Deleuze and Guattari and the Future of Politics: Science Fiction, Protocols and the People to Come

Deleuze Studies 5 (supplement):77-97 (2011)
Abstract
When is the future? Is it to come or is it already here? This question serves as the frame for three further questions: why is utopia a bad concept and in what way is fabulation its superior counterpart? If the object of fabulation is the creation of a people to come, how do we get from the present to the future? And what is a people to come? The answers are (1) that the future is both now and to come, now as the becoming-revolutionary of our present and to come as the goal of our becoming; (2) utopia is a bad concept because it posits a pre-formed blueprint of the future, whereas a genuinely creative future has no predetermined shape and fabulation is the means whereby a creative future may be generated; (3) the movement from the revolutionary present toward a people to come proceeds via the protocol, which provides reference points for an experiment which exceeds our capacities to foresee; (4) a people to come is a collectivity that reconfigures group relations in a polity superior to the present, but it is not a utopian collectivity without differences, conflicts and political issues. Science fiction formulates protocols of the politics of a people to come, and Octavia Butler's science fiction is especially valuable in disclosing the relationship between fabulation and the invention of a people to come.
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