In the preface to Deleuze & Guattari’s Anti-Oedipus, Michel Foucault offers seven reflections on the conduct of the political. We believe it is timely to remind both ourselves, and all of those in the flow of the current political wave, of Foucault’s insights. Do not defend the present; control the future!
- Free political action from all unitary and totalizing paranoia.
- Develop action, thought and desires by proliferation, juxtaposition, and disjunction, and not by subdivision and pyramidal hierarchization.
- Withdraw allegiance from 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 arrangement over systems. Believe what is productive is not sedentary but nomadic.
- 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.
- 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 intensifier of thought, and analysis as a multiplier of forms and domains for the intervention of political action.
- Do not demand of politics that it restores the “rights” of the individual as philosophy has defined them. The individual is the product of power. What is needed is to “de-individualize” by means of multiplication and displacement, diverse combinations. The groups must not be the organic bond uniting hierarchized individuals, but a constant generator of de-individualization.
- Do not become enamored of power.