October 11, 2004 10:23 AM   Subscribe

Derrida's legacy, "For a justice to come." An uninterpretation.
posted by semmi (8 comments total)
Deserves attentive reading.
posted by semmi at 10:26 AM on October 11, 2004

Very good--he wasn't the ivory tower academic that people think he was. I love the ending part about messianicity without messianism. Thanks, semmi.
posted by amberglow at 10:45 AM on October 11, 2004

I know this was a serious FPP linking to a serious article, but I swear to Baal that all I could think of when I read this was "Take off every Zig...for a justice to come."
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:21 AM on October 11, 2004

I wish more leftist European intellectuals were capable of saying things like this:

"[The US] is a very legalistic country rich in displays of political liberty which would not be tolerated in a good many other countries. I am not only thinking of countries known to be non-democratic but also of our own Western European democracies. In the United States, when I saw those massive marches against the imminent war in Iraq, in front of the White House, right by Bush’s offices, I said to myself that if in France protesters assembled in their thousands and marched in front of the Elysée in a similar situation, that would not be tolerated."
posted by languagehat at 12:36 PM on October 11, 2004

Yes, this was a wonderful article. It makes me wish I had the patience to work through his more abstract philosophical work, a sensation I often feel after reading or listening to interviews with the philosophical giants. Thanks semmi.
posted by louigi at 4:08 PM on October 11, 2004

I thought profound his concept of democracy suffering from an auto-immune disorder, squelching itself to ward off a perceived threat to an ostensibly democratic body politic. Derrida mentioned both the US and Israel as examples: manifestly so, I believe.
posted by rdone at 4:47 PM on October 11, 2004

Thread seems well and truly dead I know but anyway...

I said to myself that if in France protesters assembled in their thousands and marched in front of the Elysée in a similar situation, that would not be tolerated.

Except, languagehat, that he's fundamentally wrong. France has a tradition of union militancy and public disorder which simply doesn't exist in the USA. Their misbehaviour is as often as not met with indifference if not outright connivance by the French political elite - the European Commission has had to step in a number of times due to the effect that this has had on intra-community trade with the cases ending up in the European Court of Justice.
posted by dmt at 6:01 PM on October 12, 2004

Maybe he's thinking of things like the killing of 200 members of a peaceful march in Paris attacked by a 20,000 strong force of French police. Yes, the French have an amazing tolerance for disruptive strikes. Large-scale protest marches (against the government, not against other countries' wars) are another matter. I think I'll take Derrida's judgment in this matter over yours -- nothing personal, but you are (I gather) a Brit, and he was (after all) French.
posted by languagehat at 7:43 AM on October 13, 2004

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