Nueva Revista de Teoría del Derecho (Universidad de Palermo). Convocatoria para presentar artículos aquí. (Gracias al muy queridísimo amigo y colega Lucas Arrimada por compartirlo en Ante la Ley).
The Friendship of Mary McCarthy and Hannah Arendt : The New Yorker: "THE FORMIDABLE FRIENDSHIP OF MARY MCCARTHY AND HANNAH ARENDT
MICHELLE DEAN (The New Yorker)
A mi hermana Chloé, mi “absent other” en la distancia.
April 22, 2011
A couple of days ago, I had the starting revelation about the effect our correspondence has had on me. We have been at it for close to three years now, and in that time you have become what I would call an “absent other”, a kind of adult cousin to the imaginary friends little children invent for themselves. I discovered that I often walk around talking to you in my head, wishing you were with me so I could point out the strange-looking person who just walked past me on the sidewalk, remark on the odd scrap of conversation I just overheard, or take you into the little sandwich shop where I often buy my lunch so you could listen to the talk that goes on in there with me. I love that place, a wholly unpretentious nothing of a place, with its heterogeneous clientele of cops and firemen, hospital workers from across the street, mothers with their children, students, truck drivers, secretaries, and what makes the place special is the men who work behind the counter, good-spirited young guys with the proletarian Brooklyn voices, who seem to know everyone who comes in there (“I talked to your mother yesterday,” “I hear your son is doing well on his Little League team,” “Welcome back. How was your trip?”), as if I were living in a small provincial town and not in a gigantic metropolis, and I know you would appreciate the spirit inside that shop and understand (if you don’t already) what I find so interesting about living in New York. So there you are, John, inside my head as I talk to you, and nothing like this has ever happen to me –probably because I have never corresponded with anyone so regularly—and the effect, I can assure you, is an entirely pleasant one.”
Until my return. With best thoughts,
(Paul Auster a J.M. Coetzee en Here and Now: Letters 2008-2011)
En el verano de 1970, el escritor alemán Adelbert Reif, entrevistó a Hannah Arendt. La entrevista, traducida al inglés por Denver Lindley, giró en torno a controversias en ese entonces contemporáneas, como los movimientos estudiantiles en Estados Unidos y en Francia, la oposición a la Guerra de Vietnam, el concepto ‘revolución’ y otros temas políticos. La entrevista fue publicada en 1971 en la NYRB.
En otro momento comentaré algunos asuntos interesantes respecto a cómo Arendt veía los movimientos estudiantiles y las universidades en términos políticos y su distinción entre asuntos ‘internos’ y ‘externos’ respecto a las universidades. En esta entrada, sin embargo, me interesa destacar dos cosas que surgen al final de la entrevista: (1) la propuesta de Arendt –de orden institucional-- sobre la democracia y lo que hoy día se conoce como democracia participativa y deliberativa; y (2) un comentario puntual sobre la diferencia de su propuesta (que nace bajo la premisa del espacio de la polis como el espacio de ‘lo político’) con lo que fueron los movimientos hippies en Estados Unidos y sus motivaciones. (Pongo el comentario en negrillas).
Esto último lo comento en tanto hoy día parece interesante analizar una serie de movimientos que yo llamaría de ‘retirada’, que enfocan su resistencia al mercado y la política (en su precariedad actual) en alternativas que tienen su base en cierta idea de ‘autogestión’ (énfasis aquí en el prefijo 'auto'). Estas propuestas, que son ciudadanas y que surgen de sectores medios, son de corte más individual y, por lo tanto, una podría analizar cómo despolitizan ciertos temas (e.g. proyectos de agricultura a escala familiar, como huertos caseros, consumo ecológico o ‘saludable’, por nombrar algunos). Si bien estos proyectos se justifican frente a la homogeneización y masificación imperante, los mismos, como muchos han señalado, dependen de posibilidades e iniciativas individuales y parecen renunciar a un cuestionamiento más estructural o sistémico, renunciar o abandonar ‘lo político’, en el sentido arendtiano. Otra alternativa sería ver estas iniciativas en el largo plazo y pensar cómo una vuelta o regreso a lo micro podría –si de alguna manera- poner en jaque el estado de cosas actual. Esto requeriría otra entrada, pero el comentario de Arendt en esta entrevista sobre los hippies arroja alguna luz para un buen debate sobre esto.
Sólo una precisión más: la propuesta aquí resumida por Arendt -valga enfatizar que es una entrevista- hay que entenderla en relación con sus escritos, en los que desarrolla abordajes muy particulares sobre los conceptos revolución, lo político, la libertad, el pluralismo y la acción. En On Revolution, Arendt explicita mucho más abarcadoramente lo que aquí expone. Llama la atención cómo otros teóricos más contemporáneos han desarrollado parte de lo que aquí ella expone como su propuesta institucional (e.g. Habermas). ¡Salud!
“When I said that none of the revolutions, each of which overthrew one form of government and replaced it with another, had been able to shake the state concept and its sovereignty, I had in mind something that I tried to elaborate a bit in my book On Revolution. Since the revolutions of the eighteenth century, every large upheaval has actually developed the rudiments of an entirely new form of government which emerged independtly of all preceding revolutionary theories directly out of the course of the revolution itself, that is, out of the experiences of action and out of the resulting will of the actors to participate in the further development of public affairs.
This new form of government is the council system which, as we know, has perished every time and everywhere, destroyed either directly by the bureaucracy of the nation states or by the party machines. Whether this system is a pure utopia –in any case it would be a people’s utopia, not the utopia of the theoreticians and ideologies—I cannot say. It seems to me, however, the single alternative that has ever appear in history, and has reappeared time and again. Spontaneous organization of council systems occurred in all revolutions, in the French Revolution, with Jefferson in the American Revolution, in the Parisian commune, in the Russian revolutions, in the wake of the revolutions in Germany and Austria at the end of World War I, finally in the Hungarian Revolution. What is more, they never came into being as a result of a conscious revolutionary tradition or theory but entirely spontaneously, each time as though there had never been anything of the sort before. Hence the council system seems to correspond to and to spring from the very experiences of political action.
In this direction, I think, there must be something to be found, a completely different principle of organization, which begins from below, continues upward, and finally leads to a parliament. But we can’t talk about that now. And it is not necessary since important studies on this subject have been published in recent years in France and Germany, so that anyone seriously interested can inform himself.
To prevent a misunderstanding that might easily occur today: The communes of hippies and dropouts have nothing to do with this. On the contrary, a renunciation of the whole of public life, of politics in general, is at their foundation; they are refuges for people who have suffered political shipwreck –and as such they are completely justified on personal grounds. I find the forms of these communes very often grotesque – in Germany as well as in America –but I understand them very well and have nothing against them. Politically they are meaningless.
The councils desire the exact opposite, even if they begin very small –as neighbourhood councils, professional councils, councils within factories, apartment houses, etc. There are indeed councils of the most various kinds, by no means only workers’ councils; workers’ councils are a special case in this field.
The councils say: We want to participate, we want to debate, we want to make our voices heard in public, and we want to have a possibility to determine the political course of our country. Since the country is too big for all of us to come together and determine our fate, we need a number of public spaces within it. The booth in which we deposit our ballots is unquestionably too small, for this booth has only room for one. The parties are completely unsuitable; there we are, most of us, nothing but the manipulated electorate. But if only ten of us are sitting around a table, then each expresses his opinion, each hears the opinions of others, then a rational formation of opinion can take place through the exchange of opinions. There too it will become clear which one of us is best suited to present our view before the next higher council, where in turn our view will be clarified the influence of other views, revised of proved wrong.
By no means every resident of a country needs to be a member in such councils. Not everyone wants to or has to concern himself with public affairs. In this fashion a self-selective process is possible that would draw together a true political elite in a country. Anyone who is not interested in public affairs will simply have to be satisfied with their being decided without him. But each person must be given the opportunity.
In this direction I see the possibility of forming a new concept of the state. A council of this sort, to which the principle of sovereignty would be wholly alien, would be admirably suited to federations of the most various kinds, especially because in it power would be constituted horizontally and not vertically. But if you ask me now what prospect it has of being realized, then I must say to you: very slight, if any at all. And yet, perhaps, after all –in the wake of the next revolution.”
poder, espacio y ambiente's Fan Box
poder, espacio y ambiente on Facebook