Zizek has an ambivalent or two-tiered reaction to Deleuze on the question of ontological negativity. This response is only approximately summarised in Zizek’s idea that the pre-Guattari Deleuze of DIFFERENCE AND REPETITION and of LOGIC OF SENSE proposes a negative ontology (in terms of the previous post a type 3 ontology) and the Guattarised Deleuze provides a full or positive ontology (type 1).
However, both before and after Guattari Deleuze’s texts swarm with holes, gaps, fissures, ruptures etc. despite his official pronouncements in favour of affirmation and positivity.
Zizek is quite explicit in LESS THAN NOTHING in his praise of Deleuze’s formulations of an ontology of appearance as appearance, even if he considers that Deleuze himself is mistaken in thinking that this is an anti-Platonic thesis.
One of the forms in which negation enters as a central concept in Deleuze and Guattari’s system is in the concept of deterritorialisation. They assert that « deterritorialisation (note the negative prefix) comes first ». Deterritorialising does not efface our cognitive map but opens it up to permanent revision and self-revision, making its use heuristic rather than dogmatic. It subtracts vertical transcendence.
Zizek has evolved on the question of negativity point. In LESS THAN NOTHING and in the preface to the second edition of his book on Deleuze, ORGANS WITHOUT BODIES, that he elaborates a concept of negativity that does not only negate but is also productive. Zizek comes closer to Deleuze here, perhaps without realising it.
In terms of the discussion in my last post Adrian Johnston seems to be going for a sort of « weak negativity » (my description, not his). I consider Zizek’s reply to an earlier version of Johnston’s critique here.
Note: I am indebted to a discussion with Cadell Last for helping me to clarify these ideas.