The blog

There are Gods, even in political manoeuvres [MET·POL]

28 April 2015

Find below the beginning of the 'grievances' (or 'doléances'in French) composed during the Diplomatic Writing Week, which took place July 2014 at the École des Mines in Paris.

Today, we are posting another one written collectively by the members of GECo (Isabelle Stengers, Didier Debaise, Aline Wiame et Nicolas Prignot), entitled There are Gods, even in political manoeuvres [MET·POL]:

The emphasis on the ‘cunning’ of politics is a product of approaching it via the bifurcation. Perhaps there are grounds for emphasising the cosmopolitically crucial crossing [MET·POL], which otherwise risks going unnoticed.

What is at Stake : In his presentation of the crossing [MET·POL], Latour writes: ‘there is no hope of aggregating fixed-identity multitudes once and for all; conversely, the political Circle brings into being rituals that are capable of ensuring for the beings of [MET] an existence that is public, not individual’. In fact if identities are fixed we find ourselves in governance, the only possible alternative to war, to which each of us is expected to bow (in obedience), accepting a limit to one’s own fixed interest that is imposed by the interests of others. A mechanical organisation towards our counteraction. Political manoeuvring is not simply cunning: it is the chemistry of interests, the possibility of their metamorphosis – and these can be formidable. [DC] regained its power under Hitler – selfish reason (me and my interests) was a roadblock to the enchantment of the collective. But what is it about public existence that should be guaranteed by the beings of [MET]? Why are civic rites (the Cult of the goddess Reason) so ponderous? Isn’t it because they suppose that only ‘good’ beings can be convened, friends of the city, not formidable ones? The civic rites of Athens, convening tragedies with their fixed destinies, allocating the voice of the ‘we’ to the chorus, a chorus which then announces who is going to destroy the city, is an interesting example, but only of the negative type – there divinities were given a public existence only to then dismiss them. [...]

Please click the following link to access the complete contribution on the English version of the site.

(Kindly translated by Michael Thomas, Timothy Howles and Stephen Muecke)

comments powered by Disqus