Inspired by Antonio Gramsci, sociologist Pascal Gielen defines the last decade as one of ‘organic crisis’. In such periods many (economic, political, ecological) crisis follow each other while the hegemonic order cannot deal with them anymore in a convincing way, and a new political paradigm that can sufficiently deal with them is not yet invented. In such a period the oppositions between left and right, between different ethnic groups, or between genders start to become more black & white. That’s why Gielen thinks also identity politics is problematic, or has at least a very problematic flip side that is contra-productive for finding solutions for this crisis. Instead we need to develop a so-called ambiguity politics inspired by ambiguity aesthetics, that could deal in a better way with the problems and contradictions of this contemporary world of rambling causalities. Such a politics is based on the recognition of the Other in ourselves, and on the understanding of ourselves and our societies as fundamentally ambiguous.
ambiguity politics; identity politics; organic crisis; aesthetic ambiguity