Deleuze, Guattari, & the New Right, Part 4:
“The question is not, ‘Is it true?’ but, ‘Does it work?’ What new thoughts does it make possible to think? What new emotions does it make possible to feel? What new sensations and perceptions does it open in the body?” – Brian Massumi
A Commentary on Deleuze, Guattari, and the New Right
“Deleuze, Guattari, and the New Right” was written for four reasons, equally ontological and epistemological. The first is the easiest to state: I want the New Right to begin thinking of itself as a revolution against modernity, not just a beautiful and deep critique of modernity. Epistemologically that means thinking all the way to the extreme edges of what is currently knowable, into derelict spaces and radical images of thought. Ontologically, that means taking seriously all of the means of revolt at our disposal.
The second is pragmatic: not only must the University of the New Right be able to critique postmodernism in a form that is worthy of the seriousness of its critique of modernity, but also to use it when necessary. In the course of writing these papers, I learned that many of us have been inculcated in the language and forms of critical thought promoted in the Western Academy; and that while we chafed at the reification of non-Western forms of life with the sole purpose of devaluing the West, we were still introduced to a critique of bourgeois modernity in the process.
But our instructors in the Academy could not have anticipated how we would use that critique; or that we would be the only ones to truly take it to heart, seeing the bourgeois human as a form of imprisonment created precisely to eliminate particularity and variance amongst peoples. After all, we are the majority that all minorities strive to become. This, in Deleuzian terms, is what makes the revolutionary Right so exciting, for we are the only possibility for revolt extant in the West today.
Our becoming-minor not only destroys the legitimacy of the bourgeois human, but also the legitimacy of the regimes of truth and morality that support all minority claims to majority status. In other words, our will to destroy the bourgeois form of life changes the terms of debate, leaving those who cling to notions of an inclusive and forgiving modernity looking like simpleminded philistines. This is why I too hoped that the Boston Marathon bombers had been white males, for when our revolution reaches that stage the world will know that something monumental has happened. The old minorities will not only be the majority at that point, but they will be the only ones with anything to gain from the continuation of liberal politics.
The third reason these papers were written is strategic. To be sure, Deleuze and Guattari are on the margins of postmodernism, themselves critiquing deconstruction and the cult of degeneracy while insisting upon the necessity of ontology and metaphysics. But as they focus their critical philosophy on capitalism and the homogenizing forces of the liberal State, there should be no question about their usefulness to our critical stance against the contemporary world.
As a movement that has its origins in a number of variant sources – Hegel, Herder, Kant, Plato, ethno-Statism, National Socialism, Fascism, militarism, Nietzsche, anarchism, Mishima, vitalism, Evola, Guénon, Traditionalism, White Power, Third Way, Fourth Way, and so on – there is no reason to believe that we cannot add Deleuzian philosophy to that mix. Below I will consider the revolutionary consequences of doing so. Briefly put, Deleuze allows us to see problems that our canonical thinkers do not, while also clarifying the distance between the Hegel/Plato/ethno-State component of our revolt and the Nietzsche/anarchy/vitalism component. Before reading Deleuze, I felt that this divide would destroy the New Right before it could become revolutionary, for my natural inclination is “an eye for order, what’s in line.” Now, however, I believe that it is a critical aspect of what makes us revolutionary at all.
The fourth reason I wrote these papers is Nietzsche. Soon after accepting the responsibility to write on Deleuze and Guattari, I realized that my previous reading of the duo was too dated to be of any value to the revolutionary Right. While it is true that my original reading of their philosophy propelled me into the world of Fascism, I was still too immature a reader of their work to make sense of it on its own terms. Even now, I am thrilled to find Nietzsche seeping through every concept, and I constantly fall back on Roman experiences of contemporary Italy in order to qualify Deleuzian attacks on the State; because as an American, I have never felt that a pre-Statist (and thus post-Statist) form of life is even conceivable that does not involve teepees and sweat lodges.
But it was Nietzsche more than Rome that gave me an “in” into Deleuze. Deleuze’s Nietzsche and Philosophy is the single most explosive and radical work of philosophical explication I have ever read. Even though I was trepidatious when I opened it, two paragraphs into the book I was convinced of its merits. His focus on the transvaluation of the form – and not just content – of thought is earthshattering for a Nietzschean. Deleuze’s Nietzsche cannot be content with transvaluing values, but instead revels in the transvaluation of evaluation. “Nietzsche,” he says,
Does not see ressentiment and bad conscience and their common fruit as simple psychological events, but rather as the fundamental categories of Semitic and Christian thought, of our way of thinking and interpreting existence in general. Nietzsche takes on the task of providing a new ideal, a new interpretation, and another way of thinking.
That not all of us are strident readers of Nietzsche is clear, but I wrote on Deleuze with the intention of making his Nietzsche the Nietzsche of the revolutionary Right. And I did so to ensure that – if taken to heart – this revolution entails the complete destruction of every aspect of modernity creative of, and operative in, our very bodies.
Smooth Space: the Liberal State and the Revolutionary Right
Deleuze and Guattari’s attack on the liberal State has the potential to be the most far reaching of their forays into New Right territory. There are at least three reasons for saying so. One, Capitalism and Schizophrenia paints a convincing picture not only of the depth of capitalism’s undermining of anything primordial still operative in bourgeois men and women, but also of the real possibilities for revolt. Two, these revolutionary possibilities involve a declaration of war against capitalism and the liberal State. And three, this war must commence with a deep understanding of what vitalist impact capitalism, liberalism, and the State have on us – especially given the bourgeois origins of Statist and universalist notions of the human.
In other words, there is no revolt if we are not transformed in the process. While it seems, in fact, that the true revolt will occur two generations removed from our destruction of modernity, Deleuze and Guattari propose that desiring-production will change immediately upon its removal from the bourgeois form of life, pointing to the importance of derelict spaces and their role in our revolutionary potential and experience.
Derelict spaces, smooth space, and nomadic war machines are social transformation-machines. They not only disrupt the processes of capitalist decoding and Statist liberal overcoding, but also the systemic entanglement, or capture, that defines our relationship with modernity. As the majoritarian examples of the modern human – the ones who maximize not only the Faustian but also the Last Man impulses of modernity – no one has been more deeply and intimately bound up with bourgeois instincts, images of thought, and forms of life.
It is no small thing to reject our birthright; but I always wonder (thanks mostly to my original reading of Deleuze and Guattari) how much our conceptual sense-making apparatus keeps us ensnared by what we aim to destroy. “There is enslavement,” Deleuze and Guattari remind us, “when human beings themselves are constituent pieces of a machine that they compose among themselves and with other things (animals, tools) under the control and direction of a higher unity.” The goal of nomadic thought is liberation from such a machine, and affirmation is its tool.
We must continue to create moments of hesitation and confusion in ourselves – wherein violence forces thought to think. Through such events, thought becomes thinking, but it also becomes active instead of reactive. Nietzsche implored thought to “dance” and to become “light,” to affirm difference, distance, and becoming. But the powers of creating affirmative thought are violent, and they are the foundation of Nietzsche’s understanding of culture. Negation and ressentiment do not create culture, but only lash out childishly at the world at hand. Only that which affirms creates. But remember that we are doubly ensnared because, not only is the contemporary world the embodiment of negation and ressentiment, but so is our image of thought.
Thus, to think in the terms of the modern logoi is to think via negation. It is the job of the State to ensure that thinking never encounters the “forces that do it violence.” The revolutionary Right has the potential to be a firestorm of just such forces, for amongst our ranks are men and women who already understand the physiological bases of conceptualization; they must now understand the physiological bases of rebellion as well. Smooth space is affirmative space – affirmative potentialities for thought to become thinking, and for New Right thinkers to become New Right revolutionaries.
But, smooth space alone does not guarantee the efficacy of a line of flight away from liberal enslavement. It must be utilized – the epistemology must become ontology! – to make problems of each instance of our continual becoming-liberal. In other words, smooth space is only smooth when it demands that we create a new form of life. Things, events, thoughts, and people can neither be taken for granted nor given free passes; but should be subjected to continual evaluation.
For instance, how does Hegel’s elevation of the State keep us seeking a modern solution to modernity? How much of Hegel’s thought on the State is merely a teleological justification of his contemporary reality? How much of the energy of organic populations and peoples was destroyed by the imposition of the liberal State? How were the pre-Christian/pre-Statist forms of life – kinship systems, social structures, economies, population flows, religious practices, warring traditions, manhoods, wonders, joys, fears, motivations, knowledges, wisdoms – that many of us seek to emulate, impacted upon by the creation of the despotic State and its concomitant representational unification of humanity?
These are the types of questions that Deleuze forces us to ask ourselves. They are questions that resonate with revolutionary Rightists because we already inhabit smooth spaces – our possibilities are no longer conditioned by the liberal equality-machine. But the answers to the questions and problems that we create are critically important, for they will either lead us to become increasingly minor and revolutionary or straight back into the loving arms of liberal modernity.
The answers usually point to the need for a serious understanding of the relationship between the State and whatever utopian future we envision. For my part, the answers have led me to begin thinking seriously about anarchism – and especially its relevance for the Übermensch – for the first time in my life.
Race, Nation, and War Machine
This brings us to the elephant in the room: why am I here? More specifically: it brings us to the question of the revolutionary potential of race and nation. Epistemically, race was created as a bourgeois project and was destroyed as a bourgeois project. Ontologically, it has avoided its epistemological fate, largely because of its comforting value to liberal racial minorities.
All of the Academy’s efforts to shift racial discourse toward ethnicity and multiculturalism fail only on this account. But even if multiculturalism is rejected by those it ostensibly aims to help, this is an incorrect assessment of the dogma’s implementation, because, as the New Right correctly understands, the diminution of race discourse and racial knowledge and the commoditization of ethnicity was only ever intended to de-racialize one race.
And because of this, the North American New Right holds on to race like grim death. Ironically, and despite so many appeals to primordial and genetic racial characteristics, this has left it defending the two linchpins of modernity: race and nation; as well as standing alone amongst the various New Rights as both the progenitors and descendants of white racial nationalism.
But really, all of the threads of the New Right are knotted to this issue. Race is the essence of logocentrism, seeking not only to bind the various humans into one universal family, but to quantify them as well. But, as it has become outlawed in State-sponsored thought, race has shifted to a form of nomos, grounding only those who stand beyond modern truth and morality.
Further muddling the issue is the suggestion, à la Nietzsche and Deleuze, that what we think of as primordial racial groups – those defined by genetic and cultural similitude in opposition to other groups – were, in Greece at least, the oppositional basis of the establishment of Platonic political citizenship. In other words, the Platonic republic was the basis of a citizen-type based on “good thought, good laws, good arms, and good people bounded together by the practices of law and citizenship” at the expense of an idea of community based in kinship, blood, and likeness.
So not only might we have a conception of racial primordialism that is less than secure in its foundations, but we have the ethno-Statist champion – Plato – being presented on the side of what can certainly be called modern forms of citizenship at the expense of what can also certainly be called the antecedents of modern race. Gregory Flaxman notices a similar juncture in Plato’s Republic, wherein Socrates exposes the autochthony of the Athenian aristocracy as a “noble lie” so that a transcendent value and motivational cudgel may be provided to each of the classes of Athenian social and political life.
That Deleuze and Nietzsche problematize race is certain, but I suggest that they make the concept more radical. Plato understood that the organic nature of peoplehood posed a problem for the Athenian State, because it proposes a hyper-exclusive form of altruistic co-identification. I have already placed this primordial racial group, or people, on the side of nomos, because peoplehood – while internally stratified and hierarchical – operates in a context, or plane of immanence, that is organized horizontally.
Johann Fichte updated peoplehood first as motherland – which entails a sense of shared community and common culture – and then as nation – which combines community and culture with responsibility and trust. In contemporary Europe, the normalcy of these peoples, motherlands, and nations is perhaps seeing its last days. Nonetheless, it is this level of organization, cohesion, and production that one is enchanted by there, more often than not in spite of the liberal State.
Platonic citizenship opposes the nation with a form of liberal political inclusiveness that seeks transcendent despotic values with which to judge claims to inclusion. Fichte understood this level of inclusiveness, and the protection it affords, first as fatherland – which prescribes above all a sense of order on the motherland – and then as the State – which combines order with defensive protection.
Fichte, Deleuze, and Nietzsche point to an organic form of organization and responsibility in much the same way as Yockey (and Evola). And while Fichte ultimately does so in order to justify the State, Yockey turns the logic being presented here into a two-pronged explanation of race itself, as a “spirituo-biological community.” And while he explains the Enlightenment notions of biological racial stocks, he is clearly more interested in how these stocks are thought to produce culture through the interaction of sprit with the processes of history. In other words, he consistently points to a nomocentric understanding of race.
Yockey’s political abhorrence of liberalism perhaps explains why this is so, especially given the virtual nonexistence of the nomos-peoplehood-motherland-nation line of conceptualization in American history. Given the explanation of the liberal State in the third paper in this series, it is easy to see why America – the quintessential lapdog of capitalism – has no need of the forms of primordial codes being discussed here as nomos, but has had a great affinity for the race of the Enlightenment.
It is in this context that Deleuze applies nomos to modern liberal politics, making it a useful weapon in the fight against standardization and homogenization. What we must understand is how the liberal State is bound up with a form of racial logocentrism that panders to capitalism’s needs for standardized workers capable of being judged by a rationalist common standard of value. In other words, race as it is discussed in biological terms, is bound up with the bourgeois marketization and mobization of man being promoted by liberalism as the contemporary basis of being human.
This is why race does not ring true for many European peoples. In Italy, for example, the subsumption of extreme local particularity by the imposition of a racial, or even national, model makes no sense to communities that are still defined organically. Everything native to Italian life points to extreme heterogeneity and difference. Even criminology, born in the 1880s in northern Italy, was designed to demonstrate the differences between northern and southern Italians. And Serie A – the national soccer league – while being created by Fascism to unite the peninsula, was dismissed as a huge mistake because it exacerbated, rather than cooled, regional and civic rivalries.
Homogeneity, by contrast, is implemented by the liberal State through the teaching of a common language and skills for standardized labor. Public education and mass media homogenize people into citizens and laborers. The local artisan traditions and vernacular order that define the nomocentric organization of the Italian’s local experience have been consistently under assault by the liberal State, enough so that people in Rome – more a large conglomeration of villages than iconic global city – often discuss the State as an occupying force.
Ultimately, I am suggesting that the racial origins and values being sought by many in the North American New Right lie not in Platonic logos – only finding that form in the 17th Century and the dawn of high modernity – but in a form of organization closer to Deleuze’s nomos. American racial thought has been dominated by logocentrism precisely because Americans have never been codified with smaller organic forms of community, but instead with abstract and quantifiable – liberal – notions of race meant only to standardize. This liberal understanding of race must die with modernity.
That being said, the New Right elevation of race in the contemporary revolt against modernity might not belong to the smooth space in which our revolutionary potential will be realized, but – more importantly for today – it does act as a war machine that moves us toward that space. Today, beyond all utopias, white racial consciousness is a break with modernity and the needs of the liberal capitalist State. It is a line of flight beyond what this world needs from us. It makes problems of every element of control. Thus it is better off in the hands of New Right radicals than in the halls of liberal justice. It is better off as nomos than as logos.
We Are the Real Subalterns, Revisited
In the preface to the Deleuze and Guattari papers, I suggested that we need to denude ourselves of notions that we are the rightful heirs of the liberal West, and instead take a minoritarian-revolutionary position against the West that mirrors those taken by other dissident and subjugated groups. America cannot be conserved, for there is nothing here worthy of conservation. Liberalism and the bourgeois form of life must be liquidated. And the State must dissolve into air.
We must understand how much of our freedom and daily autonomy has nothing to do with the State; that the State, instead, acts to overcode, direct, and control every impulse and every quantum of puissance that our bodies produce. Remember the foundations of Nietzsche’s naturalism: the State, liberalism, and modernity – in short, the bourgeois form of life – are based in the ressentiment and bad conscience of the Hebraic ascetic denial and persecution of life. Adding the State to the forms of bourgeois weakness we already attack is what will make us a revolution.
Taking such a position entails an end to our defensive posture against terrorism and immigration – for anything that weakens the State or the people’s faith and confidence in the State is good for us. This means the aforementioned terrorism and immigration, as well as assaults on seemingly normative institutions like marriage – whose codified power vanished with the advent of capitalism – citizenship, and constitutional rights should be championed. Anything that creates disharmony, disillusionment, discouragement, and disgust is our friend.
“The formal order of the liberal State depends fundamentally on a social capital of habits of mutuality and cooperation that antedate it, which it cannot create, and which, in fact, it undermines.” Scott suggests that we engage in and support massive noninstitutionalized disruptions like riots, attacks on property, unruly demonstrations, arson, theft, and the open defiance of established institutions so as to weaken the local capturing apparatuses of the State. Harold Covington says that ultimately it is the accountants who pull the plug on a colonial occupation. But to that we must add that they only do so after the natives force the occupying force to retreat.
As Nietzsche advised us in Beyond Good and Evil, the processes of democratization, mediocratization, and ultimately the destruction of Europe should not be bemoaned or impeded on our part. But instead, these should be accelerated and applauded, for they hold the key to the conception of the types of men and women that will recreate the gore and glory of the pre-liberal world in a new form of life.
1. Sidle and Straddle
The beauty, glory, traditions, and peoples of Europe will not perish with the fall of the West but will instead therewith be liberated. This leitmotif has prompted many European Right radicals to unite with numerous forms of mobilization against globalization. This creates a front against which the State has difficulty strategizing. In these events – seen in Athens, Rome, Genoa, Seattle, Berlin, and Paris – Left and Right no longer have a liberal context. Particularly in the recent upheavals in Athens and Rome, fascist and communist dissidents fought the police and attacked the banks and other symbols of multinational capitalism side by side.
I am proposing that the New Right unite with other revolutionary forms such as Right anarchism and secessionism, but also the illiberal Left, in a similar stratagem.
Within the revolutionary Right we must think revolutionarily about what we are doing – like outsiders. Our war will be fought in many spaces of the neo-liberal State, and thus we need to act in those spaces, thinking more about the battle (the becoming) than the war (the Being). At times logos will be necessary, at others nomos; likewise fascism and anarchism, headlong assault and camouflage.
Life in the contemporary neo-liberal West is predicated upon the involvement of each and all in a global marketplace. Just as the Italians use their nomocentric particularity as a break on Statist homogenization, they use the same nomocentrism to protect themselves and their communities from the ravages of global capitalism. This tactic involves people from every age, income, and political demographic uniting against corporate-driven immigration and expansion of control over civic spaces like piazzas, monuments, and parks. While such situations are less readily apparent in America, we must still attempt to make use of such camouflaging by involving more and more types of people in our struggle.
Another more obvious camouflage is related to sidling and straddling. We should continue to support the amorphous nature of Counter-Currents and Attack the System, which publish articles on a wide range of subjects and perspectives. Although the editors of these sites might have strict ideological reasons for selecting content, from the perspective of strategy the variance between my work and that of Matt Parrott, for instance, keeps our enemies off balance and unable to attack and dismiss us with a singular spearhead.
Likewise, it provides our struggle with vitality and various points of contact with those who might join our ranks. Greg Johnson is to be commended for designing Counter-Currents with this strategic initiative in mind.
3. Derelict Spaces
As Deleuze and Guattari say, the State and revolution is a game of interiority and exteriority – about creating zones of exteriority within the State, and using these as a way to mobilize rebellion. Hakim Bey describes these spaces as temporary autonomous zones – or nomadic camps from which to strike the authority of the State, both ontologically and epistemologically – that entail a type of “psychic nomadism,” or culture of disappearance from the sovereignty of the State. The New Right is a war machine that will lead us to the smooth space of the revolutionary Right.
Certainly, we have utopian visions of a post-liberal world, but these visions should not cloud our ability to think strategically in the present. As I mentioned in “Subalterns,” look at what the New Right has already done to liberate whiteness from the liberal understanding of being-bourgeois. This is a strategic victory that has brought whiteness into a nomocentric relationship with the logos of the State, acting as a derelict bulkhead against liberal truth and morality.
Derelict spaces can be words, thoughts, and philosophies (Nietzsche is Deleuze’s favorite derelict space) and the ever-more virtual spaces they inhabit, but they need also be geographic and physical-spatial as well. Homes, social clubs, restaurants, and neighborhoods can act as lines of flight. But as our whiteness example makes clear, we cannot be content to just disconnect from the world but must aspire to transform it. This is the ultimate usefulness of autonomous derelict spaces, and it demands that they be interstitial more so than isolated.
4. Stop the World/Start the World
Jack Donovan’s call to “start the world” is the perfect call to arms for Right revolution, but first we must adequately disconnect “the automatic circuits between regularized stimuli and habitual responses . . . as if a crowbar had been inserted into the interlocking network of standardized actions and trajectories constituting the world as we know it.” I am arguing that the revolutionary Right acts as such a crowbar, creating a deterritorialized zone in which the bourgeois form of life ceases to function.
Becoming-revolutionary involves different speeds. Sometimes a snail’s pace will serve our needs, while at other times we will be best served by the speed of sound. But the point is to keep moving toward the restarting of the world on our own terms.
“Deleuze, Guattari, and the New Right” was written to introduce Deleuze and Guattari’s thought to the audience best suited for revolution in the West. But as their work is predicated upon decentering the liberal human in each of us, it is hoped that each of us feels terribly violated and infuriated by what I have represented of their thought. Anyone seeking their own relationship with the duo will undoubtedly find their Leftist orientation problematic. But if one reads them revolutionarily, that is, with what their concepts mean to us right now, then their Leftism becomes as irrelevant as someone’s Rightism. The only thing that matters in our war is whether or not it helps us achieve victory.
 Brian Massumi, A User’s Guide to Capitalism and Schizophrenia: Deviations from Deleuze and Guattari (Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1992), 8.
 Lyric from “What if we give it away?” by R.E.M.
 Gilles Deleuze, Nietzsche and Philosophy, trans. Hugh Tomlinson (New York: Columbia University Press, 2006), 21.
 Brian Holmes, Escape the Overcode: Activist Art in the Control Society (Eindhoven: Van Abbemuseum/WHW, 2009), 354-57.
 Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, trans. Brian Massumi (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1987), 456.
 Deleuze 2006: 108
 Deleuze 2006: 109
 James C. Scott, The Art of Not Being Governed: an Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2009), 187-88.
 Ivan Hannaford, Race: The History of an Idea in the West (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996), 18.
 Hannaford 1996: 18-20
 Gregory Flaxman, Gilles Deleuze and the Fabulation of Philosophy: Powers of the False, Volume 1 (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2012), 151-55.
 Johann Fichte, Addresses to the German Nation, Gregory Moore ed. and trans. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008), 104-13.
 Fichte 2008: 130-39
 Francis Parker Yockey, Imperium: The Philosophy of History and Politics (Newport Beach, CA: Noontide Press, 2000), 277.
 Yockey 2000: 273-91
 Michael O’Meara, “Yockey’s Manifesto of European Destiny,” in Francis Parker Yockey, The Proclamation of London (Indianapolis: Wermod and Wermod, 2012), xxviii.
 Jane Schneider, “Neo-Orientalism in Italy (1848-1895),” in Italy’s Southern Question: Orientalism in One Country, Jane Schneider ed. (Oxford: Berg, 1998), 10.
 Simon Martin, Football and Fascism: The National Game Under Mussolini (Oxford: Berg, 2004), 49.
 James C. Scott, Two Cheers for Anarchism (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2012), xx.
 James C. Scott 2012: xxii
 James C. Scott 2012: xvii
 Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil: Prelude to a Philosophy of the Future, trans. Judith Norman, ed. Rolf-Peter Horstmann and Judith Norman (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002), 133-34 (242).
 These strategic headings were taken from Massumi 1992: 103-6
 Hakim Bey, T.A.Z. The Temporary Autonomous Zone (Pacific Publishing Studio, 2011), 75 & 91.
 Massumi 1992: 103
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