"In A-O where they first describe capitalism as constantly approaching
its own limits, warding them off and extending them it might be
reasonable to take this in economic terms. But really I donít think that
D&G's formulation of capitalism has very much to do with traditional
Marxist theories which see it as a "mode of production" distinct from
say Asiatic production.
Why? Is this based on something they've said? Where?"
OK I?m assuming that when you ask "why" you?re refering to why D&G?s
formulation of capitalism has nothing to do with a "mode of produciton"?
In "Savages, Barbarians and Civilized Men" and "Apparatus of Capture"
(this is not exhaustive, obviously) they define four social machines,
(primitve, State, nomadic and capitalist) four different full BwO s. The
terms in which they define them have no connectin with a "mode of
production". The priority of the socius is the coding of flows, not
exchange, or production.
"We define social formations by machinic processes and not by modes of
production (these on the contrary depend on the processes) ... But
precisely because these processes are variables of coexistence that are
the object of a social topology, the various corresponding formations
are coexistent." ATP 435 - one of my favourite ATP quotes at the
Which means that capitalism, like the other social formations is a
machinic process(es) not a mode of production. Primitive forms ward off
the State, State forms ward off capitalism, nomadic forms evade/destroy
There is no such thing as over-production - either relative or absolute.
Over-production is a concept which requires an idea, however theoretical
or abstract (but not yet abstract enought), that there is a fixable,
definable quantity of demand. A fixable, definable quantity of lack in
other words. A "natural" lack, a "natural" need that is pre-existant and
the moment more than that is produced then there is a crisis of
But consumption is always a matter of the production of consumption.
Demand is always a matter of the production of demand.
Yes, Chris, there is a REAL need for the newest Pentium, but that is
because desire produces the real. Needs are real because they are
produced. There is no pre-exisitng need, prior to its produciton.
Yes production of one particular product may outsrip demand but this is
pure contingency and hardly impacts the machining of desire into need
that is the present capitalist machine. Yes, instant gratificaiton is an
axiom (compare it to the nineteenth century where gratification was
Anti-production - I understand this in Bataille?s sense of
non-productive expenditure (although I?m still thinking this through,
particularly in terms of the BwO which they write is "the
anti-productve") but I don?t really see how advertising whose function
is the producion of need could be seen as "unproductive expenditure" it
seems to have a definite utility; nor arms production - so long as it is
profitable for the companies that make them (and there aren?t that many
arms firms going bankrupt). Is anti-production to be seen only in firms
that fail to make a profit? Firms go bankrupt other firms take over -
the machine only works by breaking down ... Does this sound right?
Could you expand some more on the idea of waves, cycles and the Eternal
Return. I must admit to have never understood the Eturnal Return - and
to have lived and worked happily without understanding!
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