Thursday, November 25, 2010

Rupturing Causality; Anti-Oedipus, Conclusion

"When a butterfly flaps its wings in one part of the world, it can cause a hurricane in another part of the world." Why do some people get off on this shit?

There has been one consistent theme throughout Anti-Oedipus, and that's been the extrication of the personality which can synonymously be understood as ideology. The incessant criticisms of psychoanalysis have been instinctively grounded in the idea that there are people who want you to be you, without tracing the phenomena of the personality to places like Platonic substantiality, and places much prior to that in the filiative structures of primitive civilization which D&G elaborate on in chapter three of Anti-Oedipus. Schizoanalysis as an attack on psychoanalysis can be summed up as criticizing the goal of analysis: to find your place within the social structure (Oedipus). Time and time again, D&G will state that psychoanalysis will make itself into its own truth without recognizing its own development and own metaphysics (even to the point of not recognizing who "Freud" really was, or wrote). To make it even more plain, analysis is really ignorant. Schizoanalysis will form itself by knocking out psychoanalysis as a truth unto itself. D&G's insistence on the disjunctive molecular aspects to vital life are directly opposed to the molar aggregate that sums things up, that sums up the body as a you. In psychoanalysis this "molar-gesture" is the process of "finding yourself." When taken to a phenomenological level, which D&G do without recognizing it (it's somewhat obvious that D&G have never really read the primary texts of phenomenology, and that their language would gain a clarity with this type of reading), they find causality as the sort of metaphysical operation that causes the personality as goal. This is an important step because it doesn't simply trace the aims of psychoanalysis to Plato, aggrandized mythology, or even surplus-value, but to a much more fundamental level of being in causality. With that being said, I think it's time to move onto anti-correlationist theory in my own reading with Speculative Realism. After this text, I will be taking on Brassier's Nihil Unbound to become acquainted with this thought. D&G get to this at the end of Anti-Oedipus but only after their focal interest is put in place (Schizoanalysis instead of psychoanalysis). This isn't because of a "lack" on their part (Deleuze wrote Difference and Repetition before his works with Guattari), but because of a "sociological move" in their thought and writing, the sociological move that Husserl implicitly warned against for philosophy in his Crises. In the end, Anti-Oedipus is one book that was influenced by sociology (Guatarri) as much as philosophy (Deleuze). It's an important book because sometimes theory without any examples in the socius is very difficult to understand. But make no mistake, Anti-Oedipus is proclaiming a way of being that is better off for being, in other words, it's being sociological. We can have fun with this book in its criticism of modern modes of being, but it's always important to realize that things will always phenomenally happen on their own regardless of a persons critique of anything. It's here where I stand faithful to phenomenology regardless of how powerful a book Anti-Oedipus was. The pure observation of the phenomenologist still stands as the most faithful to experience as is, even if it's obviously figurative in it's mode of expressing experience as is. Nonetheless, we can certainly learn much for ourselves as living beings living now with Anti-Oedipus. This book can help us avoid some pretty nasty traps while we have to live. For this, I respect this text and would easily recommend it. Lets move onto D&G finding their way into causality as the metaphysical grounds for personal interests and the personality in general.

"On the one hand, in fact, the investment of interest fundamentally conceals the paranoiac investment of desire, and reinforces it as much as it conceals it: it covers over the irrational character of the paranoiac investment under an existing order of interests, of causes and means, of aims and reasons; or else the investment of interest itself gives rise to and creates those interests that rationalize the paranoiac investment; or yet again, an effectively revolutionary preconscious investment fully maintains a paranoiac investment at the level of the libido, to the extent that the new socius continues to subordinate the entire production of desire in the name of the higher interest of the revolution and the inevitable sequences of causality." Something to understand right off the bat is the synonymous nature between "preconscious investment" and personal interest. The preconscious is a Freudian term signifying an archive of things that we can remember. It may be something that is in the back of our minds that we aren't consciously thinking of right now. One can take a personal interest into something, forget about it, but it still remains in their mind somewhere. This place where it remains and where it can be recalled is refereed to as the preconscious level. For D&G, when one invests themselves with a personal interest, they are concealing their natural desire. When one gives oneself a goal, something to specifically be interested in (in differentiation from others), this is opposed to the unconscious desire that has no interest, but simply has intensities. This irrationality becomes repressed under personality interests; things that you would like to see yourself doing. You have reason to believe that this is the proper course of action to take. You have means for achieving your goals. There are certain events that have caused you to have aims. For example, I had a dream (an "epiphany") of someone playing guitar. I think to myself that this must mean something. This epiphany causes me to aim towards being this epiphany. This sign showed the way. This sign signified my existence. This interest that I invested in myself by the cause of a random "meaning sequence" (please recognize the irony) can rationalize the unconscious intensity that happens to my body and this is easy to understand. Instead of seeing my body as going through a process of neuro-physiological intensity in the moment where things happened because of spontaneous breaks within a flow, I break with the break and stop the flow. I invest interest in that break where I stop to see what's going on. I don't break and continue on flowing. I like the break. I settle in the break. I am the break. I invest in the break and aggrandize the break. The break becomes an interest. I see it as something. At this point, the unconscious desire (desiring-machines) moves into preconscious desire. I remember the break because it satisfied me. It had value. I will add more value to it (surplus-value) by making a memory of the break. Again, I am the break. I will be the ideology of this break. The preconscious is a memory attached to the personality during a process of unconscious desire. Actually the personality happens because of this attachment. How the process of this attachment happens is a question put towards phenomenology. This new ideology, this new socius will continue to "subordinate the entire production of desire." Desire will be subordinated to ideology and revolutionary interests. Now, "revolutionary interests" does not simply have to have Marxian connotations. To be sure it can, but "revolutionary interests" can simply be taken as any preconscious interest at all, in other words, ideology. Anything that I take to be me and I solidify as me is a "revolutionary interest" in the sense that the unconscious break had enough power to create a personality. This is revolutionary on a purely physiological level; essentially the creation of the personality. On the other hand, we can take "revolutionary interests" literally and have it mean a personal ideology that wants to create a sociological revolution where the person thinks it would be "liberating the masses" for X,Y,Z, etc reasons (you fill in the blank of all the boring reasons that there could possibly be). Either way and in each case, we have something called "interested parties." Heidegger's ontology in Being and Time would strikingly understand this under the category of "looking around for something to do." We dive deeper into the foundations of the subordination of desire though when we understand the "revolution" in the first instance where what happens unconsciously becomes ideology in the most general sense. This will need to be addressed later on in other texts (again, phenomenology does this figuratively). This preconscious investment that manifests "interested parties," "subordinates the entire production of desire in the name of the higher interest of the revolution and the inevitable sequences of causality." The higher interest of the revolution and the inevitable sequences of causality. What does this mean? Again, the interest of the revolution is just that, an interest, not a desire. It's something that somebody thinks that they have to do, not what they love to do (eros). The break happened, the flow stopped, and revolution became idealized. Now what are the "inevitable sequences of causality?" These inevitable sequences of causality are everything that happens after desire becomes idealized into an interest. Desire becomes this. Because I think this way, I have to do this. Because I had this epiphany about this, I have to do these things. Because I see people earning a lesser wage than they're entitled to whom I never met, I have to protest on behalf of their struggle that I never experienced for myself. My life is devoted to a cause because its my sole interest in life. I am coded. I believe in this, so therefore I do this (I believe therefore I am: Ideology). After I do this, I do something else to further the cause. When I become ideology, pure causality follows in things that have to happen because of my personality. I'm coded to do things because I clinged onto a break in pure desire. D&G ask us, the preconsciously invested, to do something different. They ask us to "discover the necessity for a different sort of investment." They ask us to "perform a kind of rupture with causality as well as a calling in question of aims and interests." When we are preconsciously invested, we have shown that we are "interested parties." We are ideologies. We are personalities. But when we recognize this, we can discover a new way of investment. This investment is rupturing causality. What does this mean? This precisely means to break the break that has caused us to break and go back into the flow. Instead of finding "what to do next" after we are in a break that we somehow become satisfied in (value), we don't find what this ideology causes in is. Instead, we break with the ideology and let no cause happen to us in the name of the ideology that has broken us. We defer back to unconscious desire. What we do here is preconsciously invest into unconscious desire itself so we enter back into unconscious desire, in other words; enter back into the flow instead of breaking at the break. D&G aren't saying that one can't take a break. D&G aren't saying that the unconscious doesn't break in the flow. It's quite the opposite for D&G. There are breaks in the break-flow of unconscious desire. All of Anti-Oedipus has been grounded in the theory of the schizophrenic break-flow, but it must be noted that they have been using the flow against the breaks for obvious reasons. The breaks become satisfied (ideology is like taking a vacation from the unconscious). The flows keep moving while the breaks stop moving. When the breaks become anthropomorphized, it's here where being needs to invest back into itself, back into its unconscious desire. "This cannot be achieved except at the cost of, and by means of a rupture with, causality. Desire is an exile, desire is a desert that traverses the body without organs and makes us pass from one of its faces to the other." D&G refer back to the subject-group in distinction to the subjugated-group (which we discussed in the last post) where the subjugated-group is defined by "an order of causes and aims, and itself weaves a whole system of macroscopic relations that determined the large aggregates under a formation of sovereignty." This is in distinction to the subject-group who "have as their sole cause a rupture with causality." Certainly, this subject-group will have its own "objective factors" that can be traced in a causal series where we can find out how the rupture of causality was possible in the first place, but this account is for the "reality this rupture assumes at a given moment, in a given place." In other words, the "memory-traces" being done by the schizophrenic subject-group will be the task of finding out where and how intensities happen to the body. It won't investigate how a personality is formed. It will recognize where the body trembled. It won't idealize this trembling, but will simply mark it out as something that happened and move on. The subject group will find where desire has happened to itself. It will see where it happened and when it happened. It will constantly discover the intensity of unconscious desires and move onto other places. This "constant discovering" will be the breaks in the subject group. Discovering is breaking. When not discovering, it will be flowing. Being will be the unconscious desire of the schizophrenic break-flow in the subject-group. This is what Schizoanalysis would "look like." It will find things that are happening to "itself" and forget about them as quickly as them came. It won't ask "what do we do next with this?" There is nothing next to do. Something happened, and that's it. It would be an amnesiatic "work." For the unconscious doesn't have a memory. It simply reacts to an environment outside of itself...all together as a body without organs.

This is obviously a massive leap that D&G want us to take in Anti-Oedipus. They don't ask us to accomplish the Schizoanalytical task all in one time. It's obvious that they wouldn't ask this of the reader becomes it's not a task to be accomplished but a preconscious investment that will happen all the time. If it could be classified as a "task," it would be eternal much like phenomenology. As phenomenology never ends as a descriptive science of phenomena, schizoanalysis would never end as an understanding of momentary breaks within a flow. The key movement in schizoanalysis that is somewhat of a "radical" gesture is this modification of "preconscious investment." Instead of remembering something and storing phenomena for recall, the preconscious would invest into not remembering anything at all, except forgetting something that it may remember. It would literally invest into forgetting. Implied in forgetfulness is a motive to forget, meaning something was remembered. Something in phenomena happened to a body at a certain intense degree that had enough of an impact to be invested into a preconscious. In schizoanalysis though, the subject realizes this impact, opens itself up to it in its entirety, and then forgets it flowing back into phenomena. Schizoanalysis then could be understood as a different attempt at negating repression. While psychoanalysis tends to harbor on a "repressed feeling" by continually following the chain of this "repressed feeling" to a father-mother complex or an archaic mythology, schizoanalysis wouldn't harbor the "repression" or even call it a "repression." Instead it would say that an intensity happened to the body and would open itself up to that intensity. That intensity somehow was invested into the preconscious, but in schizoanalysis, the preconscious is programmed to forget the intensity to move on in the flow, instead of breaking in the break, which would define you as you. There is no "a-ha" moment in schizoanalysis. There is no "so this is what that meant!" in schizoanalysis. There is something that happened to a body which the body realizes and soon forgets once it's enlightened by this realization. It breaks, then flows, then breaks again, and flows again...on and on. As a final note, the last passage of Anti-Oedipus will fully clarify the "task" for D&G and schizoanalysis.
"The task of schizoanalysis is ultimately that of discovering for every case the nature of the libidinal investments of the social field, their possible internal conflicts, their relationships with the preconscious investments of the same field, their possible conflicts with these - in short, the entire interplay of the desiring-machines and the repressing of desire. Completing this process and not arresting it, not making it turn about in the void, not assigning it a goal. We'll never go too far with the deterritorialization, the decoding of flows. For the new earth is not to be found in the neurotic or perverse reterritorializations that arrest the process or assign it goals; it is no more behind than ahead, it coincides with the completion of the process of desiring-production, this process that is always and already complete as it proceeds, and as long as it proceeds. It therefore remains for us to see how, effectively, simultaneously, these various tasks of schizoanalysis proceed."

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