Crisis and Cure: Three Quotes

Economic Crisis


Felix Guattari taught me to see social processes as productions of the unconscious and to see the unconscious as the laboratory in which the scenarios of social action are produced. There is no need to think of power as a cold machine composed of decisions and wills. When we use words like euphoria or depression or panic to describe the behavior of the stock exchange or market we shouldn’t think that these are only metaphors. It is instead an adequate description of the psychopathologies that traverse the social mind in a situation of information overload and competitive stress.1

-Franco Bifo Berardi

Mental Crisis


Psychosis is not a structural object but a concept: it is not an irremovable essence but a machination which always starts up again during any encounter with the one who will become after the event, the psychotic. Thus here the concept is not an entity closed in on itself, but the abstract, machinic incarnation of alterity at the point of extreme precariousness; it is the indelible mark that everything in this world can break down at any time. The Unconscious is intimately connected with the concept: it too is an incorporeal construction which takes subjectivity at the point of its emergence. But it is a concept which at every minute risks becoming clogged up, and which must be constantly cleared of the cultural scoria which threatens to reterritorialize it. It requires the reactivating, machinic recharging, due to the virulence of events which set subjectivation into action. The schizo is the royal road of access to the emergent fractality of the Unconscious.2

-Felix Guattari

Ecological Crisis

ecological crisis2

…we need to engage with the creativity of the earth, and follow the lines of flight we uncover, exploring “the potential for self-organization inherent in even the humblest forms of matter-energy.” Despite all the defensive reasons not to know, we are starting to become conscious of the enormity of the danger which now confronts us. The nonlinearity and chaos of nature, and the forms of thinking required to sustain it beyond our limited horizons of our experience, are both frightening and liberating. Yet, despite the anxiety, guilt, and terror that climate change forces us to face, this crisis can offer us an opportunity for a more open vision of ourselves, as subjects, as societies, and as a species among the interconnected life systems of the earth.3

-Joseph Dodds

1Michael Goddard “Felix and Alice in Wonderland: The Encounter Between Guattari and Berardi and the Post-Media Era”

2Felix Guattari Chaosmosis: An Ethico-Aesthetic Paradigm Indiana University Press, 1995, pg. 64

3Mary-Jayne Rust, Nick Totten (ed) Vital Signs: Psychological Responses to Ecological Crisis Karnac Books, 2012, pg. 132

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