The article seeks to stress the importance of two main innovations in Ernesto Laclau's recent work: what his theory of populism in On Populist Reason provides in terms of theoretical innovations is (1), a political theory of naming, and (2), a political theory of the heterogeneous. Furthermore, it is asked what it means to name, as Laclau himself does, the subject of the political "the people" and to define populism as the logic of all politics. It is argued against potential criticism that these rather strong claims, far from being overstretched, in fact must be understood in the light of Laclau's new ideas on political naming and the heterogeneous, since (1) his notions of populism and "the people" are the outcome of political nomination, that is, a political wager on Laclau's part (and not of a "merely theoretical," conceptual determination), and (2) the name of "the people," like every political name, will always cast a shadow on the heterogeneous as that which cannot be named.
Grosz, E. A. (Elizabeth A.) Architecture from the outside: essays on virtual and real space.
Grosz, E. A. (Elizabeth A.) Nick of time: politics, evolution, and the untimely.
Grosz, E. A. (Elizabeth A.) Time travels: feminism, nature, power.
Architecture -- Philosophy.
Taking its cue from Elizabeth Grosz's recent work in Architecture from the Outside, The Nick of Time, and Time Travels, "Ontology and Involution" argues for a clearer acknowledgment of the philosophical histories and paradigms that have guided the articulation of queer theories, at least their most institutionally recognizable forms. It suggests that the paradigms most influential for queer thinking have entailed the kind of deconstructive rejection of ontology that, as Grosz argues, has characterized contemporary critical approaches in social sciences and the humanities. Such paradigmatic commitments, acknowledged or not, have inevitably restricted queer theory's engagement with some of its most frequently cited theorists. Consequently, the essay suggests an "ontological turn" in queer-theoretical readings of Michel Foucault's work, especially his later ethics texts. Foucault's unexpected leap into the archive of ancient texts should here be seen as an intuitive turn to, and an involutive activation of, what Gilles Deleuze, following Henri Bergson, calls the ontological past. As Grosz notes, this past is for Deleuze the realm of the virtual, the resource for radical change and becoming. Ultimately, Grosz's work clears the ground for a queer rethinking of the question of becoming, whose importance Foucault recurrently evokes in his 1980s interviews.
In response to Walter Benjamin's caveat that every image of the past not recognized by the present as one of its own concerns threatens to disappear irretrievably, this essay examines images of spitting in the work of Michel de Montaigne and Georges Bataille. By resisting insertion within codified cycles of exchange-especially those of institutionalized violence-their images exemplify a defiance to servitude that can be generalized to a theory of sovereignty. An archaeological inventory indicates possibilities provided by the montage of images for the construction of a heterological counterhistory, where spit and spitting challenge the dominance of spirit in Western culture.
Levinas proposed a "politics of suffering" that requires all political actors to be willing to engage in the quotidian world not according to the "natural law" but according to those "rules" that make themselves evident in that engagement itself. Israel, the one place such a politics might be lived, appeared to be a space occupied by a citizenry - after 1948, a large number of whom survived the Holocaust- who understood vulnerability in its most radical form. This essay examines the extent to which Levinas's "political thought" works and how such a politics has fared in the contemporary Middle East.
The central purpose of this article is to argue for the extreme pertinence of psychoanalysis for all contemporary thought on the state, violence, and war. I restrict myself exclusively to a close reading of Freud's writings (Thoughts for the Times on War and Death and Why War?), finding them a formidable instrument of political analysis rivaled only by the radical political thought of Michel Foucault and Giorgio Agamben, to whose work they bear a surprising affinity. Jacques Derrida has also highlighted the crucial importance of Freud's correspondence with Einstein for contemporary reflections on war, violence, cruelty, and sovereignty. I attempt to show that Freud is thus a remarkably contemporary political thinker and a highly radical one as well.