För ett par år sedan hade jag förmånen att assistera Otto von Busch i hans kurs ”Design in dark times”.
Det finns såklart mycket jag tog med mig från den månad jag besökte Parsons/New School i NYC, men jag minns särskilt den text som givit namn till kursen. Parsons är ju Arendt-land, och vi läste alltså ur redigerade volymen Thinking in Dark Times: Hannah Arendt on Ethics and Politics. I introt skriver Roger Berkowitz;
In Men in Dark Times, Arendt responds to what she, borrowing from Martin Heidegger, calls the light of the public that obscures everything. The black light of the public realm is, of course, the chatter and talk that drown the reality of life in “incomprehensible triviality.” It is the vapid cliche?s that mar speech on TV news channels and by the water cooler. For Arendt, as for Heidegger, “everything that is real or authentic is assaulted by the overwhelming power of ‘mere talk’ that irresistibly arises out of the public realm.” And yet, Arendt, unlike Heidegger, resists the philosophical withdrawal from the public world into a realm of philosophical contemplation.
Instead of world-weary withdrawal, Arendt writes with the conviction that “we have the right to expect some illumination.” The darkness of the public spotlight is, she insists, not inevitable. On the contrary, it is possible and even necessary that darkness cede to light. (4)
Arendt söker alltså former för tänkandet, ett tänkande som står i kontrast mot offentliga sfärens svarta ljus.
In The Human Condition, she explains her project as a “matter of thought” that opposes the thoughtlessness that “seems to me among the outstanding characteristics of our time.” […]
By thinking Arendt means something quite specific, namely the silent dia- logue with oneself that Socrates describes in Plato’s Theaetetus. Only one who speaks with oneself will worry that in acting unethically he or she will have to live with a criminal. It is Socrates’ habit of thinking with his other self, his daimon, that Arendt argues stands behind Socrates’ moral claim that “it would be better for me that my lyre or a chorus I direct were out of tune and loud with discord, and that most men should not agree with me and contradict me, rather than that I, being one, should be out of tune with myself and contradict myself.” (5)
Det egna omdömet, den egna bedömningen är därmed central.
What is needed in dark times, Arendt shows us, are people who think and who, in thinking, make for themselves the space to judge. Instead of reason, Arendt teaches the supreme importance of thinking—the habit of erecting obstacles to oversimplifications, compromises, and conventions. “When everybody is swept away unthinkingly by what everybody else does and believes in,” Arendt wrote, “those who think are drawn out of hiding because their refusal to join in is conspicuous and thereby becomes a kind of action.” The thinker is the one who stands as a beacon not to some particular ideology or policy, but to following one’s conscience. (8)
Kom att tänka på detta i anslutning till Corona-karantänens eventuella effekter på vår nätvaro. Se Johans tweet:
I think we now need some guidelines on social media distancing: how to minimise one’s online activity to avoid spreading misinformation and being infected with irrational fears.
— Johan K. Sch. (@johank76) March 16, 2020
För min egen del skall jag försöka spendera mer tid på bloggen, och mindre i twittrandets och facebookandets svarta ljus.