Ingerid S. Straume

Politics as Creation: Arendt, Castoriadis, the Greek Polis and Us

House of Literature, Bergen
Østre Skostredet 5, Bergen Map

At 18:00

Neoliberal politics is the politics of the elites, and has very little to do with democracy. At least when compared to the first and true democracies created by the Greeks. Notwithstanding the fact that women and slaves were excluded from politics, the Greek city-states were tremendously creative in many fields of life, such as administration, philosophy, art – and war. The talk explores in what sense the radical impulse from the Greeks can inspire us today, especially in terms of political creation, following and comparing the important work of philosophers Hannah Arendt and Cornelius Castoriadis, author of The Imaginary Institution of Society.

Critics have argued that the situation of the ancient Greeks is too different to be able to inform our own political problems. However, even though our societies are more complex and differentiated, it is often claimed that the world has “grown smaller”. In certain, important aspects, I argue, we find ourselves in a predicament similar to that of the Greeks. Just as the well-being of the polis depended on the involvement of each and every citizen, so the well-being of the planet depends on us today: not as private individuals, but as citizens involved in political creation.

Ingerid S. Straume

Ingerid S. Straume is a philosopher of education based at the University of Oslo and the Rudolf Steiner University College. She has a PhD from 2010 on the Greek-French philosopher, psychoanalyst and political thinker Cornelius Castoriadis. Straume has authored and edited several works in the cross-disciplinary field of political thought, social theory and education. Her works include Depoliticization: The political imaginary of global capitalism (with J. F. Humphrey, 2011) Creation, Rationality and Autonomy: Essays on Cornelius Castoriadis (with G. Baruchello, 2013), Danningens filosofihistorie (2013) and an upcoming book (with Ole Jacob Madsen) on the pedagogy and psychology of climate change.

The lecture is supported by Fritt Ord. It is part of Imagining Commons – twelve days of exhibitions, performances, a camp, talks and lectures 5th – 17th June 2015 in Bergen. Imagining Commons is funded by Arts Council Norway, City of Bergen, Fritt Ord and Public Art Norway (URO).

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