Politics Now

Ideology has an interest in effecting a change in our relationship to temporality because the subject who grasps its authentic temporality exists with an urgency to act that the ideological subject does not. The subject for whom time is just ‘a pure succession of nows’ never experiences the fleetingness of a situation. As Heidegger puts it, ‘Up to the end “it always has more time”’ (1996, 389). As a result, the ideological vulgar interpretation of time succeeds in producing docility. As subjects with an external relationship to time who see time as a series of nows, we can leave the field of the political to itself; its claims never truly touch us because nothing, not even the political, is exigent. But as subjects of authentic temporality, we recognize the need to intervene in our situation without delay; we become fully politicised beings…

the film not only reverses the usual cinematic role that romance plays relative to politics, but it also reveals the pathological stain at the source of all politicisation. One first becomes a politicised subject not out of some neutral concern for larger political questions or some universal desire to eliminate injustice but because of singular desire that bears only on one’s own subjectivity.


Tod McGowan, “The Temporality of the Real: The Path to Politics in The Constant Gardener

The Constant Gardener, directed by Fernando Mereille

The Constant Gardener, by John le Carré

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