Within political theory, there are a number of concepts that are key to the enterprise of thinking politically in the modern world. One of these is ‘sovereignty’. For centuries now, what it is to be ‘sovereign’ has been at the forefront of our political concerns, and this continues today.
This beautiful world of sheer human potentiality is cursed with its character of paradox. Whilst we can investigate the universe beyond the Kuiper belt, or modify genetics, in 2017 almost a quarter of the Earth’s population had no access to clean water, fifteen-thousand under fives died daily, and sixty-eight and a half million people were forcibly displaced.
On June 2nd 2015, Judith Butler attended the conference to present a lecture entitled ‘Why Bodies Matter’, in which Butler examined the legacy of ‘Gender Trouble’, its thesis, and the rich tapestry of ideas that constitute her body of work since. Alongside this, Butler both concretely and lucidly ties together many of her thoughts concerning gender constitution, precarity, political action, the public sphere and the bio-political.
Now the votes have been counted and the politics about to restart, the question is: ‘what is the legacy of the 2019 election?’. Of course, the legislative result we are yet to experience, but as far as the electoral data is concerned, 2019 should be remembered as the unorthodox election with even more unorthodox results.
To focus on interpreting political texts alone is of course an act of political exegesis. Nonetheless, does this make it a mode of political hermeneutics? The simple answer is no. Although to interpret the discourse surrounding politics is itself a political act by engaging in how we broadly understand our collective action, this is still not political hermeneutics proper. To interpret the action of the civic association is political hermeneutics.
At the crux of the essay, Oakeshott takes a critical stance against what he pens as ‘modern rationalism’, judiciously investigating the connection between modern utopian thinking, ‘reason’, ‘knowledge’ and political action. Consequently, this essay has become a seminal text in the fields of political theory and political philosophy, hence, warranting an exhaustive reading.
The ‘New Spirit’ of Capitalism that Zizek discusses, and that Gillette illustrates, can be marked as the embodiment of Capitalism’s remarkable capacity to revolutionise itself so to continue the accumulation of Capital. The adage of a cultural-value to the commodity form is but the nub of this revolution – one can now consume ethically, the very critique that befell Capitalism in the last century.
Violence, being instrumental by nature, is rational to the extent that it is effective in reaching the end which must justify it. And since when we act we never know with any amount of certainty the eventual consequences of what we are doing, violence can remain rational so long as it pursues short term goals.
It begins with birth. Each of us is thrown into the world at any single given point of our species’ history. It so happens to be that the moment of our birth is our point of entry into this world. Although we are conceived, carried and thought of before our birth, this is the moment of our first appearance in the world itself.