What Was Left for the Rights? Radical Friendship and Foreigners

Since Hannah Arendt expressed her skepticism on the rights to be a citizen, the doctrine and practice of citizenship and ethnicity have been divided among analytical method, ethical responsibility, and, according to Eric Santner, those who do not take the ethical constellation for granted. Otherwise, they claim that bourgeois ethics is a form of “despolization” and “neutralization.” In my hunch, following the political phenomenology of Arendt's work, human rights must be understanding as an opening to the Other (Levinas) in the “dark background” context that Arendt described in the “Origins of Totalitarianism.” Law and society have not yet come to terms. Refugees are not an Other and do belong to a community because they are permanently pulled from the public space and throw into a “bare life”, as if they were in a virtual concentration camp. My presentation seeks to introduce the notion of the “Other” and how it could improve the current dimension of our “dark background.”