Some links…

1. Here’s a faslanyc interview with Levi Bryant where he carefully goes through his version of OOO.

2. Benjamin Noys has a paper up on about Guy Debord’s work on time and politics.

3. Paul Kahn has a response up at Immanent Frame over criticisms of his Political Theology: Four New Chapters on the Concept of Sovereignty. I’ve been following the posts (with my book on sovereignty dropping this month, why not?) but I think once one follows Schmitt into the abyss of his decisionism, there’s never getting out. Kahn’s response starts with this canard:

I knew that my new book, Political Theology, would be controversial. It covers a lot of ground; it produces odd conjunctions; and its rhetoric can sound extreme. It pays little attention to academic conventions and often cuts against popular, political expectations…

Let’s just say, I think his critics, whom he invariably finds “offensive,” etc., are not worried about his ducking supposed academic conventions (really? Read the work and you’ll see it’s not exactly an assault on the form of the academic monograph) and the criticism is that it accepts “popular, political expectations…” I’d want to do a thorough reading of the text before I say more, but I never have much sympathy for defenses of one’s work that begin with “you pedestrian fools just don’t get my outré stylings…”



  1. Peter, I think you mischaracterize Kahn’s response to his critics. Yes, he begins with a critique of those who in his mind have misquoted him and thereby attribute to him positions that are not his. Fair enough. He also goes on to respond to those who in his view read him carefully and whose critical remarks he takes very seriously. He explicitly responds carefully to Ward Blanton and Peter Gordon. To my mind, Kahn’s response to his critics is a model of how this is done. I especially like his response to Blanton and his consideration of the role love might play in imagining a new political beginning. I have been allergic to love in politics, but Kahn’s response makes me willing to at least reconsider it. Certainly one can’t ignore it given the immense influence of Rousseau and the amour propre.

    I have been following Kahn’s work for some time now and find it provocative, well-argued, insightful, and among the very best in grappling with the difficult issues of sovereignty, sacrifce, violence, international law, human rights, and so on. Kahn is a serious thinker and deserves to be taken seriously. I haven’t read the book yet, but expect to learn loads from it. Of previous books, I especially like “Putting Liberalism in Its Place.” I don’t agree with everything of course, but always learn a great deal.

    1. Peg,
      Sorry for the late reply–it used to let me know when people replied, and now it doesn’t, so I end up days behind when I remember to check. Thanks for this. I’ll make it a point to give the book a good read and then look at the comments again. It could be the big problem is that his readers, making a classical error, mistook him for arguing X instead of simply noting that sovereigntist logics entail certain results..

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