Foucault’s manual for Anti-Fascism (with some notes)

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In his introduction to Deleuze and Guatarri’s Anti-Oedipus, Michel Foucault summarised the book into seven points which, he suggested, could serve as a guide for the everyday life of any anti-fascist. These seven points were:

  • “Free political action from all unitary and totalising paranoia.”[i] …or, in other words, avoid dogma at all costs.

We see this as the problems that arise from envisaging objectives as something fixed, or the perception of the Ideal as kind of frozen immobility. The essence of progress is that it is always moving beyond itself. The real revolutionary objective needs to be to maintain the linear impacts of progress and keep it out of the curving tendency that will render progress circular again.

  • “Develop action, thought and desires by proliferation, juxtaposition and disjunction, and not by subdivision and pyramidal hierarchisation.”[ii]

… let us add communication and visibility through social networking as real instruments of democracy and subsequently as destabilising instruments on all attempts to impose dogmas. This has to be done by uncovering and exposing manipulations, especially the most subtle, which are the ones that contemporary dogmas thrive on.

  • “Withdraw allegiance for the old categories of the Negative (law, limit, castration, lack, lacuna), which Western thought has so long held sacred as a form of power and an access to reality. Prefer what is positive and multiple, difference over uniformity, flows over unities, mobile arrangements over systems. Believe that what is productive is not sedentary but nomadic.”[iii]

Propagate a philosophical and artistic perspective of reality.

  • “Do not think that one has to be sad in order to be militant, even though the thing one is fighting is abominable. It is the connection of desire to reality (and not its retreat into the forms of representation) that possesses revolutionary force.”[iv]
  • “Do not use thought to ground a political practice in Truth; nor political action to discredit, as mere speculation, a line of thought. Use political practice as an intensifier of thought, and analysis as a multiplier of the forms and domains for the intervention of political action.”[v]
  • “Do not demand of politics that it restore the ‘rights’ of the individual as philosophy has defined them. The individual is the product of power. What is needed is to ‘de-individualise’ by means of multiplication and displacement, diverse combinations. The group must not be the organic bond uniting hierarchized individuals, but a constant generator of de-individualisation.”[vi]

Liberation of the individual must come through the liberation of humanity, not through the individual itself.

  • “Do not become enamoured of power.”[vii]

Escape the vicious circle of our sado-masochistic reality and our perverse fascination with power. Look for harmony rather than brutal domination and/or pathetic submission.

[i] (Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, Anti-Oedipus, Capitalism and Schizophrenia, UMP, Minneapolis, 1983, Preface, p. xiii)

[ii] Ibid

[iii] Ibid

[iv] Ibid, pp. xiii-xiv

[v] Ibid, p. xiv

[vi] Ibid

[vii] Ibid

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