Abstract

In my contribution, I adopt Sloterdijk’s analysis of globalization as the megalomaneous or “hyperpolitical” installing of a total work of art (Gesamtkunstwerk). I rephrase his threefold (energetical, informational, and epistemological) “explicitation” of man’s radical immersion in his own media as “radical mediocrity” and argue that this has become our first nature. But then, what is the political potential of Sloterdijk’s merger of aesthetics with politics as based on the Bataillan principle of excess rather than lack and scarcity? Should we not differentiate between miserabilist and affirmative critique? This distinction is all but self-evident, because every new mediological explicitation eventually reproduces scarcity through forgetfulness. It depends on the critical difference between mediocrity and interesse, between plain comfortable life and self-reflective radical mediocrity. In the final analysis, the “psychological” surplus of generosity and the substance of creativity consist precisely of this self-reflective in-between. Therefore, any feasible critical reflection requires a downscaling of Sloterdijk’s hyperpolitical understanding of being-in in terms of micropolitical art practices. I will concentrate on one possible answer to the critical questions that must be asked: wherein lies the possibility of resistance in Sloterdijk’s recent analyses of capitalism?

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Additional Information

ISSN
1751-7435
Print ISSN
1743-2197
Pages
pp. 357-380
Launched on MUSE
2016-07-06
Open Access
No
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