On the Line


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On the Line gathers together two seminal texts that Deleuze and Guattari would later elaborate on in A Thousand Plateaus. “Rhizome,” first presented in person at the “Schizo-Culture” conference organized by Semiotext(e) at Columbia University in 1975, introduced a new kind of thinking, both non-dialectical and non-hierarchical, that turned out paradoxically to offer an early template for the understanding of the internet. “Rhizome” substitutes pragmatic, “crab grass,” free-floating logic to the binary, oppositional, and exclusive model of the tree.

In “Politics,” superseding the Marxist concept of class, Deleuze and Guattari envisage the social macrocosm as a series of lines, and reinvent politics as a process of flux whose outcome will always be unpredictable. It is, they emphasize, the end of the idea of revolution, but not of the “becoming revolutionary.” Throughout, the two writers keep dispelling the notion of capitalism as a repressive machine only meant to extract surplus value from exploited workers and suggest that it could be opposed from within by redirecting the creativity and multiplicity of its flows.

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