James and a flight from capitalism
Just a follow-up really to the discussion we had at the end of the last meeting we had when we were discussing the Lapoujade article. We were talking about the idea he puts forward on James being a kind of philosopher/commentor on capitalism – not from the pov of the entrepreneur but form the pov of the hobo/nomad/itinerant worker. I remember Brett commenting that he wasn’t convinced and that I was trying to suggest that this relates to the Deleuze and Guattari articulation of providing both a ‘description’ of capitalism and a kind of line of flight away from it (ie its other potentialities). I found the Lapoujade reading of James interesting because he seems to pick this up in James’ conception of networks – both of a coming ‘network society’ as a form of late capitalist organisation (the interconnectivity of entrepreneurs, the network as a form of social and corporate organisation etc) and of the ways in which James’ “mosaicism’ (I made that up) might also speak to another kind of network – a subnetwork - whose labour-movement sustains capitalism’s more privileged networks.
We then got into the discussion about the problems on deterritorialisation-reterritorialisation and the ongoing problems of infusing ‘hopeful’ scenarios into deterritorialisation. This made me go back to A Thousand Plateaus as I think this infusion is actually always present in other people’s readings rather than in D&G themselves. I don’t think there’s a straight mapping of deterritorialisation as ‘good’ in them – especially when one considers that deterritorialisation is performed by ‘abstract machines’ but, equally, abstract machines can be overcodings/reterritorialisations such as, for example, faciality, capitalism, militarisation. Abstract machines have no content – they are diagrammatic (p. 141 of the Athlone Press edition). But later they talk about the tendency of an abstract machine to stratify as well (144).
I am thinking that these complications may help to open up some more discussion about the issues of the terminus and Whitehead’s ‘creative attainment’ that is mentioned by Goffey via these questions of diagrammatic tendency. Maybe we need to read some stuff on the diagrammatic…