Megamachines: From Mumford to Guattari | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 14, Issue 1-2
  • ISSN: 1539-7785
  • E-ISSN: 2048-0717



This article builds a resource base for an understanding of philosopher and analyst Félix Guattari’s urbanism. By reviewing his deployments of Lewis Mumford’s concept of megamachines, and detailing his rejection of humanism and positive assessments of human–machine entanglements, I show that Guattari’s sense of the urban is defined as a machine that produces different kinds of subjectivities within an animistic assemblage of built structures. Further cross-references are pursued between Mumford’s criticisms of Marshall McLuhan and Teilhard de Chardin, and the fertile technological overlap between McLuhan and Gilles Deleuze’s views of the screen in film and television. Guattari’s brand of post-humanism includes a recoded Mumfordian megamachine as a form of machinic enslavement that integrates humans–machines while downplaying the social dimension of subjugation.


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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): animism; enslavement; megamachines; post-media; screens; subjective city
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