In this interesting post, Andrzej talks about singing, and the political significance of breaking-out into song and the state infrastructures of em0tion.–Nicholas
Tunisia already signed a new, more democratic constitution. It is a small step toward rebuilding the state after the Arab Spring.
Using this example, I would like to discuss something different — the role of emotions in the making of politics. Such a statement is, today, quite obvious. We discuss the role of emotion in politics since at least Machiavelli. This subject takes Martha C. Nussbaum in her latest book Political Emotions Why Love Matters for Justice. But as an STS scholar, I think that we should be more specific and empirical.
What is interesting for me is looking for concrete emotional machines, emotional attractors, which are creating a political force. I am thinking about particular songs, which bring people together (remember Tarde’a law of imitation); I would like to threat such songs a attractors which starts, condense processes of self-organization.
Let me follow one of such songs, let begin form Tunisian version, by Emel Mathlouthi:
and other version of this song form Tunisia:
This song is a Arabic version of Catalan song “L’Estaca” written by Lluís Llach against dictatorship of Franco.
And it was very popular under title “Mury” as anticommunist song in Poland during Communist regime:
Maybe, if we care about “the State,” democratic politics and social emancipation, we should sing more? But remember that song is only a attractor — an empty container — which can be filled by different thing. This ambiguity is quite nice shown by Zizek analysis of Beethoven “Ode to Joy” in his last movie “Pervert guide to ideology”.