Deleuze 27 德勒茲 Treatise on Nomadology 論遊牧

Translated Springhero 雄伯



Problem 1: Is there a way of warding off the formation of a State apparatus ( or it equivalents in a group) ?

Proposition II: The exteriority of the war machine is also attested to by ethnology ( a tribute to the memory of Pierre Clastres).





  Primitive, segmentary societies have often been defined as societies without a State, in other words, societies in which distinct organs of power do not appear. But the conclusion has been that these societies did not reach the degree of economic development, or the level of political differentiation, that would make the formation of the State apparatus both possible and inevitable: the implication is that primitive people “ don’t understand” so complex an apparatus. The prime interest in Pierre Clastre’s theories is that they break with this evolutionist postulate. Not only does he doubt that the State is the product of an ascribable economic development, but he asks if it is not a potential concern of primitive societies to ward off or avert that monster they supposedly do not understand. Warding off the formation of a State apparatus, making such a formation impossible, would be the objective of a certain number of primitive social mechanisms, even if they are not consciously understood as such. To be sure, primitive societies have chiefs. Buy the State is not defined by the existence of chiefs; it is defined by the perpetuation of conservation of organs of power. The concern of the State is to conserve. Special institutions are thus necessary to enable a chief to become a man of State, but diffuse, collective mechanisms are just as necessary to prevent a chief from becoming one. Mechanisms for warding off, preventive mechanisms, are a part of chieftainship and keep an apparatus distinct from the social body from crystallizing. Clastres describes the situation for the chief, who has no instituted weapon other than his prestige, no other means of persuasion, no other rule than his sense of the group’s desires. The chief is more like a leader or astar than a man of power and is always in danger of being disavowed, abandoned by his people. But Clastres goes further, identifying war in primitive societies as the surest mechanism directed against the formation of the State” war maintains the dispersl and sementarity of groups, and the warrior himself is caught in a process of accumulating exploits leading him to solitude and prestigious but powerless death. Clastres can thus invoke natural Law while reversing its principal proposition: just as Hobbes saw clearly that the State was against war, so war is against the State, and makes it impossible. It should not be concluded that war is a state of nature, but rather that it is the mode of a social state that wards off and prevents the State. Primitive war does not produce the State any more than it derives from it. And it is no better explained by exchange than by the State: far from deriving from exchange, even a sanction of its failure, war is what limits exchanges, maintains them in the framework of “ alliances” ; it is what prevents them from becoming a State factor, from fusing groups.





  The importance of this thesis is first of all to draw attention to collective mechanisms of inhibition. These mechanisms may be subtle, and function as micromechanisms. This is easily seen in certain band or pack phenomena. For example, in the case of gans of street children in Bogota, Jacques Meunier cites three ways in which the leader is prevented from acquiring stable power: the members of the band meet and undertake their theft activity in common, with collective sharing of the loot, but they disperse to eat or sleep separately; also, and especially, each member of the band is paired off with one, two, or three other member, so if he has a disagreement with the leader, he will not leave alone but will take along his allies, whose combined departure will threaten to break up the entire gang; finally, there is a diffuse age limit, and at about age fifteen a member is inevitably inducedto quit the gang. These mechanisms cannot be understood without renouncing the evolutionist vision that sees bands or packs as a rudimentary, less organized, social form. Even in bands of animals, leadership is a complex mechanism that does not act to promote the strongest but rather inhibits the installation of stable powers, in favor of fabric of immanent relations. One could just as easily compare the form “ high-society life” to the form “ sociability” among the most highly evolved men and women; high-society groups are similar to gangs and operate by the diffusion of prestige rather than by reference to centers of power, as in social groupings ( Proust clearly showed this non-correspondence of high-society values and social values). Eugene Sue, a man of high society and a dandy, whom legitimists reproached for frequenting the Orleans family, used to say: “ I’m not on the side of the family, I side with the pack.” Packs, bands, are groups of the rhizome type, as opposed to the arborescent type that centers around organs of power. That is why bands in general, even those engaged in banditry or high-society life, are metamorphoses of awar machine formally distinct from all State  apparatuses or their equivalents, which are instead what structure centralized societies. We certainly would not say that discipline is what defines a war machine: discipline is the characteristic required of armies after the State has appropriated them. The war machine answers to other rules. We are not saying that they are better, of course, only that they animalte a fundamental indiscipline of the warrior, a questioning of hierarchy, perpetual blackmail by abandonment or betrayal, and a very volatile sense of honor, all of which, once against, impedes the formation of the State.



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