested or put into action by particular substances. Thus we start from nonlinguistic or non-signifying semiotic assemblages to produce this notion of substances with purport. This precedes the usual forms of significations which claim some sort of priority or superiority over nonlinguistic communication.

We can now semiotize very diverse forms of matter and arrive at a more abstract machinism of language, which produces linked substances of expression and content. [There is a strange argument from Hjemslev that we have to scientifically form matter before we can see it as semiotically formed — undertake some philosophical investigation of matter?]. The system is not the same as the 'process of syntagmatization', but this does not implies some autonomy of form — forms themselves have to be formed. Again this involves assemblages working on and 'put[ting] into play' 'base matter', rather than universal codes.

This is the problem, one of genesis of formal systems of language. What makes a semiotic component creative? We should not privilege languages. They can even restrain proliferation in the name of normalization. It is often the nonlinguistic components that 'catalyze mutations' and challenge dominant linguistic significations. It is not a matter of trying to trace distinctive elementary traits or finding formal  unities of content: it is a pragmatic matter of assemblages of enunciation, molecular matters of expression, abstract machines that are brought into play. Linguistic overcoding is reductive, based on a selection of signifying components, ultimately the 'traits and redundancies' which can be recuperated by power formations, while alternatives are neutralized, repressed, or subjected to '"structuralising"' (147). This is a permanent process of selection and making loaded semiotic choices, but it assumes underlying assemblages that produce the components, the 'signs, symbols, indices, and icons on which it rests'.

The Place of the Signifier in the Institution

We are going to borrow bits of Hjemslev to clarify this [not for long though,it turns out -- Hjelmslev is important only to restore the a-signifiying semiotic components which are central to the political project of liberation described right at the end] . The 'classic analytical perspective' (148) is not adequate. Hjemslev distinguishes expression and content and says that each box is further divided into matter, substance and form. The main purpose here is to discuss the relation between matter, of both expression and content, and the formation of 'semiotic substances'. This relation is one of opposition. Semiotics in an institutional context also involve two additional 'dimensions of non-semiotically formed matter' — 'sens' [or purport] as a matter of expression, and a 'continuum of material fluxes' as a matter of content. Horribly inevitably, there is a six square table [expression and content on the Y axis, and matter, substance and form on the X axis — substance and form are both described as 'semiotically formed substances' (149). In the expression row we have 'signifying semiologies' and in the content row 'semiotic encodings']

We have to discuss a number of elements:

(1) 'a- semiotic encodings', natural encodings such as genetic codes. These can impose a form on material intensities but without involving 'an autonomous untranslatable "écriture"'. There is a common but wrong tendency to project this writing onto the natural field, but matter is not a semiotically formed substance.

(2) 'signifying semiologies', based on sign systems, semiotically formed substances which are then formalized for both content and expression. There are two subtypes:
(a) 'symbolic semiologies', relating different types of substances. In 'archaic societies' this might involve a semiotics of gesture, sign language, posture, inscriptions on the body, rituals. The world of childhood or the world of madness also features 'several decentred semiotic circles' which are not unified. We can infer that semiotic substance 'retains a certain autonomous territoriality', providing for a 'type of specific jouissance' [possibly meaning some escape from dominant forms of universal significations, something playful?]
(b) 'semiologies of signification' (150), where there is a single signifying substance at the centre of all substances of expression 'this is the "dictatorship of the signifier"'. The substance that these refer to can be seen as some preliminary writing ('archi-écriture), but this is not some eternal prelude to writing as in Derrida, but rather something that is dated to the arrival of writing machines, themselves, a fundamental part of despotism. These writing machines are necessarily tied to machines of state power. They install dominant semiotic substances which subordinate the earlier polycentric ones. It is so powerful that it looks like all the other semiotics have actually originated from the dominant signifier. We can see its effects in attempts to understand the unconscious — that 'manifests the permanence of a despotic signifiance'. Again this arises in 'specific historical conditions'.
(c) 'a-signifying semiotics', which arise after classic semiologies of significations [hence 'post-signifying', to use the language of ATP). Examples include mathematical signs which are not intended as significations, or musical or scientific systems, even 'a revolutionary analytic machine'. These systems still use signifying semiotics as a tool, permitting 'semiotic deterritorialization' which allows semiotic fluxes to connect apparently deterritorialized material fluxes [we extend scientific or mathematical terminology into new areas?]. These still offer functions even though they do not signify 'something for someone'. It is true that there must be some signifying language, but not all such languages imply hierarchy and subjection — scientific theories use 'significations and icons', but not to produce some socially significant mental representation of the atom. Instead, these activities imply 'a certain type of sign machine' (151) [a system of connected scientific terminology?], and these can lead to the development of abstract machines developing whole assemblages of experimental and theoretical complexes. Scientific semiotics is so closely aligned with technical developments that the distinction between them becomes irrelevant — new scientific findings are 'preformed by a semiotic production', which pre-specifies 'spatiotemporal coordinates' and 'conditions of existence'.

The dominant signifying machine attempted to produce a system of representations, a world of 'quasi-objects, icons, analgon, and schema'. These would substitute for real intensities and multiplicities, and thus also produce 'semiotic redundancy' — material and semiotic fluxes 'cancel each other out in the field of representation' [and flux itself is excluded by the 'formalism' of both signifier and signified]. We end with a system of dominant significations, capable of reterritorialization by imposing a monopolistic system on signifying machines, a 'self-mutilation' of those machines ending in 'a machine of simulacra and powerlessness'. Signifiers are autonomous no longer referring to the signified, and 'the real is radically separated from semiotic fluxes'. Subjectivity becomes an individuation of this signifying machine, as when Lacan insists that '"a signifier represents the subject for another signifier"'. 'It is an ambiguous, duplicitous subjectivity'. It works on the unconscious to render its elements as 'a-signifying semiotic machines', a kind of deterritorialization of the original semiotic material, while it makes the conscious activity into a reterritorialization based on signifiance and interpretance.

If we foreground a-signifying semiotics instead, mental representations lose their dominant role of centring and over coding. 'Signs "work" things prior to representation', signs and things combine independently of any subjective domination from dominant forms of enunciation. As a result a collective assemblage of enunciation can break with the idea that speech has to prop up some imagined cosmos. Instead, collective sayings can be developed which combine 'machinic elements of every kind' — 'human, semiotic, technical, scientific,etc' (152). Enunciation no longer remains specific to the classic human subject — that was only an effect produced by 'politicoeconomic systems'.

The usual view is that 'children, the mad and primitive peoples' have not mastered signifying semiotics and therefore must use secondary means such as bodies and gestures. These means do not allow messages to be translated 'in a univocal manner into a linguistic code' leading to dominant significations. As a result, these 'semiotic compositions' are seen as deficient, immature, rebellion against the law. A proper interpretive analysis would foreground these a-signifying semiotic components instead.

First we have to analyze institutions, however. Institutions bring to bear different sorts of semiotic means and components. Those of institutional psychotherapy reject conventional notions of '"analytic neutrality"', which is both good and bad. Those institutions can also sometimes use a-signifying machines to liberate desire [therapeutic art or music?]. Which of these is chosen involves micro-politics. This is easier to see in institutions: in the classic psychoanalytic encounter it is far more difficult, partly because classic psychoanalysis never abandons 'its role as normalizer of the libido and behaviour'. In institutions, the processes of subjectivation and the mechanisms of transference are completely different.

The processes of signifiance and interpretation can be challenged by 'a-signifying diagrammatic effects' [the actual symptoms indicate some underlying hysterical or paranoid diagram?]. More usually, institutions still feature manic interpretation and constant surveillance to uncover slips of the unconscious. The 'blackmail' of analysis and the anguish it causes can rely on the same old identification with gurus — this 'psychoanalytic despotism' is still found in most recent institutions for children.

Schizo analysis instead does not centre on the signifier and on leaders doing the analysis. It operates with 'semiotic polycentrism' openly welcoming the formation of 'relatively autonomous and untranslatable semiotic substances', trying to live with 'the sense and nonsense of desire as they are', not trying to make everyone conform to dominant modes of subjectivation. This is not just a matter of recuperating acts that challenge the normal. Instead, they are to be seen as 'singularity traits' (153) for various subjects who have escaped the common law. This practice risks contaminating all the other collective assemblages [G describes it as 'analytic scabies'], and is spread further by things like private radio stations. It operates through laughter and mockery of pretensions to science. It will result in 'packets of resistance', both semiotically formed and socially organized, and undermine intimidation and domination in other areas as well. Our condemnation of psychoanalysis is in the name of this kind of analysis, of actual micropolitical practices, focused on 'the real and the social field'. Conventional analysis by contrast does not do any actual analysis, but escapes into officialdom and conventional transference. Analysis for them is a matter of 'the pure contemplation of sliding signifiers' combined with an occasional interpretation — 'only games of seduction without consequence'.

As an example, consider psychopharmacology. Classically it is used to prop up 'despotic signifying semiology', of a closed form of interpretation. Critics like the anti-psychiatrists therefore condemned it as repressive, a matter of policing. But does this mean that every kind of drug should be avoided? They have been used in various kinds of collective experiments, where groups provide care. Instead of using scientific reference points, there is instead 'a collective taking up of corporeal intensities and subjective effects' (154) [no wonder they like Castenada!]. These different uses are not 'written in their molecules'. Nor are there strong chemical differences between legitimate and illegal drugs — different side-effects are the issue mostly. Mescaline can be used in systems of semiotic intensity 'in an a-signifying mode' [citing not Castenada but a certain Michaux]. There is a decline in interest in this use, however, exaggerated by the tendency to apply really general crude labels to people — schizophrenia, for example will lead to high doses of neuroleptics. Pharmaceuticals instead could help constitute new forms of a-signifying semiotics without medical state overcoding, opening up different forms of expression and relations with the real and social worlds — 'it would help individuals to regain their potential'.

Analytic collective assemblages have been criticized, and they do risk becoming a new form of despotism [as the British anti-psychiatrists found, above]. We have to do more than replace an individual with a group which will use the same techniques to domesticate singularity. Assemblages are not just human groups but can include 'functions, machines, diverse semiotic systems'. We have to see how desiring machines work at the molecular level prior to the group and the individual. This will split them from institutional structures. The conventional individuation of desire will lead always to 'paranoia and particularism'(155), and collective means have to be marshalled to escape the tyranny of systems based on individuation. We need to avoid new group systems of closure, and to make sure that reterritorialization is pursued by creative assemblages. At the level of the individual person, subjectivity tends to be enclosed in a neurotic circle, but the 'idiosyncrasies of groups' offer 'recomposition and transformation'.

Let's take the example of a psychotic child who bangs his head against a wall. This shows the effects of 'a machine of self-destructive jouissance'. A collective assemblage would not transpose or sublimate this activity but place it 'on a semiotic register connectable to a certain number of other a-signifying systems', opening up new possibilities [give the kid something else to do?]. We need to expand the field of jouissance. However this will be difficult as long as the focuses on the individual self — self-centred jouissance will always lead to 'the temptation of its extreme expression: powerlessness and abolition'. To escape from destructive narcissism will involve not repression but a new strength to neutralize alienating powers. We must take power over the real rather than just manipulate the imaginary or symbolic. Deligny helps his patients experience other objects and other persons, construct another world.

Conventional analysis develops a politics of signifiance, reducing desire so that the other can control it, appropriating bodies and organs, pursuing some pure becoming conscious and self-awareness. Schizo analysis rejects all signifiers co-ordinated around the person and their identity, especially in familialism. It aims to favour a body without organs, a desire not based on the individual, and identity 'swept up in a- semiotic cosmic fluxes and a-signifying socio-historic fluxes'.

These are domesticated in traditional analysis by the imposition of a signifying semiotic. A loss of jouissance follows, the superego imposes itself and there is a whole 'field of culpabilization'. The pleasure of playing with shit, for example, is 'participating in a kind of "matter"' for G (156), but conventional analysis tries to semiotize this pleasure, through 'a "signifying semiotic semblance"'. The semiotic process is pursued instead of the body without organs [maybe — I'm playing with bullshit here]. All desires are seen as translatable. This has always happened in any institution trying to program individuals — psychoanalysis has just brought technological improvements.

This psychoanalytic politics pursues some sort of consistency, sometimes as an alternative religion. But the problems it works with are those of formations of power which obviously have a vested interest in everything being transposed in terms of various decoded fluxes. The problems are those of capitalism, and maybe eventually bureaucratic socialism. Those systems have laws which all semiotic expressions make equivalent and translatable. Jouissance can still take place, but only within the dominant norms. Perversions can still develop —like bureaucratic perverts who like to play as Kafka describes. For most of us, however jouissance is severely limited [playing the horses and watching football on TV are the examples]. The limits of these forms can explain why so many people are in psychiatric hospitals and prisons.

Overall, we are left with two types to choose. Either a 'guilty jouissance' working in a system where everything refers to everything else so there is no outlet except movement within a system of translatability. This is the 'most deterritorialized modality' cut off from the world and from history, and liable to collapse into a black hole. Or there is a 'collective economy of desire'[the good alternative]. It challenges the strange scattered sites for desire and their 'signifying simulacra', which only builds up 'universal debt' [the eternally unsatisfied consumer?]. It will try to disconnect individuation, the connection with guilt, and the limited transferences which connect desire with 'persons, roles, hierarchy, and everything that is organized around points of power' (157). Its main objective is to stop a-signifying semiotic components being dominated by signifying semiology [what a very abstract and idealist political programme! Still with psychoanalysis in mind, presumably]

Ritornellos and Existential Affects

[Happily, it seems I have read this already, in Schizoanalytic Cartographies, and taken notes -- it is one of the shorter pieces at the end, about pp203--16 in my edition,  and it has the title there of Refrains and Existential Affects].

MIcrophysics of Power/Micropolitics of Desire

[He says he suggested to Foucault  the idea  that concepts 'were nothing but tools' (173). That is usually attributed -- eg by Massumi -- to Deleuze's conversation with Foucault in

‘Language, Counter-Memory, Practice: selected essays and interviews by Michel Foucault’ edited by Donald F. Bouchard 1972(?) Another example of how they merged subjectivities/forgot who said what? Nevertheless, Guattari's take is interesting — 'theories were equivalent to the boxes that contained them (their power scarcely able to surpass the services that they rendered in circumscribed fields, that is, at the time of historical sequences that were inevitably delimited)'. We can use Foucault's conceptual instruments in the same way and, 'if need be, alter them to suit my own purposes' [but this is a kind of updating or generalizing from specific circumstances, not pragmatism in the usual activist sense]. We keep alive Foucault's thought by renewing it, opening its questions again. We are far from mere exegesis or homage. The point is to discover the specific 'perhaps original' problem connected with Foucault's discussion, even of seemingly banal facts. Foucault helps us trace 'the most urgent problematics of our societies' and it is far more useful than post-modernism or any other posts.

Foucault broke with hermeneutic interpretations of social discourse and also with structuralism [see Dreyfus and Rabinov on this]. These heresies are often associated with the Archaeology, but Foucault announces specifically that he is not just interpreting discourse and rewriting the history of the referent, but rather showing that there are no things anterior to discourse. Thus no foundation of things, no profound depths of meaning, no transcendental notion of representation, exactly like Deleuze. Instead, a new horizontal or transversal approach, involving 'contiguity – discontinuity' instead of the usual hierarchies. At the same time, oppressive hierarchies were also being questioned, and the 'new lived dimensions of spatiality' (174) discovered. At the cultural level, we see this with weightless astronauts, dance and with 'Japnese Buto' [oh yes, of course]. The question of origins was to be left, while avoiding 'a flat reading of the signifier'. Foucault at his inaugural warned us not to treat discourse as entirely a matter of signifiers.

He went on to criticize any structuralist approach seeing discourse just as groups of signs, representations, with simple references to contents. For him discourses were better understood as practices that form their own objects. Signs do not just designate things. Discourses cannot be reduced to language or speech. The enunciation itself was productive, a departure from 'the ghetto of the signifier and the asserted will'. But what does it do that is more than language? Is this 'more' subjective illusion, something that's already there, or a [strategic?] process itself? There will be no universal answer since each regional cartography defines its own field 'of pragmatic efficiency'. A break with reductionism will affect micropolitics, including those of carers, psychological specialists, University specialists, the mass media, the various organs of the state.

French structuralists emphasize the symbolic component of the sign against the 'imaginary component of the real', ending in 'a kind of religious Trinity comprised of the Symbolic, Real, and Imaginary' (175), imposing 'their own hegemonic will'. However no Trinity, however flexible and rich can grasp 'the singular being of an ordinary sliver in desiring flesh'. That is because they are designed to domesticate random or rare occurrences, but these are 'the essential thread of any existential affirmation' for Foucault. The Trinity is too simple to grasp the actual productions of history and desire — their components offer 'imaginary scenes' or 'symbolic diagrams'.

There is also a critique of the '"founding subject".', Something that apparently animates the otherwise empty forms of language with objectives. We should focus instead on the actual agents involved in discursivity for social groups and organizations. This has led to a large area of forms of collective production and different 'technical modalities' of the way subjectivity is constructed. There is no causal determination involved but rather the 'rarefaction and/or proliferation' of semiotic components where they intersect [classic weasel]. Instead of logophilia, Foucault analyses logophobia, a will to master and control, to domesticate discourses and sometimes 'organize [their] disorder', to prevent anything discontinuous or disordered in the '"incessant, disorderly buzzing of discourse"'. (176) [apparently in Archaeology].

He avoids reductionist notions of subjectivity in favour of 'a reterritorialization leading to an updating' of the institutional components which semiotize, and which operate historically and contingently. There is also deterritorialization [apparently in Discipline and Punish] where subjectivity has some sort of non-corporeal soul, some reality produced around on or within the body, an '"incorporeal materialism"', opposing both hermeneutic and 'currently fashionable "non-– materialism"' [?].

Having escaped from hermeneutic, the intention is to analyze discourse as practice, the practice of 'agents of subjugation' at all levels. Conventional individuality has been imposed and new forms should be developed. This will be a matter of opposing authority. The struggles that result will be transversal [which apparently for Foucault meant 'emerging from the particular context of the country in question', but presumably suggesting links across these contexts?]. They will also want to oppose all 'categories of power effects', not just those that are visible in actual struggle — including 'effects that are exercised over peoples bodies and their health' (177). They are also immediate, aimed at the closest forms of power, and non-programmatic. They challenge the normalized individual and assert 'the fundamental right to difference' [Guattari insists that this can also be compatible with 'community choices', but doesn't say how]. They challenge privileged knowledge and mystification is based on it. They refuse all forms of violence of the state, and all of its 'forms of scientific and administrative inquisition'.

These are found in his remarks on challenging the political technologies of the body, operating with the micro physics of power, and insisting that discourse analysis is not just contemplative, but a form of micropolitics, something molecular something that helps us 'move from forms of power to investments of desire'. However, his notion of desire is more restricted than for D and G, although it is in the same direction. Power is an investment not just a total law, nor something reified. Power relations and strategic struggles are not just relations of force. Instead they involve subjectification at the irreducibly singular level. Within such relations we will always find an obstinate will and contaminating notion of freedom. So power is not just exercised in the form of an obligation or a prohibition on those who do not have it. It invests people and is transmitted by them; it pressures them, but there is always resistance. This argument 'overlaps' with D and G and their 'problematics of analytic singularity (176).

There is also common ground in disputes with Lacan and similar theories. This was never a matter of positivist or Marxist negation of the problem of the unconscious. Foucault's History of Sexuality fully acknowledged Freud and his break with the old ideas of perversion, heredity and degeneration, found in the old technologies of sex. For D and G, it was a critique of Lacanian analysis 'the... pretension of erecting a universal logic of the signifier' that would explain the economy of subjectivity and affects, as well as all other discursive forms ['art, knowledge, and power'].

The real underlying common ground is to refuse to dismiss singularity either of the analytic object or its procedures of elucidation. Foucault contrasts the reality of discourse against any universal mediations. It would look at first as if a universal logos which develops concepts out of singularities, and grounds all rationality in the immediate consciousness would privilege discourse, but this whole idea is really 'only another discourse already in operation' [again in Archaeology]. We should return to singularity. Foucault even wants to replace the notion of the statement, sentence or speech act as offering a false unity as a segment of some universal logos. Statements do more than signify, relate signifiers to signified, nor do they just denote referents. Instead they are a matter of existential production [which is apparently the same as what Guattari calls a  'diagrammatic function'] so the Foucaldian statement is not linguistic nor material, not a structure but a matter of an existential activity involving signs, a matter of making sense of those signs.

All psychoanalytic experience can be seen to turn on this intersection between the semiotics of meaning, denotation and the pragmatic function of bringing something into existence: all the 'symptomatic indexes, witticisms,...lapses... failed actions', dreams, fantasies. These help 'existential repetition' even if they are empty of actual pragmatic meaning, or dominant meanings. Foucault was always interested in the 'ruptures of meaning', in science and in ordinary language, as his work shows [apparently including the book on Roussel]. The goal was always to map large groups of statements to show their lacunas and interplays, differences, distances and transformations. These were never seen as continuous and well-defined. There is a hint of the 'dissident logic of the Freudian primary processes', although the notion of singularity is not a Freudian one.

The normal appearance of the individuation of subjectivity is false. Social individuation is what we should study and how it individualizes and totalizes and is penetrated by constant surveillance. There is no obvious social operator such as a caste or a political party but instead 'an intentionality without subject' [apparently in the History of Sexuality], 'proceeding from "collective surfaces and inscriptions"', as in panoptican which subjectivates both observer and observed. There is no central authority and everyone is caught up in it.

Similarly, there is no neutral or independent statement outside of an associated field: 'it is only because they are immersed in an enunciated field that they can emerge in their singularity' (180). This implies that the author is not to be seen as a speaking individual who has written a text but rather as 'a "unifying principle of discourse"', which Guattari calls a collective assemblage of enunciation. That is the source of the unity of discourse its coherence and meaning.

There is another departure from Freud. The individual 'is no longer synonymous with singularity' and is not the only point of escape from social relations and representations. The cogito similarly loses its 'character of apodictic certainty' and becomes a process, a task to be constantly undertaken. Singularity is now produced by the subjective strength of the 'collective and/or individual discursivity'. It involves a process of singularization, found in collective assemblages of enunciation. It can appear through a collective discourse, or 'lose itself in a serialized individuation'. Even when it does focus on an individual entity, it  'might very well continue to be a matter of processual multiplicities'. Singularity is not necessarily something made weak by breaking out of conventional identities: 'on the contrary: it affirms itself'.

This is where Foucault's micropolitics lead, a complete break with Kantian notions of the analytic of representations [pass]. It is not even an account of one particular type of subjectification on a global scale, but a 'micropolitics of existence and desire'. Finitude is not to be something endured as a loss or deficiency, but a matter of 'existential affirmation and commitment'. All the themes in Foucault converge on this point linking semiotic representation and a pragmatic notion of doing existence. The micropolitics of desire finds itself connected to the microphysics of power. We can analyze this case by case, 'in a process akin to artistic creation'.

Overall, Foucault's main contribution is the exploration of 'the fundamentally political fields of subjectification' and 'the guiding light of a micropolitics that frees us from the pseduo-universals of Freudianism or Lacan' (181). These are invaluable instruments for anyone doing 'an analytic cartography'.

Three Billion Perverts on the Stand

[Guattari was charged,and convicted I think, with offending public decency by publishing an issue of Recherches on homosexuality,with the title Three Billion Perverts...]

Standard methods of research claim objectivity by maintaining the distance between the researcher and the person being studied. It's not enough just to give voice to the subjects concerned — 'a formal, even Jesuitical, intervention' (185). We have to abandon the usual claims to science. It is irrelevant here [at this trial] because it has nothing to do with justice or good taste.

We have to avoid three approaches. First the social survey as in Kinsey, especially when it is imposed on the sexual behaviour of the French. All possible responses are already in accord with what the observer and director of the study 'wish to hear'. Second, psychoanalysis which claims to fully understand homosexuality but in fact recuperates it, seeing it as perversion, justifying repression. The homosexual is normally seen as lacking something, being fixed at some early stage, or perversely identifying with the same sex parent. Homosexuality actually is not a fixation like this but 'an opening into Difference' (186). It is not a matter of avoiding social responsibilities but instead attacking all 'normalizing, identification processes' all of which exhibit 'the most archaic rituals of submission'. Thirdly, traditional militant homosexuality which lobbies for particular oppressed minorities. Instead, the claim is that 'homosexuals speak for us all', including any silent majority, by questioning any form of 'desiring – production'. This questioning is crucial to artistic creation or revolutionary activity. We can see this by looking at past 'homosexual geniuses' who found their creativity in this determined break with the established order, although they often had to deny it.

Gays are not of themselves revolutionary, but they could be [the same applies to schizos, he says]. They could disrupt libido, and release revolutionary 'desiring – energy', which other forms of militancy have ignored. There are more specific campaigns to run against asylums or 'an indefinitely shameful and miserable Oedipal homosexuality'. 'May 68 taught us to read the writing on the walls' and we now know the importance of graffiti in prisons or asylums. Interest in those should inform the new scientific spirit.

[In a letter to the court]. The actual position of homosexuals in society has evolved and there is now a marked discrepancy between reality, psychiatric theory, medical and juridical practice. Homosexuality is less experienced as a malady, deviance or crime. May 68 showed the need for struggle around previously neglected causes such as life in prisons or asylums, the condition of women, the quality of life. Some movements for homosexual dignity and rights have joined forces with other protest groups in the USA, like antiwar or Civil Rights.

In France it is different. The main homosexual group has been political right from the start, with problems of homosexuality 'immediately posed' as political, in a 'spontaneist Maoist movement' [FAHR, front homosexual of action revolutionary]. Homosexuality was not seen as a perversion but as something that affected all normal sexual life. The same argument was made by women's liberation movements [MLF, movement of liberation of femmes]. Homosexuality could be involved in a range of social phenomena. The campaign was not just for minority rights but for a whole political offensive against any form of enslavement of sexuality to a reproduction system and capitalist or socialist bureaucratic values. This is 'more about transsexuality than homosexuality': it raises the whole issue of what sexuality would look like free from exploitation and alienation. This is what makes it part of a wider struggle for social liberation.

These are the ideas employed in the disputed issue. But the problems raised are really political. The charge of pornography is only a pretext for suppression. The journal deliberately seeks material which does not conform to mainstream media and its prejudices, its claims to be able to arbitrate decency or develop an acceptable language for those facing particular problems. Conventional media would require a judge to make commentary on prisons, for example. They would never find actual witnesses to life inside these institutions [including mental institutions].

Their task instead was to 'give direct voice to homosexuals'. The charge of impropriety is itself political. Nothing is found in the journal which could not already be found in pornographic magazines, or, for that matter in scientific publications. The shocking originality of this journal is that it gave both homosexuals and non-homosexuals a chance to speak freely of their problems for themselves.

[Some notes for the trial are preserved as well.] In the first place, why is Guattari being held responsible, because the journal expresses the views of a group and was collectively produced [good, practical version of the romance of merging subjectivites with Deleuze etc] . All its participants asked to be charged. Charging Guattari involves one of those dubious principles of representation — he is responsible for the journal, the court represents the law, Parliament represents the people, universities knowledge and gays perversion. This form of representation simply produces 'the bad theatre' of official and institutional proceedings. They only wanted to give a voice to those who are never normally heard, and, because they are sometimes questioned for their own views, they gave them too.

Any trial should have the judges in the room and any speakers facing the public. All the witnesses should be present. Anyone who wants to speak should be given free voice. In the old days, the young militant Guattari would simply have refused to participate, and seen the fine as a payment for free expression, at the risk of being jailed for contempt of court. Nowadays, the trial has an interest of its own, especially whether all its procedures and his guilt are already pre-inscribed in laws.

Why should texts be singled out for action, when they clearly represent the social relations or context in which they appear? The important thing is to look at life and how it operates with its own everyday version of jurisprudence. The way homosexuality has changed is interesting, especially in the way it has developed its own '"customary law"'.

There is a ridiculous side to these proceedings too. His home and the premises at Laborde had been searched by the police, but all the time copies of the journal were freely on sale in bookstores! This seems to have puzzled even the examining judge. More seriously, was it the content of the issue or its form that caused the problem? The content is very rich and has particularly described the position of homosexuals in society, the homosexual lives of different immigrant groups from North Africa, the sexual misery of young people, the combination of sexual dependence with racist fantasies, and masturbation, a 'relatively unknown subject' (191). The form of the issue cause problems because it does not fit any of the existing categories — it is not an art book, a porno magazine, an erotic novel for the elite, nor an austere scientific communication.

There was no single author. Demands for one by the authorities cannot be answered. The material itself was made up of things like 'reports, discussions and montages', even sentences from graffiti, and so was the layout. The law was forced to hold him responsible as the legal director. Perhaps the issue was that people were allowed to speak without the usual 'pseudoscientific screen'? Letting people speak in their own way was seen as dangerous, but the implication is that we must 'institute the police for dreams and fantasies', and any spontaneous public expression is written on walls must be suppressed. However, forbidding expression of this kind will only produce larger problems for the social organization. It is wrong to think that the expression of desire means disorder and irrationality — the current neurotic order imposing conformity is the real disorder and irrationality: repression makes sexuality 'shameful and sometimes aggressive'.

This desire is political really focusing on any new approach to daily life and desire or any new forms of expression since 1968. People can only express themselves through their representatives. But violent repression will only produce more violence. Repression of these new forms of social desire will lead to absolute revolt, desperation, even collective suicide, as in some elements of fascism. So judges have to decide as well — are they on the side of the dominant order, or can they give a hearing to another order 'that seeks to build another world'.

Subjectivities: for Better and for Worse

[Rehearsal of usual themes of cartography. Quite an interesting account of 'poetic' creativity via Bakhtin]

Experience in psychotherapy has convinced him that the production of subjectivity is increasingly important. It is produced by 'individual, collective and institutional factors' (193). The different semiotic registers involved are not organized in the conventional hierarchies, like bases and superstructures — sometimes collective psychological elements influence economic behaviour as in stock market crashes. Subjectivity is plural or 'polyphonic' as in Bakhtin. There is no single dominant factor, no 'univocal causality'. The old oppositions between individual subject and society, behind the usual models of the Unconscious, no longer hold. We are now aware of machinic processes and recently ethological and ecological ones as well.

Subjective factors are if anything increasingly dominant in politics. The Chinese student movement carried a 'contagious affective burden' far beyond its immediate demands, relating to lifestyle, social relations and so on. These collective mutations are likely to be permanent. They are not always liberating, as in the Iranian revolution which has 'religious archaisms' and conservative attitudes (194). These examples show how claims that begin as subjective escalate into things like demands for local autonomy. There is no longer any universal representation of subjectivity, and the old ones were always embedded in 'capitalistic colonialism'.

They 'semiotic productions' of telecommunications and the mass media are also crucial and can no longer be separated from purely psychological subjectivity. Technological machines are at the heart of human subjectivity these days, affecting memory, intelligence, but also affect and fantasies. This shows the heterogeneity of the components producing subjectivity. They also include 'a-signifying semiotic dimensions'[affect?] which are not just conventionally linguistic. Thus it was a mistake to attempt to impose models of the linguistic signifier on the psyche. Machinic transformations indicate heterogeneity not homogenization of subjectivity. Computer assistance, for example leads to new images and also to the resolution of new problems in mathematics. It is a form of creativity, inventing 'new universes of reference' but also offers 'mindnumbing mass mediatization'. It's just possible that we will move to a new post-media era, moving from mass forms to re-singularised forms.

Heterogeneous subjectivity also implies ethnological and ecological aspects. D Stern examined the 'preverbal subjective formulations of the infant' (195), and rejected the notion of Freudian stages in favour of 'levels of subjectivation' which operate in parallel throughout life. The Freudian complexes cannot be universal. Infants initially have trans subjective experiences, [shades of Ettinger] with no separated sense of self and other. The dialectic [sic] between shared and non-shared affects leads to a notion of an emergent subjectivity, something continually recovered in subjective activities like dreams, 'creative elation, feelings of love'.

Both social and mental ecology have emerged as important at La Borde. The aim is to engage the mentally ill in 'a climate of activity and of responsibility on all levels'. The most heterogeneous experiences can help the positive development of a patient — relations to architecture, economic activity, management of the different vectors of treatment, opportunities to encounter the outside and 'the processual development of factual "singularities"' [any factual matter arising can be used to explore singular subjective reactions?]. The aim is to produce 'authentic' relations to the other. Practice is a crucial element, aiming to develop 'a process of assuming autonomy, or of autopoiesis, in the sense given the term by Francisco Varela'.

There are other examples in family psychotherapy [citing the work of Mony Elkaim -- pass], and this has particular critical implications for Anglo-Saxon 'systemist'  theories [must look this up]. Apparently, a range of treatments are on offer in Elkaim, not just scientistic ones — 'the therapist is engaged, takes risks, and doesn't hesitate to weigh in with his or her own fantasies'. Apparently, the aim is to build 'existential authenticity' but one which still allows 'freedom of play'. In training, apparently simulated situations become 'more real than life', another creative dimension.

We should understand subjectivity as 'a configuration of collective assemblages of enunciation'. We can suggest 'a provisional definition'(196) [and it is a beauty!]. '"The set of conditions that make it possible for individual and/or collective factors to emerge as a sui-referential existential territory, adjacent or in a determining position to an alterity that is itself subjective"'. Subjectivity individuated itself in certain contexts, locating themselves among 'relations of alterity' governed by social groups like family and law, or social customs. Sometimes subjectivity takes a collective form, although even there it is not 'exclusively social'. Collective in this case means displaying a multiplicity beyond the individual, both extending to the social and also to the 'preverbal intensities that arise more from a logic of the affects', resisting the usual logic [heavy influence from Deleuze here? See Logic of Sense].

The Freudian unconscious saw it as some great area hidden from the psyche but containing all the workings of 'drives affects and cognitions'. However, these theories can no longer be disentangled from various practices including analytic, institutional and even literary ones which refer to it. 'The unconscious has become an institution', or collective assemblage. It becomes imposed on us whenever we do something like dreaming or display Freudian slips. Freudian discoveries are better understood as inventions, and they have helped develop approaches to the psyche. Christians invented new kinds of subjectivation as did other regimes such as Romanticism or Bolshevism, and Freudian groups have also generated new ways to feel, to display neurosis or to understand myths. The concept itself has evolved, becoming more centred on the analysis of the self, adaptation to society, or 'conformity to the signifying order' (197).

We should now consider these models as examples among others for the production of subjectivity. They cannot be separated from technical and institutional supports, nor from their impact on psychiatry or university teaching or even the mass media. What these models show is a more general point that each individual and social group has 'its own system of modelling unconscious subjectivity' or cartography, mapping points that are cognitive but also mythic or ritualistic or symptomatological, grasping affects, anxieties and attempts to manage drives. We can use this general model to make critical points about the current market forms of psychoanalysis and whether they continue to be adequate, especially in grasping a changing world. Freudian models are clearly linked to a society of the past with its 'phallocratic traditions and its subjective variants'. We now need a process of modelling turn towards the future and to new social and aesthetic practices. We are facing the devaluation of the meaning of life and fragmentation of the self, and also conservative forces constructing a defensive 'secure, ossified, and dogmatic consciousness'.

He and Deleuze have rejected all the dualisms in Freud, including the one between the conscious and the unconscious, those at work in Oedipus and so on. Instead they see the unconscious as offering 'superimposed, multiple strata of subjectivations, heterogeneous strata of development' with different sorts of consistency. This model is more schizo, liberated from the family, turned more towards current praxis rather than regression to the past. It is not just an unconscious of structure and language, but one of 'flux and abstract machines' (198). However, these are not fixed scientific doctrines and 'we invite our readers to freely take and leave the concepts we advance' [just a defensive tactic surely?]. It is the cartographic method that is important with its focus on 'autopoiesis of the means of production of subjectivity'.

It is not that analysis is like art, but implications for autonomy are aesthetic and involve ethical choice — we either reify and objectify or focus on 'processual creativity'. Kant placed disinterestedness at the heart of judgements of taste, but this is not an essential dimension, and we still need to explain how disinterest affects the psyche. Better to think of how new fields of reference are generated by the emerging autonomy of 'certain semiotic segments'. We need to know this to generate a new singularization implying new coefficients of freedom. This is like detaching partial objects from a field of dominant significations. It promotes 'mutant desire' rather than disinterestedness.

Bakhtin's 1924 essay [pass] refers to a process of isolation or detachment of particular cognitive and ethical contents which then produces a certain consummation in the aesthetic object. This permits 'a transfer of subjectivation' between authors and contemplaters of a work: viewers become to some extent co-creators. Aesthetic form is a matter of isolation and detachment leading to a creative development of expressive matter, but there is also a certain cognitive as well as ethical detachment — it's a detachment from a context, from something that seems natural or ethically binding [maybe]. A particular segment of content appeals to an author and 'engenders' an aesthetic utterance. In music, for example, effects are generated that are not just a matter of the sounds used or the form of the composition, something is '"detached and effectively irreversible"' (199). Composers and listeners grasp the act of striving, the tensions that are apparent between conventions, and this can somehow be immediately actualized and consummated.

It's the same with creative subjectivity and poetry. A poet might isolate something like the phonic side of a word 'its musical aspect', or what it signifies, or how it relates to verbal connections, its intonations, and this can generate 'the feeling of verbal activity', matters of 'articulation, gesture, mimicry' and this draws in connected aspects of a word [actually 'the soul of a word'] and produces a unity. All this is based on Bakhtin.

We see this going on in other areas too, with 'existential refrains'. Given that modes of subjectivation are polyphonic, there are obviously multiple ways to '"beat time"'. Various rhythms '"crystallise''existential enunciations' which are incarnated and singularised. In a complex refrain we see the intersection of heterogeneous forms of subjectivation. Standard universal time does not represent our subjective experience of it. Time operates as various 'intensity – refrains' in several registers, in biology, culture, machinic and cosmic ways.

Let's look at the example of watching television. It involves both perceptive fascination with the apparatus, which 'verges on hypnotism' and captures us with narrative, and 'a lateral vigilance with regard to surrounding [eg domestic] events' (200) and the various fantasies that affect our reveries. These different subjectivation components are unified in a refrain — 'I am one'. This refrain is not produced by forms or materials but requires 'the detachment of an existential "motif"' which will act like an attractor in the middle of 'sensible and significational chaos'.

We see this at its simplest in ethology, in birdsong. Specific songs define different functional spaces. 'Archaic societies' developed ritual, songs, dances, masks, various totems and rituals to limit their own collective existential territories. We find the same processes in ancient Greece. We can still experience the effects if we encounter a 'subjective, catalyzing, temporal module that plunges us into sadness, or else into a state of gaiety and animation'. The refrain explains these large effects and also reveals their complexity. For example, 'the incorporeal worlds of music or mathematics' are singular universes. Time takes a form of qualitative mutation, analysis is not about interpreting symptoms but inventing new 'catalytic centres' [music he means?] generating new bifurcated experiences. We can see that singularities, 'the detachment of semiotic content' in, say, Dadaism or Surrealism can produce new centres of subjectification. Chemistry had to extract underlying homogenous atoms and molecules from complex mixtures so it could then recombine them and even predict new chemical entities, so if we extract and separate aesthetic subjectivities, producing partial objects, we can encourage 'an immense complexification of subjectivity, of new and unprecedented existential harmonies, polyphonies, rhythms and orchestration' [sounds close to Levi Strauss and structuralist anthropology]

This massive information flow, 'machinically generated' has destroyed the old territorialities, replacing, for example the notion of the demonic with a general demystification. This is what makes the poetic function important to reconstruct universities of subjectification. These will be 'artificially rarefied' but also re-singularised. The point is not to transmit direct messages or images to help our identities, but rather to 'catalyze the existential operators' which we can use to acquire 'consistency and persistency within the current mass media chaos' (201). This form of catalysis, found most explicitly in artistic activity can connect ['engages quasi-synchronically the enunciated recrystallisation' — what a pompous fart] efforts by creators, interpreters and consumers and produce a new 'recrystallisation'. It can help break with the usual significations and denotations and produce whole new 'universes of reference' [but only for enlightened individuals?]

If it is socially and historically located ['released into a given enunciative zone'] it becomes a centre for mutant forms of self reference and self-evaluation. It can overturn dominant linguistic redundancies [that is words fixed one-to-one to objects] and classification systems, and particular semiotic segments are repurposed, becoming refrains [which have an 'existential, a-signifying function' --a-signifying because they are so personally existential?]. They take the form of partial enunciations which develop subjectivation. It doesn't matter what the actual material is, whether music or dance, for example [Buto dance of course]. What is important is a new connection between heterogeneous components in a new existential structure, and that will depend on developing a particular rhythm to constrain time ['the mutant, rhythmic trajectory of temporalization'].

More generally, how can we shift mechanisms of subjectivation out of the conventional social serials into processes of singularisation? The degeneration of social solidarity and psychic life will have to be reinvented in the new environmental crises. We need three ecologies, [as in the book]. We cannot deal with environmental threats without changing our mentality and developing a new way of life. International cooperation will only follow after solutions for the problems in the Third World. The mass media can only be restructured and reappropriated if there are no marked differences among us culturally. We will not improve human living conditions without advancing the condition of women. We must rethink the division of labour. We must address our obsession with growth. The 'only acceptable end' for human activity is to produce a subjectivity that relates to the world. We can produce subjectivity like this on large or small scales, but we must grasp the inner workings of the production of subjectivity. Thus 'poetry, to day, has perhaps more to teachers than the economic and human sciences put together' [dangerous bollocks to end with. Poetry itself has degenerated into banal, cutup sentences whingeing about problems of identity].

A Liberation of Desire. An Interview by George Stambolian

[As usual, I am focusing on Guattari's answers, and not seeing them as responses to individual questions. GS's focus seems to be mostly on homosexuality]

The French authorities have reacted in an old fashion way to some examples of sexual politics as part of a more subtle repressive policy. The judges in the trial of Recherches were disturbed as much by the discussion of masturbation, implying 'the expression of sexuality going in all directions' (204).

The real problem is not to liberate sex but desire. To confine desire to sexuality is to subject it to power, stratification of social groups. Even activist sexual liberation groups can develop repressive systems. Desire exists before the development of opposed subjects and objects, before representation and production. 'It's everything whereby the world and affects constitute us outside of ourselves, in spite of ourselves.' (205). It is a flow, but not some sort of 'undifferentiated magma', nor something that structured in standard forms of reference. Instead 'machines arrange and connect flows' and do not distinguish between 'persons, organs, material flows, and semiotic flows'.

The semiotics of the body has been repressed by 'the capitalist- socialist-bureaucratic system'. Whenever the body is emphasized, breaks with this dominant semiotics are threatened. We can see this with dance, homosexuality, or even when heterosexual men become bodies — 'when a man becomes body, he becomes feminine'. Successful heterosexual relations can become homosexual and feminine. The feminine is not the same as women as such: with them, the semiotics of the body has become 'phallocentric'. There is only one sexuality which is not defined by these conventional roles. It is flow or body. Even men become woman in their relationships. Women can get closer to the role of desire 'because of her alienation'. Responding to desire for men might involve first a position of homosexuality and then 'a feminine becoming', but there are other becomings as well — animal, plant, cosmos. Admittedly, 'this formulation is very tentative and ambiguous' (206).

It is not just that women are seen as somehow more bodily. They have preserved 'bodily jouissance and pleasure' better than men. The male libido is concentrated on not just the penis but on domination, ejaculation, possession. Ironically this denies sexuality to men unless they get their partners to agree to treat them a bit like women or a homosexual. This is not to say that homosexuals are women, but there is some 'interaction' between homosexuals, transvestites and women, 'a kind of common struggle in their relation to the body'.

After working with Lacan, it is necessary now to break with psychoanalysis. That 'transforms and deforms the unconscious' with its categories. The unconscious is just seen as always there, something genetic, something aimed at social conformity. Schizoanalysis wants to construct an unconscious, 'with all possible semiotic means', with individuals but also groups, machines, 'struggles, and arrangements of every nature'. There is no role for transference, interpretation or delegation to a specialist. Psychoanalytic ideas have not only been spread in the commercial press and the universities, but have affected everyday perceptions, so that ordinary people now feel the need to act as interpreters or gurus, or encourage transference.

The schizoanalysis of Kafka in the book arose after discussion with Deleuze. It is a schizo analysis of their relation to Kafka's work, but also to his context, including the 'certain bureaucratic eros' found in Vienna in the 1920s. Kafka no doubt found great pleasure in his writing by exploring the 'demonic world he entered at night to work'. Creation is joyful rather than psychotic, not based on a lack. In the book on Kafka [says GS], a 'minor literature' deterritorializes the major language, involving an inevitable connection to politics. [FG says] Homosexual writers do not typically do this, however, but remain within 'Oedipal homosexuality', a kind of betrayal that we find even with Gide. In Anti-Oedipus, we note [apparently] that Proust said there were two types of homosexuality — Oedipal, and 'therefore exclusive, global, and neurotic' [this is actually a quote in a question by GS], and a-Oedipal 'inclusive, partial, and localized'. The latter can also be called transsexuality. [FG says] H
omosexuality might also enter onto the demonic, but so does crime and crime literature. This indicates 'a residue of desire in the social world' for mystery (208). This can be turned into a repressive machine.

[GS says that Guattari writes that everything breaking with the established order has something to do with homosexuality, or other forms of becoming. In that sense, we can find traces of what is homosexual even in apparently heterosexual writers. This might be suggesting a new connection between homosexuality, sexuality and creativity]

Any literary machine starts itself by connecting with other machines of desire. Virginia Woolf shows some signs of becoming man, paradoxically a part of her own becoming woman. She shows this in Orlando who is both man and woman. Woolf was a woman but she wanted to become a woman writer, requiring becoming woman, and this had to begin by being a man. We can also find this in George Sand. Writing is never just a matter of developing signifiers which relate only to themselves or to power. Writing needs a 'function in something else' — drugs, travel, yoga. Then 'rhythms appear, and need, a desire to speak'. The literary machine requires something outside of writing and literature in order to start it up. That might be a break in sexuality, or a form of becoming. The machine then acts as 'a factory, the means of transmitting energy to a writing machine' (209).

Some break with normality can develop a semiotic connection. For example ill-educated mad people can begin to write or paint after a psychotic attack, and when '"cured"', they lose that capacity. Perhaps Rimbaud had a psychotic attack and when he reverted to normality went into commerce instead of writing. Sometimes 'a little scholastic writing machine' connects with some other 'fabulously perceptive semiotics' in drugs or in war, and this animates the writing machine. So it is not sexuality but desire that leads to creativity.

[GS bangs on and on, and asks about homosexuality in Beckett]. Many of his characters live outside of sexuality although they are still indicating 'a kind of collective setup of enunciation, a collective way of perceiving' (210). But there is 'a sexual relation to objects', as in the 'sucking stones in Molloy'. The elements of homosexuality or sadomasochism are there in the interests of creating theatre. Beckett was also interested in psychopathology and made use of some of its representations in a playful way.  Beckett's is not a politically innocent text. Innocence itself is suspicious and is often an excuse not to look for guilt, a kind of politics 'in germination'. The character K in Kafka is not just innocent, but neither innocent nor guilty, someone simply 'waiting to enter the political scene'. Kafka himself was involved in a political drama around his work. In this sense, 'innocence is always the anticipation of the political problem' [Parisien salon talk]

Whenever we refuse a connection with the referent, with reality, [as structuralists do?] we are doing politics, implying some political individuation of the subject and object, making writing a matter of referring to itself, which 'puts itself in the service of all hierarchies' (211). We end with an arborescent system, a 'regime of unifiable multiplicities'. We want to develop instead the rhizome, 'the regime of pure multiplicities'. We can see this in the work of the Dadaists, in collage or cutup, and one day we might be able to reveal similar breaks in reality, in the social field, and in others, the economic even the cosmic.

Sexual liberation 'is a mystification'. It is right that particular castes and systems gain power, but sexuality must become desire, including the 'freedom to be sexual, that is, to be something else at the same time'. It is necessary to overcome a system that produced different castes. Perhaps we will develop a regime not based on constellations of individuals or relations of power, not on families communes or groups, which always risk micropolitics or 'micro fascism'. The point is not just deliberate homosexuals, but women and children and to avoid the constant danger of alienation and repression in their own power relations. We must identify the 'micro-fascist elements in all our relations with others', and struggle on the molecular level.

Written texts can resist micro fascism by being lengthened, or by containing contradictions or being 'made into a palimpsest'. The point is to avoid writing a work [shades of Roland Barthes here]. It is necessary instead to place 'oneself in a phylum', seeing a piece of writing as a part of the chain rather than something 'eternal and universal'.

There is a danger that by focusing on desire, we might miss the specifics of homosexual liberation struggles. The same was said about the struggle of the working class. Generally, it is up to the people involved in the struggles themselves [same old evasion] [GS says that writers often borrow from psychological thought of the time, so theorists have a responsibility, even though activists can accept or reject their theories]. Guattari agrees and says it is a matter of 'pollution'.

[GS is invited to make his own points. He says that there are serious questions for Freud, a focus on the group and not individual, a critique of the Oedipal structure is repressive and paranoid. But getting back to homosexuals, what did FG mean by saying that people can be heterosexual in molar terms but homosexual in personal and molecular terms, in Anti-Oedipus.] Guattari says that he was urging people to look at the entire sexual picture, including sadomasochists, transvestites, prostitutes 'even the murderer' rather than seeking reassurance which will end only in repression. [As C Paglia pointed out, this will never lead to tolerance for bestialists or pederasts of course.]

Desire is always outside convention, 'it always belongs to a minority' (213). There can never be just heterosexual sexuality. Marriage, for example ends desire. He has never seen a heterosexual couple that operates solely with desire. Homosexuality can be dependent on heterosexuality in a reductionist way. A totally sexed body would include all perceptions, so the problem is 'how to sexualise the body, how to make bodies desire, vibrate — all aspects of the body'.

Is not just a matter of developing fantasies: the issue is representation. With desire, semiotic flows of a different nature are found, including verbal ones. These are not matters of fantasy because something really functions there. Fantasy [spelt in the Freudian manner now as phantasy] is always related to content. Expression is more important and how it connects with the body. Poetry can transmit itself to the body through rhythm. Proper phantasies do not just represent content but offer something that 'carries us away'. There are phantasies of form as well, and there is always the danger of 'micro-fascistic crystallisations', as with the rituals of sadomasochism. Even here, it is not just a ritualistic form but the relation to the other person and their complicity [stressed in Deleuze's account of Sacher-Masoch] . Desire always escapes from formal representations and power formations. It is not just informational content, it does not deform but disconnect, 'changes, modifies, organises other forms, and then abandons them' (214).

The official categories of literary texts do not explain why people love them. That is a matter of desire. The forms of love with different authors can be quite different. To systematise runs the risk of 'becoming a professor of literature'. Certain text function in this way to liberate desire. They 'multiply our functioning. They turn us into madmen; they make us vibrate'.

Toward a New Perspective on Identity. An Interview by Jean-Charles Jambon and Nathalie Magnan

Subjectivity has been domesticated ['neuroleptized']. It involves both inventiveness and creativity and also a 'terrifying threshold of meaninglessness' (215). Subjectivity is never already given, but needs to be produced. In contrast of the dominant subjectivity, there is a formulation which could be called 'chaosmic', an 'interplay between complexity and chaos'. All disturbances have to be managed, but creative openings to the world are still found with adolescents, the homosexual world, homosexual becoming.

Becoming relates paradoxically to time. It is not just the progressive development of history but a matter of 'seeing how problematizings occur'. Conventional psychoanalysis sees homosexuality as the result of some pre-Oedipal fixation, while awaiting proper genitality, but there are ontological issues as well. Classic discursivity is structured around binaries like masculine-feminine, object-subject which are forever 'haunted by a transcendent object'. To escape, we need to access 'an intensive, existential relation, a relation of immanence' (216) which refuses binaries like before and after, black and white, male and female. We should aim at 'a point of crystallization' in existence, not a pure abstraction or idea, but rather one relating to music or flesh, a becoming. This becoming is linked to a praxis. Even before we come to be homosexual we have to make ourselves homosexual, become homosexual, an 'essential praxis of homosexuality', however limited. We have to also constitute micro territories which we can inhabit to feel recognized. This is a perspective on identity which implies that conventional identities 'explode'. We have to assume 'ontological pluralism' which allows people to become homosexual, but not just as a matter of sexuality, but more to do with relations to the other, to multiple dimensions in the cosmos. The conventional view is reductionist.

We should aim to break the conventional coordinates, pursuing both closure and an opening. We risk madness and disorder [without both?]. Any oppositional group claiming a territory outside normal society must do macro politics but also micropolitics. Both levels involve a question about subjectivity.

We should see identity as a matter of 'existential territory', 'some sort of human cluster' required for human existence, although something which must not be allowed to constrain. The issue is accepting the other, accepting 'subjective pluralism'. It's not just a matter of tolerating other groups but also 'of a desire for dissensus, otherness, difference'. This is a matter not just of rights but of desire, and it depends on assuming that there is 'multiplicity within oneself'.

Genet Regained

[I have notes on this already, at the end of Schizophrenic Cartographies]

Capitalistic Systems, Structures and Processes. With Eric Alliez

[I must say I have had difficulties with this whole argument in Guattari and in Deleuze and Guattari that we can classify social formations as sign regimes. I thought that would be a form of linguistic reductionism. I think this article helps dispel that worry a bit, and it prompted me to remember that Guattari is talking about semiotization not just linguistics. Semiotization involves semiotic activity in a number of different activities, not just formal human language, and it opposes the tendency to reduce everything to structural linguistics in particular. The target is often Lacan, but I think the same argument could be advanced against people like Laclau and Mouffe, who embraced a structuralist notion of discourse theory to effect a move they claimed was post-Marxist. In this argument, Marxism was a discourse, just like any other, and politics should be a matter of forming up new discourses, obviously with a sort of rainbow coalition in mind. I think the position of Guattari, writing here with Alliez can provide a useful critique of that view too. What a shame it never really affected British cultural politics in its own struggles with the linguistic turn.]

Capitalism is a system with both economic and social dimensions. Here it is defined as 'a general function of semiotization of a certain mode of production, circulation and distribution' (232). Capitalism is the '"method"' of Capital. It valorises commodities based on a particular syntax with its accompanying 'index and symbolisation systems'. This syntax allows 'over-coding and control' to manage the system. Such semiotization is inseparable from technical and socio-economic arrangements, but it still has 'an intrinsic coherence'. There is a style of capitalist writing comparable to the axioms of mathematics, and mathematics cannot be challenged just by examining its applications.

Capitalism also generates particular kinds of social relations through 'regulation, laws, usages and practices'. The principal division of labour is between those who have power and those who are subject to it, both in economic life and in knowledge and culture. The socius develops particular segments including divisions between sexes ages and races. This 'structure of segmentarity' is also internally coherent and can resist historical transformations or upheavals. Nevertheless, it is not a matter of eternal law, but one of an evolving order, just as with economic syntax. There is no unilateral or causal process here, but the semiotic system and the social structure of segments go together. These distinctions are only relevant because they interact differently with the third level — the process of production. So we cannot use classic Marxist notions of infrastructure or mere relations of production. Production here means more than just the Marxist notion and extends to 'the infinitely extensible domain of concrete and abstract machines' (234), and these operate with material forces, human labour and social relations, and 'investments of desire'. The components can be ordered in such a way as to provide new potentialities, and these 'processual interactions shall be called diagrammatic — and we shall speak of machinic surplus value'.

Problems arising include whether we can still talk about capitalism as a general entity, and the role of history in producing diverse versions. Here, it is the sphere of production which provides continuity. Capitalism can be found wherever there is 'exploitation of proletarian classes' or, 'economic semiotization facilitating the rise of the great markets'. Nevertheless, recent capitalism has taken off best when science, industrial technique, and society have combined in a process of 'generalized transformation (a process combined with deterritorialization)' — a '"machinic knot"', developing a whole '"mecanosphere"'. This is what resists periodic crises and produces a persisting system, unlike any other great civilization.

So capitalism integrates different sorts of machinisms — technical, economic, conceptual, religious, aesthetic, perceptual and desiring machines. The system of semiotization acts as a kind of 'collective computer' (235) and also guides innovations to adapt them to internal drives. The raw material is not directly human or machine labour, but the whole range of 'the means of semiotic pilotage' which integrates the different component parts, instrumentalizes them and makes them part of the social. Overall, 'what capitalizes capital is semiotic power', but of a distinctively systematic and deterritorialized kind. Certain 'social sub-aggregates' semiotize as a form of selective control. But this control is not exercised over everything. It is necessary in capitalism 'to arrange marginal freedoms, relative spaces for creativity'. However the main 'semiotic wheels' remain for the key productive elements especially those which adjust machine power. Historically, we can find an interest in all domains of the social, but such domination is not the main focus. Instead capitalism is 'continuously a mode of evaluation and technical means of control of the power arrangements and their corresponding formulations'.

It looks mysterious. Radically heterogeneous activities and materials are somehow made equivalent and integrated. It is not just a matter of obvious standardization. Instead, capitalism uses 'diverse operations' to extract machinic surplus value in each area. A single semiotic system can be used to do this with the most heterogeneous areas, economic but also nonmaterial ones found in human activity itself: notions of 'productive – unproductive, public – private, real – imaginary, etc' (236). Thus we have manifest [sic] economic markets but also latent areas of underlying 'values of content'. On the surface there is '"flat"' economic valorisation, but underneath more '"deep"' forms [so no flat ontology here?], relatively unconscious ones. However, even these eventually are judged by formal economic values. There is a certain 'logic of equivalence', producing a general market for values. This completely replaces the old notion of a division between use value and exchange value — these categories no longer have a recognized social content. Exchange value dominates, and at least on the surface of capitalism, there is no remainder of anything natural or spontaneous, or related to needs. There is no revolutionary potential in the reactivation of use values.

[Then there is an interlude where the authors ask themselves questions. Is the domination of exchange value inevitable? Should we be thinking of forms of desire which are more complex which would be subversive? It is important to talk about 'arrangements of desire' to avoid any mythological Otherness or Absence implying something remaining of nature]

Thus capitalism offers a double articulation between the markets dominated by formal economic values and general machinic values. Inequality and manipulation based on exchange relies on this dual market. In particular, capitalistic semiotization operates with: a formal equivalence between heterogeneous and asymmetric forces and powers; the system of closed territories like private property, and social segmentarities based on distribution. Some of the latter include 'modes of feeling, of taste, of "unconscious" choices appropriate to different social groups' (237).

[Another self questioning interlude]. The risk now is that a particular combination of markets looks like some historical necessity  [Braverman's problem with  deskilling, I recall], some universal process that makes it look as if precapitalist forms were somehow already residues waiting to be quantified. It is true that capitalist markets provide a much more visible form of inequality, much more transparent compared with early citystate economies, for example, but we would be wrong to think of these as easy to understand, simply rehearsals for capitalism [maybe]. Colonial exploitation, similarly, is not an early form of market relationship, but rather 'pillage' covered by the exchange of status goods. All this will help combat the current neoliberal view that the capitalist market is liberating in all places and situations.

Neoliberals argue that only the market balances costs and constraints. With this view, the progress of history becomes the gradual realization of inevitable progress and historical necessity. The market is the only system that mobilizes information in a way that regulates complex societies [and Hayek is quoted here on the market as a way of distributing not only goods but knowledge and information of a cybernetic kind]. However, free markets are not the basis of interactions with the Third World! Inequality is not just a historical residue. Exchanges in the market are not just the result of a lack of information, but rather 'an ideological disguise of the processes of social subjection', necessary to gain some sort of 'optimal libidinal consent' extending to 'active submission' to exploitation and division. None of these categories, including distinctions between goods and activities, are relevant, 'compared with the machinic values and the values of desire'. When human activities are controlled and guided by capitalism, active machinic goods can be generated, but other goods can be made dated and devalued, losing their '"machinic virulence"'. Even active machinic goods become a form of machinic power, and any devaluing shows the domination of machinic power by formal powers or authorities.

[Another thoughtful interlude. By stressing things like the opposition between markets and social segments, we downplay the integrating factors. If we oppose semiotic activities like economic information and machinic processes, we downplay 'territorialized collective investments, the effective structures of the economic and social ethology'. We risk 'formalistic sociological reductions' {dividing economic and social?}, or formal 'dialectical' categories instead of historical realities. Somehow, the three components 'systematic, structural and processual' have to be linked, but only by examining 'contingent priority' exercised by one of them].

In particular, the categories of economists and the separate systems they claim to study have always been linked closely, 'either in competition or in complementarity'. Forms of existence, 'commercial, industrial, financial, monopolistic, statist or bureaucratic valorisation', only look different if we select their components and make one of them dominant. Instead, we can think of general processes, 'reduced here to 3 terms': processes of machinic production, structures of social segmentarities, 'the dominant economic semiotic systems' (239) [emphasis on process, structures and systems]. This is a 'minimum model'. The components develop a 'sort of generative chemistry of arrangements of economic valorisation' depending on particular contingent priorities.

We can produce a whole table [oh no] of different types [this is going to guide the discussion in the rest of it]. In this we are arguing that social segmentarities should be studied only from the point of view of the 'economic problematic of the  [modern] State' [so we've got an argument in our very description!]. We are interested in economic semiotization only in terms of the problematics of the [very general as above] market. We will not examine the productive processes in any more detail.

types of capitalism

Our heroes are not offering 'a general typology of historical forms of capitalism' (240), but simply showing there are different formulations of capitalism. They could be even more complexity by introducing extra components or differentiating each component, [what you would expect from a machinic notion of each component — they seem to be extending the notion of machinism to refer to a general level of State power which can be exercised in different economic systems]. However, they going to between systems, apparently which 'go in the same historical direction' [they are going to find what they set out to find in the first place].

In particular they are interested in the ways in which some formations seem prone to historical upheavals and disequilibrium, a result of the dominance of components of production. The way in which resistance can arise based on allegiances to the old social segments, where those are dominant. The extent to which semiotization can be adaptable and increasingly productive, increasingly diagrammatic, and this depends on the extent to which semiotization can colonise social and libidinal life: when this happens society will be transformed and semiotization will 'subjugate it to the machinic phylum'.

The phylum of production clearly relates to the direction of history, but not in a finalized way. The same machinic direction can produce a number of different historical directions. 'The machinic phylum inhabits and directs the historical rhizome of capitalism' [not a blueprint] and social segmentarities and economic valorisation play an equal part.

[To develop some of these points]. The priority of the market over production and state [option b], showed examples where commerce even exceeded the requirements of the state — where the Dutch sold arms to the Portuguese or French. The result was 'a sort of Baroque flowering' of a number of different cultural and institutional spheres, providing a problem of consolidation and coordination. This was developed through an extensive credit system, replacing the inability of mediaeval law to regulate commerce [details follow with lots of historical examples about Venetian bankers, page 241]. The banks wielded more power than the State [post the financial crash of 2008, the bastards still do]

Where markets dominate over states which dominate production [option c] we find 19th-century liberalism, but the problem here is the constitution of the modern territorial state. Liberalism had to concern itself with the establishment of a State apparatus as much as with production. Habermas is quoted here that there was no actual established ideology, but rather an emerging 'juridical formulation' of notions such as the role of markets in equilibrium. This equally opposed any form of interference in the operation of the hidden hand [my term] of the market. This particular combination of the absence of intervention was 'a unique historical conjunction' (242), where, in Hobbes's terms, the system was driven by a notion of truth rather than law [if I have translated the Latin correctly]. They massive economic power of England seem to be able to avoid political issues such as the control of wealth and still prosper [that is why the Corn Laws lasted so long G and A claim]. This is the essence of liberalism to claim the absence of authority while affirming 'supreme power', produced by some abstract 'equivalence of content' [the free market is to extend to everything?]. It was not until the growing rationalisation of domination that the notion of truth gave way to the notion of reason, and eventually the idea that wealth was power and vice versa. The example also shows that the State develops according to the social and political situation. Wherever there are large markets, there needs to be central control, but this can be 'a subtle one'. Ever expanding production and market forces ended up complementing the emergence of territorial States to manage the limits of the system, such as its inability to provide necessary equipment like infrastructure, military kit and so on.

In cases where the state dominates, the market can be reduced to 3rd place [option a]. The problems here are to control the accumulation of capital and surplus value by state means, and a necessary level of control of social segments including the aristocracy all the regulation of modern social classes. Sometimes production had to be entirely controlled, restricted or directed towards war. Military techniques might deliver machinic developments, but these will also be restricted as will any 'creative initiative' (243). In the Asiatic case, ossified states were easily overcome by nomadic war machines.

Where production is reduced to 3rd place [option f], we get state capitalism as in Stalinism, looking rather like Asiatic modes. The specific historical problem here relates to the establishment of markets including markets for prestige goods relating to innovation and desire. Social segmentarities can be heavily regulated, but authoritarian control is open to disturbance by outside influences and instability produced by the 'machinic productive phylum'. Economic growth threatens the political system, and there are now [then] demands for democratisation [I have always liked the argument that these arise from the contradictions of state socialism which also includes elements of revolutionary upheaval and renewal, as actualizations of the machinic potentials of socialism].

Where production is the priority and the market becomes reduced to 3rd place [option d], we get systems like 'classical imperialist exploitation'. This is a 'supplementary form of accumulation' through colonization — there is no need to prevent disorganization of the colonized society. There is a tendency towards metropolitan concentration of capital and the strengthening of the central state. The disorganisation of the colonized society also produces particular difficulties, and the imposition of a European style state can only offer a 'highly artificial' (244) solution.

Where production dominates and the state is in third place [option e], we get integrated world capitalism [IWC], which operates both at the global and the molecular level. It depends on new 'semiotic means of evaluation and valorisation of capital' and these have extra potentials to integrate all human activities and faculties. The entire society becomes productive, capital ascends to its maximum height over social life, if 'machinic integration and social reproduction' can be harmonised. This in turn happens if there is a complex 'machinic reterritorialization' of at least the 'essential axioms' of social life, 'hierarchical, racist, sexist, etc'. There is the development of 'social – machinic capital', with neoliberal thought enjoying a revival following the development and spread of information theory. Such information becomes a factor of production itself, and helps us decode social life as a form of 'cybernetic capital'. The old 'transcendental schematism' of Keynesian  state interventions to restore equilibrium is replaced. There is a new emphasis on social circulation, not just to validate the profit system. There is a new integration between 'production – reterritorialization – capitalisation of machinic profits', new forms of manipulation and control to reproduce segmented society. Capital appears to be some totality without origins or contradictions, not open to criticism, accompanied with a new 'totalitarian discourse... the cynicism of the "new economics"'. The point is to affirm production for production's sake [the example is huge American spending on military research]. Productive space has to be permanently restructured to integrate data on the global level. Crisis plays a role in this in encouraging increased 'integrative fusion between production and circulation, production and information, production and resegmentalization of society' (245).

Capital gains maximal 'synergetic fluidity'. We see this at two levels. First there is the 'mobile factory', changes in the work process, the production of '"pseudo-– commodities', 'only indirectly products of labour', the domination of organization and information which makes actual production just a nodal point in a global network. Production is adjusted to provide maximum fluidity, and this will usually involve temporary labour. Secondly, there is a mobile state, or minimum state for liberals, which no longer protects its national territory, but participates in 'the transnational space of valorisation', as a form of 'thermodynamic balance — a long way from equilibrium'.

The problem with IWC concerns its power to integrate and manage innovation. IWC is only one capitalist formulation. It has to adjust itself to 'the survival of large zones of archaic economy', cooperate with liberal and colonial economies and with Stalinist ones. Manage a progressive attitude to technical and scientific change while remaining conservative in the social domain, 'not for ideological reasons, but for functional reasons'. This might indeed offer a series of 'insurmountable contradictions'. The ability to adapt might bump into a limit if the capacities of resistance by social groups is renewed in the name of opposing one-dimensionality ['"unidimensionalizing" ends']. These contradictions might not be terminal, but crises can accumulate. Its progress seems inexorable and irreversible, but it generates such conflict with different ways of life that new collective responses might develop, 'new structures of declaration, evaluation and action' from all sorts of areas. We might be encouraged by 'the appearance of new people's war machines as in El Salvador... workers control movements in Eastern Europe', Italian autonomism, all sorts of molecular revolution. We should bear this in mind when we redefine the objectives of revolutionary transformation.

Communist Propositions with Antonio Negri

[Pretty well unreadable piece, full of technical terms, allusions to all kinds of political arguments, and a kind of propagandist exhortatory tone -- who was the audience exactly?. Horribly optimistic as well given the circumstances. I found it very difficult to attend to]

We must develop a new kind of alliance between the new proletariat and 'the most dynamic sectors of productive society' (248). It must take on current restructuring which has both rendered ineffective the industrial working classes and develop new relations in tertiary and scientific sectors. There must be a particular connection with the 'nonguaranteed'[defined in a note as those workers who are 'more marginal and are not insured' (259) — presumably meaning with fewer, or no, unemployment and welfare rights]. The connection should no longer assume that the traditional working class will take the lead, because 'the discourses on worker centrality and hegemony are thoroughly defunct'. What is required is not unification but 'multi valent engagement of all social forces' to both break capitalist power and articulate new subjective forces to resist 'mass media suggestion'.

Affiliations will not just develop in particular areas of friction. Those can be reincorporated in IWC. It must be a matter of 'self production of emancipation' (249), both singular and 'externally offensive'. Everything that might contribute to cooperation and subjectivity outside of the dominant power must be used in a new anticapitalist alliance. Production is still the key, of goods, but also of social solidarity, freedom, 'aesthetic universes'. Marginal and minority concerns are where we will find such productions in a 'molecular web'.

Nonguaranteed workers are currently seen as a heterogeneous group excluded from the realities of production. Other representations are necessary. There will need to be molecular revolutions, new subjective arrangements, processes of singularisation to restore a revolutionary meaning to everyday struggles, avoiding 'sociological stratifications' [actually'statifications' — surely a missprint?] To recompose the proletariat will combat "precarization" and internal division. The potential for molecular revolution is found everywhere 'detotalization' and deterritorialization weaken these stratifications. The revolutionary project is to de-compartmentalise productive society, both as an ideal and as a strategic struggle. This will reverse the current demoralisation. The domination of IWC is also precarious. There are new signs of working class unrest and impatience, discussed directed at their alleged representatives. IWC does not offer the only form of political economy — it has led to industrial shutdown and crisis which can no longer be seen as temporary while the system converts.

Capitalism will not collapse on its own, however. What it threatens is to increase "disciplinarization" on a global scale, directed at all segments. Eventually, guaranteed workers will also become nonguaranteed, and there will no longer be 'true statutory guarantee' (250). The traditional working class 'should resign themselves to this' [should not resign themselves to this?], But they are no longer a social majority and they have to form alliances with 'the immense mass' of exploited and marginalised people, including women, young people, immigrants and minorities of every kind. The traditional components of class struggle against exploitation needs to be linked with the new liberation movements. The Third International has to be abandoned in favour of a new revolutionary movement going on both inside and outside the workers movement.

It should both proliferate and eventually converge because all participants are 'intrinsically unified by exploitation'. It aims to destroy the repressive norms of work and the capitalist appropriation of the whole of life. The privileged point 'resides within the zones of marginalised subjectivity' (251), which is inscribed in the whole business of the creative production process, not something separated any more. We need to recompose 'the social imaginary'.

What was once marginal is now central to capitalist strategy. Those that offer the best analysis of 'command tendencies'are also the most likely to resist. All aspects of liberation by marginal subjects become the material for new expression and creation. That is because 'language and image here are never ideological but always incarnated'. Demands for new rights to transform social life and develop a new communitarian form are appearing in these areas. The production of singularities will become a subversive project. New self understandings of social subjectivity can become 'revolutionary substance' in leading to better understanding of corporatism and demands for political and purification. This has already become apparent in 'common consciousness', but now the 'revolutionary imagination' needs to develop it into a future movement.

We look back on the traditional workers movement in terms of 'resentment, empty repetition and sectarianism'. Nevertheless, the history of struggles is still an integral part of our coordinates and past struggles have brought benefits. We need to move forward, return 'to the sources of hope', a 'collective intentionality', aiming to do something not just be against something. We need to examine real history for its 'many realms of possibility' (252) — 'let 1000 flowers bloom' wherever capitalist destruction might be undermined, or rather 'let a thousand machines of life, art, solidarity, and action' sweep away the old organisations. The new movement might seem immature or spontaneist, but this helps develop the power of expression. At the moment, the 'cacophony of the molecular movements' are crystallising around new collective subjectivities. The slogan to let 1000 machines blossom is also 'an analytic key to the new revolutionary subjectivity', helping us grasp what the singularities are in productive labour. Analysis should lead to a multiplication and a new recomposition to oppose the logic of domination. We should encourage 'the hegemony of singularisation processes on the horizon of social production' as the characteristic of current 'Communist political struggle'.

We should struggle on the welfare front, for egalitarian income against poverty, for alternative rights and to oppose 'corporatist division'. There might be struggles against rent which can be seen to be 'undergirded by the articulations of capitalist command; i.e. a political rent'. The new struggle should be seen as a matter of liberation against corporate slavery and reactionary structures of production, and 'as affirming the processes of singularity as an essential spring of social production'. Courage, patience and intelligence will be required, but progress has already been made, for example in breaking 'the union ghetto or...the political monopoly of the supposed Labour parties' [there is always this attack on the left first].

Production time must be limited by life time. New organisations have to be developed outside of the existing structures which produce and reproduce the existing ways of life. New productive forces have to be revealed and then organised. Scientific and technological development should be involved, but the whole field of productive labour needs to be challenged by 'large movements of collective experimentation' [such as Italian Automatism?]. There will be a double movement expanding social production and also radically changing the work day. The new movement must challenge the corporations and existing legislation on things like the length of the working day. It should not just reform but offer new ways to imagine and study production. The motto should be to 'think, live, experiment, and struggle in another way'. The traditional working class can no longer think of itself as self-sufficient and socially central. This is 'mystification' and has only benefited capitalist or bureaucratic power. The new alliances challenge the old dominant realities.

To take this further, we need to develop 'a first "diagrammatic proposition"'. To attempt to control the length of the working day involves a frontal attack on the whole network of commanding IWC. This in turn means questioning the whole system which integrates the two superpowers, the 'East – West relation', which overcodes international politics. We need to develop alliances instead between North and South, and this will itself bring about new understandings of intellectual and working class proletariats, new flows and structures. This is not Third Worldism, nor is it a matter of encouraging traditional insurrections in the Third World: insurrections even in the developed capitalist countries have not succeeded. Instead it is a matter of 'revolutionary cooperation and aggregation of forces'. At the moment this might look utopian because corporatist politics has dominated in our countries, including the fear of nuclear war.

We have to think again about the problem of power. Traditionally this led to demands just to conquer state power before it disappeared after a period of destruction and terror. This was 'fictive and mystifying'. Instead, the 'revolutionary communist movement' must separate itself from the state as well as from its capitalist model and forms, including 'all levels of subjectivity' (255). The state should be seen as the machine which overdetermines social relations in all areas.

This produces a second 'diagrammatic proposition', on the need to reterritorialize political practice. 'After Yalta', political relations longer coincided with territorial legitimacy. Capitalism tries to make money and 'other abstract equivalents' into the only available territories. Resisting these tendencies does not imply nostalgia for primitive civilisations or primitive communism — no one can undo the existing levels of abstraction which we have developed.

It is conservative and oppressive reterritorialization that must be contested. Communist reterritorialization would be entirely different, not a return to some origin, but rather 'creating conditions which permit people to "make their territory"… within the most deterritorialized flows' [examples include current movements like the Basques or the Palestinians which assume deterritorialized flows of struggle and immigration, and the reaction of nationalist governments].

The issue is to 'reconquer the communitarian spaces of liberty, dialogue and desire' against the 'pseudo-reterritorializations of IWC (example: the "decentralisation" of France, or of the Common Market)'. In particular, the new North-South alliances will reterritorialize politics in the right direction.

The repressive state and its apparatuses must be dis-articulated and dismantled, and attempts to colonise new areas of subjective liberation resisted. 'Forces of love and humour' (256) can be useful, as long as they are not cancelled out by capitalist versions. 'Repression is first and foremost the eradication and perversion of the singular'. It has to be combated in real life and also in intelligence, imagination, and 'collective sensitivity and happiness'. We have to counter 'the powers of implosion and despair'. The state lives surrounded by a defensive civil society, but when it attempts to react to the new demands for freedom, we should respond by 'a new kind of general mobilisation, of multiform subversive alliances. Until it dies smothering its own fury' [fat chance of that].

The antinuclear struggle reveals the current relations between science and the state, based on a split between legitimacy of power and the ends of power. The state accumulates nuclear weapons in the name of guaranteeing peace and order, but this "ethical" legitimation is collapsing, both in theory and in consciousness. Collective production freedom and peace cannot be reduced to power. We have to show how this disastrous connection is essential to the state if we are to prevent it. We have to realise that new forms and types of warfare have emerged, that the threat of the 'final holocaust' is the basis of a world civil war against social emancipation and molecular revolution. War has become 'the permanent frame of our lives'. However, there is no mechanistic causality here, the state can be opposed since it 'derives vitality only from those who abandon themselves to its simulacra' (257) [ridiculous withdrawal of consent thesis].

There is already the 'third great imperialist war'taking place even though it is no longer recognised because it is so mundane. The war is against world proletariats. We need a third diagrammatic proposition — to become aware of this and to make sure that peace is a fundamental component of any north-south axis, not just an empty slogan or a sign of good conscience, but the 'alpha and omega of the revolutionary programme'. Those who wish to be neutral will still experience anguish and they must face the reality.

Finally, organization is needed, to move from 'sparse resistance' to "determinate fronts and machines of struggle'. These must retain their richness and complexity. Overall, it is necessary to redefine the workforce; liberate the time of the work day; engage in permanent struggle against the repressive functions of the state; construct peace and organize machines of struggle which can do all these things. We can move to 3 diagrammatic propositions [overall policies at an abstract level?]: reorient proletarian alliances along a north-south axis; 'conquer and invent new territories of desire' totally separated from state and IWC; construct a proletarian revolutionary movement for peace.

We need to stay lucid and avoid messianism. The goal is a 'movement of revolution and liberation, more effective, more intelligent, more human, more happy than it has ever been' (258).

The Left as Processual Passion

Fascism has reappeared in France, and the left should focus on its own responsibilities as well as its projects. For example there were lots of popular arguments before equating left and right-wing regimes, the gulag and America, and seeing both as a necessary evil in the face of crisis.A lifestyle emphasizing torpor and cynicism is growing. There is the so-called new philosophy including post-modernism which rejects the notion of the social and thus of any possibility of a new political engagement. Traditional values have been restored. The whole mixture has developed 'within the cloying, saccharine context of a yuppie socialism in power' (259) where professional politicians focus on placating finance and oligarchy while tidying their image. Voter turnout has collapsed, fascism has become a force again, collective resistance to conservatism is weakened, both 'racism and a stony inertia' are on the rise.

The gap between professional politicians and public opinion has been revealed by episodes such as the one where a comedian ran for office [in the recent elections between d'Estaing and Mitterand]. The socialist win was almost accidental, and they came to power with no intent to question institutions or to rebuild a Humane Society. Mitterand became a latter-day de Gaulle, converting to managerialism.

French socialists 'have lost the memory of the people' (260). The old split between left and right now seems contingent. Few see the oppressed as potentially creative, or democracy as a means of transformation. The Socialists have failed to develop 'new modes of sociality working at the molecular level', and now compete with the right in terms of 'security, austerity and conservatism'. They have ignored the development of 'new collective modes of expression'. Corporatism has been reaffirmed and fascism has reappeared.

All that now separates the left from the right is 'nothing but a processual calling, a processual passion' [that is, a bureaucratic or managerial passion for process?]. This will not relate to the old social divisions — sometimes the left are conservative, and sometimes the right progressive. What is needed is to revive a dynamic attempt to de-stratify the old structures and aim at 'other forms of equilibria, other worlds'. This will lead to policies to end bureaucratic state functions, and old racist reflexes. Instead, we should develop 'transnational culture... involving other cities, other alliances with the Third World' to avoid 'the two-headed imperialism of the USA – USSR'.

It is within reach. The situation could be reversed 'in a flash'.

Remaking Social Practices

[This seems to be the last thing that Guattari wrote. It is a summary and re-cap of most the themes in his book on the ecologies]

The world has become routine and banal, thanks to the media. We are soothed and reassured. Nothing is of any real consequence. The two superpowers have been destabilized by the disintegration of the USSR. The USA still has internal riots and upheavals. Third World countries remain paralyzed. There are ecological disasters, famine, unemployment, increasing racism. Science and technology have evolved, but their potentials have not been developed for human ends: they have made more of a contribution to ecological disaster. Reductive scientism must be opposed.

The current era can be called '"post-media"' (262), since the mass media industry increasingly filters all our information, offers descriptions but now analysis of the problems. Spectators remain passive, engaged in 'quasi-hypnotic relation' [actually on page 263], cut off from others. New technology, especially convergent technology, might provide new interactive possibilities, however, and allow a new collective sensibility to emerge [oh dear]. This will require groups of people to appropriate the new developments

There are no 'collective incitements' for individuals to tackle these problems. We have an individualism, solitude, 'often synonymous with anxiety and neurosis'. New collective assemblages of enunciation must be developed, a new ecology at the level of environment, society and mental, focused on 'the couple, the family, the school, the neighbourhood, etc'.

The growth of large markets and 'homogenous political spaces' can head in opposite directions depending on the power relations between social groups. For example competition between the USA, Japan, and Europe will drive productivity, but increased structural unemployment, and even produced internal  'social "dualization"'. Relations with the Third World will become more based on conflict as populations grow. However, there may be new forms of regulation if resources are increasingly focused on research or on 'ecological and humanitarian programs' (264). This is not to abandon politics to scientific elites as proposed at a recent global conference. Ecological crisis draws from the 'break in collective subjectivity between rich and poor' requiring a new international democracy.

Perhaps a common fear of catastrophe will bend science back to human values, accidents like Chernobyl. We will still need some practical project. Warning about catastrophe can even fascinate, or release an unconscious 'longing for nothingness'. These fantasies energized German masses in the Nazi epoch. Instead, collective dialogue needs to be re-established, to change mentalities, move beyond current mass media. Of course these changes will not happen until the social and material environment changes, a vicious circle, requiring his three-level model of ecology, his 'ecosophy'.

We cannot go back to re-establish some 'hegemonic ideology' like the old religions or Marxism. The IMF is wrong to attempt to generalize its models of economic growth to the Third World. The world market should not be the leading force. Capitalist growth still remains quantitative, while we need a development in the qualitative. Neither bureaucratic socialism nor world capitalism can dictate the future of human activities. Instead we need 'a planetary dialogue', and a new 'ethic of difference', a 'politics based on the desires of peoples' (265) [badly in need of both Durkheim and JS Mill]. Democratic chaos is better than authoritarian versions.

A certain amount of chaos is inevitable. We already do this when we 'abandon ourselves to the world of dreams' [ridiculous comparison!] . The issue is to work out what can be gained. Capitalist chaos today is driven by the stock market, multinationals, and states, 'decerebrated organizations'. It will never regulate itself. Real estate markets ruin cities, art markets destroy aesthetic creation. We must develop instead 'territorialized markets' grounded in strong social formations, and reinforcing their notions of value. We can think of this in terms of how particular values, 'diverse, heterogeneous, dissensual' can act as attractors in the midst of capitalist chaos.

Marxists thought the class struggle would provide progress. Liberal economists think the free market can, but 'events confirm' that none of these work automatically. Growth is not the same as progress as we see in 'the barbaric resurgence of social and urban confrontations, interethnic conflicts and worldwide economic tensions'. Fascism is an ever present potential, found in our 'universe of virtuality' (266). There is also microfascism, found in racism, fundamentalism or the oppression of women. There are no guarantees that these will be left behind. We need human practices 'collective voluntarism'. Formal guarantees of rights will not work unless there are already institutions and power formations that support them. We need to collectively recreate value systems which avoid capitalist valorisation. Former values like solidarity and compassion are threatened and must be developed. Ethical and aesthetic values are not guaranteed by political codes alone.

The enunciative dimensions of communication need to be emphasized against the tendency to reduce information to objective contents. Language produces subjectivity and encourages 'becoming – consistent of incorporeal universes'. Formal information theory will never grasp this. Truth depends on those who receive it as 'an existential event'. It is not a matter of exact facts, but rather the significance of a problem or 'the consistency of the universe of values' [so communication is incorrigible?].

Contemporary subjectivity needs to be restored as 'fundamentally pluralist, multi-centred, and heterogeneous', to fight off mass media homogenization. Individuals are already collectives. Subjectivity refers to personal territories like the body, but also collective ones like families and communities [and for some peculiar reason 'the ethnic group' (267) — Guattari obviously has in mind only nice versions of interethnic conflict here]. Speech, writing and technological forms of communication also are 'procedures for subjectivation'.

The old precapitalist forms of initiation into traditional groups is rare. Subjectivity is now 'forged through multiple mediations', while the traditional groups have weakened — for example the role of grandparents 'as an intergenerational memory support'. Instead children face 'a new machinic solitude'. This can be good but only if it helps renew sociality — it requires 'polyphonic interlacings between the individual and the social' in a form of 'subjective music'.

We have to rethink the relation between machines and humans. Some people think that machines block our access to 'primordial being', but they might help revive human values instead. Biologists now operate with a machinism, so do linguists, mathematicians and sociologists. This has enlarged our concept of the machine and we can now emphasize some aspects that have not been explored. Machines are not simple totalities. They relate both to the exterior anti-universes of signs and 'fields of virtuality'. These relations are found in 'genetic phylums' [the editors of this journal helpfully explain that a phylum is 'the primitive stock from which a genealogical series issues' -- not very machinic: primiitve forces or energies would be better?(272)]. Relations to the phylum are discussed in both sciences and arts, and appear in social innovations, in a whole 'mecanosphere' . We should see this as 'an abstract, machinic efflorescence' (268) affecting the future of humanity.

We can already see a new 'mutation of subjectivity' which will be more important than the invention of writing or printing. As examples, we can see the struggle with AIDS, or the ways in which computer technology becomes connected with 'sensibility, acts, and intelligence' [gullible!]. Human reason and sentiment must engage with this machinism, develop 'a pluralist management', of it, including the judiciary as with various commissions on ethics. We must base our efforts on the 'real existential entities of our eopoch' which have changed dramatically — 'the individual, the social, and the machinic all overlap' as do the intellectual efforts that relate to them. We must reassert values like the 're-singularisation of existence, ecological responsibility, and machinic creativity'. This will replace the old dichotomy between left and right.

At the moment, machinic productivity is 'aligned uniquely' with industry and aimed at generating profit. We need a new machinic democracy to restore values such as livable and lively cities, humane and effective medicine, 'an enriching education'. Current machines are productive enough potentially to feed close and educate all human beings. The motivation for production and unfair distribution is the problem. Developing well-being should be as valuable as working in industry or in 'financial speculation'.

Work itself has changed to incorporate ever more 'immaterial aspects' like knowledge, desire, taste, and 'ecological preoccupations'. Human health itself is now 'in increasing adjacence' to technology. The old Fordist organization of work is no longer relevant. Individual and collective initiative is now required for production and distribution [Japanization!]. We need new collective assemblages of work, including machines, and this will question old hierarchies and different salaries based on them.

Look at agriculture. It makes sense to trade with Third World countries where food is more easily produced, but this is not to suggest that it should be abandoned in the North. Instead we might redefine agriculture to make it more ecologically valuable, to invest in forests, mountains and rivers as 'a qualitative investment', constantly open to revalorising, and changing the traditional roles of farmers or fishermen.

Domestic labour similarly must change and be appropriately rewarded. This will bring into the system of economic valorisation what was earlier seen as private, making newly valuable a wider range of human activities. Economists must rethink systems of money wages. There must be some redistribution of economic and debt [fiscal transfers!]. This will permit more diverse social practices which are currently seen as marginal.

Machine productivity will liberate more time, but the issue then becomes one of thinking of suitable leisure activities. Current mass media ones will produce only 'despair and depression'. Perhaps new extensions of labour will be required, consisting of work time allocated for the economic market, but other forms of work aimed at 'social and mental values'. There might be more gradual retirements, for example. What is required is 'a new transversality between productive assemblages and the rest of the community' (270). There are already union practices along these lines, where unionized workers also consider social difficulties in their neighbourhood and tried to organize various educational or cultural programs in an 'enlargement of the field of worker competence and action' [the example is Chile, but there seems to be an implicit reference to Italian autonomism?], despite opposition from traditional unions. In France there are groups aimed at a new '"ecology of retirement"' to involve the elderly in cultural and social relations.

We have to abandon the old political divisions, but not to create a new centrism. We need a total disengagement from a system claiming to have a scientific foundation or some 'transcendent juridical and ethical givens'. There is no tolerance for dogmas, but there is also a risk that people will turn passive, abstain, and leave activism to 'reactionary factions' (271). Political campaigns should not attempt to mobilize people around one simple idea, but deal with public opinion structured 'into multiple and vital social segments'. Political reality is multiple and has many lines of possibility, inviting 'a will to choose and to assume risk'.

We should be able to develop'"ecosophic cartographies"', aimed at the dimensions of the present but also at the future, in a spirit of responsibility for future generations, even if this means a conflict with short-term interests. We must not revive authoritarian or totalitarian visions of history. There will always be uncertainty at the heart of any cartography — this is a guarantee of truth and an authentic stance towards others. We must stress 'disparity, singularity, marginality, even... madness' to prepare ourselves to counter chaos, unleash the creative flow from uncertainty.

We must emphasize the need to avoid any 'impatience for the other to adopt my point of view' and exercise goodwill in any attempt to convert people. It is important not just to accept adversity: 'I must love it for its own sake: I must seek it out, communicate with it, delve into it, increase it' (271 – 2). It will combat my narcissism and bureaucratic blindness. It will offer a sense of finitude to combat 'all the infantilising subjectivity of the mass media'. It will not aim simply at consensus, but preserve instead 'dissensual metamodelization', a way of passing from self to other.

If we do not develop such a subjectivity of difference, however atypical or utopian, we will end up with 'atrocious conflicts of identity, like those the people of the former Yugoslavia are suffering' (272). Appeals to morality or respect for rights will not restrain these, and subjectivity becomes subject to 'the empty stakes of profit and power'. We should refuse to indulge in the current media, but seek new forms of interaction, institutional creativity, and richer values. That will be 'an important step on the way to a remaking of social practices'.

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