Deleuze and the Contemporary World

Deleuze and the Contemporary World

Ian Buchanan
Adrian Parr
Copyright Date: 2006
Pages: 256
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  • Book Info
    Deleuze and the Contemporary World
    Book Description:

    The twelve new essays in this volume join the pragmatic philosophy of Deleuze to current affairs, using a contemporary context to think through and with Deleuze.

    eISBN: 978-0-7486-2717-2
    Subjects: Philosophy

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vii)
  3. Acknowledgements
    (pp. viii-viii)
  4. Introduction Deleuze and the Contemporary World
    (pp. 1-20)
    Ian Buchanan and Adrian Parr

    In Nietzsche and Philosophy, Deleuze says that you can never know a philosopher properly until you know what he or she is against. To know them at all, you have to know what puts fire in their soul, what makes them take up the nearly impossible challenge of trying to say anything at all. Too many people are content to say Deleuze, like Nietzsche, was against Hegel without ever asking why. And those who do trouble themselves to ask this question are too often satisfied with a merely philosophical answer. But if Deleuze found Hegel’s philosophy intolerable it was not...

  5. Chapter 1 Treatise on Militarism
    (pp. 21-41)
    Ian Buchanan

    The 2004 US presidential election caused hearts to sink everywhere in the world. Time will tell if this is to be another American century, as the Vulcans in Washington intend, or a Chinese century, as some are already predicting, but in the short term at least the re-election of Bush is discouraging for those with hopes that it might be a World or Multilateral century, to say the least.¹ The bloody insurgency in Iraq only strengthened the position of the ‘War President’, who rallied the electorate to ‘stay the course in Iraq’, giving him greater licence to continue his campaign...

  6. Chapter 2 Vacuoles of Noncommunication: Minor Politics, Communist Style and the Multitude
    (pp. 42-56)
    Nicholas Thoburn

    Remarking on the place of Deleuze’s thought in contemporary political circles, Slavoj Žižek has recently suggested that: ‘Deleuze more and more serves as the theoretical foundation of today’s anti-globalist Left’ (Žižek 2004: xi).¹ This situation, however, is not cause for celebration on Žižek’s part. Following Alain Badiou, Žižek argues that the current leftist reading of Deleuze is little more than an anarcho-desiring cliché that is ultimately complicit with the postmodern orientations of contemporary capitalism. Indeed, he writes that: ‘There are, effectively, features that justify calling Deleuze the ideologist of late capitalism’ (Žižek 2004: 185). This assessment is not quite of...

  7. Chapter 3 1,000 Political Subjects . . .
    (pp. 57-78)
    Kenneth Surin

    Is it possible for a compatibility to exist between Althusser’s well-known doctrine of the interpellation of the subject by the ideological apparatuses of the state and the theses regarding the assemblages of the state propounded by Deleuze and Guattari in A Thousand Plateaus?¹ Is there, more generally, a recognisable political subject whose ontological shape and character is limned in A Thousand Plateaus, even as it is ‘undone’ by Deleuze and Guattari? And is there a fundamental connection between this subject and the traditional metaphysical-epistemological subject that is also unravelled in A Thousand Plateaus? At first sight, the answers to these...

  8. Chapter 4 The Becoming-Minoritarian of Europe
    (pp. 79-94)
    Rosi Braidotti

    No notion is more contested in European politics and social theory than the sociopolitical space of the European Union (EU). The EU is a molar political entity that has become an internationally significant economic player, but it also offers a critical political vision that universalises its own concept of ‘civilisation’. As a progressive project, the EU constitutes an alternative to the aggressive neo-liberalism of the USA on a number of key issues (privacy; telecommunication; genetically modified food and the environment) and as an advocate of human rights and world peace. It is a project that is faced with a diverse...

  9. Chapter 5 Borderlines
    (pp. 95-107)
    Verena Andermatt Conley

    In their dialogues and collaborations, Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari enquire of the nature of borders. They summon principles of inclusion and exclusion associated with borderlines. They eschew expressions built on the polarities of ‘either . . . or’ and in their own diction replace binary constructions with the conjunctive ‘and’. Furthermore, in ‘Rhizome,’ the introduction to A Thousand Plateaus, they argue for rhizomatic connections – fostered in language by ‘and . . . and . . . and’ – to replace what they call the arborescent model of the ubiquitous Western tree (Deleuze and Guattari 1987). In constant movement,...

  10. Chapter 6 The Event of Colonisation
    (pp. 108-124)
    Paul Patton

    Colonisation was not a topic that figured largely in Deleuze’s work. He made only occasional passing remarks about it, such as those in a 1982 interview with Elias Sanbar.¹ Here, in discussing an analogy drawn between the Palestinians and Native Americans, he contrasts the position of colonised peoples who are retained on their territory in order to be exploited with the position of those who are driven out of their territory altogether. The Palestinian people, like the indigenous inhabitants of North America, are a people driven out (Deleuze 1998: 26). This analogy is limited in a number of respects. First,...

  11. Chapter 7 Deterritorialising the Holocaust
    (pp. 125-145)
    Adrian Parr

    Interestingly, the words of Elkana hauntingly echo those in Deuteronomy, the selfsame phrase underpinning the activities in restless synagogues worldwide during the festival of Purim.¹ When the name of Amalek’s descendant – Haman – is sounded everyone boos, hisses, makes noise with a greggar (noisemaker) and stamps their feet (many have the name of Haman written on the soles of their shoes so that when they stamp his name is simultaneously erased).² Asserting the complexity of history, both Elkana and Purim festivities position history between two irreducible differences: forgetting and remembrance. During Purim, memory is kept in circulation as a...

  12. Chapter 8 Becoming Israeli/Israeli Becomings
    (pp. 146-160)
    Laurence J. Silberstein

    Although in previous writings on postzionism (Silberstein 1999), I drew my primary critical tools of analysis from Foucault, I had already begun to sense the importance of Deleuze and Guattari to my project. Applying such concepts as discourse, power relations, regimes of truth and power/knowledge, I analysed both Zionism and postzionism in terms of discourse and the debates between zionists and postzionists as a conflict of discourses. Over the years, however, I have increasingly sensed the inadequacy of that representation. Through a continued reading of Deleuze and Guattari, I have come to see ways in which their concepts move the...

  13. Chapter 9 Affective Citizenship and the Death-State
    (pp. 161-174)
    Eugene W. Holland

    I take it as an axiom of post-structuralist social theory that various determinations of social life – the economy, the family, gender, religion, ethnicity, sexuality and so on – are to be considered in principle independent of one another: not just relatively autonomous, but completely autonomous from one another, with no privilege being automatically assigned to any one instance over all the others. This axiom is perhaps most evident in Foucault, who took his teacher Althusser’s notion of the ‘relative autonomy’ of social determinations (politics, economics, ideology and so on) one step further to insist on their absolute autonomy from...

  14. Chapter 10 Arresting the Flux of Images and Sounds: Free Indirect Discourse and the Dialectics of Political Cinema
    (pp. 175-193)
    Patricia Pisters

    In order to address the issue of contemporary political cinema I will propose that contemporary cinema should be conceived as a speech-act in free indirect discourse. I will depart from Deleuze’s observation that in the time-image the whole of cinema becomes a free indirect discourse, operating in reality (Deleuze 1989: 155). But I will also propose a more polemical reading of Deleuze’s cinema books, arguing that there is a dialectical shift between the movement-image and the time-image, or, between First, Second and Third Cinema.

    As Walter Benjamin wrote in ‘The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction’, film,...

  15. Chapter 11 Information and Resistance: Deleuze, the Virtual and Cybernetics
    (pp. 194-213)
    John Marks

    The main aim of this essay is to bring out some important distinctions between the work of Deleuze and Guattari and what has come to be known as ‘cybertheory’ or ‘cyberculture’. After looking briefly at some of the themes that characterise the imaginary of cyberspace, the essay will assess the significance of the cybernetic inheritance of much contemporary cybertheory, since, as several commentators have claimed, cybertheory is founded upon the informational and communicational paradigm that emerges out of cybernetics in the post-war era. The essay will then move on to look at the way in which Deleuze’s concept of the...

  16. Chapter 12 The Joy of Philosophy
    (pp. 214-227)
    Claire Colebrook

    Why philosophise? Why think? What is the function, purpose or point of philosophy in a world directed more and more towards efficiency, outcomes and economy of effort? Why suspend action and life for the sake of an idea? It is possible to answer these questions, via Deleuze, with two mutually exclusive sets of answers. The first ‘Platonic’ path would stress the incompleteness of actual life. Existing life, the life of the organism that strives to maintain its own being (to remain as it already is), perceives and responds to a given world. However, that world can only be said to...

  17. Notes on Contributors
    (pp. 228-230)
  18. Index
    (pp. 231-232)