“Some Principles of Democracy and Deconstruction—American or Otherwise” by A. S. Kimball

by Biblioklept

“Some Principles of Democracy and Deconstruction—American or Otherwise” by Sam Kimball. Worth wrapping your head around.

1. Democracy and deconstruction name the namelessness of a we, the people in relation to this people’s unimaginable possibilities of collective self-identification to come.

2. For this reason democracy and deconstruction locate the we in a future that transcends any possible transcendence of time, and therefore that remains utterly contingent and extinguishable, able to be obliterated in an apocalypse of the name.

3. Democracy and deconstruction attempt to respond to a demand—untraceable to any face or mind, to any consciousness—for absolute justice.

4. To this end, and because “we are all heir, at least, to persons or events marked, in an essential, interior, ineffaceable fashion, by crimes against humanity” (Derrida, Of Cosmopolitanism and Forgiveness, 29), democracy and deconstruction demand of the citizen to come an attitude of radical forgiveness and hospitality.

5. To this same end, and for similar reasons, democracy and deconstruction also entail a radical affirmation—that is, they are ways of saying “Yes?” or “Who’s there?” in the absence of any determinate voicing.

6. This means that democracy and deconstruction respond to a call that comes from an unimaginable and indeterminate future.

7. For all these reasons as well as the fact that “all nation-states are born and found themselves in violence” (Of Cosmopolitanism and Forgiveness, 57), democracy and deconstruction are provisional names for an historically unrealized ideal.

8. Thus, democracy and deconstruction require an incessant work of critique.

9. Democracy and deconstruction are ways of working toward forms of community that must necessarily exceed, transgress, transcend, and therefore remark all political borders, most especially those that define the sovereignty of the nation-state.

10. The spirit of the spirit of democracy and deconstruction has no single emotional marker, cannot be contained within or encompassed by any single emotional apprehension, is not identifiable as an affective state.

11. Democracy and deconstruction are inseparable from the fictionalizing, virtualizing power of literature.

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