Razmig Keucheyan's The Left Hemisphere: Mapping Critical Theory Today has recently appeared in its first Greek edition, published by Angelus Novus. Earlier this month, Keucheyan spoke with Tasos Tsakiroglou of Efimerida ton Syntakton about the book and contemporary critical theory — in the context of climate change, and in relation to recent European electoral contests, including the 2017 French presidential election.
In the panorama of the different critical theories that you analyze in your new book The Left Hemisphere, and despite their diversity, do you discern a common thread that unites them? and what is it?
Pessimism certainly is a common thread. None of these thinkers believes that overthrowing capitalism and replacing it with another, relatively better, system is an obvious possibility. Some of them believe it is not possible, and think “resistance” to power and “micropolitics” is our only option. This pessimism is a consequence of the tragic experiences of the 20th century, especially Stalinism.
Giorgio Agamben's philosophy ranges across disciplines, traditions, and topics in order to develop critical philosophical and political questions. Moving from religion, law, and language to capitalism, work, sovereignty, and the economic crash his thought sheds new light on the contemporary condition. This, his most recent interview, is no exception. He sat down with Juliette Cerf in Rome to discuss and clarify many of his positions.
A Latin empire against the German dominance? The Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben explains his much-discussed thesis. Apparently, he had been misunderstood.
Professor Agamben, when you floated the idea in March of a ‘Latin imperium’ against Germanic domination in Europe, could you have imagined the powerful resonance this contention would have? In the meantime your essay has been translated into countless languages and passionately discussed across half the continent…
No, I didn’t expect this. But I believe in the power of words, when they are spoken at the right time.