Clayton Crockett’s Deleuze Beyond Badiou is more than a commentary on Badiou’s reading of Deleuze or a defense of Deleuze. It is, rather, a transdisciplinary work that crosses the domains of theology, philosophy, and politics through a reading of the relationship between Deleuze and Badiou. Crockett’s goal, however, is not primarily descriptive but constructive, in that he uses the relationship between the two philosophers as a means for thinking otherwise.
The use of social media enables the projection of self-identity through digital content. It also enables new possibilities for self-surveillance and surveillance by others, including the state. The Boston Marathon bombings helped demonstrate the nexus between social media and the surveillance state.
The state is in crisis in an increasingly globalized world. Christians are called to a post-Constantinian engagement with the political order, embodying an incarnational practice that engages with the local context of believers and an eschatological vision focused on the full flourishing of all humanity and all of creation.
The increasing use of drone warfare under the Obama administration represents an attempt to maintain the concept of “unlawful combatant” while avoiding the publicity associated with Bush-era policies. This policy is a failed attempt to hide the modern state’s inability to adequately deal with global terrorism.
The record number of deportations under the Obama administration and the shift in enforcement strategy from worksite raids to isolated, yet more numerous, detentions is a symptom of a crisis faced by the modern state in an increasingly globalized economy. The state seeks to hide the coercion used to sustain the social imaginary now threatened by a changing world.
Commenting on the role of the state in a recent article in the Church Times (UK), John Milbank as one the leaders of Radical Orthodoxy says that the state has no goals “save its economic power and no interest in the person save as an atomised cog in a well-oiled machine”. In other words, it is hard to see how the state contributes anything other than an instrumental approach to the affairs and concerns of its citizens. Such a negative and dismissive interpretation of the state seems the predominant view not only within influential sources in theology but also from the realms of more radical political philosophy. Why is this so and is it a satisfactory and adequate understanding? If it is not, what alternative approach might be adopted by a Political Theology?