Neal Curtis is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Film, Television and Media Studies at the University of Auckland. He is the author of Against Autonomy, Ashgate 2001; War and Social Theory, Palgrave 2006; and Idiotism, Pluto 2013. His current interests include media theory, technology and comics and is currently writing a book called On Sovereignty and Superheroes for Manchester University Press.
- "The term I used to describe this condition is ‘idiotism’, and is derived from the Greek word for private, idios."
- "To articulate this I wish to briefly turn to three philosophers: Jacques Rancière, who argues that democratic politics does not aim at consensus but is in fact a ‘rationality of disagreement’; Jan Patočka, who argued that democracy is tied to the birth of history, not its end; and Cornelius Castoriadis, who argued that democracy is the continual expression of the human capacity to create new forms of social organisation."
- "This is a truth that speaks to creativity more than correspondence."
- "Patočka states: ‘Polemos is what is common."
- "The gods of the preproblematic world assumed the police function that regulated everyday life and preserved social order."
- "Working against this is what he calls the ‘police’ function that seeks to maintain the already described or permitted distribution of who counts, speaks or is represented."
- "For them, democracy in the West is largely restricted to a set of descriptions about human nature and the best means for satisfying that nature that reinforces both the dogma of free market economics and the social hierarchy that dogma supports."
- "This can mean something that is held in common, such as land, or demos can refer to the public as a body of people."
- "History and politics—and especially the democratic politics that signalled the emergence of the world as a problem—mean having the courage to be drawn into the shaking of meaning and the demand to invent the world anew."
- "This is of further interest because in Greek demos has come to refer to the plebeians or common people as well as the citizenry, meaning it refers to both those excluded from the political process and those central to it."