Archive for June, 2020

We are all tuteishi (or, on not being posthuman)

Posted in Uncategorized on June 17, 2020 by Adrian J Ivakhiv

Published simultaneously at Immanence

A social media conversation prompted me to dig up something I had written in my notebook years ago after reading Serhii Plokhy’s masterful book on “premodern identities” in Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus. Which in turn prompted me to realize that coronavirus provides an answer to the question I had just finished writing an article about — what it means to be “posthuman” (and why I find that term inadequate).

The question is “who are we?” The answers that have been provided over the centuries fall into three general categories:

  • “We are X” (name your ethnic/national/cultural identity),
  • “We are human” (the modern/modernist answer), or
  • “We are something else (but not X and not exactly just human)” (e.g., animals, Devo, spirits in a material world, cyborgs, posthuman, becoming this or that, blah blah blah).

Here’s my contribution to answering that question.

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Yermolenko: Ukraine as ‘Tabula Rasa’

Posted in Uncategorized on June 5, 2020 by Adrian J Ivakhiv

New Eastern Europe has published a very interesting interview with philosopher Volodymyr Yermolenko.

A few snippets:

Some countries are ruled by military juntas, Russia is ruled by the KGB and Ukraine, I believe, is in fact ruled by a corrupt conglomerate made up of the judiciary, prosecution and the police. The army in Ukraine has been very weak for a long time and we did not really have intelligence services, so the police and judiciary took advantage of this power void and took over the country. These institutions are successfully reproducing through family ties and thanks to universities such as Odesa Law Academy run by Serhiy Kivalov (former chief of the State Election Commission under President Kuchma and head of the High Council of Justice under President Yanukovych). Unfortunately, reforms aimed at increasing the independence of judiciary encouraged by European institutions have only lead to strengthening of this judiciary and prosecution mafia. These changes were designed in accordance with models supported by the Council of Europe and based on Montesquieu’s idea that a judiciary can only be just if it is independent. However, in Ukraine the independence of the judiciary has simply meant that this corrupt system continues without challenge. As a result we are now in a deep crisis and it is hard to say what we can do about it.

[. . .]

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