Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Svagheden ved den svage tænkning

Fra samtale med Gianni Vattimo, Torino 2009 [beklager (begges) vanskeligheder med at begå sig på engelsk]:

PL: Do you think that the weakening thinking can be operationalized, that is, can you do something to have more weakening?

GV: Yeah, this is a problem because in order to engage more weakening I have to organize, I have to be strong. Okay, when somebody asks me this question, I say, it is very important to become strong in order to offer the other cheek. If you are weak, in many senses, weakness is if somebody strikes me, I answer immediately [by striking back], so you have to become strong in order to concur yourself. This is a way of connecting the gospels to the weakening in practice, but: No I understand what you mean, and this is also a contradiction in political engagement, because, for instance now I want to win a seat in the European Parliament, but in order to win I have to organize myself, with a group of persons, yeah, that´s a problem, I mean…

PL: But is it? As I have been reading you and Heidegger, I understand that you have to have metaphysics in order to weaken metaphysics…

GV: Yeah, you cannot imagine a world without metaphysics. You have to have the ideal of producing more and more. I usually say that you need a family and a church to betray them. When you travel around the world, if you have a family, you are more open to erotic and sexual adventure, because you know that this is not the way you are tied to the people to whom you…

PL: But I think that is the beauty about weakening thinking – not the thing about betraying your family – but the thing about accepting the absolute along with insisting on the weakening. And actually I think it´s the same as if, as I said I am writing a PhD on how to get the weakening thinking into business…
GV: Yeah, that´s interesting, but how do you do that?

PL: Well, I do that, to answer my previously question to you: I think the weakening thinking can be operationalized, and I think you can do it without taking power of something in organizations, but I think you have to look for some other structures than you usually use when you are developing for instance leadership or organizations in order to innovate. You are doing a lot of things in businesses today to set some of the creativity among the employers free, but you are always doing it on the premises of – the structure of – the organization… So you say you want to innovate, and you want to set it free, but there are some structures that you never set free, because they are the strong, metaphysical structures in businesses. – GV: I see – And so, I try to use the language and the metaphysical thinking to see if some of the characteristics in the language can be applied in weakening the strong structures in organizations. For instance, the relationship between a manager and the employer – how can you weaken this relationship without taking the power away from the manager…

GV: Yeah without substituting one leader with another, because that would be the same structure…

PL: Exactly – so you have to find a way to weaken this relationship, but still respecting the relationship…

GV: I would say that Nietzsche can help you very much in that, because he says that, for instance take Zarathustra, Zarathustra always invited his disciples to betray him, so “if you listen to me, you don´t listen to me”, it’s a sort of double-bind. But, and this is difficult to practice, but as a matter of fact, it is the question I have in my political life, for instance, because take the political situation in Italy: The left wing parties, in order to get into power, they have to become like the right wing parties, so they have to have money, propaganda, compromises with industries and banks and so. So, how can you do? Ehm, my thesis now, is a theory I learned by Charles Taylor, who is a Canadian philosopher, with whom I was in the United States many years ago, and in Italy there was a G8 in Geneve and so, and I was discussing with him and Rorty; what should we do? Fortunately I was not serving in Italy, because I was not elected. Well, its all very simple, you need to arms: the parliament and the street. A sort of continuous presence and demonstrations, …riles possibly not bloody, but the question is to invent non-violent forms of social struggle. And this is not easy. It is a question that is always open.

But the ideal can be set, I mean, for instance, to multiply, instead of trying to get the power in a party, to multiply the initiatives. For instance, when I was defeated in becoming the representative in the European Parliament for the second time in 2004, I decided to candidate for the position of mayor in a very small village in Calabria [?] – but I was defeated there also, so it was not a good idea – but it was the idea of beginning again from basic, scattered small initiatives, to multiply.

So, this is a, I take a political example because it is the most possibly connected to your business idea; it is a matter of organization, it has to be modified, transformed, not by simply taking the power. But, so, for instance, I became a sort of partisan of Chavez in Venezuela. I met him, I went to see Fidel Castro and so, and in Venezuela, Chavez persuaded me, off course I know that he is a soldier and he is not an anarchic governor, off course. But he multiplied popular initiatives in order to support the government. He calls them ‘les missiones’, they are groups of citizens who simply are partisans of Chavez, off course, who are supposed to help the bureaucracy of the state to do better extraction, social medicine and so. And it is a sort of dissolving the state by the participation of citizens. So, without killing all bureaucracy, off course. It is an example of weakening of society, of multiplying the initiatives.

1 comment:

  1. Hej Pia,

    Her taler I jo om hvordan man kan operationalisere svækkelsestanken i betydningen at skabe svækkelse.

    Jeg tror at det er tættere på Vattimos egen tænkning at se svækkelsen som en kraft der pågår, og som man kan lære at se og bruge, ikke skabe.
    (En kraft som almindeligvis bekæmpes eller ignoreres i organisationer.)

    Las Misiones i Venezuela er godt nok frivilligt styrede, men de er først og fremmest en operationalisering af Hugo Chavez' politik (og så er han jo i øvrigt en magtfuldkommen diktator der ikke vil give oppositionen en fair chance for at komme til magten).

    Operationalisering af svækkelse i organisationer vil sige at ledelsen trækker sig tilbage, sådan som væren trækker sig tilbage i Vattimos værk. Jeg må simpelthen i seng nu, men jeg vil lige nævne et par konkrete eksempler i organisations-sammenhæng:

    Ledere kan bruge selvironi til at svække deres egen autoritet (som jeg har hørt Oscar Molin tale om)

    En temaløs temadag

    Upræcist formulerede målsætninger

    LUV-samtaler hvor medarbejderen giver lederen anvisninger til hvordan han/hun kan arbejde for at give plads til medarbejderens indsats

    Det kan man ikke nødvendigvis drive mere effektive organisationer med, men man kan minimere den vold som autoritet forårsager i vores hverdag.

    Vattimo har netop en ikkevolds-etik som bevæggrund for at tænke den svage tanke - ikke en moral-økonomi.