Justin Jacoby Smith is an organizer, web geek, Buddhist, and poet.

on my reading list

the critchley book had what i thought was a really nice opening

At the heart of a radical politics there has to be what I call a meta-political ethical moment that provides the motivational force or propulsion into political action. If ethics without politics is empty, then politics without ethics is blind. Taking my cue from a heterodox reading of Levinas, I claim that this meta-political moment is anarchic, where ethics is the disturbance of the political status quo. Ethics is anarchic meta-politics, it is the continual questioning from below of any attempt to impose order from above. On this view, politics is the creation of interstitial distance within the state, the invention of new political subjectivities. Politics, I argue, cannot be confined to the activity of government that maintains order, pacification and security while constantly aiming at consensus. On the contrary, politics is the manifestation of dissensus, the cultivation of an anarchic multiplicity that calls into question the authority and legitimacy of the state . It is in relation to such a multiplicity that we may begin to restore some dignity to the dreadfully devalued discourse of democracy.