Do not become enamored of power!
Michel Foucault, extracts from the Preface to the ANti-Oedipus by Deleuze and Guattari
How does one introduce desire into thought, into discourse, into action? How
can and must desire deploy its forces within the political domain and
grow more intense in the process of overturning the established order?
Ars erotica, ars theoretica, ars politico.
Whence the three adversaries confronted by Anti-Oedipus. Three
adversaries who do not have the same strength, who represent varying
degrees of danger, and whom the book combats in different ways:
1. The political ascetics, the sad militants, the terrorists of theory,
those who would preserve the pure order of politics and political
discourse. Bureaucrats of the revolution and civil servants of Truth.
2. The poor technicians of desire—psychoanalysts and semiologists
of every sign and symptom—who would subjugate the multiplicity
of desire to the twofold law of structure and lack.
3. Last but not least, the major enemy, the strategic adversary is
fascism (whereas Anti-Oedipus’ opposition to the others is more of a
tactical engagement). And not only historical fascism, the fascism of
Hitler and Mussolini—which was able to mobilize and use the desire of
the masses so effectively—but also the fascism in us all, in our heads and
in our everyday behavior, the fascism that causes us to love power, to
desire the very thing that dominates and exploits us.
This art of living counter to all forms of fascism, whether already
present or impending, carries with it a certain number of essential
principles which I would summarize as follows if I were to make this
great book into a manual or guide to everyday life:
• Free political action from all unitary and totalizing paranoia.
• Develop action, thought, and desires by proliferation, juxtaposi-
tion, and disjunction, and not by subdivision and pyramidal
• Withdraw allegiance from the old categories of the Negative (law,
limit, castration, lack, lacuna), which Western thought has so long held
sacred as a form of power and an access to reality. Prefer what is
positive and multiple, difference over uniformity, flows over unities,
mobile arrangements over systems. Believe that what is productive is
not sedentary but nomadic.
• Do not think that one has to be sad in order to be militant, even
though the thing one is fighting is abominable. It is the connection of
desire to reality (and not its retreat into the forms of representation) that
possesses revolutionary force.
• Do not use thought to ground a political practice in Truth; nor
political action to discredit, as mere speculation, a line of thought. Use
political practice as an intensifier of thought, and analysis as a multiplier
of the forms and domains for the intervention of political action.
• Do not demand of politics that it restore the “rights” of the
individual, as philosophy has defined them. The individual is the product
of power. What is needed is to “de-individualize” by means of multipli-
cation and displacement, diverse combinations. The group must not be
the organic bond uniting hierarchized individuals, but a constant genera-
tor of de-individualization.
• Do not become enamored of power.