Deconstructing Jan Rehmann’s NEO-LOSURDIST MARXO-ANTI-NIETZSCHEANISM (3): decisionism, free association, and metaphorisation


I am trying to analyse a book by Jan Rehmann, a German Marxist theological thinker who is presenting a caricature of French « post-68 » thought in order to « deconstruct » it. He can be seen as setting up a basic decision (in the sense of François Laruelle’s « philosophical decision ») between Nietzscheanism and Marxism, or more abstractly between plural difference and dialectical contradiction.

On the misnomer of a « philosophy of difference »

Rehmann does not notice that Deleuze is a philosopher of the multiple, and that « difference » was just one instantiation of the multiple. Deleuze abandonned « difference » as a major concept from LOGIC OF SENSE (1969) on.

Thus Deleuze abandons the mise en scène of a « basic decision » between difference and contradiction, he deconstructs this basic decision, and the name of this deconstruction is multiplicity-in-act (not just in theory) including in the act of thinking.

This means that the very concept of a philosophical « basic decision » is treated as suspect, it is no longer implemented by Deleuze, Foucault, Lyotard, Derrida, etc. François Laruelle has said all that needs to be said about this conception of philosophy as basic-decisional.

This idea of a « basic decision » to be made between multiplicity and contradiction is quite popular today. It is for example part of Todd McGowan’s doxic dumbing down of Zizek’s hyper-Hegelianism (a dumbing down that Zizek himself is occasionally guilty of when he is not working, but sounding off).

Where Deleuze, Zizek and Laruelle agree is that there is something noetically prior to such decisions: Zizek calls it the « pre-ontological », Laruelle (the thinker of radical multiplicities) the « pre-primary », and Deleuze the uncodable « outside beyond all outsides ».

All this is once again beyond Rehmann who mixes Deleuze 1964 (NIETZSCHE AND PHILOSOPHY) and Deleuze 1973 (« Nomad Thought »). In the latter Deleuze tells us explicitly that Nietzsche’s thought is « in an immediate relation with the outside ».

Rehmann cannot cope with such a concept so he recodes in his terms:

« Where else should the readers in the seventies have located the nomadic war machines than on the horizon of the Italian Red Brigades or the West German Red Army Faction? »

He does notice that his translation is a caricature, but concludes, un-self-critically that it is all Deleuze’s fault:

« War and war machines are loud metaphors, which are supposed to paint an esoteric philosophical discourse with the revolutionary flair of guerrilla war » (Deconstructing Postmodernist Nietzscheanism, page 2).

Deleuze in fact repeatedly rejected the « basic decision » of literal vs metaphoric usage but Rehmann just free-associates (to the Red Army Faction) and then metaphorises Deleuze’s terms. This is the basis of Rehmann’s hermeneutics: free-association and metaphorisation (cf. the conceptual mess of the title of Rehmann’s book).

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2 commentaires pour Deconstructing Jan Rehmann’s NEO-LOSURDIST MARXO-ANTI-NIETZSCHEANISM (3): decisionism, free association, and metaphorisation

  1. Ping : Deconstructing Jan Rehmann’s NEO-LOSURDIST MARXO-ANTI-NIETZSCHEANISM (5): innocence, perspectivism, and the spectre of relativism | AGENT SWARM

  2. Ping : IS RED NIETZSCHE MADE OF BROWN CHEESE? A response to Jan Rehmann (part 1) | AGENT SWARM

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