When I critique the “little Deleuzians” I am saying no more (and no less) than Deleuze himself does in his multiple polemics against the dogmatic image of thought, against the dominance of the history of philosophy, against “state” thinking, and his insistence that we relate his texts to forces from the outside, including the texts of other theorists. I think that Zizek for example, who mostly gets Deleuze wrong, sheds new light on him in a small number of texts (for examples see Chapter 1 of LESS THAN NOTHING, the recent talk AM I A PHILOSOPHER?, the introduction to the new edition of ORGANS WITHOUT BODIES).
I reject Zizek’s thesis of the “two ontologies” in Deleuze, that he discovers by putting in opposition the works that Deleuze signed alone and those written in collaboration with Guattari. He argues that the Deleuze-Guattari books contain a dogmatic realism that the Deleuze alone books don’t share. However, even in his wrong-headedness he is useful as he warns against a reductionist reading of Deleuze that is a constant temptation.
Badiou in his recent METAPHYSICS OF HAPPINESS tells us he can see in Deleuze that “sense” is Deleuze’s name for what he calls “truth”. This is an astonishing Deleuzian turn, as Badiou was unable to see such a convergence before, and indulged himself in a reductionist reading of Deleuze’s philosophy as “bio-materialism”. Whether Badiou intends it to be read that way or not, this Deleuzian turn is tantamount to a strong auto-critique of his prior discussions of Deleuze.
I think that despite himself Laruelle in his critique of “philosophies of difference” helps us to see how Deleuze is much better characterised as a philosopher of multiplicity than a philosopher of difference.
I nowhere say that the living philosophers I cite are right whereas dead Deleuze is wrong. I argue rather that they are transformative of our vision of everything, including of Deleuze. They allow us to see things we otherwise wouldn’t in the physically dead philosophers that help us keep them noetically living.
Note: Another example that I wish to analyse and discuss is the recent book by Andrew Culp, DARK DELEUZE, which dares to think Deleuze in terms of negativity, when he presented himself as the philosopher of affirmation. I think that the very possibility of this re-visioning of Deleuze is due, at least in part, to the theoretical problematics opened up by Badiou and of Zizek, despite their own, often erroneous, visions of Deleuze. This is a case where the enunciative form (along with its ontological import) primes over the enunciated content and can be used to correct it.