Power, Theory and Praxis

Ian Buchanan

in Deleuze and Politics

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print May 2008 | ISBN: 9780748632879
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748652549 | DOI:
Power, Theory and Praxis

Show Summary Details


This chapter argues that Deleuze's political philosophy can be understood as a contribution to and a departure from the concentrated debates on the issue of power which dominated the French intellectual scene in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Desire, rather than power, Deleuze and Guattari argue, should be the central plank in any meaningful account of contemporary politics. In an interview with Foucault published shortly before the appearance of Anti-Oedipus, Deleuze makes his case for focusing on questions of desire rather than power by arguing that the manifestations and machinations of power are obvious. What is not obvious, he argues, is why we collectively tolerate it. The chapter argues that, for Deleuze, the central political question is the mystery of voluntary subservience. It shows how Anti-Oedipus provides a first and provisional response to this problem, which was to preoccupy both Deleuze and Guattari for most of the rest of their lives.

Keywords: Gilles Deleuze; political philosophy; power; desire; Félix Guattari; voluntary subservience; Anti-Oedipus

Chapter.  9860 words. 

Subjects: Social and Political Philosophy

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.