From: Sebastian Gurciullo <sebtempo@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 06 Jan 2000 12:47:09 +1100
At 09:57 4*1*00 EST, you wrote:
>> But how is this political? Any takers?
>Not necessarily a taker, but rather another question. Does anyone
>have a sense of how the political here relates to issues of political
>commitment or intentionality? Specifically I am interested in the
>notion of commitment to future possibility. Thanks.
An interesting question, I'll take a stab. Political practice as it
manifests itself around us does seem to be future directed activity which
either seeks to prepare a future possibility by some present act or alter
the present in some way so as to create a desired future. It essentially
relies on the capacity to make promises (to oneself/to others) as a
commitment or intention to change, which would be meaningless if it was not
somehow premised on the belief that such change would offer some kind of
improvement or advantage (ie. it would simply be change for the sake of
change) and that the change could actually be delivered as promised. In
Foucault's analytic of power in the 1970s, such change became problemmatic:
impossible, meaningless, or only a far-off possibility. At least Foucault
never promised anything, or only very little. I think the Nietzschean figure
of eternal return governed this impasse, the perpetual return of the same as
difference but without any (or very little) sense of forward movement (as
occurs in abundance in the figure of progress). In terms of radical
gestures, it would be a change in the expectation of change, the
self-elimination of any possibility for intentional transformation as the
greatest of transformations. It would perhaps require the cultivation of
being able to forget certain promises, or perhaps forgetting how to promise.
But what happens when someone remembers?