What Times Are We Living In?
A Conversation with Eric Hazan
In this short book, Jacques Rancière takes stock of the state of contemporary politics and examines current developments in the light of his writings. Rancière takes issue with what he sees as the consolidation in recent years of an increasingly oligarchic class of professional politicians within the system of representative democracy, while simultaneously objecting to leftist animosity towards electoral politics. He discusses a wide range of contemporary political movements and figures, from Nuit debout and Marine le Pen to Occupy, Trump, Syriza and Podemos, and he offers a trenchant critique of a variety of ideas and thinkers associated with radical politics, such as the ideas of immaterial labour and cognitive capitalism and the concept of insurrection put forward by the Invisible Committee. But above all he talks about the time in which it makes sense to talk about all this, a time for which history has made no promises and the past has left no lessons, only moments to be extended as far as possible. In politics, there are only presents. It is at every moment that the bonds of unequal servitude are renewed or that the paths of emancipation are invented.
Presented in the form of a dialogue between Jacques Rancière and Eric Hazan, this timely reflection by one of the most influential radical thinkers writing today will be of interest to a wide readership.