Monday, December 19, 2005

The order of evils

This is the title of Adi Ophir's recent book. He's a contributor to my forthcoming volume (late 2006) on torture, which I've mentioned before. And I feel pretty smart, though serendipitously so, for inviting him. The book is a brilliant, massive treatise on evil. A phenomenology of, well, "the order of evils," this is not a theodicy or moralistic work. I had been reading Agamben since several intellos in Venezuela during my visit there last month were into his books and spurred my curiosity of his work in café discussions over potent macchiatos. But I'm sidetracked by Ophir.

A random excerpt... this is why I have hope about globalization, despite its ravages:
The intensification of mechanisms for the production and distribution of evils and their global interweaving are also responsible for this: they have created new forms of care for the other, new truth games within which the distress of others, individuals, and masses lies in the balance, as well as new subject positions vis-à-vis this distress.... Parties with a moral interest use political and economic interests as others use the discourse and tools at their disposal. The innovation here is the degree of autonomy, of relative differentiation of the fields of discourse and action whose interest is distinctly moral, as well as the global scope of action.

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