Anti-Crisis by Janet Roitman

By Janet Roitman

Quandary is in all places: in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and the Congo; in our housing markets, cash markets, monetary structures, country budgets, and sovereign currencies. In Anti-Crisis, Janet Roitman steps again from the cycle of challenge creation to invite not only why we claim such a lot of crises but additionally what kind of analytical paintings the concept that of obstacle permits. What, she asks, are the stakes of "crisis"? Taking responses to the so-called subprime personal loan quandary of 2007-08 as her working example, Roitman engages with the paintings of thinkers starting from Reinhart Koselleck to Michael Lewis, and from Thomas Hobbes to Robert Shiller. within the technique, she questions the bases for claims to hindrance and exhibits how situation capabilities as a story equipment, or how the invocation of situation in modern debts of the monetary meltdown permits specific narratives, elevating definite questions whereas foreclosing others.

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74 Without doing justice to the depths of Luhmann’s work, suffice it to underscore the point that, in a world that is posited as an immanent field of observations, one is necessarily in a self-­referential system, which is unavoidably paradoxical (Luhmann 1990b, 123–43; 1995, 56–57; 1998; 2002, 130–33; Deleuze 1994). 75 What Luhmann communicates to us is that such self-­referential paradoxes are unavoidable, and there is no cause to prohibit or avoid them. Habitually posited as a logical contradiction, paradox is a foundational sign for an order without an origin.

Criticism operates through judgment, making the critic somehow distant or even apparently autonomous from social practice. Or, in denial of judgment as a feasible or defensible operation, critique is taken to be praxis, or a form of practice. Debates about these positions run through the legendary work of scholars associated with the Institute for Social Research, or the Frankfurt School, who sought to secure the grounds for immanent critique, or non-­foundationalist grounds for political action.

61 But this category of crisis, so integral to the production of new forms and the very intelligibility of the subject, is never problematized despite its cognate and historical-­ semantic relationship to critique. Apparently, for scholars past and present, attention to the problem of the grounds for critique has eclipsed the seemingly less imperative question of the grounds for positing crisis. The imperative to critique or even to sustain a critical relation to normativity ironically risks ontologizing the category of crisis.

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