This piece by Sean Kelly in the NY Times is useful for those, like me this week, attempting to explain the task of politics, for Nancy and others, after the “death of God.” This will help for certain undergraduate classes, especially if one likes teaching Melville.
Here. He writes:
In general, much of this discussion of sovereignty, as it’s been framed after Agamben has been, at least for me, has been conceptually suffocating. Too much sovereignty and theology, as if there weren’t other important problems lurking behind the sovereign. Elden, to his credit, avoids this kind of talk.
The last line here is hilarious, though it’s a bit of a in joke for those who were at the RPA:
I would suggest, for a reader with a background in philosophy, that you start with the fifth chapter, “Territorial Integrity and Contingent Sovereignty,” to get the historical background on the problems raised by Elden’s analysis, and then return to the start. You might also find the first chapter, analyzing the rhetoric of the Bush adminstration and other neo-cons a bit too historically close to home, for we are familiar with much of the details (though it’s there to contrast with the territorial strategies of Islamism). However, historians and geographers will one day need to see what progressive thinkers thought about such rhetoric–and for those of you familiar with one of the talks at the RPA–it’s better Elden than Bob Woodward.
Suzanne Moore’s piece in the Guardian hits the right notes in a number of places concerning the student protests in the UK, not least that these so-called anarchists wants access to government institutions.
It is providing a brilliant political education. It is a great thing to work with others for the public good, to feel your own power and know its limitations. Collective action is shot through with adrenalin. It is the province of the young. For what pray, is the province of the old? Limp lobbying and the absolute resignation that nothing can be done? That the public can go hang because privately we can all scrape through?
A line is being drawn. Romantically, it may be a coalition of resistance. Even if it’s not, I do not understand why we don’t support young people. Have we all been psychically kettled? Something has gone very wrong when pragmatic realism produces the Cable compromise: not voting for a policy you are in charge of. If this is grown-up politics, then we all need to get down with the youth.
Via Brad Delong, here is the article in full:
See here, which is a link to a PDF article and starts with this quotation from Derrida’s Postcards:
They have signed our I.O.U. and we can no longer not acknowledge it.Any more than our own children. This is what tradition is, that drives you crazy. People have not the slightest idea of this, they have no need to know that they are paying (automatic withdrawal) nor whom they are paying… when they do anything whatsoever, make war or love, speculate on the energy crisis,construct socialism, write novels, open concentration camps for poets or homosexuals, buy bread or hijack a plane, have themselves elected by secret ballot, bury their own, criticize the media without rhyme or reason, say absolutely anything about chador or the ayatollah, dream of a great safari, found reviews, teach, or piss against a tree… This story, the trap of who signs an I.O.U. for the other such that the other finds himself engaged before having known a thing about it, even before having opened his eyes, this children’s story is a love story and is ours—if you still want it. From the very first light of dawn.
Derrida, ‘Envois’, 10th September 19771
He’s been updating his site frequently on the various papers at the Claremont conference.
The Revolution of Time and the Time of Revolution
The 25th – 26th of March, 2011
Keynote Speaker: Dr. Peter Gratton, Assistant Professor of Philosophy
University of San Diego, CA
What sense of time is produced through radical politics? Is the understanding of time as future part of a radical imagination? If the commitment to radical social change involves looking forward into the future, will that leave us with a sense of futurity that depends on the linearity of yesterday, today, and tomorrow?
To interrogate the emergence of radical creations and socialities, we welcome submissions that theorize time as it relates broadly to politics, cultural conflicts, alternative imaginaries, and resistant practices. Time has historically been thought and inhabited through a variety of frameworks and styles of being. At times the present repeats or seems to repeat the past. There are actions that seem to take place outside of time, to be infinite or instantaneous. Theories of emergence view time as folding in on itself. Indigenous cosmologies and Buddhist philosophers put forward the possibility of no-time or of circular and cyclical time.
The radical question of time is one around which the work of many scholars has revolved: Derrida on the to-come [a-venir] of democracy, Negri’s work on kairos, Agamben on kairology, Santos on the expansive notion of the present, Deleuze and Guattari on becoming. This heterological list is far from exhaustive, while hinting at the depth of the theme that our conference cultivates. A central political concern, time invokes our most careful attention and the PIC conference provides the setting for this endeavor. We must find the time for time.
At its core, this conference seeks to explore the relationship between time and revolution. Time here may mean not just simple clock and calendar time but rather a way of seeing time as part of a material thread that can go this way and that, weaving together the fabric of political projects producing the world otherwise. Ultimately, the question of time fosters a critical engagement with potentiality, potency, and power; as well as with the virtual and the actual, of the to be and the always already.
We seek papers, projects, and performances that add to the knowledge of time and revolution, but also ones that clear the way for new thinking, new alliances, new beings.
Some possible topics might include:
• Radical notions of futurity, historicity, or the expansive present.
• Conceptions on the right moment of action.
• The political reality of time as stasis or cyclical.
• The colonial creation of universal time, and decolonial cosmologies of time.
• Work on thinkers of time and revolution.
• Work on potentiality, the virtual, and the actual.
• Capital and labor time.
In keeping with the interdisciplinary emphasis of Binghamton University’s Program in Philosophy, Interpretation and Culture, we seek work that flourishes in the conjunction of multiple frames of epistemological inquiry, from fields including, but not limited to: postcolonial studies, decolonial studies, queer and gender studies, ethnic studies, media and visual culture studies, urban studies, science and technology studies, critical theory, critical animal studies, continental philosophy, and historiography.
Workers/writers/thinkers of all different disciplinary, inter-disciplinary, and non-disciplinary stripes welcome, whether academically affiliated or not. Submissions may be textual, performative, visual.
Abstracts of 500 words maximum due by Feburary 1, 2011. In a separate paragraph state your name, address, telephone number, email and organizational or institutional affiliation, if any.
Email proposals to: email@example.com with a cc: to firstname.lastname@example.org
Or by surface mail to: Cecile Lawrence, 14 Alpine Drive, Apalachin, NY 13732
Emailed submissions strongly preferred.