By Jessica Whyte
Offers a notable new studying of Agamben’s political idea and its implications for political motion within the present.
Challenging the well-known account of Agamben as a pessimistic philosopher, Catastrophe and Redemption proposes a examining of his political suggestion during which the redemptive component of his paintings isn't a curious apart yet as an alternative is prime to his undertaking. Jessica Whyte considers his serious account of up to date politics—his argument that Western politics has been “biopolitics” on account that its inception, his critique of human rights, his argument that the country of exception is now the norm, and the paradigmatic importance he attributes to the focus camp—and exhibits that it's in the course of those catastrophes of the current that Agamben sees the opportunity of a sort of profane redemption. Whyte outlines the significance of potentiality in his try and formulate a brand new politics, examines his relation to Jewish and Christian strands of messianism, and interrogates the hot different types of praxis that he situates inside of modern commodity tradition, taking Agamben’s proposal as a decision for the construction of latest political forms.
“One of the book’s strengths is to bare the fundamental bond among sovereign energy and political, social, and cultural identities … [a] interesting book.” — Comparative and Continental Philosophy
“…Catastrophe and Redemption bargains a very good severe evaluate of Agamben’s work.” — Contemporary Political Theory
“…successfully break[s] during the crust of an interpretative desktop round Agamben that has grown lethargic through repetition … Whyte’s studying of Agamben is nuanced, and her realization to the dynamics of capitalism and the historical past of political fight supply a massive corrective to a couple of his philosophical trends, with no jettisoning insights.” — Law and Critique
“…Whyte identifies key questions for you to have to be requested so one can rework this global. Such questions relate to tough inequality, demanding capitalism’s colonialism of the longer term, and developing new varieties of cohesion. to handle those matters, Whyte attracts us to her end that it's not sufficient to accede to teleological formations of capitalism. We needs to start to enhance how you can contest it. This slender quantity might be obvious as one of these name to arms.” — Symposium
Jessica Whyte is Lecturer in Cultural and Social research on the college of Western Sydney, Australia. She is the coeditor (with Alex Murray) of The Agamben Dictionary.
Read or Download Catastrophe and Redemption: The Political Thought of Giorgio Agamben (SUNY series in Contemporary Continental Philosophy) PDF
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Additional resources for Catastrophe and Redemption: The Political Thought of Giorgio Agamben (SUNY series in Contemporary Continental Philosophy)
10 For Agamben, this seeming shift conceals a deeper continuity. The contemporary politicization of life that he identifies is predicated on a conception of the life lived in the polis as a particular form of life, from which the maintenance of natural life was decisively excluded. In the division of man’s private life in the home (oikos) and his public life in the state—“a division,” Arendt suggests, “upon which all ancient political thought rested as self-evident and axiomatic”11—Agamben locates the fundamental problem of both ancient and contemporary politics.
18 Here, I suggest that the new politics to which his work gestures will not restore the division between political and natural life that was central to classical politics, but finds its condition of possibility precisely in their biopolitical cohesion. This means that even as he traces the potentially catastrophic consequences of making life itself the key stake of politics, he nonetheless sees contemporary biopolitics as opening up a political possibility that we must not let slip away. This account of the politicization of life as both the key danger of the present, and the condition of possibility of a new form of life can best be situated in relation to the line we have already encountered from Friedrich Hölderlin’s Patmos, which Martin Heidegger paraphrased as follows: “the closer we come to danger, the more brightly do the ways into the saving power begin to shine”19 For Heidegger, the danger was located in what he termed the “planetary reign of technology,” which threatened to reduce all beings to mere “standing reserve” to be used, and used up.
Agamben’s account of rights can be seen as a continuation of Marx’s inquiry, but it is one that dispenses with the analysis of capitalism, speaking only of “modernity,” and thus focusing on the political and juridical levels without considering the forms of antagonism that practically politicized the question of life. ”101 This location of sovereignty in the nation, he suggests, is only enabled by a fiction by which birth is automatically nation, and as such becomes a political category. 102 In modernity, he argues, the split between life and politics begins to heal, but only at the cost of tying life to the sovereignty of the state, and transforming politics into a means for the protection of biological life—a shift we see today both in the view that the role of government is to ensure a comfortable level of pacified consumerism no less than in the militarization of humanitarianism.