Tags

, , ,

This quote from Deleuze seemed apropos considering the heterogeneous and indefinable conglomerate that is currently uprising in the Middle East/North Africa:

For a long time philosophy offered you a particular alternative: God or man—or in philosophical jargon: infinite substance or the finite subject. None of that is very important any more: the death of God, the possibility of replacing God with humanity, all the God-Human permutations, etc. It’s like Foucault said, we are no more human than God, the one dies with the other. Nor can we remain satisfied with the opposition between a pure universal and particularities enclosed within persons, individuals, or Selves. We can’t let ourselves be satisfied with that, especially if the two terms are to be reconciled, or completed by one another. What we’re uncovering right now, in my opinion, is a world packed with impersonal individuations, or even pre-individual singularities (that’s what Nietzsche means when he says: “neither God nor man,” it’s anarchy triumphant). The new novelists talk of nothing else: they give voice to these non-personal individuations, these non-individual singularities.

But most importantly, all this corresponds to something happening in the contemporary world. Individuation is no longer enclosed in a word. Singularity is no longer enclosed in an individual. This is really important, especially politically; it’s like the “fish dissolved in water”; it’s the revolutionary struggle, the struggle for liberation… And in our wealthy societies, the many and various forms of non-integration, the different forms of refusal by young people today, are perhaps manifestations of it. You see, the forces of repression always need a Self that can be assigned, they need determinate individuals on which to exercise their power. When we become the least bit fluid, when we slip away from the assignable Self, when there is no longer any person on whom God can exercise his power or by whom He can be replaced, the police lose it. This is not theory. All the stuff going on as we speak is what matters. We can’t dismiss the upheavals troubling the younger generation just by saying: oh, they’ll grow out of it. It’s difficult, of course, sometimes worrisome, but it’s also really joyful, because they’re creating something, accompanied by the confusion and suffering that attends any practical creation, I think [emphasis added].

~ Gilles Deleuze, ‘On Nietzsche and the Image of Thought’ in Desert Islands and Other Texts, 137-138.

 

 

Advertisements