The Schizoanalytic Critique of Althusser on Ideology

Nomad Scholarship

This is the first installment of an essay on “Nomad Citizenship revisited” (announced and outlined in a post here at the beginning of February).

Deleuze and Guattari’s fundamental agreements with Althusser are numerous: the attempt to salvage Marxism from Hegelianism by drawing instead on Spinoza; the “Problematic” status of the economic as a virtual structure expressed and masked by actual solutions; the importance of the division of labor as social multiplicity (relative to class struggle); and the “becoming-necessary” of a mode of production as a result of machinic processes rather than as a point of departure.  Yet despite these fundamental areas of agreement, Deleuze and Guattari vehemently reject the notion of ideology – even the new and improved version Althusser proposed, drawing on Lacan, in his famous essay on Ideological State Apparatuses.  They rejected standard notions of ideology for overemphasizing cognition and ignoring the primacy of desire: ideology would not be…

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