Geohistory and Hydro-Bio-Politics

Edited by Jeffrey A. Bell and Claire Colebrook

in Deleuze and History

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print March 2009 | ISBN: 9780748636082
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748671748 | DOI:
Geohistory and Hydro-Bio-Politics

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Karl Wittfogel points to a vital part of geohistory: the management of water leading to what is called hydro-bio-politics. In line with this, this chapter reviews the ontology and politics of water. For Gilles Deleuze and for Félix Guattari, being is production. Being as production is symbolised in A Thousand Plateaus by the slogan, ‘the world is an egg’. An interesting illustration of the interplay of re- and deterritorialisation in the concept of ‘Hypersea’ is shown, in which the environment of life on land is the deterritorialised sea. A notion of geo-hydro-political physiology underlies that of the organism. The politics is also regarded as physiology: the body politic as a body, a system of material flows. Wittfogel mentions that aridity is the key to the connection of stratified societies and irrigation. It is also noted that the State has no monopoly on hydro-bio-politics.

Keywords: geohistory; hydro-bio-politics; ontology; Gilles Deleuze; Félix Guattari; A Thousand Plateaus; Hypersea; physiology; Karl Wittfogel

Chapter.  4451 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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