After Fukushima : the equivalence of catastrophes by Jean-Luc Nancy, Charlotte Mandell

By Jean-Luc Nancy, Charlotte Mandell

During this publication, the thinker Jean-Luc Nancy examines the character of catastrophes within the period of globalization and know-how. Can a disaster be an remoted incidence? Is there this sort of factor as a "natural" disaster while all of our applied sciences nuclear power, energy offer, water offer are inevitably implicated, drawing jointly the organic, social, fiscal, and political? Nancy examines those questions and extra. unique to this English version are interviews with Nancy performed through Danielle Cohen-Levinas and Yuji Nishiyama and Yotetsu Tonaki

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But all this is incalculable because it challenges the capacities of calculation whereas, at the same time, what we plan or project remains within the order of calculation, even if it is out of our reach. The incommensurable is of a different nature: It is not even involved in the order of calculation; it opens onto the absolute distance and difference of what is other—not only the other human person but also what is other than human: animal, vegetable, mineral, divine. But by naming these categories, we experience how fragile they are made by 27 AFTER FUKUSHIMA technology, which, to take one example, makes animal and vegetable dependent on the synthetic substances with which they are fed, or which exposes soil, plants, and products to spray or radiation (think of ionizing radiation as a technique to preserve food).

To change “values” would put them out of work. But to call for such a change reveals a refusal to consider this simple truth, a refusal combined with a naïve belief in the possibility of a virtuous handling of general equivalence. 32 9 N ow we have come beyond the meaning that Marx gave his phrase. For him, the equivalence of money could be demystified in favor of the living reality of a production whose social truth is the creation of true humanity. That was for him the historical task of capitalism, to lead to its own transcendence.

What do you think about the connection between technology and sovereignty in the nuclear age? : For a number of reasons—where technology plays a determining role—sovereignty is outdated in the present situation: The state can no longer be determined by its territory or its population, and it can no longer be regarded as independent of those economic powers whose extension and powers are global (it has never been completely independent, but from now on its dependency surpasses its independence).

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