Thursday, 7 February 2008

A global silence

“As we now go about Americanizing the globe – excuse me – as we now go about extending the benefits of universal human rights that have been discovered by a universally valid procedure of rational communication, perhaps we ought to be aware of which differences we silently obliterate, and perhaps we ought to remember that the universality of a cosmopolitan language is necessarily also accompanied by the universality of a global silence.”

—William Rasch, Sovereignty and Its Discontents: On the Primacy of Conflict and the Structure of the Political (London: Birkbeck Law Press, 2004), p. 129.

4 Comments:

Anonymous said...

"This, too, shall pass."

Matt said...

Rasch is a professor at my university, and I had the chance to interact a little with him when he gave a response to Alain Badiou when Badiou visited last fall. He's a very sincere, straight-forward guy (as the quote amply suggests) and I'm interested in checking out this book of his!

Ben Myers said...

Hi Matt — that's nice to hear. Rasch is a very elegant writer, and I liked this book a lot. It uses Carl Schmitt's work to provide a series of sharp critical engagements with various political theorists (e.g. Habermas, Vitoria, Benjamin, Agamben, Negri). Okay, admittedly the polemical chapter on St Paul is pretty bad (give me Badiou's Paul any day!) — but apart from that, I thought it was a very good book. I read it alongside Chantal Mouffe, and it complements Mouffe nicely.

scott said...

That got the book on my to-order list. What an insightful comment. (Very Yoderian, by the way - glad to see the Royal Priesthood quote!)

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