An assemblage is any number of "things" or pieces of "things" gathered into a single context. An assemblage can bring about any number of "effects"—aesthetic, machinic, productive, destructive, consumptive, informatic, etc. Deleuze and Guattari's discussion of the book provides a number of insights into this loosely defined term:

In a book, as in all things, there are lines of articulation or segmentarity, strata and territories; but also lines of flight, movements of deterritorialization and destratification. Comparative rates of flow on these lines produce phenomena of relative slowness and viscosity, or, on the contrary, of acceleration and rupture. All this, lines and measurable speeds constitutes an assemblage. A book is an assemblage of this kind, and as such is unattributable. It is a multiplicity—but we don't know yet what the multiple entails when it is no longer attributed, that is, after it has been elevated to the status of the substantive. On side of a machinic assemblage faces the strata, which doubtless make it a kind of organism, or signifying totality, or determination attributable to a subject; it also has a side facing a body without organs, which is continually dismantling the organism, causing asignifying particles or pure intensities or circulate, and attributing to itself subjects what it leaves with nothing more than a name as the trace of an intensity... Literature is an assemblage. It has nothing to do with ideology. There is no ideology and never has been. (3-4)
The book, as described above, is a jumbling together of discrete parts or pieces that is capable of producing any number effects, rather than a tightly organized and coherent whole producing one dominant reading.

The beauty of the assemblage is that, since it lacks organization, it can draw into its body any number of disparate elements. The book itself can be an assemblage, but its status as an assemblage does not prevent it from containing assemblages within itself or entering into new assemblages with readers, libraries, bonfires, bookstores, etc.

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"Becoming-" is a process of change, flight, or movement within an assemblage. Rather than conceive of the pieces of an assemblage as an organic whole, within which the specific elements are held in place by the organization of a unity, the process of "becoming-" serves to account for relationships between the "discrete" elements of the assemblage. In "becoming-" one piece of the assemblage is drawn into the territory of another piece, changing its value as an element and bringing about a new unity. An example of this principle might be best illustrated in the way in which atoms are drawn into an assemblage with nearby atoms through affinities rather than an organizational purpose. The process is one of deterritorialization in which the properties of the constituent element disappear and are replaced by the new properties of the assemblage—"becomings-molecular of all kinds, becomings-particles" (D&G 272). The discussion of "little Hans" introduces the wide range of possible "becomings-":

Hans is also taken up in an assemblage: his mother's bed, the paternal element, the house, the cafe across the street, the nearby warehouse, the street, the right to go out onto the street, the winning of this right, the pride of winning it, but also the dangers of winning it, the fall, shame...These are not phantasies or subjective reveries: it is not a question of imitating a horse, "playing" horse, identifying with one, or even experiencing feelings of pity or sympathy. Neither does it have to do with an objective analogy between assemblages. The question is whether Little Hans can endow his own elements with the relations of movement and rest, the affects, that would make it become horse, forms and subjects aside. Is there an as yet unknown assemblage that would be neither Hans's nor the horse's, but that of the becoming-horse of Hans? An assemblage, for example in which the horse would bare its teeth and Hans might show something else, his feet, his legs, his peepee-maker, whatever? (D&G 257-58)
As Deleuze and Guattari explain, the process of "becoming-" is not one of imitation or analogy, it is generative of a new way of being that is a function of influences rather than resemblances. The process is one of removing the element from its original functions and bringing about new ones.

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The "Body without Organs" or BwO is a term Deleuze and Guattari have taken from Antonin Artaud which consists of an assemblage or body with no underlying organizational principles, and hence no organs within it. The BwO is a post-Enlightenment entity, a body but not an organism.

You never reach the Body without Organs, you can't reach it, you are forever attaining it, it is a limit. People ask, So what is this BwO?—But you're already on it, scurrying like a vermin, groping like a blind person, or running like a lunatic; desert traveler and nomad of the steppes. On it we sleep, live our waking lives, fight—fight and are fought—seek our place, experience untold happiness and fabulous defeats; on it we penetrate and are penetrated; on it we love...The BwO: it is already under way the moment the body has had enough of organs and wants to slough them off, or loses them. (D&G 150)
The Body without Organs is thus, as Deleuze and Guattari explain, also a "plane of consistency," which, concretely ties together heterogeneous or disparate elements" (507). In other words, the BwO provides the smooth space through which movement can occur. Rather than the unifying principles of a system of organization, the BwO's system of embodiment is constituted through principles of consolidation.

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"Nomadism" is a way of life that exists outside of the organizational "State." The nomadic way of life is characterized by movement across space which exists in sharp contrast to the rigid and static boundaries of the State. Deleuze and Guattari explain:

The nomad has a territory; he follows customary paths; he goes from one point to another; he is not ignorant of points (water points, dwelling points, assembly points, etc.). But the question is what in nomad life is a principle and what is only a consequence. To begin with, although the points determine paths, they are strictly subordinated to the paths they determine, the reverse happens with the sedentary. The water point is reached only in order to be left behind; every point is a relay and exists only as a relay. A path is always between two points, but the in-between has taken on all the consistency and enjoys both an autonomy and a direction of its own. The life of the nomad is the intermezzo. (380)
The nomad, is thus, a way of being in the middle or between points. It is characterized by movement and change, and is unfettered by systems of organization. The goal of the nomad is only to continue to move within the "intermezzo."

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"Rhizome: A prostrate or subterranean root-like stem emitting roots and usually producing leaves at its apex; a
—Oxford English Dictionary Online.

As a model for culture, the rhizome resists the organizational structure of the root-tree system which charts causality along chronological lines and looks for the originary source of "things" and looks towards the pinnacle or conclusion of those "things." "A rhizome, on the other hand, "ceaselessly established connections between semiotic chains, organizations of power, and circumstances relative to the arts, sciences, and social struggles" (D&G 7). Rather than narrativize history and culture, the rhizome presents history and culture as a map or wide array of attractions and influences with no specific origin or genesis, for a "rhizome has no beginning or end; it is always in the middle, between things, interbeing, intermezzo" (D&G 25). The planar movement of the rhizome resists chronology and organization, instead favoring a nomadic system of growth and propagation.

In this model, culture spreads like the surface of a body of water, spreading towards available spaces or trickling downwards towards new spaces through fissures and gaps, eroding what is in its way. The surface can be interrupted and moved, but these disturbances leave no trace, as the water is charged with pressure and potential to always seek its equilibrium, and thereby establish smooth space.

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"Smooth space" exists in contrast to "striated space"— a partitioned field of movement which prohibits free motion. Smooth space refers to an environment, a landscape (vast or microscopic) in which a subject operates. Deleuze and Guattari explain:

Smooth space is filled by events or haecceities, far more than by formed and perceived things. It is a space of affects, more than one of properties. It is haptic rather than optical perception. Whereas in striated forms organize a matter, in the smooth materials signal forces and serve as symptoms for them. It is an intensive rather than extensive space, one of distances, not of measures and properties. Intense Spatium instead of Extensio. A Body without Organs instead of an organism and organization. (479)

Conducive to rhizomatic growth and nomadic movement, smooth space consists of disorganized matter and tends to provoke a sensual or tactical response rather than a starkly rational method of operation or a planned trajectory.

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One of the fundamental tasks of the State is to striate the space over which it reigns, or to utilize smooth spaces as a means of communication in the service of striated space. It is a vital concern of every State not only to vanquish nomadism but to control migrations and more generally, to establish a zone of rights over an entire "exterior," over all flows traversing the ecumenon. If it can help it, the State does not dissociate itself from a process of capture of flows of all kinds, populations, commodities or commerce, money or capital, etc. There is still a need for fixed paths in well-defined directions, which restrict speed, regulate circulation, relativize movement, and measure in detail the relative movements of subjects and objects. (D+G 385-85)

In other words, "the State" operates through the capture of movement and the partition of space. Similarly, the State is also concerned with striating space or building into it a hierarchical system of relations which places the occupants of each strata at odds with those of other strata. As Deleuze and Guattari describe it, the State is concerned chiefly with creating structures or constructs through which lines of flight can be harnessed and controlled. The State, thus, harnesses energy by creating inequalities.

Interestingly, Deleuze and Guattari mention the necessity of "smooth space as a means of communication" in the service of the State. But, as information becomes more and more central to the economy and as the exploding telecommunications market becomes more central not only to the workings of capital, but to its very creation, it would seem that the organization of the State itself could be subject to disruption or deterritorialization. If the "striated space" that "smooth space" is enlisted to serve is itself being replaced by "smooth space" of an information-based economy, and freedom to navigate the channels of communication without inhibition becomes itself a commodity, then "the State" is in a precarious situation. The State must become nomadic, and subject itself to deterritorialization.

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The "War Machine" is a tool of the nomad through which capture can be avoided and smooth space preserved. Rather than the military (which is a State appropriation of the war machine), the war machine is a collection of nomad-warriors engaged in resistance to control, war being only a consequence—not the intended object. The military on the other hand, is an organization formed by the State formed specifically to wage wars and immobilize adversaries (which are determined by the State):

The question is therefore less the realization of war than the appropriation of the war machine. It is at the same time that the State apparatus appropriates the war machine, subordinates it to its "political" aims, and gives it war as its direct object. (D&G 420)
Unlike the military, the war machine is not influenced by the economic and political concerns of the State. The war machine is a "grass roots" affair which bubbles up from common concerns for freedom to move, and as a result it is part and parcel of nomadic life.

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