A few points concerning ideology and D&G

When sketching out arguments that purport to use Deleuzoguattarian ideas, please refer to these passages from A Thousand Plateaus before invoking ideology:

“Literature is an assemblage. It has nothing to do with ideology. There is no ideology and never has been. All we talk about are multiplicities, lines, strata and segmentarities, lines of flight and intensities, machinic assemblages and their various types, bodies without organs and their construction and selection, the plane of consistency, and in each case the units of measure” (4).

“Nowhere do we claim for our concepts the title of a science. We are no more familiar with scientificity than we are with ideology; all we know are assemblages. And the only assemblages are machinic assemblages of desire and collective assemblages of enunciation” (22).

Thus one misconstrues the nature of language, which exists only in heterogeneous regimes of signs, and rather than circulating information distributes contradictory orders. It misconstrues the nature of regimes of signs, which express organizations of power or assemblages and have nothing to do with ideology as the supposed expres- sion of a content (ideology is a most execrable concept obscuring all of the effectively operating social machines). It misconstrues the nature of orga- nizations of power, which are in no way located within a State apparatus but rather are everywhere, effecting formalizations of content and expression, the segments of which they intertwine. Finally, it misconstrues the nature of content, which is in no way economic “in the last instance,” since there are as many directly economic signs or expressions as there are noneconomic contents. Nor can the status of social formations be analyzed by throwing some signifier into the base, or vice versa, or a bit of phallus or castration into political economy, or a bit of economics or politics into psychoanalysis” (68-9).

“Subjectification is simply one such assemblage and designates a formalization of expression or a regime of signs rather than a condition internal to language. Neither is it a question of a movement characteristic of ideology, as Althusser says: subjectification as a regime of signs or a form of expression is tied to an assemblage, in other words, an organization of power that is already fully functioning in the economy, rather than superposing itself upon contents or relations between contents determined as real in the last instance. Capital is a point of subjectification par excellence” (130).

There are many more passages with a similar flavor. I’m not necessarily endorsing this perspective (yet), but I’ve seen enough mentions of Althusserian ideology in conjunction with Deleuze and Guattari, that I wanted to point out some of the latter’s thoughts. Of course, if anyone has thought or read deeply on the D&G’s relationship to this concept, I’d love to hear about it.

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