The Promise of Promise: A Respite from Contingency (Essay) - Borderlands

The Promise of Promise: A Respite from Contingency (Essay)

By Borderlands

  • Release Date - Published: 2006-12-01
  • Book Genre: Reference
  • Author: Borderlands
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The Promise of Promise: A Respite from Contingency (Essay) Borderlands read online review & book description:

The promise of modernity contracts the future in an economy of signs. A sign of promise defers the presence of desire in political order. Hannah Arendt discovered in the "faculty of promising" a nonfoundational guarantee of stability, legitimacy, and authority in a world devoid of traditional constraints. I argue in this paper that promise goes beyond dropping extra-political anchors of legitimation. The endless promise, what I refer to as the promise of promise, creates order by channeling, encoding, and disciplining desire in political life. The paper examines the idea of promise as a fundamental ordering mechanism of modernity, as exemplified in the American polity during the immigration debates of the 1920s. The hegemonic American promise, pointed inward then and outward now, promises the "whole ground". The problem of order, I argue, is really a problem with desire, whose presence promise seeks to remain absent. Prelude to Promise

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