5 November 2009
What makes a reflection on the future of “philosophy” as we knew it and practiced it (whether it will exist under the same name, separated from other scientific or social practices, etc.) at the same time urgent and confused, is among other reasons the fact that it is frequently reaching us through considerations on the geohistorical status of the association between the discourse and the institution.
18 February 2011
Tunisia and Egypt were both model countries. They were success stories. Tunisia had reaped much Western praise. Former French president Chirac spoke about the Tunisian “economic miracle” that allowed the regime to feed and house the people and to give them health and education. What else, he added, should the people want? President Sarkozy declared two years ago that the space for freedom was expanding in Tunisia. The former US secretary of defense Rumsfeld praised Tunisia as a “successful country” because it created an “environment that is hospitable to investment, enterprise and to opportunity for their people.” A senior State Department official commended Tunisia for its “impressive economy and social structure.”
5 April 2012
In contrast to its self-portrayal as the ‘East’ vis-à-vis France, Germany’s national self posed as the ‘West’ in relation to its Slavic neighbors. Studia Zahodnie in Poland has meant German Studies while Ostforschung in Germany meant Polish studies. The imagining of East/West in virtual reality does not stop at the German-Polish border. Posited as the ‘East’ by Germans, Poles regarded themselves as ‘Europeans’ against the ‘Asiatic’ Russians. In turn, Russians, underprivileged as ‘Tartars’ in Europe, could represent themselves as Europeans confronting Asian neighbors as indicated in the Dostoyevsky’s diary.
3 September 2012
Colonized and racially subordinated subjects enter the realm of ethics as violence, and that phenomenon becomes their appearance. They are obligated, in other words, not to appear. Colonialism, understood in these terms, is tragic in the Hegelian sense of a conflict between two conceptions of right. The settlers see themselves as having a right to the land; however it was originally obtained, the transactions by which the generation of settlers facing the indigenous or anti-colonial fighters acquired their possessions was part of a legal and as far as they are concerned just system. They thus have a right to their possessions in the colony. The indigenous or prior inhabitants argue, however, that the land was stolen from them through acts of conquest or trickery. They therefore have a right to its repossession. Even if the settlers decide to give the land back, there is a deeper ethical argument that even that act of good will isn’t their right.