Hetzel, Andreas

(Felsefe Bölümü, Fatih Üniversitesi, Istanbul)

Breaking the Cycles of Fear: Exodus-Politics and Dé-subjectivation


Participants in those protests, which gave rise to the Arab Spring and to the Gezi-movement, repeatedly mentioned a decisive moment, of which it is difficult to say whether it preceded or rather resulted from the occupation of public spaces: breaking the cycles of fear. In my paper I will explore the role of fear in the affective economy of subjectification techniques, and, apart from that, I will indicate, why and under which conditions the breaking of a cycle of fear may be regarded as a political event. For this purpose, I shall draw on concepts of an exodus-politics, as it has been outlined in the essay on nomadology by Deleuze, but especially in Walzer’s and in Virno’s respective accounts of the biblical exodus-myth. For the exodus constitutes both for Walzer and for Virno a model for a “presentic”, inner-worldly eschatology, which appreciates the departure from Egypt in terms of an in-subordination, that is, of a liberation from a fear, which has been identified as an instrument of domination and eventually disenchanted. At the same time, this in-subordination constitutes a new and genuinely political subject, which is associated by confidence and not by fear anymore.

Selected publications: Unbedingte Demokratie. Fragen an die Klassiker neuzeitlichen politischen Denkens (2011; ed. with Reinhard Heil and Dirk Hommrich); Die Wirksamkeit der Rede. Zur Aktualität klassischer Rhetorik für die moderne Sprachphilosophie (2010); Die Rückkehr des Politischen. Demokratietheorien heute (2004; ed. with Oliver Flügel and Reinhard Heil).