micropolitics
  ---- by Kenneth Surin
  Deleuze and Guattari oppose micropolitics to the politics of molarisation. Where the molar (or 'arborescent', to use their equivalent term) designates structures and principles that are based on rigid stratifications or codings which leave no room for all that is flexible and contingent, the molecular which is the basis of micropolitics allows for connections that are local and singular. A molecular logic of production is basically self-organising or auto-poetic, whereas its molar counterpart finds its generating principle in some feature or entity that is external to what is being produced. The necessity of micropolitics for Deleuze and Guattari stems from the current conjuncture of capitalist production and accumulation. In this conjuncture, capital has become the ever-present condition that ensures the harmonisation of even the most disparate forms (business and finance, the arts, leisure, and so forth). This is the age that Deleuze titles 'the societies of control' and it contrasts with the disciplinary societies of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In this conjuncture, the scope of labour has been amplified exponentially, as capital permeates every interstice of society: the ubiquity of capital coincides with the expansion of everything capable of creating surplus-value, as human consciousness and all that was hitherto considered 'private' is relentlessly incorporated into the latest structures of accumulation. Capitalism has always had as its 'utopia' the capacity to function without the State and in the current conjuncture this disposition has become more profoundly entrenched. On the other hand, for Deleuze and Guattari this is not because State apparatuses have disappeared (clearly they have not); rather the rigid demarcation between State and society is no longer tenable. Society and State now constitute one allencompassing reality, and all capital has become social capital. Hence, the generation of social cooperation, undertaken primarily by the service and informational industries in the advanced economies, has become a crucial one for capitalism.
  In a situation of this kind, a molar politics with its emphasis on standardisation and homogeneity becomes increasingly irrelevant, as the traditional dividing line between 'right' and 'left' in politics becomes blurred, and such notions as 'the radical centre' gain credence despite being patently oxymoronic; and as traditional class affiliations dissolve and the social division of labour is radically transformed by the emergence of information and service industries. The enabling conditions of micropolitics derive from this set of developments. The upshot is that the orchestration of affect and desire has now become much more significant for determining lines of affiliation in contemporary politics.
  The orchestration of desire in micropolitics will have an oscillating logic, as the desire constrained by the orders of capital is deterritorialised, so that it becomes a desire exterior to capital, and is then reterritorialised or folded back into the social field. When this happens the liberated desire integrates into itself the flows and components of the Socius or social field to form a 'desiring machine'. The heart of micropolitics is the construction of these new desiring machines as well as the creation of new linkages between desiring machines: without a politics to facilitate this construction there can be no productive desire, only the endless repetition of the nondifferent, as what is repeated is regulated by logics of identity, equivalence and intersubstitutability (this being the underlying logic of the commodity principle as analysed by Karl Marx). In micropolitics the fate of repeating a difference that is only an apparent difference is avoided, and capitalism's negative, wasteful and ultimately non-productive repetition, a repetition of nonbeing, is supplanted by the polytopia of a micropolitics that brings together the strata of minorities, becomings, incorporealities, concepts, 'peoples', in this way launching a thought and practice capable of expressing and instantiating a desire to undo the prevailing world order.
  Micropolitics, therefore, creates an 'ethos of permanent becomingrevolutionary', an ethos not constrained by a politics predicated on the now defunct forms of Soviet bureaucratic socialism and a liberal or social democracy. In this ethos, our criteria of belonging and affiliation will always be subject to a kind of chaotic motion, and a new political knowledge is created which dissipates the enabling lie told us by those who now have political power, with their love for nation-states, tribes, clans, political parties, churches, and perhaps everything done up to now in the name of community. At the same time, this ethos will create new collective solidarities not based on these old 'loves'.
  Connectives
   § affect
   § becoming
   § desire
   § molar
   § molecular
   § socius

The Deleuze dictionary. . 2010.

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