Deleuze, Marx, and Politics

Deleuze, Marx, and Politics

Deleuze, Marx, and Politics

Deleuze, Marx, and Politics


A critical and provocative exploration of the political, conceptual and cultural points of resonance between Deleuze's minor politics and Marx's critique of capitalist dynamics, engaging with Deleuze's missing work, The Grandeur of Marx . This book explores the core categories of communism and capital in conjunction with a wealth of contemporary and historical political concepts and movements - from the lumpenproletariat and anarchism, to Italian autonomia and Antonio Negri, immaterial labour and the refusal of work. This book will serve as an introduction to Deleuze's politics and the contemporary vitality of Marx for students and will challenge scholars in the fields of social and political theory, sociology and cultural studies.


We are not interested in characteristics; what interests us are modes of expansion, propagation, occupation, contagion, peopling.

(atp: 239)

Hold to the Particular as an innovative form.

(atp: 471; emphasis changed)

Deleuze’s task is to develop a politics adequate to the complexity of life, a politics that can make the human worthy of the material universe of infinite interaction. This is not the same thing as a simple affirmation of chaos. Deleuze is misrepresented as a theorist of abstract and general becoming, or pure deterritorialization. Politics is primarily a process of (minor) difference against (molar) identity, but one does not easily leave identity behind, and the composition of territory is a necessity for life. As I showed in Chapter 1, the minor and the molar exist in continuous interrelation as two tendencies in matter. Politics exists, in its most general sense, to amplify minor processes. But it only does this through a continual engagement with molar stratifications and specific socio-historical relations, and in the intricate composition of ways of life. in this engagement and composition politics is, to say the least, a complicated process. This chapter seeks to explore the techniques and styles of this process - the modes of composition of minor politics.

The chapter starts by marking the socio-historical emergence of the possibility for minor politics on the condition that ‘the people are missing’ (Deleuze 1989:216). It shows that politics begins with the experience of small peoples or minorities who exist in ‘cramped spaces’ fully traversed by social forces, such that the first principle of the minor is not identity but creation. After exploring this general situation the chapter considers the problematic of ‘deterritorialization’ to show how the minor is a continual process of engagement with molar regimes, rather than an autonomous political space. the way that the ‘particular’ and the ‘social’ are treated in minor composition is then considered in detail. in this section the concepts of ‘inclusive disjunction’ (to show how a milieu emerges of continual experimentation and reconfiguration within and against each ‘particular’ situation or identity) and the primacy of social ‘lines of flight’ (such that the minor has affinities with . . .

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