6

NOMADS, CAPTURE AND COLONISATION

As we saw in Chapter 1, for Deleuze and Guattari the purpose and value of philosophy are external to philosophy itself. They conceive of philosophy as a critical practice of thought which has a Utopian vocation, namely the creation of new concepts supposed to contribute to the emergence of ‘new earths and new peoples’ (Deleuze and Guattari 1994:108). Up to this point, we have examined a number of the political-philosophical concepts which they propose—including their concepts of multiplicity, assemblage, segmentarity, becoming, socius and deterritorialisation—without asking whether or how these concepts fulfil this Utopian vocation. In this final chapter, we shall examine more closely Deleuze and Guattari’s concepts of the state-form or apparatus of capture and its Other, the nomadic war-machine. While there are reasons to doubt that the war-machine concept is likely to be effective in the form in which it is presented, the idea of a type of assemblage which has an affinity with processes of deterritorialisation may still turn out to be useful. In the latter part of this chapter we shall redescribe the jurisprudence of aboriginal or native title as a war-machine with deterritorialising effect on the legal institutions and apparatus of colonial capture in common-law countries. This example provides an opportunity to test the degree to which this family of Deleuzian concepts (war-machine, capture, deterritorialisation) enables an effective counter-actualisation of the legal forms of internal colonisation to which indigenous peoples are subject in common-law countries such as Australia, Canada and Aotearoa/New Zealand.


Metamorphosis machines

Deleuze and Guattari contrast the state-form with another type of assemblage which they call the ‘war-machine’. This is one of the most curious concepts invented in the course of A Thousand Plateaus (1987), and also one of the most widely misunderstood. It is a concept which is betrayed by its name since it has little to do with actual war and only a

-109-

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Deleuze and the Political
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgements vii
  • Introduction 1
  • 1 - Concept and Image of Thought 11
  • 2 - Difference and Multiplicity 29
  • 3 - Power 49
  • 4 - Desire, Becoming and Freedom 68
  • 5 - Social Machines and the State 88
  • 6 - Nomads, Capture and Colonisation 109
  • Conclusion 132
  • Notes 138
  • References 149
  • Index 159
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