The delirium of change: Giles Deleuze’s optimistic postmodernism


Giles Deleuze’s theories of domination and change represent a radical departure from both modern radicalism and the nihilism of many postmodernists. Deleuze has developed a comprehensive critique of domination within societies, and offers an alternative vision, based on the rejection of the routinized patterning of the individual's life experiences. One of his major works, Capitalism and Schizophrenia (1988) was written in collaboration with Felix Guattari. An ex-psychoanalyst, Guattari brought a specific focus to bear on the limitations of conventional approaches to therapy, its wider social implications and the alternatives thereto, a theme which is absent in Deleuze's later works. It is argued that while this vision provides a totally different alternative to many of the tired debates surrounding order and revolution, by its very nature it is limited, designed to appeal to a limited grouping of insiders, and is inadequately equipped to deal with the negative face of localised ethno-particularism which has emerged in the 1990s.

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