A global tradition? Power and historicity

Research in Phenomenology 34 (1):103-120 (2004)
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To understand globalization, one needs to examine its provenance within the metaphysical tradition and, in particular, in relation to the ways in which power tends to operate in modernity. While its operations are necessary for shaping relations, the pervasiveness with which power invests beings tends to obscure the event, and in particular, temporality and historicity, which mark the possibility of undoing power's formative influence on beings and relations. The event becomes the site of a specific tension between power and the power-free, between changes intrinsic to power's intensification and a transformation indicative of a letting-go of power. In the face of our (post)modern tradition of increasingly intense macro and microflows of power, the power-free calls into question the metaphysical tradition of power that has underwritten the development of modernity. This transformation is neither a destruction nor an abandonment of modernity, but indicates an alternative to the prevalent and pervasive practices of power.



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