A chairde!

This is our twelfth discussion (out of fifteen) on the essay collection Transgender Marxism, the PDF for which can be found here - https://transreads.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/2021-07-15_60f0b3d5edcb7_jules-joanne-gleeson-transgender-marxism-1.pdf

The intro discussion, with links to all previous essay discussions, can be found here - https://lemmygrad.ml/post/395378

Feel free to ask questions, I’ll answer them to the best of my abilities. I hope that you’ll read along, and we can all learn something new together, and maybe spark a discussion.

This essay is A Dialogue on Deleuze and Gender Difference by The Conspiratorial Association for the Advancement of Cultural Degeneracy.

CAACD is a collective name for dialogue encouraging lines of flight, and shaking of the habitual.

Seanchaí (she/her)
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This one isn’t an essay it’s a transcript of a conversation between two people. They are talking about Deleuze, so I will provide a bit of context where I can, as not everyone is familiar with Deleuze’s writing.

Seanchaí (she/her)
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“I was slowly working on a Deleuzian articulation of transness that takes it beyond mere liberal identity”

Deleuze was a French philosopher who wrote on metaphysics. His work was heavily influenced by Spinoza, who wrote on metaphysics and epistemology. We’ve seen Spinoza come up a few times in the course of this collection.

Seanchaí (she/her)
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Deleuze talked about the thought flow of conception, a flow of thought from which the creator would appropriate a system of concepts and thus create a conception. A musician would conceive of a consistent flow of acoustics. They don’t create notes, they use the notes, the sounds, in aggregate to create the entire concept of the music. The same, he said, for all arts, for all thoughts, philosophy included.

I’m not entirely sure if this is what they mean by a Deleuzian articulation of transness, but this is where I’m thinking they’re going. That transness is an aggregate of identity and gender presentations, bits and pieces of being, that are taken from the thought flow and crafted into a conception of being, a conception of gender.

Seanchaí (she/her)
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“Deleuze says true thinking only begins with the scream”

So, Deleuze, drawing his comparison to the musician when talking of thought flow, said that as a musician is someone who sings, a philosopher is someone who screams. To him, in the need to scream (from pain, anger, whatever else), that you were approaching a call of philosophy. That to scream is to need a concept. That whatever you are screaming about, that scream is a need for a concept, and that philosophy is to create that concept that expresses the thought, the need, behind the scream. Thus the scream is the origin of thought.

An example he gives is the existential scream, the scream that we must all have a reason to be here, to exist.

And philosophy seeks to answer that scream with a concept, or with concepts, that can explain that scream, that can answer the need behind it: why are we here?

Seanchaí (she/her)
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“philosophy is not mere passive reflection. At the root of thought that has started to really think underlies a kind of violence.”

“my argument would be along these lines – that becoming-woman in trans always has this potential to render all these previously invisible forces visible”

“In the sense that this becoming is not only at the level of cognition but also viscerally felt. It affects the entire body.”

Seanchaí (she/her)
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“So there’s a possible ‘line of flight’, a chance for deterritorialisation”

Alright, so “lines of flight” are a concept put forth by Deleuze in Capitalism and Schizophrenia. So a line of flight is an assemblage by which multiplicities can be deterritorialised, where the nature of a concept can be reshaped into new understandings. In a trans perspective, the line of flight would be a reshaping or recreating of the understanding of gender itself, crafting new social, psychological and political boundaries (or eliminating previous boundaries) in order to create a new plane of gender conceptions.

Seanchaí (she/her)
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“What liberal identitarian rhetoric does is to reterritorialise this line of flight.”

Reterritorialising in this way is saying that liberal identity narratives are a way to reframe trans genders within the previously understood conceptions of gender. That is to say, it takes the line of flight that transness offers in reconceptualising gender, and attempts to reconcile it with the dominant capitalist framework of gender and thus subsume trans identity as a part of the current hegemonic concepts, robbing it of its potential to reshape gender concepts into something new.

Seanchaí (she/her)
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“There’s this moment when all of what we’ve been taught, the way we viewed things changes. But like there’s obviously these very visceral moments that come with the realisation, right? Like the need to cry? Or even the euphoria we feel?”

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