Politics in the Middle: For a Political Interpretation of the Dualisms in Deleuze and Guattari

Deleuze and Guatarri Studies 4 (Suppl):104-126 (2010)
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Abstract

The paper identifies three recent lines of interpretation of the politics that can be derived from Deleuze and Guattari, all of which share a way of reading the dualisms in their work that can be traced back to how they understand the actual/virtual partition, and to an alleged pre-eminence of the virtual over the actual. It is argued that this reading is not only inaccurate, but obscures the political dimension of Deleuze and Guattari's work. Clarifying the latter requires a reinterpretation of the dualisms involved (as dyads rather than binaries), of the relation between virtual and actual (as a formal distinction where one acts back upon the other), and the drawing of a clear distinction between what Deleuze calls a ‘transcendent exercise’ of thought and sensibility and the properly metaphysical exercise that sets up the distinction between virtual and actual. What then appears is an image of Deleuze's and Guattari's thought that is far more concerned with practical questions and with a situated political practice of intervention.

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