A French critical theorist and philosophical troll in a world of ivory tower intellectualism, bourgeois academics, and Jean Baudrillard, Ranciere stands out as a kind of anti-philosopher. A University of Paris professor and former student of Louis Althusser, Ranciere has committed his intellectual project to destroying its foundations. While that may sound a lot like Baudrillard , who wants to remind everyone that everything is simulation and nothing matters, or Nietzsche who attacks the foundations of Western metaphysics, Ranciere takes a different approach. Namely, by accusing every other philosopher of being a shitty Platonist and hating democracy.
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A French critical theorist and philosophical troll in a world of ivory tower intellectualism, bourgeois academics, and Jean Baudrillard, Ranciere stands out as a kind of anti-philosopher. A University of Paris professor and former student of Louis Althusser, Ranciere has committed his intellectual project to destroying its foundations. While that may sound a lot like Baudrillard , who wants to remind everyone that everything is simulation and nothing matters, or Nietzsche who attacks the foundations of Western metaphysics, Ranciere takes a different approach.
Namely, by accusing every other philosopher of being a shitty Platonist and hating democracy. There are two kinds of politics in the status quo, fake poser bullshit masquerading as politics and the real thing. Dissensus is the process by which actors disrupt the politics of the police. You see, the police are all about telling you what to do and where to do it. Remember that time that cop got all up in your grill for skateboarding in front of ? The police says that there is nothing to see on a road, that there is nothing to do but move along.
It asserts that the space of circulating is nothing other than the space of circulation. It is the established litigation of the perceptible.
You see, some bankers made this park on stolen native land for them to eat lunch in while they rested from robbing the world of millions of dollars with complicated derivatives and other bullshit nobody understands. And when those hipsters started camping out in Zuccoti Park and ruining those bankers lunches, the police calmly reminded the protesters that the park belonged to white people in suits.
Lol democracy. It started when people manifested themselves in the public spaces that were once apolitical. While Althusser and other Marxists were asserting the importance of Marxist academia in the French student revolts, Ranciere began to break away from this traditional mode of thought.
Marxist intellectuals accused the revolts of being bourgeois and undisciplined. To which Ranciere accused Marxists of being a bunch of little shits: The underlying idea, to focus solely on the theoretical level, is not only that Marxism is learned exclusively through books, but also that it is learned only from the classics.
It is that every development is a betrayal, that every application of Marxism is a deviation into pragmatism, ideology, and political manipulation. This was the time, for example, when it was common to teach that peaceful coexistence was the supreme form of class struggle. The purism of theory could not but have political effects. And that was really all that mattered: we could say everything, provided nothing that we said had practical effects. He argues that everyone in the Western tradition, from Plato to Marx, wants to become a philosopher king to shovel Truth into the mouths of the blind ignorant masses.
One of his most famous feuds is with fellow Althusser alumn Alain Badiou for his self-professed Platonism. Fuck this guy. Perhaps my constant praise might, in fact, be the worst fate that I could have in store for him.
Would doing so be precisely the most underhanded way to attack him? If, for example, I were to announce that we are in agreement on a number of important points, how would he take that? Would he rather just as soon change his mind on all those points and leave me behind? Forty years ago, it was supposed to unmask the machineries of domination, in order to provide the anti-capitalist fighters with new weapons.
It has turned to exactly the contrary: a form of nihilist knowledge of the reign of the commodity and the spectacle, of the equivalence of anything with anything and of anything with its image …The current disconnection between the critical procedures and any perspective of emancipation only reveals the disjunction at the heart of the critical paradigm.
It may make fun of its illusions but it remains enclosed in its logic. This is why I think it is necessary to re-examine the genealogy of the concepts and procedures of that logic and the way in which it got intertwined with the logic of social emancipation. You see, Ranciere has been hating on philosophers from the very beginning.
But in The Ignorant Schoolmaster, Ranciere takes teachers to task. You see, teachers are trying to make you stupid. Really stupid. Like you would be better off thinking about shit really hard instead of taking a class on something.
Why does he say that? There was this dude named Jacotot, and he was awesome. He was a French guy who went to teach in Belgium after the French Revolution. He was teaching French, but his students only spoke Flemish. He, by the way, did not speak Flemish. Laziest teacher ever. This shit works, and not just around random corners of Europe where the tradition was born.
You know how your dumb ass can barely figure out how to change the settings on your Kindle? You see, someone at One Laptop Per Child had the bright idea of just dumping a bunch of Motorola Zoom tablets in an Ethiopan village full of kids. The children did not speak English, which was the language loaded on the tablet, and they had never seen a computer before. Within weeks these kids were fucking wizards with the things so much so that they actually figured out how to jailbreak them.
Taped shut. No instruction, no human being. I thought, the kids will play with the boxes! He powered it up. Within five days, they were using 47 apps per child per day. Within two weeks, they were singing ABC songs [in English] in the village. And within five months, they had hacked Android.
Some idiot in our organization or in the Media Lab had disabled the camera! And they figured out it had a camera, and they hacked Android.
These other researchers decided to give this whole universal education thing a shot and gave a bunch of molecular biology textbooks to a bunch of Tamil-speaking kids in South India. The text books were in English. Indeed, after two months, when Mitra asked them what they understood of molecular biology, the children confirmed that they understood nothing. Want to Learn More About Ranciere?
Paul Bowman, by the way, is really into writing about the intersections of Bruce Lee and Ranciere.
The Ignorant Schoolmaster Explained
Translator Kristen Ross writes: "The very act of storytelling, an act that presumes in its interlocutor an equality of intelligence rather than an inequality of knowledge, posits equality, just as the act of explication posits inequality" xxii. The book is equally relevant to history as to philosophy of education; in the U. Main Concepts[ edit ] Stultifying Master vs. Emancipatory Master The explicator, "having thrown a veil of ignorance over everything that is to be learned, he appoints himself to the task of lifting it" Only by concealing knowledge from the student is the explicator able to teach it. This makes the student dependent on the master. The emancipatory master, on the other hand, teaches students only that he has nothing to teach them.
The work expresses Rousseauist ideas, e. It was translated to English in by Kristin Ross. Translator Kristen Ross writes: "The very act of storytelling, an act that presumes in its interlocutor an equality of intelligence rather than an inequality of knowledge, posits equality, just as the act of explication posits inequality" xxii. The book is equally relevant to history as to philosophy of education; in the U. Main Concepts Stultifying Master vs.
Who the Fuck is Jacques Ranciere?