Some schizophrenic patients witness that they are being manipulated at a distance by a sophisticated machine or by evil-minded people using a machine. The question about the essence of such strange "machines" does have a long history, dating back to at least Viktor Tausk's essay on his patient Natalya A. The present paper aims at proposing a political interpretation of the existential situation of the schizophrenic subject facing this kind of delusions. In so doing, I examine how the precursory symptoms of the delusion have been described, starting with Clérambault's notion of "mental automatism," comparing it with the "anomalous self-experiences" recently analyzed by Parnas and his colleagues. This confrontation leads to an interpretation of the delusion in terms of an experience of powerlessness, constituting the core of the schizophrenic experience. The claim is then that the notion of the "machine" proposed by Deleuze and Guattari in the anti-Oedipus might help to shed light on this phenomenon.


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pp. 173-181
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