Search This Blog

Friday, June 15, 2007

Money creation madness - deconstructivism applied

Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari

Capitalism: A Very Special Delirium

QUESTION: When you describe capitalism, you say: "There isn't the
slightest operation, the slightest industrial or financial mechanism
that does not reveal the dementia of the capitalist machine and the
pathological character of its rationality (not at all a false
rationality, but a true rationality of *this* pathology, of *this
madness*, for the machine does work, be sure of it). There is no
danger of this machine going mad, it has been mad from the beginning
and that's where its rationality comes from. Does this mean that after
this "abnormal" society, or outside of it, there can be a "normal"

GILLES DELEUZE: We do not use the terms "normal" or "abnormal". All
societies are rational and irrational at the same time. They are
perforce rational in their mechanisms, their cogs and wheels, their
connecting systems, and even by the place they assign to the
irrational. Yet all this presuposes codes or axioms which are not the
products of chance, but which are not intrinsically rational either.
It's like theology: everything about it is rational if you accept sin,
immaculate conception, incarnation. Reason is always a region cut out
of the irrational -- not sheltered from the irrational at all, but a
region traveresed by the irrational and defined only by a certain type
of relation between irrational factors. Underneath all reason lies
delirium, drift. Everything is rational in capitalism, except capital
or capitalism itself. The stock market is certainly rational; one can
understand it, study it, the capitalists know how to use it, and yet
it is completely delirious, it's mad. It is in this sense that we say:
the rational is always the rationality of an irrational. Something
that hasn't been adequately discussed about Marx's *Capital* is the
extent to which he is fascinated by capitalists mechanisms, precisely
because the system is demented, yet works very well at the same time.
So what is rational in a society? It is -- the interests being defined
in the framework of this society -- the way people pursue those
interests, their realisation. But down below, there are desires,
investments of desire that cannot be confused with the investments of
interest, and on which interests depend in their determination and
distribution: an enormous flux, all kinds of libidinal-unconscious
flows that make up the delirium of this society. The true story is the
history of desire. A capitalist, or today's technocrat, does not
desire in the same way as a slave merchant or official of the ancient
Chinese empire would. That people in a society desire repression, both
for others and *for themselves*, that there are always people who want
to bug others and who have the opportunity to do so, the "right" to do
so, it is this that reveals the problem of a deep link between
libidinal desire and the social domain. A "disinterested" love for the
oppressive machine: Nietzsche said some beautiful things about this
permanent triumph of slaves, on how the embittered, the depressed and
the weak, impose their mode of life upon us all.

Q: So what is specific to capitalism in all this?

GD: Are delirium and interest, or rather desire and reason,
distributed in a completely new, particularly "abnormal" way in
capitalism? I believe so. Capital, or money, is at such a level of
insanity that psychiatry has but one clinical equivalent: the terminal
stage. It is too complicated to describe here, but one detail should
be mentioned. In other societies, there is exploitation, there are
also scandals and secrets, but that is part of the "code", there are
even explicitly secret codes. With capitalism, it is very different:
nothing is secret, at least in principle and according to the code
(this is why capitalism is "democratic" and can "publicize" itself,
even in a juridical sense). And yet nothing is admissable. Legality
itself is inadmissable. By contrast to other societies, it is a regime
born of the public *and* the admissable. A very special delirium
inherent to the regime of money. Take what are called scandals today:
newspapers talk a lot about them, some people pretend to defend
themselves, others go on the attack, yet it would be hard to find
anything illegal in terms of the capitalist regime. The prime
minister's tax returns, real estate deals, pressure groups, and more
generally the economical and financial mechanisms of capital -- in
sum, everything is legal, except for little blunders, what is more,
everything is public, yet nothing is admissable. If the left was
"reasonable," it would content itself with vulgarizing economic and
financial mechanisms. There's no need to publicize what is private,
just make sure that what is already public is beeing admitted
publicly. One would find oneself in a state of dementia without
equivalent in the hospitals.

Instead, one talks of "ideology". But ideology has no importance
whatsoever: what matters is not ideology, not even the "economico-
ideological" distinction or opposition, but the *organisation of
power*. Because organization of power-- that is, the manner in which
desire is already in the economic, in which libido invests the
economic -- haunts the exonomic and nourishes political forms of

Q: So is ideology a trompe l'oeil?

GD: Not at all. To say "ideology is a trompe l'oeil, " that's still
the traditional thesis. One puts the infrastructure on one side-- the
economic, the serious-- and on the other, the superstructure, of which
ideology is a part, thus rejecting the phenomena of desire in
ideology. It's a perfect way to ignore how desire works within the
infrastructure, how it invests in it, how it takes part in it, how, in
this respect, it organizes power and the repressive system. We do not
say: ideology is a trompe l'oeil (or a concept that refers to certain
illusions) We say: there is no ideology, it is an illusion. That's why
it suits orthodox Marxism and the Communist Party so well. Marxism has
put so much emphasis on the theme of ideology to better conceal what
was happening in the USSR: a new organization of repressive power.
There is no ideology, there are only organizations of power once it is
admitted that the organization of power is the unity of desire and the
economic infrastructure. Take two examples. Education: in May 1968 the
leftists lost a lot of time insisting that professors engage in public
self-criticism as agents of bourgeois ideology. It's stupid, and
simply fuels the masochistic impulses of academics. The struggle
against the competitive examination was abandoned for the benefit of
the controversy, or the great anti-ideological public confession. In
the meantime, the more conservative professors had no difficulty
reorganizing their power. The problem of education is not an
ideological problem, but a problem of the organization of power: it is
the specificity of educational power that makes it appear to be an
ideology, but it's pure illusion. Power in the primary schools, that
means something, it affects all children. Second example:
Christianity. The church is perfectly pleased to be treated as an
ideology. This can be argued; it feeds ecumenism. But Christianity has
never been an ideology; it's a very specific organization of power
that has assumed diverse forms since the Roman Empire and the Middle
Ages, and which was able to invent the idea of international power.
It's far more important than ideology.

FELIX GUATTARI: It's the same thing in traditional political
structures. One finds the old trick being played everywhere again and
again: a big ideological debate in the general assembly and questions
of organization reserved for special commissions. These questions
appear secondary, determinded by political options. While on the
contrary, the real problems are those of organization, never specified
or rationalized, but projected afterwards in ideological terms. There
the real divisions show up: a treatment of desire and power, of
investments, of group Oedipus, of group "superegos", of perverse
phenomena, etc. And then political oppositions are bilt up: the
individual takes such a position against another one, because in the
scheme of organization of power, he has already chosen and hates his

Q: Your analysis is convincing in the case of the Soviet Union and of
capitalism. But in the particulars? If all ideological oppositions
mask, by definition, the conflicts of desire, how would you analyze,
for example, the divergences of three Trotskyite groupuscules? Of what
conflict of desire can this be the result? Despite the political
quarrels, each group seems to fulfill the same function vis-a-vis its
militants: a reassuring hierarchy, the reconstitution of a small
social milieu, a final explanation of the world.... I dont't see the

FG: Because any resemblance to existing groups is merely fortuitous,
one can well imagine one of these groups defining itself first by its
fidelity to hardened positions of the communist left after the
creation of the Third International. It's a whole axiomatics, down to
the phonological level -- the way of articulating certain words, the
gesture that accompanies them -- and then the structures of
organization, the conception of what sort of relationships to maintain
with the allies, the centrists, the adversaries.... This may
correspond to a certain figure of Oedipalization, a reassuring,
intangible universe like that of the obsessive who loses his sense of
security if one shifts the position of a single, familar object. It's
a question of reaching, through this kind of identification with
recurrent figures and images, a certain type of efficiency that
characterized Stalinism--except for its ideology, prescisely. In other
respects, one keeps the general framework of the method, but adapts
oneself to it very carefully: "The enemy is the same, comrades, but
the conditions have changed." Then one has a more open groupuscule.
It's a compromise: one has crossed out the first image, whilst
maintaining it, and injected other notions. One multiplies meetings
and training sessions, but also the external interventions. For the
desiring will, there is --- as Zazie says-- a certain way of bugging
students and militants, among others.

In the final analysis, all these groupuscules say basically the same
thing. But they are radically opposed in their *style*: the definition
of the leader, of propaganda, a conception of discipline, loyality,
modesty, and the asceticism of the militant. How does one account for
these polarities without rummaging in the economy of desire of the
social machine? >From anarchists to Maoists the spread is very wide,
politically as much as analytically. Without even considering the mass
of people, outside the limited range of the groupuscules, who do not
quite know how to distinguish between the leftist elan, the appeal of
union action, revolt, hesitation of indifference...

One must explain the role of these machines.. these goupuscules and
their work of stacking and sifting--in cr*shing desire. It's a
dilemma: to be broken by the social system of to be integrated in the
pre-established structure of these little churches. In a way, May 1968
was an astonishing revelation. The desiring power became so
accelerated that it broke up the groupuscules. These later pulled
themselves together; they participated in the reordering business with
the other repressive forces, the CGT [Communist worker's union], the
PC, the CRS [riot police]. I don't say this to be provocative. Of
course, the militants courageously fought the police. But if one
leaves the sphere of struggle to consider the function of desire, one
must recognize that certain groupuscules approached the youth in a
spirit of repression: to contain liberated desire in order to re-
channel it.

Q: What is liverated desire? I certainly see how this can be
translated at the level of an individual or small group: an artistic
creation, or breaking windows, bnurning things, or even simply an orgy
or letting things go to hell through laziness or vegetating. But then
what? What could a collectively liberated desire be at the level of a
social group? And what does this signify in relation to t"the totality
of society", if you do not reject this term as Michel Foucault does.

FG: We have taken desire in one of its most critical, most acute
stages: that of the schizophrenic--and the schizo that can produce
something within or beyond the scope of the confined schizo, battered
down with drugs and social repression. It appears to us that certain
schizophrenics directly express a free deciphering of desire. But now
does one conceive a collective form of the economy of desire?
Certainly not at the local level. I would have a lot of difficulty
imagining a small, liberated community maintaining itself against the
flows of a repressive society, like the addition of individuals
emancipated one by one. If, on the contrary, desire constitutes the
very texture of society in its entirety, including in its mechanisms
of reproduction, a movement of liberation can "crystallize" in the
whole of society. In May 1968, from the first sparks to local clashes,
the shake-up was brutally transmitted to the whole of society, ment--
doctors, lawyers, grocers. Yet it was vested interests that carried
the day, but only after a month of burning. We are moving toward
explosions of this type, yet more profound.

Q: Might there have already been a vigorous and durable liberation of
desire in hostpry, apart from brief periods. a celebration, cartnage,
war, opr revolutionary upheavals? Or do you really believe in an end
of history. after millenia of alienation, social evolution will
suddenly turn around in a final revolution that will liberate desire

FG: Neither the one nor the other. Neither a final end to history, nor
provisional excess. All civilizations, all periods have known ends of
history--this is not necessarily convincing and not necessarily
liberating. As for excewss, or moments of celebration, this is no more
reassuring. There are militant revolutionaries who feel a sense of
responsibility and say: Yes excess "at the first stage of revolution,"
serious things... Or desire is not liberated in simple moments of
celebration. See the discussion between Victor and Foucault in the
issue of *Les Temps Modernes* on the Maoists. Victor consents to
excess, but at the "first stage". As for the rest, as for the real
thing, Vicotr calls for a new apparatus of state, new norms, a popular
justice with a tribunal, a legal process external to the masses, a
third party capable of resolving contradictions among the masses. One
always finds the old schema: the detachment of a pseude-avant-garde
capable of bringing about syntheses, of forming a party as an embryo
of state apparatus, of drawing out a well brought up, well educated
working class; and the rest is a residue, a lumpen-proletariat one
should always mistrust (the same old condemnation of desire). But
these distinctions themselves are another way of trapping desire for
the advantage of a bureaucratic caste. Foucault reacts by denounding
the third party, saying that if there is popular justice, it does not
issue from a tribunal. He shows very well that the distinction "avant-
garde-lumpen-proletariat" is first of all a distinction introduced by
the bourgeoise to the masses, and therefore serves to crush the
phenomena of desire, to *marginalize* desire. The whole question is
that of state apparatus. It would be strange to rely on a party or
state apparatus for the liberation of desire. To want better justice
is like wanting better judges, better cops, better bosses, a cleaner
France, etc. And then we are told: how would you unify isolated
struggles without a party? How do you make the machine work without a
state apparatus? It is evident that a revolution requires a war
machine, out this is not a state apparatus, it is also certain that it
requires an instance of analysis, an analysis of the desires of the
masses, yet this is not an apparatus external to the synthesis.
Liberated desire means that desire escapes the impasse of private
fantasy: it is not a question of adapting it, socializing it,
disciplining it, but of plugging it in in such a way that its process
not be interrupted in the social body, and that its expression be
collective. What counts is not hte authoritarian unification, but
rather a sort of infinite spreading: desire in the schools, the
factories, the neighborhoods, the nursery schools, the prisons, etc.
It is not a question of directing, of tatalizing, but of plugging into
the same plan of oscillation. 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.

Q: In the beginning, was capitalism able to assume the social desires?

GD: Of course, capitalism was and remains a formidable desiring
machine. The monary flux, the means of production, of manpower, of new
markets, all that is the flow of desire. It's enough to consider the
sum of contingencies at the origin of capitalism to see to what degree
it has been a crossroads of desires, and that its infrastructure, even
its economy, was inseparable from the phenomnea of desire. And fascism
too--one must say that it has "assumed the social desires", including
the desires of repression and death. People got hard-ons for Hitler,
for the beautiful fascist machine. But if your question means: was
capitalism revolutionary in its beginnings, has the industrial
revolution ever coincided with a social revolution? No, I don't thing
so. Capitalism has been tied from its birth to a savage
repressiveness; it had it's organization of power and its state
apparatus from the start. Did capitalism imply a dissolution of the
previous social codes and powers? Certainly. But it had alread
established its wheels of power, including its power of state, in the
fissures of previous regimes. It is always like that: things are not
so progressive; even before a social formation is established, its
instruments of exploitation and repression are already there, still
turning in the vaccuum, but ready to work at full capacity. The first
capitalists are like waiting birds of prey. They wait for their
meeting with the worker, the one who drops through the cracks of the
preceding system. It is even, in every sense, what one calls primitive

Q: On the contrary, I think that the rising bourgoisie imagined and
prepared its revolution throughout the Enlightment. From its point of
view, it was a revolutionary class "to the bitter end", since it had
shaken up the *ancien regime* and swept into power. Whatever parallel
movements took place amomng the peasantry and in the suburbs, the
bourgeois revolution is a revolution made by the bopurgoiseie--the
terms are hardly distinguishable--and to judge it in the name of 19th
or 20th centurey socialist utopias introduces, by anachronism, a
category that did not exist.

GD: Here again, what you say fits a certain Marxist schema. At one
point in history, the bourgoisie was revolutionary, it was even
necessary--necessary to pass thorugh a stage of capitalism, through a
bourgois revolutionary stage. It'S a Stalinist point of view, but you
can't take that seriously. When a social formation exhausts itself,
draining out of every gap, all sorts of things decode themselves, all
sorts of uncontrolled flows start pouring out, like the peasant
migrations in fudal Europe, the phenomenona of "deterritorialization."
The bourgoisie imposes a new code, both economic and political, so
that one can believe it was a revolution. Not at all. Daniel Guerin
has said some profound things about the revolution of 1789. The
bourgoisie never had illusions about who its real enemy was. Its real
enemy was not the previous system, but what escaped the previous
systems's control, and what the bourgoisie strove to master in its
turn. It too owed its power to the ruin of the old system, but this
power could only be exerciced insofar as it opposed everything else
that was in rebellion against the old system. The bourgoiseie has
never been revolutionary. It simply made sure others pulled of the
revolution for it. It manipulated, channeled, and repressed an
enormous surge of popular desire. The people were finally beaten down
at Valmy.

Q: They were certainly beaten down at Verdun.

FG: Exactly. And that's what interests us. Where do these eruptions,
these uprisings, these enthusiasms come from that cannot be explained
by a social rationality and that are diverted, captured by the power
at the moment they are born? One cannot account for a revolutionary
situation by a simple analysis of the interests of the time. In 1903
the Russian Social Democratic Party debated the alliances and
organization of the proletariat, and the role of the avant-garde.
While pretending to prepare for the revolution, it was suddenly shaken
up by the events of 1095 and had to jump on board a moving train.
There was a crystallization of desire on board a wide social scale
created by a yet incomprehensible situation. Same thing in 1917. And
there too, the politicians climbed on board a moving train, finally
getting control of it. Yet no revolutionary tendency was able or
willing to assume the need for a soviet-style organization that could
permit the masses to take real charge of their interests and their
desire. Instead, one put machines in circulation, so-called political
organizations, that functioned on the model elaborated by Dimitrov at
the Seventh International Congress--alternating between popular fronts
and sectarian retractions--and that always led to the same repressive
results. We saw it in 1936, in 1945, in 1968. By their very axiomatic,
these mass machines refuse to liberate revolutionary energy. It is, in
an underhanded way, a politics comparable to that of the President of
the Republic or of the clergy, but with red flag in hand. And we think
that this corresponds to a certain position vis-a-vis desire, a
profound way of envisioning the ego, the individual, the family. This
raises a simple dilemma: either one finds a new type of structure that
finally moves toward the fusion of collective desire and revolutionary
organization: or one continues on the present path and, going from
repression to repression, heads for a new fascism that makes Hitler
and Mussolini look like a joke.

Q: But then what is the nature of this profound, fundamental desire
which one sees as beeing constitutive of man and social man, but which
is constantly betrayed? Why does it always invest itself in antinomic
machines of the dominant machine, and yet remain so similar to it?
Could this mean that desire is condemned to a pure explosion without
consequence or to perpetual betrayal? I have to insist: can there ever
be, one fine day in history, a collective and during expression of
liberated desire, and how?

GD: If one knew, one wouldn't talk about it, one would do it. Anyway,
Felx just said it: revolutionary organization must be that of the war
machine and not of state apparatus, of an analyzer of desire and not
an external systhesis. In every social system, there have always been
lines of escape, and then also a rigidification to block off escape,
or certainly (which is not the same thing) embryonic apparatuses that
integrate them, that deflect or arrest them in a new system in
preparation. The crusades should be analysed from this point of view.
But in every respect, capitalism has a very particular character: its
lines of escape are not just difficulties that arise, they are the
conditions of its own operation. it is constituted by a generalized
decoding of all flux, fluctuations of wealth, fluctuations of
language, fluctuations of art, etc. It did not create any code, it has
set up a sort of accountability, an axiomatic of decoded fluxes as the
basis of its economy. It ligatures the points of escape and leaps
itself having to seal new leaks at every limit. It doesn't resolve any
of its fundamental problems, it can't even forsee the monetary
increase in a country over a single year. It never stops crossing its
own limits which keep reapperaing farther away. It puts itself in
alarming situations with respect to its won production, its social
life, its demographics, its borders with the Third World, its internal
regions, etc. Its gaps are everwhere, forever giving rise to the
displaced limits of capitalism. And doubtless, the revolutionary way
out (the active escape of which Jackson spoke when he said: " I don't
stop running, but while running, I look for weapons") is not at all
the same thing as other kinds of esacpe, the schizo-escape, the drug-
escape. But it is certainly the problem of the marginalized: to plug
all these lines of escape into a revolutionary plateau. In capitalism,
then, these lines of escape take on a new character, a new type of
revolutionary potential. You see, there is hope.

Q: You spoke just now of the crusades. For you, this is one of the
first manifestations of collective shizohrenia in the West.

FG: This was, in fact, an extraordinary schizophrenic movement.
Basically, in an already schismatic and troubled world, thousands and
thousands of people got fed up with the life they led, makeshift
preachers rose up, people deserted entire villages. It's only later
that the shocked papacy tried to give direction to the movement by
leading it off to the Holy Land. A double advantage: to be rid of
errant bands and to reinforce Christian outposts in the Near East
thretened by the Turks. This didn't always work: the Venetian Crusade
wound up in Constantinople, the Childrens Crusade veered off toward
the South of France and very quickly lost all sympathy: there were
entire villages taken and burned by these "crosses" children, who the
regular armies finally had to round up. They were killed or sold into

Q: Can one find parallels with contemporary movements: communities and
by-roads to escape the factory and the office? NAd would there be any
pope to co-opt them? A Jesus Revolution?

FG: A recuperation by Christianity is not inconceivable. It is, up to
a certain point, a reality in the United States, but much less so in
Europe or in France. But there is already a latent return to it in the
form of a Naturist tendency, the idea that one can retire from
production and reconstruct a little society at a remove, as if one
were not branded and hemmed in by the capitalist system.

Q: What role can still be attributed to the church in a country like
ours? The church was at the center of power in Western civilization
until the 18th Century, the bond and structure of the social machine
until the emergence of the nation-state. Today, deproved by the
technocracy of this essential function, it seems to have gone adrift,
without a point of anchorage, and to have split up. One can only
wonder if the church, pressured by the currents of Catholic
progressivism, might not become less confessional than certain
political organizations.

FG: And ecumenism? In't it a way of falling back on one's feet? THe
church has never been stronger. There us bi reasiob ti oppose church
and technocracy, there is a technocracy of the church. Historically,
Christianity and positivism have always been good partners. The
development of positive sciences has a Christian motor. One cannot say
that the psychiatrist has replaced the priest. Nor can one say the cop
has replaced the priest. There is always a use for everyone in
repression. What has aged about Christianity is its ideology, not its
organization of power.

Q: Let's get to this other aspect of yopur book: the critique of
psychiatry. Can one say that France is already covered by the
psychiatry of *Sectuer*--and how far does this influence spread?

FG: The structure of psychiatric hospitals essentially depends on the
state and the psychiatrists are mere functionaries. For a long time
the state was content to practice a politics of coercion and didn't do
anything for almost a century. One had to wait fot the Liberation for
any signs of anxiety to appear: the first psychiatric revolution, the
opening of the hospitals, the free services, instituional
psychotherapy. All that has led to the great utopian politics of
"Sectorization," which consisted in limiting the number of internments
and of sending teams of psychiatrists out into the population like
missionaries in the bush. Due to lack of credit and will, the reform
got bogged down: a few model services for official visits, and here or
there a hospital in the most underdeveloped regions. We are now moving
toward a major crisis, comparable in size to the university crisis, a
disaster at all levels: facilities, training of personnel, therapy,

The instituional charting of childhood is, on the contrary, undertaken
with better results. In this case, the initiative has escaped the
state framework and its financing to return to all sorts of
associations--childhood protection or parental associations.... The
establishments have proliferated, subsidized by Social Security. The
child is immediately taken charge of by a network of psychologists,
tagged at the age of three, and followed for life. One can expect to
see solutions of this type for adult psychiatry. In the face of the
present impasse, the state will try to de-nationalize institutions in
favor of other institutions ruled by the law of 1901 and most
certainly manipulated by political powers and reactionary family
groups. We are moving toward a psychiatric surveillance of France, if
the present scrises fail to liberate its revolutionary potentialities.
Everywhere, the most conservative ideology is in bloom, a flat
transposition of the concepts of Oedipalism. In the childrens's wards,
one calls the director "uncle," the nurse, "mother." I have even heard
distinctions like the following: group games obey a maternal
principle, the workshops, a paternal one. The psychiatry of *Secteur*
semms progressive because it opens the hospital. But if this means
imposing a grid over the neighborhood, we will soon regret the loss of
the closed asylums of yesterday. It's like psychoanalysis, it
functions openly, so it is all the worse, much more dangerous as a
repressive force.

GD: Here's a case. A woman arrives at a consultation. She explains
that she takes tranquilizers. She asks for a glass of water. Then she
speaks: "You understand I have a certain amount of culture. I have
studied, i love to read, and there you have it. Now I spend all my
time crying. I can't bear the subway. And the minute I read something,
I start to cry. I watch television; I see images of Vietnam: I can't
stand it ..." The doctor doesn't say much. The woman continues: "I was
in the Resistance... a bit. I was a go-between." The doctor asks her
to explain. "Well, yes, don't you understand, doctor? I went to a cafe
and I asked, for example, is there something for Rene?" I would be
given a letter to pass on." The doctor hears "Rene"; he wakes up: "Why
do you say "Rene"? It's the first time he asks a question. Up to that
point, she was speaking about the metro, Hiroshima, Vietnam, of the
effect all that had on her body, the need to cry about it. But the
doctor only asks: "Wait, wait, 'Rene' ... what dies 'Rene' mean to
you?" Rene--someone who is reborn [re-n'e]? The Renaissance, this fits
into a universal schema, the archetype: "You want to be reborn." The
doctor gets his bearings: at last he's on track. And he gets her to
talk about her mother and her father.

It's an essential aspect of our book, and it's very concrete. The
psychiatrists and psychoanalysts have never paid any attentiaon to
delirium. It'S enough just to listen to someone who is delirious: it's
the Russians that worry him, the Chinese; my mouth is dry; somebody
buggered me in the metro; there are germs and spermatozoa swimming
everywhere; it's Franco's fault, the Jews, the Maoists: all a delirium
of the social field. Why shouldn't this concern the sexuality of the
subject--the relations it has with the Chinese, the whites, the
blacks? Whith civilization, the crusades, the metro? Psychiatrists and
psychoanalysts hear nothing of this, on the defensive as much as they
are indefensible. They crush the contents of the unsoncious under
prefab statements: "You speak to me of the Chinese, but what about
your father? No, he isn't Chinese? THen , do you have a Chinese
lover?" It's atz the same level of repressive work as the judge in the
Angela Davis case who affirmed: "Her behavior can only be explained by
her beeing in love." ANd what if, on the contrary, Angela Davis's
libido was a social, revolutionary libido? What if she were in love
because she was a revolutionary?

That is what we want to say to psychiatrists and psychoanalysts: yopu
don't know what delirium is; you haven't understood anything. If our
bnook has a meaning, it is that we have reached a stage where many
people feel the psychoanalytif machine no longer works, where a whole
generation is getting fed up with all-purpose schemas--oedipus and
castration, imaginary and symbolic--which systematically efface the
social, political, and cultural contents of any psychic disturbance.

Q: You associate schizophrenia with capitalism; it is the very
foundation of your book. Are there cases of schizophrenia in other

FG: Schizophrenia is indissocialble from the capitalist system, itself
conceived as primary leakage (fuite): and exclusive malady. In other
societies, escape and marginalization take on other aspects. The
asocial individual of so-called primitive societies is not locked up.
The prison and the asylum are resent notions. One chases him, he is
exiled at the edge of the village and dies of it, unless he is
integrated to a neighboring village. Besides, each system has its
paricular sickness: the hysteric of so-called primitive societies, the
manic-depressive paranoiacs of the great empires... The capitalist
economy preoceeds by decoding and de-territorialization: it has its
exterme cases, i.e., schzophrenics who decode and de-territorialize
themselves to the limit; but also it has its extreme consequences--

["Chaosophy", ed. Sylvere Lothringer, Autonomedia/Semiotexte 1995]

no copyright 2002 - no rights reserved

No comments: