The Distinction Between Markets and Capitalism in Deleuze and Guattari’s “Capitalism and Schizophrenia”: Some Preliminary Thoughts

Deterritorial Investigations Unit

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A fruitful exchange via Twitter the other night has led me to type up some thoughts that have been bouncing around in my head for some time – namely, that the vision of capitalism presented by Deleuze and Guattari in the two volumes of Capitalism and Schizophrenia must be rendered distinct from simple market exchanges and systems, and that this distinction is implicit in the texts. Capitalism is indeed a system that does rely on market mechanisms, but they are mechanisms that are almost exclusively dominated by monopolistic competition. While this state of affairs is often depicted by CNN financial gurus and even Reason magazine pundits as being the ‘free market in action’, scratching past this surface level read reveals a system wholly contingent on the state’s intervention in order to prop itself up and reproduce relations equitable to itself. It is my contention that approaching Deleuze and Guattari’s depiction…

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