quick thoughts on arendt

June 15, 2010

Reading Arendt’s The Human Condition for our urbanism reading group tonight. We’re going to play it safe and have the group indoors, at Jay’s house, rather than anything more adventurous this time – the last couple of adventures escalated quite enough.

Initial thoughts:

– she’s thoroughly misreading Marx if she thinks the withering away of the state is in terms of a private/public distinction

– privacy isn’t opposed to the social, it is a part of the social – controlling who gets access to what information about you is a fundamentally socially-material process. This gets to the heart of the mistakenness of the phenomenological attitude when considering politics – Arendt’s phenomenological approach concentrates on poetic qualities such as ‘hiddenness’, rather than considering how privacy operates socially.

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