This book explores politics as a form of alchemy, understood as the transformation of entities through an alteration of their identities. Identifying this process as a common denominator of many political phenomena, such as EU integration, mediatisation, communism or globalisation, the author demonstrates not only the widespread presence of alchemical techniques in politics, but also the acceleration of their deployment. A study of the steady growth of power as it reaches a continuous and permanent stage, thus avoiding the inherent difficulties connected with birth and death of political organisations and institutions, this volume reveals political alchemy to be a form of self-sustaining growth through sterile multiplication, devoid of meaning. Revealing both the integrative and disintegrative nature of a political process that, while appearing to work in the interests of all, in fact produces apathy, desperate mobilisation and despair by crushing concrete entities such as personality and tradition, Political Alchemy: Technology Unbounded will appeal to scholars of sociology and anthropology with interests in social theory and political thought.
Table of Contents
2. The fluxed matrix
3. Replicators in compositions
4. Charis vs. the automaton
5. The raised power
6. Catacombing sensuals
7. The multiplicative automatism
Agnes Horvath is the chief and founding editor of International Political Anthropology. She is the author of Modernism and Charisma, the co-author of The Dissolution of Communist Power: The Case of Hungary, Walking into the Void: A Historical Sociology and Political Anthropology of Walking, and The Political Sociology and Anthropology of the Evil: Tricksterology, and co-editor of Breaking Boundaries: Varieties of Liminality, Walling, Boundaries and Liminality: A Political Anthropology of Transformations, Divinization and Technology: The Political Anthropology of Subversion, and Modern Leaders: Between Charisma and Trickery.