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Writing Sample 3 Philosophical/Op-Ed - Excerpt

The Homo Sacer & the Batman: Sovereignty of the Praetorian State in the Context of Globality Full text ubli!he" in the #illennium: $ournal of %& in $une '())* +S,By M. Sultan The paradox of sovereignty consists of the fact that the Sovereign is, at the same time, outside and inside the juridical order. If the sovereign is truly the one to whom the juridical order grants the power of proclaiming a state of exception, and, therefore of suspending the orders own validity, then the sovereign stands outside the juridical order and nevertheless, belongs to it, since it is up to him or the body to decide if the constitution is to be suspended or not . Sovereign being he who decides on the state of exception !i.e. the sovereign"s ability to transcend rule of law in the name of the societal benefit#$ the exception wrote Schmidt is more interesting than the rule. The rule proves nothing$ the exception proves everything% It confirms not only the rule but also its existence, which derives only from the exception& 'istorian (ames (. Sheehan, highlighting points to the mystifications surrounding the concept of the state% The state was and is not historys natural telos. The emergence of states was neither inevitable nor uniform nor irreversible ). 'e urges therefore that we move beyond the handful of *estern +uropean states whose ,uite exceptional experience provides both our political vocabulary and our historiographical models.. It should be noted that dictatorship and the state of exception are not similar. The latter is conse,uence of the prior. The /a0istan military by Schmitts analysis, is deemed sovereign on the basis of exercising a state of exception !which most military rulers do either in the form of martial law or declarations of a national state of emergency !a state of exception within a state of exception#$ events that were
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Agamben, Giorgio. Homo Sacer. 1998. P 1-20 & 56-89 Jan, Najeeb A. THE METACOLONIAL STATE: PAKISTAN, THE DEOBAND ULAMA AND THE BIOPOLITICS OF ISLAM. Diss. 2010 3 Cite in Jonat!an "#mer, On Lingering an Being La!": #ace an So$ereign"% in "&e Ne' (or) $2008%. 4 11 &bi

2 both a feature of 1usharrafs military. 'owever it is important to reiterate that the praetorian state that is formed is not conventional as per international standards, either by economic might or through 2merican affluence. 3eeming the praetorian state sovereign on the basis of a state of exception is understood. Its behaviour however transcends its label. I believe sovereignty of the praetorian state of 1usharraf or its predecessors can be explained by Schmitts 'omo Sacer notion. There was a peculiarity of 4oman law that provo0ed the ontological understanding of law and power. 5nder the 4oman +mpire, a man who committed a certain 0ind of crime was banned from society and all of his rights as a citi6en were revo0ed. 'e thus became homo sacer !sacred man#. In conse,uence, he could be 0illed by anybody but as his life was considered holy, he could not be sacrificed in a ritual ceremony. The man was thus excluded from the bounds of law as he was no longer an official member of society and carried no citi6enship rights, thereby be,ueathing a status that inculcated power and freedom. 'e came to exits within and outside the law7. The homo sacer concept is an unli0ely allegory for the military, but I feel that the relationship between the citi6enry and the sovereign military that has developed over the years views it as a savoir of State !from the corrupt bureaucracy# as well as a catalyst for ethnic conflict !that results from its persistent rule#. This schism in opinion gelled with the unchallenged supremacy of the 2rmy ma0es it revered and abhorred at the same time. 8y successfully ac,uiring power through coups, it has the ability to legitimi6e itself with relative easy. 2 smooth transition that is either a result of external blessings or help, an silent gesture from society that is generally ta0en as a sign of welcoming at times of coup detat !proved from the lac0 of resistance to any coup# or a genuine fear of the unleashing the militarys wrath !an unrealistic assumption# or all three. 2t this point the praetorian state is understood to be sovereign considering the general holds absolute power. Its rights and political and sovereignty as an institution are revo0ed after its unsuccessful tenure after its sent bac0 to the barrac0s and yet no harm can be done for the damage it has caused. It maybe persecuted by the citi6enry !in the press or

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3 vocally, without receiving any 0ind structural rebuttal or policy change# but it cannot be discarded or sacrificed for the mere fact that the army has come to be branded as a political alternative that provides a cohesive identity to a polari6ed society$ and of course the its necessity for responding to a perceived threat by India. Society therefore recogni6es the body as homo sacer, and so the social law that mandates the exclusion from societal circles is also what gives the organi6ation an identity. 2 rather amusing metaphor can explained in terms the existential need for fictional superheroes in a conflicted society. 8atman for instance can be theologically identified as homo sacer, as he dwells within !by providing justice# and outside the law !his ,uestionable methods of engaging with criminals, that transcends the law# in relatively developing society. 'is identity is solely defined on societys need for an alternative ruler or a bender of law that is capable of providing social stability as compared to a relatively inept and corrupt polity. 'is state of exception is the civil bureaucracy and societys need and dependency for him, based on an imagined and selective level of his effectiveness. 8ut as he exists outside the law, his actions may serve as an inspiration for some amateur members of society to ta0e the law into their own hands by emulating his actions$ or, his image may cause some capable members to indulge in behaviour that can challenge his status ,uo by defying the law through anarchy and terrorism$ 2ntagonists that exist and characteri6e their identity on his protagonist mannerisms. 'is legally exceptional existence has a schi6ophrenic overtone that ma0es his role in society debateable. 'e is revered when he produces results in the early days when he is celebrated. 'e becomes a vigilante with time if society expects him to provide stability !despite high probability of conflict and crime# by fighting every single criminal !a re,uest that is beyond his human capabilities and can thus result in unintentional negligence#$ or if he verbally or physically dissuades individuals from mimic0ing him and fighting along side him, thus deeming fellow citi6ens as incapable of rule or discipline$ or if he forms an alliance with a relatively corrupt police that contradicts his moral individualism and reflects poorly on those who imitate his heroism thus jeopardi6ing himself by an unethical and sha0y alliance with the police that can turn on him and societys perception of that allegiance. 9urther, its the

4 uniform that gives the figure stature and societal acceptability of his actions. 2nd then of course, there is the anarchist whose existential meaning is defined through 8atmans need for maintaining law by exploiting the state of exception. 8atmans position in society becomes ,uestionable as the number of incidences increase, whilst he solely capable of tac0ling one issue at hand. :egligence is mista0en for irresponsibility and thus he is viewed as an outcast that is not needed anymore. 'is politici6ation is the sole conse,uence of society$ therefore his role adapts meaning and identity through societal need. In a pragmatic and holistic viewpoint, do the superheroes do more harm or damage to society and in comparison to real life, are men in uniforms part of the subaltern; In that sense, in lieu of <enos paradox that perceives the stronger factor to be theoretically plausible in a void, the effect of 1usharrafs praetorian state may be very well be subjective.