chapter  5
18 Pages

Deleuze and Guattari

Self-emancipatory philosophy in the ’68 era
WithDaniel Fletcher

This chapter shows that in the 1960s, in reaction against bourgeois conservatism and overbearing forms of institutionalisation, Deleuze and Guattari emerged from the milieu of the bourgeois avant-garde to tap into, and give expression to, the 1960s radical self-emancipatory movements that pioneered libertarian or anarchistic notions of communism. It explores the deterritorialising ethos of Deleuze and Guattari's philosophy. Deleuze and Guattari were opposed to the way in which Lacan buried the effects of the unconscious beneath a symbolic structure. Deleuze and Guattari's philosophy of desire runs the same lines of flight as the social-activist reaction of 1968, for while students and workers reacted against the bureaucratic and conservative French system on the ground. Deleuze notes that because of the Anglo-Saxon philosophical traditions of empiricism and pragmatism, the English had little need to seriously address Nietzsche's theoretical attack on continental philosophy's negative command mentality, so that his influence in England was restricted to literature; his influence was "emotional" rather than "philosophical".