Up to now this has been a closed blog, but it is not working as such. Too few people get in, and even less make comments here. So my feeling is, it does not make sense to keep it as a closed blog. Of course there are no guarantees that, if we open it up to interested people, they will come. But I don’t feel we stand to lose anything either way.
Our project started on the idea that we wanted to discuss the legacies of deconstruction in contemporary thought. After some discussions we focused on the notion of infrapolitics, which has been the object of some work over the last few years by some of us, and we decided to call this project Infrapolitical Deconstruction. It was meant to be a collective project, in the sense that we wanted to pursue writing and publication at the highest possible level of engagement. Exploring the legacies of deconstruction “infrapolitically” means that we will keep an eye on the political implications of deconstructive work, without positing deconstruction as political theory or political work in any direct way. We understand that one of the effects of deconstruction is probably the thought that no political theory holds any interest if it cannot accept and account for the idea of infrapolitical critique. And infrapolitical critique starts on the notion that there is always an underside to political thought that gets necessarily erased by all conventional understandings of the political, and yet it is most fundamental. On the basis of a reading of Jacques Derrida’s 1964 seminar on Heidegger: The Question of History and Being we may be prepared to say that the infrapolitical dimension of all political thought, and of every kind of political practice, is connected to the thematization of the so-called ontico-ontological difference in the political region. In other words, we are prepared to entertain the thought that an infrapolitical step back from politics is also necessarily a step back from the ontotheological understanding of the political we have inherited from the traditions of modernity. The question of hegemony, as the ultimate question of the ontotheological politics of modernity, necessarily leads, through infrapolitical critique, to the question of posthegemony.
This project proposes therefore an engagement with Jacques Derrida’s work and a consequent rereading of the philosophical and philosophico-political tradition with a view to a recuperation of its forgotten infrapolitical and posthegemonic dimensions. We understand, for instance, that a rigorous engagement with Hegelianism is necessary, and therefore also with Marxism.
We proposed to engage first with Derrida’s 64 seminar, which has only appeared in the French original so far, and immediately with two additional seminars that have been so far published also in English translation: The two volumes of The Beast and the Sovereign and the first volume of Death Penalty. We also have discussed the possibility of a serious reading and engagement with the work of Spanish philosopher Felipe Martinez Marzoa.
The systematic engagement with these issues should naturally lead to the production of papers and essays that should form the basis for ongoing publications. We are minimally committed to the publication of one volume of essays per year.
I think we should invite people to join in this discussion, to contribute to it, and to present their work for open debate.