Bridges Must be Burned

Counter-Currents will soon publish the second part of my ongoing examination of the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari. This part is less speculative than the previous, and focuses exclusively on Deleuze’s “reversal of Platonism” and critique of representation and recognition as the bases of thought. Anyone who has been enjoying Collin Cleary’s review essay of Ricardo Duchesne’s The Uniqueness of Western Civilization will be repulsed by my paper, which gives no one in the post-Socratic West besides Nietzsche any credit for advancing nobility and aristocracy.

Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle owe us an explanation for turning us into a race of slaves. Sure, as Duchesne and Cleary suggest, the latter two were aristocrats, but that did not stop them from destroying the legitimacy of the warrior elites in the name of rationality. Far from reading this event as a progressive step toward modernity (as Duchesne must), we can just as easily follow Nietzsche’s and Deleuze’s accounts, which read something like this: The logocentric Athenian state no longer had any need of warriors, but good democratic citizens whose peaceful rational natures filled the needs of the marketplace. In other words, the state no longer had any need of warriors, so it turned them into merchants. This was not progress for anyone except politicians, usurers, and traders. Nietzsche calls it a slave revolt, reminding us that aristocracy has nothing to do with a class. Deleuze and Guattari call it capture, reminding us to question how things get entangled in the logics of capitalism in the first place.

Any aristocracy we seek to create can only be modeled on the ethics of Nietzsche’s nobles – who were diametrically opposed to Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. I only ask my readers to understand that fighting to the very edge of modernity only to look back in awe at the forces that created the modern world is not revolution, but enslavement to modern ideals, values, and moralized truth. If you want a world of logos, white people, and capitalism, there is no need to mortgage your future or bourgeois happiness by joining our fight. Just move to Idaho, where all that you seek already exists. But if you want revolution against modernity, then it is time to become revolutionary. Bridges must be burned.

Contrary to Collin’s celebration of the foundations of modernity simply because they are Western (or White as some might say), I work only to commit these foundations to an ignoble grave. I do not seek to do so on behalf of immigrants and workers, but on behalf of my son, who, although perfectly compliant with the Idea of Western Man, will never be a free man until the modern West is gone.

I cannot celebrate what I work to destroy. Instead I become revolutionary.

“With Platonism, philosophy becomes a police operation.” – Miguel de Beistegui[1]

The Affect of Truth

Part One of this examination of the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari from a radical New Right perspective briefly introduced Deleuze and Guattari, placed their thought within an illiberal Leftist variation of the Counter-Enlightenment, and then grounded that thought in Deleuze’s reading of Nietzsche’s On the Genealogy of Morality. While it is hoped that Part One’s radical re-evaluation of postmodernism is not lost on the reader, it is more important that we understand the Nietzschean current that courses through Deleuze and Guattari’s philosophy. This current will be familiar to any of Nietzsche’s closest readers, although it may be put to different uses than we are accustomed to.[2]

To be familiar with these uses can only be a good thing, however. Truth, as Nietzsche says, affects only comfort. That comfort, according to Deleuze, affects uncritical, thoughtless thought. We can afford none of these, but while we often speak against comfort, rarely do we do so regarding our own thought. This is because of the radical project to which we are devoted. But, as radical as it – and we – may be, we are still prone to noncritical acceptance of concepts and forms of thought that keep us connected to bourgeois modernity. Moving beyond those concepts and forms is the basis of what Deleuze and Guattari call becoming-revolutionary.

Before we get to that, however, we must maintain our focus on the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze, for we have yet to be fully initiated in the transvaluation that makes becoming-revolutionary possible. This, in part, is the transvaluation of logos.

While the next two papers are based on Deleuze and Guattari’s two-part Capitalism and Schizophrenia, this one continues laying a foundation that might aid an understanding of why this philosophy is useful to the New Right. It focuses on Deleuze’s Difference and Repetition (1994) – his primary dissertation toward the doctorate in philosophy – and his “reversal of Platonism.” This means that, while on our way to an attack on the legitimacy of the liberal nation-state, we will make a quick stop to participate in a riot against transcendence and divine judgment.

. . .

[1] Miguel de Beistegui, “The Deleuzian Reversal of Platonism,” in The Cambridge Companion to Deleuze, Daniel W. Smith and Henry Somers-Hall, eds. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012), 59.

[2] This paper was reviewed and edited by Adam Smith.

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