Nancy – ‘the political and/or politics’

Daniel Ross pointed, on twitter, to the text of a presentation by Jean-Luc Nancy in 2012 addressing the theme of ‘the political and/or politics’ – which ends with an interesting distinction or divergence between two versions of ‘co-‘ living: a co-mmunal and a co-llective ‘with’ (in the sense of ‘being-with’):

If, today the economic, judicial, religious and cultural spheres – and with these spheres the semantics of their names –, all together or each in its turn, are racing out of control in a way that is inflationary and even exorbitant and ruinous, it is because “politics” or “the political” harbors a discrepancy or an internal distortion between two values which are henceforth foreign to each other – let us say, an existential value and a social value or, in other terms, a value in accordance with the community and another in accordance with collectivity . To be clear , the tw o values are related and interdependent. Yet that difference of the values of the same co- – of that same “with”, which is the with of being, even more than a “being- with” – and thus that self-differentiation of the co- is precisely that which prevents it from coagulating into a mass and a destiny.

Worth a read, available here: Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities [PDF].

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