Intellectuals and Power

Praxis is a network of relays from one theoretical point to another, and theory relays one praxis to another. A theory cannot be developed without encountering a wall, and a praxis is needed to break through. Take yourself, for example, you begin by theoretically analyzing a milieu of imprisonment like the psychiatric asylum of nineteenth-century capitalist society. Then you discover how necessary it is precisely for those who are imprisoned to speak on their own behalf, for them to become a relay (or perhaps you were already a relay for them), but these people are prisoners, they’re in prison. This was the logic behind your creating the GIP (Group for Information on Prisons): to promote the conditions in which the prisoners themselves could speak. It would be totally misguided to say, as the Maoist seemed to be saying, that you were making a move toward praxis by applying your theories. In your case we find neither an application, nor a reform program, nor an investigation in the traditional sense. It is something else entirely: a system of relays in an assemblage, in a multiplicity of bits and pieces both theoretical and practical. For us, the intellectual and theorist have ceased to be a subject, a consciousness, that represents or is representative. And those involved in political struggle have ceased to be represented, whether by a party or a union that would in turn claim for itself the right to be their conscience. Who speaks and who acts? It’s always a multiplicity, even in the person that speaks or acts. We are all groupuscles. There is no more representation. There is only action, the action of theory, the action of praxis, in the relations of relays and networks.

德勒兹关于配置的解释:理论在自我发展的过程中要求引入实践来排除障碍,完成下一个环节,而非理论独居于外「指导」实践并以一种辩证的关系相互促成什么的;比如福柯经过理论研究发现了囚犯为自己发言的重要性,于是需要一种给他们铺设说话渠道的实践,为此建立了监狱信息小组 GIP。这就在配置中形成了一套接力的系统,理论和实践作为零部件在一个多元体内互相接驳,而不是意为身主。知识分子不是一个群体的代表或「意识」,而是和斗争中的人们接通成一体的多元体中的神经元(可以这么说吗?)甚至这多元体中的个体也都是多元体。没有代表,只有行动,理论和实践皆是行动,编成了一张接力之网


So it is that theory does not express, translate, or apply a praxis; it is a praxis – but local and regional, as you say: non-totalizing. A struggle against power, a struggle to bring power to light and open it up wherever it is most invisible and insidious. Not a struggle for some ”insight” or ”realization” (for a long time now consciousness as knowledge has been acquired by the masses, and consciousness as subjectivity has been taken, occupied by the bourgeoisie) – but a struggle to undermine and take power side by side with those who are fighting, and not off to the side trying to enlighten them. A ”theory” is the regional system of this struggle.


As soon as a theory takes hold at this or that point, it runs up against the impossibility of having the least practical consequence without there being an explosion, at some distant point if necessary. That’s why the idea of reform is so stupid and hypocritical.


#foucault #deleuze