14 November 2006

I ATEN'T DEAD

My enthusiasm for working things out in public on this blog seems to go through phases. So if you don't see any update for weeks, don't fret that the process has ended - it's generally that I'm carrying it out somewhere else. Demonstrations, picket lines, writing polemic articles, composing songs, getting healthy exercise and voraciously reading are all part of the process.

Next project: a hard look at the Situationists. I would also like to call upon any of our readers who think they understand Deleuze/Guittari, and can explain it in terms a factory worker would not only understand but would be interested in, to write an article. I must confess that even their Wikipedia entry did my head in a bit. We also hope to have something on a chaosmarxist approach to the institutions of "mental health" under capitalistm sometime soon.

2 comments:

  1. Dear Doloras LaPicho

    The phrasing of your request dooms my response to inevitable failure. Deleuze and Guattari is not a totalized whole that can be understood and explained. Rather their work is many things subject to many understandings. One purpose of studying Deleuze and Guattari is to change how you think. It is an initiation. Their concepts are not a system to be understood but rather tools we can apply or put to work.

    The second problem with getting into D&G material is almost every introduction to them is made in terms of A Thousand Plateaus, the second volume of Capitalism and Schizophrenia, whereas the material you would want to start with is Anti-Oedipus, the first one.

    Rather than just leave you with a pile of negatives in terms of your request I'm going to attempt to put some of their thought into context and explain how certain of their concepts can be useful to your program.

    I'm not necessarily going to achieve sufficient simplicity and clarity for every factory worker but I'll be as clear and simple as I'm able.

    Sincerely, Fenris23

    Introduction to Deleuze and Guattari part one: Locating Deleuze and Guattari in Context

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  2. The Real Magic Trick

    Society is a series of spells that have been cast on people and the spaces we walk.

    He entered Starbucks as himself but as he crossed the threshold he was magickally transformed into a customer. He had to stand in one line to order and pay but a different one to receive the coffee he desired. He intereated with another person called an employee. Both of them acted according to rules and expectations that governed the interaction. Both people were replacable, if either role was being played by a different person it would make little difference.

    The customer gave the employee pieces of paper that symbolized a certain amount of time the customer had spent behaving as an employee in some other space. The employee put the paper into a storage machine. Most of the time-representation would be transfered to people neither the emplyee or the customer had ever met. A small percentage of time-representation would be given to the employee for the time and effort they were expending in the Starbucks.

    The customer moved over to the waiting space, another line. Meanwhile the employee made coffee using machines they had no ownership stake in and according to rules made by a person they would never meet. When the coffee is made and placed in a package bearing a symbol identifying it as coming from Starbucks it is given to the customer. The customer then goes to a space designated for sitting and consuming the branded coffee product.

    These social spells place constraints on how each person behaves, interacts and uses space. These constraints fan out into other domains, particularly in terms of the exchange of time-representation.

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