Symptoms of a New Politics: Networks, Minoritarianism and the Social Symptom in Žižek, Deleuze and Guattari

Deleuze Studies 4 (2):206-233 (2010)
Abstract
This article explores the contemporary ‘symptomatic’ position of radically excluded social groups through a critical engagement with the work of Žižek, Deleuze and Guattari. It begins with a presentation and critique of Žižek's theorisation, arguing that while he correctly perceives the symptomatic status of certain social groups and issues, his approach is insufficiently radical because of its reliance on inappropriate structuralist assumptions and metaphysical negativity. It then compares this theory to Deleuze and Guattari's theory of minoritarianism, viewed as a similar attempt to engage with the symptomatic effects of exclusion. A political trajectory is derived from Deleuze and Guattari's theory which reconceives the politics of the excluded in terms of emancipatory lines of flight rather than gestures of identification. The article then explores social movements arising from the growing phenomenon of global exclusion in neoliberalism, looking at examples such as Somalia and Bolivia, and proposing autonomy and networked approaches to social life as responses to exclusion which reconfigure social space in affirmative ways
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