Not laws but actions (Arendt on Montesquieu)

"It is interesting to note that Montesquieu, whose concern was not with laws but with the actions their spirit would inspire defines laws as rapports subsisting between different beings. This definition is surprising because laws has always been defined in terms of boundaries and limitations. The reason for it is that Montesquieu was less interested in what he called the “nature of government” ---whether it was a republic or a monarchy, for instance –than in its "principle…by which it is made to act,…the human passions which set in motion”

(H. A, The Human Condition, fn17; pp. 190-191; Book III, ch 1).


A brilliant footnote

"I must confess that I fail to see on what grounds in present-day society liberal economists (who today call themselves conservatives) can justify their optimism that the private appropriation of wealth will suffice to guard individual liberties--that is, will fulfil the same role as private property. In a jobholding society, these liberties are safe only as long as they are guaranteed by the state, and even now they are constantly threatened, not by the state, but by society, which distributes the jobs and determines the share of individual appropriation."
-Fn72- Hannah Arendt, The Human Condition, pp. 67-68.


The end of the common world has come when it is permitted to present itself in only one perspective

“[T]he reality of the public realm relies on the simultaneous presence of innumerable perspectives and aspects in which the common world presents itself and for which no common measurement or denominator can ever be devised. For though the common world is the common meeting ground of all, those who are present have different locations in it, and the location of one can no more coincide with the location of another than the location of two objects. Being seen and being heard by others derive their significance from the fact that everybody sees and hears from a different position.

[the] destruction of the common world [is] usually preceded by the destruction of the many aspects in which it presents itself to human plurality. … Men have become entirely private, that is, they have been deprived of hearing and seeing others, of being seen and been heard by them. They are all imprisoned in the subjectivity of their own singular experience, which does not cease to be singular if the same experience is multiplied in innumerable times. The end of the common world has come when it is seen only under one aspect and is permitted to present itself in only one perspective”.

H. Arendt, The Human Condition, p. 58.

La vida pública del derecho privado: teorías y estrategias (Seminario 1)

Compartimos el audio del primero de la serie de seminarios "The Public Life of Private Law", auspiciados por el Economic and Social Research Council, United Kingdom (ESRC). El primer seminario se llevó a cabo en Kent y se tituló "Theories and Strategies". Esta fue la descripción del seminario y abajo las grabaciones de cada panelista:

"The first seminar begins to think through some of the terms, the strategies and the theoretical frameworks that we will rely upon and develop throughout the series. To begin with, we will pose three sets of questions:
  • On a theoretical level, what can be revealed in the various relations between private law and the political? Is private law opened up by framing it through the political, or is the political juridified and diminished in this process? Are there possibilities of alternative legalities or ways of being political that such a framing could open?
  • To what extent does private law theory make space for political concerns? Silences here are perhaps more interesting even than express statements. What alternative concepts does it deploy in framing the political? What clashes of perspective and understanding are evident between theories of private law and theories of the political?
  • On a strategic level, what opportunities for political action are present in the conflictual spaces between political endeavour and private legality? What does it mean to resort to, or to be subject to private law in the context of political action? What frustrations, inhibitions or violences are produced in such a turn, and is private law open to unruly subjects, or only to rational strategists?"

With thanks to Backdoor Broadcasting.
Panel 1.
Panel 2.

Panel 3.

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