PIC: First Panel

Other Time: 9:00-10:20

“Toward PostModernity, or, the logic of silence in the absence of citation between Schmitt, Adorno, and Derrida”
– Lewis Levenberg, George Mason University


“Toward Post-Modernity, or, the logic of silence in the absence of citation between Schmitt, Adorno, and Derrida.”

This paper addresses interactions between the philosophies of Carl Schmitt (1888-1985), Theodor Adorno (1903-1969), and Jacques Derrida (1930-2004). It confronts a dearth of mutual citations or references between their works, and a lack of correspondence or meetings between them in each of their lifetimes. Through a detailed examination of that confrontation, it poses the question of a genealogy of thought that connects each of these three. Most importantly, it asks what that genealogy teaches us about the development of the idea of modernity, its limits, and what might succeed it. A radical break with modernity, placed variously according to human atrocity, political revolution, technological singularity, or some other criterion, bespeaks a generative paradox for contemporary thought. This paper plumbs the statements made by persistent silences.

[PG: This paper attempts to offer the linkages between and among the three authors mentioned. The time doesn’t allow much broaching of this, nor why one should look for this hidden tradition between and among them. Questions that rise: why the necessity of reading the “radicality” of Schmitt? Also, if Derrida is so influenced by Adorno, why so few mentions? (Derrida, after all, isn’t known for remaining silent about much of anything…)]

“(Dis)Abling Time: The Refusal of Work in Antonio Negri”

– Brad Kaye, Broome Community College

Abstract:  Antonio Negri points out in various places that within capitalism time must always be reducible to productivity. He therefore posits resistance to the most alienating forms of work by postulating the refusal of work (strikes, sabotage, direct action against the mode of production, etc.). My paper will attempt to appropriate the refusal of work as an empowering tactic for subjects labeled as (Dis) Abled, and/or Mad. (Dis)Abled bodies are typically deemed as such precisely because we exist outside the metrics of capitalist productive time. This is not an inherent flaw in the (Dis)Abled body, but rather shows the politics of exclusion that underpin capitalist work, where the assumption goes ‘time is money’. This paper will hopefully theorize unproductive time as resistance to real subsumption, but also that being unproductive can be empowering to marginal groups.  Negri points out that the refusal of work is neither utopian escapism, nor a quietist retreat into isolated consciousness, but rather a strategy to forge lasting class composition culminating in the positive development of communist collective modes of production.  The refusal of work is all about class-valorization, and the end of exploitation, but this starts with theorizing about the proper time to take action, that is deciding when capital is most vulnerable.  In turning to Antonio Negri’s The Time for Revolution, my goal is to think through the temporal dimensions of the antagonistic, differential social ground that capital produces, wherein the proletariat emerges as capitalism’s very own gravediggers. These gravediggers are not merely able-bodied workers, as Marx had envisioned, but may also include those who are also excluded from factory work, the Industrial Reserve Army and the Lumpenproletariat which can be made up of (Dis)Abled subjects as well.  Hence, in an omni-crisis, which is what Antonio Negri and Michael Hardt call the current phase of capitalist Empire, revolutionary subjectivity could emerge anywhere, and at any time. Therefore, in the current phase of capitalist exploitation, the time is always ripe for radical praxis.