Returning to Revolution

Returning to Revolution: Deleuze, Guattari and Zapatismo

Thomas Nail
Copyright Date: 2012
Pages: 216
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  • Book Info
    Returning to Revolution
    Book Description:

    An account of the concept of revolution in the work of Deleuze and Guattari Much has been written on Deleuze and Guattari's political philosophy in the last 15 years. Now, Returning to Revolution is the first full-length work to date on their central concept of revolution and its emergence alonside the most influential revolutionary movement of the 21st century: Zapatismo.We are witnessing the return of political revolution. Not a return to the classical forms of revolution: the capture of the state, the political representation of the party, the centrality of the proletariat or the leadership of the vanguard. Rather, after the failure of such tactics over the last century, revolutionary strategy is now headed in an entirely new direction.Key Features: Outlines the theoretical and practical origins of the return to political revolutionProvides the first full-length account of Deleuze and Guattari's relationship to a concrete revolutionary struggle

    eISBN: 978-0-7486-5587-8
    Subjects: Philosophy

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-v)
  3. Acknowledgements
    (pp. vi-vi)
  4. A Note on the Text
    (pp. vii-vii)
  5. Preface
    (pp. viii-xii)
  6. Introduction
    (pp. 1-36)

    We are witnessing today the return of a new theory and practice of revolution. This return, however, takes none of the traditional forms: the capture of the state, the political representation of the party, the centrality of the proletariat, or the leadership of the vanguard. Rather, given the failure of such tactics over the last century, coupled with the socio-economic changes brought by neoliberalism in the 1980s, revolutionary strategy has developed in more heterogeneous and non-representational directions. The aim of this book is thus to map an outline of these new directions by drawing on the theory and practice of...

  7. 1 Political History and the Diagnostic of Revolutionary Praxis
    (pp. 37-79)

    In light of its apparent exhaustion, how is it possible to return to revolution? This is the central question of this book. Given the scope of such a question, I proposed in the introduction to focus my philosophical interrogation of this question on three figures in the history of the present revolutionary sequence who have been particularly influential to its development: Deleuze, Guattari and the Zapatistas. Thus, in order to shed some light on the larger revolutionary sequence that began to take place at the end of the twentieth century, I also proposed four distinct revolutionary strategies that help us...

  8. 2 Intervention and the Future Anterior
    (pp. 80-109)

    In Chapter 1, I argued that political history should be used as a multi-centred political diagnostic to construct a revolutionary praxis. But how do revolutionary events emerge from this polyvalent intersection of representational processes (coding, overcoding, axiomatisation) and sustain something new? How are these processes ‘warded off by other means’? This is an important question left unanswered both by Deleuze and Guattari’s concept of historical topology and by my proposed concept of a multi-centred diagnostic. While Deleuze and Guattari’s theory of political topology may be able to provide us with the tools to diagnose the three processes of political representation,...

  9. 3 The Body Politic and the Process of Participation
    (pp. 110-151)

    While the strategy of political prefiguration developed in Chapter 2 may have provided an account of how different types of political transformation occur within several different representational processes (coding, overcoding and axiomatisation), it remained radically insufficient for understanding how revolutionary prefigurative strategies, in particular, are able to cohere and distribute themselves into distinctly non-representational kinds of political bodies. How is it possible, for instance, to carry out and sustain the consequences of a non-representational revolution? Is there a new type of body politic that would no longer be predicated on the party-body of the nationstate, the market-body of capital, or...

  10. 4 Political Affinity and Singular-Universal Solidarity
    (pp. 152-180)

    While the theory of a participatory body politic developed in Chapter 3 may have been able to account for the practical and theoretical reality of a third type of political body, it failed to understand on what basis such revolutionary bodies would be able to connect to one another and assemble a larger global alternative to neoliberalism. If the conditions of revolutionary political bodies are singular and nonrepresentational, on what basis can such heterogeneous political conditions share a common affinity or belonging? To what degree can this inclusive model of political participation, argued for in Chapter 3, be practically extended...

  11. Conclusion
    (pp. 181-187)

    We are witnessing today the return of a new theory and practice of revolution. In its early stages of development and far from homogeneous in character, this new theory encompasses the growing belief not only that ‘another world is possible’ beyond capitalism, but that it ‘must be made’ in such a way that the mistakes of previous revolutionary efforts are not repeated: the capture of the state, the representation of the party or the privileged knowledge of the vanguard. Philosophically, I have argued we can see this new shift in Deleuze and Guattari’s concepts of historical topology, constructive deterritorialisation, political...

  12. Bibliography
    (pp. 188-200)
  13. Index
    (pp. 201-204)