DELEUZE TRANSFORMED: de-possess the self-troll

It has been argued that Latin is not a dead language but that it has survived and continues to be spoken today in various forms (French, Italian, Spanish, etc.).

The same can also be said of Deleuze’s thought. His philosophy did not die with him. Not only in the sense that in reading and thinking about his ideas we reactivate them, but also in that we transform his philosophy more or less radically according to our own needs.

Alain Badiou, Slavoj Zizek, Bernard Stiegler, François Laruelle, Bruno Latour, and Isabelle Stengers speak “Deleuzian”, even when they employ styles and expound ideas that differ greatly from Deleuze’s own style and ideas.

We all know geeks who complain that the film or the tv series is not the same as the book or the comic, or vice versa. Sometimes this complaint is founded. (A pet grievance of mine is that anytime a PK Dick story is adapted at least one level of complexity is removed).

Often the rejection amounts to an intolerance, an unwillingness to accept difference, a certain possessivity. My HOBBIT should not be tampered with. This territorial reaction is one of the sources of the phenomenon of trolling.

(Amusingly, Trolls are to be found in THE HOBBIT, quarreling over the right way to cook dwarves. Possessive, stonily inflexible in their ideas, forgetful of the need to take shelter, they are turned into stone by the sunlight of the dawn).

Trolling is not just giving vent to the aggressive nastiness of resentment, but is often an attempt to assert ownership over ideas, themes, cultural objects or whatever. The troll is overly sensible to even a minuscule amount of deterritorialisation and tries to re-establish proprietary mastery of a familiar territory.

For example, Badiou gets Deleuze wrong, but in a creative and insightful way. He manages to show that Deleuze expounds a form of thought that is not just a vitalist “jungle ontology” but also an ascetic “desert ontology”. It is true that we did not necessarily need Badiou to reach this insight, but many people were blinded by the rhetoric of abundance and could not see the desert for the trees.

Thus we get the “Deleuze troll” who can see no value in anything that Badiou wrote, or the “Badiou troll” who gets very nasty at any comparison between Badiou and Latour. The interesting thing about these autonymic trolls is that they are also self-trolls, and they point up something that happens inside all of us when we cede to excessive identification, comporting both intellective credence and affective adhesion, to our ideas or the ideas of our inspiring figures.

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2 Responses to DELEUZE TRANSFORMED: de-possess the self-troll

  1. Pingback: LARUELLE: from self-troll to self-hoax | AGENT SWARM

  2. maylynno says:

    I couldn’t agree more. I do think that Deleuze’s philosophy and concepts are very alive and he saw very clearly our world today!

    Liked by 1 person

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