Rose-tinted lens

FiLM Rose-tinted lens Hannah Arendt, dir. Margarethe von Trotta, Zeitgeist Films, New York, 2012, 113 minutes. Standing before a firing squad, in Margarethe von Trotta’s 1986 biopic Rosa Luxemburg, Luxemburg is taken in flashback to an image of herself as a child refusing to go to bed, intent on seeing the petals of a rose […]

Turn left and follow the path of least resistance

Turn left and follow the path of least resistanceAsh Amin and Nigel Thrift, Arts of the Political: New Openings for the Left, Duke University Press, Durham NC, 2013. 240 pp., £62.00 hb., £15.99 pb., 978 0 82235 387 4 hb., 978 0 82235 401 7 pb. This book makes a much-needed attempt to revamp the […]

Politics in a Tragic Key

Politics in a tragic key Alberto toscano In memory of Joel Olson (1967–2012)In the quarter-century or so since the obscure disaster of the Soviet bloc’s collapse, two words have been pinned to that of ‘communism’ with liberal abandon: ‘tragedy’ and ‘transition’. Tragedy, to signify the magnitude of suffering, but not the greatness of the enterprise; […]

Extraction, logistics, finance

Extraction, logistics, finance Global crisis and the politics of operations Sandro mezzadra and brett neilson Now that the global crisis of capitalism is entering its fifth year, it is possible to discern the contours of its unfolding. No New Deal or world war is emerging to save the day. The ritual purification of austerity has […]

Can One Lead a Good Life in a Bad Life?

Can one lead a good life in a bad life? Adorno Prize Lecture Judith butler I am most honoured to be here on this occasion to receive the Adorno Prize.* I would like this evening to talk to you about a question that Adorno posed, one that is still alive for us today. It is […]

The German as pariah

The German as pariah Karl Jaspers and the question of German guilt Anson Rabinbach A great deal has been written about Heidegger’s involvement with National Socialism, and still more about his notorious silence about the crimes of the regime to which he lent his support and enthusiasm. Much has been and will continue to be […]

69 Reviews

I; REVIEWS The power of negative thinking Roy Bhaskar, Dialectic: The Pulse of Freedom, London, Verso, 1993. xvi + 406 pp., £39.95 hb., £14.95 pb., 0 86091 3686 hb., 0 86091 583 2 pb. Roy Bhaskar’s previous writings have belonged to definite regions of philosophy – for the most part the philosophy of science and […]

Birth, love, politics

Properly speaking, the individual and the community should be considered as opposites. The first term refers to something indivisible that stands by itself, while the second term, as can be seen from its root (cum), expresses the very essence of relation. Corresponding to the concept of the individual there should be that of a collectivity […]

The burden of our time

Nazis as an event that had spelled out ʻwith unparalleled clarity the essential uncertainties of our timeʼ. [4] And yet, as early as 1951, Arendt had explicitly stated what was at stake in her work, notably in the preface to the 1951 English edition, which was entitled The Burden of Our Time. That title is, […]

Agnes Heller

Interview agnes heller Post-Marxism and the ethics of modernity ST: Iʼd like to begin by asking you about your first encounter with philosophy. What made you decide to do philosophy and what were the practical ramifications of such a choice in the 1940s?Heller: When I started university I wanted to be a scientist and I […]

Revolutionary romanticism

The interview with Agnes Heller, ʻPost-Marxism and the Ethics of Modernityʼ (RP 94) touches on what should be a key debate among intellectuals on the Left today: does a perspective critical of the authoritarian legacy of modern revolutions spell the end of the project of political revolution, or does it on the contrary entail rethinking […]

The exemplary exception

The exemplary exception Philosophical and political decisions in Giorgio Agamben’s Homo Sacer Andrew norris rights. More specifically, the Nazi death camps are not a political aberration, least of all a unique event, but instead the place where politics as the sovereign decision on life most clearly reveals itself: ʻtoday it is not the city but […]

The future of fascism

Since the collapse of actually existing socialism and the abrupt ending of the Cold War that had polarized the world along the lines of contending theories of modernization, there has been a steady attempt to recover historical intensities that had been displaced by the reduction of political differences to a dyadic struggle between ʻtotalitarianismʼ and […]

Walter Benjamin and the Red Army Faction, Part 3

Spectres of anarchy Walter Benjamin and the Red Army Faction, Part Three Irving wohlfarth There is an excel ent passage in Nadja on the ‘enchanting days spent looting Paris under the sign of Sacco and Vanzet i’ and Breton adds the assurance that in those days the Boulevard Bonne-Nouvel e [Boulevard of Good Tidings] fulfil […]

The absent philosopher-prince

The absent philosopherprince Thinking political philosophy with Olympe de Gouges Ariella azoulay Since the publication of Olivier Blanc’s biography of Olympe de Gouges and the first collection of her texts, compiled and edited by Benoîte Groult, [1] dozens of articles on various aspects of de Gouges’s work have been published. All of them share the […]