Lecture Notes: Reading The Terms of Order in the Age of Trump – Pt. 1

We make the political–“an idea dominated by the positivity of the State” (1)— the logical conclusion of human liberation and we ask questions about why it failed. And we answer said questions by concluding that it was because we weren’t more effectively political. And then we fail again. We fail to create the societies we want, the societies where the demos and its interests are centered. And we keep concluding that we are not failing because of the political, we convince ourselves that the political can be improved. Our sense of authority affirms the political. Our sense of order affirms the political. The political enacts violence and power and suffering. We take moments of the political as failures; we read Trumpism as a mere moment, a mere instantiation of the political (which it is). We rarely claim that such a moment is reducible to the idea of the political. We rarely consider the political as normatively violent. Because we cannot order the political in other ways. Until we do. Until we recognize that political leadership is not a leadership that centers our lives, our understandings of the good. And even in that realization, we may fail again, but at least then it won’t be for failing to see that it was the political that produced the failures of yesterday, of modernity.

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