Month: November 2017

A period of radical change (2017)

I thoroughly agree with this comment from Francois Ewald in an interview on November 3rd in Los Angeles Review of books

I have the feeling that we are living through a much more radical transformation at the moment than in May 1968 or even after the collapse of communism and the fall of the Berlin Wall. For 70 years we have commented and critiqued the order established after World War II. But this page is about to be turned, and a new world is opening up that we don’t yet understand. We are confronted with the social question anew. The question of responsibility will be negotiated once more, and in a way that will be as important as the transformation that I described in L’état providence.

At present. one has a sense of living through a period of ambient chaos and experimentation as people try to sort this out – experiments with a new ‘sharing economy’ (uber, air bnb), experiments with new forms of hyper surveillance, and a return to authoritarian managerialism and sovereign rule in many workplaces in the Western world. All of these with new globalised technological affordances which make the enforcement of these practices much more ruthlessly effective. To add to this, experimentation with new political forms – the so-called post-truth society of Trump and Brexit, the painful death pangs of the idea of the university and the counter-conducts of Wikileaks and others.