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On Big Thief's Two Hands , the songs flow together and were purposely linked without pauses. This is an arid record purposely made in the desert with an audible dryness and shimmer to the sound. Margaret Atwood's The Testaments provides a hard-earned and much-needed "happy" ending to the dystopian parallel universe that is The Handmaid's Tale , albeit at great cost and courage to one vital witness.

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Travel back in time a decade ago to , when indie rock was in its full ascendency,and hear the songs that soundtracked the era. Ranging in tone and style, Metronomy's Metronomy Forever feels like a spiritual successor to their second album Nights Out. She has no problem with this.

Chris Ware's parallel storytelling, his ability to jump time periods, and his meticulous attention to detail create an immersive world in Pantheon Graphic Library's compilation, Rusty Brown. Twenty years into their career, instrumentally-driven trio Dysrhythmia still find new ways to surprise and astound listeners. Virtuosity isn't the only thing that matters here but it sure gives us a lot of marvel at on Terminal Threshold. All rights reserved. Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.

Powered by RebelMouse. Imagine orienting yourself on a map, scratching a red "X" to mark your location, and then realizing how precarious your position is, how perilously far you are from where you want to be. Nolite te Bastardes Carborundorum: On the Literature of Witness in Margaret Atwood's 'The Testaments' Margaret Atwood's The Testaments provides a hard-earned and much-needed "happy" ending to the dystopian parallel universe that is The Handmaid's Tale , albeit at great cost and courage to one vital witness.

With 'Freaking Out! Despair and Hope in Chris Ware's 'Rusty Brown' Chris Ware's parallel storytelling, his ability to jump time periods, and his meticulous attention to detail create an immersive world in Pantheon Graphic Library's compilation, Rusty Brown.

Dysrhythmia Reach Technical Ecstasy With 'Terminal Threshold' album stream Twenty years into their career, instrumentally-driven trio Dysrhythmia still find new ways to surprise and astound listeners. The 50 Best Songs of Poetry and stories need to be censored to guarantee such an education b. Poetry should: i present the gods as good and only as causes of good a ; ii as unchanging in form d ; iii as beings who refrain from lies and deception e.

Socrates moves on to discuss the manner in which stories should be told d. He divides such manners into simple narration in third person and imitative narration in first person, d. To keep the guardians doing only their job, Socrates argues that the guardians may imitate only what is appropriate for this ed. The just city should allow only modes and rhythms that fit the content of poetry allowed in the just city bc. Socrates explains how good art can lead to the formation of good character and make people more likely to follow their reason ec.

Socrates turns to the physical education of the guardians and says that it should include physical training that prepares them for war, a careful diet, and habits that contribute to the avoidance of doctors cb. Physical education should be geared to benefit the soul rather than the body, since the body necessarily benefits when the soul is in a good condition, whereas the soul does not necessarily benefit when the body is in a good condition b-c.

Socrates begins to describe how the rulers of the just city are to be selected from the class of the guardians: they need to be older, strong, wise, and wholly unwilling to do anything other than what is advantageous to the city bb. Socrates suggests that they need to tell the citizens a myth that should be believed by subsequent generations in order for everyone to accept his position in the city bd. The myth of metals portrays each human as having a precious metal in them: those naturally suited to be rulers have gold, those suited to be guardians have silver, and those suited for farming and the other crafts have bronze.

Socrates proceeds to discuss the living and housing conditions of the guardians: they will not have private property, they will have little privacy, they will receive what they need from the city via taxation of the other classes, and they will live communally and have common messes ee. Adeimantus complains that the guardians in the just city will not be very happy a.

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Socrates points out that the aim is to make the whole city, and not any particular class, as happy as possible b. Socrates discusses several other measures for the city as a whole in order to accomplish this. There should be neither too much wealth nor too much poverty in the city since these cause social strife da.

The just city should be only as large in size as would permit it to be unified and stable b. He suggests that they should only allow very limited ways by which innovations may be introduced to education or change in the laws be. The just city will follow traditional Greek religious customs b. With the founding of the just city completed, Socrates proceeds to discuss justice d. He claims that the city they have founded is completely good and virtuous and thus it is wise, courageous, moderate, and just e.


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Justice will be what remains once they find the other three virtues in it, namely wisdom, courage, and moderation a. The wisdom of the just city is found in its rulers and it is the type of knowledge that allows them to rule the city well b-d. The courage of the just city is found in its military and it is correct and lawful belief about what to fear and what not to fear ab. Socrates then proceeds to find the corresponding four virtues in the individual d.

Socrates defends the analogy of the city and the individual a-b and proceeds to distinguish three analogous parts in the soul with their natural functions b. By using instances of psychological conflict, he distinguishes the function of the rational part from that of the appetitive part of the soul a. Then he distinguishes the function of the spirited part from the functions of the two other parts ee.

The function of the rational part is thinking, that of the spirited part the experience of emotions, and that of the appetitive part the pursuit of bodily desires. Socrates points out that one is just when each of the three parts of the soul performs its function d. Socrates is now ready to answer the question of whether justice is more profitable than injustice that goes unpunished ea.

To do so he will need to examine the various unjust political regimes and the corresponding unjust individuals in each c-e. Socrates is about to embark on a discussion of the unjust political regimes and the corresponding unjust individuals when he is interrupted by Adeimantus and Polemarchus a-b. They insist that he needs to address the comment he made earlier that the guardians will possess the women and the children of the city in common b-d. Socrates reluctantly agrees ab and begins with the suggestion that the guardian women should perform the same job as the male guardians c-d.


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  • Some may follow convention and object that women should be given different jobs because they differ from men by nature a-c. Socrates responds by indicating that the natural differences between men and women are not relevant when it comes to the jobs of protecting and ruling the city. Both sexes are naturally suited for these tasks d-e. Socrates goes on to argue that the measure of allowing the women to perform the same tasks as the men in this way is not only feasible but also best.

    This is the case since the most suited people for the job will be performing it c. Socrates also proposes that there should be no separate families among the members of the guardian class: the guardians will possess all the women and children in common c-d. Socrates proceeds to discuss how this measure is for the best and Glaucon allows him to skip discussing its feasibility a-c. The best guardian men are to have sex with the best guardian women to produce offspring of a similar nature dd. Socrates describes the system of eugenics in more detail. In order to guarantee that the best guardian men have sex with the best guardian women, the city will have marriage festivals supported by a rigged lottery system ea.

    The best guardian men will also be allowed to have sex with as many women as they desire in order to increase the likelihood of giving birth to children with similar natures a-b. Once born, the children will be taken away to a rearing pen to be taken care of by nurses and the parents will not be allowed to know who their own children are c-d.

    This is so that the parents think of all the children as their own. Socrates recognizes that this system will result in members of the same family having intercourse with each other c-e. Socrates proceeds to argue that these arrangements will ensure that unity spreads throughout the city ad. Thereafter, Socrates discusses how the guardians will conduct war e.

    Glaucon interrupts him and demands an account explaining how such a just city can come into being c-e. Socrates admits that this is the most difficult criticism to address a. Then he explains that the theoretical model of the just city they constructed remains valid for discussing justice and injustice even if they cannot prove that such a city can come to exist bb. Socrates claims that the model of the just city cannot come into being until philosophers rule as kings or kings become philosophers c-d.

    He also points out that this is the only possible route by which to reach complete happiness in both public and private life e. Socrates indicates that they to, discuss philosophy and philosophers to justify these claims b-c. Philosophers love and pursue all of wisdom b-c and they especially love the sight of truth e. Philosophers are the only ones who recognize and find pleasure in what is behind the multiplicity of appearances, namely the single Form a-b.

    Socrates distinguishes between those who know the single Forms that are and those who have opinions d. Those who have opinions do not know, since opinions have becoming and changing appearances as their object, whereas knowledge implies that the objects thereof are stable ee. Socrates goes on to explain why philosophers should rule the city. They should do so since they are better able to know the truth and since they have the relevant practical knowledge by which to rule.

    Adeimantus objects that actual philosophers are either useless or bad people a-d. Socrates responds with the analogy of the ship of state to show that philosophers are falsely blamed for their uselessness ea. Like a doctor who does not beg patients to heal them, the philosopher should not plead with people to rule them b-c. Thus, someone can only be a philosopher in the true sense if he receives the proper kind of education.

    After a discussion of the sophists as bad teachers ac , Socrates warns against various people who falsely claim to be philosophers b-c. Since current political regimes lead to either the corruption or the destruction of the philosopher, he should avoid politics and lead a quiet private life c-d. Socrates then addresses the question of how philosophy can come to play an important role in existing cities e.

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    Those with philosophical natures need to practice philosophy all their lives, especially when they are older a-c. The only way to make sure that philosophy is properly appreciated and does not meet hostility is to wipe an existing city clean and begin it anew a. Socrates concludes that the just city and the measures proposed are both for the best and not impossible to bring about c.

    Socrates proceeds to discuss the education of philosopher kings c-d. The most important thing philosophers should study is the Form of the Good a. Socrates considers several candidates for what the Good is, such as pleasure and knowledge and he rejects them b-d. He points out that we choose everything with a view to the good e.

    Socrates attempts to explain what the Form of the Good is through the analogy of the sun cd. As the sun illuminates objects so the eye can see them, the Form of the Good renders the objects of knowledge knowable to the human soul. As the sun provides things with their ability to be, to grow, and with nourishment, the Form of the Good provides the objects of knowledge with their being even though it itself is higher than being b. Socrates offers the analogy of the divided line to explain the Form of the Good even further dd. He divides a line into two unequal sections once and then into two unequal sections again.

    The lowest two parts represent the visible realm and the top two parts the intelligible realm. Corresponding to each of these, there is a capacity of the human soul: imagination, belief, thought, and understanding. The line also represents degrees of clarity and opacity as the lowest sections are more opaque and the higher sections clearer.

    Socrates continues his discussion of the philosopher and the Forms with a third analogy, the analogy of the cave ac. True education is the turning around of the soul from shadows and visible objects to true understanding of the Forms c-d. Philosophers who accomplish this understanding will be reluctant to do anything other than contemplate the Forms but they must be forced to return to the cave the city and rule it. Those who eventually become philosopher kings will initially be educated like the other guardians in poetry, music, and physical education d-e.

    Then they will receive education in mathematics: arithmetic and number c , plane geometry c , and solid geometry b. Following these, they will study astronomy e , and harmonics d. Then they will study dialectic which will lead them to understand the Forms and the Form of the Good a. Socrates gives a partial explanation of the nature of dialectic and leaves Glaucon with no clear explanation of its nature or how it may lead to understanding aa.

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    Then they discuss who will receive this course of education and how long they are to study these subjects ab. The ones receiving this type of education need to exhibit the natural abilities suited to a philosopher discussed earlier. After the training in dialectic the education system will include fifteen years of practical political training ec to prepare philosopher kings for ruling the city.

    Socrates concludes by suggesting that the easiest way to bring the just city into being would be to expel everyone over the age of ten out of an existing city eb. Socrates picks up the argument that was interrupted in Book V. Glaucon remembers that Socrates was about to describe the four types of unjust regime along with their corresponding unjust individuals cb. Socrates announces that he will begin discussing the regimes and individual that deviate the least from the just city and individual and proceed to discuss the ones that deviate the most b-c.

    The cause of change in regime is lack of unity in the rulers d. Assuming that the just city could come into being, Socrates indicates that it would eventually change since everything which comes into being must decay a-b. The rulers are bound to make mistakes in assigning people jobs suited to their natural capacities and each of the classes will begin to be mixed with people who are not naturally suited for the tasks relevant to each class e.

    This will lead to class conflicts a. The first deviant regime from just kingship or aristocracy will be timocracy, that emphasizes the pursuit of honor rather than wisdom and justice d ff. The timocratic individual will have a strong spirited part in his soul and will pursue honor, power, and success a. This city will be militaristic. Oligarchy arises out of timocracy and it emphasizes wealth rather than honor c-e. Socrates discusses how it arises out of timocracy and its characteristics ce : people will pursue wealth; it will essentially be two cities, a city of wealthy citizens and a city of poor people; the few wealthy will fear the many poor; people will do various jobs simultaneously; the city will allow for poor people without means; it will have a high crime rate.

    Because what I experience now can be immediately recalled, it is repeatable and that repeatability therefore motivates me to anticipate the same thing happening again. Therefore, what is happening right now is also not different from every other now I have ever experienced. At the same time , the present experience is an event and it is not an event because it is repeatable. The conclusion is that we can have no experience that does not essentially and inseparably contain these two agencies of event and repeatability.

    This basic argument contains four important implications. First , experience as the experience of the present is never a simple experience of something present over and against me, right before my eyes as in an intuition; there is always another agency there. Repeatability contains what has passed away and is no longer present and what is about to come and is not yet present. The present therefore is always complicated by non-presence. Second , the argument has disturbed the traditional structure of transcendental philosophy, which consists in a linear relation between foundational conditions and founded experience.

    In traditional transcendental philosophy as in Kant for example , an empirical event such as what is happening right now is supposed to be derivative from or founded upon conditions which are not empirical. Or, in traditional transcendental philosophy, the empirical event is supposed to be an accident that overcomes an essential structure.

    We can describe this second implication in still another way. In traditional philosophy we always speak of a kind of first principle or origin and that origin is always conceived as self-identical again something like a Garden of Eden principle. Third , if the origin is always heterogeneous, then nothing is ever given as such in certainty. Whatever is given is given as other than itself, as already past or as still to come. Faith, perjury, and language are already there in the origin. Fourth , if something like a fall has always already taken place, has taken place essentially or necessarily, then every experience contains an aspect of lateness.

    It seems as though I am always late for the origin since it seems to have always already disappeared. So far, we can say that the argument is quite simple although it has wide-ranging implications. As we said above, Derrida will frequently write about autobiography as a form of auto-affection or self-relation. Always, Derrida tries to show that auto-affection is hetero-affection; the experience of the same I am thinking about myself is the experience of the other insofar as I think about myself I am thinking of someone or something else at the same time.

    In Voice and Phenomenon Derrida recognizes that perception, for Husserl, is that of adumbrations, with an intentional meaning unifying the different profiles. However, Derrida sees in the principle of all principles and in Husserl's introduction of an Idea in the Kantian sense Husserl , —, paragraph the imposition of a telos for perception towards a pure intuition, pure presence or givenness, uncontaminated by signification.

    More specifically, Derrida argues that, when Husserl describes lived-experience Erlebnis , even absolute subjectivity, he is speaking of an interior monologue, auto-affection as hearing-oneself-speak. It is unique because there seems to be no external detour from the hearing to the speaking; in hearing-oneself-speak there is self-proximity.

    It seems therefore that I hear myself speak immediately in the very moment that I am speaking. As is well known, Derrida focuses on the status of retention in Voice and Phenomenon. Retention in Husserl has a strange status since Husserl wants to include it in the present as a kind of perception and at the same time he recognizes that it is different from the present as a kind of non-perception. In other words, in the very moment, when silently I speak to myself, it must be the case that there is a miniscule hiatus differentiating me into the speaker and into the hearer. There must be a hiatus that differentiates me from myself, a hiatus or gap without which I would not be a hearer as well as a speaker.

    This hiatus also defines the trace, a minimal repeatability. And this hiatus, this fold of repetition, is found in the very moment of hearing-myself-speak. I must be distanced from myself so that I am able to be both seer and seen. The space between, however, remains obstinately invisible. Remaining invisible, the space gouges out the eye, blinds it. I see myself over there in the mirror and yet, that self over there is other than me; so, I am not able to see myself as such. In short, and this is what Derrida is most interested in, psychoanalysis has isolated a negation which is in fact an affirmation.

    The fundamental question then for negative theology, but also for psychoanalysis, and for Derrida is how to deny and yet also not deny. This duality between not telling and telling is why Derrida takes up the idea of the secret. The secret as such , as secret, separates and already institutes a negativity; it is a negation that denies itself. Here Derrida speaks of a secret as such. Here we can see the relation of hearing-oneself-speak that we just saw in Voice and Phenomenon. Keeping a secret includes necessarily auto-affection: I must speak to myself of the secret. We might however say more, we might even say that I am too weak for this speaking of the secret to myself not to happen.

    I must have a conceptual grasp of it; I have to frame a representation of the secret. With the idea of a re-presentation I must present the secret to myself again in order to possess it really , we also see retention, repetition, and the trace or a name. A trace of the secret must be formed, in which case, the secret is in principle shareable. If the secret must be necessarily shareable, it is always already shared.

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    In other words, in order to frame the representation of the secret, I must negate the first negation, in which I promised not to tell the secret: I must tell the secret to myself as if I were someone else. In order to keep the secret or the promise , I must necessarily not keep the secret I must violate the promise. So, I possess the secret and do not possess it. This structure has the consequence of there being no secret as such. A secret is necessarily shared. There Derrida is discussing the United Nations, which he says combines the two principles of Western political thought: sovereignty and democracy.

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    Democracy and sovereignty contradict one another in the following way. On the one hand, in order to be sovereign, one must wield power oneself, take responsibility for its use by oneself, which means that the use of power, if it is to be sovereign, must be silent; the sovereign does not have to give reasons; the sovereign must exercise power in secret. In other words, sovereignty attempts to possess power indivisibly, it tries not to share, and not sharing means contracting power into an instant—the instant of action, of an event, of a singularity.

    On the other hand, democracy calls for the sovereign to share power, to give reasons, to universalize. In democracy the use of power therefore is always an abuse of power see Haddad , pp. Derrida can also say that sovereignty and democracy are inseparable from one another the contradiction makes them heterogeneous to one another because democracy even though it calls for universalization giving reasons in an assembly also requires force, freedom, a decision, sovereign power.

    For Derrida, in democracy, a decision the use of power is always urgent; and yet here is the contradiction , democracy takes time, democracy makes one wait so that the use of power can be discussed. There must be sovereignty, and yet, there can be no use of power without the sharing of it through repetition.

    It can only tend toward imperial hegemony. Throughout his career, Derrida elaborates on the basic argumentation in many ways. On the other hand, it means that there is a lot more of one, only one, the most one. And, it is not only a repetition; this self-divergence is also violence, a rending of oneself, an incision. It is this complete exclusion or this extermination of the most — there is no limit to this violence—that makes this violence the worst violence. The worst is a relation that makes of more than one simply one, that makes, out of a division, an indivisible sovereignty. But the structure, for Derrida, can always happen as an event.

    Agencies such as the International Criminal Court, the demand for universal human rights encroach on nation-state sovereignty. This violence no longer has to do with world war or even with war , even less with some right to wage war.

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    To be more suicidal is to kill oneself more. The Politics of Friendship , p. This innumerable rejection resembles a genocide or what is worse an absolute threat. The absolute threat can no longer be contained when it comes neither from an already constituted state nor even from a potential state that might be treated as a rogue state Rogues , p.

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    What Derrida is saying here is that the worst is possible, here and now, more possible than ever. As I said, Derrida always uses the basic argumentation that we have laid out against the idea of the worst; today the tendency towards the worst is greater than ever. The purpose in the application — this purpose defines deconstruction—is to move us towards, not the worst violence, not the most violence, but the least violence Writing and Difference , p. How does the application of the argumentation against the worst work?

    We can see in this etymology the inseparable dualities we examined above: singular event and machine-like repeatability; auto-affection as hetero-affection. What we can see in this attempt to conceive the link as it is prior to its determination in terms of man and God is an attempt to make the link be as open as possible. Throughout his career, Derrida is always interested in the status of animality since it determines the limit between man and others. Here despite the immense influence they have had on his thought, Derrida breaks with both Heidegger and Levinas both of whom did not open the link this wide see Points , p.

    All are to be treated not as enemies who must be expelled or exterminated, but as friends. Nevertheless, as Derrida constantly stresses, we cannot really identify the friend as such. Unconditional hospitality is dangerous. This danger explains why unconditional openness of the borders is not the best as opposed to what we were calling the worst above ; it is only the less bad or less evil, the less violence. Indeed, it looks as though the unconditional opening is not possible.

    There always seems to be factual conditions. Among all the others we must decide, we must assign them papers, which means that there is always, still, necessarily violence at the borders. At once, in hospitality, there is the force that moves towards to the other to welcome and the force to remain unscathed and pulled back from the other, trying to keep the door closed. We must make one more point. The impossibility of unconditional hospitality means that any attempt to open the globe completely is insufficient.

    But this deconstruction would be a deconstruction that recognizes its own insufficiency. Deconstruction, to which we now turn, never therefore results in good conscience, in the good conscience that comes with thinking we have done enough to render justice. There Descartes says that for a long time he has been making mistakes. Derrida has provided many definitions of deconstruction.