Opposing both popular “neo-Spinozisms” (Deleuze, Negri, Hardt, Israel) and their Lacanian critiques (Zizek and Badiou), Surplus maintains that Lacanian psychoanalysis is the proper continuation of the Spinozian-Marxian line of thought. Author A. Kiarina Kordela argues that both sides ignore the inherent contradictions in Spinoza’s work, and that Lacan’s reading of Spinoza– as well as of Descartes, Kant, Hegel, Marx, Freud, and Wittgenstein –offers a much subtler balance of knowing when to take philosophers at face value and when to read him against himself. Moving between abstract theory and tangible political, ethical, and literary examples, Kordela traces the emergence of “enjoyment” and “the gaze” out of Spinoza’s theories of God, truth, and causality, Kant’s critique of pure reason, and Marx’s pathbreaking application of set theory to economy. Kordela’s thought unfolds an epistemology and an ontology proper to secular capitalist modernity that call for a revision of the Spinoza-Marx-Lacan line as the sole alternative to the (anti-)Platonist tradition.
In fact, it looks like her reading of Deleuze is more nuanced than this blurb suggests, as she seems to indicate that Deleuze has been misappropriated by his followers.
More from the beginning of the book:
Spinoza is the first philosopher to grasp the structure of secular causality, as immanent or differential causality, as we know it since its popularization by linguistics. Here the cause is itself an effect of its own effects. What enabled Spinoza to see this structure was the fact that, as we shall see, he conceived of nature, insofar as it is inhabited by human beings, as a system of signifiers. Far from being autonomous physical things with inherent qualities, signifiers are differential values. And differential values, by structural necessity, constitute a system of disequilibrium, that is, a system that always produces a surplus.
Kant’s major discovery lies in the insight that no system can form itself as a totality unless it poses an exception to itself.
Marx’s one major innovation is the realization that the structure of capital, too, is a manifestation of the structure of secular causality on the level of economy. What enabled Marx to see this was the fact that he conceived of nature as a system of commodities, that is, again, differential values. His other major innovation lies in overtaking set theory and its paradoxes by understanding that the exception required for any system to totalize itself is simultaneously both its exception and one of its members.
Lacan added, or rather gave name to what the above theories tacitly entailed: enjoyment and the gaze. (pgs. 1-2)
This is a striking constellation for both the Lacanian and Deleuzian alike.