The paranoic machine repulses, the miraculating machines attracts and then there is a kind of reconciliation in the celibate machine. This dialectic of desiring machines locates the subject as “a mere residuum alongside the desiring-machines”, a situation where the subject “confuses himself with this third productive machine and with the residual reconciliation that it brings about” (AO: 19).
The “mere residuum” reading of the subject displaces the subject and at the same time makes the question of the constitution of the subject irrelevant. We will not need to have a process that is sufficient for subjectivity, one that can perhaps account for reflexivity, since the process that is the condition of the subject is a process entirely unconnected to the subject in any real form. The subject is simply a side effect, a “spare part” (AO :21). Neither lack nor presence is relevant in the model of the desiring machines. On the surface this model of the subject looks like a form of epiphenomenalism and presumably has the same problems that epiphenomenalism of the mind encounters.
Each machine produces and in the case of the celibate machine the answer to the question ‘what does it produce’ is cautiously (“would seem to be”) that the celibate machine produces “intensive quantities” (AO: 20). These intensive quantities (IQ) are something like the feelings of the organism, though the attachment implied in the use of possessive is problematic. To simply and unquestioningly allow the attachment of the feelings to the organism is ambiguous as it makes it seem like the feelings somehow stem from the organism when in fact the model is clearly suggesting that the organism stems from the feelings, at least in part. Deleuze and Guattari refer in the footnotes at this point to the work of W.R.Bion. They comment that Bion is the first to indicate the role of an ‘I feel’ but that he places it in the wrong level, as though he makes exactly this mistake of attaching the feelings to an organism rather than an organism to the feelings. The ‘I feel’ should perhaps be replaced if this is the case, ‘feels that’ maybe a better linguistic shorthand for the phenomena in question. Of course it is one thing to ask for a pause in our assumptions, a suspension of preconceptions, but quite another to conceive of what exactly might be meant by the idea or claim that somehow the organism is attached to some preexisting feelings. We will have to leave this problem for now until we move further into the book.