Contemporary Political Theory

, Volume 18, Issue 4, pp 583–603 | Cite as

The micropolitics of desire reproduced: A Nietzschean revolutionary-becoming in a post-industrial age

  • Christian GilliamEmail author


The premise of this article is that the political import of Deleuze and Guattari’s “micropolitics of desire” has been obscured and as such remains underdeveloped. The micropolitics of desire is here reproduced to provide a Nietzscheo-Marxian critique of capitalism and resistive politics of the future. This entails an entirely different understanding of the nature of power and resistance, as compared to prevalent views. Power is not negative or anti-energy, but a socially productive force operating on, with and through the productivity of desire, delineating an immanent, quantitative and “fusional multiplicity” of a producing-production. Resistance is a matter of recomposing this producer-produced relationship in a manner problematic to and in excess of the very productive core of capitalism. In terms of praxis, this amounts to experimental practices that resonate into a viral though non-teleological “revolutionary-becoming”, delineating a form of a-systematic and post-identity resistance. The underlying thesis is that we must change our “desire”, before we can hope to change our politics.


micropolitics desire Deleuze Guattari Nietzsche Marx Freud revolution capitalism 


  1. Best, S. and Kellner, D. (1991) Postmodern Theory: Critical Interrogations. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bogue, R. (1989) Deleuze and Guattari. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  3. Butler, J. (2012) Subjects of Desire: Hegelian Reflections in Twentieth-Century France. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Deleuze, G. (2006) Nietzsche and Philosophy. Trans. Thomlinson, H. London: Continuum.Google Scholar
  5. Deleuze, G. and Guattari, F. (2004a) Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia. Trans R. Hurley, M. Seem and H. R. Lane. London: Continuum.Google Scholar
  6. Deleuze, G. and Guattari, F. (2004b) A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia. Trans. B. Massumi. London: Continuum.Google Scholar
  7. Dews, P. (2007) Logics of Disintegration: Post-Structuralist Thought and the Claims of Critical Theory. London: Verso.Google Scholar
  8. Due, R. (2007) Deleuze. Cambridge: Polity.Google Scholar
  9. Foucault, M. (1998) The Will to Knowledge: The History of Sexuality: Volume One. Trans. Robert Hurley. London: Penguin.Google Scholar
  10. Freud, S. (2005) The Essentials of Psycho-Analysis. Trans. J. Strachey. London: Vintage Books.Google Scholar
  11. Freud, S. (2015) Beyond the Pleasure Principle. Trans. J. Strachey. New York: Dover Publications.Google Scholar
  12. Gilliam, C. (2017) Immanence and Micropolitics: Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, Foucault and Deleuze. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Grace, W. (2009) Faux Amis: Foucault and Deleuze on Sexuality and Desire. Critical Inquiry, University of Chicago Press 36(1): 52–75.Google Scholar
  14. James, F. (1997) Marxism and dualism in Deleuze. The South Atlantic Quaterly 96(3): 393–417.Google Scholar
  15. Mill, J.M. (2008) On Liberty. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Mullarkey, J. (2006) Post-Continental Philosophy: An Outline. London: Continuum.Google Scholar
  17. Nietzsche, F.W. (1968) The Will to Power. Trans. W. Kaufmann. London: Vintage Books.Google Scholar
  18. Nietzsche, F.W. (1997) Beyond Good and Evil: Prelude to a Philosopher of the Future. Trans. H. Zimmern. New York: Dover Publications.Google Scholar
  19. Smith, D. (2012) Politics: flow, code, and stock. In: D. Smith (ed.), Essays on Deleuze (pp. 160–174). Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.Google Scholar
  20. Žižek, S. (2012) Organs Without Bodies: On Deleuze and Consequences. London: Routledge Classics.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Limited 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of SurreyGuildfordUK

Personalised recommendations