(DOC) Gilles Deleuze on Bartleby's formula as resistance | Tim Christiaens - magoxuluti.tk
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This is why Badiou's void is so appealing to MBK, who argues that "[w]hat is at stake in our endeavor is to tell of the 'nature' of this presence [the void]" Heidegger is introduced as a foil along the way. To be sure, Badiou is not the first to do this, only the most recent. This puts Badiou in sharp distinction with Heideggerian phenomenology, which tends to consider being as something cloaked, obscure, or withdrawn. While Ereignis is translated awkwardly in Parvis Emad and Kenneth Maly's English edition as "enowning" Contributions to Philosophy [From Enowning] , the term also means simply "event," as in "the Event of Appropriation" .
MBK makes a clear separation between Heidegger and Badiou: The two key metaphysicians of the twentieth century, Heidegger and Badiou, employ exactly the same categories, formerly unseen in the history of philosophy: Being, event, singularity, site, decision of the undecidable, etc. What must be examined more closely, then, is the difference between the two positions: the first, hermeneutics, reckons that it is possible to found the site , the site that will give rise to the event. We will call this metaphysical tendency the ontological far right. The second tendency holds that it is absolutely impossible to found the site.
Rather, it is the site that "founds," meaning that it gives rise to, without any preparation, any willfulness, or any decision, the event. We will call this metaphysical tendency the ontological far left. MBK claims that it is only in fascism that the conditions for the event are forced into existence through the rational will. In contrast, for Badiou the condition of the event ontologically preexists any notion of "founding" whatsoever, for the condition is Being itself, apart from which stands the event.
As others have done before him, MBK paints a broad target on Heidegger, suggesting that the desire to build events will lead eventually to the construction of gas chambers: "It is in national socialism, in buildability, in wanting to eliminate 'abjection' While MBK's argument may win applause politically, philosophically it leaves a number of things undone. For instance, it is unclear how far MBK will go to defend the notion of a radical anti-constructivism, and further, whether this position would make him vulnerable to the kinds of anti-essentialist critiques popular during the culture wars of the s and early s.
In other words, is MBK making the old liberal claim that any attempt to sculpt society is always protofascist?
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Shall we sit back and let the absolute laws take over -- if not markets then mathematics or ontology? The stalwart idealist concepts of the absolute, infinity, or spirit were most certainly some of the great casualties of the twentieth century. By the s in France it had become extremely unfashionable in certain circles to read Hegel or Plato.
As I see it, the burning question is, "Will the absolute ever return to its former position as the left's political enemy, and, if so, how fierce and fast will the backlash be? Beyond his interest in Agamben's analysis of the state of exception and bare life, MBK has been one of the first theorists to embrace Agamben's notion of profanation. In chapter ten of L'esprit du nihilisme , "Nihilism, Parody, and Profanation," MBK grants a philosophical privilege to the concept of profanation, presenting it as the Agambenian counterpart to Badiou's concept of the event.
Just as the event is an appropriation, profanation is a reappropriation; just as the event signals an excess, profanation indicates a return of what was removed.
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As MBK argues, "The event is the pure appropriation of the inappropriable; profanation is the reappropriation of what was expropriated within the 'sacred' sphere" The idea of profanation is key because it allows MBK to theorize the present state of world affairs, what he calls the state of "democratic nihilism" a term roughly synonymous with Badiou's "democratic materialism". We are the first profane generation, he writes, "Profanation is thus nothing less than the absolute singularity of the age in which we've grown up The contemporary cult of the profane, which he blames on both the "vitalist leftists" of May and the exigencies of neoliberal capitalism for after all they are now thoroughly unified , is one in which a number of old virtues are held up as true, but nevertheless appear sinister and lifeless.
For example, we have equality, but it is a blanket equality that produces a flat world of flat individuals. And we have transparency, but it is a transparency so rigorously enforced that it feels more pornographic show everything! Theology is a recurrent theme in L'esprit du nihilisme , due largely to the influence of Jambet. An important middle chapter, "The Ruptured One in Shiism," consists of a periodization theory for the three great monotheisms.
MBK calls it his "history Jews, Christians, and Muslims are conditioned by "the rationality native to each of their historical periods" , he writes. In the first topology of being, Judaism, he describes Being and being as two parallel planes separated by an infinite boundary line. In MBK's formulation, the Jew stands as a disruption of the line, as the exception, as the objet a , as the figure of the exodus The second topology of being, Christianity, performs a double action.
First, it universalizes Being as God the Father, and second, it condenses being into a single abject representation, the martyred body of Christ the Son.
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Christ is the appearance of the supreme Being" If the Jew is a line, the Christian is a point. Christ is "the ontic support-center of the circular totality of Being" There are thus three terms at play, not two: being, Being, and God or the One : "The originality of this construction is thus that the non-being of the One is behind Being, just as we see, in the most dramatic intuitions of Heidegger during the period, that nothing is 'behind' Being" In this way the One God is not reducible to Being in Islam.
The Shiite iteration allows MBK a link back to Badiou, via the notion that nothing the void serves as a baseline condition for Being from which may arise beings as "events". MBK's analysis of religion leads him to a discussion of contemporary geopolitics. For example, he engages directly with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, criticizing what he sees as the hypocrisy of the Jewish state and arguing that Israel is the impossible outcome of the same impossible logic that Israel currently imposes on the Palestinians.
The historical transformation from stateless Jew to stateless Palestinian is thus symptomatic for him.
MBK is a grand synthesizer. His talent is recombination. He does to philosophy -- and this is both a strength and a weakness -- what a deejay does to music. He has the confidence to read the great philosophers and make dramatic macroscopic claims. For some this might seem indiscreet or virtuosic.
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Sometimes his slicing pronouncements are the result of a deeply felt ontological commitment: "Deleuze is wrong and Badiou is right" At other times they sound forced, like an overly opportunistic snipe: "Heidegger is wrong, Lacoue-Labarthe right"