The singular side of democracy in Jacques Derrida’s works: engagement politique and (inter)writing
A critical re-appraisal of the relationship between deconstruction and democracy seems today to be advisable. The very bases of the so-called developed democracies are undermined by a process of desocialization of society and by a sort of individualism of indifference. This work will try to outline some preliminary reflections in order to question if, starting from Jacques Derrida’s works, a philosophical analysis of the ‘concept’ of singularity can be a consistent political counter-strategy in behalf of democracy. The complexity of the ‘concept’ as such in Derrida’s works will be stressed, showing its fluctuation between two forms: an evenemential and disappearing singularity and a persistent, resistant, and possibly existential one. Then the strategic value of this ambivalence within the singular/democratic dynamis will be questioned through the filter of Derrida’s interpretation of Nietzsche, whose distinctive ideas (such as writing, style, untimeliness) may converge into the notion of disarticulation. This will be used as a reading device, by which the philosophical quality of the singular/democratic chiasm can be rethought. Disarticulation also reconfigures the arrangement of singularity’s ‘internal’ relations, both in an aesthetic-stylistic and in an anthropological sense. From this, a significant recalibration of the concept of political engagement – between activity and passivity – can be attempted. A concrete example of this engagement may be the theoretical-practical question of Derrida’s interviews. They may somehow be conceived as an inventive effort of hybrid writing, where singularity appears both problematically disarticulated and ‘democratically’ interlaced to the outside.
Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics
XIV (2012) 1
EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Igor Pelgreffi, "The singular side of democracy in Jacques Derrida’s works: engagement politique and (inter)writing", in: Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics, XIV (2012) 1, pp. 465-487