molar / molecular

In mechanics, molar properties are those of a mass of matter, as opposed to its parts -- atoms or molecules.

For Deleuze and Guattari, molarity is the site of coded wholes. It is a productive process: a making-the-same. Its attractor state is that of stable equilibrium. It is the mode of being, rather than becoming.The principle revolutionary objective of their writing is to break down molar aggregates in favor of molecularity, and the "microphysics of desire." They call for becoming rather than being, for becoming-other rather than being the same. For them, becoming-other is thoroughly political.

The molar body is defined by its self-similarity accross its variations , or rather, its invariant self- identity . It seeks to make an either / or from the both / and. Oedipus, phallocentrism, and personhood are all molar wholes. Rhizome, pack, haecceity, singularity , event.. all are molecular.

"Becoming is an equilibrium-seeking system at a crisis point where it suddenly perceives a deterministic constraint, becomes " sensitive" to it, and is catapulted into a highly unstable supermolecular state enveloping a bifurcating future. " (Massumi, p.95)

"There is no becoming-man because man is the molar entity par excellence, whereas becomings are molecular...Man consitutes the majority, or rather the standard on which the majority is based: white, male, adult, 'rational,' etc., in short, the average European, the subject of enunciation. " (A thousand Plateaus, p 292) (see the critique of this concept in Elizabeth Grosz, Volatile Bodies, pp 173-183)

The BwO is a site of decoded flows. It opens a zone of indeterminacy, for imagination as a new circuit between the actual and the virtual, in the place of habit. Becoming bears on a population, even when it is initiated by a single body.