Sunday 2 June 2024

Deleuze vs Spivak

Indians may be under the impression that only illiterate Bengalis gas on about Deleuze. This is not the case. Consider the following- 

Living
in
Smooth
Space:
Deleuze,
Postcolonialism
and
the
 Subaltern

 Andrew
Robinson
and
Simon
Tormey
 
Any
attempt
to
situate
Deleuze
in
relation
to
the
postcolonial,

is silly. The dude was pretending to be smart. If darkies could understand what he was getting at, he would have failed.  


and
in
particular
to
postcolonial
 theory,
will
inevitably
involve
a
reckoning
with
Gayatri
Spivak’s
well‐known
critique
of
Deleuze
(and
 Foucault)
in
‘Can
the
Subaltern
Speak?’


There was no critique. Spivak pointed out that they had dicks- White dicks- and thus were failing to acknowledge their own complicity in the catachresis of the menstruation of my great Aunty who hanged herself while on the rag. 

(1988).¹
Spivak
is,
of
course,
an
exemplary
figure
as
far
as
the
 development
of
postcolonial
theory
is
concerned.


Because she pointed out that people without dicks were utterly shit.  

Her
brutal
dissection
of
the
interview
between
 Deleuze
and
Foucault,
‘The
Intellectuals
and
Power’,
remains
an
emblematic
encounter
between
the
 claims
of
a
certain
wing
of
‘French
theory’
–
particularly
the
Nietzschean
inflected
variant
of
it
‐
and
 a
nascent
postcolonial
critique
which
Spivak
has
been
so
instrumental
in
establishing.



Did you know Nietzsche had a dick? Dicks cause RAPE! Ban them immediately. 

Here,
 famously,
Spivak
demolishes
the
pretensions
of
Deleuze
and
Foucault
to
offer
an
escape
from
the
 universalising
ambitions
of
post‐Enlightenment
thought,
demonstrating
how
their
admonition
to
 give
up
representing
the
oppressed
ends
up
enacting
the
very
same
logic
of
subordination
to
the
 Western
‘global‐local’
they
claimed
to
confront
in
their
own
work.

Sadly, Spivak and Co, didn't ignore those two dickheads. They wrote even stupider shite not to compete with them but to make out that they mattered to anybody.  


Deleuze
and
Foucault
are
 revealed
as
post‐Kantian
avatars
preparing
to
subordinate
otherness
to
the
claims
of
cosmopolitical
 reasoning,
and
the
subaltern
periphery
to
the
globalising
empire
of
liberal‐capitalism.



But only people who quote those nutters are subordinated to them. Post colonial theory means the sorts of theories the rulers of countries which used to be colonies have. That means the sort of theory Mamta or Mayawati, not Spivak, have. 


 Spivak
has
not
to
our
knowledge
disavowed
her
analysis
of
Deleuze,
which
implies
that
the
 latter’s
work
and
approach
remains
in
some
important
sense
a
valid
subject
of
the
critiques
she
 develops
in
the
piece;
that
what
Deleuze
offers
is
‘Eurocentric’,
teleological,
totalising,
and
so
forth.


He had a dick- a white dick. That makes him almost as bad as that Dalit dude who tried to tear her a new one on the grounds that her ancestor had been a pal of Vidyasagar. Her reply is that firstly Haitians pronounce Du Bois in the English manner and secondly her ancestor was the cook of the pal of Vidyasagar and was paid a little money to marry a widow. Also, I don't got a dick! I'm way more abject than anybody with a dick- even a real small dick.  

It
is
clear
that
unless
the
claims
advanced
by
Spivak
are
examined
on
their
own
terms,
there
will
 continue
to
be
a
significant
barrier
to
the
reception
of
Deleuze
‐
and
indeed
Deleuze
and
Guattari
‐ as
‘postcolonial’
thinkers.


Nonsense! There are Indian academics like Skaria who ignore Spivak and gas on about the 'moral' or 'minor' and other such Deleuzian diarrhea.  

This
is
notwithstanding
the
evident
influence
their
work
has
had
on
 contemporary
theorists
operating
within
the
postcolonial
frame,
such
as
Arjun
Appadurai,

now an American 


Achille
 Mbembe,


who moved to South Africa  

and
Uday
Singh
Mehta.

also American. It appears post-colonial thinkers prefer to do their thinking in places with plenty of Whites.  

 


Perhaps
because
Deleuze
and
Guattari
have
also
influenced
 strongly
modernist
neo‐Marxist
thinkers
such
as
Michael
Hardt
and
Antonio
Negri,

but they have dicks! Dicks cause RAPE! 


there
appears
to
 be
a
residual
hostility
towards
the
idea
that
Deleuze
and
Guattari
are
quite
properly
postcolonial
 thinkers,
which
we
would
argue
they
are.


Coz they were actually darkies. Deleuze's real name was Deshawn. Guattari was a Sardarni from Ludhiana.  

Accordingly,
we
think
that
there
is
a
need
for
a
reckoning
with
Spivak’s
piece
as
a
ground
 clearing
exercise.

First chop off your dicks. Also, become bleck.  


The
thrust
of
this
chapter
is
thus
to
show
that
Spivak’s
claims
concerning
the
 nature
of
Deleuze’s
work
are
mistaken.

Sadly, Spivak is right to say that Deleuze was White and had a dick. He didn't even pretend to be an albino lady from Tamil Nadu.  


We
argue
that
her
critique
is
based
on
a
somewhat
cursory
 examination
of
Deleuze’s
oeuvre,
especially
the
co‐authored
work
with
Guattari,
which
is
replete
 with
analyses
of
non‐Western,
indigenous
and
subaltern
practices
and
discourses.

But those two nutters rely on Western 'scholars' of startling stupidity.  



Getting
beyond
 Spivak’s
early
analysis
is
crucial
for
assessing
the
usefulness
of
Deleuze’
and
Guattari’s
work
for
the
 kinds
of
critical
intervention
which
postcolonial
theory
seeks
to
develop.



That 'critical intervention' consists of saying Whitey be debil. Kindly vote for Soniaji due to Modi is Hitler.  

Clearing
the
theoretical
 horizon
in
this
way
allows
for
a
much
needed
rapprochement
between
a
Spivakian
inflected
critique
 of
occidental
thought


i.e. Whitey be debil. Did you know Jane Austen was White? Why are poor Bengali Professors of Literature being forced to read her shite?  

‐
which
is
the
very
locus
of
postcolonial
theory
at
one
level‐
and
Deleuze’
and
 Guattari’s
approach,
which
stresses
the
possibility
of
advancing
an
outside,
not
only
of
Eurocentric
 ways
of
thinking,
but
also
of
Eurocentric
‘statism’.


Those nutters didn't get that folk who don't have a State soon get conquered and enslaved or else are ethnically cleansed. This happened to Europeans- e.g. the Sami- just as much as it happened to Tasmanian aborigines.  

Such
an
exercise
is,
we
think,
a
necessary
prelude
 to
the
development
of
a
properly
postcolonial
politics


one where the Indian state disappears so its territory can be taken over by the Caliphate. 

to
complement
the
impact
of
theorisations
 that
have
hitherto
been
largely
confined
to
the
world
of
theory
itself.



 Spivak’s
critique
of
Deleuze
can
be
broken
down
into
five
distinct
claims,
which
we
explore
one
 at
a
time.

The
first
of
these
is
that
Deleuze
and
Foucault
covertly
reintroduce
the
transcendent
 European
subject
by
making
their
own
position
‘transparent’
and
by
means
of
overly
general
 conceptions
of
the
subject
of
power
and
the
subject
of
oppression.


Since the 'transcendental subject' is merely a subject capable of experiencing things, it follows that every person with at least a minimal level of volition is complicit in precisely the same thing. One may as well say 'Spivak's critique of Deleuze is based on the fact that he isn't a picture of a cat'.  


The
second
is
that
they
lack
a
 theory
of
ideology
and,
consequently,
a
theory
of
interest.



Nobody with 'theory of mind' lacks a 'theory of interest'. The cat understands that you want to stroke it and will feed it if it purrs and snuggles close to you.  

The
third
is
that
they
foreclose
the
need
 for
counter‐hegemonic
ideological
production
and
dialogue
with
the
other,
by
assuming
the
other
 can
speak
for
itself.


If the other can't speak, you can't have a dialogue with them. Assuming a guy who keeps telling you to fuck the fuck off can speak does not foreclose, it opens up, the possibility of dialogue with him more particularly if you offer him money. 


The
fourth
is
that
their
points
of
reference,
the
problems
they
seek
to
solve
and
 the
texts
they
refer
to
are
entirely
caught
within
a
self‐contained
West
or
Europe.


Because they were European and were writing for fellow Europeans. Why the fuck does Macron not make his speeches in Swahili?  


The
fifth
is
that
 their
refusal
of
constitutive
contradiction
reintroduces
an
undivided
subject
and
is
essentialist.



i.e. their refusal to chop themselves in two was very naughty.  

In sum,
Deleuze
is
guilty
of
erecting
a
‘global‐local’
in
which
a
distinct
form
of
subjectivity
and
logic
of
 being
in
the
world
is
rendered
invisible
or
‘unmarked’,
whilst
other
terms
are
‘marked’
as
local
or
 subordinate
to
them.

How could he be guilty of erecting something which has always existed? It is a fact that the earth is subordinated to the Sun's gravity. All complex life depends on Sun-light. When the Sun goes super-nova, all life in the Solar System will perish.  


 The
‘transparent’
subject Spivak’s
principal
claim
in
Can
the
Subaltern
Speak?
concerns
the
‘transparency’
of
the
subject.


What is transparent to the Hindu reader is that Spivak's great-aunt hanged herself while on the rag as a reproof to her Dad for not having married her off. The menstrual blood of an unmarried daughter pollutes the pinda offering to the ancestors.  


In
 her
view,
Deleuze
‘restores[s]
the
category
of
the
sovereign
subject’
(278),
by
which
she
means
that
 in
the
manner
of
classical
Western
philosophy,
he
deploys
an
essentialised
subject
of
oppression,
 which
acts
with
respect
to
the
object
of
a
singular
emancipatory
project.

Deleuze couldn't restore shit. He was too stupid.  


The
task
of
the
intellectual
 is
to
allow
this
subject
to
speak,
in
turn
making
it
impossible
to
engage
with
those
others
who
do
not resemble
or
sound
like
this
oppressed
figure.


In which case, Spivak has signally failed. Anybody at all can upload a Youtube video of a poor woman. They can add subtitles and use Social Media to ensure the thing goes viral. Professors of shite subjects are not needed.  

From
this
standpoint
the
unmarked
intellectual
claims
 to
speak
truth,


even if they are babbling nonsense 

revealing
to
the
reader
‘the
surreptitious
subject
of
power
and
desire
marked
by
the
 transparency
of
the
intellectual’
(280).


The intellectual pretends to be smart. But smart people gain power and wealth or otherwise change the world.  

Deleuze
is
thus
a
‘a
dangerous
…
first
world
intellectual
 masquerading
as
the
absent
non‐representor
who
lets
the
oppressed
speak
for
themselves’
(292),

he was masquerading as a guy who understood Math and Capitalism and Schizophrenia and other such stuff which genuinely smart peeps understood. It is Spivak who claims to speak for darkies who lack dicks.  


in
 whose
work
‘a
postrepresentationalist
vocabulary
hides
an
essentialist
agenda’.
(285)


Why hide it? Either these two nutters were speaking of stuff which was true in all possible worlds or else they were merely pointing to some contingent or ideographic fact about their own milieu. Incidentally, Spivak claims to be a 'Europeanist'. This means there must be an European essence.  

In
short,
the
 claim
that
subaltern
subjects
are
able
to
represent
themselves
merely
disguises
a
form
of
 ‘substitutionism’
in
which
the
intellectual
elides
difference
in
the
name
of
a
universal
subject
of
 oppression.

If there is no 'universal subject of oppression', then there is no criteria of demarcation by which one can say x is oppressed or y is not oppressed. Morishima's fundamental theorem of Marxism is an example of a universal criteria- viz. the existence of profit means oppression exists. As I have shown, the existence of dicks too implies the existence of oppression.  



This
in
turn
implies
Deleuze
is
indifferent
to
difference;
he
is
oblivious
to
the
complex forms
of
differentiation
that
cannot
be
encompassed
within
Western
notions
of
oppression
or
 domination.


because he had a dick- a White dick. That's totes triggering for me. 

Given
that
many
sympathisers
with
Deleuze
feel
these
concerns
lie
at
the
heart
of
the
 Deleuzian
enterprise,
the
accusation
is
damaging
to
say
the
least.

In other words, the suspicion that Deleuze might actually have been a philosopher- not a lunatic- is highly damaging to say the least.  


But
does
it
stand
up? Spivak
attempts,
in
Lacanian
fashion,
to
discern
a
‘subject
of
desire’
in
Deleuze.


He wanted people to think he was smart.  

However
 Deleuze’s
view
is
not
only
that
desire
can
be
differentiated
from
subjectivity,

because you can subjectively free yourself of a particular desire. I no longer want to marry Mary Poppins.  


but
also
that
desire
 alone
does
not
produce
a
unified
subject.


Because lots of people share my desire to see Rahul quit politics.  


Desire
for
Deleuze
is
not
an
attribute
of
a
desiring
subject
but
is
a
matter
of
flows
and
becomings
which
traverse
the
entire
social,
and
indeed,
material
or
 ecological
field.



Nothing wrong in that. Deleuze followed Gabriel Tarde in that respect. There is a mimetic component to desire. Girard made a good career out of this insight.  

Hence,
desire
is
not
something
‘possessed’
by
the
sovereign
subject
but
something inter‐,
sub‐
and
extra‐subjective.


so is money or pictures of cats. That's why they can be possessed.  


The
subject,
where
it
exists,
is
a
product
of
certain
forms
of
desire,
 but
only
one
of
the
possible
outcomes
of
what
is
termed
‘desiring‐production’.

It
arises
from
a
 certain
kind
of
‘molar’,
‘majoritarian’
or
‘reactive’
construction
of
desire
which
produces
self‐other
 boundaries
and
identities.

These are arbitrary stipulations but can have a concrete model. But they aren't informative. They are not attached to a useful structural causal model. They can't affect outcomes. But that is why armchair philosophy of all types is useless when it isn't funny.  



But
it
arises
only
from
this
specific
configuration
of
desire,
it
is
a
product
 (not
producer)
of
desire,


only by arbitrary stipulation. Similarly one could say 'the cat does not miaow. The miaow produces the cat as a miaowing subject'. But this is not informative. It is silly.  

and
its
genesis
is
in
the
trapping
or
capture
of
desire
and
not
in
the
kind
of
 affirmative,
free‐flowing
desire
Deleuze
and
Guattari
seek.

conga lines of buggery snaking through the streets of Paris 


As
Deleuze
and
Guattari
explain
in
their
 Anti‐Oedipus
(which
Spivak
largely
ignores),
desiring‐machines
are
always
molecular,
engaged
in
 their
own
assembly,
and
their
function
and
formation
are
indiscernible
from
one
another
(1983:
1‐ 9).

Only to cretins. Most of us understand well enough that a pretty girl has no desire to talk to us at a cocktail party. That's why we end up in the kitchen talking to fucking software engineers who think Dungeons & Dragons is still cool.  



On
the
other
hand,
molar
machines


e.g S&M dungeons or chatgroups on the Internet for those who want to find a guy to castrate them 

are
structurally
unified:
each
appears
as
a
single
object
or
 subject,
and
they
have
limited
and
exclusive
connections
and
exclusions.

Molar
aggregates
are
 products
of
paranoiac
desire,
engineered
into
existence
by
pitting
‘packs’
and
‘masses’
against
one
 another
(Deleuze
and
Guattari
1983:
286‐7,
279).


unless the police shut them down and arrest all concerned.  


The
molecular
is
taken
as
primary,
always
existing
 as
a
vibrant
multitude

who are busy castrating each other 


beneath
any
molar
formation.

Hence,
beneath
limiting
schemas
and
couples
 there
are
bundles
of
networks
and
radiations
in
all
directions;
‘[a]n
entire
multiplicity
rumbles
under
 the
sameness
of
the
Idea’
(Deleuze
1994:
51,274).

Come to my lectures and though you will be bored out of your skull still you may meet some helpful person who will chop your dick off. Foucault, of course, would insist that the Pope, wearing a gimp suit, and the Sun King should stand by laughing maniacally.  



 Deleuze
and
Guattari
thus
reject
dominant
‘humanist’
models
of
subjectivity
focused
on
the
 integrity
and
unity
of
a
single
self,


i.e. a regime where the police arrest dudes who chop other dudes' dicks off 

instead
positing
what
Brian
Massumi
has
termed
the
‘dividual’,
 the
divided
and
divisible
subject
of
desire
(Massumi
1993).


Sadly, the subject of desire has already left the party with one of those software engineers. Oh well, c'est la vie. Think I'll pig out on pepperoni pizza and then cry myself to sleep- again!


Their
theory
of
subjectivity
(for
whatever
 Spivak
may
say,
they
do
have
such
a
theory)
views
the
modern
subject
as
a
molar
outgrowth
of
 capitalism.

Which is how come more peeps aint eating their own shit the way Nietzsche intended.  


Indeed,
they
theorise
that
subjectivity
arises
from
‘subjection’,
a
specifically
capitalist
 linguistic/representational
process
(distinct
from
earlier
‘machinic
enslavement’),
and
devote
 considerable
space
to
demonstrating
its
mechanisms
(Deleuze
and
Guattari
1987:
456‐9;
Guattari
 1996:
141‐7).


Are you eating your own shit for breakfast? No? It is because Capitalism has subjugated you. Get busy chopping off your own dick and one day soon Capitalism will disappear only to be replaced by a truly enlightened coprophagy.  


 Nor
is
it
clear
that
Deleuze
and
Guattari
celebrate
‘any
desire’
resisting
‘any
power’.

Their
 theory,
advanced
over
many
thousands
of
pages,
is
far
more
nuanced
than
this.



Because saying 'eat your own shit' wouldn't carry the same intellectual frisson.  

For
instance,
they
 distinguish
between
types
of
desire
(active
and
reactive,
‘schizophrenic’
and
‘paranoiac’),
siding
 clearly
with
those
which
perform
certain
functions


e.g. eating their own shit 

rather
than
others.

All
desires
infuse
the
social
 field,
but
divide
into
two
types
of
‘delirium’
or
psychological
complex,
the
‘fascisizing
[fascisant]’
 type
which
disinvests
every
‘free’
figure
of
desire
and
invests
central
sovereignty,
and
the
 ‘schizorevolutionary
type
or
pole
that
follows
the
lines
of
escape
of
desire;
breaches
the
wall
and
 causes
flows
to
move;
assembles
its
machines
and
its
groups‐in‐fusion
in
the
enclaves
or
at
the
 periphery’,
producing
an
inverse
effect
(Deleuze
and
Guattari
1983:
277).



The French refused to accept that it was sane English speaking people like Churchill and Roosevelt who delivered them from Nazism. Left to themselves, they would have chopped off their own balls while eating their own shit in the hope that this would cause Hitler to run away.  

Spivak and her ilk, merely ran away from shithole countries so as to make a living scolding Whitey for permitting dicks to exist even though dicks cause RAPE! 

As for challenging 'Eurocentrism', that is best done by Boko Haram. Kill people who can read. That way, 'colonial epistemology' will perish. 

Stuff like this '?



Can
one
discuss
the rise
of
Hindu
communalism
–
its
complicity
with
neoliberalism,
its
connections
to
male
Brahmin
 power,

the Dynasty is Brahmin. People want Priyanka but they are stuck with Rahul. But the founder of the Dynasty was a Socialist. True, Nehru presided over a vast ethnic cleansing of Muslims but he wasn't a fan of Hinduism either.  


and
in
spite
of
this
its
appeal
to
some
among
the
worse‐off,
even
at
the
expense
of
the
left
–
 without
a
theory
of
reactive
desire
which
goes
against
interests?


What went against the interests of the poor was the Communist policy of grabbing their land and handing it to billionaire industrialists. That's how a Brahmin woman, Mamta Bannerjee, crushed the Commies in West Bengal.  


In
a
recent
work
addressing
these
 various
phenomena,
Arjun
Appadurai
(2006)


'Fear of small numbers'. It was stupid shit. Obviously, the collapse of the Soviet Union would endanger its clients or gerontocratic Communist/Socialist single party rule. Various ethnic groups would seek to back control of territories where they were the majority or else had a historical claim.  

provides
an
explanation,
in
terms
of
active
and
reactive
 structures,
remarkably
similar
to
Deleuze’s.


It was useless shite. He didn't predict the demise of the Left Front. To be fair, few did. The Tatas thought the Commies would try to imitate Deng. But their goons soon switched sides after the TMC got better at beating them.  


In
Appadurai,
as
in
Deleuze,
one
finds
the
focus
shifted from
economic
interests
to
libidinal
attachments;
categories
of
rhizomatic
and
arborescent
(here
 rephrased
as
vertebrate
and
cellular)
come
to
the
fore.


Real Estate is valuable coz God aint making any more of it. People fight over territory. Deal with it.  


Can
one
really
explain
the
paradoxes
of
such
 ‘predatory’
movements
without
venturing
outside
the
field
of
‘interests’?


Brain dead Marxists may think that proles will all love each other coz their true enemy is the Capitalist. But the Great War had shown this simply wasn't true.  


When
Spivak
herself
 discusses
Hindu
communalism,
it
is
noticeable
that
she,
too,
quietly
replaces
interest‐derivation
with a
theory
of
complex
symbolic
motivation
(304).


Her people kept getting raped and killed in East Bengal unless they had had the sense to run away. Quite naturally, she didn't want to dwell too much on this topic.  


Hence,
we
would
argue,
Deleuze’s
privileging
of
 desire
over
interest
is
entirely
apt.

It is silly. The fact is, proles don't really hate Capitalists or love proles in distant countries.  


 It
is
also
entirely
possible
to
theorise
sanctioned
ignorance
or
lacunae
from
within
a
Deleuzian
 frame.


Because it is also entirely possible to theorize eating your own shit in a Deleuzian frame.  

That
dominant
systemic
discourses
contain
lacunae
is
implicit
in
the
Deleuzian
rendering
of
 Lacanian
theory

shite rendering shite 


as
a
reductive
depiction
of
neurotic
or
‘paranoiac’
thought.



How neurotic to have to be not to eat your own delicious turds?  

To
be
within
‘Oedipus’,
 to
be
trapped
without
the
‘little
bit
of
the
outside’,
is
to
be
within
‘reality’
in
the
(negatively‐loaded)
 Lacanian
sense
of
a
closed
imaginary/symbolic
construct,
which
is
also
to
be
within
Althusserian
 ‘ideology’,
a
concept
largely
modelled
after
Lacan’s.


If you believe Freudian shite you might also believe Marxist shite. That's how stupidity works.  


Where
Deleuze
and
Guattari
break
with
Lacan
is
 not
in
the
depth
and
complexity
of
his
inner
account
of
neurosis,
but
rather,
in
his
(or
his
followers’)
 insistence
that
this
underlying
neurosis
is
‘necessary’,
‘constitutive’
and
ethically
desirable.


If you are practicing a fraudulent type of medicine it is highly desirable for you to have paying customers who are as gullible as shit.  


For
 Deleuze
and
Guattari,
echoing
Sahlins,
lack
is
constituted
by
the
dominant
system,


which is why Stone Age people lacked i-phones. The dominant system was totes into Blackberries. 

organised
 through
social
production
so
as
to
prop
up
a
system
which
requires
scarcity
(Deleuze
and
Guattari
 1983:
28;
Sahlins
2004).


Stone Age capitalists created scarcity by meanly refusing to throw stones at each other.  


They
can
thus
import
unaltered
much
of
the
explanatory
structure
of
 Lacanian
or
Althusserian
theory,
dropping
simply
the
supplementary
claims
of
constitutivity.


You can drop claims of having constituted your own shit because people are sufficiently grossed out by the fact that you are eating it.  The plain fact is 'Eurocentrism' disappeared because Europeans did stupid shit. American hegemony is disappearing because, as Obama said, American foreign policy is to do stupid shit. China too may fuck up. Meanwhile, smart peeps will do sensible things if not in shithole countries which listen to crazy Professors, then in countries which have ceased to be or are ceasing to be shitholes. 


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