The Idiot: Deleuze’s political concept to crack the system’s wall


Gilles Deleuze’s analysis on politics is very accurate today. The reference of all actions and thoughts occurring in the daily reality are a product of desire. How does he define desire so that desire is responsible to fold and unfold reality?

Desire is not a void seeking satisfaction and pleasure. It is, according to Gilles Deleuze (who took it after Spinoza), energy, existing in all beings. As energy it can’t be contained and it will express itself in thoughts, ideas and actions.

In What is Philosophy? Deleuze and Guattari define philosophy and talk about the conceptual personage which has humanistic traits and produces concepts and philosophical systems. The conceptual personage is the Idiot. The word Idiot here is to be understood upon the Greek etymology, Idiotes, meaning the singular, the peculiar and the unique. Idiot doesn’t mean stupid. Therefore, every personage, every system is unique: The Cogito of Descartes, the Nietzsche’s Zarathustra, Dostoevsky’s Idiot etc., are all unique moments in life, events that pushed philosophy into becomings. Without them, philosophy would have remained the same.

On the other hand, the same deleuzian idiotic element is to be found in politics. According to Deleuze and Guattari, the world does not have much to offer to us since all its macro political systems failed to make humankind happy, safe and prosperous. Therefore, what is required now is to be Idiots, as in to be sensitive to all the movements of the desire, to be able to read the virtual (or the desire, again) about to actualize itself in a new event, creating some becomings in the political scene. Brexit is an idiot in a deleuzian sense (regardless the consequences of this decision); so is the Black lives matter. Revolutions, the emerging of new political parties and others are all changing phenomenons pushing politics into a new scene.

What’s left for us to do in a world that is being progressively more hostile?

The answer is the desire, to be the Idiot, the peculiar individual who cracks the big political and ideological system with desire’s line of flights.

14 thoughts on “The Idiot: Deleuze’s political concept to crack the system’s wall”

  1. I believe that Deleuze and Guattari made an interesting approach to the human being, with schizoanalysis. Schizo is the only human that goes against the system, forced to be part of the notion of psychoanalysis and Oedipus-Law. Desire has linked with Froyd, but Deleuzian desire is the desire to disconnect from capitalism, like schizo. Great article, I hope that I remember some points from Deleuze theory. Thank you

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  2. I always thought the Greek word from which we get idiot meant “alone”, As in one who does not participate in the Pollis. That person is an idiot.

    Another reason why I think D and G resonate with me so thorough Lee is that they are indeed describing the situation of a ideology. That, given a system of ideas, that is, ideology, such and such must be the case. And DNG proceed to describe to us this case.

    But what I think is significant about their corpus is that indeed the question is what if there is indeed “an idiot“, an individual for which desire is absent? And how I see this is that D and G are indeed implicating the idiot which exists outside of ideology, which is to say, they describe the situation of the case where ideology can be viewed as a system. Hence, it is less that everything and everyone has innate or inherent desire, but the particular kind of idea which wants to posit or otherwise rely upon a system thereby creates an ethical conditionthat becomes self fulfilling. It is this “self fulfilling Ness” that becomes ideology as an imposition of structure, what I call a religion which then forces the ontological stature of entities to make a choice, which then further argues itself as an ontological maximum, through the idea of belief, which then begs the question of desire, and further positive activity to be through the argument, which then understands itself as essential, which is to say that it’s essential operation or motion is that of desire. I called this whole situation “redundant”.

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      1. Ok. Thanks. I think that’s why I say they are arguing for the ideology as though it is a religious truth: Becuase desire only accounts for the ideological. It’s doesn’t account for how one could notice how the ideology is functioning.

        Or do they propose how they are able to notice what thier philosophy talks about. ?

        Liked by 1 person

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