The end of questions

October 13, 2014

Bild seminarium 1

Reflections on reading “Introduction” in The Posthuman by Rosi Braidotti, Polity Press, 2013.

In the text she discusses the term posthuman. Braidotti suggests the term can be used to help one redefine what it is to be human in today’s globalised world where capitalism and neo-liberalism rules.

After the Second World War and the end of the Cold War strong ideologies had played out their role. Humans became suspicious of ideologies because they had seen the harm they could do. But at the same time they lost the ability to question society and instead put their fate in the “common sense”. The only ideology that was not dismissed was capitalism and that dominates the posthuman world.

When using “common sense” one does not problematise and does not raise questions. In the fear of being misled by any ideologies one returns to the conservative easy answers that people can feel safe with, because that is how “we have always done it”. One can often see references to the “common sense” and the “public opinion” as answers meant to end a discussion in today’s media. “There is nothing to discuss, because everybody thinks like this” as if that means it can not be wrong and is not worth challenging.

Braidotti states that theory has lost status and is often dismissed as a form of fantasy or narcissistic self-indulgence. “Is the posthuman predicament not also linked to a post-theory mood?” to quote Braidotti’s question. This condemnation of theory and focus shift towards individuals can often be seen in debates in today’s media. Instead of keeping the debate at a theory level the debates circle around the individuals and the deficiencies of the persons involved.

The posthuman society is an noncritical community in a globalised world which worship “common sense” and rejects theory except the theory of the free market.

Lovisa Wallgren

My posthuman site chosen after I wrote the text: Hornsbergs strand.

One Response to “The end of questions”

  1. Great discussion Lovisa! I think it is strategic the way you have taken one part of Braidotti’s argument concerning ‘common sense’ or the ‘tyranny of dosa’, or public opinion, as you put it. Common sense is one of the most difficult things to argue against, as it rests comfortably in the idea that everyone is agreement, that of course, we all feel the same way, we have achieved consensus, and this is what we believe. But what if this common sense, much like the story of the Emperor’s New Cloths, is based on illusion, or leads us toward the worst and most dangerous types of relation with our world? It will be interesting to see how ‘common sense’ can be addressed and critiques in your post human site…for instance, what kinds of design or local planning and development decisions have been made that seem to appeal to common sense, but which may prove to result in negative effects?

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