On why schizophrenia is more than just an illness

And how, while dreaming of ecstasy, we end up self-policing.


We are told: anyway, does schizophrenia have a mother and father?  We regret to have to say no, it does not have any as such.  It only has a desert, and the tribes that live there, a full body and multiplicities that cling to it.”

Deleuze and Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus

1 bis

The terrible community is the only form of community compatible with this world, with Bloom.  All the other communities are imaginary, not truly impossible, but possible only in moments, and in any case never in the fullness of their actualization.  They emerge in struggles, and so they are heterotopias, opacity zones free of any cartography, perpetually in a state of construction and perpetually moving towards disappearance.


The terrible community is not only possible, it is already real, and is always already there in acts.  It is the community of those that stay behind.  It is never there potentially, it has no future or becoming, nor any ends truly outside of itself nor any desire to become other than what it is, only to persist.  It is the community of betrayal, because it goes against its own becoming, it betrays itself without transforming itself or transforming the world around it. 

2 bis

The terrible community is the community of Blooms, because within it all desubjectivation is unwelcome.  Anyway, to enter it, it is first necessary to put oneself in parentheses.


The terrible community does not ek-sist, except in the dissent that at certain moments passes through it.  The rest of the time the terrible community is, eternally. 


In spite of this, the terrible community is the only community one can find, since the world as the physical place of what is common and of sharing has disappeared, and there’s nothing left of it but an imperial sectoral distribution of police to travel across.  Even the lie itself of “mankind” no longer finds any more liars to affirm it.

 The non-men, the no longer men, the Blooms, no longer manage to think, as they once could, since thought was a movement within time, and the consistency of the latter has now changed.   Moreover, the Blooms have renounced dreaming; they live in organized dystopias, placeless places, the dimensionless interstices of a commodity utopia.  They are flat and one-dimensional since, unable to recognize themselves anywhere, neither in themselves or in others, they can’t recognize either their past or their future.  Day after day, their resignation effaces the present.  And these no-longer-men populate the crisis of presence.


The time of the terrible community is spiraloid and of a muddy consistency.  It is an impenetrable time where the planned-form and the habit-form weigh on lives, leaving them paper-thin.  One might define it as the time of naïve freedom where everyone does what they want, since the times wouldn’t permit anyone to want anything aside from what’s already there.  

One might say that it is the time of clinical depression, or rather, the time of exile and prison.  It is an endless wait, a uniform expanse of disordered discontinuities.


The concept of order has been abolished in the terrible community in preference for the effectiveness of force relations, and the concept of form to the profit of the practice of formalization, which, having now grip on the content that it’s applied to, is eternally reversible.  Around false rituals, false timeframes (demonstrations, vacations, ‘mission accomplisheds,’ various assemblies, meetings, more or less festive), the community coagulates and formalizes itself without ever taking form.  Because form, being sensitive and corruptible, exposes becoming.

6 bis

Within the terrible community, informality is the most appropriate medium for the disavowed construction of pitiless hierarchies.


Reversibility is the sign under which all events that take place within the terrible community happen.   

But it is this reversibility itself, with its solemn procession of fears and dissatisfactions, which is really irreversible.  


The time of infinite reversibility is an illegible time, non-human.  It is the time of things, of the moon, of animals, of the tides; not of men, and even less of the no-longer-men, since the latter no longer know how to think about themselves, while the former still manage.

The time of reversibility is but the time of what cannot know itself.


Why don’t men abandon the terrible community, one might ask?  An answer could be that it’s because the no-longer-a-world world is still more uninhabitable than it is, but such an answer would mean falling into the trap of appearances, into superficial truths, since the world is woven of the same agitated non-existence that the terrible community is; there is among them a hidden continuity which, for the inhabitants of the world as well as for those of the terrible community, remains indecipherable.


What must be remarked, instead, is that the world draws its minimal existence, which allows us to decipher the substantial non-existence in it, from the negative existence of the terrible community (as marginal as it may be), and not the contrary, as one might believe.


The negative existence of the terrible community is in the last resort a counter-revolutionary existence, since in the face of the merely residual subsistence of the world, the former is content to claim a greater fullness.


The terrible community is terrible because it’s self-limiting while at the same time it rests in no form; this is because it doesn’t know ecstasy.  It reasons with the same moral categories that the no-longer-a-world world does; at least it has the same reasons for doing so.  It knows about rights and injustices, but it always parses them on the basis of the lacking coherence of the world it opposes.  It criticizes the violation of a right, brings it out into the light of day, brings attention to it.  But who was it that established (and violated) that right?  It was the world, to which the terrible community refuses to belong.  And to whom is its discourse addressed?  To the attention of the world that it denies.  What does the terrible community want, then?  The improvement of the existing state of things.  And what does the world desire?  The same thing.


Democracy is the cell culture medium of all terrible communities.  The no-longer-a-world world is the world where the primordial and founding dispute at the root of politics is erased to the benefit of a management vision of life and the living: biopolitics.  In this sense, the terrible community is a biopolitical community, since its mass and quasi-military unanimity is also based on the repression of the foundational dispute at the root of politics, the dispute between forms-of-life.  The terrible community cannot permit the existence of a bios, an unconforming life lived freely, within it; it can only permit survival within its ranks.  Just as well, the hidden continuity between the biopolitical tissue of democracy and the terrible communities has to do with the fact that argument is abolished therein by the imposition of an unanimity which is at the same time unequally shared and violently enclosed within a collectivity which is supposed to make freedom possible.  It happens, then, paradoxically, that the ranks of biopolitical democracy are more comfortable than those of the terrible community; the space of play, the freedom of subjects, and the constraints imposed by the political-form find themselves to be inversely proportional in a biopolitical regime/system of truth.


The more a regime of biopolitical truth claims to be open to freedom, the more it will be policelike, and furthermore, by delegating to the police the task of repressing insubordinations, it will leave its subjects in a state of relative unconsciousness and quasi-infancy.  On the other hand, in a regime of biopolitical truth, where PEOPLE claim to realize freedom while never discussing its form, PEOPLE will demand that those who participate in it will introject the police into their bios, on the powerful pretext that they have no choice.

Choosing the individual pseudo-freedom granted by biopolitical democracies – whether out of necessity, out of play, or out of a thirst for enjoyment – is equivalent, for someone who’s part of a terrible community, to a real ethical degradation, since the freedom of biopolitical democracies is never anything more than the freedom to buy and be sold.


In the same way, from the perspective of the biopolitical democracies unified to form the Empire, those who take sides with the terrible communities move out of the political system of commodity exchange (management) to a military political system (repression).  By shaking the specter of police violence, biopolitical democracies are able to militarize the terrible communities, and make the discipline within them even harder than it is anywhere else; this achieves the production of a spiral growth which is supposed to make the commodity preferable to the struggle; to make the freedom to circulate, so warmly recommended by the police and commodity propaganda – “move on, nothing to see here!” – to the freedom to see something else, a riot for instance.

For those who accept bartering off the highest freedom, the freedom to struggle, for the most reified freedom, the freedom to purchase, political democracies have, for the past twenty years, organized very comfortable places for biopolitical entrepreneurs, who are necessarily quite hip/“plugged in” – what would they be without their networks, after all?  Until fight clubs proliferate universally, start-ups, advertising firms, hip bars, and cop cars will never stop spreading everywhere in exponential growth.  And the terrible communities shall be the model for this new direction of commodity evolution.


Terrible communities and biopolitical democracies can co-exist in a vampire-like relationship because the two are lived either like no-longer-a-world-worlds or like worlds with no outside.  Their being-without-an-outside is not some terrorist conviction shaken at the subjects that take part in biopolitical democracy or in the terrible community to guarantee their loyalty, but rather, it is a reality to the extent that these are two human formations that intersect one another almost entirely.  

There is no conscious participation in biopolitical democracy without unconscious participation in a terrible community, and vice-versa.  Because the terrible community is not just the community of social or political protest, the militant community, but also tends to be everything that seeks to exist as a community within biopolitical democracy (the company, the family, the association, the group of friends, the adolescent gang, etc.). All such communities tend to be terrible communities to the extent that all sharing without purpose, all endless sharing (in both senses of ‘without end/to no end’) is an effective threat to biopolitical democracy, which is based on such total separation that its subjects are not even individuals anymore, but simply dividuals, split between participating in two necessary, yet contradictory things; their terrible community and biopolitical democracy.  And one or the other of those must inevitably be participated in clandestinely, basely, incoherently.  

The civil war, which is expelled from all publicity/advertising, has taken refuge inside of dividuals.  The front lines, which no longer pass through the fine milieu of society, now pass through the fine milieu of Blooms.  Capitalism demands schizophrenia.


The imaginary party is the form that this schizophrenia takes when it goes on the offensive.  You’re in the Imaginary Party, not when you’re neither in a terrible community nor in biopolitical democracy, but when you act to destroy both of them.


What disintegrates disintegrates, but can’t be destroyed.  However, life among the ruins is not only possible but effectively present.  The superior intelligence of the world is in the terrible community.  The health of the world as a world, as persisting in its state of relative decomposition, thus resides in the enemy that has sworn to destroy it.  But how can it destroy this adversary if not at the price of its own disappearance as an adversary?  It could constitute itself positively, we are told; give itself a foundation, make itself some laws of its own.  But the terrible community has no autonomous life; nowhere does it find access to becoming.  It is simply the final ruse of a world in decomposition to survive just a little bit longer.   

changed May 23, 2010