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Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari's term for the capitalist mode of production. An axiom is a proposition which cannot be proven true or false and from which one is able to construct a system of rules. Sport offers plenty of examples of axioms—for example, rugby is built on the axiom that the ball can never go forward from the hands, while soccer is built on the axiom that no player (except the goalkeeper) may touch the ball with their hands. There is no justification for these rules; they serve only to construct the necessary conditions for the game. The shape of the pitch, the type of ball used, the number of players on each side, are also axioms for the same reason. In contrast, the offside rule both rugby and soccer have instituted (in different forms of course) is designed to alter the playing conditions of the game as it is already constructed. You could remove the offside rule and it wouldn't substantially alter the game, it would still be rugby or soccer. In Mille Plateaux (1980), translated as A Thousand Plateaus (1987), Deleuze and Guattari utilize this logic to describe the operation of the state as a form of government. Globalization is probably the clearest example of what they mean by axiomatic—e.g., the World Trade Organization enjoins countries to set aside their specific national agenda and abide by rules that facilitate the profit-making of corporations.

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies.

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