"The central doctrine of Christianity, then, is not that God is a bastard. It is, in the words of the late Dominican theologian Herbert McCabe, that if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you."--Terry Eagleton

"It is impossible for me to say in my book one word about all that music has meant in my life. How then can I hope to be understood?--Ludwig Wittgenstein

“The opposite of poverty is not wealth; the opposite of poverty is justice."--Bryan Stevenson

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Oh, the prickilie bush!

It is announced wherever, reflecting without flinching, a purely rational system of analysis brings the following paradox to light: that the foundation of law--law of the law, institution of the institution, orign of the constitution--is a 'performative' event that cannot belong to the set that it founds, inaugurates, or justifies.
Jacques Derrida

By all accounts, a splendid time was had by all. And mucho muscles were apparently flexed (well, by some accounts). Which left me wondering: if these gatherings, other than for the fun of meeting people "live," are about gatherings of the powerful and would-be powerful, what would a gathering of the powerless be like? And what would they extol?

Congratulations, you poor!
God's domain belongs to you!

Congratulations, you hungry!
You will have a feast.

Congratulations, you who weep now!
You will laugh.

Damn you rich!
You already have your consolation!

Damn you who are well-fed now!
You will know hunger.

Damn you who laugh now!
You will learn to weep and grieve.
What would a gathering of the ptochoi look like?

Wherever this foundation founds in foundering, wherever it steals away under the ground of what it founds, the very trace of itself and the memory of a secret, 'religion' can only begin and begin again: quasi-automatically, mechanically, machine-like, spontanously. Spontaneously, which is to say, as the word indicates, both as the origin of what flows from the source, sponte sua, and with the automaticity of the machine. For the best and the worst, without the slightest assurance of anthropo-theological horizon. Without this desert in the desert, there would be neither act of faith, nor promise, nor future, nor expectancy without expectation of death and of the other, nor relation to the singularity of the other. The chance of this desert in the desert (as of that which resembles to a fault, but from a Graeco-Judaeo-Christian traditions) is that in uprooting the tradition that bears it, in atheologizing it, this abstraction, without denying faith, librates a universal rationality and the political democracy that cannot be dissociated from it.
Call it Derrida's version of Godel's theorem of incompleteness.


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