EXCERPTS

from A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia
Deleuze and Guattari

R H I Z O M E

One becomes two: whenever we encounter this formula…what we have before us is the most classical and well reflected, oldest, and weariest kind of thought. Nature doesn't work that way: in nature, roots are taproots with a more multiple, lateral, and circular system of ramification, rather than a dichotomous one.

Binary logic is the spiritual reality of the root-tree…and thus remains wedded to classical reflection.

Joyce's words, accurately described as having "multiple roots", shatter the linear unity of the word, even of language…The world has lost its pivot; the subject can no longer even dichotomize.

A system of this kind could be called a rhizome. A rhizome as subterranean stem is absolutely different from roots and radicals…any point on a rhizome can be connected to anything other and must be. This is very different from the tree or root, which plots a point, fixes an order.

A rhizome ceaselessly establishes connections between semiotic chains, organisations of power, and circumstances relative to the arts, sciences, and social struggles.

Multiplicities are rhizomatic…A multiplicity has neither subject nor object

All of tree logic is a logic of tracing and reproduction. The rhizome is altogether different, a map and not a tracing. The map is open and connectable on all of its dimensions; it is detachable, reversible, susceptible to constant modification…Perhaps one of the most important characteristics of the rhizome is that it always has multiple entryways

We're tired of trees. We should stop believing in trees, roots and radicles. They've made us suffer too much.

Many people have a tree growing in their heads, but the brain itself is much more a grass than a tree.

The tree and root inspire a sad image of thought that is forever imitating the multiple on the basis of a centered or segmented higher unity…To these centred systems, the authors contrast acentered systems…in which communication runs from any neighbour to any other, the stems or channels do not preexist, and all individuals are interchangeable…without a central agency.

It is odd how the tree has dominated Western reality and all of Western thought…

Does not the East …offer something like a rhizomatic model opposed in every respect to the Western model of the tree?

Buddha's tree itself becomes a rhizome

Let us summarize the principle characteristics of a rhizome: unlike trees or their roots, the rhizome connects any point to any other point…It has neither beginning nor end. In contrast to centered systems with hierarchical modes of communication and reestablished paths, the rhizome is an acentered, nonhierarchical, nonsignifying system without a General…

The tree imposes the verb "to be," but the fabric of the rhizome is the conjunction, "and…and…and…" This conjunction carries enough force to shake and uproot the verb "to be". Where are you going? Where are you coming from? What are you heading for? These are totally useless questions - all imply a false conception of voyage and movement….[We should] have another way of traveling and moving:…coming and going rather than starting and finishing.