Some quick remarks on Deleuzians (I call them Deleuzionals) who harbour a penchant for dismissing any thinker who pledges fidelity to a particular tradition, philosophy, thinker, etc.

(1) You are not going against public opinion when you claim heterodoxy and when you attack perceived “dogmas.” Rather, you are, precisely, within the domain of public opinion;

(2) Just as the slave is less free when he has no knowledge of his slave master so too is the Deleuzian less free when he claims he has no master. His master is, of course, Deleuze, or Heraclitus, or who-so-ever, but let it be known that the Deleuzional has not managed to escape the problem of mastery simply by avoiding the question or by posturing at freedom. Remember that scene from “The Master?:”

Lancaster Dodd: […] Freddie, sailor of the seas. You pay no rent. You’re free to go where you please. You go. Go to that landless latitude. And good luck. Once you figure out a way to live without serving a master, any master, then let the rest of us know, will you? For you would be the first person in the history of the world. […] If you leave here [then] I don’t ever want to see you again. [long pause] Or you can stay.

(3) Psychoanalysis has as its aim to permit the individual to speak freely so that he might be subjected to the effects of his discourse. It is precisely when he believes himself to be free that he is all the more exposed to the problem of mastery. A master speaks in and through him, and, the task of the analysis is often to simply bring the analysand to take responsibility.

(4) The Lacanian at the very least knows his master. To be sure, this is not the final step. We all know the line: “the big Other does not exist.” The slave is all the more empowered when he is aware of his master. If he is aware of his master then he might at least begin to confront the problem of his servitude.

(5) The Lacanian is the one who has moved beyond servitude, through the problem of mastery rather than around it, to arrive at an altogether different discourse.

So, lets not be Deleuzional here…


3 thoughts on “Deleuzionals


  2. You must have had to use an incredible amount of straw to build your straw man here. If this is the breadth of contemporary Lacanian ‘critique’ then it’s little wonder the school is dismissed out of hand, which is unfortunate as I personally find psychoanalysis quite fruitful as a different path from Deleuze and the Deleuzians and tend to find incredible value in both. This seems like a personal axe to grind that is then made to seem like a pseudo-profound critique of an entire school of thought, with absolutely no basis.

    I’m not sure where you get the impression that there isn’t a massive anxiety in Deleuzian literature regarding the tension you describe between the Deleuzian/Guattarian prescription to avoid dogma and the overwhelming influence Deleuze himself has had in founding an often dogmatic school of thought, because it’s rife. All this speaks to is you not having done your homework; I’m frankly amazed you saw this–which would be failed as an argumentative piece in any academic context, undergraduate and up– as fit to publish with your name attached. Good on you for sticking by your beliefs, as that’s all they are, but what an embarrassing little rant of even less substance.

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