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The Differences between Rancire's "Msentente" (Political Disagreement) and Lyotard's "Diffrend" Author(s): Jean-Louis Dotte and Roxanne

Lapidus Source: SubStance, Vol. 33, No. 1, Issue 103: Contemporary Thinker Jacques Rancire (2004), pp. 77-90 Published by: University of Wisconsin Press Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3685463 . Accessed: 18/03/2014 11:21
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TheDifferences Between Rancibre's Misentente (Political Disagreement) and Lyotard's Differend


Diotte Jean-Louis
La Mtsentente whichconflicts with bothclassical(Plato, (1995), Ranciere's in and modern Aristotle) (Hobbes,Rousseau,Marx,etc.)political philosophy, in thenameofthe"sanspart" - thosestillin a as action, thename ofpolitics from the start itsopposition toLyotard's public invisibility-underlines provisional Le Diffrend. bothtaught was sixteen (1924-1998) Lyotard yearsolderthanRanciere; in in after at center fall Vincennes the established experimental philosophy 1968 atl'Universitd de oftheprevious theevents May.Bothalso subsequently taught at who chose to teachand engage in activism Paris-8.For all philosophers toF.Chatelet, therecruitment was,according Vincennes, politico-philosophical. theAlthusserEachnon-Communist Marxist groupsenttheir representatives: rue d'Ulm, sentBadiou and Maoists fromthe Ecole NormaleSupdrieure, and Brossat, thelibertarians theTrotskyists sentBensaid,Weber, Rancibre; and This was tobe joinedby Hocquenghem. avant-garde surrounding Schdrer who had to et Deleuze and Lyotard. the Lyotard, belonged group"Socialisme Barbarie" founded and Castoriadis, was welcomedsomewhat later, byLefort with a certain As Rancibre recalled atLyotard's oneknew funeral, apprehension. himthings In fact, with wouldnotbe easy. thewaypeoplebehavedwas not that in this academic center instituted necessarily experimental university by the in ordertocreatea kindoffocalabscessforeverything Gaullistgovernment radicalintheFrench Itwas notunusualfor MaoistCultural system. university a fight Revolution tobe looking for andfor commandos arguments philosophical he to be hurled at Lyotard, once the of the dictates "betrayed especially theanalyses ofL' conomie libidinale. proletariat" bydeveloping ofthese The"virility" didnot later animportant exchanges prevent epistolary from andBadiou, discussion between the during developing Lyotard preparation ofLyotard's Itis tobe hopedthat LeDiffrend. text, great philosophical someday will be published,forit raises such questionsas "is this correspondence thekeytoontology?" mathematics
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conflicts that angles- via languageand certain intralingusitic methodological ofourera. and via thecharacterization field, go beyondthis In La mrsentente, betweena situation of Rancikre distinguishes explicitly He argues ofdiffirend. that and a situation misunderstanding misunderstanding ofthedifrend between of cannot arisefrom theLyotardian problematic genres discourse or the diffrendbetween modes of phrase. A situation of whoeither use thesamewords butin misunderstanding supposestwospeakers word do not the same as with the same different senses,or designate thing is theone thatdividestwo referent. Butthemostradicalmisunderstanding understand thesecondbecause,according to -when thefirst cannot speakers an to but rather to him,words do notbelongto articulated language, logos, Thatvoice, inarticulate toph6nf. toAristotle voice, which, (inPolitics), according humanshave incommon withanimals, can onlyexpress feelings, pleasureor orhate,and bycheersorbooingin the ofa cry, contentment pain,intheform consider others as speakers, itis simply case ofa group.Ifsomepeoplecannot do notsee them, becausethey don't havethesameshare within the becausethey ofthesensible. political partitioning ofpolitical discussion between Thisis whythesituation described partners In for a Habermas is order debate to take by quiteexceptional. place,thetwo must the if of speakers acknowledge possibility alterity, though quiterelative: ifwhatthey areunintelligible, slaves,paupersand thedisenfranchised express a crythanfrom arisesmorefrom an argumentative speech,thentheoutcome willnearly canonly conclusion. There be debate between alwaysbe a foregone ina socialdistribution those whosepositions areknown from thestart, that has those who countand those who do not.Thisis whatPlato alreadydetermined inhisRepublic inidealterms: eachperson inhisplace according describes tohis in and time terms of the leisure he can have to occupation especially (scholh) in of affairs. Hence the and their metals myth participate public alloys constituting ofeachpersonaccording thenature tothis activity. in nature. Thus theideal orderwould be founded Political actioncomes from tothose whoarespared work ormotherhood, tothose for whom naturally
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of of from not science works art but tothe of two different tothe aisthesis, question

on thesame ground- that ofthe and Lyotard werestruggling Rancikre a genuine archival andpolitics. articulation between aesthetics developed Rancikre in thenineteenth (La century literary imagination approachtoworking-class Lephilosophe etsespauvres, worked nuit desprolhtaires, 1983, 1981, etc.).Lyotard whichfor historical thrust oftheunconscious, on thefigural, this example true is theurgetoundo each thesubversive ofcarnival. Thefigural figures triggers ofinscription. surface eraoftheaesthetical-political whichrefers I proposetoanalyzeheretheir twoapproaches toaesthetics,

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lifefindsits meaningin what Hannah Arendtcalled the Vitaactiva(in The thatallow themto Condition Modern Man),to thosewho occupypositions of modern Itis ultimately to thesepeople,to their publicly. expressthemselves fosters for it ethic is communicational that Habermas's addressed, equivalents, inasmuch as thesocio-political intheperformativity ofa debate, improvement determined hasclearly mechanism words)that (the parties andnamedthe count. how thosewho do notcountaregoingtogain ButHabermasdoes notexplain other wherethedebatetakesplace,how conflicts accessto thepublicforum can occur the can appear,how theimprobable thantheprobablelitigation For able toproducean event. a way ofappearing beingtherefore improbable nameless and disenfranchised ifthere aresomeinvisible, people,itis Rancikre, in thepublic (political)lifeof thecity(the because theydo not participate fordividing mechanisms shares,thepolice,etc.);itis because up legitimate thatis to say a place althoughtheyhave an acknowledgedplace in society, as such by sociologytoday,theyare viewed as useful,and are identified out.Contrary toAristotle's nevertheless excludedfrom speaking legitimately In is notthebasisofwhatis right the"useful"(society) affirmation, (politics). inAncient Rome(the intothepubliclimelight choosing examplesofelevation Hilldescribed and their retreat ontotheAventine oftheplebeians secession by "feminist" or the Ballanchein thenineteenth nineteenth-century century), in orBlanqui's as "a proletarian" ofJeanne activities Deroin, self-proclamation himtoa socialclassora profession, toreduce toa prosecutor seeking response has a genre ofdiscourse-thepolitical-that circumscribes Rancikre effectively of the is one Rancibre's book in Le no specific great place Lyotard's Diffrrend. movement for the which makes us better onpolitics, works understand, example, alienworkers. inFrance ofundocumented of politics springs from Nevertheless,for RanciErethe specificity do notexist stakes.For thosewho speak out "politically" communicational itis thephrase- arising actofspeaking out.As inLyotard, before this politically a universe discourse-thatliterally institutes thegenreofpolitical herefrom haveexisted. Auniverse ofthephrase it, wouldnever without which, comprises from thefact of a referent, all emerging a meaning, an audience, a destination, this phrase. is a purely instituted The political order, bysuchphrasesand sentences, a product and madebytheapparatus and therefore artificial device, contingent, is therefore notbased on any thepolitical order ofthesymbolic; theindustry oron anyutilitarian reason arkhi, itis notfounded on nature (Plato, Aristotle) (Hobbes). It is the political act-this phrase that takes the formof the ofan argumentation based on universal ofa tort, demonstration (blaberon), of Man-that makes the"sans Declaration of the like the part" Rights principles
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didnotexist actors. Whichis tosaythat they appearas truly political previously their not consist of as constituted and that act of does subjects, "subjectification" a suddenawareness ofself that self. It'snota matter ofself-reflection becomesfor nota raising ofconsciousness that suchas for itself, byan entity alreadyexists Lenin'sideologyclaimed. The "subjectification" offormerly invisible people, in the theinscription ofan argumentation derivesfrom politically speaking, field ofthelogosarticulated arises from feeling. bythevoice-i.e. ph6nd-which incontrast assumes that toLyotard, voiceispotentially Thus, every Rancikre andthus that thewrong that exists between becauseofthedifference articulable, voiceand speechcanbetransformed in into at least a litigation, ideally, worldof toKant. Inthis, isvery him Rancibre eventhough for reason, according modem, no longerhas anysubstance thisterm du sensible, (see Le partage 2000).He is himbothDescartesand Kantparticipate, for eachin modem inthesensethat ina new determination hisown way, oftherelations thesensible and between theintelligible: theformer thesubject thenewmodefor anyperson bymaking whosoeverto "appear,"thelatter because he opens up before his actionthe horizonofexigency and universal and universality. Subjectification exigency in the didnotexplicitly the of nor did these inform the Ancients, figure language ofthesensible is at division that characterized Antiquity. Admittedly, equality ifonlyas equality inreading theheart ofplatonic reasoning, geometric figures. ofa squareas wheretheyoungslavecanreadtheproperties (RecallLeMinon, wellas hismaster.) Butthis is not as to inherent this equality recognized writing; does notincludeanyoneand everyone's toappearon thepublic equality right sceneand toregister hisownreading ofthelaw.Atthevery leastthis equality from can be inferred from of an the as domination, anyrelationship equality of of view for in the dominated must understand his master point language, order toobey. a common oflanguage(thereading There is infact ofthe sharing theAncients, butan equal capacity towrite couldnotbededucedfrom law) for thiscommunity ofreading- hencetheAristotelian distinction between ph6nd and Ranciire's lead,I would (voice,cry) speech(articulated Following logos). like toenlarge andinvestigate the between difference uponhisdistinction, reading and writing, whichis thebasis ofthedifference betweentotality (theideally constituted basedon a fairly division ofitsparts, society, proportioned, geometric as inPlato- thepolis, orpolice)and multiplicity, theimprobability linked tothe butinanypolitical order. processofappearing-notjustinAntiquity, is nothing butthetemporality tothe (which optimism specific RanciEre's ofpolitical leadshim todescribe movements as successes discourse) genre political that create the and that andsociety, toward accumulate, law,institutions tending intheontological a reduction difference between andmultiplicity. Without totality
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willalwaysbe wrongsand improbable Thusthere thisgap everbeingfilled. ofpublic is alwaysa miscount attheheart events tobe exposed,becausethere inthelowestdepths ofsociety likean butnothing is boundtoremain interests, debt. immemorial thereis no If societyis always divided,always laggingbehind itself, hasno vanquished, ForRancikre, unseen element. inarticulate irreducible, history no trace inthesensethat considers vanquishedthosewho have left Benjamin and no archives, like thevanquishedof thenineteenth-century proletarian from a political andhistoriographic unconscious for revolutions, (arising example ofhistory), whereasRancibre's "sans and thusfrom a sortofpsychoanalysis willinevitably end bytaking thosewho do nothave a shareinpolitics, part," is thebasis of his refusalof Lyotard's of optimism part.This characteristic is thatthere themeofthesublime, thesublimeas "presentation pessimistic that haveemerged movements political Ineluctably, something unpresentable." ofhierarchy, outside outside oflegitimate socialrepresentation, theorder confirm ofparts. the ofthepolis, theproper oftheCity, distribution Inevitably, program theimprobable; new willbe realizedby integrating ofthesocius inexorably, tothepolitical? willexpandthetext ofthelaw.Butarethere limits Can writers of the genreof politicaldiscoursesubsume all wrongs?Is the movement of of and the radicals limited to the women, modernity emancipation workers, road? Those '68? Wouldn't on thewaysideofthepolitical somepeoplebe left into universal for whomthemanifestation ofa wrong wouldstill notmakethem evenat thevery moment whenthey suffered this Thosewho subjects, wrong? tothesamenormseither thesensibleand the would notarticulate according orthereading ofthelaw and writing? intelligible, thepolitical that limits theboundary I have Butletus remain within frame I willretumrn. inmind, Ifsociety issimply a device- that and towhich is,a visible ofparts-it placesan interpretive gridoveranyevent, assigning partitioning themodemsocio-professional suchas for limits, categories identifying example roles orethnic identities. Butatthe sametime this device isnottotalitarian; ofsexual thedifference and difference between between and (the multiple totality writing in from there to is still and shifts the mode of reading) play, politics appearing itsability tomakeevents through happen. ofthepolitical Thus Rancikre analyzestheartifice apparatusthatmakes action the basis of identification mechanisms on ("thepolice").Forthe possible that rise to the is linked tothemechanism apparatus gives political improbable that visible andplaces. Action distributes legitimately parts alwayspresupposes In order an apparatus for a wrong toemerge on thepublic tiedtoa mechanism. inorder inorder for for toappearsimultaneously there tobe conflict, there scene,
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the arena for constituted thesubjects discussion, this it, public byexposing wrong, never tosomething called andpublic previously upontoassent opinion proclaimed canonly becomevisible thewrong willmaketheevent all that occur), (inshort, time in in contrast to thatwhichwas alreadythere, nature, by place from ofthesensible toall.Thusitisa newvision visible anduncontestedimmemorial ofthesensible a newdivision a newidea(necessarily universalizable), incarnating whichseemedtobe there ofthesensible, from a partitioning mustemerge that the appear,about articulating by nature.Forit'saboutmakingtheinvisible formless. We're about unarticulated, talking something previously circumscribing ofindustry: Latin roots tothe if abouta production, here (toreturn notanindustry orderfromchaos. "to construct")--that is, creating indu,"in" and struere, In and structuring. Industrius is active, zealous,applied,skilled, constructing in Italian,Occitan and Frenchmeant the Middle Ages, the termindustry sometimes inventiveness, slyness;in Spanishpicaresquenovels, ingenuity, their talents at theexpenseofthe who exercised had her"knights" industry ofthe and theater atthetime link between made morenaive.Hencethe politics ofthe servea different Beaumarchais's partition slycharacters Enlightenment: inhisplace. inwhich shouldremain a person that from sensible permanently thesocial itsubverts a genre ofdiscourse; isnotonly discourse Thuspolitical art to an academic also the which was on Aristotle's founded order mimesis, key knewtowhomhe was speaking(inwhichsocialcategory), wheretheauthor which characters with which heshould stories address howhe should tell, himself, of Thisparticular division effects. inorder which toproduce inwhich situations, or codified thesensible waystomakeact, waystoappearas wellas waystoact, intheeighteenth for what century waystomakeknow.Thusitwas necessary in orderfor the ofthearts"to crack callsthe"representative regime Rancibre a since it's matter its full to reach discourse of Clearly, amplitude. genre political theartswillbe thesensibleand theintelligible, ofa different way oflinking ofthearts. that determine which theapparatuses mobilized-or,rather, regime thesensible, Forthemusesarealwaysthesame(dance,epic,tragedy, etc.);for that thearts, activate an eraaretheapparatuses whatchangesand constitutes inthefifteenth inFlorence for did so significantly suchas perspective century and theater architecture, (Alberti). sculpture painting, mimesis was on thewane,all situations, that Aristotelian From themoment for oreffects arepossibleand legitimate, all genres, all subjects, materials, they Hence scandal of Manet's sur to the areno longer "Dbjeuner subject hierarchy. and odalisquemasculine attire withitsconjunction ofblack, l'herbe" evening toarguepolitically that enablesanyone Thisis thesamemovement likenudity. enables andhidden, and that that shouldhaveremained abouta wrong private
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thePope and for that for towelcomeanything themuseumsoftheRevolution Inshort, ofart, likethat ofpolitics, the material rulers was viewedas a sacred icon. debris. theinsignificantwillbetheprosaic, thefragmentary, Iftheartsare dressedup by an apparatus, so arewrongs, whichcannot between andwriting?) thedifference reading appearas is,naked(howtoexhibit is constructed and produced, Thisis whythepolitical conflict are whywrongs existed is set-becausenoneofthat before, elaborated, everything whythestage inthefaceofa worldwhosestrength has tobe invented, indeedconquered, lies in being already tangible, available,regulated.Thus one must show and andargueinorder toconvince. It'shardhereto demonstrate, proceed poetically thesensible ideamust Thepolitical andthe become intelligible. distinguishbetween ina newway. must fold theaisthesis Itis herethat Rancire shouldhave sensible, referred tomanyother new "aesthetic" besidesliterature's apparatuses regime ortheusualpolitical or rituals of which from masks, (all pomp-parades, spring thecarnival we cannot understand so Otherwise, matrix). why manypeople intheater involved and cinema ofthoseartsand apparatuses, and inthestudy inthe1920sand '30s) on have placed so muchpolitical importance (especially or whatpreviously from distraction sprang merely popularentertainment (e.g. inhis1935-36 on thecinema). It'snotbymerechancethat Panofsky Benjamin for themasses:tocreateappearances analysesofcinemaclaimeda new right us todaytounderstand from thanks tocinema.'Itis difficult for themselves, himeminently thisright that is for But here back againwe musthark political. ofindustry,2 for was thefirst tothenon-capitalist cinema at meaning apparatus thetimeofindustrialization, just as we mustharkback to thenotionofthe thereaction massesbefore School.(For imposedbyAdornoand theFrankfurt Marxand Benjamin, themasseswererevolutionaries; for became Adornothey alienated and theconsumers ofthe"cultural industry.") IfLyotard inthe1970sexplored thepolitical itisbecausefor powerofart, him this remainedessentially not in non-industrial, corporeal,artisanal, in toculture. a submission for that is him, classical, Finally, way phenomenological and influenced willbe linkedtothealienation ofthe byAdorno, apparatuses artistic the Onehasonly toreread theeloquent gesture, especially pictorial. pages devotedtotheapparatus ofperspective inDiscours, tobe convinced of Figure, this.Following in the footsteps of Panofsky's La perspective comme forme in 1972), intoFrench was thefirst toshowhow (translated symbolique Lyotard a wholeera, this devicemarked butwe must herean ascendancy understand of overanyother device Itisnevertheless (andofcolor) (suchas thegothic). painting to arriveat such conclusionsabout an apparatus capable of astonishing an astronomical number ofworks overatleastfive from centuries, generating
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is that ofthis for there MasacciotoC~zanne.Theultimate consequence Lyotard, is essentially no history ofpainting and thedivorce since the between Lascaux,3 affect oritscolored and thelogos unarticulated willbesuch trace, (thesensible) thatthe politicalcan only arise fromspeaking,whichalone can createan articulable event. The break between sensible and intelligiblewill be thelogos willbecomea "technico-scientific condemned accomplished; system" toentropic couldhavenourished since thedesire that itis definitively exhaustion, cutoffand encapsulatedin an inaccessible So forLyotard it is temporality. inevitable thewitnesses that totheShoahbe reducedto radicalmuteness (Le in the of the witness the all of difficulties rend), figure concentrating general Diff theimpossible articulation between and theintelligible, thesensible and ph8nd and surface ofinscription, colorand culture, One couldsay logos,figural etc.4 for the of is that naked the condition ofthe (mode appearing) Lyotard, figural oftheSystem, on condition ofbeingabsorbed, for whereas it's device, Rancikre theopposite: theSystem isthecondition for culture) (police, appearances. Let'snow look at thesingular tothelaw that makesthepolitical rapport to of Rancibre. Based on a possible,according system sensibility apparently foundedin nature(thepolice and itspartitioning of thesensible),political ofa delocalization, consist a displacement, a dis-identification, almost appearances an uprooting, so that can be This was the for case feminists like wrong exposed. women who as both and were circumscribed recognized as "social J. Deroin, sincethey andwives,educators weremothers ofboththeir children partners," andtheir butwhohadno political since didnot worker-husbands, visibility they have thevote and couldn'tbe elected.For them, ofequality thedeclaration intheheart inscribed oftheConstitution seemedlikea false universalism. Thusagitators areconstituted out,and thesameis bytheactofspeaking trueofwhatis at stake, their cause- thewrong. and in so doing Theyinvent, thedivision overturn between theacceptable and theunacceptable, thevisible the and invisible. a new world,new territories, and thusa new Theyinvent i.e.a different ofthesensible, division a different (aisthesis), sensitivity poetics. Thus artand politicsare intrinsically linkedby whatone could call culture Schiller's surl'dducation Lettres del'humanitd). is Culture (following esthitique themilieuofartand politics that them, notwhatalienates them ina pre-exists so-called ofthe Rancibre isopposedlogically toallofAdorno's "society spectacle." that seektorender thework ofartautonomous, its arguments arising onlyfrom ownlegality. Theagitators invent themselves tothe anunheardforum bybringing public ofobject of litigation-for that workrelations arenotprivate, a example, tying and a renter and proprietor by his power ofwork, but are publicrelations
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oftheright tostrike, for therefore tolaw-hence therecognition example. subject in of invisibility whichthey circle womenoutofthefamily Feminists brought and legitimated whereas arecalled werebothenclosed they bythesocialorder, likeeveryone inFrench else.Butitis clearthat citizenship, upon toparticipate the"sanspart"are not appearingin a pre-existing theymust publicforum; It'snota matter ofthemediaseizing invent their own site. upona newthemewhilecreating thesceneofthis exhibition. that itis discord rather, exposesitself will a cry, it remain an otherwise So thewrongmustbe properly presented, it must was never before create affect. the of the Since object envisioned, wrong willlegitimate itin return. and mustarousean audiencethat Here we might work art the of and the a unheard-of improbable political develop parallelbetween established and statistics. action- they arebothstruggling opinion against for thetwo thoseon thereceiving end-more precisely Itis thesame for areonthe as "they." For"they"' ofpolitical intervention-those known receivers ofparts, oftheorder instituted onehandtherepresentatives bythedistribution in the broadestsense of this the mastersof communication, of the police, theModernState, whichwants"thegood ofitscitizens." institution, "They" inordertobe fought, willconsist ofintegration butvictory mustbe identified intotheformer victors' social political, and linguistic The "sanspart" sphere. full in the willthereafter distribution of take part legitimate parts. is another On theother hand,there aspectto "them."The publicforum willbring a third element tobear:public so theagitators musthave witnesses, The role of is to the of the opinion. argumentation brought opinion verify validity inthetrue sense, is toelevate toitsattention, arttheroleofthepublic, justas for itas art. couldhappenwithout increased theworkbyrecognizing Noneofthat This"sensitizing" initsstrongest should be understood sense. Public sensitivity. to must become sensitized to a invisible wrong, singular opinion previously In orderfor worksofart. suchan opinion to disadvantaged people,toobscure intheway there mustfirst havebeena breakintheregime ofthearts, coalesce, ofappearing -in theorder ofculture as something takes understood that itself, have a form the Aesthetics had to mode of become through imagination. specific intheeighteenth an internalized via the century, thought acquiring legitimacy, for are"cultural" Revolutions because they arelinkedto museum, example.5 fiction. How canwe trace this upheaval?In a philosopher's eighteenth-century text. Thenew legitimacy is indissociable from Kant'sformulation ofaesthetic and as disinterested to hence valid,enlarged judgment universally judgment a community thatdoes notactually existaccording to thelaw. comprehend This is the Whatever"I" findbeautiful, everyoneelse mustfindbeautiful.
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initsmodemexpression. Thusthe ofequality fundamental acknowledgment an aesthetic a newmode ofpolitical discourse revolution, breakthrough supposes a virtual a culture, ofappearing, beyond community beyondsocialdivisions, andeveryone, delocalized Thevirtual the ismadeup ofanyone community police. ofBourdieu's exact irreducible orcultural toa social (the identity opposite subjects, that ofreproduction). it'ssingularities abouta new mechanism bring Politically, itintoa universal ofwrong, singularity, circumscription thereby transforming itto a community has no empirical The modelfor that existence. addressing is Kant'saesthetic who did not existbeforehis Rancibre's subject, agitator whofeels a completely encounter with something particular a subject pleasure, that is nevertheless sinceitarisesfrom the universalizable, subjective feeling certitude ofsomeuniversal communication. Thepolitical does notexist subject before theaction, does notexist before theworkof justas theaesthetic subject from sincehe emerges an awareness ofthecommunicability ofhisfeeling. art, the creationof a virtual community has preceded its Historically, inKant's as wellas itsformulation inthe aesthetic conceptualization philosophy, in of the of Man hence its actualization the French (1789-1793), Declaration Rights thenotionof Revolution. What is at stakehere,and allows us to fine-tune isthesubjection toa samelaw- that ofappearing, which is a condition virtuality, ofmodernity. Without this theinvisibility ofthedisenfranchised norm, settling couldnottaketheform ofpolitical action. his with would makecontributions Rancibre Despite "diffrend" Lyotard, to enrichthetheory ofdiffifrends betweengenresof discourseand between ofphrase." Thegenre wouldpotentially "universes ofpolitical discourse a find in Le of other discourse to the legitimate place genres among subject diffirend, same modernnorm-the deliberative. Like the modern genres of ethical, initsown way the itarticulates discourse, aesthetic, pedagogicalorcognitive andtheaddressee, addresser the referent andthe There isno difference meaning. betweenRanciere's versionof thearticulation ofa wrong,withall itentails theproduction ofa worldnotpreviously visible,and Lyotard's concerning of"theuniverse definition ofthephrase." ofintegration this us with confronts Nevertheless, (andenrichment) process a problem, since never Rancibre ceasestoaffirm that heisinopposition toLyotard. Whatis the blindspotofLa misentente? canitnottake What underconsideration, sincelikeevery other discourse has itsrules? in It'sperhaps that genre, political notwanting toconsider these Ranciire hasmissedLediffrend. Ithasbeen rules, onthe onehand, hedelineates a newgenre ofdiscourse-public opinion, saidthat at the same since his time, politics-but point of departureis uniquely extent Kantian, etc.)and thus,to a certain philosophical(Greek,Cartesian, he remains insensitive tocasesofintercultural for which Eurocentric, diffrrend,
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ofinterlocution. Hereweneeda Lyotardian be a common scene there wouldnever in orderto understand thatin thepost-colonial recourseto ethnology era, world music. The is no more than a for Malian intercultural slogan "mitissage" ofherdaughter, fortheexcision mother by a todayfoundguilty responsible becomesa tribunal French ofchildabuse ifnotsexualmutilation (whichthen in thelegal processto a sortof crime toFrench law) is condemned according be able totheph6nd, becauseshewillnever state- tonoiseand cries, beast-like that arethoseofthevirtual tojustify herself totheuniversal norms according ina legalsetting, that to Thosenorms everyone, community. require especially andjustify Thelegalsystem the Malianmother oneself explain rationally. requires to accepta normofdiscourseand thusa divisionofthesensiblethatarenot that herand gave herheridentity. She could thoseofthecommunity formed orlater-ifsheagreestogiveup the do so sooner onlydo it--andwillprobably norm that herspecific ofdiscourse: tradition and story-telling legitimates genre in The whose is that of model temporality (myth, illotempore). phraseofthis "I did that kindofdiscourse, thenarrative, is a veritable leitmotiv the repels jury: isthick Formodernists, this obscurantism. So the guilty party willbe reduced in the her own andwillsuffer tosilence, of delegitimized completely eyes people, thatshe can transform intoa legal measures.Thisis nota situation punitive TheMalianSoninkicommunity universal hasno pretension of wrong. singular thelaw-on theuniversal imposingitscustom-whichis a way to inscribe itis particular, linked and to that toa territory community. Theyacknowledge inthemodemsenseof their own stories. The conflict is absolutely notpolitical Andyet, that theterm. thefact this writes the this"savage"society, that society law ontobodies (see Mauss, Clastres, thenaturaland biological etc.)refuses difference between thesexesas inhumane andimposesanother mark ofsexual this time difference, cultural, circumcision, excision), byre-marking (through and cosmetizing this ittothelawdifference and submitting thereby codifying isneither absurdnorunintelligible. this that comesdowntogiving Admittedly, and an eachperson to anddefinitive sex, according age, kinship, extremely precise in communitarian socialorder. Thisexample demonstrates place thetraditional how insurmountable is the diffrrend betweenthosewhose lifeon earthis and "us,"who,belonging toa virtual know bystories predestined community, we must that deliberate overeverything. and "we" do not the have same "They" to to the law. Here the conflict has do with different to relationships relationships thelaw (narration ordeliberation). betweentwoconflicting there is a Now,politics supposesthat speakers, samerelationship tothelaw.Finally, thenineteenth-century Romanplebeians, and womengainvisibility within thesame scope ofthelaw,since proletariat,
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this law inorder todemonstrate that a wrong. suffer This they they presuppose wouldnever casefor be the the Malianmother, whowouldonly become a western the like others herownrelationship tothe law (the byabandoning person marking ofbodies,thenarrative oflegitimation). La misentente reminds us constantly ina political that theactors havethesamerelationship tothelaw (tothe conflict becauseofan egalitarian tolanguage. norm) relationship The "sanspart" willfinish a siteofinterlocution (thepolitical bycreating of as well as to the existence the an object conflict, scene) public opinion attesting and a collective oflitigation, a (theproletarian "we"),and ininventing identity new sectorof rationality (the social question,parity, etc.) throughtheir will also createa new divisionofthesensible.Political argumentation, they that thecultural-legal hasbeendealtwith. disagreement presupposes diffrend There can onlybe politicaldisagreement betweenthosewho are close to between thosewho sharethesamesenseofhistory. It'sconsidered agreement, when one from a rend the law toa mrsentente emancipation passes diff vis-h-vis vis-i-vis the circle of defining equals. Butthis hidestheimpossible translation ofa diffrrend intoa emancipation misentente: this is what'sgoingon intheemancipatory declarations aboutthe theFrench orlater Revolution, Jews bytheAbbott Grigoire during byMarxin The ideal be would that Jewish Question. Emancipation's every Lyotardian wrong would becomea Rancicrian Butsincepolitical discourse is subsumed wrong. undera higher norm- that ofthedeliberative-and since between legitimizing this normand thenorm ofnarration norm, (itwouldbe thesamewithanother that ofrevelation) there is a veritable is a diffi~rend between (justas there diffrend ofin illotempore thetemporality and thatofprogress via politization), then willnecessarily abouta defeat oftheformer which norm, emancipation bring willnevertheless survive Political somewhere, perhaps spectrally. modernitythat ofthemnusentente-must communitarian oldidentities, former links, suspend And thusmustproducean everlasting remainder. Is there a general markings. for former norms? Whichmakesus think thatthere aredegreesof sepulcher the was less invisibility: nineteenth-century Europeanproletarian certainly invisible thanis thetwentieth-century "blacksmith" offemaleexcision, this technician inbody-writing. Atthevery an enlightened most, specialized judge he willattempt torender the wordsofthemother accusedofexcision; intelligible willinvoke herethnographic in but order to her for her baggage, only reproach archaic submission tothenorms ofa traditional In short, hewillcondemn group. herfor a kindofvoluntary for and responsible akinto alienation, heteronomy, butnotarising from insanity, psychiatric problems-eventhough psychiatrists areroutinely calledtotestify for thedefense. It'ssimilar tothesituation ofthe
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and vaccinations, who refusetransfusions Witnesses, and, more Jehovah's toallfor whomthe lawtakes the form oftheological-political revelation. generally, In thecaseofthe"sans is since it is related to relative, part," invisibility autonomy inthecase ofthe"voluntarily is necessarily alienated," (thesubject Kantian); is absolute,since heteronomy cannotgive the reasons forits invisibility Wecall"postmodem" the both tothis heteronomy. sensitivity invisibility produced and tothediffr rend between and heteronomy. byheteronomy autonomy To exemplify we willnotchooseLyotard's theme inthe ofthedecline thlis, is problematic GrandsR~cits, which A different becausefactual. division ofthe sensible isfelt a sensitivity fact that aredivisions tothe ofthesensible there today: that aresimultaneously andyet ofoverlapping. contemporary incapable Apropos ofgenetic andbioethical Habermas himself that questions, todayrecommends "we" shouldenter into with dialogue "religious" people! Theopposite ofthis isimperial domination and aninfinite sensitivity justice that is immutable, Ifthedeliberative without limits. norm(which can nothing establish as a norm)legitimates thegenreofpolitical discourseand thusthe existence ofa public isnever whatcanwe call established, placethat definitively site ofthe diffdrend the ofdiscourse between genres legitimated byheterogeneous norms(narration, Thisscenehas a critical sitetoday:educational revelation)? institutions wheretherelationship between and (notmerely technical) reading mustbe renewed, inordernotcomeup againsttheissue ofstudents' writing elements oftraditional liketheIslamic veil.Rancikre reminds us attire, wearing in Le maitre the of the "teacher" that is not so much to ignorant job convey definitive buttoengage the"pupil" inhisownresearchby knowledge, explaining it.Thisanti-education theseedsofa new site, mustcontain more paradoxically sensitive to cultural inasmuch as it the of conflicts, displaces place dif/frends nottorecognize An "education" them. that wouldnotencloseeach appearing in his norm butwhich wouldsuspendallof person (unjustifiable, bydefinition), them. ForRancibre isindeedobliged todistinguish likenorms. Doesn't something he distinguish the of the sensible" "ethical" of (Plato's among "regimes regime Aristotle's' ofmimesis, Flaubert's "aesthetic" "representative" images, regime ofindifference)? Aren't whicharticulate thesesystems, the regime differently sensibleand theintelligible, so manynorms-"practical"or "axiological"or or"formative" or"cosmetic," etc.? areso many "cognitive" Finally, they possible to law the relationships (admittedly, always forthe West,which,like the Mediterraneanand its history, has roots in literature-the Odyssey, the Lesmots fable: del'histoire). Butdo we passfrom onerelationship circumscribing to thelaw to another? Fromone regime ofthesensibleto another? Is there a
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conflict between atthelevelofan oeuvre, ofan artorofan apparatus? Of them, a discourse? Whenone establishes theboundaries ofa system, liketheaesthetic canone makeitarisefrom thepreceding one?Can Flaubert's regime, principle ofindifferent as important torelate theadulterous ofthe adventures (it's subjects of a farmer a as of those of daughter country Carthaginian princess), parataxical andpre-cinematographic oflittle visualsensations, oftheself-sufficient montage novelwithitsown style and norms, etc.- can all ofthat be deduced from the ofclassical principles tragedy? WillthetoolsofHegeliandialectic that havebeenappliedtothehistory of French literature since thelateseventeenth erasethedifference between century ofthesensible? Since these differences areespecially incritical regimes intelligible treatises orinauthors' letters abouttheir is theaxiomatic that we are technique, in these inasmuch as establish beingexpressed seeking poetical writings, they veritable oftruth and ofimplementation? Butdo we at thesame procedures time orsubject?) from one ofthese to norms pass (how andbywhatsubstance thenext? It'sas though one sought topass from thelegitimacy ofone genre of discourse toanother. If a same apparatus such as cinema (see Rancibre'sLa fablecinimaarisesbothfrom therepresentative ofthearts, to tographique) regime according themodelofthefable, andalsofrom orinterruption itssuspension bysomething else(liketelevision), this iswhyitalsobelongs totheaesthetic ofthearts. regime Thusisn't which mobilizes sensitivities linked todifferent cinema, heterogeneous eras, thepostmodern apparatuspar excellence? For cinemais indeed the characterized modeofwritingthemontage apparatus bya certain (Eisenstein, but the fact that it "edits" Vertov, etc.), especially by heterogeneous temporalities ofapparatuses that arecompletely distinct icon,perspective, museum, (fable, Thecinematographic anamnesis, assembles analytical photography). apparatus as manyregimes ofaisthesis as there areapparatuses, either cinema preceding likevideo, it. or, following deParis-VIII. Universitl Translated byRoxanne Lapidus

1.Seemy"Benjamin: inMasse etcindma, 2003. L'imancipation cintmatographique" 2. See for theworks ofP.D.Huyghe, suchas Art etindustrie example (1999)andDu Commun (2002). 3.SeeAnamnise duvisible inMislre delaphilosophie. 4. SeeR.Harvey, Timoins (Forthcoming). d'artifice. 5. SeeNotre, LeMusde, del'esthitique, 1993. I'origine #103, Vol. no.1,2004 SubStance 33,

Notes

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