Nomadology of Institutions revisited

Nomad Scholarship

Toward the end of Part Two of this essay, I suggested that institutions embody what Lyotard calls “language-games” – institutions, in other words, include what Deleuze & Guattari refer to as collective assemblages of enunciation.  One of the critical advantages of Deleuze & Guattari’s formulation is the distinction they draw between two forms of collective enunciation or language-games: the oedipal or state-form and the anti-oedipal or nomadic form of the war-machine. One instantiation of this distinction is the ethological differentiation of herds from packs.

Herd animals form an undifferentiated mass, and they all follow a single leader; this for Deleuze & Guattari is the epitome of the State form of social relations. Pack animals such as wolves interact very differently: for wolves on the hunt, there is a significant degree of role specialization, and the pack operates via the collective coordination of members’ activities rather than via obedience to a single leader…

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