Deleuze, Tarde and Molecular Politics


  • Julius Telivuo
Keywords: Deleuze, Tarde, micropolitics, ontology, process, the unconscious


[In English]

The paper discusses political and social ontology in Gilles Deleuze’s philosophy, more precisely the notion of micropolitics. As many other continental thinkers of the 20th century, Deleuze is critical towards any general idea of community. However, Deleuze does not explicitly tackle the problematic, unlike thinkers like Bataille, Blanchot, Derrida and Nancy, who develop closely related notions of a community without identity, unity, actuality etc. Still, similarly to many thinkers of his generation, Deleuze seeks a way out of the predicament of the conscious subject and of collective representations. Instead, he approaches the socio-political sphere from a microscopic perspective. Thus, what determines this sphere is not a general structure or logic of the community, but the immediate, concrete modes of interaction, or rather the social processes in which people are caught up. More importantly, these concrete processes differ from the general consciousness  and the molar representations concerning the social sphere, projected as genders, classes, races, ethnicities. Together with Félix Guattari, Deleuze seeks to uncover the micropolitical and non-conscious processes underlying not only the general, summary representations but also the individual conceptions dominating the social sphere. In addition, Deleuze and Guattari’s inspiration in Gabriel Tarde’s microsociology is discussed in the article. Based on the work of these three thinkers, the article argues for an idea of communality beyond conscious experience, not implying its lack as such but rather the superfluity of individual or collective experience with regard to the concrete processes that make up the social sphere and form the core of political action.


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How to Cite
Telivuo, J. (2015). Deleuze, Tarde and Molecular Politics. Topos, (1), 66-77. Retrieved from
Norms, Values and Interactions