Capitalism and Schizophrenia, Year 51

Conference 50 years of Anti-Œdipus

The meeting of a philosopher and a political activist and psychoanalyst thanks to a typewriter

The meeting of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, and their tandem, Deleuze-Guattari, the power of this tandem, is an object of wonder

Before they met, Gilles Deleuze was a very brilliant philosophy teacher, in high school and then at university, who had a profound effect on the students who were lucky enough to attend his classes.

Félix Guattari, the son of a small industrialist but a classmate of young communists, began to be active in communist organisations at a very young age. He was influenced by his natural science teacher Fernand Oury, who practised the Freinet teaching method, which aimed to produce solidarity between pupils instead of competition, in particular by producing a class or school newspaper, by carrying out surveys outside the school, etc. Fernand Oury got him to join the Youth Hostel Movement, where he met Jean Oury, who was six years his senior.

It was Jean Oury who aroused his interest in philosophy, psychiatry and the artistic productions of certain mad people. In 1951, he joined Jean Oury at the psychiatric clinic in Saumery, where Jean had become director in 1949. The two of them spent long evenings discussing their desire to transform the world and psychiatry. In 1953 Jean Oury, tired of waiting for the administration to provide him with the material means he needed to work, took off with a group of patients and carers to found a new place: the clinic at La Borde.

Félix Guattari lived between La Borde and Paris. At La Borde he was in charge of the organisation of the work, of the opening of this clinic without walls, rendered attractive by many workshops set up with outside friends; he was also in charge of negotiating with the French Social Security in order to give this attempt a public economic framework, financially accessible to the patients. Jean Oury affectionately called him his “Secretary of the Exterior”

With his friends from the Union of Communist Students, Félix Guattari led a theoretical and political Marxist reflection, criticising the authoritarian developments of the Soviet Union and the way in which the French Communist Party justified them in the name of real socialism. He also criticised the lack of solidarity with the Algerian revolution, and practised this solidarity with the so-called “suitcase carriers”. Some Algerian militants were boarders at La Borde

At the end of the Algerian war, the left-wing movements that had supported the Algerian revolution could no longer see what to do in France other than to support Communist attempts in the world: Soviet Union, China, Cuba, and soon Venezuela. Félix Guattari had another political perspective on his agenda : to elaborate revolutionary projects in all areas of daily life, to elaborate possibilities for the proletariat to participate in all cultural activities, to abolish the distance between intellectuals, workers and peasants, in other words to take up the revolutionary line of 1917. An organisation was founded in this perspective: the FGERI, Fédération des groupes d’études, de recherches, institutionnelles, in reference to Oury’s approach known as institutional psychotherapy.

Guattari’s participation in the La Borde clinic and his companionship with Jean Oury led him to frequent Jacques Lacan, and even to become his analysand for about ten years from 1960 to 1970. In 1969, Jacques Lacan asked him to write a reading note on Gilles Deleuze’s latest book, Logique du sens, which seemed to Lacan’s students to be a continuation of the latter’s work. But reading this book and Difference and Repetition by the same Deleuze inspired Guattari to think in a new way. What struck him is that Deleuze establishes heterogeneous series that are linked by a third term that drives them both like a machine. Deleuze, in talking about literature, in doing philosophy, shows “desiring machines” in operation. The reading note is transformed into a theoretical text entitled “machine and structure” where Guattari develops his very Deleuzian critique of the pursuit of structures and repetitions by the structuralists and Lacanians, an endeavour which severs situations from history and prevents transformation. When Guattari brought his text to Lacan’s journal, Scilicet, Lacan’s son-in-law explained to him that he had gone beyond the limits of Lacanism and that there was no question of publishing this text in the journal of the Lacanian school.

At the same time Gilles Deleuze, exhausted by the release of a series of books, each more important than the previous one, was unable to get back to work. One of his former students, Jean Pierre Muyard, who had become a psychiatrist at La Borde, advised Félix Guattari to go and see him. Félix arrived with his text “Machine et structure”, which immediately seduced Deleuze. This text was the step he needed to take in order to bounce back, to get out of the dead end of structure, of which Deleuze, author of the “Structuralism” section in the Encyclopedia Universalis, had been one of the best introducers into French thought. Deleuze suggested to Guattari that he write down everything that came to mind. His wife Fanny would type the letters, hence my title, highlighting a writer at work behind the typewriter and the role of Deleuze’s wife in their arrangement.

In January 2005, “Les écrits pour l’Anti-Œdipe” was published, edited by the young psychiatrist Stéphane Nadaud from texts by Guattari found in his archives. We suddenly realise that most of the ideas put into practice in L’Anti-Oedipe are thrown into these papers, sometimes in a contradictory way, like a molten magma, which Deleuze’s writing has succeeded in channelling, ordering and transforming into a war machine against psychoanalysis and the family.

One suddenly becomes aware of the fact that this three-way arrangement involving Gilles, Félix, Fanny is a real writing machine, the “dissemblage” by the one who is typing of two series of heterogeneous thoughts: one based on literary and philosophical texts, another one imported from the frequentation of communist organisations mixed with the day-to-day construction of a place of reception for madness. As Deleuze and Guattari say in A Thousand Plateaus, they did not write as a pair, but as a group, lifting ideas from friends as they arose, transforming them into weapons against social and political inertia, the regression in France after 1968

Desiring machines

Guattari thus proposes to Deleuze a vision of the unconscious and its treatment that is very different from what Freud elaborated on the basis of his self-analysis. Instead of tracing the associations of ideas that crowd the couch back to childhood memories, these associations of ideas will be pursued along the lines of what they designate as partial objects not only in recent experience, but also in future investments and choices to come.

In Guattari’s analytical work there is an inversion of time, a deliberate orientation towards the future, towards free action, towards belonging to new groups to be created or encountered. I was part of the schizoanalysis group that he had created shortly after the publication of Anti-Oedipus to welcome people who came to ask him for advice on how to get out of their existential blockages. As long as it was a question of organising new activities, these groups worked; but they were unable to deal with the marital and family problems that are the usual lot of psychoanalysis.

For Deleuze, this productive vision of the unconscious, this machinic use of associations of ideas, made it possible to mobilise all the memories of literary and philosophical readings in new creative arrangements.

The machinic unconscious is made up of interrupted flows which generate a new force as in the steam engine. Deleuze liked to say that the first machine was formed by the mother’s breast and the baby’s mouth which extracted milk from it, the baby found in this operation the means to grow. An image that is not far from the force released by the piston of a steam engine. From this point on, everything that flows, and offers the potential to be cut off

by a mechanism of transformation is good to take as an example of a machine.

Deleuze and Guattari insist on the heterogeneous character of the flows arranged by the machine: capital, for example, consists in the arrangement of a flow of human beings, the workers, with a flow of money that is embodied in the machines that will exploit the flow of workers. The power of the device lies in the heterogeneity of the two flows brought into a relation of production by the machine.

Deleuze adds to the idea of the machine that of the body without organs, an idea that I have never really managed to appropriate for the moment. Desire has a recording surface, unlimited because it is egg-shaped, and desire is adjacent to the machines that carry it towards this egg (? Pas clair – en français non plus – qui la font fonctionner comme ?). While Deleuze bases his reflection on Artaud’s text, which introduces precisely this notion of a body without organs, Guattari remains more sensitive to the delusions that emerge in the clinic, and which make the madman or woman say all the names in history are me.

Desire, which is completely different from need, especially sexual need, carries away, deterritorializes, even when the displacement is infinitesimal, as in quantum physics. Deleuze and Guattari take us out of the usual dimensions of philosophy that push towards the infinitely great, heroism, masculinity. The infinite they present is rather infinitely small, but never reducible to stability. Apparently the journey takes place on the spot, but it is always in motion and only comes into existence by the misfires it causes, an idea close to Freud’s analysis of the spirit word.

In Guattari’s militant history, all this reflection must go through the constitution of revolutionary groups capable of thwarting capitalist alienation. However, he notes after Sartre that all too often subject groups, oriented towards action, practising free and equal relations, are transformed into subjugated groups, prisoners of group fantasies that mislead them.

Psychoanalysis and familialism

Deleuze and Guattari vehemently criticise psychoanalysis, which reduces all social situations to the father-mother-me family triangle. Can we gather under the figure of the authoritarian father the hierarchical group of men who wage war against the Vietnamese and the Algerians? Is there not a danger for authority and hierarchy when these men are politically defeated, when their enemies become independent? Is it not in these defeats that the uprisings of the 1960s and 1970s drew their energy?

Guattari was in analysis with Lacan from 1960 to 1970. Everything we know from Lacan’s analysands shows that his practice did not conform at all to the image given of the psychoanalytic cure in the antioedipal denunciation, except perhaps the appetite for money. The 1960s and 1970s saw the emergence of professional psychology, which was called to the bedside of difficult children and adolescents, but also ventured to deal with marital difficulties and to solve the organisational problems of large companies, such as EDF, for example (the French National electricity Board), thanks to action research in social psychology.

Since 1947, the University has been awarding psychology degrees. From 1956 onwards, sociology also emerged from its empirical phase and entered the university, distinguishing itself from philosophy. At the same time, Jacques Lacan began to give seminars, regularly from 1953 onwards at the Hôpital Sainte Anne and then at the Ecole normale supérieure.

He fought against the Egopsychology founded in the United States by his former analyst Rudolf Lowenstein. Jean Oury met him and François Tosquelles with whom he did his internship at Saint Alban in 1947. There was a rich professional intellectual activity in Paris on the fringes of the university, animated by innovative personalities, who had the ear of the media and of the new World Health Organisation.

Deleuze and Guattari’s text does not care about these two distinct currents in psychiatry. The Lacanian current, in spite of its intellectual prestige, remains very much in the minority in professional practice. Absent from university teaching dominated by Daniel Lagache, it does not seem to be concerned with influencing psychiatry, and is only remotely interested in institutional psychotherapy. The latter is hardly defended by this text, which assimilates it to all the “techniques of care”, which could only shock Guattari’s friends who had endeavoured to institute it in several hospitals. In their scathing attack Deleuze and Guattari make the deviation from the norm, the political dissensus, the difficulty with the family, the first step on the path of literary or artistic creation. It is obviously not by remaining a good student, a good son or daughter, against all odds, that one affirms one’s desire, since one obviously alienates it to that of the school or one’s parents.

The Oedipus complex is a ‘double bind’, a contradictory injunction, which forbids one to really love one’s parents while at the same time demanding that one take them as models to be loved, which condemns children to impotence, castration, or transgression. But Deleuze and Guattari open up this love to homosexuality, which was still criminally repressed at the time: love and imitation can be directed as much towards the same sex as towards the opposite sex. Sexuality does not only have a reproductive function, even if this is what the prohibition of incest emphasises. L’Anti-Oedipe appeared shortly before Le désir homosexuel, written by Guy Hocquenghem, one of the founders of the FHAR, the Front homosexuel d’action révolutionnaire. This movement fights for the alignment of homosexuals’ rights with those of other citizens, and above all tries to transversalise all cultural productions based on new perverse views on sexuality. The journal Recherches, directed by Guattari, echoed this in twelfth issue “Trois milliards de pervers, Grande encyclopédie des homosexualités” in 1973 – translated as Three billion perverts. The Big Encyclopedia of Hpmosexualities

According to Deleuze and Guattari, the schizo delirium, if one is willing to be attentive to it, not to wedge it into the oedipal triangle or under stereotypes, describes a double historical, geographical and social journey on the one hand, and an inner and intensive one on the other, which can either be contracted by repression and pushed towards death, or contribute with each other to travel through the body without organs that schizoanalysis placed at the heart of the desiring process with Artaud.

In the schizo delirium, the parents are inducers among others, without any particular privilege. If they take their place within human lineages, peoples and races that carry the subject away, the latter in fact leaves far from the family bases. Deleuze and Guattari believe, however, that all forms of therapy known to them, including anti-psychiatry, choose instead to restore these family bases, modifying and consolidating them. This is because there exists no welcoming, everyday living spaces that can replace them, as too few psychiatric hospitals and clinics remain dominated by the practice of confinement.

Deleuze and Guattari insist on the fact that family bases have been disrupted and weakened for most people by colonisation, by its abandonment, by industrialisation, by globalisation, and by all the social transformations that have deterritorialised the unconscious, transforming parents into only partial, sometimes evanescent references. The result is an ambiguity of desire which is often invested in a return to authority, to the cult of superiority, in racist attitudes. But many other people pursue the project of revolutionising the relations of production and abolishing exploitation. The power of this desire is not well known, since it is so much in conflict with the repressive authorities of society and the family. The machines of desire then make themselves felt through their breakdowns, through depression.

These breakdowns, and this depression, are only indications of the presence of desire. They say nothing about its content, whose meaning is in no way defined by repression. Desire is not a transgression, a response to repression. It precedes it; it suffocates it and resurfaces. It is partly nourished by the legacy of the family institution, but the latter mainly assumes the repressive function delegated to it by society and acts to repress it as closely as possible to the bodies of the subjects. The carer must recognise the desire, make the desire production folded on the body without organs start again, whether it is neurosis or psychosis. The painter or writer manages to “cross the desert of the body without organs”, to cross “the capitalist bar” (AO, p.158) “Schizophrenia is at the same time the wall, the breakthrough of the wall and the failures of this breakthrough.” (AO, p. 162).

Savages, barbarians, civilised

Deleuze and Guattari assert that capitalism is formed by arranging decoded flows, which schizophrenia makes spin endlessly: the flow of labour, or, since Italian operaism, the flow of human lives, deterritorialised by slavery and wage-labour; the flow of money deterritorialised by all the successive banking techniques. The balance of power seems to be unequal, deterritorialisation being clearly driven by the owner and financial power; but infinity is on the side of life. The battle is an ongoing one. Deleuze and Guattari tell us about the great stages experienced by the ‘savages’ whom we now call indigenous, by the invading ‘barbarians’, and by the self-defending civilised’ people.

This history is inscribed on the surface of the earth, the organless body of the first human desiring production, forming a territorial machine that coded the flows and still codes them in the remaining pockets of archaism within capitalistic domination. The first territorialisation is not very hierarchical, it is made of filiations and alliances that link all the members of the known human group, but withdrawals and detachments begin. Imbalance, malfunctioning, unequal exchange, which anthropologists consider negligible, are in fact the incidents that revive the territorial machine. Myths shift the collective consciousness from the intensive energy of bodies to the extension of relationships. This has been particularly well studied by Barbara Glowczewski, in the case of the Dreams of Australian Aboriginal societies.

And what about Oedipus among the ‘savages’? He is no more present than the head of a family who owns his wives and/or slaves and is a member of a so-called democratic citizen assembly. Deleuze and Guattari discuss with erudition numerous works of ethnologists already published or reported by their circle of Africanist friends; if under the influence of the Lacanian magisterium one finds Oedipal universality, it is because they believe in the universality of the intellectual posture of interpreter, which is never more than the resurrection of the posture of the priest. The problem for Deleuze and Guattari is rather, where one is, in one’s own field of competence, to machine, to make work, to set in motion.

In particular, they question the structuralist conception of primitive society as an exchange generally found among anthropologists, who presuppose an equilibrium that does not exist, and who limit the sphere of social production to circulation, as if we were in stationary societies. The inscription of history in myths or dreams on the earth, painted on bodies or engraved by scarification, dictates to each and every person his or her duty, describes the debt he or she owes to society. Recent movements have turned these traditions into means of defence and reclamation in the face of spoliation due to colonisation, but also into instruments of individual passage within the hierarchical society that resorts to songs and paintings to extend its market repertoire. These developments did not yet exist at the time of writing the Anti-Oedipus.

The establishment of the despotic machine and the ‘barbarian’ socius cuts off lateral alliances and keeps only direct descent, promotes the racism typical of obedience to transcendent authority, and establishes an almost implacable hierarchy. The state makes land the private property of its elite and divides it accordingly. Tax transforms the social debt into an infinite debt, into radical guilt. It transforms all the old inscriptions, and over-codes them into an exclusive relationship to it. The despot multiplies writing, and submits graphics to the voice, detaching it from its ancient supports. The deterritorialised, written sign is no longer linked to the body that emits it and becomes usable in many ways. The signified becomes the essential, since several signifiers correspond to it, that of the master’s language and those of the languages of the slaves brought back from the war raids: this is the relationship of ‘barbarian’ subordination.

Privatised property and collective dependence characterise the state, but private property leads to its decline, to the bankruptcy of centralised codes, which forces the state and financial capitalism to invent new ways of decoding flows, of managing human lives, of concretising their machinations ever more.

It is by chance that the decoded flows of property, of money, of means of production, of “free” workers have been combined in the capitalist production machine, which cynically transforms, without question, the surplus value of code, into surplus value of flow, into the accumulation of money. The money which remunerates the workers, which is for them an income, is transformed by the banks with the help of the state into credit money, into a tool for investment in the enlarged reproduction of the exploitation relation. The state imposes the change of the rules of conversion as and when it is necessary, each time there is a crisis. This change moves from the centre to the periphery, organises the further deterritorialisation of capitalism, and the rise of underdevelopment and poverty. Drawing explicitly on Marx, Deleuze and Guattari explain how the new production of code through scientific and technical research is absorbed by the gigantic apparatus of anti-production constituted by the multiple forms of state repressive forces. Anti-production produces the lack that crowns the system and points the wrong way to desire.

Capitalism only functions on condition that it inhibits the tendency to decode flows, to schizophrenisation, to infinitisation that animates it; it replaces it with a progressive axiomatic that binds it. The fisherman and the hunter would say: he catches it in a net that gets tighter and tighter as it struggles. Capitalism and the state only grasp things in a molar, statistical, average way, whereas the desiring machines, the deterritorialisation of flows, work at the molecular, infinitesimal level, without any identifiable meaning, let alone one that can be assigned from the “normal” scale of daily life. We can only see the mass effects, when they exist; they can go in different, even opposite directions. Against this molecular deterritorialisation, this intensive decoding, the capitalist state, charged with regulating decoding at the molar level, can only take new measures of restraint, drawn from the images bequeathed by previous systems, hence the archaic feeling of its action. It is no longer a question of the class struggle dear to Marx: the bourgeoisie and the proletariat struggle for their respective survival and therefore cooperate in the service of capital whose domination is guaranteed by the state.

The latter reterritorializes the flows that are decoded and submits them to decentralized forms of government to neutralize them. The recoded flows in fact slow down the decoding of microscopic flows. The main instrument of this recoding is the private ownership of land, housing, and of every means of living. Are they transformed by monetary magic into means of production only? The experience of the camps that are multiplying in the world shows that, contrary to what Agamben says, women and men are not going to submit themselves naked to exploitation and death. They have their own self, their own dignity, their own freedom, their own life, their own relationship to the infinite.

Introduction to schizoanalysis

The work of Marx, anthropologists and economists, who preceded Deleuze-Guattari, allows them to brilliantly develop this history of the relationship between desire and society. The mobilisation of income money converted into credit money by the new rules enacted in 1973 is demonstrated in a particularly striking way, even though its devastating effects will only be observed in 2008 with the subprime crisis.

The introduction to schizoanalysis, the last chapter, seems to me more laborious. It takes up the radical critique of the psychoanalytical interpretation in terms of Oedipus distilled throughout the book. It takes into account a question often asked by observers of militant life: how is it that young, enthusiastic revolutionaries turn into more nuanced, even reactionary, politicians in later life?

Schizoanalysis is committed to understanding the oscillations of the unconscious between the paranoid, fascist, racist, familialist, moralising pole and the deterritorialised, desiring, revolutionary pole, full of contradictions. This will be one of its main objects. It will use the differences between nomadism and segregation, subject group and subjugated group.

Although Michel Foucault wrote in the preface to the American edition of Antioedipus that it is a non-fascist manual of life, it seems to me that the manual is not sufficiently confronted with the meanders of daily and militant life to be translated into concrete lessons, ways of doing things, paths of invention. We are left with grand principles which the description, seen before, of the molecular nature of desiring machines.

How is the communication between the molecular space where desires are woven, and the molar space of representations which locks up perception, except in revolutionary periods of collective uprising?

Desire is a machine, a synthesis of machines, a machinic arrangement, a desiring machine, a coordinated setting in motion of molecules that makes sense, thought, in a way that underlies the molar representations that are the only thing we know on the “normal” scale of daily life, a scale where we systematically take things in a statistical way, in ignorance of the singularities that signal desire. By acting on these representations, by systematically destroying them through analysis, can we leave the field free for the molecular movement of the desiring machines? Schizoanalysis is not a passive contemplation but a war machine against the stereotypes, the untruths, which bury the desiring machines.

This war is waged by experimenting with successive devices, which were barely sketched out when The Anti-Oedipus was written. The one on one colloquy, the seat of transference typical of the traditional psychoanalytic treatment, is only one of these devices, totally insufficient to capture the dispersion of the desiring machines. However, it is also essential in schizoanalysis in order to take stock, to relate to each other the experiments in progress. These experiments are expressed on a molar scale by new representations, the exploration of new territories, which no longer conform to the requirements of social reproduction in contrast to Oedipus and the nuclear family. The two analysands partially share the same territory, one pays the other to take an interest in his or her own choices, at least to devote time to him or her, and to help him or her discover his or her new existential territory and possibilities of action.

The schizoanalytic cure was then in its infancy, and for lack of anything better, it was integrated into other similar practices, in particular psychoanalysis and family therapy. This led Guattari to elaborate a meta-analysis of therapeutic practices, in order to be able to inject a schizoanalytical perspective into any type of analytical practice. This is the aim of his penultimate book Cartographies schizoanalytiques. In the absence of important social movements after 1968, and its repression, the schizoanalytic cure hardly finds collective territories to hold on to. It only partially affected the members of the CERFI, a self-managed social science research centre created by Guattari and his friends; and it only affected women, who also belonged to the Women’s Liberation Movement, created in France in 1970. Molecular deterritorialisation was expressed more in individual artistic or social science creations. These are obviously torn between the mechanical thrusts of deterritorialisation and the repressive demands of social representation.

The role of schizoanalysis, according to Deleuze and Guattari, is to destroy resistance to deterritorialisation, to shatter oppressive machines and, before that, to caricaturally reveal how they work, like Charlie Chaplin in the film Modern Times. It is a matter of creating a new land from a succession of planes, of crossing and recomposing previous territorialities in a different way. This new land is made by desiring machines in a state of molecular dispersion in relation to each other, in possibilities of multiple relationships; at the molar level they give rise to partial objects of desiring attraction or repulsion.

With reference to the post-1968 militant debates, Deleuze and Guattari distinguish between revolutionary groups that extend the deterritorialisation of flows and subjugated groups that seek to maintain them within the existing framework. Desire does not conform to the interest that manifests itself at the preconscious level and follows the division of society into classes. This is best seen in sexuality – with whom one desires to ally oneself physically, but it is also expressed in abstract lines, in what seems strange, and has nothing to do with the recollection of the same that traditional psychoanalysis speaks of. Love choices resonate with the vibrations created and maintained by otherwise unutterable social investments.

The attraction to a woman or man changes according to whether they are rich or poor, according to the way in which the attractive person is situated in the social field, how he or she evolves in various cultural dimensions. The social investments of desire take precedence over the family investments, breaking them down and undermining them. This malaise is the basis of the demand for analysis, for entry into a reparation or a pursuit of displacement, of deterritorialisation.

The familialist postulate of psychoanalysis is in fact a personalist postulate which makes madness an individual flaw, a failure to be like everyone else. But therapeutic failures have led to the community being blamed for it, and to the introduction of family and adaptive therapies, also held in check by madness, an asocial phenomenon present in all societies. Schizophrenia cannot be contained within the family or the community, because it is what escapes from them, in concrete forms that are always renewed. This escape is distressing but sure of its impossibility of compromise. The role of schizoanalysis is to support this escape and to help it find sufficient forms of embodiment so as not to be sucked in too quickly by the body without organs and by death. The schizo escapes the postulate of unity, of gathering, of neurotization.

Today, when fascism is raising its head and multiplying its racist provocations, the distinction between the paranoid, reactionary and fascist pole and the revolutionary schizoid pole is particularly useful to orient our thoughts and actions. The paranoid pole subjugates social production to gregarious ensembles, seeking identity, homogeneity, physical power and ‘selective sovereignty’ (AO, p.440). The schizoid pole multiplies dispersed molecular ensembles, lines of flight, dissidence. This is not a utopia, it corresponds to the existence of subject groups that break with the social continuum. Art also has this double polarity: market value and coded content on the one hand, experimentation and following lines of desire on the other. Similarly, scientific research is divided between the service of power and the pursuit of infinite knowledge.

The three ecologies and ecosophy

At the time when Deleuze and Guattari wrote L’Antioedipe, reflections on the limits of growth were just beginning and were still interpreted as obstacles to the necessary emancipation of the proletariat. This emancipation was supposed to come from an increasingly intelligent use of technology that would free people from the most servile tasks and favour the fulfilment of all. Félix Guattari became aware of Hans Jonas’s book The Responsibility Principle when it was published in German in 1979, but only read it in its French version in 1990. This book was like a bomb to him: he had been wrong all his life by equating desire with production and growth, by putting on the boots of Marxism. It was necessary to start again from scratch, without abandoning deterritorialization, the machinic unconscious insofar as the machine is the movement created by a heterogenesis and not a technical arrangement intended to create more speed and more power. He then got closer to the Green movement, first the German Greens, then the French Greens, whose divisions were repugnant to him. He even ran in the municipal elections on two competing Green lists to highlight the folly of these divisions. He created a newsletter, as he had done before in psychiatry or in the communist party, in all its militant places, the Fil vert, which welcomed contributions from all currents.

The three ecologies is the manifesto he wrote for the French green movement and published in 1989. Here is the back cover:

“The ecological drama in which the human planet is engaged has long been the object of systematic misunderstanding. This period is now over. Through the media, which have become hyper-sensitive to the repetition of ecological “accidents”, international opinion is increasingly mobilised. Everyone talks about ecology today: politicians, technocrats, industrialists… Unfortunately, they always talk about simple “nuisances”.

Yet ecological disturbances of the environment are only the visible part of a deeper and more considerable evil, relating to the ways of living and being in society on this planet. Environmental ecology should be thought of as a whole with social ecology and mental ecology, through an ethico-political ecosophy. It is not a question of arbitrarily unifying fundamentally heterogeneous domains under an alternative ideology, but of supporting each other in innovative practices of recomposition of individual and collective subjectivities, within new technical-scientific contexts and new geopolitical dimensions.