From Polcompball Wiki
Jump to navigationJump to search

Nomadology, also known as Deleuzoguattarianism, is a philosophical and political ideology that focuses on an analysis of different social structures based upon ideas such as machines, territories, war machines, etc. It analyzes these structures from a Post-Structuralist and a Post-Modernist perspective, rejecting any fundamental principle for its ideas, instead relying on what Deleuze and Guattari call Pragmatics. Their political ideas are broadly based upon Post-Left ideas arising after may 68.


Before The Collaboration

Before meeting each other and collaborating, Deleuze and Guattari had their own personal projects and works. Deleuze taught at the University of Paris and published his first work, Empiricism and Subjectivity, a work on the theories of Hume. After his time there he worked at the French National Center for Scientific Research, during which he wrote Nietzsche and Philosphy, his own personal anti-Hegelian reading of Nietzsche. It was also during his time there that he befriended fellow post-structuralist philosopher Michel Foucault. He then taught at the University of Lyon. During this time the events of may 68' occurred, in which he defended his dissertations by writing two works: Difference and Repetition and Expressionism in Philosophy. He then began teaching at the University of Paris VIII, where he would befriend Guattari.

Guattari became interested in politics and philosophy through his participation in Trotskyist groups as a teenager. He then worked directly under famous psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan, who he would later be very critical of. After this he worked at La Borde, an experimental clinic that would greatly influence his later idea of schizoanalysis through their experimental use of group therapy. His earlier Marxist views still influenced him greatly, as he would support anti-colonial struggles and the Italian Autonomists. He then founded, along with many other militants, The Federation of Groups for Institutional Study & Research, which engaged in anti-colonial struggle and anti-psychiatry. Guattari was involved in the may 68' movements, the failure of which influencing him and many others thought. After this he met Deleuze and begun planning Anti-Oedipus together.

Deleuze And Guattari's Collaboration

Deleuze and Guattari collaborated on 3 works: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, Kafka: Towards a Minor Literature, and What is Philosophy? These works describe the foundations of schizoanalysis and other shared ideas, though they where expanded individually by Deleuze and Guattari respectively. Their most famous work was Capitalism and Schizophrenia, was an attack upon traditional psychological practice and its dogma. Their attitudes in this work became synonymous with post-structuralism and post-modernism, with them emphasizing the nomadology of knowledge and identity. This work was split into two volumes, those being: Anti-Oedipus and A Thousand Plateaus. Anti-Oedipus is the fundamental text of schizoanalysis, constructing its practice out of a criticism of classical psychoanalysis. They also recontextualize Marx's dialectical materialism into desiring production. Nietzsche's will to power is very influential to how Deleuze and Guattari describe desiring production. A Thousand Plateaus puts both the ideas arising out of Anti-Oedipus and the new idea of the rhizome into praxis. The rhizome is a group of machines that are connected in the sense that none are prioritized over the other and that a connection is always in the middle, there is no start or end. They use both the basis of schizoanalysis and a rhizomatic way of thinking to analyze various things such as sexuality, linguistics, war machines, etc.

Kafka: Towards a Minor Literature came to being out of Deleuze and Guattari's shared distaste towards the current interpritations and analysis of Kafka's literature. Throughout this text they attack many narratives given by analysts to Kafka: such as the oedipalization of his work, placing him in mother father narratives. They also critique the placement of theology in Kafka as above all other things that can be drawn out of him, such as his existentialist and anarchist political and personal ideas. This mode of thinking is what they call major literature, a mode of analysis that relies on socially constructed narratives and concepts. While the topic of the text is literature, they extend this major categorization to philosophy, attacking thinkers such as Descartes, Kant, Hegel, etc. Along with this they offered their own analysis of Kafka based on both their philosophy of schizoanalysis and their philosophy of flux. They analyze without care for narratives, genere's, etc that find themselves at the crux of major analysis. Instead, they see Kafka's work as the start of the project of minor literature, a mode of analysis without the essentialism or reliance on socially constructed concepts. This is extended, just as it was with major philosophy, to the idea of minor philosophy, which they identify with thinkers such as Spinoza, Nietzsche, and of course, themselves. Minor philosophy is philosophy that doesn't rely on crude reliance on set logic systems, but relies on ideas that are more rhizomatic.

What is Philosophy? describes Deleuze and Guattari's notion of what philosophy is and what separates it from other subjects. While others have defined philosophy as simply thinking about big, more abstract, problems, Deleuze and Guattari define philosophy as the discipline in the business of creating concepts. This concept creation comes about whenever it is useful, for example, when Kant needed a concept to describe what he saw as a priori truths he invented the conept of the thing in itself. While this is a very simple definition to give to philosophy, Deleuze and Guattari go into the small details of how philosophy occurs and how it differentiates it from things such as art or science. The creation of concepts is based in a concept Deleuze and Guattari call the plane of immanence, a basis for which everything comes into being. This plane of immanence is not a concept itself but is instead a immanent creator of concepts, it holds no attributes yet creates in its process. The plane of immanence is characterized, as the name implies, by immanence. Immanence is the opposite of transcendence, meaning the state of being entirely within something. From the plane of immanence, concept creation and philosophy are engaged in. This creation is creative in the eyes of Deleuze and Guattari, comparing the process to the process of the artist.

These works are the three works that Deleuze and Guattari collaborated on together, but their theories remained intertwined throughout their lives. Each worked to expand schizoanalysis in their own way, while engaging in their own projects. Deleuze expanded his metaphysics in works such as Spinoza: Practical Philosophy, while Guattari expanded his Post-Marxist theories in works such as Molecular Revolutions and worked in the realm of ecology. Both were hugely influential to all of modern continental philosophy, especially other post-structuralists.

After Deleuze And Guattari

Both Deleuze and Guattari were hugely influential to continental philosophy as a whole, with both being regarded as being some of the most influential philosophers of the twentieth century. Many of their contemporaries where influenced by the pair during their lifetimes: examples being Foucault, Barthes, Agamben, Lyotard, and Negri. Foucault was influenced by Deleuze and Guattari's Post-Structuralist ideas of the modern condition, saying in his introduction to Anti-Oedipus that the 20th century will be remembered as Deleuzian. Along with this, Foucault's later idea of biopower would be very convergent with Deleuze's idea of the control society. However, He and Deleuze would later have a falling out due to theoretical differences in the relationship between history and thought. Barthes would be influenced by Deleuze and Guattari's idea of the unconscious in his theory of semiotics, with the idea of the metalanguage being simular to Deleuze and Guattari's idea of how the unconscious is effected by external phenomena. Agamben was influenced heavily by Deleuze, Guattari, and Foucault in his political theory and analysis. He studies both Foucault's biopower and the Deleuzoguattarian conception of flows in his analysis. Along with this, he takes a post-structuralist approach in his analysis. Lyotard, much like Foucault, is heavily influenced by Deleuze and Guattari's analysis of Post-Modern society. Along with this, being a Post-Marxist, he is influenced by Guattari's political theory and analysis. Negri was heavly influenced by both Deleuze and Guattari, with him being an acquaintance of both. He interviewed Deleuze, noting throughout his respect and admiration for Deleuze and Guattari's political theory. Along with this, he cowrote the book Communists Like Us with Guattari. In his personal work, he utilizes concepts such as the war machine.

Deleuze and Guattari's ideas led to many movements seeking to apply their ideas in their own discipline. Their ideas have been applied from a range of movements, ranging from politics to art. Notable modern Deleuzoguattarians include Haraway, Plant, May, Land, and Fisher. Haraway was one of the first to utilize Deleuze and Guattari for political goals, using their ideas in her Cyborg Manifesto, one of the fundamental texts of CyberFeminism. Using the idea of deteritrorialization she uses Deleuze and Guattari's philosophy to support her political goals. Plant is another theorist of CyberFeminism, using Deleuze and Guattari's ideas to support her ideology. Along with that she founded the CCRU, which would become the basis for modern day Accelerationism. She would come to leave the CCRU, seeing it as a pseudo-cult after the influence of Land became more present, and would begin engaging in surrealist art influenced by the Situationists. May was a crucial theorist of Post-Anarchism, his own personal theory being greatly influenced by both Deleuze and Guattari. All theorists of Post-Anarchism are influenced by Deleuze and Guattari to some extent, though some like Newman and Rousselle are more influenced by Lacan. May also wrote an introductory work on Deleuze in wich he wrote his own personal views on him. Land is the primary theorist of Accelerationism, using Deleuze and Guattari's idea of deteritroialization as a model for the acceleration of technocapital. He theorized that the technocapital singularity would be the body without organs of technocapital. Along with this, he was a primary theorist of the CCRU. Fisher, another theorist of the CCRU, applied the ideas of Deleuze and Guattari to explain his theory of capitalist realism, saying that ideological desire had been territorialized into capitalism. Along with that, he, like Land, theorizes on the acceleration of technocapital.



Deleuze and Guattari have a philosophy that cannot be simply explained by some list of tenets, for both the simple reason of complexity and the ever changing nature of both's thought throughout their lifetime. However, throughout both lives they shared some commonalities and tendencies in their thought. Their basic philosophy will be outlined here, as some background is needed before their very unique and idiosyncratic political ideas can be explored.

The most important idea of Deleuze and Guattari is their idea of the machine. The machine does not belong to any ontological mode of the subject and object, but is rather an object stratified out of the simple flow of being. These machines are defined by their potential for actualization. Actualization is the process of "production" in these machines, it is the result of the machine. For example, one could analyze the organ of the heart as a machine that produces blood, or an Activist group that produces political change. These machines are based on whatever actualization they produce, if a machine produces a different actualization, it is no longer that machine. Deleuze and Guattari thus see machines as stratifications of flow, a concept very dear to Deleuze and Guattari. These machines are used to model the processes of the unconscious, capital, etc.

The machine, as was previously mentioned, is a stratification of flow. Deleuze and Guattari have a word for this stratification i.e. territorialization. In the desiring machine, the machine blocks and stratifies the flow of desire, with the actualization being produced by the stratification of this desire into one narrow pathway. This is territorialization, to place these flows into a narrow territory. Deleuze and Guattari commonly use territorialization not just to explain the process of machines, but also that of concepts. Just as Hegel thinks that all concepts are dialectical, Deleuze and Guattari find all concepts to be machinic. Territorialization can be summarized as the association of some object into the context of some territory. Just as something can be placed into a new context, i.e. to territorialize, it can be removed from it just as easily. Detterritorialization is the process of unstratification, to lose labels and contexts. Deleuze and Guattari see that, besides the special case of the body without organs, there is a tendency to reterritorialize. The process of deterritorialization and reterritorialization is called lines of flight.

The body without organs is the complete and total deterritorialization. It is a body without any territorial commitments, any machinic modes of desire, but rather an object of unstriated being. Deleuze and Guattari give this object two roles, as the basis of desire and as a goal to be reached. Rejecting Lacan, Deleuze and Guattari argue that there is no Freudian oedipus complex, or Lacan's triangle, but that desire at its root is schitzoid, as in free. Desire is free in the sense that it is not defined by any set of rules or by lack, but is an act of free creation. Deleuze and Guattari use someone with schizophrenia to exemplify this, saying that the schizoid transcends territories while constructing their worldviews and desires. Without all of the territorialization we do, we are just like this. The body without organs is also something to be reached. In A Thousand Plateaus, Deleuze and Guattari talk in length about how one can achieve the creative nothing. One does this by deterritorializing and rejecting territory, making oneself a being without allegiance and in the moment, always moving in the sense of flux.

In their book, A Thousand Plateaus, Deleuze and Guattari introduce the rhizome and the tree, two modes of concept. The tree is the traditional concept, with structuring being hierarchical and unified, while the rhizome is always in the middle, being a horizontal structure. The rhizome is how Deleuze and Guattari view things, always in the middle of something larger. The rhizome is associated with rhizomatic thinking, wich is the basis for the war machine. Rhizomatic thinking is to think in a rhizomatic manner, to think not in higherarchical structurings, but to think spiratically, in a schitzo manner. By doing this, we can escape Structuralism in thought and instead always be in the process. The war machine is a contradictory force against a concept, wich is only defined by an attack, or "war", on this concept. Nomadic is essentially synonymous with rhizomatic, as the nomad is always moving. Deleuze and Guattari call for us to make our thoughts war machines, to reevaluate all things and to construct our own.

Fascism And Self Repression

A large focus of Deleuze and Guattari's work Anti-Oedipus is how one comes to desire their own repression rather then the freeing of desire. Many such as Spinoza have addressed this problem previously, with it becoming one of the major problems within political philosophy. In Deleuze and Guattari's time the main object of analysis for this phenomena was Fascism, wich had convinced a wide swath of people to desire their own repression under the nation state. Deleuze and Guattari's focus was primarily on Freud's Oedipal complex and its update by Lacan. They analyze how individuals in this complex come to desire their own repression in Freud's terms. The nuclear family is the main place where this repression thrives, with Deleuze and Guattari stating that the family is the agent by wich this complex is instilled, it being the main agent of psychological repression. The nuclear family segregates and stratifies the individual into controllable segments, ultimately giving them control. This mechanism is the basis of Deleuze's idea of the control society and Guattari's idea of world capitalism. These mechanisms are machines, they stratify this free desire into categories that make us desire our own repression. Capitalism enforces its higherarchy, repression, etc onto the individual through this nuclear family, to Deleuze and Guattari the family is the main tool that capitalism uses to instill this psychological and social repression.

Deleuze and Guattari also analyze how this nuclear family, enforced by late Capitalism, leads to the creation of the oedipal complex. Unlike psychoanalysis, Schizoanalysis does not see these complexes as essential but rather created through the social situation one is born into. According to Deleuze and Guattari, the family transmits the angst and repression of the parents onto the child. This is what creates this desiring anti-production. The family does not only instill this oppression in desire, it also disfigures it. This is what leads to the incestual tendencies of the Oedipal complex, which while they believe that Freud overstates this by a wide margin, still is created by the family in its operations. The same can be said for Lacan's extension of the 3+1 oedipal complex into the 4+n complex of desire as lack, which can also be said to be implemented primarily by the family. This critique of these institutions of repression leads Deleuze and Guattari to advocate for a radical freeing of desire by becoming more schizo, more deteritorialized, in our desires. Through this this repression is escaped and the free expression of oneself can occur.

Machinic Analysis Of Capital

Deleuze and Guattari reject traditional Marxist explanations of Capitalism as outdated, instead offering an analysis of capitalism as a political economy of desire. Just as the family instates the Oedipal complex as an abstract machine, capital itself is an abstract machine that regulates the flows of desire into its mechanisms. This machine is associated with the body of capital that Deleuze and Guattari identify in their analysis of deteritorialization. This abstract machine is comprised of smaller component machines such as financial institutions, companies, the state, etc. Desire is regulated into these institutions through these abstract machines, focusing desire on certain commodities, what Marx calls commodity fetishism, on work, etc. This is the same as the desire of self repression, just instead of the family it is world capitalism. Deleuze and Guattari view these phenomena as deeply interrelated.

Many after Deleuze and Guattari would make their own personal analysis building on what Deleuze and Guattari started. Lyotard in his book Libidinal Economy would expand on this from a Post-Marxist perspective, analyzing how workers desire their own oppression under capitalism and how the postmodern condition is created out of this. Land would analyze these deteritorial flows of capital in his accelerationist philosophy, analyzing how acceleration of technocapital in the body of capital will create a technocapital singularity, a body without organs of capital. Fisher analyzed ideological desire being constrained by the abstract machines of capital, creating the phenomena of capitalist realism.

The Society Of Control

The Statist Co-option Of The War Machine

Deleuze and Guattari's concept of the war machine refers to a social force that operates outside the control of the state and challenges its monopoly on violence. The war machine can be seen as a positive force that disrupts and breaks down hierarchical structures, allowing for new and creative forms of social organization to emerge. However, the state has historically sought to co-opt the war machine and redirect its energy towards its own ends.

In their book A Thousand Plateaus, Deleuze and Guattari discuss how the state has sought to control the war machine through a process of co-option. According to them, the state takes control of the war machine by absorbing its energy and redirecting it towards its own ends. The state does this by creating a standing army, which is subject to its control and operates according to its dictates. In this way, the state seeks to neutralize the disruptive potential of the war machine and turn it into a tool of domination. Deleuze and Guattari argue that this process of co-option is not limited to the military sphere, but extends to other areas of social life as well. They suggest that the state seeks to control all aspects of society through a range of institutions and techniques of power, including the police, the legal system, and the media. These institutions work together to create a system of social control that regulates and disciplines individuals, limiting their ability to challenge existing power structures.

The state's co-option of the war machine represents a fundamental threat to human freedom and creativity. By absorbing the energy of the war machine and redirecting it towards its own ends, the state stifles the potential for new and innovative forms of social organization to emerge. This process of co-option reinforces existing power structures and limits the possibilities for radical change.

Deteritorialization And Proto-Accelerationism

The Freeing Of Desire

Molecular Revolutions





Schools Of Thought

Dark Deleuzianism


How to Draw

  1. draw a ball
  2. make the background white
  3. draw a few variously colored dots inside the ball
  4. draw the eyes and you're done!
Color Name HEX RGB
White #FFFFFF 255, 255, 255
Decrepit blue #9BCED9 155, 206, 217
cyan #76CFEA 118, 207, 234
light blue #44CFF3 68, 207, 243
death worship green #C0E88B 192, 232, 139
almost violet #b1ACE8 177, 172, 232
red? #EF9993 239, 153, 147
seafoam green #72E8C6 114, 232, 198

Obviously these do not have to be done in order, as that would impose a symbolic strata which restrains the free flow of desire.




  • Marxism - Your analysis of capitalism is fruitful but I don't like dialectics.
  • Avaritionism - Desire should be freed, sure, but this is psychotic.
  • Anarcho-Nihilism - Active nihilism is based, but why do you reject creation?
  • Anarcho-Egoism - You simply add nihilism to the dialectic, but I will remove the dialectic entirely!
  • Landian Accelerationism - My rather... extreme child. I like your analysis but your political ideas are concerning, to say the least.
  • Freudo-Marxism - I like that you mix Freud with Marx but we should move beyond both of them.


  • Fascism - The desire for repression is one that needs to be abandoned.
  • Maoism - Stop calling me names, Badiou!
  • Neoliberalism - Liberal democracy shouldn't be the only system in the world.

Further Reading


  1. "I think Felix Guattari and I are both still Marxists, though perhaps in different ways." in Negotiations 1972-1990