Podcast for Social Research, Episode 53: Night of Ideas—Against Resilience: Exhaustion, Ecology, and Emancipation
Episode 53 of the Podcast for Social Research is part one of two episodes recorded live at the 2022 Night of Ideas at the Brooklyn Public Library, co-sponsored by Villa Albertine. The theme of the evening was “Where are We Going?” Ajay Singh Chaudhary’s response, “Against Resilience: Exhaustion, Ecology, and Emancipation” traces the genealogies and uses of the concept of resilience and its limitation in social and political theory. The foundation for “left-wing climate realism,” Ajay argues, are to be found in rejecting the atomizing and internalizing imperatives of “resilience” in favor of the externalization of “exhaustion” into a real politics of power and conflict, citing anti-colonial and even Civil War precedents. Why is the ubiquitous concept of resilience so vague and yet so deleterious? How should we understand ecological and social exhaustion today? And what are the discomfiting implications of a political theory entirely structured by this ecological moment?