From the womb of capital

«While Deleuze and Guattari quote frequently from Marx and Freud, it would be an error to view Anti-Oedipus as yet another attempt at a Freud/Marx synthesis. For such an attempt always treats political economy (the flows of capital and interest) and the economy of the libido (the flows of desire) as two separate economies, even in the work of Reich, who went as far as possible in this direction. Deleuze and Guattari, on the other hand, postulate one and the same economy, the economy of flows. The flows and productions of desire will simply be viewed as the unconscious of the social productions. (…)

One could not really view Anti-Oedipus as a purely Nietzschean undertaking, however, for the book would be nothing without the tension between Nietzsche and Marx, between philosophy and politics between thought and revolution; the tension, in short, between Deleuze the philosopher and Guattari the militant. This tension is quite novel, and leads to a combination of the artistic “machine,” the revolutionary “machine,” and the analytical “machine”; a combination of three modes of knowledge—the intuitive, the practical, and the reflective, which all become joined as bits and pieces of one and the same strategical machine whose target is the ego and the fascist in each of us.»

– Foucault, introduction to “Anti-Oedipus” by Deleuze & Guattari


«I think Felix Guattari and I have remained Marxists, in our two different ways, perhaps, but both of us. You see, we think any political philosophy must turn on the analysis of capitalism and the ways it has developed. What we find most interesting in Marx is his analysis of capitalism as an immanent system that’s constantly overcoming its own limitations, and then coming up against them once more in a broader form, because its fundamental limit is Capital itself.»

– Deleuze, Negotiations


«As Marx observes, in the beginning capitalists are necessarily conscious of the opposition between capital and labor, and of the use of capital as a means of extorting surplus labor. But a perverted, bewitched world quickly comes into being, as capital increasingly plays the role of a recording surface that falls back on (se rabat sur) all of production. (Furnishing or realizing surplus value is what establishes recording rights.) “With the development of relative surplus-value in the actual specifically capitalist mode of production, whereby the productive powers of social labour are developed, these productive powers and the social interrelations of labour in the direct labour-process seem transferred from labour to capital. Capital thus becomes a very mystic being since all of labour’s social productive forces appear to be due to capital, rather than labour as such, and seem to issue from the womb of capital itself.”9 [Marx quoted]»

«Then again, if we say that capitalism determines the conditions and the possibility of a universal history, this is true only insofar as capitalism has to deal essentially with its own limit, its own destruction—as Marx says, insofar as it is capable of self-criticism (at least to a certain point: the point where the limit appears, in the very movement that counteracts the tendency).*»

«If capitalism is the exterior limit of all societies, this is because capitalism for its part has no exterior limit, but only an interior limit that is capital itself and that it does not encounter, but reproduces by always displacing it.* [*Marx, Capital (see reference note 72), Vol. 3, p. 250: “Capitalist production seeks continually to overcome these immanent barriers, but overcomes them only by means which again place these barriers in its way and on a more formidable scale. The real barrier of capitalist production is capital itself.”]»

«…if it is NOT a question of writing the history of political economy, but the real history of the corresponding society, one is better able to understand why capitalism is continually reterritorializing with one hand what it was deterritorializing with the other. In Capital, Marx analyzes the true reason for the double movement: on the one hand, capitalism can proceed only by continually developing the subjective essence of abstract wealth or production for the sake of production, that is, “production as an end in itself, the absolute development of the social productivity of labor”; but on the other hand and at the same time, it can do so only in the framework of its own limited purpose, as a determinate mode of production, “production of capital,” “the self-expansion of existing capital.”96»

– D&G, “Anti-Oedipus”


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