Guattari on Marxism

This is a re-posting of a piece from my previous blog, originally put up in October 2006.

I include the following quote from Felix Guattari from "A New Alliance is Possible" from "Soft Subversions" because for me it sums up perfectly the only possible response to daft questions like "are you a marxist?"

"Felix Guattari: I have never taken seriously the notion that we have outgrown Marxism and that we are now on the verge of a new political era. I have never considered ideas, theories or ideologies as anything but instruments or tools. Whence this expression, which has had a certain success and has since been used by Michel Foucault, that ideas and concepts are all part of a "tool box." As tools they can be changed, borrowed, stolen or used for another purpose. So what does it mean, "the end of Marxism"? Nothing, or only that certain Marxist tools are no longer working, that others are in need of review, that others continue to be perfectly valid. Hence it would be stupid to junk them all. All the more so in that re-evaluating these concepts means re-examining them - exactly as a re-evaluation of Einstein's theories includes a re-examination of Newton's. One can't say that Newtonianism is totally dead. We are dealing here with a "rhizome" of instruments; certain branches of the rhizome collapse, little sprouts begin to proliferate, etc. For me Marxism in general has never existed. I have sometimes borrowed or adapted some Marxist concepts I could put to good use. Moreover, I like reading Marx. He's a great writer. As an author he's unbeatable."



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