Treatise on the Nomadology: Axioms, Propositions, and Problems

Axiom I
: The war machine is exterior to the State apparatus.
Proposition I: This exteriority is first attested to in mythology, epic, drama, and games.
Problem I: Is there a way of warding off the formation of a State apparatus (or its 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).
Proposition III: The exteriority of the war machine is also attested to by epistemology, which intimates the existence and perpetuation of a “nomad” or “minor science”.
Problem II: Is there a way to extricate thought from a State model?
Proposition IV: The exteriority of the war machine is attested to, finally, by noology.

Axiom II: The war machine is the invention of the nomads (insofar as it is exterior to the state apparatus and distinct from the military institution). As such, the war machine has three aspects, a spatiogeographic aspect, an arithmetic or algebraic aspect, and an affective aspect.
Proposition V: Nomad existence necessarily effectuates the conditions of the war    machine in space.
Proposition VI: Nomad existence necessarily implies the numerical elements of the war machine.
Proposition VII: Nomad existence has for “affects” the weapons of a war machine.
Problem III: How do nomads find or invent their weapons?
Proposition VIII: Metallurgy itself constitutes a flow necessarily confluent with nomadism.

Axiom III: The nomad war machine is the form of expression, of which itinerant metallurgy is the correlative form of content.
Proposition IX: War does not necessarily have the battle as its object, and more important, the war machine does not necessarily have war as its object, although war and the battle may be its necessary result (under certain conditions).


A Thousand Plateau Dates


1914: One or Several Wolves?

  • Freud’s On Narcissism is published (?)

10,000 BC: The Geology of Morals (Who Does the Earth Think It Is?)

  • Flexible dating for the beginning of the Holocene epoch, connected with the close of the last Ice Age, global geological and ecological transformations in the shifting of the climatic belt, and the beginning of both migratory and nomadic societies.
  • Hinted at in footnote 26 of the plateau on the Refrain:

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November 23rd, 1923: The Postulates of Linguistics

  • Date of the pegging of the German mark to the Rentemark, effectively ending hyperinflation in what Deleuze and Guattari described as a “semiotic transformation that, although indexed to the body of the earth and material assets, was still a pure act or incorporeal transformation.” (pg. 82)
  • Footnote 12 to this plateau further unpacks the significance of this date:

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587 BC – 70 AD: On Several Regimes of Signs

  • Dates marking the first and second Destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, essential events in the path of the Jewish people through history:

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November 28th, 1947: How Do You Make Yourself a Body Without Organs?

  • Antonin Artaud records “To Have Done with the Judgment of God”, a Theater of Cruelty-style radio play that was intended to wage war on the technopolitical order that consolidated on a global level in the wake of the Second World War. The Body without Organs is posed as the opposition to the organization this order – and the orders proceeding it – imposed upon the self:

No matter how one takes you you are mad, ready for the straitjacket.

– By placing him again, for the last time, on the autopsy table to remake his anatomy.
I say, to remake his anatomy.
Man is sick because he is badly constructed.
We must make up our minds to strip him bare in order to scrape off that animalcule that itches him mortally,

    • god,
    • and with god
    • his organs.

For you can tie me up if you wish,
but there is nothing more useless than an organ.

When you will have made him a body without organs,
then you will have delivered him from all his automatic reactions
and restored him to his true freedom.

  • The Judgment of God itself, as that which imposes organization upon the Body without Organs, is invoked in the Geology of Morals:

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Year Zero: Faciality

  • The birth of Christ and the retrocausal genesis-point of Western civilization

1874: Three Novellas, or “What Happened?”

  • Barbey d’Aurevilly’s Les Diaboliques is published, a work regarded by Deleuze and Guattari as indicating the way that the novella folds the “postures” of the mind and body together (in contrast to the tale which is marked by an unfolding). Through this a tripartite schema is derived:

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1933: Micropolitics and Segmentarity

  • Hitler becomes chancellor

1730: Becoming-Intense, Becoming-Animal, Becoming-Imperceptible

  • Vampire-mania sweeps Europe:

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1837: Of the Refrain

  • Hector Berlioz composes his Requiem (?)

1227: Treatise on Nomadology: The War Machine

  • Ogedei Khan assumes power after Genghis dies and proceeds to expand Mongol empire.

7000 BC: The Apparatus of Capture

  • Systematization of agriculture occurs in Mesopotamia.

1440: The Smooth and the Striated

  • Development of Portuguese map-making in relation to the technological breakthroughs in oceanic navigation:

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Anglossic-Qabbalistic Explorations: The Geology of Morals (Part II)


[continued from here]

Through the Gates

To reiterate: “God is a lobster, or a double pincer, a double bind.”



Between each of these equivalences (the latter admittedly being a vulgarization of Deleuze and Guattari’s initial point, but one whose resonant attributes relative to their work cannot be discounted ), it is the cosmic horror of Lovecraft that rises to the surface. Consider the first, 263, with its clicking through to “dead but dreaming”. “Dreaming but dreaming” is the description of Cthulhu in the sunken city of R’lyeh, communicating with his followers via terrestrial followers until the day that the city can rise and he can again awaken from his slumber (aided by the Necronomicon).

In the Lovecraftian mythos, Cthulhu is one of the ancient rulers of the earth, a member of a race of entities known as the Old Ones. Thus the uncanny relationship between “Lobster God” and “The Old Ones”, as indicated by AQ207. Yet here can be founded another Lovecraft connection, by way of the “silver key”: Lovecraft’s 1934 short story “Through the Gates of the Silver Key” describes the voyage of Randolph Carter into the outer edges of the universe itself. Carter’s journey reveals the entangling of all aspects of existence under the figure of Yog-Sothoth, the “All-in-One and One-in-All of limitless being and self – not merely a thing of one Space-Time continuum, but allied to the ultimate animating essence of existence’s whole unbound sweep…”

This description perfectly captures Deleuze and Guattari’s plane of consistency, the phase-space of unformed matter that gets captured by the double pincers and stratified – and it is this short story that is quoted at the end of “The Geology of Morals” to describe Professor Challenger’s own voyage of absolute deterritorialization, the schizophrenizing flight beyond stratification:

Challenger, or what remained of him, slowly hurried towards the plane of consistency, following a bizarre trajectory with nothing relative left about it. He tried to slip into an assemblage serving as a drum-gate, the particle Clock with its intensive clicking and conjugated rhythms hammering out the absolute: “The figure slumped oddly into a posture scarcely human, and began a curious, fascinated shuffle toward the coffin-shaped clock…. The figure had now reached the abnormal clock, and the watchers saw through the dense fumes a blurred black claw fumbling with the tall, hieroglyphed door. The fumbling made a queer, clicking sound. Then the figure entered the coffin-shaped case and pulled the door shut after it… the abnormal clicking went on, beating out the dark, cosmic rhythm which underlies all mystical gate openings” – the Mechanosphere, or rhizosphere.

There are further connections to be probed here that go beyond Deleuze and Guattari and towards the temporal digrammatics of the numogram. As Nick Land has pointed out, 207/Silver Key can be linked to the Time-Circuit or “rotating sector” of the numogram:

81 + 72 + 54 = 207

This corresponds to the three syzygies of the Rotating Sector:

  • 8:1, associated with the “dream serpent” MurMur, the “Syzygetic Chronodemon of the Deep Ones”
  • 7:2, associated with Oddubb, the “Syzgygetic Chronodemon of Swamp-Labyrinths (and blind-doubles)” [and thus the double-bind]
  • 5:4, associated with Katak, the “Syzygetic Chronodemon of Cataclysmic Convergence”

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In this schema, 8:1/MurMur, 7:3/Oddubb, and 5:4/Katak correspond to the past, present, and future, respectively, with the past and future bending and locking into a cyclical movement via the process of ‘cataclysmic convergence’. [CONVERGENCE = 210 = INITIATION]

In keeping with the initiatory voyage of Randolph Carter into the transcendental ur-space of Yog-Sothoth and Deleuze and Guattari’s reworking of Lovecraft’s story into the tale of Professor Challenger’s absolute deterritorialization to the plane of consistency, the Silver Key would lead away from the cyclical nature of the Rotating Specter, something that would open the gate towards outer time (and thus correspond to Deleuze’s own interest in timeless time, or time/memory liberated from the constraints of coding and territorialization).


In their utilization of Lovecraft, Deleuze and Guattari describe the operations of the ‘mystical gate’ opening onto/into the Mechanosphere, or Rhizosphere. Elsewhere in A Thousand Plateaus, the Mechanosphere is invoked in relation to a particular historical age – namely, our current age, the ‘age of the Machine’ (see Era-Mapping as well as Killing Art). The processes described in the following passage bring us immediately back to the concerns in “The Geology of Morals” and the “Apparatus of Capture”:

The molecular material has become so deterritorialized that we can no longer even speak of matters of expression, as we did in romantic territoriality. Matters of expression are superseded by a material of capture. The forces to be captured are no longer those of the earth, which still constitute a great expressive Form, but the forces of an immaterial, nonformal, and energetic cosmos… When forces become necessarily cosmic, material becomes necessarily molecular, with enormous force operating in an infinitesimal space. The problem is no longer that of the beginning, any more than it is that of foundation-ground. It is now a problem of consistency, or consolidation: how to consolidate the material, make it consistent, so that it can harness unthinkable, invisible, nonsonorous forces… Let us recall Nietzsche’s idea of the eternal return as a little ditty, a refrain, but which captures the mute and unthinkable forces of the Cosmos. We thus leave behind the assemblages to enter the age of the Machine, the immense mechanosphere, the plane of cosmicization of forces to be harnessed. [emphasis in original]

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It was perhaps that which certain cults have whispered of as YOG-SOTHOTH, and which has been a deity under other names; that which the crustaceans of Yoggoth worship as the Beyond-One, and which the vaporous brains of the spiral nebula know by an Untranslateable Sign – Lovecraft, “Through the Gates of the Silver Key”

Bateson Bits

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-From “Toward a Theory of Schizophrenia”, in Steps to an Ecology of Mind, p. 211-212

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-From Percival’s Narrative: A Patient’s Account of His Psychosis, p. xiii-xiv

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-From “The Logical Categories of Learning and Communication”, in Steps to an Ecology of Mind, p. 307