• Colloques,

Séminaire Objets/Projets 4 : Bartosz KUZNIARZ

Publié le 3 mars 2015 Mis à jour le 13 mars 2018

le 3 mars 2015

17h - 19h
Bâtiment L (Paul Ricoeur)
Salle 212
Bartosz KUZNIARZ (U. de Bialystok, Pologne)

Existentialism is a Socialism, or, Yet Another Critique of Liberal Politics

I start with the thesis that liberalism had to create biopolitics and biopower as the main means of coordinating human actions. Moreover, the whole tradition of psychoanalysis is proof of much the same pattern. “We are tips of the iceberg of ourselves, what drives is not what we see and consciously sign up for” etc. We are unconsciously controlled. Philosophers put it succinctly: we are constructed as subjects (or, alternatively, man is dead, there is no such thing as a man, we are just an accidental play, intersection of coercive powers). That, in turn, spoils all the basic liberal assumptions. Liberals assume that there is a hard core of our personality where we are essentially free. Twentieth century social theory, that curious mixture of Marxian and Freudian insights, shows us that we are not doing what we want, even when we are acting exactly according to our own will. How are we to escape this existential deadlock? In ordr to do so, the lecture draws on the tradition of Aristotelian ethics, where authentic human life is conditional upon gaining true influence on one’s social environment (polis). I intend to show that contrary to much of today’s leftist thought, attached to the bombastic “collective” rhetoric, the search for the lost political agency is best to be conducted at the level of human subject. To criticize liberalism, it is enough to treat its claims seriously – something, as the lecture argues, entirely in line with the largely neglected tradition of existentialism. The psychopolitical basis, or agency, for socialism is provided by a true – vice versa shallow or “liberal” – search of one’s self.

Mis à jour le 13 mars 2018