Children of the new Earth – Deleuze, Guattari and anarchism

We share below an essay by Aragorn Eloff reflecting upon the multiple and consequent relations between the philosophical work of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari and anarchism.  Originally presented as a talk at the 2015 Deleuze and Guattari and Africa conference (, it appears on Eloff’s blog, the overextended memotype, as well as having been posted on (in both cases, without citations).

Nothing more can be said, and no more has ever been said: to become worthy of what happens to us, and thus to will and release the event.

Gilles Deleuze, The Logic of Sense

What is an anarchist? One who, choosing, accepts the responsibility of choice.

Ursula Le Guin, The Dispossessed

1. Politics precedes being

I am going to argue that the political philosophy of Deleuze and Guattari is profoundly anarchist. I will assume some familiarity with terminology and basic arguments. I will also employ neologisms shamelessly – my intention is not just to elucidate but also to bring the series anarchy, Deleuze and Guattari together, in all their heterogeneity, in order to see what might happen. In short, I will claim that anarchism as a historical movement consists of various discrete actualisations of a virtual multiplicity we can call anarchy; I will draw this anarchy into conversation with the virtual multiplicity Deleuze and Guattari; I will claim that the full practice of anarchism as a series of non-exhaustive selections – various actualisations and counter-actualisations of anarchy – affirms what Deleuze refers to as the crowned anarchy and nomadic distributions of difference in repetition.

What is Deleuze and Guattari’s political philosophy? Badiou observes that they do not even see politics as an autonomous form of thought in What Is Philosophy, which understands art, science and philosophy as the three planes that cut sections of chaos. Along with Zizek and Hallward, Badiou argues that where politics can be found in Deleuze and Guattari, it is not a politics that allows for coherent, grounded forms of political organisation and praxis, but one that leads to a banal flux of desiring-whatever – what Badiou terms the fascism of the potato.

But how are we to understand this claim in light of Deleuze and Guattari’s assertion that politics precedes being. In delineating the problem, let’s take Deleuze’s advice and, instead of picking and choosing from his and Guattari’s books as though they were a record, accept and welcome this work as a whole, following its complex trajectories in order to see what they outline. We should also remember, as Deleuze observes, that “the philosophical learning of an author is not assessed by numbers of quotations… but by the apologetic or polemical directions of his work itself. We will misunderstand… if we do not see ‘against whom’ its principle concepts are directed.”

For Deleuze and Guattari, politics names what is in its becoming: the entire actualised plane of force-relations, strata, assemblages and territories, across all scales of organisational complexity, from sub-individual to supra-national. Politics is the distributing of the actual. This is why they can claim that political practice does not only emerge once the world and its relations have been established but actively participates in this emergence. “Before Being, there is politics.” A politics that is “unaware of persons, aggregates, and laws, and of images, structures, and symbols… an orphan, just as it is an anarchist.” Politics, then, is what circulates and communicates beneath things; the dynamism of pre-individual singularities and larval selves, without unity or totality, the actualisation of anarchic multiplicities of differing differences.

2. Anarcho-desirants! Spontaneists!

But how does this profoundly novel conception allow for anything even close to what we understand as politics proper? Is Deleuze and Guattari’s political maxim really, as Badiou sarcastically claims: “unforeseeable, desiring, irrational: follow your drift, my son, and you will make the Revolution.” We can remind ourselves that for Deleuze “thought has never been the affair of theory. It is about the problems of life,” but this is not enough to rescue him from the dreaded appellations spontaneist! anarcho-desirant!

Spontaneist. Who has not had this aspersion cast on their politics? For Badiou and co., Deleuze and Guattari are spontaneist. For Deleuze and Guattari, anarchists are the spontaneists. For many anarchists, in turn, it is Deleuze and Guattari themselves who advocate a dangerous spontaneism and becoming-for-the-sake-of-it. For other anarchists, it is anarchism itself that tends towards spontaneism; it must be purged of dreaded lifestylist elements. Further back, is this not the exact same criticism Lenin made of left communism? In fact, is this not precisely what Marx and Engels said of Proudhon and Bakunin? “They are like alchemists of the revolution… They leap at inventions which are supposed to work revolutionary miracles.”

Looking more closely, however, it becomes clear that neither Deleuze and Guattari nor anarchism can truly be said to be spontaneist or advocating for the freeing of desire as inherently liberatory. Desire always exists as machined and is “never separable from complex assemblages.” It is “never an undifferentiated instinctual energy” and the Body without Organs is “opposed not to the organs but to that organization of the organs called the organism.” Guattari puts this more directly: “I have nothing to do with any liberating mythology of desire for desire’s sake.” Every desire is the affair of the people as every assemblage is collective.

Perhaps the figure of the anarcho-desiring spontaneist is what Max Stirner would call a spectre of the mind. An abstraction. Guattari alludes to this when he observes how “the Bolshevik phantasy system repressed all suggestions of ‘anarchism’: barricades, fraternity, generosity, individual liberation, rejection of all hierarchy and constraint, collective exaltation, permanent poetry, daydreaming. All this seemed dead and buried, just part of a kind of regression or collective infantilism.”

3. Anarchism and anarchy in the work of Deleuze and Guattari

What do Deleuze and Guattari themselves have to say about anarchism? If we look to their biographies, both were involved in a range of left and communist projects from the 60s onwards. Both collaborated with Antonio Negri and other autonomist Marxists – a strain of communist thought close to anarchism. Several of Guattari’s friends saw him as, at least in temperament, an anarchist and at one point, in a letter to a friend, he notes that he is writing a manifesto for an ‘autonomous-communist-anarchist’ movement. But no clear picture emerges.

There is also no sustained discussion of anarchism in their work, just a few passing mentions, mostly negative, often figurative, occasionally favourable; for instance when they discuss the opposition between the socialist and anarchist currents of the nineteenth century on the question of whether to seize or abolish the state and appear to preference the latter, seeing it as a form of ‘nomadization power’.

All told, it does not appear that they are more than passingly familiar with the history or ideas of anarchism. When Deleuze mentions Proudhon in an early lecture, for instance, it is very clearly Proudhon via Marx. Perhaps, however, there’s also a shared anxiety around discussing any affinities with anarchism, a distancing from the false and simplistic image of them as elitist anarcho-desirers. Indeed, in some of Guattari’s work mentions of anarchism and anarchy function almost as a nervous tic. After critiquing vanguardism in favour of autonomous self-liberation or collective subjectivation, for example, Guattari is quick to add, “there is nothing anarchic about this,” only to go on to describe a form of revolutionary struggle that almost any anarchist would find affinity with.

Elsewhere, anarchism is anachronistic. Describing viable political struggle in terms of “a continuous conquest of (new) arenas of freedom, democracy, and of creativity,” Guattari assures us that “there is nothing anachronistic or anarchist in this way of conceiving things” as it understands social transformation on the basis of desire, real needs and productive activity. In some places, strikingly, Guattari even sees anarchism as “the myth of a return to the pre-technological age” and as unable to deal with “real society”. Or, most bluntly, “there is no going back, there is no anarchism.”

In other places still, anarchism is one extreme point of a continuum, at the other end of which lies Leninism. This anarchism is a phantasm of defeat, voluntarism and disenchantment, a solitary rebellion and a simple, abstract assertion of singularity. Instead of this, Guattari argues, we need an ‘other’ movement that is founded on the self-valorisation and self-production of singularities. Guattari has seemingly not read Bakunin, for whom “the very freedom of each individual is no other than the resultant, continually reproduced, of the mass of material and intellectual influences exerted on him by all who surround him.”

In Deleuze and Guattari anarchism and anarchy are often mentioned at precisely those points at which they most clearly articulate their political philosophy; at the exact moments that this political philosophy most sounds like anarchism yet simultaneously dismisses the latter. For instance:

  • Like anarchists, they know that the state will never wither away. Anarchists are, however, “opportunistic spontaneists”.
  • Like anarchists, they argue that we cannot rely on a party or a state apparatus – on better justice – in order to liberate desire; that this liberation must be immanent, must be synthesised by us. But, “as long as one alternates between the impotent spontaneity of anarchy and the bureaucratic and hierarchic coding of a party organization, there is no liberation of desire.” Put otherwise, they want “to live and to experience a physiology of collective liberation.” They hypothesise another type of power – puissance – what anarchists term power-to, as what flows through this physiology. But no, “there is no anarchism in this because the movement remains none the less collective.”
  • Like anarchists they see destruction as a creative act. “Destruction is the only way of freeing ourselves from the totality and of becoming free as a particularity. A positive social practice can be built on this act of destructive freedom.” Anarchism, however, is a “convulsion.”
  • Like anarchists, they find value in Pierre Clastres’s work on stateless societies and, like anarchists, they argue that the Urstaat – the abstract machine that is actualised in any given State assemblage – is to be warded off however and wherever possible and cannot be wielded against itself.
  • Like anarchists, the desire they wish to liberate consists of “all forms of the will to live, the will to create, the will to love, the will to invent another society, another perception of the world, and other value systems.” Although “capitalistic subjectivity” may find this conception of desire to be “utterly utopian and anarchic”, they assuredly do not.
  • Like anarchists, they ask how “human relations be organized without automatically reinforcing hierarchies, segregations, racism, and the erosion of particularities, without crushing people under an infernal discipline.” All the old references are dead, however, including anarchism.

Beyond the odd claim that anarchism is anachronistic – as though it cannot and has not differed from itself over the past 170 years, as though it has no becoming or is inherently, diagrammatically constrained (any politics is in some way limited, of course, although anarchism proposes a politics that is itself a diagrammatics) – the most salient misconstruals or concerns to be found in this thread of loose, indirect engagement with anarchism appear to be based on a misunderstanding of what kind of organisation anarchists propose, how they understand subjectivity, their ontology, their critiques, their practices. We will address all this shortly, when we bring both series even closer together through an articulation of what a politics that is anarchism becoming Deleuze and Guattari, Deleuze and Guattari becoming anarchist, might look like. Before we do so, however, we must briefly address the various other ways in which they have been understood and deployed politically.

4. Liberals, Marxists, autonomists, capitalists?

“As we know,” claim Deleuze and Guattari, “the revolutionary problem today is to find some unity in our various struggles without falling back on the despotic and bureaucratic organisation of the party or State apparatus: we want a war machine that would not recreate a State apparatus, a nomadic unity in relation with the Outside, that would not recreate the despotic unity… who are today’s nomads, who are today’s Nietzscheans?”

There is no clear consensus around Deleuze and Guattari’s politics. For many they are, as they claim, Marxists – sometimes close to autonomism and Zapatismo, sometimes to communization theory, sometimes to a more tempered socialism. For others, the natural implications of their work are Rawlsian style liberal democratic politics, or some sort of aporetic democracy-to-come. For the complex systems theorists, whose readings often lack complexity in this regard, they are cyberneticians of free markets or left market liberalism. For a couple of outliers, they are anarcho-capitalists or capitalist apologists. And then there’s Nick Land.

One gets the strong sense that there is a natural tendency – and I am not immune to this – to preference or isolate particular aspects of their work in order to defend existing political affiliations. We all have our little Oedipuses.

Leaving aside the market cyberneticians, let’s briefly address the argument that they are advocates of Rawlsian-type democracy. As the question of whether or not they are communists of some new but decidedly non-anarchist type is more complex, and given the time constraints, we will explore that by proxy when we synthesise our Deleuzoguattarian libertarian communism. A reminder of our approach is apposite: to welcome the whole of the work and to observe not the frequency of use of any given term but, instead, what the work is directed against; what problems it constructs.

In What Is Philosophy, Deleuze and Guattari employ the term ‘becoming democratic’. This encourages some to elaborate on the importance of jurisprudence in Deleuze’s late work and to argue that “Deleuze’s endorsement of rights and jurisprudence clearly commits him to the existence of law and the kind of constitutional state that this implies.”

This is tenuous. In the first case, isn’t a constitutional state one of the most terrifying things there is for Deleuze and Guattari? Second, jurisprudence implies neither law nor constitution. When Deleuze argues that life unfolds case by case it makes far more sense, given his and Guattari’s overall political problematic, to understand jurisprudence as an immanent, situated ethics of unique instances far outside of any legal framework. If this, as Deleuze states, gives rise to ‘law’ and ‘life rights’ then these should be understood descriptively, i.e. as a Spinozist law of encounters between forms of life.

Additionally, a meaningful endorsement of rights is nowhere to be found in Deleuze, who is more often vehemently critical of rights discourse. He unequivocally asserts that “rights save neither men nor a philosophy that is reterritorialized on the democratic State… Human rights say nothing about the immanent modes of existence of people provided with rights.” Nietzsche, with his hatred of democracy, still lurks in the margins of this late work. And when Deleuze and Guattari discuss the constitution of a new earth and new people, this is seen as the task of the most aristocratic; “this people and earth will not be found in our democracies.” After all, “democracies are majorities, but a becoming is by its nature that which always eludes the majority.”

Lost in the good sense image of Deleuze-and-Guattari-becoming-Rawls, in this incapacity to cross the line, is everything that defines their politics: the critique of normativity, the function of the untimely and the event, the aversion to the overcodings and axiomatics of State and capitalism, the call to move beyond the reification of the actual – of current practices and institutions that are assumed to be neutral forms into which we can inject all our realistic utopian preferences. Is this not precisely what Deleuze criticises as “equality as an abstract product?” Does he not see democratic government as a force converter and ordering device far more insidious than any totalitarian regime; a government premised upon the constant modulation of behaviour that “demands of its bodies… a practical acceptance of certain parameters of action, rather than a principled conformity to an absolute ideal.”?

For Deleuze and Guattari, democracy is nothing more than an internalisation of the State-form, a society of legislating subjects who can choose the despotism they most desire so long as it is generalizable, molar, predictable. It is also in some sense a failure to properly practice Deleuze’s transcendental empiricism, which Jeffrey Bell succinctly describes as “the effort to think the conditions for the production of the new that does not reduce the identity of the new to these conditions.”

Perhaps democracy is part of what Deleuze has in mind when he worries about the philosophy of difference appearing as a new version of the beautiful soul: one who sees differences everywhere but appeals to them only as respectable and reconcilable. For Deleuze, remember, it is the name of Marx himself that assuages this concern. If we are not to become beautiful souls, we should acknowledge that what the ‘democratic Deleuzians’ argue for is irreconcilable with the very principle of state sovereignty; capture is the State’s “interior essence or unity”.

Let us then look elsewhere.

5. Anarchy becoming Deleuze and Guattari becoming anarchy

I am not the first anarchist to see Deleuze and Guattari as theorists of my specific strain of (anti-)political praxis. Anarchists, nomads and smiths that they are, have been constructing war machines and deterritorializing along lines of flight, smashing the Urstaat, finding new weapons and prefiguring the people to come since at least the mid-80s. Although early work in this field, best exemplified by works like Hakim Bey’s The Temporary Autonomous Zone and Rolando Perez’s On (An)archy and Schizoanalysis, tend towards simplistic misreadings, there is now an entire strain of anarchist thought that sees the political theory and practice set out in the two volumes of Capitalism and Schizophrenia as entirely compossible with anarchism, to the extent that contemporary anarchist groups from France to Ireland to Canada to Brazil unproblematically discuss prefiguration and group subjects, molecularity and affinity groups, mutual aid and joyful encounters in the same breath. Like it or not, whether it is in the academic work of post-anarchists (whatever the straw men they build out of so-called ‘classical anarchism’ in order to remedy its Enlightenment humanism with continental theory du jour) or in the infiltration of their language into various anarchist milieus, there is now at least some imbrication of Deleuze and Guattari and anarchism, as evidenced by the bookshelves of almost any anarchist infoshop.

Echoing this, I will now proceed to present anarchism and Deleuze and Guattari’s political philosophy without distinguishing between them. I will refer to this dark precursor that couples heterogeneous series simply as ‘anarchy’ and I will aim for a maximum density of slogans. My intention is not to speak Deleuzoguattarese – or indeed anarchese – for the sake of it. I remain convinced that their thought can be rendered clear and systematic, but I also want to convey a sense of my visceral relation, as an anarchist, to this thought.

What is anarchy?

For anarchy, “politics is active experimentation, since we do not know in advance which way a line is going to turn.” This experimentation is ground, means and endless end. It is a recognition of crowned anarchy: the fact that what returns is difference; it is an acknowledgement of anarchism: the need to work ourselves out of the present; it is the desire for anarchy: a new earth and new people that can affirm the groundless ground. It is ontology, metaphysics, project and Erewhon: utopia as a-historical process. A-historical because history hides becoming. Process, permanent revolution, because anarchy is the transcendent object of sociability. There is, as Emma Goldman says, no idea whose triumph would eliminate all possible problems from our lives for all time. “I hold,” she argues, “that theories do not create life. Life must make its own theories.” “Think about May 1968,” says Guattari, “there was no ideological transmission, but rather the repercussion of events.”

This experimentation, our being worthy of the throw of the dice, contains two moments of comprehension and play. First, we must fully determine the conditions of the virtual problem through a specification of adjunct fields; we must then respond to these conditions – condense singularities, concentrate “a ‘revolutionary situation’ and cause the Idea to explode into the actual.” In other words, we first employ diagrammatic thought in mapping, through our contemporary terrain, the virtual multiplicities effectuated within it and then, in the second step of counter-effectuation or prefiguration, fabulate new relations, new abstract machines – “embody a power of the outside which is not a power of death but on the contrary a power of life.” Revolution as plane of immanence, infinite movement and absolute survey. Although everything relies on this, nothing should be taken too seriously. “Difference is light, aerial and affirmative. To affirm is not to bear but, on the contrary, to discharge and to lighten.” “Nietzsche’s practical teaching,” Deleuze writes, “is that difference is happy; that multiplicity, becoming and chance are adequate objects of joy by themselves and that only joy returns.”

Anarchy is critical of representation and mediation, of everything that separates us from our capacity to act, from the power we can produce together. As Deleuze argues, “the dogmatic image of thought operates through recognition, and in so doing ‘rediscovers’ the State, rediscovers all the current values” and renders them eternal.

Anarchy seeks to counter the microfascisms of everyday life through the coming together in affinity and conflictuality of subject groups working past their myriad subjugations on every level. “We are groups – resultants,” say Kropotkin and Proudhon. Not groups consisting of individuals, but arrangements of enunciation; nondenumerable sets consisting of units of desiring subversion or what Martin Buber, referring to individualist anarchists, called concrete singularities. The only question is how we can connect our desire with the desires of other groups, producing “the corresponding creative statements, and establishing the conditions necessary not for their unification, but for a multiplication favorable to statements capable of producing a rupture.” We are dealing here not with classes but with minorities. Or, as the anarcho-syndicalist Victor Griffuelhes puts it, with “the movement of the working class, not the working class itself.”

Anarchy is the process of establishing relations that allow for optimal combinations of bodies. If we are to maximise our power, our joyful encounters, then we must be able to join together, to evaluate and associate freely in order to compose “a world that is increasingly wide and intense.” This is our mode of organisation. It is not chaos but instead a full countenancing of chaos which allows for social arrangements that are not stable, because stability is the illusion of good sense and common sense, but metastable. This federation of beings implies no higher unity of overcoding. It does not fit together into a whole but is rather a cluster of autonomies, “a wall of loose, uncemented stones, where every element has a value in itself but also in relation to others.”

This is close to how Deleuze describes nature as “inseparable from processes of companionship and conviviality, which are not preexistent givens but are elaborated between heterogeneous living beings in such a way that they create a tissue of shifting relations.” This is the immanence Bakunin speaks of as “the sum of actual transformations of things that are and will be ceaselessly produced… the necessary, real, but in no way predetermined, preconceived, or foreknown combination of the infinity of particular actions and reactions which all things constantly exercise upon one another.”

This is far from any hylomorphic schema; any transcendence. “For us,” Bakunin observes, “matter is not at all this inert substratum produced by human abstraction… it is the real ensemble of all that is, of all existing things, including the sensations, minds, and wills of animals and human beings. Being which is at the same time a becoming, the movement always and eternally resulting from the infinite sum of all the particular movements down to the infinitely small, the total ensemble of the mutual actions and reactions and the ceaseless transformations of all the things that occur and disappear in turn.”

As ethos, anarchy replaces ideology – the good sense and common sense of the dogmatic image of thought – with meta-modelling and resingularisation on all scales. We need assemblages of collective enunciation and creation, not communication. There is also no morality in any of this. If there is a normativity then it is only in the sense of a meta norm that preferences conditions for a full unfolding of life.

For anarchy, everything is equal, but this equality is said of what is not equal, of being that differs from itself. An equality of unequals, the anarchists call it. As Deleuze says, equality lies in the ability of beings to go to the limits of their capacities, beyond their limits.

Anarchy is not interested in vanguards – in “the militant style of a love full of hatred”. In the process of becoming minor we simultaneously “seed crystals of becoming whose value is to trigger uncontrollable movements and deterritorializations of the mean or majority” via contagion and propagation. We must always be wary of the tendency to reterritorialize on, or be overcoded by, the Party machine. Instead, to propagate transversal becomings, we must, as Simondon says, prime these crystallisations via a pre-revolutionary state of supersaturation.

In summary, as anarchist labour historian and Deleuze scholar Daniel Colson, author of thePetit lexique philosophique de l’anarchisme de Proudhon à Deleuze says, “the anarchist Idea is neither an ideal, nor a utopia, nor an abstraction; neither a program, nor a catalogue of regulations or prohibitions. It is a force common to all beings which expresses the totality of the possibilities that all these beings contain. It is a living force which, in certain circumstances, takes us outside of ourselves.”

6. What are the implications for us?

What is the import of all this? For us. Here. Now. In concluding I can only gesture towards some possibilities.

Instead of programs for political action, let’s produce shared problematics. How do we describe where we find ourselves? How did we get here? What are the intensive flows and processes underlying the world as it is presented to us? What diagrams is all this the effectuation of? Can we, via a practice of vice-diction, create new diagrams? We will always get the solutions we deserve as a consequence of how we pose and incarnate these problems.

Organisation is crucial, but let us not forget that for all their differences of instantiation, any group can lapse into a mode of organisation that repeats the form of the Party and hardens into a new dogma defined by unquestioning loyalty, ascetism and the crushing or recuperation of desire turned against itself. We need “new micropolitical and microsocial practices, new solidarities, a new gentleness, together with new aesthetic and new analytic practices.” This is not about creating agreement, because the more we disagree “the more we create a field of vitality.”

Again, we should be wary of the subjugated groups and their repressed desires, the groupuscules and their channelling of libidinal investments into hierarchies, reform and inertia. What is the viscosity and consistency of our group forms? How do we come together? What flows between us? What are our fluid dynamics? How quickly do we congeal or dissipate?

Attentiveness to the new is crucial: the world now is not the world then and we are not who we were. The new fascism – the Urstaat awakened and given new strength by capitalism – produces a peace more terrifying than war and if we are not careful then “all our petty fears will be organized in concert, all our petty anxieties will be harnessed to make micro-fascists of us; we will be called upon to stifle every little thing, every suspicious face, every dissonant voice, in our streets.” This does not mean that we cannot, however, also act against our time in favour of a time to come.

Engagements on the level of discourse are important but limited. Control functions just as much through machinic enslavement of the body – affects, percepts, imaginations, desires, calories, flows of water and electricity – as it does through the social subjection that produces, through the signifying systems that increasingly fill every corner of the world, alienation and ideological hegemonies. The new signifying systems also operate in a double movement, whereby they open up the flows of information whilst simultaneously closing down collective enunciative capacity.

Ressentiment – revenge, resentment and reaction – impedes all revolutionary becoming and will only lead to further oppression, of each other and of ourselves. Do not trust those who spread ressentiment and call for the settling of accounts; they seek only slaves as allies and always reproduce what they aim to destroy. “To have ressentiment or not to have ressentiment – there is no greater difference, beyond psychology, beyond history, beyond metaphysics. It is the true difference or transcendental typology – the genealogical and hierarchical difference.”

This is especially true of identity politics. If we remained trapped in a Hegelian spirit of revenge then our victories will always be written into the world as victories as slaves. Identity, even intersectional identity, reifies molar categories in its production of axes of differentiation. Instead of categories that always repeat the Same through false appeals to identity, analogy, resemblance and opposition, we would do better to think of our multiple and alway-shifting overlappings as events and encounters, not as perennial attributes of interpellated subjects. If we’re seeking to hold on to established identities, then what are we resisting? Our own transformation through association with other bodies? Our capacity to expand joy? Is it not precisely the blockage of desiring-production within sedimented identities that has resulted – and continues to result – in relations of hierarchy and domination? Besides, “the forces of repression need always an ascribable self and specifiable individuals to apply. When we become a little liquid, when we evade the ascription of the self” then perhaps we have a chance. Let us then become liquid; let us fold and unfold and refold in the practice of what Edouard Glissant calls ‘relation-identity’. This way we can also begin to discover our “rigid segments,” our “binary and overcoding machines,” and that “we are not simply divided up by binary machines of class, sex, or age” but that there are “others which we constantly shift [and] invent without realizing it.” Our true names are not “pure” but instead “bastard, lower, anarchical, nomadic, and irremediably minor.”

At the same time, struggle on the level of axioms is not unimportant. The fight for reforms – for service delivery, for jobs, for recognition, for a voice – can aid in minority becomings. However, struggles on this level only facilitate such becomings and are not always necessary. These molar politics are “the index of another coexistent combat,” a micropolitics. At the very least, we must be done with the hegemony of hegemony. Our “revolutionary organization must be that of the war machine.” We seek a nomadic revolutionary science, not a Royal science of teleologies and base-superstructures and counter-hegemonies and determinations in the last instance. We are multiple, heterogeneous. There are always an infinity of peoples.

We must commit altrucide and suicide. For as long as we remain trapped in the infinite demand of the Other, as long as our focus is on trauma, infinite justice, impossible horizons and melancholia, we are separated from our capacity to act by a reimposed transcendent dialectics of absolute responsibility. Instead, imbrication in movement, reciprocal feedback loops, mutual enfoldings of affect and expression, exchange and becoming-other-together.

And, of course, let’s not deterritorialize too fast. A NO is just as powerful as a YES. It’s all about selection, about learning how to construct a plane of consistency and conflictuality that maximises our connections and our collective capacities.

7. Postscript:

There is a pause wherein we discover our involuntarism, our freedom. Where we hallucinate the whole of history. In this pause we throw the dice and become the quasi-cause of the free and the new. In affirmation of the eternal return of difference; the power of the outside; the constant folding and unfolding and refolding. The dice land and they unsettle the dust of the world. An unhistorical vapour rises around us, invisible. And then, in the rupture, in the endless caesura, there comes the sound of wasps. And orchids. And black flags unfurling. The seed splits open the paving stones. We hold out our hands to the future.

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1 Response to Children of the new Earth – Deleuze, Guattari and anarchism

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