Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Time for postmarxist thought

For me this means that philosophy is not the discourse that grounds the other forms of discourse or spheres of rationality. Instead, it is the discourse that undoes the boundaries within which all disciplines predicate their authority on the assumption of a specific methodology fitting the specificity of their field of objectivity. So my practice of philosophy goes along with my idea of politics. It is an-archical, in the sense that it traces back the specificity of disciplines and discursive competences to the ‘egalitarian’ level of linguistic competence and poetic invention. This practice implies that I take philosophy as a specific battlefield, a field where the endeavour to disclose the arkhe of the arkhe simply leads to the contrary, that is, to disclosing the contingency or the poetic character of any arkhe. If much of my work has been elaborated as a re-reading of Plato, it is because his work is the most elaborated form of this battlefield. The Republic tells us that the inequality of destination is a ‘noble lie’ and lets us understand that the ‘lack of time’ that prevents the artisan to be elsewhere is a proscription of the elsewhere as such. Phaedrus shows us the link between the proscription of writing and the proscription of democracy. It draws a radical line separating the space-time of the cicadas-philosophers and the space-time of the workers, and it promises to tell us the truth about Truth. However, the truth about Truth can only be told as a myth. The equality of fairy tales underpins the whole hierarchy of discourses and positions. If there is a privilege of philosophy, it lies in the frankness with which it tells us that the truth about Truth is a fiction and undoes the hierarchy just as it builds it.
Ranciere, The thinking of dissensus

What powerfull idea of philosophy! Equality obviously doesn't go without anarchy and vice versa. Equality is never geometric but rather amorphic. As clouds are equal in Rancieres story on Wordsworth in Short voyages...