§0. Deleuze-as-Orientation:: Not even Soledad Brother begins at the beginning. It begins with George Jackson’s letters from 1964 onward, when Jackson had already been in prison for three years after being convicted of armed robbery of a gas station for a scant $70 for a term of one-year-to-life. But even before that it begins with a long letter in the form of an unofficial biography Jackson wrote in 1970. There is no one point-of-entry into Soledad Brother, and, following Michelle Koerner’s “Line of Escape: Gilles Deleuze’s Encounter with George Jackson” (2011), I take Deleuze as mine. From 1970 on, Jackson appears and re-appears in Deleuze and Deleuze-Guattari’s (D+G’s) work as an anti-statist thinker of escape – most often through Deleuze invoking Jackson’s line ‘I may take flight, but all the while I am fleeing, I will be looking for a weapon!’ I take this as an opportunity to engage with Jackson as a philosophical thinker in his own right, though not on the terms of what Deleuze calls the classical-philosophical image of thought. Jackson’s writing remains unrecognizable as philosophical according to certain pillars of the philosophical tradition – viz., the tradition which consists in positing the end of inquiry as truth, the problem of inquiry as falsity, and the means to achieve truth as rigorous method.  Jackson eludes the classical-philosophical image of thought because he substitutes the end of truth with that of revolution, the problem of falsity with the problem of becoming reactionary, the insistence on method with the implementation of militant training-programs. Furthermore, for Jackson, like D+G, thinking begins not with a voluntary selection of philosophical problems, but with an involuntary encounter that provokes a response.  My point-of-entry, from Koerner: “Jackson’s letters repeatedly confront us with an image of thought on the run.” Yet, there’s always the risk of reducing Jackson to a mere moment of Deleuze, which would repeat the philosophical misrecognition of Jackson on new terms. Instead, I aspire to practice Deleuze-Mascolo’s communism of thought – making a friend an internal condition of thought without thereby reducing them to a mere moment of your own. For this first piece, I focus only on Deleuze’s reception of Jackson, who proves crucial for Deleuze’s development of a concept of revolution.
§1. Lines-of-flight:: To borrow a Deleuzian compliment – Jackson’s thought is a whirlwind at your back. There’s no question of leaving someone behind, however, for two reasons, two brilliant insights into the nature of any real escape. Jackson tells us (1) we cannot escape alone but only together, (2) true escape cannot rely on trapping others. This is what it means for escape to be revolutionary in character:
Good people say that we must not flee, that to escape is not good, that it isn’t effective, and that one must work for reforms. But the revolutionary knows that escape is revolutionary—withdrawal, freaks—provided one sweeps away the social cover on leaving, or causes a piece of the system to get lost in the shuffle. What matters is to break through the wall […] George Jackson. ‘I may take flight, but all the while I am fleeing, I will be looking for a weapon!’ – Deleuze-Guattari, Anti-Oedipus (277)
This escape-which-is-not-escapism, or the line of flight, is destructive to the status quo but constructive of alternatives to it.  To this active escape of Jackson’s, Deleuze opposes “other escapes that are capitalist or personal, etc.” – namely, escapes which are just escapism, leaving the status quo intact and offering no alternatives. It is only when lines of flight are made to connect up with one another that they do so on a revolutionary plane.  Revolution is irreducibly social, but it is also an problem of desire.
§2. Functionalism of Desire:: The problem: distinguishing between reactionary and revolutionary libidinal investments. To make this distinction, D+G argue we have to treat desire as machinic – that is, to treat desire “as if desire had nothing to say.” It is no longer an issue of asking “what [desire] means, but how it works, how it functions.”  For D+G, any critic of extending ‘production’ to processes excessive to human intentional agency is only a rank humanist upset that things continue to function when people aren’t around to participate and approve. (It would be under the banner of ‘eliminating anthropocentrism’ that the humanist would secure the centrality of intentional human agency to any conception of world…) If desire is productive of the real, it is because desire is production itself. D+G define desire as “the passive synthesis” of the real and the “autoproduction of the unconscious.”  Nonetheless, the human subject is no mere illusion. “[B]etween the act of producing and the product,” D+G write, “something becomes detached.” The subject is the residuum of the passage from the act of producing and the product. Start anywhere you like, you’ll always find yourself in the midst of a process of production that you must understand as antecedent to your arrival. For D+G, the human subject serves as a mediator between the act of producing and the product – what Deleuze will elsewhere call an “interceptor” between flows (of matter) and the objects produced through the interceptor cutting-up, redirecting these flows through codes for behavior. 
§3. Desiring-production and Social production:: The relevance of desiring-production to revolution: desiring-production, “under determinate conditions,” is social production. D+G: “We maintain that the social field is immediately invested by desire […] There is only desire and the social, and nothing else.”  The relation between desiring-production and social production can be read in either direction – from the society as a functional whole (or social machine) to the elementary forces of desiring-production that comprise it; from the desiring-machines making certain social investments (and divesting themselves from others) to the social formation that results from these investments.  Therefore (see Spinoza+Reich), “even the most repressive and the most deadly forms of social reproduction are produced by desire” – that is, given certain determinate conditions. But how is it that the masses want even fascism?  Between desiring-production and social production, D+G introduce another mediator – group fantasy, which mediates subjects’ libidinal investments into the social field according to a collective aspiration. However, “fantasy is never individual,” since fantasy is a regulative social device used to direct subjects toward certain investments in the social and away from others, given what is/is not perceived to be conducive for the achievement of political ends specified by the collective aspiration.  Neither are fantasies “ideal models,” since the function of fantasies is not to provide an image of a society to collapse social reality into (i.e., not to provide an image with which we ought to bring social reality into 1:1 correspondence). Fantasies, too, are fully functional.
§4. Reactionary Investment and Revolutionary Investment::
A. Reactionary investment: libidinal investment mediated by a group fantasy which directs the libido towards total investment into “an existing social field, including [its] most repressive forms.” Reactionary investment reinforces the status quo.
B. Revolutionary investment: a “counter-investment whereby […] desire is plugged into the existing social field [only] as a source of energy.”  Revolutionary investment undermines the status quo.
By way of example, D+G offer up “the great socialist utopias of the nineteenth century,” which function “as agents of the real productivity of desire, making it possible to disinvest the current social field, to “deinstitutionalize” it, to further the revolutionary institution of desire itself.”  Here, Deleuze returns to Jackson, in what is his most extensive engagement with Soledad Brother beyond the refrain quoted above, distinguishing between two mothers:
This classic mother here, is […] acting in such a way that she transmits a certain type of libidinal investment of the social field, namely the type that marries well, he makes love, and this in the strictest sense of the term, with something through his wife, unconsciously, with a certain number of economic, political, social processes, and that love has always been a means through which the libido attains something other than the beloved person, namely a whole cutting up of the historical social field, ultimately we always make love with the names of history. The other mother (of Jackson)–the one who says “grab your gun,” it follows that the two act as agents of transmission in a certain type of social-historical investment, that from one to the other the pole of these investments has singularly changed, that in one case, we can say that they are reactionary investments, at the limit fascist, in the other case, it is a revolutionary libidinal investment. Our loves are like the conduits and the pathways of these investments that are not, once again, of a familial nature, but of a historico-political nature […] 
Throughout Jackson’s writing, we find him locked in a struggle against transmission-relays (mediators/interceptors) – parents, teachers, priests – directing him toward reactionary libidinal investment into the status quo. Jackson’s insight is that these transmission-relays can only direct him toward reactionary investments insofar as they obscure the properly social-historical-political effect of his desire. Jackson refuses the privatization of his desire because he recognizes the objective effect of subjective emphasis on personal well-being and private (read: familial/oedipal) couplings-off – namely, preservation of the status quo in all of its respects, even and especially the repressive. Revolutionary investment, for both D+G and Jackson, is a de-personalization/dis-individualization of our desire.
To be continued…
 See Bennett’s Deleuze and Greek Physics: The Image of Nature (2017): “Western philosophy, since at least Plato, Deleuze claims, has been bound by a traditional, classical image of thought. In Difference and Repetition, he articulates eight postulates, which “crush thought under an image which is that of the Same and the Similar in representation, [and] profoundly betrays what it means to think” (DR 167). Elsewhere he boils it down to three interrelated beliefs:
- We are told that the thinker as thinker wants and loves truth … that thought as thought possesses or formally contains truth … that thinking is the natural exercise of a faculty …
- We are also told that we are “diverted” from the truth but by forces which are foreign to it (body, passions, sensuous interests). …
- We are told, finally, that all we need to think well, to think truthfully, is a method … through which we adhere to this nature [of thought] and ward o the effect of the alien forces which alter it and distract us. (NP 96–7)
That is, the dogmatic image consists in the assumption that everybody already knows what it means to think, and that thinking means voluntarily divesting oneself of presuppositions and physical distractions in order to pursue the truth consistently with one’s nature as a thinker.” (2-3)
 Under the asupices of the dogmatic image of thought, thinking has to begin with a voluntary selection of problems according to whether these problems are recognized as appropriately philosophical. For Deleuze, however, thinking has to be “not a voluntary and natural exercise but a response to encounters with external forces” (Bennett 2017, 3). This sort of encounter – with “the strange, unprecedented, and unrecognized” (Ibid.)
 See Koerner’s “Line of Escape: Gilles Deleuze’s Encounter with George Jackson” (2011)
 See Deleuze’s “Five Propositions on Psychoanalysis” from Desert Islands (2004): “Revolutionary forgetting can be tied to another common theme, that of an active escape that is itself opposed to a passive escape of an entirely different kind. When, for example, Jackson, in his prison, says, “yes, I can very well escape, but during my escape, I’m looking for a weapon,” this is active revolutionary escape as opposed to other escapes that are capitalist or personal, etc.”
See Deleuze’s “On Capitalism and Desire” also from Desert Islands (2004): “This is precisely the problem facing marginal groups: to make all the lines of escape connect up on a revolutionary plane. In capital ism, then, these lines of escape take on a new character, and a new kind of revolutionary potential. So, you see, there is hope.”
 See Deleuze’s “Your Special ‘Desiring-Machines’: What are They?” from Desert Islands (2004): “Today we are calling for the rights of a new functionalism: no longer what it means, but how it works, how it functions. As if desire had nothing to say, but rather was the assemblage of tiny machines, desiring-machines, always in a particular relation with the big social machines and the technological machines.”
 See Deleuze-Guattari’s Anti-Oedipus (1972): “If desire produces, its product is real. If desire is productive, it can be productive only in the real world and can produce only reality. Desire is the set of passive syntheses that engineer partial objects, flows, and bodies, and that function as units of production. The real is the end product, the result of the passive syntheses of desire as autoproduction of the unconscious. Desire does not lack anything; it does not lack its object. It is, rather, the subject that is missing in desire, or desire that lacks a fixed subject; there is no fixed subject unless there is repression. Desire and its object are one and the same thing: the machine, as a machine of a machine. Desire is a machine, and the object of desire is another machine connected to it. Hence the product is something removed or deducted from the process of producing: between the act of producing and the product, something becomes detached, thus giving the vagabond, nomad subject a residuum.” (26)
 D+G’s Anti-Oedipus: “The truth of the matter is that social production is purely and simply desiring-production itself under determinate conditions. We maintain that the social field is immediately invested by desire, that it is the historically determined product of desire, and that libido has no need of any mediation or sublimation, any psychic operation, any transformation, in order to invade and invest the productive forces and the relations of production. There is only desire and the social, and nothing else.” (29)
 Ibid.: “And if there is such a thing as two sorts of group fantasy, it is because two different readings of this identity are possible, depending upon whether the desiring-machines are regarded from the point of view of the great gregarious masses that they form, or whether social machines are considered from the point of view of the elementary forces of desire that serve as a basis for them” (30)
 Ibid.: “Even the most repressive and the most deadly forms of social reproduction are produced by desire within the organization that is the consequence of such production under various conditions that we must analyze. That is why the fundamental problem of political philosophy is still precisely the one that Spinoza saw so clearly, and that Wilhelm Reich rediscovered: “Why do men fight for their servitude as stubbornly as though it were their salvation?” How can people possibly reach the point of shouting: “More taxes! Less bread!”? […] no, the masses were not innocent dupes; at a certain point, under a certain set of conditions, they wanted fascism, and it is this perversion of the desire of the masses that needs to be accounted for.” (29)
 Ibid.: “It is not possible to attribute a special form of existence to desire, a mental or psychic reality that is presumably different from the material reality of social production. Desiring-machines are not fantasy-machines or dream-machines, which supposedly can be distinguished from technical and social machines. Rather, fantasies are secondary expressions, deriving from the identical nature of the two sorts of machines in any given set of circumstances. Thus fantasy is never individual: it is group fantasy—as institutional analysis+ has successfully demonstrated. And if there is such a thing as two sorts of group fantasy, it is because two different readings of this identity are possible, depending upon whether the desiring-machines are regarded from the point of view of the great gregarious masses that they form, or whether social machines are considered from the point of view of the elementary forces of desire that serve as a basis for them.” (30)
 Ibid.: “Hence in group fantasy the libido may invest all of an existing social field, including the latter’s most repressive forms; or on the contrary, it may launch a counter-investment whereby revolutionary desire is plugged into the existing social field as a source of energy.” (30)
 Ibid: “(The great socialist Utopias of the nineteenth century function, for example, not as ideal models but as group fantasies—that is, as agents of the real productivity of desire, making it possible to disinvest the current social field, to “deinstitutionalize” it, to further the revolutionary institution of desire itself.” (30-31)