Read e-book online Albert Camus as Political Thinker: Nihilisms and the PDF

By Samantha Novello

ISBN-10: 0230283241

ISBN-13: 9780230283244

ISBN-10: 1349316717

ISBN-13: 9781349316717

An severe genealogical reconstruction of Camus's political pondering difficult the philosophical import of his writings as delivering another, aesthetic figuring out of politics, political motion and freedom open air and opposed to the nihilistic different types of contemporary political philosophy and the modern politics of contempt and terrorisms

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Extra info for Albert Camus as Political Thinker: Nihilisms and the Politics of Contempt

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Constantly confronted with the ineluctability of death, the ‘honest’ thought unveils the moral lies and fetishistic logic on which the social political structures and discourses are grounded; in an autobiographical fragment of the mid-1930s, Camus writes that a man sentenced to death does not cheat – he is aware, for instance, that he will not ‘pay his debt to society’ but that he will have his head cut off (I, p. 95). In this nuance lies the question of fanaticism that was brought to Camus’s attention by reading Nietzsche.

In Ecce Homo, ‘lâcheté’ (cowardice) and ‘faiblesse’ (weakness) are associated with the nihilistic or romantic flight from reality into the ‘Ideal’, which Nietzsche grounds in a nay-saying disparaging judgement upon existence (ressentiment) and opposes to the audacious knowledge of the ‘Dyonisian’ yes-saying adventurers. When Camus opposes his own weakness and cowardice to the courage ‘to no longer be a man’ (I, p. 947), he openly echoes the Nietzschean figure of the superior man (Übermensch or surhomme), who is free from the nihilistic logic of moral reason.

In Aurore, the moral ‘fetishistic’ structure of modern thought – also referred to as ‘romanticism’ or ‘idealism’ – is traceable in Socialist political programmes, which are seen to perpetuate rather than eliminate the fetishistic relationship intrinsic to the economic system by reversing the sign of the worker’s enslavement from dishonour (shame) into honour (virtue) and by placing the transformation of the workers’ condition outside the workers themselves. Nietzsche detects a teleological or utilitarian logic in the anticipation political actors have of future change (hope), for which they must be prepared; the belief that constant expectation (attente) will fatally bring about Revolution (A, III, 206) is founded upon such logic.

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Albert Camus as Political Thinker: Nihilisms and the Politics of Contempt by Samantha Novello

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