Transcribed from Examined Life (Zeitgeist Films), the words of Avital Ronnell.
If we’re not anxious, if we’re okay with things, we’re not trying to explore or figure anything out. So anxiety is the mood of ethicity.
Now I’m not proscribing anxiety disorder for anyone. …
This is something Derrida has taught. If you feel that you’ve acquitted yourself honorably, then you’re not so ethical. If you have a good conscience, then you’re kind of worthless. If you think, “Oh, I gave this homeless person five bucks, I’m great,” then you’re irresponsible.
The responsible being is one who thinks they’ve never been responsible enough. They’ve never taken care enough of The Other.
The Other is so in excess of anything you can understand or grasp or reduce. This in itself creates an ethical relatedness, a relation without relation. You can’t presume to know or grasp The Other. The minute you think you know The Other, you’re ready to kill them.