Well-known member
part of the difficulty is the french intellectual's love of his own style - barthes in particular i'd single out as engaged in a literary undertaking as much as a theoretical one. vive la france
i've read 'mythologies' but could not understand what the fuss was about. but i did read foucault and some others (benjamin, and bauman, my fave sociologist) before, so maybe it didn't have the impact cos i already had it from them. the whole 'there's no facts, its all signs and signifiers' thing i mean


is not like other people
i'm not dismissing any of it as bunk, it's just almost deliberately obscure and in love with its own difficulty. derrida's wordplay would be impossible in english. learn french if you want to read rimbaud but i wouldn't go to the effort just to get the extra inch out of this lot.

i was big on sartre though before university and i think he basically had the same ideas as heidegger, starting out anyway. and wrote his plays to make his stuff go down easier.

i would never have dared write these posts on the dissensus of 2005


Who loves ya, baby?
version did you read any of 1000 Ps?

tell us what you thought - you write better than D&G
Not cover to cover. What I do is look up a particular writer or thing in the index then jump to that page. The other night I looked up all the mentions of Joyce, Burroughs and Beckett. And I thought it was cool. Interesting. I'll have to read it properly at some point though because jumping about within "plateaus" makes it a little too disjointed at times and you kind of have to read each plateau as a whole, I think. You can read them in any order, but it doesn't quite make sense if you read like two pages in the middle of one.


Well-known member
i was reading something the other day (was it this thread?) and they were saying how deleuze and guattari were like sorcerors, proper magic believing witches basically, and theres something about the gaps in the plateaus, they are where it all happens, apparently.

oh yeah, i remember now, it was grapejuice saying this


Who loves ya, baby?
That comes up quite often. I posted something a few pages back about that sort of thing too and there's some stuff at the start of the thread in that vein,

Is Deleuze a witchdoctor? The question is genuine. If he is not, what is being proposed here?
Short answer yes, with an if. Long answer, no with a but.
My PhD advisor turned me on to Deleuze, and from the moment I started reading snippets on the internet I was hooked. That book is like crack, the way they write. Just seeing the word "deterritorialization" for the first time triggered a several-month meltdown process in the way I used language and thought about myself and politics. It was so intense that I waited months before getting the book or trying to read more than the snippets. It's still so intense that I've only read 2-3 chapters of the book, working through it very slowly. (For that reason maybe we should read at a very slow (but steady) pace also, like maybe one chapter a month.)

It's packed full of magical secrets—this book was when I realized critical theory is just the rocket science of occultism—modern, hyperspecialized, and hyperocculted in the heart of academia. Exceedingly advanced.
It is amazing how theory and occultism have become so close to parallel over time!
It's shocking! It happens in science too: many scientific theories are extremely-elaborated theories of an occult phenomenon, that are far far more complex than they need to be because they are denying a few simplying assumptions that are accepted in occultism. Psychology is a good example: we're down to the neuron level and we still can't talk holistically about mind—but we can speak word patterns which evoke strangely precise and mechanical models of mind which are highly detailed—like a microscope made out of square-logic theory.
Have you read occult texts? They are very strange texts which deal with textuality and meta-ness in similar ways to critical theory. They also deal with similar issues: epistemological and existential issues of how to deal with the order of things or current "regime." They also employ or suggest specific thinking tools and avenues by which one can traverse knowledge. I see many similarities, and those similarities were made explicit and brought to a head by Deleuze and Nick Land, among others.


call me big papa
I just want to join in with this massive clever thread but absolutely cannot be bothered to do the reading.

I'm probably a walking betrayal of the founding values of dissensus.


Who loves ya, baby?
I just want to join in with this massive clever thread but absolutely cannot be bothered to do the reading.

I'm probably a walking betrayal of the founding values of dissensus.
Just watch YouTube clips instead? There's one that explains the whole 'schizophrenia' thing via one of the co-founders of Buzzfeed's paper on D&G from the 90s. It ties in with the dematerialisation thread, Also read those summaries I posted earlier.


Who loves ya, baby?
Here's a short thing you can read, Corpse.

Postscript on the Societies of Control // Gilles Deleuze

1. Historical

Foucault located the disciplinary societies in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries; they reach their height at the outset of the twentieth. They initiate the organization of vast spaces of enclosure. The individual never ceases passing from one closed environment to another, each having its own laws: first, the family; then the school (“you are no longer in your family”); then the barracks (“you are no longer at school”); then the factory; from time to time the hospital; possibly the prison, the pre-eminent instance of the enclosed environment. It’s the prison that serves as the analogical model: at the sight of some laborers, the heroine of Rossellini’s Europa ’51 could exclaim, “I thought I was seeing convicts.”

Foucault has brilliantly analyzed the ideal project of these environments of enclosure, particularly visible within the factory: to concentrate; to distribute in space; to order in time; to compose a productive force within the dimension of space-time whose effect will be greater than the sum of its component forces. But what Foucault recognized as well was the transience of this model: it succeeded that of the societies of sovereignty, the goal and functions of which were something quite different (to tax rather than to organize production, to rule on death rather than to administer life); the transition took place over time, and Napoleon seemed to effect the large-scale conversion from one society to the other. But in their turn the disciplines underwent a crisis to the benefit of new forces that were gradually instituted and which accelerated after World War II: a disciplinary society was what we already no longer were, what we had ceased to be.

We are in a generalized crisis in relation to all the environments of enclosure—prison, hospital, factory, school, family. The family is an “interior,” in crisis like all other interiors—scholarly, professional, etc. The administrations in charge never cease announcing supposedly necessary reforms: to reform schools, to reform industries, hospitals, the armed forces, prisons. But everyone knows that these institutions are finished, whatever the length of their expiration periods. It’s only a matter of administering their last rites and of keeping people employed until the installation of the new forces knocking at the door.

These are the societies of control, which are in the process of replacing the disciplinary societies. “Control” is the name Burroughs proposes as a term for the new monster, one that Foucault recognizes as our immediate future. Paul Virilio also is continually analyzing the ultra-rapid forms of free-floating control that replaced the old disciplines operating in the time frame of a closed system. There is no need here to invoke the extraordinary pharmaceutical productions, the molecular engineering, the genetic manipulations, although these are slated to enter into the new process. There is no need to ask which is the toughest or most tolerable regime, for it’s within each of them that liberating and enslaving forces confront one another. For example, in the crisis of the hospital as environment of enclosure, neighborhood clinics, hospices, and day care could at first express new freedom, but they could participate as well in mechanisms of control that are equal to the harshest of confinements. There is no need to fear or hope, but only to look for new weapons.


Who loves ya, baby?
2. Logic

The different internments or spaces of enclosure through which the individual passes are independent variables: each time one is supposed to start from zero, and although a common language for all these places exists, it is analogical. On the other hand, the different control mechanisms are inseparable variations, forming a system of variable geometry the language of which is numerical (which doesn’t necessarily mean binary). Enclosures are molds, distinct castings, but controls are a modulation, like a self-deforming cast that will continuously change from one moment to the other, or like a sieve whose mesh will transmute from point to point.

This is obvious in the matter of salaries: the factory was a body that contained its internal forces at a level of equilibrium, the highest possible in terms of production, the lowest possible in terms of wages; but in a society of control, the corporation has replaced the factory, and the corporation is a spirit, a gas. Of course the factory was already familiar with the system of bonuses, but the corporation works more deeply to impose a modulation of each salary, in states of perpetual metastability that operate through challenges, contests, and highly comic group sessions. If the most idiotic television game shows are so successful, it’s because they express the corporate situation with great precision. The factory constituted individuals as a single body to the double advantage of the boss who surveyed each element within the mass and the unions who mobilized a mass resistance; but the corporation constantly presents the brashest rivalry as a healthy form of emulation, an excellent motivational force that opposes individuals against one another and runs through each, dividing each within. The modulating principle of “salary according to merit” has not failed to tempt national education itself. Indeed, just as the corporation replaces the factory, perpetual training tends to replace the school, and continuous control to replace the examination, which is the surest way of delivering the school over to the corporation.

In the disciplinary societies one was always starting again (from school to the barracks, from the barracks to the factory), while in the societies of control one is never finished with anything—the corporation, the educational system, the armed services being metastable states coexisting in one and the same modulation, like a universal system of deformation. In The Trial, Kafka, who had already placed himself at the pivotal point between two types of social formation, described the most fearsome of juridical forms. The apparent acquittal of the disciplinary societies (between two incarcerations); and the limitless postponements of the societies of control (in continuous variation) are two very different modes of juridical life, and if our law is hesitant, itself in crisis, it’s because we are leaving one in order to enter into the other. The disciplinary societies have two poles: the signature that designates the individual, and the number or administrative numeration that indicates his or her position within a mass. This is because the disciplines never saw any incompatibility between these two, and because at the same time power individualizes and masses together, that is, constitutes those over whom it exercises power into a body and molds the individuality of each member of that body. (Foucault saw the origin of this double charge in the pastoral power of the priest—the flock and each of its animals—but civil power moves in turn and by other means to make itself lay “priest.”)

In the societies of control, on the other hand, what is important is no longer either a signature or a number, but a code: the code is a password, while on the other hand the disciplinary societies are regulated by watchwords (as much from the point of view of integration as from that of resistance). The numerical language of control is made of codes that mark access to information, or reject it. We no longer find ourselves dealing with the mass/individual pair. Individuals have become “dividuals,” and masses, samples, data, markets, or “banks.” Perhaps it is money that expresses the distinction between the two societies best, since discipline always referred back to minted money that locks gold in as numerical standard, while control relates to floating rates of exchange, modulated according to a rate established by a set of standard currencies. The old monetary mole is the animal of the spaces of enclosure, but the serpent is that of the societies of control. We have passed from one animal to the other, from the mole to the serpent, in the system under which we live, but also in our manner of living and in our relations with others. The disciplinary man was a discontinuous producer of energy, but the man of control is undulatory, in orbit, in a continuous network. Everywhere surfing has already replaced the older sports.

Types of machines are easily matched with each type of society—not that machines are determining, but because they express those social forms capable of generating them and using them. The old societies of sovereignty made use of simple machines—levers, pulleys, clocks; but the recent disciplinary societies equipped themselves with machines involving energy, with the passive danger of entropy and the active danger of sabotage; the societies of control operate with machines of a third type, computers, whose passive danger is jamming and whose active one is piracy and the introduction of viruses. This technological evolution must be, even more profoundly, a mutation of capitalism, an already well-known or familiar mutation that can be summed up as follows: nineteenth-century capitalism is a capitalism of concentration, for production and for property. It therefore erects the factory as a space of enclosure, the capitalist being the owner of the means of production but also, progressively, the owner of other spaces conceived through analogy (the worker’s familial house, the school).

As for markets, they are conquered sometimes by specialization, sometimes by colonization, sometimes by lowering the costs of production. But, in the present situation, capitalism is no longer involved in production, which it often relegates to the Third World, even for the complex forms of textiles, metallurgy, or oil production. It’s a capitalism of higher-order production. It no longer buys raw materials and no longer sells the finished products: it buys the finished products or assembles parts. What it wants to sell is services and what it wants to buy is stocks. This is no longer a capitalism for production but for the product, which is to say, for being sold or marketed. Thus it is essentially dispersive, and the factory has given way to the corporation. The family, the school, the army, the factory are no longer the distinct analogical spaces that converge towards an owner—state or private power—but coded figures—deformable and transformable—of a single corporation that now has only stockholders.

Even art has left the spaces of enclosure in order to enter into the open circuits of the bank. The conquests of the market are made by grabbing control and no longer by disciplinary training, by fixing the exchange rate much more than by lowering costs, by transformation of the product more than by specialization of production. Corruption thereby gains a new power. Marketing has become the center or the “soul” of the corporation. We are taught that corporations have a soul, which is the most terrifying news in the world. The operation of markets is now the instrument of social control and forms the impudent breed of our masters. Control is short-term and of rapid rates of turnover, but also continuous and without limit, while discipline was of long duration, infinite and discontinuous. Man is no longer man enclosed, but man in debt. It is true that capitalism has retained as a constant the extreme poverty of three-quarters of humanity, too poor for debt, too numerous for confinement: control will not only have to deal with erosions of frontiers but with the explosions within shanty towns or ghettos.


Who loves ya, baby?
3. Program

The conception of a control mechanism, giving the position of any element within an open environment at any given instant (whether animal in a reserve or human in a corporation, as with an electronic collar), is not necessarily one of science fiction. Felix Guattari has imagined a city where one would be able to leave one’s apartment, one’s street, one’s neighborhood, thanks to one’s (dividual) electronic card that raises a given barrier; but the card could just as easily be rejected on a given day or between certain hours; what counts is not the barrier but the computer that tracks each person’s position—licit or illicit—and effects a universal modulation.

The socio-technological study of the mechanisms of control, grasped at their inception, would have to be categorical and to describe what is already in the process of substitution for the disciplinary sites of enclosure, whose crisis is everywhere proclaimed. It may be that older methods, borrowed from the former societies of sovereignty, will return to the fore, but with the necessary modifications. What counts is that we are at the beginning of something. In the prison system: the attempt to find penalties of “substitution,” at least for petty crimes, and the use of electronic collars that force the convicted person to stay at home during certain hours. For the school system: continuous forms of control, and the effect on the school of perpetual training, the corresponding abandonment of all university research, the introduction of the “corporation” at all levels of schooling. For the hospital system: the new medicine “without doctor or patient” that singles out potential sick people and subjects at risk, which in no way attests to individuation—as they say—but substitutes for the individual or numerical body the code of a “dividual” material to be controlled. In the corporate system: new ways of handling money, profits, and humans that no longer pass through the old factory form.

These are very small examples, but ones that will allow for better understanding of what is meant by the crisis of the institutions, which is to say, the progressive and dispersed installation of a new system of domination. One of the most important questions will concern the ineptitude of the unions: tied to the whole of their history of struggle against the disciplines or within the spaces of enclosure, will they be able to adapt themselves or will they give way to new forms of resistance against the societies of control? Can we already grasp the rough outlines of these coming forms, capable of threatening the joys of marketing? Many young people strangely boast of being “motivated”; they re-request apprenticeships and permanent training. It’s up to them to discover what they’re being made to serve, just as their elders discovered, not without difficulty, the telos of the disciplines. The coils of a serpent are even more complex than the burrows of a molehill.

constant escape

winter withered, warm
Thanks for sharing that video essay - really encapsulated a lot for me.

As for schizophrenia, apparently (and anyone correct me if I'm off base here) Deleuze not only knew little to nothing about schizophrenia in a clinical capacity, but was also flippantly insensitive regarding the condition when he visited the experimental commune/clinic that Guattari was working at.

I wonder what Jameson knows about schizophrenia clinically.

Here is a great lecture by Robert Sapolsky about it - a fascinating topic handled by a captivating and passionate speaker.

Interesting to compare the clinical/neurophysiological schizophrenia to the kind of postmodern/psychoanalytic one dealt with above.

regarding territorialization, is it right that Deleuze attributed his (of their?) creation of that concept to ethology, namely to the territories defined by the patrolling of animals or animal groups? Even if it isn't, it is a great model.

If we frame territorialization as the regulation/maintenance of some boundary, and deterritorialization as the redefining of that boundary (boundary of signification, boundary of environmental familiarity/home, etc.), would a regular/periodic patrolling be the force of territorialization? Would environmental interference (environment here including other animals; dichotomy of system and environment) be a force of deterritorialization; that is the animals reconfiguration of their boundary-of-familiarity is ethological case of deterritorialization. Hell, the redefinition/reconfiguration of anything could be considered deterritorialization, from my understanding.

Another parallel: the theatric concept of rehearsal also seems like a force of territorialization, regulating the boundary of the window-into-the-world-of-the-narrative. I wonder if Deleuze ever goes into that. Improvements/tweaks/adjustments made during the rounds of rehearsals (much like the laps an animal makes in their patrol) grant an ever more precise familiarity with the bounded zone.

Another possibility: perhaps all territories are always-already expanding, if not in the extensive dimension perhaps the intensive one. That is, if we have a set that includes only the integers 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, extensive expansion would push the outer limits of the set to include 4 and 10, while intensive expansion would push the inner limits to include 5.1, 5.9, 6.1, 6.9, 7.1, etc.

Cooped up inner rantings on territory and familiarity - I appreciate the place to spill all this.
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Well-known member
This new fitzcarraldo editions book, RAVE, by Rainald Goetz, which i bought on a whim (cos the newsletter about it arrived in my inbox on the same day that sufi posted the guardian story about the manchester and leeds illegal raves) has a funny deleuze bit early on.

I didnt realise it was written in 1998 and is only now being translated. It's pretty good, some Joycean stuff going on. Anyway, here's the (abridged) quote relevant to this thread (could also go in the conceptronica one):

...there's all this mad stupid babble, loads of it, above all in the nightlife, of course, about music. About labels, DJs, styles, lines, sounds. As soon as you post up next to someone who for some reason thinks he's intelligent, you're disappointed to hear him blurt out his super-mega-interesting divergent opinion.

You just don't want to hear it. You've heard it a hundred times, read it a thousand... Electronica, super-serious stuff.

It's boring. Hello! Cut it out!

MIlle Plateaux, I know. A thousand Plateaus, same difference.

Actually just ONE plateau would be enough, if you could scale it completely, one real proper plateau. If you could at least get to the top of one, starting with your basic mental configuration...

That these people, even more so than before, can palm off their mediocre records on a clientele feverish in their perpetual longing for signs from some sort of intelligent resistance by the mere droning repetition of a word like Deleuze.
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