Facing the Planetary: Entangled Humanism and the Politics of Swarming
William E. Connolly is Krieger-Eisenhower Professor at Johns Hopkins University where he teaches political theory. He is a former editor of Political Theory and one of the cofounders of Theory & Event. His recent books include The Fragility of Things; A World of Becoming; Capitalism and Christianity, American Style; and Pluralism, all also published by Duke University Press.
The Politics of Swarming and the General Strike
This chapter addresses the political urgency of today. Drawing sustenance from diverse thinker-activists such as Naomi Klein, Gandhi, Wangari Maathai, Bruno Latour, and Pope Francis, the chapter explores how an active pluralist assemblage can be built from constituencies that diverge in regional location, social position, and onto-creed while sharing affinities of cultural spirituality. A politics of swarming is articulated that allows constituencies to move on several registers and scales of activism. As the urgency of time tightens the chapter also pursues the improbable necessity of forging general strikes in different regions at the same time. Such nonviolent strikes would place internal and external pressure on states, corporations, universities, temples, banks, and international agencies to incite radical reform in the old capitalist states, to aid regions most affected by climate change, to transform eco-destructive carbon extraction processes and infrastructures of consumption, and to respond to centuries of eco damage in racialized urban zones.