A conversation in Mexico. By Alberto Moreiras.

This week, in Mexico, a conversation on deconstruction and infrapolitics and the university took place that, I think, merits being noted and remembered. I do not want to embarrass anybody, so I will not attribute positions, but let me say I would be happy if Emmanuel Biset, Liza Mizrahi, or Laura Piñeirúa, José Luis Barrios or Angel Alvarez Solís wanted to add their thoughts to these comments of mine. Same for others, of course.  I only want to signal the conversation (with perhaps cryptic notes, which is all I can do for the time being), since the issues that came up seemed particularly pregnant to me—and let us see if the discussion takes them somewhere.

The issues circled around the following topics: whether infrapolitics can be thought of as an awakening in some sense; whether friendship may have something to do with the need to pass beyond the university; whether deconstruction was something other than just another theoretical paradigm in the liberal marketplace of ideas, another merchandise for easy consumption, or whether it can be construed in some sense as an alternative to neoliberalism, even to neoliberal capitalism; and whether the invocation of an existential turn or a thought rooted in the production of a style of life can be distinguished from modern individualism.

My immediate thoughts: yes, infrapolitics can only be thought of not only as an awakening, but as a traumatic awakening. Levinas talks directly about a traumatic awakening in a different context, but perhaps thinking as traumatic awakening can be traced back to Nietzsche in particular.   Thinking as traumatic awakening is post-Hegelian, necessarily so.

Friendship, if one can find it, is the necessary resource to attempt an exodus, not from the university as such, but rather from university discourse.   But it is a special kind of friendship—not political friendship, but some other kind . . .

Deconstruction, not necessarily as we have known it, but in terms of its potential, certainly out of Derrida’s work, is not “just another theoretical paradigm” whose import would therefore be best judged through its exchange value.   Much to the contrary, it is the very possibility—epochally–of bringing to an end thought as merchandise. Most certainly at the university, and in university discourse.

If deconstruction invokes democracy as something other than liberal democracy, it is because it thinks of pursuing non-domination outside the paradigm of the principle of general equivalence.   Not the Nietzschean Will to Power, rather the principle of general equivalence is the last doctrine of metaphysics.   Deconstruction has the potential for an antineoliberal, anticapitalist politics to the extent it takes exception to general equivalence as doctrine of being.

From the refusal of general equivalence comes the appeal to the singular existent. The singular existent cannot be confused with the modern individual—the rupture with general equivalence is also a rupture with any doctrine of the subject, from which “modern individualism” derives.

 

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One thought on “A conversation in Mexico. By Alberto Moreiras.

  1. Debo referirme al artículo de Walter Brogan que acabo de leer, “The Community of Those Who Are Going to Die.” No sé si sería legítimo colgarlo aquí, pero desde luego coincide con mi propia lectura de la División II de Ser y tiempo en el sentido específico de proponer un “estilo de vida” basado en la diferencia entre existencia y facticidad (sustancialmente, la existencia es la destrucción concreta de la faciticidad, etc.) Ello no reenvía a ninguna trascendencia, pero todavía menos reenvía a inmanencia alguna, puesto que la muerte rompe toda estructuración inmanente del mundo para el Da-sein. Me e ha resultado muy útil la conexión que establece Brogan con Beiträge y la noción de soberanía allí. El hecho de que la soberanía sea el fundamento de la libertad (algo no ajeno al último Derrida, por cierto, y de otra forma a Bataille), en un contexto en el que la soberanía está siempre ya pensada contra todo concepto de dominación y contra todo concepto de equivalencia general, es efectivamente decisivo para infrapolítica. También insisto en su noción, sólo muy brevemente apuntada, de la destrucción de la facticidad en el énfasis en la existencia. Para mí eso es lo que está en juego en la noción de “existente singular” que anoto arriba. Y la noción de amistad que apunto allí, una amistad “no-política,” es la amistad soberana de la que depende la posibilidad misma de salirse del discurso universitario. Y tantas otras cosas además. La amistad soberana es la posibilidad de una comunidad mortal de lo no-equivalente. Por eso también yo insistía en la reunión en que la infrapolítica no es sólo una forma de política, sino que guarda en sí necesariamente una des-politización radical–una posibilidad que yo llamaba “salvaje.” Brogan la vincula a esa soberanía no-equivalente, que funda por primera vez la posibilidad de una comunidad tanto mortal como atea: comunidad no-política. ¿Podemos entender la posibilidad de una comunidad no-política? Hay que cambiar la oreja en relación con el pensamiento contemporáneo. Pero de ella sale toda política democrática, y de ninguna otra versión de comunidad.

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