An excellent commentary on the insurrectionary possibilities of embracing an antipolitical stance when accommodating technological acceleration. Garton continues to impress.
A lightly edited transcript of a paper given at a symposium on machines and automation in Cardiff on May 5, 2017.
Is it possible to conceive of society without politics?
Even in principle the question seems hard to fathom. Though many of us may wish to minimise the influence of politics on our lives, it seems that the existence of any society must, in some sense, be preconditioned by it. That distinction between friend and enemy which Carl Schmitt posited to be the heart of ‘the political’ is a radical consequence and condition of the very existence of societies as objects distinct from other societies, and as attempts collectively to reconcile the antagonisms inherent to human existence. The polis emerges necessarily from the socius as a unit of human life.
Yet while the idea of philosophy as being even potentially an antipolitical enterprise is now unfashionable, indeed in view of the…
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