[D-G] edward said, first experiences of nomadology

hwenk hwenk at web.de
Wed Nov 9 11:04:06 PST 2005


I didn't read El Said, but another Iroquoian sociologist from 1975 over
"sociology of nomadism",
Ali Al_Wardi. He did his thesis about Ibn Chaldun, which is mentioned by
Deleuze Guattari and of great influence for Arabic sociological thinking.
The other interesting thing is, that at 1975 the Baath party was founded
or bstarted to gover the country, and Al_wardi tries to comprehend
the iraquian society from the viewpoint, that there are few iraquians who
have not
some ancestors who had lived in the desert as a nomad.
As a characteristical for the  nomadic, here beduin, soul he rules out
a "will to victory".
This is very useful in the desert for avoiding real fights, it is suffiecent
that the possible enemies are such frightend, maybe reciprocally,
that no rael fight takes place.
But this leads to the necessetiy to keep a big "social shadow", to boast.

This is in my eyes a general feature of poor countries not having
the naterial backgroeungd for a deveplement of the individuum,
such as education and a variety of postions.

It has a lot of consequences, of being very generous,
of never paying too much, to get in range in case of
in case of insults and in general to avoid to be defeated - or even looked
at to be defeated.
This is also in respect to the state, so that dont like strong states
and try to avoid subordination.
So instead the tribe is much more important - for the state is also not very
present in the desert.

There is also a strong responsibilty of the leaders of the tribe,
they have to protect every member of the tribe.
Also every changellenge has to be responded.

A little literally you can speak of a proudness of the arabic soul, which
maybe of use
in understanding the behaviour and sayings of oriatial people in general.
He also attributes a very fine knowledge and recognising of people by the
beduins, they smell the character.
Anothwer thing is, that it is not souveraion to lie and to hold his word.
So in the towns the beduins (the arabic nomads) are thought to be
tricked out very easily, especially because they dont break their word even
they see that someone tries to fool them.
But these tricky people dont stay very high in the eyes of the bediuns.
But the nomads are in danger of poverty.
Also work, especially work with the body, are very hard to combine
with the social values of the beduins - not on the ground of laziness, for
desert live is very hard.
Worst is work on the basis of employment.
So there is a tendency to make up his own buisness, especially in trade.

Now this leads to a very low responsibilty for the affairs of the state in
Iraq and other
arabian countries, a fact Ali-Wardi has driven a little bit in despair.
This is because the Baath party and other people tried to
bring about some justice and government to develop the country.
Let me remark, that  the iraquiains liked very much discussing theological
Al-Wardi would have liked them to discuss politcal  issus - which they were
hardly to bring about.
There is also a tendency to lie at everyone looking offical coming from the

So far Al-Wardi.

What is of interest for Deleuze Guattari, is first that the nomads stay
ouside the state,
given a reservoir of power and a model for the anarchsitic view on the
This is already theorized in "Difference and repetition", where
the modell of every singulartiy sprading out in its force as far as the
realm of power of the neighbour singularities go.
In mathematics ther are Voronoi-diagrams, partitioning
a given surface with lines of equal distance
from the boundary and possible spreaded points (which may represent the

Ibn Chaldun is very old, from the middle ages, and very inflentual in arabic
 and soclogical thinking.
What is of special interst are two features:
A kind of supernatural power, which is seen in success, especially in wars.
People having this powet are in some way benedicted.

This may explain the success of Islam at the beduins only after military
victories of Mohammed.

The other thing is to see a tribe
"As governed by o n e spirit".
The dream of Deleuze and Guattari may have been, that this o n e spirit is a
of common intuition for the possibilties of the develeopment and the
of th e tribe,, which is present ibn every member of the tribe
without the need to be commanded by a commander.

It is something like a big  group feeling.
Lukacs, a famous hungarian marixist philosopher,  had thought something
similiar starting from Max Webers
concept of ideal types.

He coined the notion of a "objective conciousness of class".
That is something like the o n e spirit, which should be present in every
member of the
class and who is able to recognize the objective state of affairs of the
This class conciousness, which maybe ruled out and coined in discussions,
enables the members of the class to act in a synergetic way to hold or
their own situation and that of the class.

Now the proudness of the nomads has to do with the value of the individual.
As the state and the economy have a lot of power and try
form the behaviour and the selfconciousness aof their menbers in almost a
total manner,
the value, the individuum attributes to  itself independent of the codes of
money and
position, is very important for the development of freedom and the
individuum itself.
The way of a group or class spirit enables this selfvalue to be kept
more effective, sometimes as a shield, to protect the individuum
and benefically improve its development.
Indee, the individuum is mostly not the only one in its sitaution. there is
social stratification.

This is a kind of criticism on the development of the indidividuum as a
soley one, a kind of psychic Robinson,
I and the rest of the world, even not possible for Hercules.
In this way there is a group subjectivation which gives a real chance of
bringing and keeping
some freedom, formally conmvincing considering the magnitudes of powers

And this is of interest for intellectual academic discussions.
The academic skilled intellectuals are a tribe in themselves, and are the
only ones who are able
to keep the discussion on the group spirits and such a complex niveau, that
there is
a possibilty for the different group spirits to be compatible with onother
on the height of the problems to be solved.
And this is ironically in the very interest of all people, including the
economy and the state.
It is some kind of keeping the outdrifting society together in a all winning
As long as people have some kind of perspective or some kind of coherent
maybe the dont go the line of selfdestruction, especially individually,  of
the society, a danger
Deleuze and Guattari are warning of, as  I remember as the most severe
of three (Micropolitique and segmentrite - with a analysis of fascism
and especially german national socialism  as a "will to death").

Now this is very long, but maybe someone is stimulated.

Greetings Harald Wenk

-----Original Message-----
From: deleuze-guattari-bounces at lists.driftline.org
[mailto:deleuze-guattari-bounces at lists.driftline.org]On Behalf Of adline
Sent: Montag, 7. November 2005 12:46
To: deleuze-guattari-driftline.org at lists.driftline.org
Subject: Re: [D-G] edward said, first experiences of nomadology

the book i have read on Freud and extra-europeans is not the best way to
get into his writing, but now i have started to read Orientalism 1975.
for the deleuze-guattari readers, those who enjoys  these essays on
geology of moral explaining the world by stratas, it is a way to make
the idea of expression and content more concrete, and to see the
civilisation in which we live with limpid clear insights.

i wish somebody could point me because some dictionnary on "French
Theory" talks about where Said explored the Nomadology notion of DG and
i wish i could know in what book is it he talked about Nomadology -- i
hope somebody here could happen to know of this text and tell me what
s,he thinks in relation to her, his own experience of Edward Said.

thank you

  adline vanlindenbergh
  bisouxnoursfast at fastmail.fm

http://www.fastmail.fm - Does exactly what it says on the tin

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