THE SUBJECT: DELEUZE-GUATTARI AND/OR LACAN (IN THE TIME OF CAPITALISM)?
Keywords:Deleuze, Guattari, Lacan, capitalism
This paper addresses the question, whether Deleuze and Guattariâ€™s conception of the human subject, as articulated in (mainly)Â Anti-Oedipus,Â is as irreconcilable with Jacques Lacanâ€™s psychoanalyticalÂ theory of the subject as one might expect, givenÂ Anti-Oedipusâ€™Â attack on the â€œOedipalâ€ basis of psychoanalysis. The notion of the multiplicitous â€œsubjectâ€, as fleshed out inÂ Anti-Oedipus,Â is reconstructed with the requisite attention to Deleuze and Guattariâ€™s ontology of flows, desiring-machines, desiring-production, schizophrenia, the â€œbody without organsâ€ and the emergence of a â€œspectralâ€ kind of subject. It is argued that the so-called â€œbody without organsâ€ may be read, in one sense, as their term for the concept of (ego-) identity, which is anathema to the dynamism of the process of desiring-production. For purposes of comparison, Lacanâ€™s theory of the subject is briefly reconstructed as well in terms of the registers of the imaginary, the symbolic and the â€œrealâ€, with a view to uncovering those aspects of it that are compatible with Deleuze and Guattariâ€™s ontological emphasis on process and becoming, instead of substance. Finally, the problem of the relation between capitalism, on the one hand, and Deleuze/Guattariâ€™s process-ontology, as well as Lacanâ€™s understanding of the discourse of capitalism, is addressed in light of the question of the subject of capitalism, and of the possibility of a critical understanding of capitalism.Â
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