---- by Kenneth Surin
  Deleuze and Guattari have a conception of the State that is indebted to the work of the anthropologist and anarchist Pierre Clastres. Clastres had argued against the conventional evolutionist account of the emergence of the State as a form of political and social organisation. According to this traditional account, the State can develop only when a society reaches a certain degree of complexity, evidenced primarily by its capacity to create and sustain a more sophisticated division of labour. Against this view, Clastres argued the State is the condition for undertaking significant economic and political projects and the division of labour that ensues from these projects, and so logically and empirically the division of labour does not condition economic and political projects. Deleuze and Guattari follow Clastres in repudiating this evolutionist theory.
  In Capitalism and Schizophrenia, Deleuze and Guattari view the State as an overarching power that brings together labour power and the prior conditions for the constitution of labour power, enabling the creation of surplus-value. As a result, there is a constitutive antagonistic relation between the State and labour, especially since the State supplies capital with its models of realisation, and so there is also necessarily an antagonism between capital and labour. Capital exists and perpetuates itself by organising itself to orchestrate and contain this proletarian antagonism. The necessary concomitant of the State's apparatuses' capacity to engage in this task of organisation is the production of surplus-value and facilitating accumulation. As a result, capital and the State are under unceasing internal pressure to neutralise and contain the antagonism that, paradoxically, is the very thing that enables it to exist. The assemblages created and maintained by the State and capital create a collective subjectivity which establishes the material aspects of the productive forces that generate surplus-value and by so doing make production and accumulation possible. Along with the formation of collective subjectivity goes the (State's) power of subjection.
  The State's capacity to engage in the formation of a collective subjectivity, needed to constitute labour as a productive force, does not remain the same throughout history. The despotic State in early historical times used slavery and serfdom with their accompanying forms of subjectivity for this task; industrial capitalism used the figure of the mass worker and disciplinary social formations; and today, in the age of a globalised and worldintegrated capitalism, the State is still needed to regulate the flows of production and to reproduce the forms of accumulation. But this power of domination is no longer mediatory, as was the case with the previous economic dispensations, in as much as the State is no longer needed to create and maintain classes and other social and economic subgroupings. Instead, the function of the State/capital in the current phase of capitalist accumulation is to engage in the work of disaggregation, to segment, through administrative procedures and the use of media and informational systems, the countervailing power that the proletariat has developed. Capital/State has a negative relationship to the forces and forms that oppose it.
  In the present capitalist conjuncture, the authors of Capitalism and Schizophrenia say that capitalism is an independent, worldwide axiomatic that is like a single City,megalopolis, or 'megamachine' of which the States are parts, or neighbourhoods. Towards this end, capitalism will even create States that are not viable, like Somalia and Rwanda, for its own purposes: subjugating minorities through forced integration and extermination. In the present conjuncture, that is, the age of the societies of control (as opposed to the disciplinary societies of the previous epoch), capital has become the ubiquitous milieu that secures the isomorphism of even the most disparate forms (commercial, religious, artistic, and so forth). In this milieu, productive labour is inserted into every section of society: the universality of capital is simultaneous with the omnipresence of everything that creates surplus-value, as human subjectivity, leisure and play, and so on, are incorporated into the latest regimes of accumulation. Capitalism has always striven to create an economic order that is able to function without the State, and in its current phase this propensity has become more marked than ever. However, for Deleuze and Guattari this is not because the State itself has been abolished, but rather because the separation between State and society can now no longer be maintained. Society and State now constitute a single and unified nexus, and all capital has become social capital. Hence the production of social cooperation, undertaken primarily by the service and informational industries in developed countries, has become crucial for capitalism. Deleuze and Guattari insist that the deterritorialising effect of State/Capital merely produces an even more powerful reterritorialisation, that is, State/Capital only breaches limits in order to impose its own limits.
   § capitalism

The Deleuze dictionary. . 2010.


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