[D-G] Celebrity Deathmatch: D&G vs Badiou

james spatium at gmail.com
Mon Feb 7 13:24:49 PST 2005

Has the Badiou-Deleuze comparison died out?  In any case, I wanted to
ask: has anyone noticed that Badiou's event seems similar to Deleuze
and Guattari's "point of subjectification" mentioned, for instance, on
page 127 of ATP?  It leads to the negative deterritorialization of a
postsignifying semiotic.  Could one say that both Badiou and D&G are
formulating the revolutionary potential of absolute
deterritorialization, Badiou=negative D&G=positive?  Or is that
pushing it too far?

On Fri, 21 Jan 2005 09:09:18 -0500, Chapman <chapman0603 at rogers.com> wrote:
> Glen, I've just read your post. It's given me much to chew on, Merci. I'm
> going to take the wekend to find LoS and do some reading.
> In the meanwhile I have to ask you if you've read Massumi's 'Involutionary
> Afterward'? There he unpacks a bit of the virtual / actual relationship. To
> be gross abt it, I think the distinction has to do with the difference
> between two acts of interpretation: sorting out 'actual' differences through
> forming royal analogies by noticing similarities that differ and empirical
> veridity or the virtual differences held together by common analogies,
> things that sample a common, measurable property.
> I see you discuss traffic between the actual and the virtual in your last
> post, intuit that they are in some manner connected and informing, but I
> think that this passage / connection is still indebted to Lacan, a way of
> entering into language as the subject making surplus? My gut tells me that
> the 'passive syntheses of conjugation' necessary for the 'schizo' (good) is
> in dismantling this connection between the actual and the virtual, allowing
> them to run parallel and in themselves. I probably owe that thought to
> Massumi.
> Thanks,
> Chris.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: deleuze-guattari-driftline.org-bounces at lists.driftline.org
> [mailto:deleuze-guattari-driftline.org-bounces at lists.driftline.org]On
> Behalf Of Glen Fuller
> Sent: Thursday, January 20, 2005 8:37 PM
> To: deleuze-guattari-driftline.org at lists.driftline.org
> Subject: [D-G] Celebrity Deathmatch: D&G vs Badiou
> Cool! I am happy there is some interest. Awesome.
> > To these four we should add the fifth (5) Truth
> >
> > 1) The event
> > 2) Ontology
> > 3) Ontological role/importance of temporality
> > 4) Majoritarian/minoritarian militant/ethico-aesthetic practice
> >
> > I think this would be a very fruitful project. To begin I
> > will suggest a reading: Daniel Smith has a wonderful essay on
> > Deleuze v. Badiou in relationship to mathematics. I know that
> > it was in the Southern Journal of Philosophy and I imagine
> > that it is floating around in other places (Sorry to
> > participate in the "capitalist desire to read texts but...)
> It also appears in the excellent volume "Think Again" (2004) pg 77-93
> edited by Peter Hallward; the book also contains some other essays
> worth a gander. Badiou's response at the end of the book makes him seem
> like the biggest dickhead.
> > These are just starting points...
> >
> > (1) It strikes me that one difference in the way that D & B
> > look at the event is in the question of the question of
> > language.  It seems that Deleuze places the event at times
> > into a linguistic enterprise. Of course, Badiou would be
> > forced to reject this being the new non-linguistic philosopher.
> To expand on that.
> For Deleuze: The 'incorporeal event' is sense. Sense is the expressed
> and expressible of a proposition when a state of affairs is denotated.
> For example, the sense expressed when denotating the absurd is a purely
> ideational event. Denotation and expression happen at the same time.
> Sense is an attribute of a state of affairs. James quoted a few lines
> from LoS, I think it is important to remember that Deleuze says in the
> very beginning of the book (I have not finished this book yet either,
> although I am certainly further into Badiou's Deleuze than LoS!!):
> "We bring bodies to the surface [of language], as we deprive them of
> their former depth, even if we place the entire language through this
> challenge in a situation of risk. This time the disorders are of the
> surface; they are lateral and spread out from right to left.
> *Stuttering* has replaced the *gaffe*; the phantasms of the surface
> have replaced the hallucination of depth; dreams of accelerated gliding
> replace the painful nightmare of burial and absorption. The ideal
> little girl, incorporeal and anorexic, and the ideal little boy,
> stuttering and left-handed, must disengage themselves from the real,
> voracious, gluttonous, or blundering images." (orig. *, LoS, 24)
> For Badiou: The event is the retospective interpretive evaluation.
> Almost the backwash from the production of axioms that relate to the
> universalising posturing of the subject towards the eternal singularity
> of (the) truth. More later.
> >
> > (2) I am in the minority but believe that Deleuze was "to be
> > done with ontology." The insistence that being is univocal
> > seems to be great strike against ontology.  If ontological
> > difference is located in the individual and not the species
> > (if you all me to use the biological concept) then ontology
> > is moved to becoming (mutation). This is the continuation of
> > the Nietzsche project from Twilight. Badiou strikes me as
> > almost equally skeptical of the ontology, not the concept,
> > but being itself.  As with most disagreements between Deleuze
> > and Badiou, it comes down to their understanding of
> > multiplicity and difference.
> I agree with the differences between deleuze and Badiou as multiplicity
> and difference. To rethink what Badiou writes in the chapters on
> eternal return and the fold (6 & 7), perhaps it is useful, in this
> Badiouian-context, to think of the labour of Deleuze as an absolute
> fascination with the differential modalities of violence required and
> precipitated by the passage from the virtual to the actual. Badiou
> states somewhere that he deals with absolute beginnings which is why he
> needs the void. Badiou starts by describing Deleuze's approach as
> dealing with the One-All, then at some point the -All gets dropped (for
> some reason?). Perhaps there is no need for point (3) below? It really
> came up because Todd May makes an excellent start interrogating
> Badiou's treatment on this in the "Think Again" book in relation to two
> conceptions of multiplicity. May is critical of Badiou's spatialising
> separation of the virtual/actual couplet from temporality. Deleuze
> distinguishes "two types of multiplicity. One is represented by space
> [...]. It is a multiplicity of exteriority, of simultaneity, of
> juxtaposition, of order, of quantitative differentiation, of
> *difference of degree*; it is a numerical multiplicity, *discontinous
> and actual*. The other type of multiplicity appears in pure duration:
> it is an internal multiplicity [...] of heterogeneity, of qualitative
> discrimination, or *difference in kind*; it is a *virtual and
> continuous* multiplicity that cannot be reduced to numbers."
> (Bergsonism 38)
> In an essay available online
> <http://www.borderlandsejournal.adelaide.edu.au/vol3no1_2004/reynolds_ti
> me.htm> Jack Reynolds writes:
> "If the future is to genuinely be the future, then it must not be
> restricted by this kind of identity. Rather, the future is pure
> difference, or pure temporality, without the identity of subjectivity
> betrothed to it, and the "esoteric truth" of the idea of the eternal
> return of difference hence concerns the idea that the eternal return
> affects only the new, the unanticipatable, or the future as such, and
> not specific agents or conditions which return (DR 90). Subjectivity
> anticipates the future, projects toward the future, and thereby
> deprives the future of its genuine futurity – it makes of the future
> a 'future-present'. Again, this is not a genuine exposure to
> difference, but is a 'domestication' of difference and the future."
> (para 55)
> Brian Massumi has written some brief comments on 'anticipation':
> "Orders of substitution and superposition are orders of thought defined
> as *the reality of an excess over the actual*. This is clearest in the
> case of anticipation, which in a real and palpable way extends the
> actual moment beyond itself, superposing one moment upon the next, in a
> way that is not just thought but also a bodily yearning, tending, or
> tropism." (Parables, 91)
> More on that later!
> > (3) Nothing now.
> > (4) There seems to be some aggreement that D & G's politics
> > would be different from Badiou's, hence not militant.  I am
> > not sure if this true.  I do not see that D&G are not setting
> > up a radical militant politics although it does take on a
> > group dynamic that is absent from Badiou.  Although Badiou is
> > highly involved with non-party politics, it still seems that
> > processes that bring about the militant have a party look to
> > them. If we think about is continually example Paul I think
> > we see the party lurking in the background, or at least the
> > shadow of party lurking in the background. I think this is
> > what Zizek means when he says that Badiou is afraid to ex-cize Stalin.
> The difference here between them I was thinking mainly revolves around
> Badiou's reconstruction of Deleuze's enternal return (or recursivity)
> of difference. Badiou seems to be unable to accept the _continual_
> return of difference as meaning anything else other than the eternal
> return of the same, maybe I don't understand what Badiou is doing here?
> Seems very odd. For D&G, the selection of difference by itself allows
> for an ethics of experimentality that is more than likely minoritarian
> (unless a state of affairs emerges where there is a double congruence
> of chance or something). For Badiou I argue his entire philosophy can
> been read as a thought-based arms race. By ending his book on Deleuze
> by saying it is merely a questition of taste he has made it a cold war.
> A fidelity to an event and the production of truth is primarily
> concerned with a becoming that is militantly majoritarian, but
> a 'becoming major' that is not through the assumption of a particular
> identity but through revolution (so rather than rotating on the world,
> the world rotates around the state of affairs in which you are
> materially situated). I am contemplating actually using this difference
> (Badiou's militancy vs D&G's ethico-aesthetic experimentation) in my
> thesis in the chapter looking at the road safety industry.
> > (5) Deleuze was famous for his dis-taste for TRUTH, but
> > Badiou's reworking of the term renders most of Deleuze's
> > objections mute. Perhaps like not wanting to be surround by
> > "scarecrows and suken faces" (Nietzsche "the Gay Science),
> > deleuze's rejection of truth is just a matter of taste.
> For Badiou: "truths are materially produced in specific situations, and
> each begins from an event or discovery that eludes the prevailing logic
> that structures and governs those situations. ... a truth comes into
> being through the subjects who proclaim it and, in doing so, constitute
> themselves as subjects in their fidelity to the event." One of the
> examples he gives is "a pair of lovers' conception of themselves as
> loving subjects, grounded only in a shared fidelity to the ephemeral
> event of their encounter." 'Love' would be the state where the
> incoherent inconsistencies of the multiplicity of the loving subjects
> is worked upon through the labour of love - a fidelity to the event. So
> militancy is evental self-interpellation. I am quoting Hallward's book
> on Badiou in the above passage, but I can't remember the pages and I
> unfortunately left the book at my Christmas break place.
> "Truths coming into being through those subjects that proclaim it..."
> If this is accurate of Badiou's argument, perhaps this proclamation of
> truth is in some way comparable to a special case (or set;) to the
> expression of sense that at the same time denotes a revolutionary state
> of affairs and both of which can be traced via a fidelity to something
> (the event)?
> Ciao,
> Glen.
> --
> PhD Candidate
> Centre for Cultural Research
> University of Western Sydney
> Read my rants: http://glenfuller.blogspot.com/
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