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Agamben and Politics: A Critical Introduction (Thinking by Sergei Prozorv

By Sergei Prozorv

Tracing how the common sense of inoperativity works within the domain names of language, legislation, background and humanity, Agamben and Politics systematically introduces the elemental ideas of Agamben's political proposal and a severely translates his insights within the wider context of up to date philosophy.

Agamben's commentators and critics are likely to specialise in his robust critique of the Western political culture within the Homo Sacer sequence. yet this slender concentration serves to imprecise the final constitution of Agamben's political suggestion, that is neither damaging nor serious yet affirmative. Sergei Prozorov brings out the affirmative temper of Agamben's political suggestion, targeting the idea that of inoperativity, which has been important to Agamben's paintings from his earliest writings.

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Extra resources for Agamben and Politics: A Critical Introduction (Thinking Politics)

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132) The liberation from natural guilt through baptism comes at the cost of one’s subjection to language, history and politics, one’s subsumption under the historical apparatuses whose reproduction resigns one 26 all’s well that ends well: agamben’s comic politics to the perpetual replay of tragedy. Yet does not the resistance against this secondary punishment, which is indeed fragile, hopeless and difficult to understand, leave us in the tragic logic, which, after all, is based precisely on the idea of natural guilt?

Many commentators have noted Agamben’s ‘morbid obsession with the dehumanized and disenfranchised’ (Kearney 2009: 154), his fascination with abject figures from Bartleby to the bandit, from porn stars to the camp inmate, from the fetishist to the anorexic. This fascination is not due to Agamben’s eccentricity but reflects a principled methodological focus on those sites or subjects, where the reversal of tragedy into comedy may take place. One of the most regularly cited phrases in Agamben’s work is a line from Patmos, a hymn by the German Romantic poet Friedrich Hölderlin: ‘where danger grows, grows also saving power’.

143) is the sole possibility to regain one’s own health. This is why Agamben concludes his reading of Kafka with the claim that ‘the new advocate’ studies the law ‘only on the condition that it no longer be applied’ (Agamben 2010: 36). 21 agamben and politics And this is exactly what Agamben does himself in this painstakingly detailed archaeology of the Western political tradition. Agamben’s critics discussed above are entirely correct in noting the sense of gravity produced by Agamben’s account of the persistence of, for example, the logic of sovereignty, the state of exception or the ‘anthropological machine’ throughout the history of the West.

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