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[Nettime-nl] wed 2 feb: Passions, the Common and Populism
alphaville on Mon, 31 Jan 2011 01:35:31 +0100 (CET)

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[Nettime-nl] wed 2 feb: Passions, the Common and Populism

Dear all,
a Spinozian take on populism. Schijnheilig, wednesday 2 february.



The Common Seminar presents: PASSIONS, THE COMMON AND POPULISM. A
discussion about Spinoza as a political tool in hard times. On Wednesday
2nd of February, 20:00 at Schijnheilig (Amsterdam).

Populism is a powerful political tactic. In all its historical
expressions it has proven difficult to confront. Such difficulty lies in
the fact that populism is an expression of the most intimate human life
drives. Populism is a politics of desire, of collective passions.

Because humans cannot avoid to have passions, be they sad or joyful,
populism is an issue that confronts all of us, our common human nature.
Therefore, to dismiss populism as irrational, opposing our alleged
rationality, or the moral superiority of the Left to an evil Right is a
strategic error we are now paying in terms of the rise of politics of
hatred all around the world.

Against a rationalist condemnation of populism, the philosophy of
Spinoza allows us, maybe, to delineate a counter-attack strategy, beyond
good and evil. If, according to the philosopher from Amsterdam, every
passion is intrinsically rational, only a stronger passion can overcome
another passion.

Spinoza’s militant lesson seems to be that populism, it’s blinding
simultaneity or organizing and disorganizing passions, can only be
understood from the perspective of joyful desire. Let’s try to
understand this lesson a bit better and let’s explore what the lesson
means in terms of what can be done.

Wednesday 2nd of February
20:00 ‘o clock
Passeerdersgracht 23 Amsterdam

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