Chapter One The Confinement of the Social System
1.1Ammu’s Aphasia in Ipe Patriarchal Household
Deleuze divides the social machines in accordance with its social form into its counterpart: the primitive territorial machine, the barbarian despotic machine, and thecivilized capitalist machine, which Deleuze calls the “prime function” in his view.The “prime function” is an imaginary plane that normalizes the process of socialproduction by controlling and regulating the flows in society. Deleuze writes that:“the prime function incumbent upon the socius, has always been to codify the flowsof desire, to inscribe them, to record them, to see to it that no flow exists that is notproperty dammed up”(Anti-Oedipus 33). No matter in which social stage, in order topreserve interests and stability, the corresponding state machinery will alwaysexercise varying degrees of repression and control over the population in an attemptto tame it as the guardian of the power system. These three social machines coexistedin India after independence due to deep-rooted Hinduism, incomplete institutionalreforms, British intervention, and the onslaught of capitalist globalization.
The first category of the state machine is the “primitive territorial machine,”which uses the earth to manage human desires and the production of those desires.Following Deleuze, the primitive territorial machine is called “primitive” not only forthe reason that the primitive coding it implemented but also because it is thefoundation of human culture. It “takes tribes or families as connecting ties and limitsindividuals to families or in-laws” (Cui Zengbao 106). Throughout history, it is notdifficult to find that the presence of women embodies the characteristics of the“primitive territorial machine,” issued as part of the patriarchal power and as abargaining chip for the consolidation of family status and profit. As mentioned inAnti-Oedipus, “filiation is administrative and hierarchical, but the alliance is politicaland economic”(Deleuze 146).
1.2 Velutha’s Segregation in Kerala Caste System
India is a typical country where religion and caste prevail. Few countries in theworld attach more importance to religion and caste than India. Some even argue that“without religion and the caste system, there would be no history and society ofIndia” (Chen Fengjun 13). The caste system occupies a prominent position in India’straditional value system. After thousands of years of development, it has formed acomplete system that regulates social relations. “Society is based on the caste systemand consists of four levels, namely Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya, and Shudra”(WangShuying 36). Moreover, a closed circle is formed through stringent regulations on life,occupation, diet, and communication between different castes.
Dalit, otherwise recognized as “untouchable,” is subjected to variousdiscrimination in economic, political, religious, and social. In the past, Dalit had noright to touch anything else that was non-untouchable. They could not walk on theroad, get dressed, took an umbrella, and even had to cover their hands to avoidcontaminating the speakers. Their thorny situation and cruel treatment areunprecedented in other countries. Subsequently, British colonial rule brings aninevitable impact on the Indian caste system. Various caste groups in cities arebeginning to change their hereditary professions, making the policy of socialsegregation of Dalits untenable. Some of them join the Anglican church to enhancetheir status and enjoy certain rights and interests. However, after India’s independence,Britain exploits India’s entrenched caste system for its benefit, making the situation ofthe untouchables worse and worse. “Since times immemorial, they have beensuffe