Deleuze sought to unearth the presuppositions he absorbed in his education; chief among them, he felt, was a deep-seated privilege of identity over difference. Deleuze thus set about trying to accelerate however he could a departure from Hegel, whom he saw as emblematic of that privilege. Deleuze attacks Hegel and others in what we can call—though Deleuze did not—the “identitarian” tradition first of all by means of a radicalized reading of Kant, whose genius, as Deleuze explains in Kant's Critical Philosophy (1963), was to have conceived of a purely immanent critique of reason—a critique that did not seek “errors” of reason produced by external causes, but rather “illusions” that arise from within reason itself by the illegitimate (transcendent) uses of the syntheses of consciousness. Deleuze characterized his own work as a philosophy of immanence, arguing that Kant himself had failed to realize fully the ambitions of his critique, for at least two reasons: first, the failure to pursue a fully immanent critique, and second, the failure to propose a genetic account of real experience, resting content with the account of the conditions of possible experience.
The capitalist machine does not run the risk of becoming mad, it is mad from one end to the other and from the beginning, and this is the source of its rationality. Marx’s black humor…is his fascination with such a machine: how it came to be assembled, on what foundation of decoding and deterritorialization; how it works, always more decoded, always more deterritorialized…; how it produces the terrible single class of gray gentlemen who keep up the machine; how it does not run the risk of dying all alone, but rather of making us die, by provoking investments of desire that do not even go by way of a deceptive and subjective ideology, and that lead us to cry out to the very end, Long live capital in all its reality, in all its objective dissimulation! Except in ideology, there has never been a humane, liberal, paternal, etc., capitalism. Capitalism is defined by…cruelty….Wage increases and improvements in the standard of living are realities, but realities that derive from a given supplementary axiom that capitalism is always capable of adding to its axiomatic in terms of an enlargement of its limits: let’s create the New Deal; let’s cultivate and recognize strong unions; let’s promote participation, the single class; let’s take a step toward Russia, which is taking so many toward us; etc. But within the enlarged reality that conditions these islands, exploitation grows constantly harsher, lack is arranged in the most scientific of ways, final solutions of the “Jewish problem” variety are prepared down to the last detail, and the Third World is organized as an integral part of capitalism.
All the cynical tactics of bad conscience…arrive at a definition of civilized European man: the hypnosis and the reign of images, the torpor they spread; the hatred of life and of all that is free, of all that passes and flows; the universal effusion of the death instinct; depression and guilt used as a means of contagion, the kiss of the Vampire: aren’t you ashamed to be happy? follow my eample, I won’t let go before you say, “It’s my fault,” O ignoble contagion of the depressives, neurosis as the only illness consisting in making others ill; the permissive structure: let me deceive, rob, slaughter kill! but in the name of the social order, and so daddy-mommy will be proud of me; the double direction given to ressentiment, the turning back against oneself, and the projection against the Other: the father is dead, it’s my fault, who killed him? it’s your fault, it’s the Jews, the Arabs, the Chinese, all the resources of racism and segregation; the abject desire to be loved, the whimpering at not being loved enough, at not being “understood,” concurrent with the reduction of sexuality to the “dirty little secret,” this whole priest’s psychology – there is not a single one of these that does not find in Oedipus its land of milk and honey, its a good provider.