Tag: Politics

The Political Party: When Politics Are Depoliticizing

So long as we operate on the premise of an abstract and immanentist national unity, political parties and the false economies upon which they operate will thrive. It is finally election day in the US and soon the drawn out, often intolerable, play of American electoral politics will come to a close. One of the…

SYRIZA Wins: Reflections While the Tide is Turning

For any new radical politics the future lasts a long time. There is a war between the ones who say there is a war and the ones who say there isn’t. ∼ Leonard Cohen It is probably uncontroversial to argue that the Greek elections of the 25th January will be remembered as one of the most…

(K)not Politics: Thoughts on Ukraine and Protest

The people in Maidan, without a clearly articulated leader, without a clear aim and vision of the future, are the exscription of politics. The events in Ukraine have caused many to wonder what sparked the protests in November and why things unfolded into such violence this February. How do we understand European and Russian interest…

The Encrypted Constitution: A New Paradigm of Oppression

Encryption

The key to power as domination in our pseudo-democratic, globalized world is its encryption. Our task is to develop strategies for its decryption. Ever since judicial supremacy was affirmed in Marbury v Madison [5 US 137 (1803)], the political content of US-inspired constitutions has been compressed and turned into purely techno-legal content (ordinary law). What…

Democracy or Capitalism?

The relation between democracy and capital has always been a tense one, of even total contradiction. Capitalism only feels safe it is ruled by whoever owns capital or identifies with its needs, whereas democracy, on the contrary, is the rule of the majorities who have neither capital nor reasons to identify with the needs of…

Politics and the Political: Notes On the Thought of Jean-Luc Nancy

In 2003 Nancy gave a brief, basic philosophical radio talk in which he discussed the question of politics and the political. Reprising his early work with Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe at the Centre de Recherches Philosophiques sur la Politique (the Centre for Philosophical Research on the Political), he explained that excessive use is often made of the…

Owning Up: Academic Responsibility in a Polarised Political Landscape

A Sigh of Relief There was a sigh of relief when, after a farcical legal process, befitting an Ally McBeal-type scenario of the bizarre and surreal, Wilders (the anti-Islam/Muslim politician) was acquitted from incitement to hatred and criminal insult. The acquittal had been pushed for right from the moment the Court of Appeal had ordered…

The Eclipse of Politics (4 of 4): Theory in Bits and Pieces

The eclipse of strategic reason should logically be paired with the return in full force of speculative philosophy, reinvested with a protruding mission—or one of surveillance— to police “any instance of abuse of power on the part of political rationality.” Contrary to its heralded decline, this resurrection conferred on the resuscitated philosophy a “very promising…

The Eclipse of Politics (3 of 4): Strategy Degree Zero

The Deleuzean opposition between the molecular and the molar, between flux and state-coding, were coeval with the liberal turn of deregulations and promised to lead the great capitalist decoding and the market deterritorialization to their ultimate consequences. “But which revolutionary path should one choose? Is there one? To retreat from the global market in an…

The Eclipse of Politics (1 of 4): Intro

Translator’s note: “The Eclipse of Politics” is the fourth chapter of Daniel Bensaid’s Eloge de la politique profane (Albin Michel, 2008) (tr: In Praise of Secular Politics). In this chapter, the author situates the most prominent discourses of the event, as developed by Foucault, Deleuze and Guattari among others, in the political context of the…

Constitutional Politics & Capital

Colombia’s 1991 constitution is seen by many as the threshold of an intense political process that has arrived at a set of revolutions in Bolivia, Ecuador, Venezuela and now, maybe, Peru. Furthermore, in the midst of a horrible conflict, Mexico is looking to a Colombian-style constitutional assembly to overcome the bloodshed its people have suffered.…

The pillars of ignorance

Deleuze told us that for something to constitute an event, it must go all the way down. The death of the News of the World (soon to be resurrected as the undead Sun on Sunday) is not an event of itself, though it does constitute the sign of an event. This event, however, is not…

For a Humanities of Resistance

I first realised that there is something strange about the term ‘Humanities’ when as the Director of my University’s Humanities Institute I participated at a meeting to set up a European Consortium of Humanities Centres. Except for the host centre in Utrecht and mine no other participating European University had a Humanities Institute.  The other…

The End of Politics and the Defence of Democracy

In this month of the ‘Greek passion’ one thing is certain. The country will never be the same again. But while the commentators, academics and ‘experts’ discuss endlessly the economic crisis, the deep political malaise has gone unnoticed. The three ‘waves’ of ‘stability’ measures have befallen Greece like an evil tsunami which will turn the…

Hard Lessons From The Hard Right

When the British National Party finally managed two successes in the June 2009 European Elections, the mainstream media reaction was one of astonishment followed by intense curiosity and soul searching. This was a UK version of the 2002 success of the Front National in France, when Jean-Marie Le Pen managed to get through the first round…

The Politics of the Nomad

At a time when the end of History and the rise of Empire have been proclaimed, as borders lose their significance and cultural specificity increasingly gives way to the grim homogeneity bequeathed by capital, we are bizarrely told that we should feel at home. The reduction of differences and the championing of plenitude and entitlement…