Deleuze and the task of the Left

Just came across this. Thought it was interesting in the context of the occupations. While I think it’s inaccurate to attach traditional political labels to the groups, what Deleuze says here is interesting in terms of the General Assemblies, discourse of the 99%, and, pertinently, the opposition that the movement faces:

“If, for Deleuze, a problem is the condition of cause of thought, and if thought’s fundamental capacity is its ability to create problems, then to understand a what a problem is and does is to have an adequate idea of thought itself. A right to problems is a power to think; or rather, it is an empowerment of thought, a simultaneous affection (an adequate idea) and affect (a joy) of thought.

It is rewarding to compare Deleuze’s remarks on power and problems with the way he redraws the distinction between the political left and right:.

“I don’t think that people on the Right are deluded, they’re no more stupid tan anyone else, but their method is to oppose movement….Embracing movement, or blocking it: politically, two completely different methods of negotiation. For the Left, this means a new way of talking. The point is not to convince but to be clear. Being clear is to set out the “facts,” not only of a situation but of a problem. To make visible things that would otherwise remain hidden … The Right refuses these questions. If these questions are well grounded, then by determining the facts we express a problem that the Right wants to hide. Because once the problem has been started, it can no longer be gotten rid of, and the Right will have to change its way of speaking. So teh job of the Left, whether in or out of power, is to discover the sort of problem that the Right wants to hide at all costs. (N, 127, emphasis added…)””

From: Alexandre Lefebvre The Image of Law: Deleuze, Bergson, Spinoza (2008) Stanford University Press

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