N.2/2018 Dell'Uomo e dei Diritti

La trappola umanitaria: l’umano come cifra dell’accumulazione neoliberale. Una recensione critica di Ragione Umanitaria. Una storia morale del tempo presente, di Didier Fassin

Andrea Caroselli

Università di Padova

 

Miguel Mellino
Università di Napoli L’Orientale

Published in December, 2018

La trappola umanitaria: l’umano come cifra dell’accumulazione neoliberale. Una recensione critica di Ragione Umanitaria. Una storia morale del tempo presente, di Didier Fassin

Abstract

In this essay we propose a critical review of Didier Fassin’s “La raison humanitaire. Une histoire morale du temps présent”, recently translated into Italian and published by DeriveApprodi. In the first part, we analyze the author’s theoretical framework, especially his main hypothesis, i.e. the “deployment of moral feelings” as a new (western) rationality of government; then, we proceed to examine the subjective and objective consequences that the “humanitarian reason” – as an ethic counterpoint to the securitarian “reason of State” – elicits on the contemporary political action. By illustrating the connections between this dispositif and neoliberalism’s economic transformations, we underline the political activism’s aporias produced by a discourse which, albeit introducing itself as “resistant”, it becomes indistinguishable from current mechanisms of accumulation by dispossession. For this purpose, we pinpoint the theoretical and political blind spots of Fassin’s work and how his perspective reveals itself as part of the described symptom. In line with the tradition of French Republicanism, he narrates a euro-centric history where non-western subaltern subjects’ role is omitted. In addition, the author’s vision of science as neutral knowledge about the social world works as a form of political agnosticism. By doing so, the “Raison humanitaire” repeats – despite Fassin’s critical positioning towards it – the coloniality of current humanitarian discourse.

Keywords

humanitarianism, neoliberalism, coloniality, subaltern, moral feelings

G.C.S.I. - Giornale Critico di Storia delle Idee
Rivista internazionale di filosofia

Direzione Editoriale:
Andrea Tagliapietra e Sebastiano Ghisu

Direttore Responsabile:
Giovanni Campus

Autorizzazione del Tribunale di Sassari n.455 del 14/7/2008 - ISSN 2240-7995

Credits:

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