Philosophy and Social Criticism 27 (1):21-38 (2001)

This article attempts to chart a course beyond the 'impasse of the political' in Derridean deconstruction that avoids both the ontologization of ethics in Levinas and the recourse to morality in Habermasian discourse ethics. Instead, it presents an account of the decision in a terrain of undecidability through the concept of affinity. This mode of ethico-political activity, when combined with Foucault's analytics of power and Deleuze and Guattari's schizoanalysis, provides the outlines of a project of radical social transformation that could achieve greater nuance with regard to 'actually existing' democracy and justice than has so far been achieved within deconstructive political theory. At the level of social structure, such a project is commensurate with a move away from subject positions associated with the system of liberal-capitalist nation-states, in favour of identifications produced by a locus of 'coming' communities. Key Words: affinity • Critchley • deconstruction • Deleuze and Guattari • Derrida • ethics • Foucault • Laclau and Mouffe • politics.
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DOI 10.1177/019145370102700102
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