Workshop IV (Fall 2020)
"Plurality is the law of the Earth"
The final workshop turns to Arendt’s analysis of politics in “dark times,” as well as the political concepts that animate all her thought—freedom, action, and plurality. Arendt’s warnings about “the rise of the social” speak powerfully to the spread of technocratic liberalism and discourses of “global governance” focused less on equality amongst citizens than on the management of what me might now call “bare life.” And, of course, not only theorists but pundits and public intellectuals are turning to The Origins of Totalitarianism to understand the current crisis of authority and the rise of far-right, ethnonationalist movements around the world. But we will also ask: might earth give us hope? Could viewing ourselves as earthlings, rather than members of a universal humanity or interchangeable examples of the species homo sapiens, help to safeguard plurality and strengthen commitment to solidarity?