Volume 12, Issue 1, Spring 2008
Beyond the Master-Slave Dialectic, but at What Cost?
Deleuze suggests that his work grounds a new conception of the Other - the Other as expression of a possible world, as a structure that precedes any subsequent dialectical mediation, including the master-slave dialectic of social relations. I will argue, however, that the ethico-political injunction that Deleuze derives from his analysis of the ‘other-structure’ confronts a different problem. It commits Deleuze to either tacitly prescribing a romantic morality of difference that valorizes expressive encounters without ‘relations of explication’ and any kind of pre-understanding (embodied or otherwise), or his continual flirtations with a mystical ‘going beyond’ the other-structure must be more than mere flirtations.