John Young on Mon, 20 Dec 2010 13:55:01 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> The Deleuzian Philosophy of Julian Assange

The Deleuzian Philosophy of Julian Assange

Philip Pilkington



As already shown, Assange borrows heavily from the information sciences - 
more specifically, cognitive neuroscience and computer science. This is 
extremely interesting because this leads his philosophy to resemble certain 
contemporary post-structural philosophies ? most specifically, that of the 
20th century French philosopher Gilles Deleuze.

Deleuze too borrowed heavily from the information sciences to support his 
theories - and, unsurprisingly, he too came to very similar political
as Assange. Deleuze saw political organisations - and organisations
generally -
in terms of what he referred to as ?structures? and ?multiplicities?.

For Deleuze, ?structures? were closed-systems - closed on themselves and 
resistant to anything outside of themselves - while ?multiplicities? were 
open-systems, which communicated freely with the world around them. 
Throughout Deleuze?s two works of political theory, ?Anti-Oedipus? and 
?A Thousand Plateaus? - both written in collaboration with the French 
psychoanalyst Felix Guattari - he deals with many of the same ideas 
as Assange does.

Deleuze, like Assange, uses complex metaphors derived from mathematics 
and science to explain the world around him. And like Assange, he sees 
the solution to the problem of ?closed-systems? as to attempt to break 
through congealed sructures and promote communication and the free 
spread of information.

I won?t pass any judgments on Assange?s politics or his philosophy other 
than that I appreciate his freeing up certain information and recognise 
that he is an extremely intelligent individual. But I will say that Assange?s 
philosophy - and WikiLeaks as an organisation - is perhaps one of the 
purest manifestations of a Deleuzian political movement ever to come 
into existence (Deleuze referred to such a political movement as a 
?War Machine?).

If nothing else, WikiLeaks is a fascinating chapter in the history of ideas.


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