Deleuze and Guattari address a fundamental problem of political philosophy: the contradictory phenomenon whereby an individual or a group comes to desire their own oppression. This contradiction had been mentioned briefly by the 17th-century philosopher Spinoza: “Why do men fight for their servitude as stubbornly as though it were their salvation?” That is, how is it possible that people cry for “More taxes! Less bread!”?

Wilhelm Reich discussed the phenomenon in his 1933 book The Mass Psychology of Fascism: “the astonishing thing is not that some people steal or that others occasionally go out on strike, but rather that all those who are starving do not steal as a regular practice, and all those who are exploited are not continually out on strike: after centuries of exploitation, why do people still tolerate being humiliated and enslaved, to such a point, indeed, that they actually want humiliation and slavery not only for others but for themselves?”

One thought on “Schizophrenia

  1. baselfasel says:

    “Politics is really a problem of flows. They all need to be coded or controlled. Most obviously, there is a flow of water and dams and dikes to control and channel the water, there are economic flows of money and capital with controls of markets, there are material flows of utilities and raw material such as electricity with the control of the grid to keep the electricity flowing, there are flows of commodities with marketing and transport, there is a flow of traffic with regulation of highways and traffic jams and the control of speed, there’s social flows such as flows of population with passports and immigration control, there are flows of sewage and refuse and the question of what to do with them, there’s somatic flows such as urine, blood, sperm, sweat, feces, milk, menstrual blood, and so on, with all their various codings, one can even think of flows of thought and the attempt to code and control it with marketing, advertisement, the media, a flow of scientific knowledge, a flow of opinion, a flow of stupidity.”
    Deleuze’s Politics: Psychoanalysis, Anthropology, and Nomadology in Anti-Oedipus & A Thousand Plateaus, 1stDay ~ 45:00

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