File spoon-archives/lyotard.archive/lyotard_2001/lyotard.0103, message 73

Date: Thu, 15 Mar 2001 23:07:32 +0000
Subject: confessions of augustine

More thoughts on augustine and it's place in things...

‘…Augustine’s vision of a project to contest the Roman Empire. No
limited community could succeed and provide an alternative to imperial
rule; only a universal and catholic community bringing together all
populations and languages in a common journey could accomplish this. The
divine city is a city of aliens coming together, cooperating,
communicating….Our pilgrimage on earth, however in contrast to
Augustine’s, has no transcendent telos beyond; it is and remains
absolutely immanent. Its continuous movement, gathering aliens in
community, making this world its home is both means and end, or rather a
means without end…’ Hardt and Negri 2000.

With this it becomes clearer what the political purchase and intent of
Lyotard’s Augustine text is: the distinct purchase, the line of address
is towards and against post-modern globalisation. How does one refuse,
refute something that is as unstoppable, irreversible even as
globalisation. Think of the disgusting spectre of the various
post-modern religious fundamentalisms, hardly an improvement on
modernisms secularism – but in its post-modernity perhaps there is no
meaning there at all, perhaps it is as much a thread of post-modern
globalisation as the new labor structures, telecommunications, the
appearance of non-hierarchical information distribution systems (well
electronic ones anyway), the final decentering of humanity from the
center of things…




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