How can culture and subjectivity not be transformed, when opened to the vicissitudes of this vaster landscape and population which is globalization itself? No longer protected by family or region, nor even by the nation itself and its national identity, the emergence of the vulnerable subject into a world of billions of anonymous equals is bound to bring about still more momentous changes in human reality. The experience of singularity is, on this level, the very expression of this subjective destitution, one so often remedied by the regression into older group or religious structures, or the invention of pseudo-traditional ethnic identities, with results ranging from genocide to luxury hobbies. This dialectic, between egoism and pseudo-collectivity, carries within it at least one moment of truth, namely the radical differentiation—qualitative, ontological and methodological alike—between the analysis of individual experience and that of groups or collectivities. Both kinds of analysis share the dilemma of bearing on an imaginary object, one whose unity is impossible and whose stubborn endurance demands, on the one hand, a new ethic, and on the other a new politics. To project either of these impossible tasks is Utopian; to refuse them is frivolous and nihilistic. But it is the political dilemma we must face in conclusion.


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