On the notion of the political in postmarxist theory.

Seminars

14.06.2013
Aesthetic existence and the ontologisation of poverty
Whatever life

20.04.2013
The practise of doing nothing 

Unemployed positivity

04.11.2012
Miguel Abensour as reader of Spinoza
Spinoza, Marx, Moses Hess

05.10.2012
Agamben and Nancy as readers of Spinoza
Leaving Immanence?

06.06.2012
Feminist readings of Spinoza
Becoming woman?

03.05.2012
Deleuze on Spinoza's theory of affects 

From the ontological to the affective

04.04.2012
Spinoza with Deleuze
The underground current of the philosophy of immanence

07.03.2012
Macherey's Spinoza
Ontology of multiplicity or materialist dialectic?

08.02.2012
Althusser's concept of immanent causality 
- Seminar
Marx with Spinoza

08.12.2011
Exhausting politics 

Being out of class (Deleuze)

01.11.2011
What is an inoperativity that consists in contemplating one's own potentiality to act?
The messianic class

29.06.2011
Sharing the inappropriable
The retreating class

26.05.2011
The political capacity of the proletariat
The subtractive class II

07.04.2011
The political capacity of the proletariat
The subtractive class

03.03.2011
Disrupting the logic of division
The supplementary class

04.02.2011
The antinomies of proletarian politics
The paradoxical class

02.12.2010
Nancy and Lacoue-Labarthe on political difference
Retreating the political

08.11.2010
Lars T. Lih as Reader of Lenin
What Is to be Done? and Bolshevism

03.10.2010
The concept of capitalism in "Anti-Oedipus"
Capitalism deterritorialized

30.06.2010
Deleuze, Guattari, Lacan
An impossible encounter I

28.05.2010
An impossible encounter: Deleuze, Guattari and Lacan
Preparatory Meeting

27.05.2010
Micropolitics in "A thousand plateaus"
Molecular Politics I

07.04.2010
On affectivity and potentiality
Spinoza with Deleuze

04.03.2010
Nietzsche with Deleuze
The negative in the positive

04.02.2010
The notion of becoming in Deleuze and Guattari
Becoming

04.11.2009
On Esposito's concept of bio/politics
Biopotentiality

08.10.2009
Reading Althusser

07.10.2009
Rancière's farewell to Althusserian Marxism
La leçon d'Althusser

06.10.2009
Debating Althusser's philosophy of the encounter
What is aleatory materialism?

03.09.2009
Negri on materialism
Kairos, Alma Venus, Multitudo

02.09.2009
Tronti and Cacciari's concept of the political
The autonomy of the political

17.06.2009
"From Capital-Labor to Capital-Life" by M. Lazzarato
Invention

20.05.2009
Reading Simondon
Individuation

09.04.2009
Nancy on the singularity of death
Excess

11.03.2009
Agamben and Deleuze on pure immanence
Immanence

11.03.2009
Encountering Althusser
Preparatory meeting

11.03.2009
Workshop: becoming-major, becoming-minor
Preparatory meeting

07.02.2009
Foucault with Deleuze
The force of the outside II

06.02.2009
Superimposing diagrams: discipline and governmentality
The force of the outside

06.02.2009
Encountering Althusser
Preparatory Meeting

05.12.2008
Reading Jacques Rancière's "Dis-agreement"
Marx's Metapolitics

04.11.2008
Reading Balibar's "The Vacillation of Ideology in Marxism"
The non-totalizable complexity of the historical process

05.10.2008
Reading Jacques Derrida's "Specters of Marx"
Deconstructing Value Theory

11.09.2008
Reading Moishe Postone's "Time, Labor and Social Domination"
Value and Capitalist Capacities

01.07.2008
Debating "The mirror of production" by Jean Baudrillard
Marx with Bataille

06.06.2008
The coming communities of commons

05.06.2008
Feminist comments on the relation between politics and labor
The arcane of reproduction

09.05.2008
Rancière on the inactuality of communism and the intelligence of the unqualified

07.05.2008
Virno on Marx's "Fragments on machines"
Notes on the general intellect

04.04.2008
Virno on the concept of bio-politics in Postoperaism
What is living and what is dead in Marx's philosophy? II

03.04.2008
Jason Read on abstract and living labor
What is living and what is dead in Marx's philosophy?

07.03.2008
Reading Negri's "Twenty Theses on Marx"
The autonomy of living labor

08.02.2008
Class composition in Italian autonomist Marxism
The emergence of the socialised worker II

07.02.2008
Class composition in Italian autonomist Marxism
The emergence of the socialised worker

07.12.2007
On Badiou's concept of truth procedure
Assigning a measure to the excessive power of the state

09.11.2007
Reading Jacques Ranciere's "Ten theses on politics"
The supplementary part that disconnects the people from itself

04.10.2007
Deleuze and Guattari on the concept of minoritarian struggle
Micropolitics

07.09.2007
On class composition and radical negativity
Domestic work and class struggle within the class II

06.09.2007
On class composition and radical negativity
Domestic work and class struggle within the class

02.07.2007
From class to minority
The relationship of Marxism and Post-Structuralism III

01.07.2007
On the concept of the concrete universal
The relationship of Marxism and Post-Structuralism II

30.06.2007
On Marx and Foucault
The relationship of Marxism and Post-Structuralism

30.05.2007
Dictatorship of the proletariat and council movement
The Soviet experience II

29.05.2007
Rosa Luxemburg on the Russian Revolution
The Soviet experience

06.04.2007
Negri on Lenin
Democracy beyond law II

05.04.2007
Lenin's concept of the dictatorship of protetariat
Democracy beyond law

09.03.2007
Benjamin's concept of mysthic and divine violence
To bring about the real state of exception II

08.03.2007
Agamben's reading of Benjamin
To bring about the real state of exception

09.02.2007
Agamben's sovereign theoretical turn in thinking potentiality
Potentiality of impotentiality II

08.02.2007
Agamben's theory of autonomous potentiality
Potentiality of impotentiality

Disrupting the logic of division
The supplementary class

 Jacques Rancière

— (1983) The Philosopher and his Poor, Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2003, pp. 3-21; 70-89
— (1995) Disagreement. Politics and Philosophy, London and Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Pr, 1999, pp. 82-93

From one disagreement to another
Jacques Rancière on Marx’s notion of the declassifying class

In this seminar session, we reflect on the distance between the two modes of disagreement with Marx’s notion of the declassifying class that Rancière articulates in the course of more than ten years, first in The Philosopher and his Poor in 1983, and then in Disagreement in 1995. The question raised today is what happens in the distance between these two symptomal readings of Marx with Plato, in which Rancière considers the ruse that connects Plato’s philosophy in The Republic to Marx’s anti-philosophy in On the Jewish Question, A Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right. Introduction, and the series of works written between 1845 and 1848, The Holy Family, The German Ideology, The Poverty of Philosophy and the Communist Manifesto.

For Rancière, the idea suturing Marx to Plato is that of the evacuation of the people from the scene of politics, the cancelling out of the worker-artisan, his stillstand in moderation in Plato and in self-negation or self-subtraction in Marx. This evacuation of the people from the stage of politics is organised, according to Rancière, through the notion of the division of labor. All modes of domination are thought by him through this notion of which he says in Althusser’s lesson that “through May”, gauche prolétarienne “inherited [it] from the Cultural Revolution” and was called “to abolish the division of labor that separated intellectual from manual labor”. In the course of his writings, Rancière supplements the notion of the division of labor by the notion of the police, the count and the division of the sensible.

For our discussion, I would like to put forward two hypotheses.

(1) In the passage from The Philosopher and his Poor to Disagreement Rancière displaces the paradox through which he reads Marx with Plato: from the paradox of communism he switches to the paradox of democracy.

(2) Simultaneously, Rancière shifts from a primarily positive to a primarily negative theoretisation of the political. From the affirmation of the excess immanent to polytechnology in The Philosopher and his Poor, he passes on to the affirmation of an incision introduced to the order in Disagreement. That is to say, from the idea that the people are capable of doing whatsoever, he passes to the idea that the people are capable of subtracting from itself. From class singularisation, Rancière turns to a reinvention of the declassifying class that he so severely has attacked in the 1980s: the third people or the part with no part possesses nothing but the instance of conflict and litigation that it adds to the situation. 

At our session we will reflect on the theoretico-political implications of these shifts in Rancière's thought from one disagreement to another and, correspondingly, on two antinomies immanent to his thought of politics: 

Firstly, by announcing the transhistorical truth of the act that unbinds the people from its place, Rancière—in striking contradiction to his critique of political philosophy—establishes, in Disagreement, a philosophical principle of the political. Consequently, philosophy is put in the place of politics providing a single philosophem as its prince and principle.

Secondly, modes of domination are predominantly analysed in the form of the distribution and allocation of parts and rights, in other words, in the logic of division to which a sort of political metadivision is opposed. The question of politics has thus been unbound from the question of the complex composition of modern power conceived as mutual displacement of modes of valorisation, discipline, governmentality and law. This complex topology is replaced by the opposition of rich and poor, police and politics, count and uncounted.

Simultaneously, a certain torsion takes place in Rancière’s writings in the course of which he brings back to his thinking of politics what he attempted to refute in the 1980s—the definition of politics as labor of the negative conceived in Disagreement as the effectivity of a non-dialectical negativity without synthesis, a cut that has to be staged.