by Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari
An apparent conflict arises between desiring-machines and the body without organs. Every coupling of machines, every production of a machine, every sound of a machine running, becomes unbearable to the body without organs. Beneath its organs it senses there are larvae and loathsome worms, and a God at work messing it all up or strangling it by organizing it. "The body is the body/it is all by itself/and has no need of organs/the body is never an organism/ organisms are the enemies of the body."* Merely so many nails piercing the flesh, so many forms of torture. In order to resist organ-machines, the body without organs presents its smooth, slippery, opaque, taut surface as a barrier. In order to resist linked, connected, and interrupted flows, it sets up a counterflow of amorphous, undifferentiated fluid. In order to resist using words composed of articulated phonetic units, it utters only gasps and cries that are sheer unarticulated blocks of sound. We are of the opinion that what is ordinarily referred to as "primary repression" means precisely that: it is not a "countercathexis," but rather this repulsion of desiring-machines by the body without organs. This is the real meaning of the paranoiac machine: the desiring-machines attempt to break into the body without organs, and the body without organs repels them, since it experiences them as an over-all persecution apparatus. Thus we cannot agree with Victor Tausk when he regards the paranoiac machine as a mere projection of "a person's own body" and the genital organs.8 The genesis of the machine lies precisely here: in the opposition of the process of production of the desiring-machines and the nonproductive stasis of the body without organs. The anonymous nature of the machine and the nondifferentiated nature of its surface are proof of this. Projection enters the picture only secondarily, as does counter-investment, as the body without organs invests a counterinside or a counteroutside, in the form of a persecuting organ or some exterior agent of persecution. But in and of itself the paranoiac machine is merely an avatar of the desiring-machines: it is a result of the relationship between the desiring-machines and the body without organs, and occurs when the latter can no longer tolerate these machines.
If we wish to have some idea of the forces that the body without organs exerts later on in the uninterrupted process, we must first establish a parallel between desiring-production and social production. We intend such a parallel to be regarded as merely phenomenological: we are here drawing no conclusions whatsoever as to the nature and the relationship of the two productions, nor does the parallel we are about to establish provide any sort of a priori answer to the question whether desiring-production and social production are really two separate and distinct productions. Its one purpose is to point out the fact that the forms of social production, like those of desiring-production, involve an unengendered nonproductive attitude, an element of antiproduction coupled with the process, a full body that functions as a socius. This socius may be the body of the earth, that of the tyrant, or capital. This is the body that Marx is referring to when he says that it is not the product of labor, but rather appears as its natural or divine presupposition. In fact, it does not restrict itself merely to opposing productive forces in and of themselves. It falls back on (il se rabat sur)* all production, constituting a surface over which the forces and agents of production are distributed, thereby appropriating for itself all surplus production and arrogating to itself both the whole and the parts of the process, which now seem to emanate from it as a quasi cause. Forces and agents come to represent a miraculous form of its own power: they appear to be "miraculated" (miracules) by it. In a word, the socius as a full body forms a surface where all production is recorded, whereupon the entire process appears to emanate from this recording surface. Society constructs its own delirium by recording the process of production; but it is not a conscious delirium, or rather is a true consciousness of a false movement, a true perception of an apparent objective movement, a true perception of the movement that is produced on the recording surface.
Capital is indeed the body without organs of the capitalist, or rather of the capitalist being. But as such, it is not only the fluid and petrified substance of money, for it will give to the sterility of money the form whereby money produces money. It produces surplus value, just as the body without organs reproduces itself, puts forth shoots, and branches out to the farthest corners of the universe. It makes the machine responsible for producing a relative surplus value, while embodying itself in the machine as fixed capital. Machines and agents cling so closely to capital that their very functioning appears to be miraculated by it. Everything seems objectively to be produced by capital as quasi cause. As Marx observes, in the beginning capitalists are necessarily conscious of the opposition between capital and labor, and of the use of capital as a means of extorting surplus labor. But a perverted, bewitched world quickly comes into being, as capital increasingly plays the role of a recording surface that falls back on (se rabat sur) all of production. (Furnishing or realizing surplus value is what establishes recording rights.) "With the development of relative surplus-value in the actual specifically capitalist mode of production, whereby the productive powers of social labour are developed, these productive powers and the social interrelations of labour in the direct labour-process seem transferred from labour to capital. Capital thus becomes a very mystic being since all of labour's social productive forces appear to be due to capital, rather than labour as such, and seem to issue from the womb of capital itself."9 What is specifically capitalist here is the role of money and the use of capital as a full body to constitute the recording or inscribing surface. But some kind of full body, that of the earth or the despot, a recording surface, an apparent objective movement, a fetishistic, perverted, bewitched world are characteristic of all types of society as a constant of social reproduction.
The body without organs now falls back on (se rabat sur) desiring-production, attracts it, and appropriates it for its own. The organ-machines now cling to the body without organs as though it were a fencer's padded jacket, or as though these organ-machines were medals pinned onto the jersey of a wrestler who makes them jingle as he starts toward his opponent. An attraction-machine now takes the place, or may take the place, of a repulsion-machine: a miraculating-machine succeeding the paranoiac machine. But what is meant here by "succeeding"? The two coexist, rather, and black humor does not attempt to resolve contradictions, but to make it so that there are none, and never were any. The body without organs, the unproductive, the unconsumable, serves as a surface for the recording of the entire process of production of desire, so that desiring-machines seem to emanate from it in the apparent objective movement that establishes a relationship between the machines and the body without organs. The organs are regenerated, "miraculated" on the body of Judge Schreber, who attracts God's rays to himself. Doubtless the former paranoiac machine continues to exist in the form of mocking voices that attempt to "de-miraculate" (demiracu-ler) the organs, the Judge's anus in particular. But the essential thing is the establishment of an enchanted recording or inscribing surface that arrogates to itself all the productive forces and all the organs of production, and that acts as a quasi cause by communicating the apparent movement (the fetish) to them. So true is it that the schizo practices political economy, and that all sexuality is a matter of economy.
Production is not recorded in the same way it is produced, however. Or rather, it is not reproduced within the apparent objective movement in the same way in which it is produced within the process of constitution. In fact, we have passed imperceptibly into a domain of the production of recording, whose law is not the same as that of the production of production. The law governing the latter was connective synthesis or coupling. But when the productive connections pass from machines to the body without organs (as from labor to capital), it would seem that they then come under another law that expresses a distribution in relation to the nonproductive element as a "natural or divine presupposition" (the disjunctions of capital). Machines attach themselves to the body without organs as so many points of disjunction, between which an entire network of new syntheses is now woven, marking the surface off into co-ordinates, like a grid. The "either ... or . . . or" of the schizophrenic takes over from the "and then": no matter what two organs are involved, the way in which they are attached to the body without organs must be such that all the disjunctive syntheses between the two amount to the same on the slippery surface. Whereas the "either/or" claims to mark decisive choices between immutable terms (the alternative: either this or that), the schizophrenic "either . . . or . . . or" refers to the system of possible permutations between differences that always amount to the same as they shift and slide about. As in the case of Beckett's mouth that speaks and feet that walk: "He sometimes halted without saying anything. Either he had finally nothing to say, or while having something to say he finally decided not to say it. . . . Other main examples suggest themselves to the mind. Immediate continuous communication with immediate redeparture. Same thing with delayed redeparture. Delayed continuous communication with immediate redeparture. Same thing with delayed redeparture. Immediate discontinuous communication with immediate redeparture. Same thing with delayed redeparture. Delayed discontinuous communication with immediate redeparture. Same thing with delayed redeparture."
Thus the schizophrenic, the possessor of the most touchingly meager capital—Malone's belongings, for instance—inscribes on his own body the litany of disjunctions, and creates for himself a world of parries where the most minute of permutations is supposed to be a response to the new situation or a reply to the indiscreet questioner. The disjunctive synthesis of recording therefore comes to overlap the connective syntheses of production. The process as process of production extends into the method as method of inscription. Or rather, if what we term libido is the connective "labor" of desiring-production, it should be said that a part of this energy is transformed into the energy of disjunctive inscription (Numen). A transformation of energy. But why call this new form of energy divine, why label it Numen, in view of all the ambiguities caused by a problem of the unconscious that is only apparently religious? The body without organs is not God, quite the contrary. But the energy that sweeps through it is divine, when it attracts to itself the entire process of production and server as its miraculate, enchanted surface, inscribing it in each and every one of its disjunctions. Hence the strange relationship that Schreber has with God. To anyone who asks: "Do you believe in God?" we should reply in strictly Kantian or Schreberian terms: "Of course, but only as the master of the disjunctive syllogism, or as its a priori principle (God defined as the Omnitudo realitatis, from which all secondary realities are derived by a process of division)."
Hence the sole thing that is divine is the nature of an energy of disjunctions. Schreber's divine is inseparable from the disjunctions he employs to divide himself up into parts: earlier empires, later empires; later empires of a superior God, and those of an inferior God. Freud stresses the importance of these disjunctive syntheses in Schreber's delirium in particular, but also in delirium as a general phenomenon. "A process of decomposition of this kind is very characteristic of paranoia. Paranoia decomposes just as hysteria condenses. Or rather, paranoia resolves once more into their elements the products of the condensations and identifications which are effected in the unconscious."11 But why does Freud thus add that, on second thought, hysterical neurosis comes first, and that disjunctions appear only as a result of the projection of a more basic, primordial condensed material? Doubtless this is a way of maintaining intact the rights of Oedipus in the God of delirium and the schizoparanoiac recording process. And for that very reason we must pose the most far-reaching question in this regard: does the recording of desire go by way of the various stages in the formation of the Oedipus complex? Disjunctions are the form that the genealogy of desire assumes; but is this genealogy Oedipal, is it recorded in the Oedipal triangulation? Is it not more likely that Oedipus is a requirement or a consequence of social reproduction, insofar as this latter aims at domesticating a genealogical form and content that are in every way intractable? For there is no doubting the fact that the schizo is constantly subjected to interrogation, constantly cross-examined. Precisely because his relationship with nature does not constitute a specific pole, the questions put to him are formulated in terms of the existing social code: your name, your father, your mother? In the course of his exercises in desiring-production, Beckett's Molloy is cross-examined by a policeman: "Your name is Molloy, said the sergeant. Yes, I said, now I remember. And your mother? said the sergeant. I didn't follow. Is your mother's name Molloy too? said the sergeant. I thought it over. Your mother, said the sergeant, is your mother's— Let me think! I cried. At least I imagine that's how it was. Take your time, said the sergeant. Was mother's name Molloy? Very likely. Her name must be Molloy too, I said. They took me away, to the guardroom I suppose, and there I was told to sit down. I must have tried to explain."
We cannot say that psychoanalysis is very innovative in this respect: it continues to ask its questions and develop its interpretations from the depths of the Oedipal triangle as its basic perspective, even though today it is acutely aware that this frame of reference is not at all adequate to explain so-called psychotic phenomena. The psychoanalyst says that we must necessarily discover Schreber's daddy beneath his superior God, and doubtless also his elder brother beneath his inferior God. At times the schizophrenic loses his patience and demands to be left alone. Other times he goes along with the whole game and even invents a few tricks of his own, introducing his own reference points in the model put before him and undermining it from within ("Yes, that's my mother, all right, but my mother's the Virgin Mary, you know"). One can easily imagine Schreber answering Freud: "Yes, I quite agree, naturally the talking birds are young girls, and the superior God is my daddy and the inferior God my brother." But little by little he will surreptitiously "reimpregnate" the series of young girls with all talking birds, his father with the superior God, and his brother with the inferior God, all of them divine forms that become complicated, or rather "desimplified," as they break through the simplistic terms and functions of the Oedipal triangle. As Artaud put it:
I don't believe in father
got no papamummy
Desiring-production forms a binary-linear system. The full body is introduced as a third term in the series, without destroying, however, the essential binary-linear nature of this series: 2, 1, 2, 1. . . . The series is completely refractory to a transcription that would transform and mold it into a specifically ternary and triangular schema such as Oedipus. The full body without organs is produced as antiproduction, that is to say it intervenes within the process as such for the sole purpose of rejecting any attempt to impose on it any sort of triangulation implying that it was produced by parents. How could this body have been produced by parents, when by its very nature it is such eloquent witness of its own self-production, of its own engendering of itself? And it is precisely here on this body, right where it is, that the Numen is distributed and disjunctions are established, independent of any sort of projection. Yes, I have been my father and I have been my son. "I, Antonin Artaud, am my son, my father, my mother, and myself ."12a The schizo has his own system of co-ordinates for situating himself at his disposal, because, first of all, he has at his disposal his very own recording code, which does not coincide with the social code, or coincides with it only in order to parody it. The code of delirium or of desire proves to have an extraordinary fluidity. It might be said that the schizophrenic passes from one code to the other, that he deliberately scrambles all the codes, by quickly shifting from one to another, according to the questions asked him, never giving the same explanation from one day to the next, never invoking the same genealogy, never recording the same event in the same way. When he is more or less forced into it and is not in a touchy mood, he may even accept the banal Oedipal code, so long as he can stuff it full of all the disjunctions that this code was designed to eliminate.
Adolf Wolfli's drawings reveal the workings of all sorts of clocks, turbines, dynamos, celestial machines, house-machines, and so on. And these machines work in a connective fashion, from the perimeter to the center, in successive layers or segments. But the "explanations" that he provides for them, which he changes as often as the mood strikes him, are based on genealogical series that constitute the recording of each of his drawings. What is even more important, the recording process affects the drawings themselves, showing up in the form of lines standing for "catastrophe" or "collapse" that are so many disjunctions surrounded by spirals.13 The schizo maintains a shaky balance for the simple reason that the result is always the same, no matter what the disjunctions. Although the organ-machines attach themselves to the body without organs, the latter continues nonetheless to be without organs and does not become an organism in the ordinary sense of the word. It remains fluid and slippery. Agents of production likewise alight on Schreber's body and cling to it—the sunbeams, for instance, that he attracts, which contain thousands of tiny spermatozoids. Sunbeams, birds, voices, nerves enter into changeable and genealogically complex relationships with God and forms of God derived from the godhead by division. But all this happens and is all recorded on the surface of the body without organs: even the copulations of the agents, even the divisions of God, even the genealogies marking it off into squares like a grid, and their permutations. The surface of this uncreated body swarms with them, as a lion's mane swarms with fleas.
Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari , Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia / The Body without Organs
Published by the University of Minnesota
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