July 2, 2007

"We were there in '68 (they were?), and we can tell you it was stupid; there's no point doing it again." This is all they have to sell: the bitterness of '68. In this sense, then, they are a perfect fit for the current electoral grid, whatever their political orientations. Everything is filtered through this grid: Marxism, Maoism, Socialism, etc., and not because actual struggles have revealed new enemies, new problems, or new solutions. It is simply because THE revolution must be declared impossible - everywhere, and for all time. This explains why those concepts which were beginning to function in a very differentiated way (powers, resistances, desires, even 'the plebe') are once again globalised, amassed in the insipid unity of Power, THE Law, the State, etc.. This also explains why the thinking subject has made a comeback: the only possibility for revolution, as far as the New Philosophers are concerned, is the pure act of the thinker who thinks revolution is impossible.

What I find really disgusting is that the New Philosophers are writing a martyrology: the Gulag and the victims of history. They live off corpses. They have discovered the witness-function, which perfectly compliments the author -and thinker-function....But there never would have been any victims if the victims had thought or spoken like our New Philosophers. The victims had to live and think in a totally different way to provide the material that so moves the New Philosophers, who weep in their name, think in their name, and give us moral lessons in their name. Those who risk their life most often think in terms of life, not death, not bitterness, and not morbid vanity. Resistance fighters are usually in love with life. No one was ever put in prison for powerlessness and pessimism - on the contrary! From the perspective of the New Philosophers, the victims were dupes, because they didn't grasp what the New Philosophers have grasped. If I belonged to an association, I would bring a complaint against the New Philosophers: they show just a little too much contempt for the inmates of the Gulag.

--Deleuze

Archive