Curatorial Initiatives
Kant's Essay

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In Conversation with Gregg Lambert

In April 2010, the Perpetual Peace Project filmed Gregg Lambert, one of the organizers of the project, speaking about the topic on Wall Street in downtown New York City. He spoke against the backdrop of the New York Stock Exchange building, insofar as Kant had acutely foreseen in the 18th century that money was itself an instrument of war.

Lambert noted that there are two moments of irony in the very opening of Kant's essay on Perpetual Peace. The first is that Kant envisions that the only place imaginable for perpetual peace is a graveyard, and the second is that the very idea of peace proposed by philosophy appears in the form of a child's game from the perspective of the practitioner or diplomat. Kant then frames the very opposition between a purely theoretical idea of peace and a purely practical knowledge of peace as a conspiracy between philosophy and politics from the 18th century onward. This conspiracy is embedded into the very terms of the "Secret Article" in his text, which stipulates that practitioners should consider the idea of peace and the perspective of the philosopher in preparing for war.

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