Just some more quotations from Anti-Oedipus, no commentary.

With his general conception of microcosm-macrocosm relationships, Bergson brought about a discrete revolution that deserves further consideration. Likening the living to a microcosm is an ancient platitude. But if the living organism was thought to be similar to the world, this was attributed to the fact that it was or tended to be an isolated system, naturally closed: the comparison between microcosm and macrocosm was thus a comparison between two closed figures, one of which expressed the other and was inscribed within the other. At the beginning of Creative Evolution, Bergson completely alters the scope of the comparison by opening up both ends. If the living being resembles the world, this is true, on the contrary, insofar as it opens itself to the opening of the world; if it is a whole, this is true to the extent that the whole, of the world as of the living being, is always in the process of becoming, developing, coming into being or advancing, and inscribing itself within a temporal dimension that is irreducible and nonclosed. (AO, 95-6)

I assume these are the sorts of passages Anthony Paul Smith is picking up on in his project of reading Deleuze as an ecological thinker. Such a project is also supported by their discussion of materialist psychiatry, pages 22-35, where the nature/human distinction is collapsed in terms of production. I do, however, think this passage needs to be read alongside Deleuze and Guattari’s discussions of wholes and parts on pages 42-50, where Deleuze and Guattari fiercely critique concepts such as the One, Whole, and Totality– in short the idea of a Universe –while also arguing that wholes come to be as a part alongside the other parts.

Moving on, issues that touch closely on a good deal of what N.Pepperell and I have been working through:

Fanon pointed out that troubled times had unconscious effects not only on the active militants, but also on those claiming to be neutral and to remain outside the affair, involved in politics. The same could also be said with respect to apparently peaceful times: what a grotesque error to think that the unconscious-as-child is acquainted only with daddy-mommy, and that it doesn’t know ‘in its own way’ that its father has a boss who is not a father’s father, or moreover that its father himself is a boss who is not a father. Therefore we formulate the following rule, which we feel to be applicable in all cases: the father and the mother exist only as fragments, and are never organized into a figure or a structure able both to represent the unconscious, and to represent in it the various agents of the collectivity; rather, they always shatter into fragments that come into contact with these agents, meet them face to face, square off with them, or settle the differences with them as in hand-to-hand combat. (AO, 97)

I take it that this resonates with themes N.Pepperell has been discussing regarding how certain ideas emerge at certain times. The key thesis here is that desire immediately invests the social field, not simply the figures of the parents. Interestingly, Deleuze and Guattari attribute this thesis to Lacan. As Deleuze and Guattari go on to say,

Hellenists were right to remind us that, even in the case of worthy oedipus, it was already a matter of ‘politics.’ They are simply wrong in concluding from this that the libido has nothing to do with any of it. Quite the contrary: what is invested by the libido throughout the disjoined elements of Oedipus– especially given the fact that these elements never form a mental structure that is autonomous and expressive– are these extrafamilial, subfamilial gaps and breaks, these forms of social production in conjunction with desiring-production. Schizoanalysis therefore does not hide the fact that it is a political and social psychoanalysis, a militant analysis: not because it would go about generalizing Oedipus in culture, under the ridiculous conditions that have been the norm until now. It is a militant analysis, on the contrary, because it proposes to demonstrate the existence of an unconscious libidinal investment of sociohistorical production, distinct from the conscious investments coexisting with it. (AO, 98)

This passage expands on a point made on the previous page, where it is argued that,

The father, the mother, and the self are at grips with, and directly coupled to, the elements of the political and historical situation– the soldier, the cop, the occupier, the collaborator, the radical, the resister, the boss, the boss’s wife– who constantly break all triangulations, and who prevent the entire situation from falling back on the familial complex and becoming internalized in it. In a word, the family is never a microcosm in the sense of an autonomous figure, even when inscribed in a larger circle that it is said to mediate and express. The family is by nature eccentric, decentered… There is always an uncle from America; a brother who went bad; an aunt who took off with a military man; a cousin out of work, bankrupt, or a victim of the Crash; an anarchist grandfather; a grandmother in the hospital, crazy or senile. The family does not engender its own ruptures. Families are filled with gaps and transected by breaks that are not familial: the Commune, the Dreyfus Affair, religion and atheism, the Spanish Civil War, the rise of fascism, Stalinism, the Vietnam war, May ’68– all of these things form complexes of the unconscious, more effective than everlasting Oedipus. And the unconscious is indeed at issue here. If in fact there are structures, they do not exist in the mind, in the shadow of a fantastic phallus distributing the lacunae, the passages, and the articulations. Structures exist in the immediate impossible real. As Witold Gombrowicz says [well worth the read btw], the structuralists “search for their structures in culture. As for myself, I look for them in my immediate reality. (AO, 97)

These are fields of individuation, problematic fields, out of which individuals are actualized in the social world. Other forms of individuation are organized differently. It is sometimes suggested that the problem of individuation disappears in Deleuze’s work with Guattati, as Deleuze undergoes a major break in his work with Guattari. This is said despite the fact that careful discussion is given to the problem of individuation in The Fold: Leibniz and the Baroque. Well,

The first things to be distributed on the body without organs are races, cultures, and their gods. The fact has often been overlooked that the schizo indeed participates in history; he hallucinates and raves a universal history, and proliferates the races. It is not a matter of the regions of the body without organs ‘representing’ races and cultures. The full body does not represent anything at all. On the contrary, the races and cultures designate regions on this body– that is, zones of intensities and fields of potentials. Phenomena of individualization and sexualization are produced within these fields. (AO, 85, my italics)

What would a form of analysis look like that took this principle seriously and carefully analyzed such socio-politico-historico fields of individuation (in contrast to the usual pap we get from “schizoanalysis”)? Whatever the case may be, what is described here is exactly what one encounters in the free associations that populate the clinic. Okay, maybe a little commentary.