Prof. Joff P. N. Bradley: What has happened to Desire? Deleuze and Reich on Social Reclusion
The fundamental task of this paper is twofold. Firstly, it is to speak up for psychoanalyst Wilhelm Reich, one of Freud's favourite students, who much influenced Deleuze and Guattari in Anti-Oedipus and A Thousand Plateaus. While it should be noted that Deleuze and Guattari ultimately reject some of the wilder theses of Reich, the point is whether this seems to go hand in hand with the rejection of the philosophy of affirmation. As Reich is conspicuously absent in the contemporary secondary literature on Deleuze and Guattari this appears symptomatic of the movement away from the philosophy of joy. Secondly, to account for this lacuna, I will explore how Reich can be used in contemporary context with respect to the social recluse or hikikomori syndrome. My task is to understand how the ‘worm in man’ has petrified social relations and sent Japanese society, functioning under the ‘diabolical intelligence’ of hyper-capitalism, on a ‘chaosmic plunge towards abolition’ as Guattari says. What chaosmic spasms loom on the horizon? I am interested in understanding how the plasticity of collective subjectivity (hikikomori and withdrawal) represents this battle. What new models of desire can emerge? I answer this by looking to Reich’s research on cancer and the question of fascism, the ‘worm in man’ and the coexistence of man with cancerous forms of the body.
JOFF P. N. BRADLEY is a professor working at Teikyo University, Tokyo, Japan. He is visiting professor at Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, and visiting fellow at Kyung Hee University, Seoul. In 2022 he will be visiting professor of digital studies at Durham University and visiting professor at Nanterre university in Paris/ Joff has co-written A Pedagogy of Cinema and coedited books on Deleuze and Buddhism; utopia; new French thought; transversality, Japanese pedagogy; Bernard Stiegler; and animation. His forthcoming 3 books due to be published in 2022 will focus on schizoanalysis and postmedia, schizoanalysis and Asia and global ecologies of learning.