Are the "citizen" and the “migrant” really so different? An initial comparison of politics and being in the works of Hannah Arendt and Baruch Spinoz
Am Dienstag, 1. September 2015 findet von 18-20 Uhr eine Akademische Debatte statt. Wir haben Prof. Gregory Feldman von der Simon-Fraser-University in Vancouver gewinnen können, sein neues Buch "We are all Migrants" (Stanford University Press) vorzustellen und mit uns zu diskutieren.
Abstract Vortrag von Prof. Gregory Feldman zur BIM-Akademischen Debatte:
Something might be changing in the response to migration to Europe. On first glance, it appears to be either more xenophobic calls to tighten borders or greater appreciation for humanitarian interventions in the Mediterranean Sea. However, these responses would not be changes of kind, but only of degree. Europe’s (along with the global North’s) attitude toward migrants has always mixed fear and pity. Instead, the changing perception, perhaps just an implicit change in certain corners, is that the life of the “migrant” does not differ qualitatively from life of the “citizen”. Yet if that sacred distinction between citizen and migrant is truly dissipating, then it only stands to reason that the conceptual premise of global political order, rooted in the nation-state form, likewise dissipates. If migrants can no longer be regarded as displaced citizens from sending countries, then citizens themselves might be more accurately regarded as migrants in their own home countries. This is no reactionary stance. Instead, this conclusion makes visible a ubiquitous condition of migrant-hood, which has little to do with moving across borders per se. Rather, it speaks to the incumbent atomization and disempowerment in the modern state-capitalist nexus that progressive intellectuals and activists are trying to think past.
This talk firstly reviews how we can arrive at this perspective, among other ways, by examining even the lives and circumstances of the variety of European officials paid to manage migration. It secondly examines how the destabilization of the term “migrant” allows us to clarify how politics is undermined by the hegemony of such transcendent forms as “nation”, “state”, “citizen”, and “migrant”. Thirdly, it opens up an initial comparison of the insights of Hannah Arendt and Baruch Spinoza (and his contemporary advocates) to better understand politics as actions that transpire from peoples’ particular standpoints in the world rather than as decisions reached deductively from those transcedent forms.