Anti-Œdipus as Self Help-Guide

Solutions for Post-Modern Living is an excellent blog. I came upon it by way of its owner’s last.fm account, a fine collection of musical choices, not unlike my own. Anyway, he posted a bit of text by Foucault written for the introduction to Deleuze and Guattari’s Anti-Œdipus, a work that I have been content to merely know of rather than read. Foucault seems to do an excellent job of summarizing the entire work however, imagining it as a kind of self-help book, revealing what is for him a rather uncharacteristic, and perhaps merely unintentional, sense of humor:

The art of living counter to all forms of fascism, whether already present or impending, caries with it a certain number of essential principles which I would summarize as follows if I were to make this great book into a manual or guide to every day life:

* Free political action from all unitary and totalizing paranoia.
* Develop action, thought, and desires by proliferation, juxtaposition, and disjunction and not by subdivision and pyramidal hierarchization.
* Withdraw allegiance from the old categories of the Negative (law, limit, castration, lack, lacuna), which Western though has so long held sacred as a form of power and an access to reality. Prefer what is positive and multiple, difference over uniformity, flows over unities, mobile arrangements over systems. Believe what is productive is not sedentary but nomadic.
* Do not think that one has to be sad in order to be militant, even though the thing one is fighting is abominable. It is the connection of desire to reality (and not its retreat into forms of representation) that possesses revolutionary force.
* Do not use thought to ground a political practice in Truth; nor political action to discredit, as mere speculation, a line of thought. Use political practice as an intensifier of thought, and analysis as a multiplier of the forms and domains for the intervention of political action.
* Do not demand of politics that it restore the “rights” of the individual, as philosophy has defined them. The individual is the product of power. What is needed is to “de-individualize” by means of multiplication and displacement, diverse combinations. The group must not be the organic bond uniting hierarchized individuals, but a constant generator of de-individualization.
* Do not become enamored of power.

(Michel Foucault, Preface to Anti-Œdipus)

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One response to “Anti-Œdipus as Self Help-Guide

  1. Thanks for the link 🙂

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