Nature is not natural and can never be naturalized — Graham Harman

Sunday, November 22, 2015

One Tactic in a Time of Terror: Think

Well, this is good isn't it? One of the best things you can do, ever, is decelerate. And this was Derrida's instruction to his graduate students. And now, thanks to smart people refusing to give up their minds, you can read this in a major French pop culture publication:

« La tolérance est d’abord une charité », précise d’emblée Derrida. A ce titre, la tolérance est toujours déjà de la côté du raison du plus fort et du côté de la souveraineté. La tolérance est « le bon visage de la souveraineté qui, depuis sa hauteur, signifie à l’autre : je te laisse vitre, tu n’est pas insupportable, je te laisse une place chez moi, mais ne l’oublie pas, je suis chez moi ». A l’inverse, et comme son pôle contraire, ce serait l’hospitalité qu’il faudrait appeler de ses vœux. Et l’auteur de rappeler que l’expression « seuil de tolérance », en France, a été employée afin de restreindre l’immigration par François Mitterand : à partir d’un certain « seuil » donc, l’assimilation ne pourrait se faire : la tolérance est une hospitalité conditionnelle et circonstanciée, en quelque sorte une permission accordée à l’autre de survivre.

Or l”hospitalité inconditionnelle est la condition éthique de toute politique, bien qu’elle ne puisse pas être politique elle-même, se révélant vite impossible à vivre et à organiser concrètement...   (Ingrid Luquet-Gad, Les Inrocks, November 21)

This is all about Derrida and Habermas talking about 9/11. There is a more than uncanny feeling of repetition right now. And somehow the acceleration of the internet is amplifying this.

One of the big problems with contemporary media space is that the oppressiveness of the social sphere and the instagram speed give you very little wiggle room. Philosophy gives you some wiggle room.

And...How extraordinary, I've been thinking about the exact same thing:

 Friend vs enemy gets us nowhere near where guest and host gets us. Carl Schmitt became this unquestioned font of wisdom about ten years ago, among some of the neo-christian sort of philosophers, and he stages politics as friend versus enemy. 
I was just talking with David Clark (one of my awesome Derridean friends) about this. I found it really, really oppressive in 2005 when everyone in my neck of the woods was citing Agamben and then Žižek on Carl Schmitt. Having to cite them. Terry Shiavo was lying in hospital on a life support machine and the Republicans were refusing to let the husband turn the machine off. Pope John Paul II was insisting on a “culture of life” and so was George W. Bush. Somehow all these things went together in a nasty knot. 

Then there's the fact that, with any luck, I'm going to be talking with Rosi Braidotti in Paris in December. She also has an allergic reaction to this sort of friend/enemy language. 

One of Les Inrocks' journalists was killed last week at the death metal show. 

I just found out that my friend Shawna's friend was also killed there. 

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