« Book! | Main | Jonathan Cook: How I found myself with the Islamic Fascists »

August 10, 2006


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


Yes but, there is desire aplenty in the idea of a 'justice to-come'!


Hi Jodi, Congrats on the book! I will go one-click, pre-order after this. But, following Charles, what distinction do you see between the justice you describe here and "justice-to-come." I always, always miss the failings and shortcomings of Derrida that others see so readily .....


Thanks, Ken--hope you like the book.

Ken and Charles: to me the difference has to do with desire; maybe I'm wrong about this, but I don't have a sense of justice to come as figured through or thought through desire. It doesn't have to be incompatible with it; but my sense is that Iris Young (and here I'm reading her through Zizek as well as Marcuse, who she draws on directly) emphasizes the role of lack and desire, the working of the negative in propelling both the sense of current inadequacy and the hope for something more; so, justice isn't simply to come, the awareness and appreciation of the fact that it is missing, combined with the desire for something more, is what enables us to think something like justice as an ideal at all.


Hi Jodi,

First time responder, long time reader.

Is not the difference b/t the conditional and the unconditional a form of lack, or a lack that anticipates and creates the desire for the unconditional (justice)?

I'm wondering if Young's conception of justice seems more "protean and expansive" because it hinges on desire, a figure that, rhetorically, is associated with a sense of not only the visceral/physical/primordial but the unbounded and seemingly infinite. And perhaps if Derrida had used terms like desire his conception of the avenir would not seem so bloodless, metaphysical, or undead.

In any regard, I appreciate your gloss of Young. I confess I'm unfamiliar with her work, but heartened to discover her unwillingness to fully join the others who desperately reach back for the Enlightenment in order to approach today's political problems.


GPatrick--thanks for commenting! (you have a terrific blog, btw). I like very much the way you express the point of the difference between the conditional and unconditional in terms of lack (I might be tempted to frame it in terms of a lack that splits the conditional from itself thereby introducing the possibility of the unconditional).

To me, your point about the visceral and physical dimensions of desire, particularly as I find it in Young, is a good one. I confess to being a poor reader of Derrida--there are some texts that I've benefitted from, but he's never spoken to me in a sense of really capturing my imagination or longing. I think that the matter may be of language. Young, particulary in her earlier writing, was influenced by Kristeva and Iragary. She also wrote about embodiment (her essays on breasts and menstruation are staples of many women's studies courses). I confess that I was surprised and a enchanted when I came back to her work as I wrote an obituary for her over the past couple of days. I had forgotten the activist passion which informs her work; that is, I had too quickly shelved her with the liberals and Habermasians. This was to my detriment. Fortunately, I can still learn from her writing.


Congratulations on your new book. I have pre-ordered it at once.

i think the desire would generate the praxis and the possibilities in all the impossiblities.

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo