Assembled Togetherness: New Materialism and the Aporias of Cosmopolitanism

But globalization, as a concept, seems to embody the very absence of structure. According to Jürgen Habermas, the global incorporates “a new opacity“, and following John Urry, globalization is a system that “combine[s] in curious and unexpected ways both chaos and order” at the same time. The crucial question is thus: how do we (re)conceptualize the structure/agency relation and in consequence also questions of responsibility, solidarity and ethics in a world marked by an unprecedented degree of non-linear interconnectivity? In short: how do we (re)think togetherness on a global scale?

I want to propose a Deleuze-Guattarian “assemblage approach,” because Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari have always been materialist thinkers with a strong agenda to free thought from the manacle of representation. Instead of founding their style of reasoning upon representation and identity, the two thinkers have sought to replace the dualist tradition of Platonism with a Spinozean monism of articulation, difference and multiplicities. Most importantly, the Deleuzean notion of assemblages, in particular as developed by Manuel DeLanda, offers interesting new perspectives on the problems delineated above. To begin with, let me briefly define what an assemblage is and how it can help us reconfigure the problems raised by cosmopolitanism.

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About Giorgio Bertini

Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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