Akademie der Künste
U-Bahn-Station Altes Landgut (U1)
Political action is always a matter of knowing who is qualified to say what a particular place is and what is done in it.
J.R.: Democracy is first and foremost neither a form of power nor a form of the emptiness of power, that is, a form of symbolising political power. For me, democracy isn’t a form of power but the very existence of the political (in so far as politics is distinct from knowing who has the right to occupy power or how power should be occupied), precisely because it defines a paradoxical power – one that doesn’t allow anyone legitimately to claim a place on the basis of his or her competences. Democracy is, first of all, a practice, which means that the very same institutions of power may or may not be accompanied by a democratic life. The same forms of parliamentary powers, the same institutional frameworks can either give rise to a democratic life, that is, a subjectivation of the gap between two ways of counting or accounting for the...
Against all earlier hopes, the survival of mankind in and after the modern industrial age has turned out not to be automatable.
And is a helpful starting point for identity studies, because it presses us towards openness and suggests identity formations.
As it happens, in relation to questions of fragile identities, I think these are very useful words. One issue that has been confronted in recent discussions of identity has been whether it is singular or plural and if the latter, which is the predominant critical view, what kind of plurality is being evoked by the term? Specifically, are we talking about something that is fragmented or something that is multiple? Is the human subject notionally one, but through exposure to forces of various kinds, ranging from the excessive competing demands of post-modernity through to devastating trauma, it becomes a split subject? Or does the multiplicity of selves and identities (to run the terms together for a moment) reflect the simple reality of life – we are multiple beings, and our task is to do something with this multiplicity, not to wish it gone? It is this position that I would...