Deleuze and becoming resistance

Deleuze and becoming resistance

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Ploughshares trial 2009
Hammering on military radar
Plowshares movement
Aspects of Visuality and Power
Nuclear Resister’s Becoming Ploughshares
Deleuze and becoming resistance
Pictures of the plowshares action
Classical theory of resistance
Postprotest by Per Herngren
Manual for civil disobedience




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Becoming2 Ploughshares

SAAB Microwave Becoming2 Ploughshares were arrested for disarming military radar and parts of Test Range at SAAB Micowaves in Sweden
Thursday June 26, 2008

”Becoming2” (like a mathematical ‘becoming-squared’) in the middle of our name might look strange,” says Per Herngren. “During the ploughshares action, we worked together with Deleuze philosophers from Gothenburg University in Sweden. We were during one day plugged into each other. Together we examined how resistance and Deleuze’s philosophy will intensify each other. Deleuze highlights the double becoming rather than being: To become becoming, rather than to become something. To produce production rather than isolated actions! Resistance and philosophy are ongoing processes giving no final result. Deleuze forces us in the ploughshares to avoid thinking in “means and ends”, or the Big Action. An action are not the destination, but rather where we get on the train. For Deleuze resistance is about movement, speed, rest, slowness and intensity.”







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Deleuze quotes related to postprotest resistance

collected and edited by Per Herngren


“becoming is creation” Thousand Plateaus p 106

“A becoming is not a correspondence between relations. But neither is it a resemblance, an imitation, or, at the limit, an identification.” Thousand Plateaus p 237

“Above all, becoming does not occur in the imagination”  “They are perfectly real.” “Becoming produces nothing other than itself. We fall into a false alternative if we say that you either imitate or you are. What is real is the becoming itself” “it is in the domain of symbioses that bring into play beings of totally different scales and kingdoms, with no possible filiation.” “Becoming is involutionary, involution is creative.” Thousand Plateaus p 238

“Becoming is certainly not imitating, or identifying with something; neither is it regressing-progressing; neither is it corresponding, establishing corresponding relations; neither is it producing, producing a filiation or producing through filiation. Becoming is a verb with a consistency all its own; it does not reduce to, or lead back to, appearing,” Thousand Plateaus p 239

“powers (puissances) of becoming that belong to a different realm from that of Power (Pouvoir) and Domination” Thousand Plateaus p 106

“become operative and lines of deterritorialization positive and absolute, forming strange new becomings, new polyvocalities. Become clandestine, make rhizome everywhere, for the wonder of a nonhuman life to be created.” Thousand Plateaus p 191

“to have dismantled love in order to become capable of loving. To have dismantled one’s self in order finally to be alone and meet the true double at the other end of the line. A clandestine passenger on a motionless voyage.” Thousand Plateaus p 197

“The genius is someone who knows how to make everybody/the whole world a becoming” Thousand Plateaus p 200

“becoming-molecular that undermines the great molar powers of family, career, and conjugality” Thousand Plateaus p 233

“Although there is no preformed logical order to becomings and multiplicities, there are criteria, and the important thing is that they not be used after the fact, that they be applied in the course of events, that they be sufficient to guide us through the dangers.” Thousand Plateaus p 251



“a philosopher is not only someone who invents notions, he also perhaps invents ways of perceiving.” Cours Vincennes – January 24, 1978



“What is an assemblage? It is a multiplicity which is made up of many heterogeneous terms and which establishes liasions, relations between them, across ages, sexes and reigns–different natures. Thus, the assemblage’s only unity is that of co-functioning: it is symbiosis, a “sympathy.” It is never filiations which are important, but alliances, alloys; these are not successions, lines of descent, but contagions, epidemics, the wind.” Deleuze and Parnet, 1977, 69

“An assemblage is precisely this increase in the dimensions of a multiplicity that necessarily changes in nature as it expands its connections.” Thousand Plateaus p 8



“it is only when the multiple is effectively treated as a substantive, “multiplicity,” that it ceases to have any relation to the One as subject or object, natural or spiritual reality, image and world. Multiplicities are rhizomatic, and expose arborescent pseudomultiplicities for what they are. There is no unity to serve as a pivot in the object, or to divide in the subject. There is not even the unity to abort in the object or “return” in the subject. A multiplicity has neither subject nor object, only determinations, magnitudes, and dimensions that cannot increase in number without the multiplicity changing in nature (the laws of combination therefore increase in number as the multiplicity grows).” Thousand Plateaus p 8

“This is not surprising, since becoming and multiplicity are the same thing. A multiplicity is defined not by its elements, nor by a center of unification or comprehension. It is defined by the number of dimensions it has; it is not divisible, it cannot lose or gain a dimension without changing its nature.” Thousand Plateaus p 249

each multiplicity is already composed of heterogeneous terms in symbiosis, and that a multiplicity is continually transforming itself into a string of other multiplicities, according to its thresholds and doors.” Thousand Plateaus p 249

“Let us return to the story of multiplicity, for the creation of this substantive marks a very important moment. It was created precisely in order to escape the abstract opposition between the multiple and the one, to escape dialectics, to succeed in conceiving the multiple in the pure state, to cease treating it as a numerical fragment of a lost Unity or Totality or as the organic element of a Unity or Totality yet to come, and instead distinguish between different types of multiplicity.” Thousand Plateaus p 32

“All multiplicities are flat, in the sense that they fill or occupy all of their dimensions: we will therefore speak of a plane of consistency of multiplicities, even though the dimensions of this “plane” increase with the number of connections that are made on it.” Thousand Plateaus p 9

“When a multiplicity of this kind changes dimension, it necessarily changes in nature as well, undergoes a metamorphosis.” Thousand Plateaus p 21

“One of the essential characteristics of the dream of multiplicity is that each element ceaselessly varies and alters its distance in relation to the others.” Thousand Plateaus p 30



“A rhizome has no beginning or end; it is always in the middle, between things, interbeing, intermezzo. The tree is filiation, but the rhizome is alliance, uniquely alliance. The tree imposes the verb “to be,” but the fabric of the rhizome is the conjunction, “and. . . and.. . and. . .” This conjunction carries enough force to shake and uproot the verb “to be.” Thousand Plateaus p 24

“Perhaps one of the most important characteristics of the rhizome is that it always has multiple entryways Thousand Plateaus p 12

“any point of a rhizome can be connected to anything other, and must be. This is very different from the tree or root, which plots a point, fixes an order.”  Thousand Plateaus p 7

“There are no points or positions in a rhizome, such as those found in a structure, tree, or root. There are only lines.” Thousand Plateaus p 8

“A rhizome may be broken, shattered at a given spot, but it will start up again on one of its old lines, or on new lines.” Thousand Plateaus p 9

“show at what point in the rhizome there form phenomena of massification, bureaucracy, leadership, fascization, etc., which lines nevertheless survive, if only underground, continuing to make rhizome in the shadows.” Thousand Plateaus p 14

“To be rhizomorphous is to produce stems and filaments that seem to be roots, or better yet connect with them by penetrating the trunk, but put them to strange new uses.” Thousand Plateaus p 15

“rhizomes also have their own, even more rigid, despotism and hierarchy” Thousand Plateaus p 15

“the rhizome is an acentered, nonhierarchical, nonsignifying system without a General and without an organizing memory or central automaton” Thousand Plateaus p 21

“Write, form a rhizome, increase your territory by deterritorialization, extend the line of flight to the point where it becomes an abstract machine covering the entire plane of consistency.” Thousand Plateaus p 11

“the rhizome, on the other hand, acts on desire by external, productive outgrowths.” Thousand Plateaus p 14



 “we call affect any mode of thought which doesn’t represent anything. (…) what anybody would call affect or feeling, a hope for example, a pain, a love, this is not representational. There is an idea of the loved thing, to be sure, there is an idea of something hoped for, but hope as such or love as such represents nothing, strictly nothing.”  Cours Vincennes – January 24, 1978

“The whole discourse of representation is structured by analogical principles and thus Spinoza’s whole operation consists in making, in imposing a kind of assemblage of affects which implies likewise a critique of representation” Cours Vincennes – January 14, 1974

 “definition of the affect, the affect: what every affection envelops, (…) is the passage, it is the lived passage from the preceding state to the current state, or of the current state to the following state.” Cours Vincennes – January 20, 1981

“the affect is not reducible to an intellectual comparison of ideas, affect is constituted by the lived transition or lived passage” Cours Vincennes – January 24, 1978

 “the whole problem of reason will be converted by Spinoza into a special case of the more general problem of the affects. Reason indicates a certain type of affect.” Cours Vincennes – December 12, 1980

“I don’t see the necessity of having recourse to the word “feeling” since French offers the word “affect.” Thus when I use the word “affect” it refers to Spinoza’s affectus, and when I say the word “affection,” it refers to affectio.” Cours Vincennes – January 24, 1978

“affectio: composition or decomposition between things.” Cours Vincennes – January 20, 1981

“you will not be defined by your form, by your organs, by your organism, by your genus or by your species, tell me the affections of which you are capable and I’ll tell you who you are. Of what affects are you capable?” Cours Vincennes – January 14, 1974

“Then there’s no longer just an effort to do: in any case, it’s not necessary to believe that power [pouvoir] means a possibility that might not be fulfilled. Power [puissance] and degrees of power, this is no longer the Aristotelian world which is a world of analogy, it’s not power which is distinguised from the act. The power of being affected, in any case, is or will be fulfilled, is fulfilled at each instant; it’s necessarily fulfilled, and why? It’s necessarily fulfilled at each instant by virtue of the variable assemblages into which it enters. That is, the affect is the manner in which a degree of power is necessarily actualized [effectuÈ] as a function of the assemblages into which the individual or the thing enters.” Cours Vincennes – January 14, 1974

“What Nietzsche calls affect‚ is exactly the same thing as what Spinoza calls affect, it is on this point that Nietzsche is Spinozist, that is, it is the decreases or increases of power (puissance). They have in fact something which doesn’t have anything to do with whatever conquest of a power (pouvoirCours Vincennes – January 20, 1981

“desire does not comprise any lack; neither is it a natural given; it is but one with an assemblage of heterogenous elements which function; it is process, in contrast with structure or genesis; it is affect, as opposed to feeling; it is “haecceity” (individuality of a day, a season, a life), as opposed to subjectivity; it is event, as opposed to thing or person. And above all it implies the constitution of a field of immanence” Desire & Pleasure, notes on Foucault, 1997, Chapter G.

“When, on the contrary, you are affected with joyful affects, the power of the thing which affects you with joyful affects and your own power are combined and added so that your power of acting, for that same power of being affected which is your own, is increased.” Cours Vincennes – January 14, 1974

 “I would not say that the affects signal the decreases or increases of power, I would say that the affects are the decreases and the increases of lived power.” Cours Vincennes – January 20, 1981

“The most beautiful thing is to live on the edges, at the limit of her/his own power of being affected” Cours Vincennes – January 24, 1978

“But a body must be defined by the ensemble of relations which compose it, or, what amounts to exactly the same thing, by its power of being affected.” Cours Vincennes – January 24, 1978

“power of being affected (…) can be actualized in such a way that the power of acting diminishes to infinity or alternatively the power of acting increases” “A power of being affected is really an intensity or threshold of intensity.” Cours Vincennes – January 24, 1978

If “I’m not the cause of my own affects, they are produced in me by something else: I am therefore passive” Cours Vincennes – January 24, 1978



“We see no reason in fact for accepting the postulate that underlies exchangist notions of society; society is not first of all a milieu for exchange where the essential would be to circulate or to cause to circulate, but rather a socius of inscription where the essential thing is to mark or to be marked. There is circulation only if inscription requires or permits it.” Anti-Oidipus p 142


Abstract machine

“An abstract machine in itself is not physical or corporeal, any more than it is semiotic; it is diagrammatic.”  “The abstract machine does not function to represent, but rather constructs a real that is yet to come, a new type of reality.” Thousand Plateaus p 141-142.


Social machine

“The social machine is literally a machine, irrespective of any metaphor, inasmuch as it exhibits an immobile motor and undertakes a variety of interventions: flows are set apart, elements are detached” Anti-Oedipus p 141-42



“But the question is whether it is necessary to find oneself. Thousand Plateaus p  156



“We know nothing about a body until we know what it can do, in other words, what its affects are, how they can or cannot enter into composition with other affects, with the affects of another body, either to destroy that body or to be destroyed by it, either to exchange actions and passions with it or to join with it in composing a more powerful body.” Thousand Plateaus p 257



“The philosopher Eugene Dupreel” (…) “demonstrated that life went not from a center to an exteriority but from an exterior to an interior, or rather from a discrete or fuzzy aggregate to its consolidation. This implies three things. First, that there is no beginning from which a linear sequence would derive, but rather densifications, intensifications, reinforcements, injections, showerings” Thousand Plateaus p 328

“The problem is that the exteriority of the war machine in relation to the State apparatus is everywhere apparent but remains difficult to conceptualize. It is not enough to affirm that the war machine is external to the apparatus. It is necessary to reach the point of conceiving the war machine as itself a pure form of exteriority” Thousand Plateaus p 353

“For example, a commercial organization is also a band of pillage, or piracy, for part of its course and in many of its activities; or it is in bands that a religious formation begins to operate. What becomes clear is that bands, no less than worldwide organizations, imply a form irreducible to the State and that this form of exteriority …” Thousand Plateaus p 360



“Language is not life; it gives life orders. Life does not speak; it listens and waits. Every order-word, even a father’s to his son, carries a little death sentence–a Judgment, as Kafka put it.” Thousand Plateaus p 76



“The plane of consistency is the abolition of all metaphor; all that consists is Real.” Thousand Plateaus p  69

“The plane of consistency knows nothing of differences in level, orders of magnitude, or distances. It knows nothing of the difference between the artificial and the natural. It knows nothing of the distinction between contents and expressions, or that between forms and formed substances; these things exist only by means of and in relation to the strata.” Thousand Plateaus 69-70



“Geographical areas can only harbour a sort of chaos, or, at best, extrinsic harmonies or an ecological order, temporary equilibriums between populations.” Thousand Plateaus p  48



“We call a “plateau” any multiplicity connected to other multiplicities by superficial underground stems in such a way as to form or extend a rhizome.” Thousand Plateaus p 22



“stratum necessarily goes from layer to layer, and from the very beginning. It already has several layers. It goes from a center to a periphery, at the same time as the periphery reacts back upon the center to form a new center in relation to a new periphery. Flows constantly radiate outwards. There is an outgrowth and multiplication” Thousand Plateaus p 50

“The system of the strata thus has nothing to do with signifier or signified, base and superstructure, mind and matter. All of these are ways of reducing the strata to a single stratum, or of closing the system in on itself” Thousand Plateaus p  71-72

[Strata] “consist of giving form to matters, of imprisoning intensities or locking singularities into systems of resonance and redundancy, of producing upon the body of the earth molecules large and small and organizing them into molar aggregates. Strata are acts of capture,” Thousand Plateaus p 40

Deleuze’s dictionary








Abstract machine

Social machine










Deleuze links

Deleuze Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Surveillance without spies


Readings on Deleuze

The most radical “postprotest” book by Deleuze is:

Gilles Deleuze, Nietzsche and Philosophy, trans. H. Tomlinson, New York: Columbia University Press, 1983.

Download Deleuze books

Quotes on this page are mostly from:

Gilles Deleuze, Felix Guattari, A thousand plateaus: capitalism and schizophrenia, translation and foreword by Brian Massumi, University of Minnesota Press, 1987.

Gilles Deleuze, Felix Guattari, Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, trans. R. Hurley, M. Seem, and H. Lane, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1977.


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