You are on page 1of 66

ADI 2010 Fellows—Shree

1 Agamben K

Agamben K
Agamben K.....................................................................................................................................................................1

Agamben K.....................................................................................................................................1
Strat Sheet.......................................................................................................................................................................5

Strat Sheet.......................................................................................................................................5
1NC Shell........................................................................................................................................................................6

1NC Shell........................................................................................................................................ 6
1NC Shell........................................................................................................................................................................7

1NC Shell........................................................................................................................................ 7
1NC Shell........................................................................................................................................................................8

1NC Shell........................................................................................................................................ 8
Link: Citizenship Rights................................................................................................................................................9

Link: Citizenship Rights.............................................................................................................. 9
Link/Impact: Citizenship Rights..................................................................................................................................10

Link/Impact: Citizenship Rights...............................................................................................10
Link: Counter-Struggle................................................................................................................................................11

Link: Counter-Struggle..............................................................................................................11
Link: Democracy Citizenship......................................................................................................................................12

Link: Democracy Citizenship.................................................................................................... 12
Link: Disease................................................................................................................................................................13

Link: Disease............................................................................................................................... 13
Link: Economy.............................................................................................................................................................14

Link: Economy............................................................................................................................14
Link: Political Process.................................................................................................................................................15

Link: Political Process................................................................................................................ 15
Link: Transnational Refugee Protection......................................................................................................................16

Link: Transnational Refugee Protection.................................................................................. 16
Link: Rights Talk.........................................................................................................................................................17

Link: Rights Talk........................................................................................................................17
Link: Rights Talk.........................................................................................................................................................18

Link: Rights Talk........................................................................................................................18
Link: State Implementation..........................................................................................................................................18

Link: State Implementation.......................................................................................................18
Link: Immigration Reform Reinscribes the Exceptional State....................................................................................20

Link: Immigration Reform Reinscribes the Exceptional State.............................................. 20

ADI 2010 Fellows—Shree

2 Agamben K

Link: Terrorist Exclusion Reform................................................................................................................................21

Link: Terrorist Exclusion Reform............................................................................................ 21
Link: Visa Eligibility Expansion Makes People Self-Police (1/2)................................................................................22

Link: Visa Eligibility Expansion Makes People Self-Police (1/2)............................................22
Link: Visa Eligibility Expansion Makes People Self-Police (2/2)................................................................................23

Link: Visa Eligibility Expansion Makes People Self-Police (2/2)............................................23
Link: AT Rights Turn..................................................................................................................................................24

Link: AT Rights Turn................................................................................................................ 24
Internal Link: Securitization Leads to War..................................................................................................................25

Internal Link: Securitization Leads to War.............................................................................25
Impact: Internment.......................................................................................................................................................26

Impact: Internment.................................................................................................................... 26
Impact: Massacres........................................................................................................................................................27

Impact: Massacres......................................................................................................................27
Impact: Genocide.........................................................................................................................................................28

Impact: Genocide........................................................................................................................28
Impact: No Value to Life ............................................................................................................................................29

Impact: No Value to Life ...........................................................................................................29
Impact: Terrorism Reform Leads to Unending War....................................................................................................30

Impact: Terrorism Reform Leads to Unending War.............................................................. 30
Impact AT: Liberalism Stops Biopower.......................................................................................................................31

Impact AT: Liberalism Stops Biopower....................................................................................31
Impact AT: Liberalism Stops Biopower.......................................................................................................................32

Impact AT: Liberalism Stops Biopower....................................................................................32
Impact AT: Ojakangas..................................................................................................................................................33

Impact AT: Ojakangas................................................................................................................33
Impact AT: Biopower Good (Foucaultian Zoe)...........................................................................................................34

Impact AT: Biopower Good (Foucaultian Zoe).......................................................................34
Impact AT: Biopower Good (Foucaultian Zoe)...........................................................................................................35

Impact AT: Biopower Good (Foucaultian Zoe).......................................................................35
Alternative: Whatever Being........................................................................................................................................36

Alternative: Whatever Being.....................................................................................................36
Alternative: Passivity...................................................................................................................................................37

Alternative: Passivity..................................................................................................................37
Alternative: Identity-Stripping (1/2)............................................................................................................................38

Alternative: Identity-Stripping (1/2).........................................................................................38

ADI 2010 Fellows—Shree

3 Agamben K

Alternative: Identity-Stripping (2/2)............................................................................................................................39

Alternative: Identity-Stripping (2/2).........................................................................................39
Alternative: AT No Roadmap......................................................................................................................................40

Alternative: AT No Roadmap....................................................................................................40
Framing Card (1/2)........................................................................................................................................................41

Framing Card (1/2)......................................................................................................................41
Framing Card (2/2)........................................................................................................................................................42

Framing Card (2/2)......................................................................................................................42
AT: Alt Doesn’t Solve.................................................................................................................................................43

AT: Alt Doesn’t Solve.................................................................................................................43
AT: Perm (Cede the Political)......................................................................................................................................44

AT: Perm (Cede the Political)....................................................................................................44
AT: Perm (Cede the Political)......................................................................................................................................45

AT: Perm (Cede the Political)....................................................................................................45
AT: Perm......................................................................................................................................................................46

AT: Perm..................................................................................................................................... 46
AT: Perm......................................................................................................................................................................47

AT: Perm..................................................................................................................................... 47
AT: Perm......................................................................................................................................................................48

AT: Perm..................................................................................................................................... 48
AT: Perm......................................................................................................................................................................49

AT: Perm..................................................................................................................................... 49
AT: Perm......................................................................................................................................................................50

AT: Perm..................................................................................................................................... 50
AT: Framing.................................................................................................................................................................51

AT: Framing................................................................................................................................51
AT: Friend-Enemy Distinction Good..........................................................................................................................52

AT: Friend-Enemy Distinction Good........................................................................................52
AT: Realism.................................................................................................................................................................53

AT: Realism.................................................................................................................................53
AT: Agamben Totalizes...............................................................................................................................................54

AT: Agamben Totalizes..............................................................................................................54
Aff: Alternative Doesn’t Solve....................................................................................................................................55

Aff: Alternative Doesn’t Solve................................................................................................... 55
Aff: Alternative Doesn’t Solve....................................................................................................................................56

Aff: Alternative Doesn’t Solve................................................................................................... 56

.......................................................................................................................66 Aff: State of Exception Good..................................................................................................................... 65 Aff: State of Exception Good..............................................................64 Aff: Rejecting Sovereignty Bad................................ 62 Aff: Perm.............................................................................. 63 Aff: Rejecting Sovereignty Bad.....................................................65 Aff: Rights Good—Deranty.....................................................................................................................................................................................58 Aff: Bare Life != Powerlessness............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 64 Aff: Rights Good—Deranty.................................................61 Aff: Friend/Enemy Distinction Good................................................................................. 66 ...........................................................................................................................................................................................................62 Aff: Link Turn............................................................. 59 Aff: Biopower Good................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................60 Aff: Biopower Good..........................................................................................................................................................58 Aff: Alternative = Totalization.......................................63 Aff: Perm...........................................................57 Aff: Bare Life != Powerlessness......................................61 Aff: Link Turn.........................................................ADI 2010 Fellows—Shree 4 Agamben K Aff: Alternative = Powerlessness........................................................................59 Aff: Alternative = Totalization................................................................................................................................................................60 Aff: Friend/Enemy Distinction Good...............................................................................................................57 Aff: Alternative = Powerlessness............................................................................................................................................

The control over political representation via visas is what organizes and calculates the way in which violence occurs.ADI 2010 Fellows—Shree 5 Agamben K Strat Sheet The Agamben K is a useful generic K for all affirmative that attempts to expand the visa regime.awsare@gmail. Agamben claims that this paradigm of inclusion/exclusion is a monopolization of control and biopolitical violence by the sovereign—it is what allows the sovereign to make determinations of what constitutes bare life and what constitutes a life that matters politically. refugees not under the purview of the law) and bios (politicized life). there are pretty good pieces of evidence (like Deranty) that indicate that Agamben totalizes the detrimental aspects of the rights/visa system and neglects the positive aspects. feel free to contact me at shree. There are also your stock biopower/state of exception good arguments. Specifically.com -Shree . The kritik claims that Western politics relies on a process of inclusion/exclusion that creates a distinction between zoe (bare. The alternative is to rethink the distinction between inclusion and exclusion. which Agamben thinks is the only remaining point of contestation in modern politics. biological life… for example. If you have specific questions about the K or its answers. The affirmative can win against the Agamben K by defending Western politics.

36 At its root. it refers to the prescreening of travelers and represents a prima facie case for admission.42 Bauman discusses a politics of exclusion. Alternatives 31 P 174-7//shree) The visa is a necessary supplement to the passport system. etc. I want to unpack this discretionary moment that is vital to the delimitation of the population of the state. and trial. James Hollifield and Rey Koslowski have offered grim prognoses on the health of the global mobility regime. despite the lack of specific legal treaties. expensive bonding. Bodies. Barry Hindess has argued that the rights of citizenship.”40 This method of international political sociology. yellow fever.ADI 2010 Fellows—Shree 6 Agamben K 1NC Shell The 1AC’s participation in the visa regime is not benign—visa eligibility expands the sovereign’s biopolitical management of populations Slater ‘6 (Mark B. The Global Visa Regime and the Political Technologies of the International Self: Borders. and to return to their country. has been built up as the result of practical experience gained during and since the war and is applied in a practical spirit.” and a right to become a refugee.39 In some instances.32 There is a normative consensus in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Every individual has a right to a nationality.). whereby the practices and beliefs of actors are taken into account in the consideration of public and international policies. Rosenau’s progressive model of instantiation of global governance (ideas. to leave their country. it is important to detail the way in which the contemporary visa system has been built in response to (apparent and real) failures. uses “expedited removal.38 The visa in no way guarantees actual admission. which draws substantial interest toward the notion of rejection: “The mark of excluded in an era of time/space compression is enforced immobility. Hollifield suggests the delocalization of border functions acts as a solution to the problem of liberal rights. meaning having been seen. which are distinguished by the length of stay and degree of integration into the host community (often in terms of labor/taxes). states issue settlement and temporary visas.33 There is also a broad behavioral consensus in relation to the documentary regime.46 The “voluntary departure” program at the US/Mexico border illustrates the power of the bureaucracy to condition marginalized migrants to give up their rights: “Arrested aliens are permitted (indeed.45 The United States. in which I examined the governmental problems to which a passport was an administrative solution. which remains the prerogative of the sovereign and its agents at the border. statement of qualifications (to distinguish the degree of skilled labor).30 However. while fixity has become an encumbrance of the poor. which is made obligatory by citizenship or refugee status. which constitute one quarter of the global mobility regime : frontier formalities.”37 In modern usage. Biopolitics. business. and les sans-papiers (the stateless and the refugee).31 the global mobility regime seems to be more robust. As the British Passport Office states. and (2) the stamp placed on the passport when the holder entered or left a foreign country. passports.” a right to return “home. when measured by the traditional standards of regime theory. the visa refers to “(1) the authorisation given by a consul to enter or to pass through a country. on the other hand. “The British passport and visa system as it now is. and affirmation of acceptable . The visa and passport systems are tickets that allow temporary and permanent membership in the community.”43 Generally. then. decisions are made outside of the state where no such appeal can be claimed . I agree with Koslowski that mobility is a better description of the field of social relations than the more restrictive migration— which is why I talk about a global mobility regime and try to understand the system of tourist. at which point other sovereigns have an obligation to permit admission. Mobility is structured in terms of entry. return tickets (good faith illustration that the applicant’s stay is temporary). the international global mobility regime endows the citizen with a right to exit their “home. a health certificate (declarations that one is not an epidemiological risk : AIDS/HIV.35 Nevzat Soguk’s discussion of the refugee regime as a management of that “surplus” international population not encompassed by the nation-state norm is also central to this perspective.44 To preclude asylum seekers from claiming rights inherent in the liberal community. and the concomitant function of a state not only to regulate its population not only entry into it. that set global standards for travel. can be viewed as a way of managing international population. funds for stay. From the French visé. with its attendant right of entry. Thus settlers are allowed to work and must contribute to the tax system. pays close attention to the importance of experience. I have argued elsewhere that there exists a broad consensus on the fundamental tenets of the global mobility regime. visas. Fundamental to this regime is the lack of a significant right of entry. behaviors. In this structure. The visa regime allows for a delocalization of the border function so that states may engage in sorting behavior away from the physical limit of the state. visitors are not allowed to work and need not contribute to the tax system.” a process by which a traveler with false travel documents is refused entry and barred entry for five years.41 Simon Dalby has suggested ways in which mobility has become a luxury of the rich and developed populations. and institutions). Expedited removal is not subject to judicial or administrative appeal.”47 In each of these cases. We may see this dynamic in European discourse wherein refugees and economic migrants have been recast as asylum seekers and the attempts to locate camps at the margins of the European community. encouraged) to waive their rights to a deportation hearing and return to Mexico without lengthy detention. rights of applicants are suspended at the border of the community as an exceptional case of normal law. Preliminary empirical work suggests that there are a number of common requirements for visas: a fee for processing (a remote tax).34 There are also functional institutions. visas may be applied for and received at the actual border of a state. School of Poli Sci @ U of Ottawa. the fundamental right of the sovereign is to be able to exclude and define the limits of its population with little reference to other states or sovereigns. but in such cases it is viewed mostly as a revenue generator rather than a security function. if we use James N. such as the International Civil Aviation Organization and International Air Transportation Agency. in the light of conditions which exist in the world today. tuberculosis. and settler trajectories. Paralleling my earlier work in Rights of Passage. or entirely the discretionary by noncitizenship.

Despite the lack of a formal visa (or passport) conference. Eric Neumayer outlines some of the nascent patterns in the global visa regime in the first empirical analysis of visa requirements. The guarantee of the passport is its isomorphic representation of a particular body to a set of governmental records. which represented the first modern institutionalization of the global mobility regime. though there is a general trend toward reciprocity in the system: “The average OEC citizen faces visa restrictions in travel to approximately 93 foreign countries. the management of international populations is conditioned presently by nationality/statelessness.49 The League Technical Committee recommends that.ADI 2010 Fellows—Shree 7 Agamben K 1NC Shell behavior (declarations that one is not a criminal/felon). health. the mobile subject is configured by the receiving state in terms of health. and risk.”50 Public health threats are also mentioned as a key concern for states at this meeting. entry and exit visas were eliminated for nationals. The visa application. entrance visas should be abolished by all countries. which always tests and depends on the validity of the passport. these norms of necessity. treaty. preliminary visas (issued before arrival at the border) were free of charge. “except in special or exceptional cases. etc.48 In 1920. and states agree to a standard inoculation document. labor/leisure. In the first proceedings. attempts to render the position of the applicant in terms of state. the product of the visa bureaucracy is rejection . like passports. labor/leisure. or institution. and police institutions. and only to be issued if the validity of the passport was in doubt. either generally or under condition of reciprocity. health/disease. Thus. The loose structure of the global visa regime represents an important aspect of this international control of bodies or control of international bodies. and visas were to be issued with the same period of validity as the passport itself.”51 As in the interwar period. Customs Formalities and Through Tickets. wealth. As Don Flynn has suggested. educational. and cooperation typify the modern visa system. reciprocity. . the regulation of the labour supply. the average non-OECD citizen needs a visa to travel to approximately 156 countries. and normalcy/risk. each country retaining its full freedom of action in respect to the enforcement of its legislation with regard to police measures for foreigners. we see responsibility for vetting travelers shift from sending states to receiving states at the Conference on Passports. and efficiency is determined by rates of rejection against some imagined norm of regularly occurring fraud. Travelers from OECD countries possess far fewer restrictions on their travel than non-OECD travelers.

in the last analysis. Their move towards statist politics tries to heal this originary biopolitical rupture through a eugenic politics that displaces any value to life. ~ death. Between bare life and its ways of living. Bare life is thrust. the disappearance of death as an event? Why should death not simply be a political strategy. that a deportee ill with influenza would be allowed to recover before being transported to a death camp. for example. excepted. for death—the right to death (and.ADI 2010 Fellows—Shree 8 Agamben K 1NC Shell Visas depict the world in terms of bare life and political life. Metaphysics. Power sees before it life that is already no longer natural but not yet properly the life of a people. in owning the estranged intimacy of its to-death. professor of English at national tapai university. an unceremonious being-kept-alive by any means necessary? (It is known. a state. We must think that it is the essence of bios to exist in its own zoe. this is not about euthanasia. there exists no fundamental relation and there never has. And this is why. as such. Wall 5 (Thomas Carl. Homo Sacer is the history of that secret. and thus the life it most intimately articulates. In our era in which the furious and totalizing will-to-identity is driven by the anxiety and shame of nihilism. at the same time and by the same logic. bare life and its communities. political life and bare life—only then can we begin to conceptualize a community beyond biopolitical violence. a public health issue. which runs pell mell throughout life itself. and this rethinking begins with analysis of the ban. and not vainly try to rid ourselves of the political in favor of who knows what theofundamentalist human nature or cosmosophical evolution. why not death? Does it not follow with perfect rigor that the death of God should be the death of death.) Indeed. the absence of any determinate or destinal relation to bare life will perpetually. or even driven. can be only itself. this has always been their secret ambition: to make of that inspiration a separation and a relation . Whether the sovereign takes power. Every sovereign and every state has always confronted this. exigently. there is an always disappearing distinction. or is given power. pg. Falling outside Sein-zum-Tode is bare life au hasard in the space of the political. . which remains as a proximity and an exception to any form of life (or death). we must. its ways of life. outside the to-death that defines Dasein and that transforms bare life into being. its own simplicity and singularity. Between bare life and the ways in which it is lived. Politics. is perpetually au hasard. Agamben argues. it always sees before it a magma of anchored life. If we are to think the political again. and internally de-structure every form of relation from makeshift anarchist collectives to fascist ethnocities. The alternative is to break down the relationship between bios and zoe. This is what law and sovereign power have always been about. Estranged and intimate because death names only that which it suspends. a primordial nonrelation. assistant professor of political science at the university of Pennsylvania. This missing link is what the West is running up against again and again in its perpetual crises: the production of the biopolitical body always also secretes bare life. the uncanny relation of being to death as delineated by Heidegger (where the possibility of not being there anymore opens decisively the already-being-there that the existent is at its own most) is. arranges power. fracturing the organism into a mosaic or melanae. 38-39) Agamben’s advance on these analyses is as follows: between unqualified. there can only be decision. The disappearance of this distinction is biopolitical inspiration. which is to say. at the same time. and Death: Essays On Giorgio Agamben’s Homo Sacer. for now. a medicotechnical accident. an unceremonious being-killed and. political power must absorb death. But if God can be killed. count at all)—is the ontological decision whereby the living being can remain possible unto its own-most self Bare life owns only itself. Bare life is the nonrelational and thus invites decision. and in which resistance to totality is driven only by “alternative” identities (or “lifestyles” or “communities”). but about the decision as to what counts as death and when and in what way death counts as death and not simply perishing. It is the very space of decision (political and ontological) and. Andrew Norris. editor. begin to do this by thinking bios without relation to zoe. nonconnection of bare life to death.

5/29. and therefore may miss unique aspects of the experiences of racism and exclusion in non-European contexts. Securitization. Hesse (2004). bare life is the "zone of indistinction" in which political life and natural life "constitute each other in including and excluding each other" (p. argues that Agamben's conception of racism is "Eurocentric. would be meaningless without the presence. and attributes the myriad abuses suffered by refugees and denaturalized subjects during the last two centuries to its immanent unfolding. not to lose sight of the fact that Agamben's analysis of bare life emerged from his analysis of specific European events. Hesse writes. Rather. The relation of bare life to the political order. of non-citizens. phD in Socio at UMich. Unauthorized Immigration. Palgrave Journals//shree) Bare life is life that is excluded from the political order. 90). Latino Studies. however." as it defines racism as a "relation of exception" and consequently overlooks the ways in which racism is built into social institutions.ADI 2010 Fellows—Shree 9 Agamben K Link: Citizenship Rights The notion of citizenship requires the exclusion of non-citizens intrinsic to sovereign power and perpetuates violence Astor ‘9 (Avi. refugees or stateless persons. But the role played by noncitizens in constituting the political order is contingent on their exclusion from this order. is not purely a relation of exteriority. for instance. most notably the Holocaust. but by virtue of being the embodiment of pure life itself. Taking the Holocaust as the ideal-typical case of biopolitical exclusion. . obscures other experiences of racist exclusion that cannot be assimilated into this paradigm. The utility of Agamben's insights derive from their uncanny ability to highlight both the constitutive role that politically marginalized populations play in shaping the modern political order and the logic of their exclusion from this order. They are not excluded simply by virtue of being non-citizens . Agamben sees this exclusive logic as the fatal flaw of the modern nation-state. the lynchpin of the modern political order. Citizenship. and the Making of Operation Wetback. Scholars must be cautious. which has no place in the modern political order when decoupled from political existence . whether real or imaginary. however.

a man convicted of certain crimes was banished from society and stripped of his rights as a citizen. Reduced to bare. The existence of homo sacer is central to Agamben’s understanding of sovereign power because the possibility of rights-stripping reveals a schism between the individual’s biological existence .” they are the object of a pure de facto rule.” Homo sacer. on the one hand. In states of emergency. In Agamben’s work. Agamben’s understanding of life in the state of exception reflects a conception of rights as fundamentally grounded in the institution of national citizenship. they do not even have the status of persons charged with a crime according to American law. The state of exception is thus the ultimate expression of state sovereignty as the power to proclaim the emergency and suspend the operation of law. embodies what Agamben terms “bare” or “depoliticized” life (1998). but simply “detainees. but the related denial of a legal identity completely strips homo sacer of any state protection whatsoever. .edu/euce/eusa2009/papers/ellermann_02G. The notion of state of exception reflects the augmentation of government powers during times of emergency when state sovereignty is perceived to be under threat. on the other. Drawing on Hannah Arendt’s description of the “naked life” of the refugee (Arendt 1973). the zone of exception is most clearly embodied in the detention center and (concentration) camp.” (2005. http://www. the refugee is rendered politically insignificant. but also as a case whose exceptionalism surpasses that of comparable zones of exclusion: “What is new about President Bush’s order [of November 13. 2001] is that it radically erases any legal status of the individual. governments suspend elements of the normal legal order and strip individuals of the rights that mark politicized life. thus producing a legally unnamable an unclassifiable being. 4-5) Agamben’s description of bare life in Guantanamo thus suggests that the denial of citizenship rights not only deprives individuals of the prospect of ever leaving behind bare life. and her political life. Neither prisoners nor persons accused. Accordingly. Agamben elaborates on this relationship between sovereign power and bare life in his historical treatise State of Exception (2005). Dept of Politics @ U of British Columbia. Agamben rejects the notion that human rights are viable outside the confines of membership in the nation-state. a figure of Roman law. Instead. Undocumented Migrants and Resistance in the State of Exception. In State of Exception. 126).unc. Agamben treats the detention center at Guantanamo Bay not only as the exception’s incarnation. since it is entirely removed form the law and from judicial oversight. “the so-called sacred and inalienable human rights are revealed to be without any protection precisely when it is no longer possible to conceive of them as rights of the citizens of a state” (1998. Not only do the Taliban captured in Afghanistan not enjoy the status of POWs as defined by the Geneva Convention. Under Roman law. of a detention that is indefinite not only in the temporal sense but in its very nature as well. p 2-4. life. the illegal migrant—who most fundamentally represent bare life in the exception. Following Arendt.pdf//shree) Giorgio Agamben’s seminal work on the relationship between the individual and the sovereign state is anchored in the concepts of “homo sacer” and “state of exception. or biological. it is those excluded from citizenship—the refugee.ADI 2010 Fellows—Shree 10 Agamben K Link/Impact: Citizenship Rights The existence of homo sacer is fundamental to citizenship rights and makes concentration camps possible Ellerman 9 (Antje. Agamben juxtaposes the bare life of homo sacer who subsists in zones of exclusion and rightlessness with the citizen’s “politicized” and rights-based life. the stateless person.

for example—are merely struggles over the meaning of.^^ This also means that political counterstruggles—antiwar and civil-liberties campaigns. resistance. but rather as a more sophisticated development of sovereignty. but with a politics of collective subjective enmity wedded to a terrifying state machine. and right to speak for.ADI 2010 Fellows—Shree 11 Agamben K Link: Counter-Struggle Counter-struggles against the state don’t change the fundamental nature of sovereignty— they’re working for the right to speak in its name. in agreement with Hardt and Negri. As Foucault makes clear. The challenge we face is that the potentially bellicose and oppressive state seeks to claim legitimacy not simply by acting according to security imperatives or on behalf of a people. the nation becomes the aspiring bearer of the universal. centered institution of power but as a political concept that holds a rich history of contestation. but they are not struggles against the state form." Neoconservatism in particular expresses this nationaluniversal ideology. and even freedom that permeates the coproduction of subjects by society and of society by subjects . 29. 394) Following the innovations of Society Must Be Defended. interpret governmentality not as an alternative to the concept of sovereignty. Once sovereignty has been transformed from modern state sovereignty to modern nation-state sovereignty. I would. but in the name of a national ideal. the national ideal. This opening leads into a more establisbed area of Foucault's work— that of the power. or at least a part of it. The question is not simply one of who is or is being constructed either as "the enemy of the state" or "the enemy of the nation/society/people. These struggles may be struggles against a particular form of the nation-state. innovation." and "civilization. Neal 4 (Andrew W. promote. Thus President Bush and Prime Minister Blair seek to draw upon. and radical transformation. governmentality. colonization. 24 As my analysis of Society Must Be Defended shows. sovereignty should not simply be understood as an outmoded." "democracy. school of politics @ keele u." but a frightening union of the two . many contemporary political and theoretical lines of flight have already been recaptured. pg. However. today we should consider that we are faced with a politics not simply of rational-actor-led sovereign-state war and oppression. We could anticipate that a typical critical response to the argument that Foucault does not "cut off the King's bead" is that his theory of governmentality is in fact his alternative to sovereignty. “Cutting Off The King’s Head: Foucault’s Society Must Be Defended and the Problem of Sovereignty. . and propagate (perhaps differing) national images of universal "freedom.” Alternatives.

in bourgeois democracy. here following in Schmitt’s footsteps. almost without interruption. to a primacy of the private over the public and of individual liberties over collective obligations and yet becomes. the liberties. the camp—as the pure. and biopolitics can turn into thanatopolitics. From this perspective. traditional political distinctions (such as those between Right and Left. and impassable biopolitical space (insofar as it is founded solely on the state of exception)— will appear as the hidden paradigm of the political space of modernity whose metamorphoses and disguises we will have to learn to recognize. starting from a certain point. and the priest. control. we shall try to show that certain events that are fundamental for the political history of modernity (such as the declaration of rights).ADI 2010 Fellows—Shree 12 Agamben K Link: Democracy Citizenship Democracy doesn’t prevent totalitarianism—citizenship is founded on the primacy of bare life which collapses into a zone of indistinction Agamben 98 (Giorgio. areas in which the sovereign is entering into an ever more intimate symbiosis not only with the jurist but also with the doctor. Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life. to the satisfaction of needs and. prof of philosophy at university of Verona. In the pages that follow. “The ‘right’ to life. we can observe a displacement and gradual expansion beyond the limits of the decision on bare life. The fact is that one and the same affirmation of bare life leads. in which sovereignty consisted. this ‘right’—which the classical juridical system was utterly incapable of comprehending— was the political response to all these new procedures of power” (La volontt’. The ex-communist ruling classes’ unexpected fall into the most extreme racism (as in the Serbian program of “ethnic cleansing”) and the rebirth of new forms of fascism in Europe also have their roots here. to happiness. explaining the importance assumed by sex as a political issue. If there is a line in every modern state marking the point at which the decision on life becomes a decision on death. .” or the contemporary debate on the normative determination of death criteria).’ the ‘right’ to rediscover what one is and all that one can be. This line is now in motion and gradually moving into areas other than that of political life. 191).” writes Foucault. And only because biological life and its needs had become the politically decisive fact is it possible to understand the otherwise incomprehensible rapidity with which twentiethcentury parliamentary democracies were able to turn into totalitarian states and with which this century’s totalitarian states were able to be converted. to health. In both cases. before impetuously coming to light in our century the river of biopolitics that gave homo sacer his life runs its course in a hidden but continuous fashion. in totalitarian states. does not have the form of a sudden transformation (as Lewith. absolute. private and public) lose their clarity and intelligibility and enter into a zone of indistinction. It is almost as if. as well as others that seem instead to represent an incomprehensible intrusion of biologico-scientific principles into the political order (such as National Socialist eugenics and its elimination of “life that is unworthy of being lived. into parliamentary democracies. every decisive political event were double-sided: the spaces. “ to one’s body. acquire their true sense only if they are brought back to the common biopolitical (or thanatopolitical) context to which they belong. seems to maintain). this line no longer appears today as a stable border dividing two clearly distinct zones. in the state of exception. and use of bare life. Once their fundamental referent becomes bare life. the scientist. the expert. and in which the only real question to be decided was which form of organization would be best suited to the task of assuring the care . liberalism and totalitarianism. Along with the emergence of biopolitics. pg. nevertheless. p. thus offering a new and more dreadful foundation for the very sovereign power from which they wanted to liberate themselves . beyond all the oppressions or ‘alienation. these transformations were produced in a context in which for quite some time politics had already turned into biopolitics. the decisive political criterion and the exemplary realm of sovereign decisions. and the rights won by individuals in their conflicts with central powers always simultaneously prepared a tacit but increasing inscription of individuals’ lives within the state order. 121-123) The contiguity between mass democracy and totalitarian states .

shaping much of the twentieth-century discourse of power. progressing from the first symptoms of a large-scale disaster through the crisis of the tribulation to the recovery of the millennium. Head of Eng Dept @ Tel Aviv. apocalyptic fictions typically linger on pain and suffering. including the buregeoning discourse of AIDS. On the one hand. and “millennial perfection” (Quinby 2). the one whose ride begins most intimately. Thus. trodden like grapes in the winepress. its ultimate object is some version of the crystalline New Jerusalem. unstable and mutating from maleness to femaleness and back again. All apocalyptic and millenarian ideologies ultimately converge on the utopian transformation of the body (and the body politic) through suffering. But my concern here is not so much with the difference between “good” and “bad” apocalypses (is total extinction “better” than selective genocide?) as with the interplay of eschatology and politics in the construction of the apocalyptic body. These baroque scenarios are shaped by the eroticism of disaster. the plague becomes a metaphor for genocide.” trembling in abject terror while awaiting an unearthly consummation (122). and other forms of “radical desperation” (Quinby 4-5). [2] On the other hand. Nor does it limit itself to a particular disease. apocalypse in general may be used “in order to validate violence done to others” while it may also function as a modality of total resistance to the existing order (3). Pestilence is poised on the cusp between divine punishment and manmade disaster. But of all the Four Horsemen. pestilence lingers on. my focus is on the general narrativity of contagion and on the way the plague-stricken body is manipulated within the overall plot of apocalyptic millennialism. . the experience of a pandemic undermines the giddy hopefulness of Endism. is the last one. Pestilence. scars. the ideologically potent combination of “apocalyptic terror”. focusing on the narrative construction of the contagious body rather than a precise epidemiology of the contagion. It is a body whose mortal sickness is a precondition of ultimate health. But pestilence offers a uniquely ambivalent modality of corporeal apocalypse. Nazism. Contemporary plague narratives. tormented by scorpion stings. does not attempt a comprehensive overview of the historical development of the trope of pestilence. On the other hand. and ends in the devastation of the entire community. an image of purity so absolute that it denies the organic messiness of life. domination. unlike nuclear war or ecological catastrophe. In this interplay between the incorporeal purity of the ends and the violent corporeality of the means the apocalyptic body is born. The apocalyptic body is perverse. functioning as such both in Mein Kampf and in Camus’s The Plage. pandemic has a venerable historical pedigree that leads back from current bestsellers such as Pierre Quellette’s The Third Pandemic (1996) to the medieval horrors of the Black Death and indeed to the Book of Revelation itself. Lit V 46//shree) In the secular apocalyptic visions that have proliferated wildly in the last 200 years. resisting the dangerous lure of Endism. As Richard Dellamora points out in his gloss on Derrida. generating a limbo of common suffering in which a tenuous and moribund but all-embracing body politic springs into being. This essay. The end is indefinitely postponed and the disease becomes a metaphor for the process of living. are caught between two contrary textual impulses: acquiescence in a (super) natural judgment and political activism. On the other hand. The contagious body is the most characteristic modality of apocalyptic corporeality. a brief sketch of the poetics and politics of the contagious body. The apocalyptic desire that finds satisfaction in elaboration fictions of the End is double-edged. In his contemporary incarnations the Fourth Horseman vacillates between the voluptuous entropy of indiscriminate killing and the genocidal energy directed at specific categories of victims . justifying extermination Gomel 2K (Elana. and sores. At the same time. whose grotesque and excessive sexuality issues in angelic sexlessness. it contains a counterapocalyptic potential. Since everybody is a potential victim. social upheavals. Instead of delivering the climactic moment of the Last Judgment. purified by the sadomasochistic “bloodletting on the cross. and whose torture underpins a painless—and lifeless—millennium. a text written in the script of stigma. along the lines of Susan Sontag’s classic delineation of the poetics of TB and many subsequent attempts to develop a poetics of AIDS. On the one hand. Rather. in the private travail of individual flesh. On the one hand. 20 th Cent. and the body. wounds. alien invasions. the world has been destroyed by nuclear wars. and technological shutdowns. I consider both real and imaginary disease. the line between the pure and the impure can never be drawn with any precision. disease is one of the central tropes of biopolitics. Their impossible combination produces a clash of two distinct plot modalities. climactic changes. But most of all it is a suffering body. The end result of apocalyptic purification often seems of less importance than the narrative pleasure derived from the bizarre and opulent tribulations of the bodies being burnt by fire and brimstone. The finality of mortality clashes with the duration of morbidity. embracing such diverse manifestations as religious fundamentalism. Any apocalypse strikes the body politic like a disease. Thus.ADI 2010 Fellows—Shree 13 Agamben K Link: Disease Disease securitization turns subjects into apocalyptic bodies whose lives have meaning only if they achieve health. I will argue. it may be approrpriated to the standard plot of apocalyptic purification as a singularly atrocious technique of separating the damned from the saved. meteor strikes. which is a powerful ideological current in twentieth-century political history. points out Tina Pippin.

an inheritance as task? Even the pure and simple relinquishment of all historical tasks (reduced to simple functions of internal or international policing) in the name of the triumph of the economy. Do we not see around and among us men and peoples who no longer have any essence or identity—who are delivered over.ADI 2010 Fellows—Shree 14 Agamben K Link: Economy The invocation of the economy participates is supremely biopolitical Agamben ‘4 (Giorgio. for an inheritance and a task. and at the cost of gross falsifications. Professor of Philosophy at the University of Verona.” . The Open: Man and Animal. p 76) It is likely that the times in which we live have not emerged from this aporia. to their inessentiality and their inactivity {inoperosit~4}— and who grope everywhere. so to speak. often today takes on an emphasis in which natural life itself and its well-being seem to appear as humanity’s last historical task—if indeed it makes sense here to speak of a “task.

has thus offered the key by which not only the sacred texts of sovereignty but also the very codes of political power will unveil their mysteries. the life of homo sacer (sacred man).ADI 2010 Fellows—Shree 15 Agamben K Link: Political Process Every action that participates in the political process is one that creates an exception and results in biopolitical control Agamben 98 (Giorgio. At the same time. in which man as a living being presents himself no longer as an object but as the subject of political power. The Foucauldian thesis will then have to be corrected or. in which human life is included in the juridical order II ordinamento Il solely in the form of its exclusion (that is. the hidden foundation on which the entire political system rested . who may be killed and yet not sacrificed. and exclusion and inclusion. constitutes the first paradigm of the political realm of the West. the bare life that dwelt there frees itself in the city and becomes both subject and object of the conflicts of the political order. and whose essential function in modern politics we intend to assert. bios and zoe right and fact. pg. of its capacity to be killed). however. . that is. in the sense that what characterizes modern politics is not so much the inclusion of zo~in rhepo/is—which is. Instead the decisive fact is that. ‘When its borders begin to be blurred. These processes—which in many ways oppose and (at least apparently) bitterly conflict with each other—nevertheless converge insofar as both concern the bare life of the citizen. before or beyond the religious. this ancient meaning of the term sacer presents us with the enigma of a figure of the sacred that. absolutely ancient —nor simply the fact that life as such becomes a principal object of the projections and calculations of State power. another process is set in motion that in large measure corresponds to the birth of modern democracy. along with the disciplinary process by which State power makes man as a living being into its own specific object. together with the process by which the exception everywhere becomes the rule. Everything happens as if. the state of exception actually constituted. enter into a zone of irreducible indistinction. the realm of bare life—which is originally situated at the margins of the political order —gradually begins to coincide with the political realm. Homo Sacer. the one place for both the organization of State power and emancipation from it. in itself. completed. outside and inside. in its very separateness. At once excluding bare life from and capturing it within the political order. the new biopolitical body of humanity. at least. professor of philosophy at the University of Verona. An obscure figure of archaic Roman law. 8-9) The protagonist of this book is bare life.

. for protection. Some sense of world citizenship. Theory & Event. is for the first time offered up as a political category. is among the first official formulations granting the natural life scorned by the ancients a value purely for its own sake. however. and the power regulating it. or on the rights of humanity as a universal group exceeding different classifications of peoples. can no longer be coded by domestic categories alone. wherever natural life and political appear. The refugee is the most explicit indication of this impossibility. Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Louisville. or to national citizenship. Nor can the distinctions between natural and political life be limited to the field of the nation-state. The refugee .ADI 2010 Fellows—Shree 16 Agamben K Link: Transnational Refugee Protection Refugees cannot appeal to their own state for protection because they exist in transnational space—the 1AC participates in a politics of inclusion/exclusion that results in violence Caldwell 4 (Anne. The refugee must therefore appeal to some other power to recognize it not as a national citizen. The middle ages recognized a "jus gentium" or law of nations. The French Declaration. Life in and of itself. Those laws offered guidance for the treatment of one nation by another. The refugee exists in a transnational space made of an awkward separation and mixture of domestic life and international life. despite its flaws. As Agamben teaches us. A power that offers such protection can no longer be adequately classified under the heading of nation-state sovereignty. By definition. 7. indicates contemporary political belonging. The complex mixture of these categories were not particularly visible so long as life was wholly defined by nation-state belonging. was evoked by the Stoics. That recognition is not without precedent. so too will appear the figure linking them: homo sacer. rather than local belonging. without focusing on either the rights of individuals as members of humanity. the refugee cannot appeal to its own state.2) This transformation suggests the real novelty of the French Declaration is not its definition of citizenship. but as a figure of an international life or human belonging meriting protection solely on that basis. What is novel is the new category of a "man" at once citizen and member of universal humanity -without fully being either.

the kind of relation that exists between homme and citoyen still remains unclear. The nation—the term derives etymologically from nascere (to be born)—thus closes the open circle of man’s birth. “are born and remain free and equal in rights” (from this perspective. professor of philosophy at university of Verona. At the same time. though the author herself leaves the question open. without much success) to respect eternal ethical principles. and to begin to consider them according to their real historical function in the modern nation-state. “Men. Burke’s boutade according to which he preferred his “Rights of an Englishman” to the inalienable rights of man acquires an unsuspected profundity. which is dedicated to the problem of refugees.” she states. of 1789. inaugurating the biopolitics of modernity. If one considers the matter. In the period after the Second World War. the so-called sacred and inalienable rights of man show themselves to lack every protection and reality at the moment in which they can no longer take the form of rights belonging to citizens of a state. “The Decline of the Nation-State and the End of the Rights of Man.ADI 2010 Fellows—Shree 17 Agamben K Link: Rights Talk Rights Talk and ethical principles are the founding feature of biopolitics—notions of citizenship create a community of violence. And if the latter is the case. “based upon the assumed existence of a human being as such. The same bare life that in the ancien regime was politically neutral and belonged to God as creaturely life and in the classical world was (at least apparently) clearly distinguished as zoe from political life (bios) now fully enters into the structure of the state and even becomes the earthly foundation of the state’s legitimacy and sovereignty. Arendt does no more than offer a few. and her suggestion has therefore not been followed up. Gendered language under erasure. 299). The paradox from which Arendt departs is that the very figure who should have embodied the rights of man par excellence—the refugee—signals instead the concept’s radical crisis. in whom rights are “preserved” (according to the second article: “The goal of every political association is the preservation of the natural and indefeasible rights of man”). p. essential hints concerning the link between the rights of man and the nation-state. broke down at the very moment when those who professed to believe in it were for the first time confronted with people who had indeed lost all other qualities and specific relationships—except that they were still human” (Orz~ins. the strictest formulation of all is to be found in La Fayette’s project elaborated in July 1789: “Every man is born with inalienable and indefeasible rights”). And the Declaration can attribute sovereignty to the “nation” (according to the third article: “The principle of all sovereignty resides essentially in the nation”) precisely because it has already inscribed this element of birth in the very heart of the political community. Agamben 98 (Giorgio. . the pure fact of birth—that appears here as the source and bearer of rights. is placed at the foundation of the order vanishes into the figure of the citizen. In the system of the nation-state. however. “The conception of human rights.” the first article declares.” Linking together the fates of the rights of man and of the nation-state. pg. Declarations of rights represent the originary figure of the inscription of natural life in the juridico-political order of the nation-state. metajuridical values binding the legislator (in fact. Yet it is time to stop regarding declarations of rights as proclamations of eternal. it is not clear whether the two terms homme and citoyen name two autonomous beings or instead form a unitary system in which the first is always already included in the second. A simple examination of the text of the Declaration of 1789 shows that it is precisely bare natural life—which is to say. the very natural life that. this is in fact implicit in the ambiguity of the very title of the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen. 126-128) Hannah Arendt entitled the fifth chapter of her book on imperialism. Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life. From this perspective. In the phrase La dicia ration des dro its tie I’homme et du citoyen. her striking formulation seems to imply the idea of an intimate and necessary connection between the two. both the instrumental emphasis on the rights of man and the rapid growth of declarations and agreements on the part of international organizations have ultimately made any authentic understanding of the historical significance of the phenomenon almost impossible.

The four propositions are: 1) The distinction between the humanitarian and the political is an expression of the opposition between human rights and civil rights.N. by increasingly taking an interest in us not only as citizens. however. I will either reject these propositions outright or extract the kernel of truth contained within them before making a suggestion about how we might theoretically classify Agamben’s position.7 This paragraph contains four propositions that are questionable on both empirical and normative grounds.ADI 2010 Fellows—Shree 18 Agamben K Link: Rights Talk Rights talk ties the population to the sovereign by defining life only in terms of what can be defended by the state—this turns the citizen-subject into bare life. Agamben maintains that since the Habeas Corpus Act of 1679 the "bare life" of the individual has been subjected to a twofold move: it was given a protected. Vol. for example. Agamben plays to a primarily Continental European public once again afflicted by self-doubts about the moral standing of liberal societies and their legal systems.]. In all these cases. the primary charasteristic of the state is its capacity to define and occasionally erase the boundary between "normality" and "emergency" and thus the capacity to transform society into a "camp" or Lager populated by citizens reduced to "bare life. and the camp—which is to say. became the object of a particular juridical mode of attention.2 In noticable contrast to the sociology of globalization. I will confine myself to a nutshell summary of his main argument before I offer a concise critique of his ideas on the place of humanitarian law and humanitarian action in today's legal and political world. Agamben mistrusts the human right to physical integrity in a way that is reminiscent of Michel Foucault. Heins 5 (Volker. Concordia University. Accordingly. human rights bodies as well as the continuous attention of specialized NGOs and the media. he writes: The separation between humanitarianism and politics that we are experiencing today is the extreme phase of the separation of the rights of man from the rights of the citizen ."5 There is. Germany. which has assured us for years that state sovereignty is gradually disappearing to the benefit of a "world of flows" comprising goods.4 Since Agamben's theses are already well-known and much-discussed. 2) The goal of humanitarian organizations is the identification and preservation of "bare life. and Senior Fellow at the Institute for Social Research. In the final analysis. 5. some prima facie plausibility that the trafficking of human beings. Visiting Professor of Political Science. In what follows. and therefore. 4) The separation between humanitarianism and politics can and should be overcome in favor of something completely new. Link: State Implementation State action devalues life through ceaseless death threats . By suggesting that human rights are deeply intertwined with the forces of inhumanity against which they are being invoked . Frankfurt. but also as embodied beings—an interest illustrated. Agamben’s principal cause for vexation lies in the persistent separation of this core aspect of the human from wider political and communitarian questions." 3) Because of their reliance on the political/humanitarian divide. humanitarian organizations—which to-day are more and more supported by international commissions— can only grasp human life in the figure of bare and sacred life. despite themselves. such organizations become unwitting accomplices of those who are responsible for the very social suffering that they aim to minimize. between peace and war. but it was also isolated and separated from the wider range of human forms of expression. A humanitarianism separated from politics cannot fail to reproduce the isolation of sacred life at the basis of sovereignty. who felt that the discursive isolation of "sexuality" along with its construction as a singular object of attention was far more significant than the fluctuating history of its "liberation" or "repression. has placed this trend in an epochal relationship with the tatooing of concentration camp inmates. in all seriousness.6 The concern for the life of others is also nurtured by the reporting mechanisms of U. The vaguely dystopian perspective of his legal theory explains why Agamben is considered "interesting" by many. Agamben. Montreal. maintain a secret solidarity with the very powers they ought to fight [.. 845-8) A more forceful and radical critique has been put forth by the Italian political philosopher Giorgio Agamben.3 His essay's far-reaching appeal rests on the fact that it combines in a single formula the moral and legal achievements of western societies— in particular the ethos of human rights—with their slides into totalitarianism. even "sacred" status beyond the immediate grasp of political power. by the growing tendency towards biometric registration of travelers at border crossings. Agamben argues in his book Homo sacer that we continue to live under the auspices of a classical state as it was conceived in early modern Europe." Moreover. stripped of moral agency and social intercourse. German Law Journal. the current western state is said to blur the line between the normal and the exceptional. Drawing on the distinction between human rights and civil rights made by Hannah Arendt. individuals. No. medical end-of-life issues or the detention of "illegal combatants" have indeed turned the bare life of individuals into an object of widespread concern and debate. capital and information. of course. p. the pure space of exception—is the biopolitical paradigm that it cannot master .. 6. The bare life of physical individuals.

of which the former constitutes the originary cell. (This is precisely the originary meaning of the adjective sacer (sacred] when used to refer to human life. Thus.) The state of exception. which defines state power. The puissance absolue et perpe’tuelle. Means Without End: Notes on Politics. takes place precisely when naked life —which normally appears rejoined to the multifarious forms of social life —is explicitly put into question and revoked as the ultimate foundation of political power. But what is valid for the pater’s right of life and death is even more valid for sovereign power (imperium).ADI 2010 Fellows—Shree 19 Agamben K Agamben 2K (Giorgio. the life that unfolds under the protection of the Leviathan — is nothing but this very same life always exposed to a threat that now rests exclusively in the hands of the sovereign . . which is what the sovereign each and every time decides. prof of phil @ the College International de Philosophie in Paris. p 56) Thus. which is kept safe and protected only to the degree to which it submits itself to the sovereign’s (or the law’s) right of life and death. is not founded—in the last instance—on a political will but rather on naked life. The ultimate subject that needs to be at once turned into the exception and included in the city is always naked life. life in the state of nature is defined only by its being unconditionally exposed to a death threat (the limitless right of everybody over everything) and political life—that is. in the Hobbesian foundation of sovereignty. life originally appears in law only as the counterpart of a power that threatens death .

p. in Benjamin the sovereign is “confined to the world of creation. have corrected it to read: Es gibt keine . [the baroque] is faced with the idea of catastrophe . Where Benjamin’s text read. “In antithesis to the historical idea of restoration. “there is a baroque eschatology” the editors. as Benjamin immediately makes clear. . in order to clear an ultimate heaven and enable it. by virtue of a law that is in force in its suspension: it is. This drastic redefinition of the sovereign function implies a different situation of the state of exception. which in Dictatorship was the foundation of commissarial dictatorship. but. While in Schmitt “the sovereign is identified with God and occupies a position in the state exactly analogous to that attributed in the world to the God of the Cartesian system” (Schmitt 1922. And yet the passage that follows is logically and syntactically consistent with the original reading: “and for that very reason [there is] a mechanism that gathers and exalts all earthly creatures before consigning them to the end [dem Ende]. This is why. between the monarch and God. with a further shift. 56-57) The division between sovereign power and the exercise of that power corresponds exactly to that between norms of law and norms of the realization of law. 246/66). between power and its exercise. It no longer appears as the threshold that guarantees the articulation between an inside and an outside. but consigns it to an absolutely empty sky—that configures the baroque state of exception as catastrophe. The sovereign. but the catastrophe.“there is no baroque eschatology” (Benjamin 1928. that defined the Schmittian theologico-political.” The baroque knows an eskhaton. this eskhaton is empty. 43/46). a gap opens which no decision is capable of filling.. is precisely the place where the fracture that divides the body of the law becomes impossible to mend: between Macht and Vermogen.. and from it the baroque extracts a profusion of things that until then eluded all artistic formulation . . . or between anomie and the juridical context. rather. 246/66).. who should decide every time on the exception. as a vacuum. but he remains a creature” (Benjamin 1928. with a singular disregard for all philological care. Es gibt eine barocke Eschatologie. a zone of absolute indeterminacy between anomie and law. as in Political Theology. And it is in response to this antithesis that the theory of the state of exception is devised” (Benjamin 1928. professor of aesthetics at the University of Verona. 246/66) An unfortunate emendation in the text of the Gesammelte Schriften has prevented all the implications of this shift from being assessed. one day to destroy the earth with catastrophic violence” (246/66). State of Exception. It is this “white eschatology”—which does not lead the earth to a redeemed hereafter. in which the sphere of creatures and the juridical order are caught up in a single catastrophe. it focuses state action on the exception. an end of time. Agamben 5 (Giorgio. In Political Theology Schmitt responded to Benjamin’s critique of the dialectic between constituent power and constituted power by introducing the concept of decision. It knows neither redemption nor a hereafter and remains immanent to this world: “The hereafter is emptied of everything that contains the slightest breath of this world . And it is again this white eschatology that shatters the correspondence between sovereignty and transcendence . the paradigm of the state of exception is no longer the miracle. he is the lord of creatures.ADI 2010 Fellows—Shree 20 Agamben K Link: Immigration Reform Reinscribes the Exceptional State The state of exception results in a catastrophe that encompasses the entire earth—even when immigration reform encourages more emigration. and to this countermove Benjamin replies by bringing in Schmitt’s distinction between the norm and its realization.

the difference between state and terrorism threatens to disappears. was established by a French general. 9/20 //shree) Today we face extreme and most dangerous developments in the thought of security. which justifies securitizing the state of exception. In the end security and terrorism may form a single deadly system. who thought of himself as a patriot. Agamben ‘1 (Giorgio. the way it was understood by theorists of the "science of police" in the eighteenth century. In the course of a gradual neutralization of politics and the progressive surrender of traditional tasks of the state. What used to be one among several definitive measures of public administration until the first half of the twentieth century. On Security and Terror. . A state which has security as its sole task and source of legitimacy is a fragile organism. in which they justify and legitimate each others’ actions. When politics. The thought of security bears within it an essential risk. We should not forget that the first major organization of terror after the war. it can always be provoked by terrorism to become itself terroristic. convinced that terrorism was the only answer to the guerrilla phenomenon in Algeria and Indochina. the Organisation de l©ˆArmée Secrète (OAS). security becomes the basic principle of state activity. professor at the University of Verona.ADI 2010 Fellows—Shree 21 Agamben K Link: Terrorist Exclusion Reform The 1AC reproduces terror discursively. reduces itself to police. now becomes the sole criterium of political legitimation.

71 In his evaluation of the thoughtwork of officers on the US/Mexico border. yet governmental interests in stopping smuggling at the border are high indeed. so that we may not infer practice from policy documents alone. ethnicity. gender. the standard of probable cause is held in abeyance at the body/border. is also internalized by individuals. a decision that is always made on the basis of insufficient evidence and mistrust of the speaker. the Supreme Court held that for offense for which there will be “no external signs…inspectors will rarely possess probably cause to arrest or search.69 Gilboy charts how immigration inspectors informally share experiences that lead to the supplementing of official risk profiles with national stereotypes. the confessionary complex (obedience. The court upheld that meeting an established profile would lead to reasonable suspicion and thus grant law enforcement the authority to stop the traveler.ADI 2010 Fellows—Shree 22 Agamben K Link: Visa Eligibility Expansion Makes People Self-Police (1/2) Visa eligibility necessitates biopolitics—they force subjects to participate in self-policing Slater ‘6 (Mark B. This confessionary complex is also written on the body in terms of embodied anxiety and the signs of untruth: “a . In addition to a legal superstructure. clothes. Heyman develops a broad model.70 Heyman describes the “thought-work” of immigration officers. to the surveillance of socalled risk groups. It is clear that the right to be presumed innocent or to have a fair trial must be held in abeyance at the border under the twin rubrics of efficiency and security. It is not simply that the international population is managed. Alternatives 31 P 180-3//shree. anxiety. uninterrupted examination.”65 As with general searches at the border. he points to “covert classifications” used by officers to structure their discretionary decisions. This leads to consideration of the agents of discretion. The case revolved around a drug smuggler detained due to a number of suspicious activities that met a particular profile. . School of Poli Sci @ U of Ottawa. This is doubly true in the case of terrorism.”66 Thus. communal sense. social group. through the presumption in training that the examined body will confess even if the soul is reluctant. exclusion looms. Terror is similar to alimentary canal smuggling (swallowing balloons of cocaine in this instance).”74 The reliance on technology to cope with the rapidly increasing number and variety of risk profiles should be viewed with skepticism: “Notwithstanding the increasing appeal to sophisticated computer-based models within geodemographics.” by which interrogators can learn the self- . Didier Bigo suggests that within the European context the emergence of a cohort of migration managers has shifted policing “from the control of and hunt for individual criminals .”67 Thus. as a part of a social entity. and complicated by an incomplete documentary trail. This auto-confession happens through the interpretation of body.”64 The confessionary complex is a structure framed by law and instantiated in various practices at the border (and in the faces of agents of the state).”63 Balibar relates the governmental function of the border as the limit of community to the process of identity-formation: “The normality of the national citizen-subject . examination. As Gillian Fuller suggests. Foucault describes the importance of “the way by which. The Global Visa Regime and the Political Technologies of the International Self: Borders. The examination at the border is a corporeal documentary affair. focusing as he does on the capacity for decision. may meet the standard of reasonable suspicion. . and Mountz have discussed the ways that governmental bureaucracies enact specific roles within an administrative structure. through some political technology of individuals.72 The covert classification is made according to perceived “moral worth. reasonable suspicion must be visible not only in the body but in the mind of a border guard. borders cease to be purely external realities.”61 Though not traced by Foucault himself. and language skills as evidence of class. Sokolaw.68 Consequently the test of reasonable suspicion. The exceptional application of law in this instance is also revealing of the weakness of Agamben in explaining the moment of decision. confession) provides a crucial link between the “political economy of the body”62 and the biopolitical governmentality of international management of populations. which is not viscerally visible. Bodies. and hence of their identity. teeth. posture. but that we come to manage ourselves through the confessionary complex. Psychologist Paul Ekman trains law enforcement officials and others in his theory of “micro-expressions. as a part of nation or of a state. consisting of developing conceptual schema through which to apply abstract rules to specific cases. As a consequence. we must turn to anthropologists or sociologists of the border. and “apparent social class. Montoya de Hernandez. . an essential reference of their collective. defined by using criminology and statistics. gendered language under erasure) This part of the mechanism for the creation of the modern subject who knows himself in relation to the confessionary state is a function of “unconditional obedience.”75 The credibility of the entrant’s story becomes crucial to the decision to admit or reject.” “national origins stereotypes” similar to those elaborated by Gilboy. . In US v. which does not meet the standard of probable cause. What are these profiles? How are they managed? How are decisions made? Since Agamben neglects this moment of decision. we have been led to recognize ourselves as a society. “States don’t deal with strange peculiarities of networked and virtualised individuals. with some specific implications for the policing of populations. sexuality. . This lighter “reasonable suspicion” standard is applied to other travelers at the airport. leads to the rule by decision. In US vs. and on small-scale narratives of dispositions and their intended consequences. Timothy Mitchell. and exhaustive confession” and “appears as an indispensable component of the government of men by each other. Biopolitics. the court argued that adherence to a law enforcement profile. as it becomes a condition. .”73 These ethnographies of the bureaucracy suggest there is a slippage between risk profiles and stereotypes. the systems persist in relying on stereotypical images. . . Heyman. If the isomorphism between this body-dossier-narrative tests the guard’s credibility. discomfort. in that the signs of the bad intent are secondary: nervousness. . It also is assumed to happen through the examination process. These social scripts are reached through the auto-confession of the body . tied with the exceptional state of the border. face. However the moment of decision must be disaggregated. mechanism of shame that makes one blush at expressing any bad thought. they prefer to keep the subject within the more knowable constraints of identity. at the border the document is compared to the body which is compared to the story.

then we are suspect. about our intentions.”77 Small talk and jokes are dangerous because they express untruths. and social and economic origins. along with our documents. described by one agent as training in “one of these things is not like the other. we must all tell the truth to agents of the state: not just the truth from a certain point of view. moral quality. a corporeal lens makes visible to us the ways in which the body comes to testify. entire. firearms or other weapons while going through pre-board screening. . and teachers. These regulations against joking and small talk train travelers to self-police their speech and behavior to present a low-risk profile toward the authority figure.76 Training for Canada Customs agents in the past has focused on this kind of visual acuity. The confessionary dynamic is illustrated by the ubiquitous “no joking” rule now posted at most airports.ADI 2010 Fellows—Shree 23 Agamben K Link: Visa Eligibility Expansion Makes People Self-Police (2/2) confessing secrets of facial expressions that last one twenty-fifth of a second. but does not accord him/her rights. utility. “you should never joke or make ‘small talk’ about bombs. In the words of the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority. confession. judges. If we do not confess in a way that echoes with the story that the examiner has told him/herself about us. and examination thus binds the mobile subject to the sovereign.” Other technologies on offer to the security apparatus of the state include heat cameras that detect blush responses around the eyes during deception and motion sensors that detect awkward or abnormal movement. but the whole. The ritual of obedience. But border examiners rely on the anxiety of the passenger and themselves to affect obedience. Like doctors. Thus. examination. character. and confession. self-policing truth.

ADI 2010 Fellows—Shree

24 Agamben K

Link: AT Rights Turn
New link—the aff’s claim that they’re good enough masks liberalism’s exclusionary impulses Brown 4 (Wendy, Professor of Political Theory @ UC Berkeley, “The Most We Can Hope For…Human Rights and the Politics of
Fatalism.” The South Atlantic Quarterly 103:2/3, Spring/Summer p 461-2)

It is an old ruse of liberal reformers, in pursuing agendas that have significant effects in excess of the explicit reform, to insist that all they are doing is a bit of good or holding back the dark. On this view, rights simply set people free to make the world as they see fit—they do not have normative-or subject-producing dimensions; they do not carry cultural assumptions or aims; they do not prescribe or proscribe anything; they do not configure the political in a particular way or compete with other political possibilities or discourses. They simply expand autonomy and choice. I have suggested otherwise and in deciding whether the reduction of suffering promised by human rights is the ‘‘most we can hope for,’’ I have argued that we must take account of that which rights discourse does not avow about itself. It is a politics and it organizes political space, often with the aim of monopolizing it. It also stands as a critique of dissonant political projects, converges neatly with the requisites of liberal imperialism and global free trade, and legitimates both as well. If the global problem today is defined as terrible human suffering consequent to limited individual rights against abusive state powers, then human rights may be the best tactic against this problem. But if it is diagnosed as the relatively unchecked globalization of capital, postcolonial political deformations, and superpower imperialism combining to disenfranchise peoples in many parts of the first, second, and third worlds from the prospects of self-governance to a degree historically unparalleled in modernity, other kinds of political projects, including other international justice projects, may offer a more appropriate and far-reaching remedy for injustice defined as suffering and as systematic disenfranchisement from collaborative self-governance. In addition to the question of how one diagnoses the present ills of the world, there is another question here, a genuine question, about the nature of our times. Is the prevention or mitigation of suffering promised by human rights the most that can be hoped for at this point in history? Is
this where we are, namely, at a historical juncture in which all more ambitious justice projects seem remote if not utopian by comparison with the task of limiting abuses of individuals? Is the prospect of a more substantive democratization of power so dim that the relief and reduction of human suffering is really all that progressives can hope for? If so, then human rights politics probably deserves the support of everyone who cares about such suffering. But if there are still other historical possibilities, if progressives have not yet

arrived at this degree of fatalism, then we would do well to take the measure of whether and how the centrality of human rights discourse might render those other political possibilities more faint.

ADI 2010 Fellows—Shree

25 Agamben K

Internal Link: Securitization Leads to War
Securitization breeds war as a permanent condition and banishes us to bare life Moretti ‘3 (Ben, Der Standard, 2/3, http://www.mail-archive.com/nettime@bbs.thing.net/msg00101.html)
It is the suspension of such procedures that, according to Giorgio Agamben, characterizes the state of emergency, in which all sovereign power is assumed by the police. It surely is no coincidence that the new interventions are often likened to police operations, quite as if they were a matter of the superpower's official duties. In a paradoxical way, this state of emergency seems to establish itself as a permanent condition in which the difference between "war" and "peace" becomes obsolete because both terms are dissolved in the technological spectacle of "security" - a kind of cold peace that rests on the permanent possibility of war. Consequently, the appeal speaks of "peace" only in conjunction with "security", while arguing in favour of war. Already now many speak of "the war" against Iraq, not of "a possible" war. But "the war" has always already begun, it has its place in peace . As Brecht writes, "Their
war kills what their peace has left". The appeal of the "new Europe" shows that the argument for peace as security is an implicit argument for war, and postulates war as an instrument of peace. This becomes possible when in the state of emergency the moral criterion of justice is dissolved in the technological criterion of "precision" (strategists have already pointed at the increased precision of the weapons systems to be used against Iraq), and the democratic criterion of an

open debate is substituted by the tactical criterion of speed and trick. In this way, the justification of war is annulled by being placed within the police / military logic of the state of emergency, where and can be deployed smoothly and efficiently, much like an artillery gun or a aircraft carrier . The military
notion of unity is placed above the democratic notion of difference. In all this, the present can only be understood as a result of past wars (more precisely: victories), and violence becomes more natural with each further war: more difficult to identify and name, more difficult to distinguish from what happens anyway, more problematic to ward off. With every new war, it becomes more

difficult to argue in favour of peace without being viewed as insane or irresponsible. As a result, aside from killing of people and destroying resources, aside from the suffering generated, wars such as the one which is now being prepared turn the intellectual landscape into a desert. Their unnamed casualties include the intellectual foundations which would make it possible to think of politics as something different from security. Perhaps, after "Desert Shield" and "Desert Storm", it would be appropriate to name the
coming invasion "Desert Peace". (How could we not think that a system that can no longer function at all except on the basis of emergency would not also be interested in preserving such an emergency at any price?) This is that case also and above

all because naked life, which was the hidden foundation of sovereignty, has meanwhile become the dominant form of life everywhere. Life — in its state of exception that has now become the norm — is the naked life that in every context separates the forms of life from their cohering into a form-of-life .
The Marxian scission between man and citizen is thus superceded by the division between naked life (ultimate and opaque bearer of sovereignty) and the multifarious forms of life abstractly recodified as social-juridical identities (the voter, the worker, the journalist, the student, but also the HIV-positive, the transvestite, the porno star, the elderly, the parent, the woman) that all rest on naked life. The

state of exception is the reduction of humanity to the homo sacer, the life that can be killed but not sacrificed. The person stripped of citizenship, held at undisclosed locations, possibly subject to torture, unable to make any claim whatever to human rights (in as much as those rights are predicated on the power of a nationstate to recognize them) can be killed or disappeared but nothing more. This "recognition" of human rights, the power of the State to see in us a humanity deserving of such rights, is failing under a system where proof of our guilt has become always already visible. Identity papers are no longer visible evidence of rights inasmuch as a piece of clothing, a gesture, an utterance is enough to supercede our citizenship and banish us to naked life.

ADI 2010 Fellows—Shree

26 Agamben K

Impact: Internment
The affirmative divides Being between the living and the dead, producing both the normative subject of the law and a concomitant zone of indistinction between the two poles where the Muselmann arises as the zero point of atrocity, annihilating meaning and value. Agamben 99 (Giorgio, Professor of Philosophy at University of Verona, Remnants of Auschwitz: The Witness and the Archive, 155-157)
In the light of the preceding reflections, a third formula can be said to insinuate itself between the other two, a

formula that defines the most specific trait of twentieth-century biopolitics: no longer either to make die or to make live, but to make survive. The decisive activity of biopower in our time consists in the production not of life or death, but rather of a mutable and virtually infinite survival. In every case, it is a matter of dividing animal life from organic life, the human from the inhuman, the witness from the Muselmann, conscious life from vegetative life maintained functional through resuscitation techniques, until a threshold is reached: an essentially mobile threshold that, like the borders of geopolitics, moves according to the progress of scientific and political technologies.Biopower’s supreme ambition is to produce, in a human body, the absolute separation of the living being and the speaking being, zoe and bios, the inhuman and the human — survival. This is why in the camp, the Muselmann— like the body of the overcomatose person and the neomort attached to life-support systems today— not only shows the efficacy of biopower, but also reveals its secret cipher,so to speak its arcan urn. In his De arcanhs publicarurn (1605), Clapmar distinguished in the structure
of power between a visible face (jus imperil) and a hidden face (arcan urn, which he claims derives from arca, jewel casket or coffer). In contemporary biopolitics, survival is the point in which the two faces coincide, in which the arcan urn imperli comes to light as such. This is why it remains, as it were, invisible in its very exposure, all the more hidden for showing itself as such. In the Muselmann, biopower sought to produce its final secret: a survival separated from every possibility of testimony , a

kind of absolute biopolitical substance that, in its isolation, allows for the attribu tion of demographic, ethnic, national, and political identity. If, in the jargon of Nazi bureaucracy, whoever participated in the “Final Solution”
was called a Geheimnistriiger, a keeper of secrets, the Muselmann is the absolutely unwitnessable, invisible ark of biopower. Invisible because empty, because the Muselmann is nothing other than the volkioser Raum, the space empty of people at the center of the camp that, in separating all life from itself, marks the point in which the citizen passes into theStaatsangeh~irige of non-Aryan descent, the non-Aryan into the Jew, the Jew into the deportee and, finally, the deported Jew beyond himself into the Muselmann,that is, into a bare, unassignable and unwitness-

able life.

professor of philosophy at the College International de Philosophie in Paris. a biopolitical. If the struggle between the two peoples has always been in process. (The economism and “socialism” that seem to dominate modern politics actually have a political. starting with the French Revolution. has been partially realized in all industrialized countries. meaning. our time is nothing other than the methodical and implacable attempt to fill the split that divides the people by radically eliminating the people of the excluded. The obsession with development is so effective in our time because it coincides with the biopolitical plan to produce a people without fracture. it has undergone in our time one last and paroxysmal acceleration. In ancient Rome. 33-34//shree) If this is the case—if the concept of people necessarily contains within itself the fundamental biopolitical fracture—it is possible to read anew some decisive pages of the history of our century. which have all been united in the plan to produce one single and undivided people — an ulti mately futile plan that.) From this perspective. p. Such an attempt brings together.ADI 2010 Fellows—Shree 27 Agamben K Impact: Massacres Biopolitical management thru visas create the notion of an undivided people which necessitates purging all that is difference Agamben 2K (Giorgio. the people become an embarrassing presence. Means Without End: Notes on Politics. . But when. according to different modalities and horizons. however. poverty and exclusion are not only economic and social concepts but also eminently political categories. sovereignty is entrusted solely to the people. in fact. the split internal to the people was juridically sanctioned by the clear distinction between populus and plebs—each with its own institutions and magistrates —just as in the Middle Ages the division between artisans [popolo minu to] and merchants [popolo grasso] used to correspond to a precise articulation of different arts and crafts. both capitalist countries and socialist countries. both the right and the left. In the modern age. and poverty and exclusion appear for the first time as an intolerable scandal in every sense. rather. or.

National Socialist biopolitics moves. “The National Socialist revolution. genetics—is more intimate and complex and. G. it takes as its explicit objective the total care of the population (Dits et tCcrzts.” Only from this perspective is it possible to grasp the full sense of the extermination of the Jews. Thus the concept of race is defined. more disturbing.ADI 2010 Fellows—Shree 28 Agamben K Impact: Genocide Biopower necessitates genocide for the sake of the health of the population Agamben 98 (Giorgio. Yet both Fischer and Verschuer know that a pure race is. during the same years. continued to teach genetics and anthropology at the University of Frankfurt even after the fall of the Third Reich) and Fischer (the director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Anthropology in Berlin) shows beyond a doubt that the genetic research of the time. it brings out problems of vital importance for all European civilization. Distinguishing between politics (Politik) and police (Polizei).. “like pearls in a necklace”). . “is not determined by the assembly of this or that measurable characteristic.” Fischer writes. 145-147) Hence the radical transformation of the meaning and duties of medicine. The principles of this new biopolitics are dictated by eugenics. professor of philosophy at university of Verona. It is absolutely necessary that the physician contribute to a rationalized human economy. the fight against the external and internal enemies of the State. H. It is not surprising. as in the case. in a horizon in which the “care of life” inherited from eighteenth-century police science is. a good part of modern politics even outside the Third Reich— cannot be grasped if it is not understood as necessarily implying the disappearance of the difference between the two terms: the police now becomes politics. . at the same time. Morgan and J. . so the physician is responsible for the economy of human values. rather. to the formation of the first map of the X chromosome in man and the first certaln identification of hereditary pathological predispositions. and the second a positive one. with Nicolas De Lemare. H. 88). as “a group of human beings who manifest a certain combination of homozygotic genes that are lacking in other groups (Verschuer. The book does not discuss problems that concern only one people. for example. 4: I5o—6i). which has by now become biopolitics. gave National Socialist biopolitics its fundamental conceptual structure.” one reads in the introduction to State and Health. p. Race is genetic heredity and nothing but heredity” (in Verschuer. therefore. S. andJ. the very same works of Anglo-Saxon genetics that led. therefore. A glance at the contributions of Verschuer (who. Johan Peter Franc. ttat et sante’. 40). which had recently discovered the localization of genes in chromosomes (those genes that “are ordered. Haldane’s experiments on drosophila and. The new fact. ≤tat et sant4 p. in now being founded on properly eu genic concerns. . is that these concepts are not treated as external (if binding) criteria of a sovereign decision: they are. that he recognize that the level of the people’s health is the condition for economic gain. surprising as this may seem. and the care of life coincides with the fight against the enemy. not the most correct term for the biopolitics of the Third Reich.. almost impossible to identify (in particular. instead. National Socialist biopolitics—and along with it. absolutized. which is understood as the science of a people’s genetic heredity . more generally. in accordance with the genetic theories of the age. von Justi assigned the first a merely negative task. “wishes to appeal to forces that want to exclude factors of biological degeneration and to maintain the people’s hereditary health. 84). . The relationship between National Socialist ideology and the social and biological sciences of the time—in particular. did not limit itself to using and twisting scientific concepts for its own ends. “Race. which is increasingly integrated into the functions and the organs of the state: “Just as the economist and the merchant are responsible for the economy of material values. “ Racism” (if one understands race to be a strictly biological concept) is. in which the police and politics.. the care of health and the fight against the enemy become absolutely indistinguishable. however. when.. pg.” as Fischer writes. that the exemplary reference studies for both Verschuer and Fischer are T. the care and growth of the citizens’ life. as such immediately political. Francis Galton’s work functions as the theoretical background for the work of the science of police. It is important to observe that Nazism. eugenic motives and ideological motives. B. according to this definition.. von Justi. p. Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life. contrary to a common prejudice. Foucault has documented the increasing importance that the science of police assumes starting in the eighteenth century. . Fluctuations in the biological substance and in the material budget are usually parallel” (ibid. neither the Jews nor the Germans constitute a race in the strict sense—and Hitler is just as aware of this when he writes Mein Kampf as when he decides on the Final Solution). of a scale of colors. It thus aims to fortify the health of the people as a whole and to eliminate influences that harm the biological growth of the nation. From the end of the nineteenth century.

It now dwells in the biological body of every living being. after all. is implicit in the sovereignty of the individual over his own existence) necessarily implies a new decision concerning the threshold beyond which life ceases to be politically relevant. becomes only “sacred life. Bare life is no longer confined to a particular place or a definite category. therefore.3. has done nothing but extend itself in the history of the West and has now— in the new biopolitical horizon of states with national sovereignty—moved inside every human life and every citizen.” and can as such be eliminated without punishment . on which the politicization and the exceprio of natural life in the juridical order of the state depends. every society—even the most modern—decides who its “sacred men” will be. . It is not our intention here to take a position on the difficult ethical problem of euthanasia. It is even possible that this limit. Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life. which still today. Every society sets this limit. in certain countries. 139-140) 3. The new juridical category of “life devoid of value ” (or “life unworthy of being lived”) corresponds exactly—even if in an apparently different direction—to the bare life of homo sacer and can easily be extended beyond the limits imagined by Binding. occupies a substantial position in medical debates and provokes disagreement. It is as if every valorization and every “politicization” of life (which. professor of philosophy at university of Verona. be killed without the commission of a homicide. Nor are we concerned with the radicaliry with which Binding declares himself in favor of the general admissibility of euthanasia. More interesting for our inquiry is the fact that the sovereignty of the living man over his own life has its immediate counterpart in the determination of a threshold beyond which life ceases to have any juridical value and can. pg.ADI 2010 Fellows—Shree 29 Agamben K Impact: No Value to Life Biopower ensures the devaluation of life Agamben 98 (Giorgio.

market-savvy subjective forms are produced through its normalization practices. but not all could exercise equally the right to articulate a position in a "collectively binding" process of "decision making. Thus. as a sort of monstrosity. the term risk designates neither "an event nor a general kind of event occurring in reality (the unfortunate kind) but a specific mode of treatment of certain events capable of happening to a group of individuals—or.42 In that sense. future-oriented. political (it gives the security state the aura of a need). In the future. communities."39 In the counterterrorism imaginary. in the present. and second. and so the spaces of resistance alternate as holding cells as well. It is that which breaks absolutely with constituted normality and can only be proclaimed. rationality. to values or capitals possessed or represented by a collectivity of individuals: that is to say. the terrorist threat draws its enemies (the civilized subjects [End Page 93] of modern risk communities) to a future that has already excluded it. or necropolitics. risk (financial or terroristic) is not merely a rhetoric—it is an abstract machine whose shiny surfaces do not reflect or signify something as much as they form assemblages with other machines. if "the United States will confront the threat of terrorism for the foreseeable future. present has given way to the anxieties of the present-future. biopolitics. That is why the civilized are waging an unending war. and projection into the future. Members of that community would include the capitalist elite from all countries. to detain. Prof of English @ FSU. the future is now: the ambivalence of the a new value after 9/11). and the parameters of debate. and now. Bhabha so brilliantly points out. more exactly.45 This civilizational project also puts in place specific spaces of participation and resistance—artificial negativity. and. and affective (fear itself has been given Risk is at once the technology of the future that calls forth all the arts of prediction that science can conjure in its mission to master the future and the abstract machine that diagrams our present. Thus when Randy Martin states that risk "is a rhetoric of the future that is really about the present. But on the other hand. the good. meanwhile. and it will certainly come. They interpenetrate at each moment. an implicitly Christian cosmology gives its adherents a sense of mission. the time of counterterrorism discourse is always in a future that is continuous with a fixed and romanticized national past. Moreover."44 Because terrorist risk is both a burden of civilization for the transnational risk community against the axis of evil and a mission for the truth. In insurance. Derrida once said. "The future can only be anticipated in the form of an absolute danger. it is the enunciation of the stereotype that is crucial to this paradox). an impossible becoming-totalitarian. what becomes possible through this preliminary diagram of terrorist risk is the return of the early modern practice of a "good risk. Terrorist risk is both an acknowledgment of the limits of knowledge and a kind of abstract but very real spur forever driving into the bodies of these men and women. But these terms—pre-sent. the "subaltern public sphere" is another version of it—where civility. As strategy. But all dissent of course is treason in a state of emergency. presented. driving them to produce absolute knowledge of the other. when it will come. considers the event.43 In any case. and the rule of law govern who has a voice. As we have shown." Counterterrorism is a technology that dreams of managing and mastering this monstrosity by targeting subjectivities.ADI 2010 Fellows—Shree 30 Agamben K Impact: Terrorism Reform Leads to Unending War The rhetoric of terrorism is a political construct used to manage the future through future surveillance and vigilance—this results in extermination Puar and Rai 4 (Jasbir. there is no risk in reality. it is a means of price setting on the promise that a future is attainable.40 Terrorist risk engenders a nation or. this anxiety is itself a temporality. once again."41 which demonstrates the discursive kinship to ecological risk. determining each other in a dance of pure repetition." the counterterrorism imaginary aspires to the total management of this "foreseeable" political risk. of course. there will be no terrorism. and humanity. and always surveil citizens and immigrants and thereby multiply the borders to be policed (and. first. better. on the same plane of immanence. like panopticism. countries." which is affirmative and designed to be "embraced for self-betterment. Social Text 22:3//shree) But perhaps most crucial is the very grammar involved: the obsessive use of the future tense signals both a founding anxiety of (and in) this discourse and the drawing of the subject of counterterrorism to the pleasures of the always as yet unimagined. strategies and rationalities of discipline. risk names a [End Page 92] procedure of assessment. to connect bodies to security machines. and discourse. a population. Its analysis is predicated on the fixity of implacably opposed political forces whose only resolution resides in the murderous destiny of the United States to manage democracy for the world (it is our "calling. necropolitics. The sliding between the securely fixed and the terrifyingly unmoored that names the essential dynamic of counterterrorism technologies generates specific kinds of self-legitimating exchange values that have innumerable trajectories and their own surplus: cultural (counterterrorism revalues Western civilization). danger is revalued as a civilizational value. As if projecting itself into an always already mastered future. economic (the economics of fear drives the billions of dollars spent on everything from spy planes to home security systems). its seemingly infinite proliferation only means that all we are saying is beside the point: we must exterminate the brutes. as Achille Mbembe has so movingly shown. civilization is the nodal point for multiple axes of power: a normalizing sexuality as well as a white supremacist agenda operate through it. . counterintelligence. what this document outlines is a civilizational project machined to a necropolitics. harass. civilizational burden unequally shared between members of a risk community. is a war machine that assembles. "free and open economies" (it goes without saying today that a very closed capitalist restructuring is implied by this phrase) are enshrined in its charter. Asst Prof of Gender @ Rutgers and Amit. Adorno once called it." one must see that. where the risk of terrorism is neutralized before actualization. reason. Counterterrorism. microtechnologies of surveillance and policing— everything from a total awareness database to eye recognition software—operate at speeds up to a hundred times faster than current computer processors. biopolitics." as President Bush says). With every new body bag and suicide bomber the value of "danger" goes up.38 In that sense its immediate precursor and ally is the technology of insurance. anything can be a risk. it all depends on how one analyzes the danger. future—are no longer actually operative in community formations of terrorist risk. Nothing is a risk in itself . the sliding between structure and network returns here in the form of a sort of insurance value. as Homi K. what enunciations are heard. containment. time itself. indeed.

thought. In such circumstances the community calls upon its fundamental right to exist as such and thus evokes its right to deny the right to life of those who are seen as a threat to the life of that same population. as concrete political method of security. The emergence of a bio-political racism in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries can be approached as a trajectory in which the demand for a homogenous social space articulated by the norm appears to turn into a life necessity. spirituality etc. even if the norm has allowed modern biopower to transform negative restraints of power into more positive controls or normalisation. health. abnormality is inscribed upon individual “other” bodies. Dean 1999 Chapter 7). the species. Rather than denying that non-liberal practices are indeed an integral part of all forms of liberal democratic government. it is still producing dangerous subjectivities. and the large-scale phenomena of population ” (Foucault 1976: 180. International Development Studies at Roskilde University. Other types of rule. whether by “ethnic cleansing” that visits holocausts upon whole groups or by the mass slaughter of classes and groups in the name of the utopia to be achieved. Rose has made the point that the “very notion of normality has emerged out of a concern with types of conduct. there seems to be a kind of inescapable connection between the power to foster life and the power to disqualify life which is characteristic of bio-power. the degenerate. namely that there is an intimate connection between the exercise of a life-administering power and the commission of genocide: “If genocide is indeed the dream of modern powers […] it is because power is located at the level of life. the delinquent. This allows us to consider what might be thought of as the dark side of bio-politics (Dean 1999: 139). or micro populations. values are not defined a priori. It intensifies the killing. we could see the will to establish the authority of liberal democracy – this will to power – as an element of sovereignty in the heart of the “democracy”. In Foucault’s account. can be restored allowing normative goals to be considered “for the good”: “[T]he good is figured in terms of adequacy – the good product is adequate to the purpose it was meant to serve. it provides it with renewed scope. It is through the systematic accumulation of knowledge about certain social problems and deviations that we come to know the normal and the norm that stabilise and indicate it in social contexts (Ewald 1990: 140). economic development.ADI 2010 Fellows—Shree 31 Agamben K Impact AT: Liberalism Stops Biopower Liberalism becomes totalitarianism when it becomes concerned with biopolitical management Hoffmann 7 (Kasper. or even elimination of life at the level of entire populations. does not put an end to the practice of war. expression deemed troublesome or dangerous” (Rose 1996: 26). bio-politics. However.ruc. (Dean 1999: 134) The list of those so subjected would include at various times those furnished with the status of the indigent. for one reason or another. but instead through an endless process of comparison and normalization” (Ewald 1990: 152). the savage. Militarised Bodies and Spirits of Resistance. Within the normative system. Within liberal forms of government . at least. such as authoritarian or totalitarian forms. and wars will be waged at that level on behalf of the “security” of each and all. though in certain circumstances this fundamental “security” of the population is experienced as threatened. responsibility) required of the juridical and political subjects of rights and who are therefore subjected to all sorts of disciplinary. concepts of the norm and normal have played a kind mediating role in the formulation and execution of normative projects (Canguilhem 2005 [1966]. my translation). the focus is on the fostering and promotion of life. bio-politics is not confined to liberal forms of rule: liberalism just makes the articulation in a specific way.g. are deemed not to possess or to display the attributes (e. http://diggy. there is a long history of people who. also depend on the elements of a biopolitics that is concerned with the detailed administration of life .) to the norm. This new scope allows the actual neutralization. human development. Governance is now exercised at the level of life and of the population. the homosexual. bio-political and even sovereign interventions. This brings us to the heart of Foucault’s challenging thesis about biopolitics. the dangerous etc. the normal order. the native. By aligning delinquent or abnormal subjectivities (through. the feeble-minded. Ewald 1990). Therefore. In modern processes of government. Thus. techniques of pedagogy. for instance. autonomy. so that normality can only be understood in relation to the abnormal. Through the establishment of the norm. Modern so-called “liberal” practices of government therefore also entail ‘illiberal’ aspects (see Hindess 2001. Liberalism always contains the possibility of non-liberal interventions in the lives of those who do not possess the attributes required to be a “citizen”.dk:8080/handle/1800/2766 //shree) In modern forms of government. casting certain deviations as both internal dangers to the body politic and as inheritable legacies that threatens the well-being of race: On behalf of the existence of everyone entire populations are mobilised for the . May. the race.

and in its most radical form it is a means of introducing a fundamental distinction between those who must live and those who must die. It fragments the biological field and establishes a break within the biological continuum of human beings by defining a hierarchy of races. but that it is intrinsic to the nature of all modern. he shows that racism is not merely an ideological discourse of exceptionally cruel regimes. a set of subdivisions in which certain races are classified as “good”. homosexuals. in modern biopolitical practice. fit and superior (Stoler 1995: 84). It is worth remembering that the Nazi concentration camps housed not only Jews. It is essential to note that racism as a biopolitical practice does not draw on a particular theory of race – it does not need to. death. war does more than reinforce one’s own kind by eliminating a racial adversary: it “regenerates” one’s own race (Stoler 1995: 56). of bodies and the race. (Foucault 1976: 180. production and illness. Bolsheviks and other inassimilable elements. the more you kill and let die. It posits that. but also Gypsies. It is as managers of life and survival. Instead racism designates a much more general practice which introduces a rift in the biological continuum that is the human species between those who are worthy of citizenship and those who are not. that so many regimes have been able to wage so many wars. but a fundamental feature of modern processes of government. normalising governmental rationalities and their bio-political technologies. It therefore establishes a positive relation between the right to kill and the assurance of life. It acts on the human species. 1995: 64). emphasis) Bio-politics presides over the processes of birth. . as an “excess” of biopower that does away with life in the name of securing it. causing so many men to be killed…at stake is the biological existence of a population.ADI 2010 Fellows—Shree 32 Agamben K Impact AT: Liberalism Stops Biopower purpose of wholesale slaughter in the name of the life necessity: massacres have become vital. Thus. By showing how racism possesses a polyvalent mobility. the more you will live. Internal threats to the health and wellbeing of a social body come from those who were deemed to lack an ethics of “how to live” and thus the ability to govern themselves. Foucault’s argument is that racism is not only confined within those obviously racist forms of authoritarian government such as the German Nationalist Socialist state. my translation. Within this bio-political practice the sovereign right to kill appears in a new form. Foucault understands racism as a sort of permanent feature of biopower and not as the paroxysmal convulsion of a decaying moral order (Stoler. To sum up.

Being cared to death poses the issue of the life that is presupposed. whether in terms posed by Foucault or Agamben.26 Power over life must adjudicate punishment and death as it distributes live across terrains of value that the life sciences constantly revise in the cause of life’s very promotion.27 Here. So it does for Agamben. When recalling the significance of the Christian pastorate to biopolitics. No. It is bound up with the techniques of power. In posing an intrinsic and unique threat to life through the very ways in which it promotes. Massacres have become vital. also. Ojakangas marks an important difference. “but the care of ‘all living’ is the foundation of biopower.” (emphasis in the original).” I agree. is the reason why the modernising developmental politics of biopolitics go racist: “So you can understand the importance – I almost said the vital importance – of racism to such an exercise of power. The threshold of modernity is reached when the life of the species is wagered on its own (bio) political strategies. There is however much more going on in this ‘betrayal’ than misconstruction and misinterpretation. ideologies or the lies of power. perhaps the difference needs however to be both marked differently and interrogated differently. which threatens to elide the intrinsic violence of biopolitics and its essential relation with correction and death. I have argued that there is a certain betrayal in the way Agamben reworks Foucault. between Foucault and Agamben. protects and invests life. One. Prof of Politics and International Relations at Lancaster University. Emphasising care for all living . nomologically for Agamben and biologically for Foucault. the biologised life of biopolitics also raises the issue of a life threatened in supremely violent and novel ways. 2. but differently and in a different way.ADI 2010 Fellows—Shree 33 Agamben K Impact AT: Ojakangas Even if biopolitics necessitates care for part of the population. Each foregrounds the self-immolating logic that ineluctably applies in a politics of life that understands life biologically. comprehensively subject to biopolitical governance in such a way that life shows up as nothing but the material required for biopolitical governance. Biopower deserves presumption of suspicion because it justifies violent intervention.”28 In racism. Foucault Studies. 25 In contesting Agamben in the ways that he does.the promotion. moreover. but again differently and for the same complex of reasons.”30 In thus threatening life. protection and investment of the life of individuals and populations – elides the issue of being cared to death. Ojakangas seems to emphasize a line of succession rather than of radical dissociation. For Agamben’s loathing of biopolitics is I think more ‘true’ to the burgeoning suspicion and fear that progressively marked Foucault’s reflections on it than Ojakangas’ account can give credit for. Foucault’s biopolitics concerns an historically biologised life whose biologisation continues to mutate as the life sciences themselves offer changing interpretations and technical determinations of life.24 For Foucault. Biopolitics must and does recuperate the death function. or nomologically. p. Foucault insists: “We are dealing with a mechanism that allows biopower to work. with the technology of power. “Not bare life that is exposed to an unconditional threat of death. . or what gives it its specificity. That done. in the way that Foucault documents for us. then. May. Ojakangas says: “Foucault’s biopower has nothing to do with that [Agamben] kind of bare life. biopolitics prompts a revision of the question of life and especially of the life of a politics that is not exhaustively biologised. it REQUIRES that subsections of the population be perpetually annihilated so that the rest can optimize the quality of their lives. This biologised life of biopolitics nonetheless also raises the stake for Foucault of a life that is not a biologised life. That is also why we now have a biopolitics gone geopolitically global in humanitarian wars of intervention and martial doctrines of virtuous war. since he concentrates on providing the exegetical audit required to mark it out rather than evaluate it. It does teach us how to punish and who to kill.”29 But: “The specificity of modern racism. ‘care for all living’ threatens life in its own distinctive ways. in the way that Agamben’s bare life contends. It has to. Dillon 5 (Michael. 43-44) The key point of dispute with Ojakangas concerns the self-immolating logic of biopolitics .” he says in the introduction to his paper. There is a value in it. Exploring that value requires another ethic of reading in addition to that of the exegesis required to mark it out. is not bound up with mentalities. So it does for Agamben. in biopolitics.

The idea of an inner solidarity between democracy and totalitarianism (which here we must. Behind the long. of its capacity to be killed). his life that cannot be sacrificed yet may. before or beyond the religious. in the sense that what characterizes modern politics is not so much the inclusion of zoe in the polis—which is. constitutes the first paradigm of the political realm of the West. in which human life is included in the juridical order [ordinamento]’ solely in the form of its exclusion (that is. It is. however. the bare life that dwelt there frees itself in the city and becomes both subject and object of the conflicts of the political order. which marks the beginning of modern democracy and forces it into complicity with its most implacable enemy. advance) is obviously not (like Leo Strauss’s thesis concerning the secret convergence of the final goals of liberalism and communism) a historiographical claim. so to speak. the one place for both the organization of State power and emancipation from it. along with the disciplinary process by which State power makes man as a living being into its own specific object. p. To become conscious of this aporia is not to belittle the conquests and accomplishments of democracy. bios and Zoe right and fact. enter into a zone of irreducible indistinction. . together with the process by which the exception everywhere becomes the rule. who may be killed and yet not sacrificed. the realm of bare life—which is originally situated at the margins of the political order—gradually begins to coincide with the political realm. An obscure figure of archaic Roman law. it is that modern democracy presents itself from the beginning as a vindication and liberation of zoe and that it is constantly trying to transform its own bare life into a way of life and to find. at least. professor of philosophy at university of Verona. the state of exception actually constituted. too. be killed. in which man as a living being presents himself no longer as an object but as the subject of political power. Yet this idea must nevertheless be strongly maintained on a historico-philosophical level. from unprecedented ruin. which would authorize the liquidation and leveling of the enormous differences that characterize their history and their rivalry. it). strife-ridden process that leads to the recognition of rights and formal liberties stands once again the body of the sacred man with his double sovereign. absolutely ancient—nor simply the fact that life as such becomes a principal object of the projections and calculations of State power. pg. and whose essential function in modern politics we intend to assert. When its borders begin to be blurred. completed. These processes—which in many ways oppose and (at least apparently) bitterly conflict with each other—nevertheless converge insofar as both concern the bare life of the citizen. no nonvalue) other than life. 8-11//shree) The protagonist of this book is bare life. and until the contradictions that this fact implies are dissolved. the bios of zoe Hence. in fact. nevertheless.ADI 2010 Fellows—Shree 34 Agamben K Impact AT: Biopower Good (Foucaultian Zoe) The 1AC’s politics of inclusion participates in a ceaseless decision on bare life—modern democracy and its bedrock of rights is capable of genocidal violence Agamben 98 (Giorgio. this ancient meaning of the term sacer presents us with the enigma of a figure of the sacred that. the hidden foundation on which the entire political system rested. at the very moment in which it seemed to have finally triumphed over its adversaries and reached its greatest height. modern democracy’s specific aporia: it wants to put the freedom and happi ness of men into play in the very place—”bare life”—that marked their subjection. Nazism and fascism—which transformed the decision on bare life into the supreme political principle—will remain stubbornly with us. in itself. outside and inside. consequently. rather. since it alone will allow us to orient ourselves in relation to the new realities and unforeseen convergences of the end of the millennium. which remains largely to be invented. to try to understand once and for all why democracy. Modern democracy’s decadence and gradual convergence with totalitarian states in post-democratic spectacular societies (which begins to become evident with Alexis de Tocqueville and finds its linal sanction in the analyses of Guy Debord) may well be rooted in this aporia. proved itself incapable of saving zoe to whose happiness it had dedicated all its efforts. Everything happens as if. At once excluding bare life from and capturing it within the political order. what the camps taught those who lived there was precisely that “calling into question the quality of man provokes an almost biological assertion of belonging to the human race (Le’spece humaine. and exclusion and inclusion. the life of homo sacer (sacred man). The Foucauldian thesis will then have to be corrected or. At the same time. This idea alone will make it possible to clear the way for new politics. has thus offered the key by which not only the sacred texts of sovereignty but also the very codes of political power will unveil their mysteries. the new biopolitical body of humanity~ If anything characterizes modern democracy as opposed to classical democracy. then. with every caution. another process is set in motion that in large measure corresponds to the birth of modern democracy. According to the testimony of Robert Antelme. Instead the decisive fact is that. Today politics knows no value (and. that is. in its very separateness. Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life.

Bare life is distinct from natural life because its precarious status is due to its capture by sovereign power. especially of contract and rights. Theory & Event. homo sacer is "the hinge on which each sphere [zoe and bios] is articulated at the threshold at which the two spheres are joined in becoming indeterminate . That usage is strange. The good life of the polis emerges from a distinction between natural and political life. Asst Prof in the Dept of Poli Sci @ Louisville. are. on this analysis. regardless of whether it lives a life of happiness or misery. and bios as a specific political way of life. Agamben's account of sovereignty is equally indebted to Greek thought. defines the nature of political belonging in the West. As Agamben explains. As Agamben reports. The terminology we are familiar with from modernity. . What at first appears an opposition between natural life and political life is rather an implication "of bare life in politically qualified life" (p.10 Despite periodic uses of bare life and zoe interchangeably.8). Agamben here treats zoe (natural life) as bare life or homo sacer. Neither political bios nor natural zoe. something of homo sacer appears in Aristotle's distinction between zoe as the natural life shared by all animals. secondary phenomena. their distinction is essential to his argument. sacred life is the zone of indistinction in which zoe and bios constitute each other in including and excluding each other (p. homo sacer is a creature of the limit. and their integration into the exception.ADI 2010 Fellows—Shree 35 Agamben K Impact AT: Biopower Good (Foucaultian Zoe) Your turn misunderstands biopolitics—biopower is the production of bare life rather than just “life”—Western politics creates a distinction between political and non-political life which requires subsets of the population to be annihilated to care for the population Caldwell ‘4 (Anne. is defined by its dependence upon sovereign power for its status. This nexus. 11 Homo sacer. 7:2//shree) Although homo sacer is the figure who will "unveil" the mysteries of sovereignty (p. 7). He finds a Roman category in a Greek world that would not have known it. political life is defined by the exception of natural life. Like sovereignty. and appears to treat bare life as identical to natural life. 90). it belongs to the zone of indeterminacy generated by sovereignty. in which sovereignty emerges by capturing life in the exception.

but provides sites for its expansion . and another form of power? The bio-sovereignty described by Agamben is so fluid as to appear irresistible. Such a lifewould exist outside sovereignty. lacks the features permitting the sovereign capture and regulation of life in our tradition . including Benjamin and Heidegger. That tie permits law. " (2. What follows is only a brief consideration of whatever being. Bio-sovereigntyresults from a particular and contingent history. If indeed sovereignty is bio-political before it is juridical.ADI 2010 Fellows—Shree 36 Agamben K Alternative: Whatever Being Vote negative to endorse Whatever-being in opposition to the affirmative’s maintenance of sovereign power Caldwell 4 (Anne." as described by Agamben. What defies sovereign power is a life that cannot be reduced to those determinations: a life "that can never be separated from its form. including language and potentiality. every further politicization of life. and it requires certain conditions. Agamben's analysis suggests the contrary. geo-political position have become the subjects of rights declarations. This expansion of the range of life meriting protection does not limit sovereignty. That separation has permitted the emergence of a sovereign power grounded in this distinction. It is made up of varied concepts. in its endless cycle of violence.Agamben describes this alternative life as "whatever being. religion. Yet Agamben never suggests this order is necessary. as Agamben describes it. Agamben's own concept of whatever being is extraordinarily dense. 139). sex. . finds its grounds in specific coordinates of life. to reduce life an instrument of its own power.mere life is the life which unites law and life. 7. and empowered to decide on the value." These concepts come from the figure Benjamin proposed as a counter to homo sacer: the "total condition that is 'man'. factors that once might have been indifferent to sovereignty become a field for its exercise. From a liberal or cosmopolitan perspective. in other words. which it then places in a relation of indeterminacy.' and can as such be eliminated without punishment" (p. "Whatever being. in its relation to sovereign power. economic status. The language of rights. In his earlier Coming Community. becomes only 'sacred life. then juridical rights come into being only where life is incorporated within the field of bio-sovereignty. Sovereignty's capture of life has been conditional upon the separation of natural and political life." More recently he has used the term "formsof-life. such enumerations expand the range of life protected from and serving as a limit upon sovereignty. Theory & Event.2//shree) Can we imagine another form of humanity. Sovereign power. The total condition that is man refers toan alternative life incapable of serving as the ground of law. Asst Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Louisville. it is also shaped by several particular dense thinkers. calls up and depends upon the life caught within sovereignty: homo sacer. calls for "a new decision concerning the threshold beyond which life ceases to be politically relevant. Since then.3). and non-value of life (1998: 142)." For Benjamin and Agamben. race. color. in turn.a life in which it is never possible to isolate something such as naked life . In recent decades. Attributes such as national status.

I think we are allowed to clarify and amend the visionary statement found in the “Postilla 2001” to the Coming Community in the following fashion: “Not work. and thus the argos. for instance. once she has ‘suffered’ the proper alteration). 36-37//shree) We are finally in a position to introduce the notion of passivity . fundamental passivity. when applied to Agamben’s thought as a whole. [that is. when applied to the political dimension of his project. The opposition to the work of man. Thus. as fundamental opening to non-Being.fundamental passivity] are the paradigm of the politics to come (to come. then what is potential is capable of both being and not being . that is to man in his actuality. to the potentiality of the child who does not know but eventually will. After having generalized his reading to Aristotle’s treatment to sensation and perception (see de An.”13 The politics to come (à-venir) will be a passive politics. Agamben moves on to Met. December. 418b-419a1). his ergon. Franchi ‘4 (Stefano. conversely. Agamben remarks that the potentiality of human beings is always the potentiality not to do something(as opposed. or rather it is inoperose because it is lazy. and it is lazy because it is always capable. I will limit myself to pointing out an aspect that is not always adequately emphasized. potentiality. Or. she has already learned how to build one) and it is on that basis that she may decide not to build it. that is. The voyou welcomes not-Being and its fundamental passivity is exposed in this welcoming.ADI 2010 Fellows—Shree 37 Agamben K Alternative: Passivity Only a politics of passivity can rupture biopolitics and achieve whatever-being. The voyou is not just inoperose. and is therefore a potential being. actuality. As I said above. The architect who knows how to build a house. the being of pure dynamis. Contretemps 5. to be more precise.”12 Here I think we have reached our first conclusion: the being of desoeuvrement that is at stake in the definition of the argos is to be found in potentiality as fundamental passivity. is ultimately connected to the notion of energeia. Since Agamben’s insistence on this concept is rather wellknown. it follows that the fundamental problem of Agamben’s thought —and I use the word here in the sense of Sache (des Denkens)—is passivity. must be found by a detour through the terms that Aristotle links to it—energeia. She does not need to undergo any any alteration: she has it already (that is. of not-being. does not mean future). and its opposite. to the potential not to be. Theta 1 (1050b10) and remarks that if to be potential means to be in relation to one’s own incapacity. Professor of Philosophy at Stanford. then the argos is. on the contrary.has at the same time the potential not to build it. it follows that it is true a fortiori. He concludes that “the potential welcomes not-Being. but inoperosity and decreation. If this statement is true in general. p. it is lazy. that is. and this welcoming of non-Being is potentiality. as a purely potential being. dynamis. of not-doing. for the reasons briefly mentioned above. it is the thought of desoeuvrement as passivity. . If the work of man.

citizens. These self-stripping strategies clearly exemplify the possibility of resistance in the state of exception. In particular. Moreover. Undocumented Migrants and Resistance in the State of Exception. Unable to secure voluntary compliance.”(2008. The embassy employee tells us. as I have argued elsewhere. we will examine whether these forms of resistance can succeed in curtailing the state’s sovereign powers. p 11-15. from the perspective of immigration officers . What are the implications of identitystripping for the exercise of state sovereignty? Confronted with the challenge of expelling an unidentifiable noncitizen across international borders. 1603) We will now return our focus on the state and explore how its officers handle these acts of identity-stripping. migrants.pdf//shree) The exercise of sovereignty over homo sacer is ultimately contingent on the state’s knowledge of the individual’s identity. Many of them are difficult to manage by state officials. Presumably the only effective way for states to induce voluntary compliance would be to grant the migrant residence rights—in which case travel documents would of course no longer be needed. the hands of the liberal state are tied. In other words. the absence of rights at the same time makes possible acts of resistance such as identity-stripping. have sought to escape the state’s reach by destroying or hiding their identity documents. This act of resistance is far from exceptional. the population of “undocumented” asylum applicants is estimated to have increased to 85 percent (Böhling 2001). 224). state officers are forced to go “embassy-shopping” in the vague hope of identifying the migrant’s nationality. “Being unable to bring deportees across the border turns the administrative successes of identifying. 1593) by their citizens. locating. the inability to “render legible” those within its custody presents a significant threat to sovereignty. in the mid-1980s. Levels of innuendo and violence unthinkable to regular human beings. 41) While much has been written on the dehumanizing consequences of the denial of membership. German interior officials estimate that.ADI 2010 Fellows—Shree 38 Agamben K Alternative: Identity-Stripping (1/2) The sovereign’s ability to exercise biopolitical control is contingent on identity documents like visas—identity stripping makes resistance possible Ellerman 9 (Antje. “unidentifiable migrants are constitutionally rather invulnerable to expulsion” (van der Leun 2003. he’s from the Gambia. ‘there is a good chance that he’s from Nigeria. immigration authorities had to obtain travel documents for about 30 to 40 percent of all asylum seekers. they tell us. The refugee as homo sacer describes the condition of exclusion that those exempt from the normal sovereignty are subject to.” (2007. “individuals who remain beyond the embrace of the state necessarily represent a limit on its penetration” (1997. In contemporary states. are regularly perpetrated against the refugee or asylum seeker. and detaining deportable immigrants into sunk costs. they can’t touch me.’1 What is important to note is that homo sacer’s ability to render herself unidentifiable is ultimately contingent on bare life. ‘he’s not from Sudan.’ Then we go to the Liberian embassy. 172).edu/euce/eusa2009/papers/ellermann_02G. However. By the year 2000. Liberal states infrastructurally penetrate their societies far too deeply (Mann 1984) to allow for a pervasive “creation of fog” (Broeders and Engbersen 2007.’ We go to the Nigerian embassy. In the words of Broeders and Engbersen. and they say. Dept of Politics @ U of British Columbia. it is the rightlessness of the illegal migrant that is the source of her capacity for resistance by means of identity-stripping. in turn. The lives of illegal migrants and refugees in many ways exemplify the condition of rightlessness that marks bare life. in the case of illegal migrants.” (Rajaram and Grundy-Warr 2004. he’s from Liberia. http://www. The refugee is outside the law. apprehending. … we apply for an interview with the Sudanese embassy. and they are able to very effectively frustrate the administrative processing of return programs. in particular unsuccessful asylum seekers. As John Torpey argued. a necessary condition for expulsion from the national territory. While the following figures and illustrations all refer to immigration enforcement in Germany. But maybe he’s not Gambian. argue. ‘he’s not Liberian. ‘if they don’t know who I am. It is important to recognize that the state’s inability to secure travel documents is directly linked to the individual’s refusal to cooperate. Migrants whose name and nationality is unknown to the state cannot be issued the identity and travel documents on which lawful deportation to another’s state’s territory hinges. and. International law only obliges states to readmit their own nationals while recognizing the right of states to refuse entry to any non-national. 108). For the state. As liberal states have stepped up their deportation efforts. you need to . “The territorialization of life means that the refugee is put in a position where she lacks apportioned rights but depends on the charity or goodwill of aid workers or the police. prosecuting. Thus. “We need to get papers for a Sudanese national. it simply cannot expel individuals with unknown identities. the inability to execute deportation orders because of missing documents is particularly frustrating because it presents the last in a lengthy chain of administrative actions. they could easily apply to control contexts elsewhere in the advanced democratic world.’ The Gambians. … Finally we get an interview. ‘if he is Gambian he’ll have to confirm that he’s applying for papers voluntarily. The vast majority of those who lead “politicized lives” have entered into too many bureaucratic relationships with the state to have the choice to render themselves unknowable. “[t]he strategy of noncooperation shows that many immigrants are not docile persons who fully cooperate with the authorities. identity is the authoritative marker of exclusion and inclusion. he could be from Nigeria. Unless a state seeks to transport individuals surreptitiously to a foreign territory.unc. The dilemma that an unknown identity poses to the state is aptly captured by a deportation officer ’s account of the resistance strategies of illegal migrants: “People have started to realize.

While the deporting states of the Global North have pursued various diplomatic strategies to improve bilateral cooperation to facilitate the issuing of documents—most prominently the conclusion of readmission agreements—success has rarely been forthcoming (Ellermann. district Ostprignitz-Ruppin. Brandenburg. These strategies can be distinguished both by the extent to which they rely on the migrant’s cooperation and by the degree of coercion involved. November 27. . it often is accompanied by enormous problems in the area of social and economic reintegration. deportation officer. the diplomatic representatives of the countries of origin of most “undocumented” migrants face few incentives to actively cooperate with the identification efforts of deporting states because they only stand to lose from the return of their nationals.ADI 2010 Fellows—Shree 39 Agamben K Alternative: Identity-Stripping (2/2) provide us with clear evidence.’” (Author interview. The paper will now examine a number of identification strategies pursued by the German state that target the undocumented migrant herself. Not only does return migration represent the loss of vital remittances. 2008). 2001) Significantly.

Potentialities: Collected Essays in Philosophy. instead. Only in this way can the event of the Mes siah coincide with historical time yet at the same time not be identified with it.ADI 2010 Fellows—Shree 40 Agamben K Alternative: AT No Roadmap There is no roadmap for whatever being—it is impossible to know the history of when we take action Agamben 99 (Giorgio. 174) It is in this light that one must read the enigmatic passage in Kafka’s notebooks that says. one of which is consumed in the consummation of history and the other of which happens. something that belongs to historical time and its law and. at the same time. the messianic kingdom consists. pg. but on the very last day. effecting in the eskhaton that “small adjustment” in which. the messianic event is considered through a bi-unitary figure. he will come not on the last day. . Although while the law is in force we are confronted only with events that happen without happening and that thus indefinitely differ from themselves. so to speak. This figure probably constitutes the true sense of the division of the single Messiah (like the single Law) into two distinct figures. This paradigm is the only way in which one can conceive something like an eskhaton—rhar is. according to the rabbi’s saying told by Benjamin. in the Eighth Thesis. here. only the day after his arrival. of “a real state of exception” as opposed to the state of exception in which we live.” The particular double structure implicit in this messianic theologumenon corresponds to the paradigm that Benjamin probably has in mind when he speaks. “The Messiah will only come when he is no longer necessary. professor of philosophy at university of Verona. he will only come after his arrival. puts an end to it.

whose victims are all the peoples of the Earth. p. thereby exhibiting the awareness of being exposed to the gaze. In this way. they want to take possession of their own very appearance. and exposition are today the objects of a global civil war. any nature. they paradoxically appear more real precisely to the extent to which they exhibit this falsification. nevertheless. This does not mean. Politicians. and thus they transform it into a miserable secret that they must make sure to control at all costs. We may call tragicomedy of appearance the fact that the face uncovers only and precisely inasmuch as it hides. however. in the image as image. on the other hand. knowingly challenge the voyeur’s gaze and force him to look them in the eyes. that appearance dissimulares what it uncovers by making it look like what in reality it is not: rather. The same procedure is used today in advertising: the image appears more convincing if it shows openly its own artifice. whose battlefield is social life in its entirety. 93-95) Exposition is the location of politics. This unexpected gesture violently belies the fiction that is implicit in the consumption of such images. while a new class of bureaucrats jealously watches over its management. whose object is truth. Exposition thus transforms itself into a value that is accumulated in images and in the media. The fact that politics constitutes itself as an autonomous sphere goes hand in hand with the separation of the face in the world of spectacle — a world in which human communication is being separated from itself. by a calculated stratagem. that is perhaps because animals are always already in the open and do not try to take possession of their own exposition. they simply live in it without caring about it. In that precise moment. Human beings. This struggle. according to which the one who looks surprises the actors while remaining unseen by them: the latter. the insubstantial nature of the human face suddenly comes to light. whose storm troopers are the media. the appearance that ought to have manifested human beings becomes for them instead a resemblance that betrays them and in which they can no longer recognize themselves. and hides to the extent to which it uncovers. that is. truth. and the advertising industry have understood the insubstantial character of the face and of the community it opens up. it is founded above all on the control of appearance (of doxa). but rather appearing itself. professor of philosophy at the College International de Philosophie in Paris. goes by the name of History. their being nothing other than a face. The task of politics is to return appearance itself to appearance. the media establishment. Means Without End: Notes on Politics. State power today is no longer founded on the monopoly of the legitimate use of violence — a monopoly that states share increasingly willingly with other nonsovereign organizations such as the United Nations and terrorist organizations. the one who looks is confronted with something that concerns unequivocally the essence of the face. the very structure of truth. It is happening more and more often that in pornographic photographs the portrayed subjects. into the battlefield of a political struggle without quarter. rather. what human beings truly are is nothing other than this dissimulation and this disquietude within the appearance. What remains hidden from them is not something behind appearance. In both cases. it is also and immediately the location of simulation and of an irreducible impropriety. that is. look into the camera. separate images from things and give them a name precisely because they want to recognize themselves. That is why they are not interested in mirrors. Precisely because the face is solely the location of truth. Human beings thus transform the open into a world. . or any specific destiny.ADI 2010 Fellows—Shree 41 Agamben K Framing Card (1/2) Challenging sovereign representations is key to preventing violence Agamben 2K (Giorgio. Because human beings neither are nor have to be any essence. their condition is the most empty and the most insub stantial of all: it is the truth. rather. that is. If there is no animal politics. to cause appearance itself to appear. The fact that the actors look into the camera means that they show that they are simulating. The face.

The only face to remain uninjured is the one capable of taking the abyss of its own communicability upon itself and of exposing it without fear or complacency. but what one has to take possession of here is only a nonlatency. but only exchange and conflict. This is why the face contracts into an expression. 95-97) If what human beings had to communicate to each other were always and only something. Character is the constitutive reticence that human beings retain in the word. every human face. and thus sinks further and further into itself. of the communicative nature of human beings. stiffens into a character. As soon as the face realizes that communica bility is all that it is and hence that it has nothing to express — thus withdrawing silently behind itself. which is what one calls character. there would never be politics properly speaking. This means that an integrated Marxian analysis should take into consideration the fact that capitalism (or whatever other name we might want to give to the process dominating world history today) not only was directed to the expropriation of productive activity. It is precisely this empty space that politicians and the media establishment are trying to be sure to control. thus letting the shapeless and bottomless background that threatens them emerge. signals and answers. is always suspended on the edge of an abyss. a pure visibility: simply a visage. Inasmuch as it is nothing but pure communicability.ADI 2010 Fellows—Shree 42 Agamben K Framing Card (2/2) Language shapes reality Agamben 2K (Giorgio. it is a victory over character—it is word. language). This is precisely why the most delicate and graceful faces sometimes look as if they might suddenly decompose. p. politics then arises as the communicative emptiness in which the hu man face emerges as such. inside its own mute identity—it turns into a grimace. . Means Without End: Notes on Politics. But because what human beings have to communicate to each other is above all a pure communicability (that is. But this amorphous background is nothing else than the opening itself and communicability itself inasmuch as they are constituted as their own presuppositions as if they were a thing. professor of philosophy at the College International de Philosophie in Paris. but was also and above all directed to the alienation of language itself. even the most noble and beautiful. by keeping it separate in a sphere that guarantees its unseizability and by preventing communicativity itself from coming to light. The face is not something that transcends the visage: it is the exposition of the visage in all its nudity.

so to speak. professor of philosophy at the university of Verona. continually engendered from its own manner. an ethos. which we expose as our proper being. he explained that we cannot say that “it happened to be thus. For the being that is its own manner this is not.” but only that it “is as it is. pg. is its thus without remainder-such a being is neither accidental nor necessary. The being that does not remain below itself. in the sense that it could not be otherwise. engenders us. that does not presuppose itself as a hidden essence that chance or destiny would then condemn to the torment of qualifications. however. treat existence as a property. but rather an improperty. And this being engendered from one’s own manner is the only happiness really possible for humans. in effect. however. happier nature. 28-29) Only the idea of this modality of rising forth. The example is only the being of that of which it is the example. so much a property that determines and identifies it as essence. . it is perfectly common. this original mannerism of being. is that this improperty is assumed and appropriated as its unique being. but rather exposes itself in its qualifications. its principium individuationis. which we use. trying to define the freedom and the will of the one. Being engendered from one’s own manner of being is. It is our second. without being master of its own being” and that “it does not remain below itself.ADI 2010 Fellows—Shree 43 Agamben K AT: Alt Doesn’t Solve Ontology can access the whatever singularity a position of nonjudgment that can rupture disciplinary technologies Agamben 93 (Giorgio. in effect. but this being does not belong to it. The Coming Community: Theory Out of Bounds Volume 1. Plotinus had to have this kind of being in mind when. the very definition of habit (this is why the Greeks spoke of a second nature): That manner is ethical that does not befall us and does not found us but engenders us. manner.” Perhaps the only way to understand this free use of the self. what makes it exemplary. but is. a way that does not. but because “thus is best. But a manner of rising forth is also the place of whatever singularity. is to think of it as a habitus. The improperty. but makes use of itself as it is” and that it is not thus by necessity. allows us to find a common passage between ontology and ethics.

ADI 2010 Fellows—Shree 44 Agamben K AT: Perm (Cede the Political) The aff’s immigration politics is predicated on isolating bare life which justifies infinite atrocity. within it. pg. modernity does nothing other than declare its own faithfulness to the essential structure of the metaphysical tradition. Politics therefore appears as the truly fundamental structure of Western metaphysics insofar as it occupies the threshold on which the relation between the living being and the logos is realized. The exclusion of bare life is inscribed in immigration policy. Agamben 98 (Giorgio. Homo Sacer. In assuming this task. even as it dwells in the polis by letting its own bare life be excluded. in language. 8) The question “In what way does the living being have language?” corresponds exactly to the question “In what way does bare life dwell in the polis?” The living being has logos by taking away and conserving its own voice in it. . maintains himself in relation to that bare life in an inclusive exclusion. Lou bios. separates and opposes himself to his own bare life and. as an exception. at the same time. exclusion/inclusion. professor of philosophy at the University of Verona. In the “politicization” of bare life—the metaphysical task par excellence— the humanity of living man is decided. There is politics because man is the living being who.The fundamental categorial pair of Western politics is not that of friend! enemy but that of bare life/political existence.

4-5) Foucault’s death kept him from showing how he would have developed the concept and study of biopolitics.)—and which have been steadily dissolving. Agamben 98 (Giorgio. instead. . a link that secretly governs the modern ideologies seemingly most distant from one another. p. The “enigmas” (Furet. however. return thought to its practical calling. LAllemagne nazi.the entry of zoe into the sphere of the polis—the politicization of bare life as such—constitutes the decisive event of modernity and signals a radical transformation of the political-philosophical categories of classical thought. 7) that our century has proposed to historical reason and that remain with us (Nazism is only the most disquieting among them) will be solved only on the terrain—biopolitics—on which they were formed. It is even likely that if politics today seems to be passing through a lasting eclipse. at the same time. professor of philosophy at the University of Verona. absolutism/democracy. to the point of entering today into a real zone of indistinction—will have to be abandoned or will. even tually regain the meaning they lost in that very horizon. will be able to bring the political out of its concealment and. Only within a biopolitical horizon will it be possible to decide whether the categories whose opposition founded modern politics (right/left. taking up Foucault’s and Benjamin’s suggestion. And only a reflection that. pg. etc. private/public. this is because politics has failed to reckon with this foundational event of modernity. thematically interrogates the link between bare life and politics.ADI 2010 Fellows—Shree 45 Agamben K AT: Perm (Cede the Political) The alternative comes first—healing the split between natural and political life is a prerequisite to solving the problems that have plagued Western Politics. In any case. Homo Sacer.

Western politics has not succeeded in constructing the link between zoe and bios. between voice and language. until a completely new politics—that is. In carrying out the metaphysical task that has led it more and more to assume the form of a biopolitics. Nevertheless. Aristotle may well have given the most beautiful formulation to the aporia that lies at the foundation of Western politics. as something that is included solely through an exclusion. Homo Sacer. professor of philosophy at the University of Verona. every theory and every praxis will remain imprisoned and immobile. does zoe really need to be politicized. How is it possible to “politicize” the “natural sweetness” of zoe? And first of all. Bare life remains included in politics in the form of the exception. that is. The 24 centuries that have since gone by have brought only provisional and ineffective solutions. 11) In contrasting the “beautiful day” (euemeria) of simple life with the “great difficulty” of political bios in the passage cited above. a politics no longer founded on the exception of bare life—is at hand. that would have healed the fracture . pg. and the “beautiful day” of life will be given citizenship only either through blood and death or in the perfect senselessness to which the society of the spectacle condemns it.ADI 2010 Fellows—Shree 46 Agamben K AT: Perm The Perm cannot avoid codifying the exception of bare life Agamben 98 (Giorgio. . or is politics not already contained in zoe as its most precious center? The biopolitics of both modern totalitarianism and the society of mass hedonism and consumerism certainly constitute answers to these questions.

rather.”’ The definition of the concept of “happy life” remains one of the essential tasks of the coming thought (and this should be achieved in such a way that this concept is not kept separate from ontology. wasn’t it defined precisely by the recovery to political ends of the Averroist concepts of “sufficient life” and “well-living”? Once again Walter Benjamin. 113-115) While the state in decline lets its empty shell survive everywhere as a pure structure of sovereignty and domination. The “happy life” on which political philosophy should be founded thus cannot be either the naked life that sovereignty posits as a presupposition so as to turn it into its own subject or the impenetrable extraneity of science and of modern biopolitics that everybody today tries in vain to sacralize. see in all this the surest sign of the end of politics . . The theorists of political sovereignty. Agamben 2K (Giorgio. such as Schmitt. if we look closer. isn’t this precisely the goal of philosophy? And when modern political thought was born with Marsilius of Padua.ADI 2010 Fellows—Shree 47 Agamben K AT: Perm The permutation damns the attempts to conceive of a new politics because it refuses to extend the “happy life” to everyone. And the planetary masses of consumers. a society in which the sole goal of production is comfortable living. However. professor of philosophy at the College International de Philosophie in Paris. do not seem to foreshadow any new figure of the polis (even when they do not simply relapse into the old ethnic and religious ideals). that is. in fact. p. the problem that the new politics is facing is precisely this: is it possible to have a political community that is ordered exclusively for the full enjoyment of wordly life? But. because: “being: we have no experience of it other than living itself”). This “happy life” should be.” leaves no doubts regarding the fact that “The order of the profane should be erected on the idea of happiness. society as a whole is instead irrevocably delivered to the form of consumer society. an absolutely profane “sufficient life” that has reached the perfection of its own power and of its own communicability—a life over which sovereignty and right no longer have any hold. in the “TheologicoPolitical Fragment. Means Without End: Notes on Politics.

Instead.” The emergence of this more complete normalizing discourse is itself not neatly or completely separate from its own genealogy within disciplinary society. 116-117) Here I am slightly ahead of myself. in working to normalize even that which resists normalization. in normalizing the forms of resistance as they emerge from delinquency.ADI 2010 Fellows—Shree 48 Agamben K AT: Perm The perm is a normalization of resistance that links to the K and justifies extinction Dumm 96 (Thomas. The problem of the normalization of norms is perhaps better discussed under the rubric “bio-power. Professor of Political Science at Amherst College. I believe that this is what Foucault may be thinking when he urges us to rethink the form that the idea of right might take as sovereignty and normalization vitiate the very possibility of repression in a disciplinary age. this does not mean that liberal freedom has not been a way of being free.” P. what it may suggest is that the freedom that has been so long associated with a particular organization under the banner of sovereign right may need to be rethought so that we may better understand and give shape to a politics of freedom more commensurate with the conditions of late modernity. Normalizing the norm—is there a more succinct definition of cybernetics than that? Normalizing the norm---is this not the great (unannounced) end of the various strategies aimed at human extinction? A question that emerges for us at the end of the twentieth century is whether the style of freedom that has accompanied disciplinary society and that has been nurtured by it—and for the sake of brevity let us call that freedom liberal freedom---has itself been the reason leading humankind to this moment of terminal risk . But even if it has. “Michel Foucault and the Politics of Freedom. However. those who engage in contemporary exercises of power may have been able to put at risk more than just a mode of freedom but the very possibility of free existence itself. .

It is this that leads him to conclude that the camp is the as yet unrecognized paradigm of the modern. and not by politicians: “In the biopolitical horizon that characterizes modernity . and “the ‘body’ is always already a biopolitical body ” (187). Politics. and Death: Essays On Giorgio Agamben’s Homo Sacer. such decisions are increasingly made by scientists. for instance. which as such acquire a political meaning precisely only through a decision” (164). are we to do when we are dealing with agents or things that have not already been recognized as the bearers of rights? Here the reassertion of rights is simply not an option. but that Aristotle will not provide a stable point from which to critique those who follow after him. the concept of the margin is itself being swept away. the attempt to resist this through the assertion of human rights ignores the connection between the humanism that undergirds the concept of rights and the events that seem to conflict with it. nor does he claim that they “caused” the Holocaust (a term to which he objects [114]). the physician and the scientist move into the no-man’s-land into which at one point the sovereign alone could penetrate” (159).~~ There is no Archimedean point outside biopoli tics. “life and death [cease to be] properly scientific concepts [and become] political concepts. assistant professor of political science at the university of Pennsylvania. What he does argue is that there is a deep affinity between such contemporary horrors and the tradition of political philosophy to which we might turn in an effort to understand and combat such phenomena. and the impossibility of categorically distinguishing between exception and rule is made manifest. As the logic of the sovereign exception comes unraveled (or is realized—this paradox being a necessary function of that logic). In such cases. the liberal strategy reveals its limitations when we recognize that the notion of the threshold is in fact expanding into areas where we will not have the luxury of refusing to consider the inner logic of phenomena we should like to reject as evil and incomprehensible . an agent or a thing. Politics is always a matter of the body.ADI 2010 Fellows—Shree 49 Agamben K AT: Perm The liberal philosophy of the permutation guarantees perm failure Norris 5 (Andrew. These are still marginal figures in our current political life. 14-15) Finally. Metaphysics. What. We must decide whether a neomort—a body whose only signs of life are that it is “warm. Ironically. and linked together by means of the no-man’s-land of the state of exception that is inhabited by bare life—begin to become one. “When life and politics—originally divided. The practical implication would be not that there is no differ ence between Aristotle or Hitler. pg. the distinction between bare life and political life is hopelessly confused. pulsating. and urinating”—is in fact a human being at all. all life becomes sacred and all politics becomes the exception” (I48)~~ In the end. Agamben’s argument is not that Aristotle’s or Locke’s reflections on politics carry with them an implicit commitment to the substantive racist policies of National Socialism. . But if Agamben is right. or from which to construct an alternative.

103."10 In this space. of her attempt to preserve the political from the contamination of private. The will to preserve the realm of pure politics ultimately makes it vanish in the sheer relation of state power and individual life . I would assume that the radical suspension of politics in the exception of bare life is the ultimate consequence of Arendt's archipolitical position. Nevertheless. the correlation of sovereign power and bare life takes place where political conflicts can be located. they are the rights of those who have no rights. The camp is the space of the "absolute impossibility of deciding between fact and law . rule and application. appear as two parts of the same "biopolitical" body. the question of their subject—which is the subject of politics as well.ADI 2010 Fellows—Shree 50 Agamben K AT: Perm The perm maintains human rights are ontologically correlated with the state of exception— only the alternative alone can solve Rancière 4 (Jacques. let us have a closer look at the Arendtian argument about the Rights of Man and of the Citizen. apolitical life. Vol. standing in front of bare life—an opposition that the next step forward turns into a complementarity. p. In order to do this. Any kind of claim to rights or any struggle enacting rights is thus trapped from the very outset in the mere polarity of bare life and state of exception. an argument that Agamben basically endorses. As a result. which amounts to a tautology. the political exception is ultimately incorporated in state power. Politics thus is equated with power. This means that they are the rights of those who have rights. the executioner and the victim. 301-02) In such a way. which amounts to nothing—or the rights of man are the rights of the citizen. Any difference grows faint between democracy and totalitarianism and any political practice proves to be already ensnared in the biopolitical trap . no. exception and rule. the rights attached to the fact of being a citizen of such or such constitutional state. She makes them a quandary. social. which can be put as follows: either the rights of the citizen are the rights of man—but the rights of man are the rights of the unpoliticized person. If we want to get out of this ontological trap. This attempt depopulates the political stage by sweeping aside its always-ambiguous actors. professor of philosophy at the University of Paris VIII. 2/3. the German body and the Jewish body. we have to reset the question of the Rights of Man —more precisely. Agamben's view of the camp as the "nomos of modernity" may seem very far from Arendt's view of political action. a power that is increasingly taken as an overwhelming historico-ontological destiny from which only a God is likely to save us. The South Atlantic Quarterly.11 . This means setting the question of what politics is on a different footing. That polarity appears as a sort of ontological destiny: each of us would be in the situation of the refugee in a camp.

white women. not just textual " (p. health care. Clarke replies: I can think of few more striking indicators of the political and intellectual impoverishment of a view of society that can only recognize the discursive. Journal. . It may be the intellectual's conception of terror (what else do we do but speak?). and injustice . agencies. Postmodern emphasis on the discursive without an accompanying analysis of how the discursive emerges from material circumstances hides the complex task of envisioning and working towards concrete social goals (Merod." unsupported by substantial analysis of the concrete contexts of subjects. we are appallingly ignorant of terror in its elaborate contemporary forms. homophobia. poverty. 255). Speech prof @ CMU. Robinson (1990) for example. which are in the physical world. despite their adversarial posture and talk of opposition. 571). housing. therefore.(pp. shelter. concrete situation" (p. the situation and its consequences are not overlooked by scholars from marginalized groups. The political sympathies of the new cultural critics. or commitment to activism. Merod (1987) decries this situation as one which leaves no vision. those who have limited access to good jobs. 3. 1987). argues that "the justice that working people deserve is economic. as Clarke (1991) asserts. People whose lives form the material for postmodern counter-hegemonic discourse do not share the optimism over the new recognition of their discursive subjectivities. 170). v. rather than in a world of ideas or symbols. and economic injustice. (p.. Lopez (1992) states that "the starting point for organizing the program content of education or political action must be the present existential. If the worst terror we can envisage is the threat not to be allowed to speak. aligns them with the political left. Emphasizing the discursive self when a person is hungry and homeless represents both a cultural and humane failure." and "difference. food. In short. Southern Comm.. but its projection onto the rest of the world would be calamitous . and the budgets that fuel them. Spring. and. and transportation. He notes that academic lip service to the oppositional is underscored by the absence of focused collective or politically active intellectual communities. To this assertion. and protection are basic human needs that require collective activity for their fulfillment. Iss. They do not appreciate being told they are living in a world in which there are no more real subjects. most writers from marginalized groups are clear about how discourse interweaves with the concrete circumstances that create lived experience. or any Third World population. 299). will.ADI 2010 Fellows—Shree 51 Agamben K AT: Framing Policy analysis should precede discourse – most effective way to challenge power Taft-Kaufman 95 (Jill. Provoked by the academic manifestations of this problem Di Leonardo (1990) echoes Merod and laments: Has there ever been a historical era characterized by as little radical analysis or activism and as much radical-chic writing as ours? Maundering on about Otherness: phallocentrism or Eurocentric tropes has become a lazy academic substitute for actual engagement with the detailed histories and contemporary realities of Western racial minorities. their discourses on intertextuality and inter-referentiality isolate them from and ignore the conditions that have produced leftist politics--conflict. with their ostensible concern for the lack of power experienced by marginalized people. racism. 530) Clarke's assessment of the postmodern elevation of language to the "sine qua non" of critical discussion is an even stronger indictment against the trend. it is through the coercion that threatens speech that we enter the "realm of terror" and society falls apart.(4) Nutrition. Ideas have consequences. sexism. “Other Ways”) The postmodern passwords of "polyvocality. Although the material conditions that create the situation of marginality escape the purview of the postmodernist.. The need to look beyond texts to the perception and attainment of concrete social goals keeps writers from marginalized groups ever-mindful of the specifics of how power works through political agendas. as well as to the media that depict them. 60. because such an acknowledgment does not address sufficiently their collective historical and current struggles against racism." "Otherness. Yet. Unlike postmodern "textual radicals" who Rabinow (1986) acknowledges are "fuzzy about power and the realities of socioeconomic constraints" (p. Clarke examines Lyotard's (1984) The Postmodern Condition in which Lyotard maintains that virtually all social relations are linguistic. 2-27) The realm of the discursive is derived from the requisites for human life. postmodern emphasis on new subjects conceals the old subjects. institutions. West (1988) asserts that borrowing French poststructuralist discourses about "Otherness" blinds us to realities of American difference going on in front of us (p. creates a solipsistic quagmire .

gendered language under erasure) The question “In what way does the living being have language?” corresponds exactly to the question “In what way does bare life dwell in the polis?” The living being has logos by taking away and conserving its own voice in it. within it. exclusion/inclusion. pg. at the same time. There is politics because man is the living being who. In assuming this task. 8. zoe/ bios. In the “politicization” of bare life —the metaphysical task par excellence— the humanity of living man is decided. professor of philosophy at university of Verona.ADI 2010 Fellows—Shree 52 Agamben K AT: Friend-Enemy Distinction Good Western politics is not built on friend/enemy but rather on inclusion/exclusion Agamben 98 (Giorgio. even as it dwells in the polis by letting its own bare life be excluded. Politics therefore appears as the truly fundamental structure of Western metaphysics insofar as it occupies the threshold on which the relation between the living being and the logos is realized. separates and opposes himself to his own bare life and. maintains himself in relation to that bare life in an inclusive exclusion. modernity does nothing other than declare its own faithfulness to the essential structure of the metaphysical tradition. . as an exception. in language. The fundamental categorial pair of Western politics is not that of friend/enemy but that of bare life/political existence. Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life.

professor of philosophy at the University of Verona. “Language. pp. always to “speak the law. of being named. pg. only language as the pure potentiality to signify. It expresses the bond of inclusive exclusion to which a thing is subject because of the fact of being in language. declares that there is nothing outside language and that language is always beyond itself. To speak [dire] is. in a permanent state of exception. We have seen that only the sovereign decision on the state of exception opens the space in which it is possible to trace borders between inside and outside and in which determinate rules can be assigned to determinate territories. divides the linguistic from the nonlinguistic and allows for the opening of areas of meaningful speech in which certain terms correspond to certain denotations. Homo Sacer.ADI 2010 Fellows—Shree 53 Agamben K AT: Realism Recourse to a prediscursive realm of “realist” politics is exactly how the state of exception operates.” he wrote in the Phenomenology of Spirit. “is the perfect element in which interioriry is as external as exteriority is internal” (see Phdnomenologie des Geistes. 21) Hegel was the first to truly understand the presuppositional structure thanks to which language is at once outside and inside itself and the immediate (the nonlinguistic) reveals itself to be nothing but a presupposition of language. withdrawing itself from every concrete instance of speech. . In exactly the same way. Language is the sovereign who. Discourse acts as the law and expresses the bond of inclusive exclusion that is the structure of sovereignty and politics Agamben 98 (Giorgio. in this sense. 527—29). The particular structure of law has its foundation in this presuppositional structure of human language.” ius dicere.

or the simultaneously august and vile character of a thing: it is instead the originary political formulation of the imposition of the sovereign bond. Numis homicide law (parricidas esto) forms a system with homo sacer’s capacity to be killed (parricidi non damnatur) and cannot be separated from it. Sacer esto is not the formula of a religious curse sanctioning the unheimlich. professor of philosophy at the University of Verona. therefore. the violence of the son against the parent. And this proximity is just as little the consequence of the “sacred”—that is. which has often been observed and explained in a variety of ways. Homo Sacer. whose ambivalence has so tenaciously oriented not only modern studies on the phenomenology of religion but also the most recent inquiries into sovereignty. and the syntagm homo sacer names something like the originary “political” relation. the cancellation of borders. sacredness is instead the originary form of the inclusion of bare life in the juridical order. Not the act of tracing boundaries. They constitute instead the originary exception in which human life is included in the political order in being exposed to an unconditional capacity to be killed.ADI 2010 Fellows—Shree 54 Agamben K AT: Agamben Totalizes Agamben is not totalizing—the original form of politics is the sovereign ban and implicit in this process is the death of homo sacer Agamben 98 (Giorgio. . according to the original sources. 84-85) This symmetry between sacratio and sovereignty sheds new light on the category of the sacred . The originary structure by which sovereign power is founded is this complex. which is to say. If our hypothesis is correct. verberatio parentis. nor merely the attempt to grant the latter a theological foundation. The crimes that. or the swindling of a client by a counsel) do not. after all. bare life insofar as it operates in an inclusive exclusion as the referent of the sovereign decision. august and accursed— character that inexplicably belongs to life as such. have the character of a transgression of a rule that is then followed by the appropriate sanction. The proximity between the sphere of sovereignty and the sphere of the sacred . Life is sacred only insofar as it is taken into the sovereign exception. merit sacratio (such as terminum exarare. teaches with perfect clarity). and to have exchanged a juridico-political phenomenon (homo sacer’s capacity to be killed but not sacrificed) for a genuinely religious phenomenon is the root of the equivocations that have marked studies both of the sacred and of sovereignty in our time. pg. but their cancellation or negation is the constitutive act of the city (and this is what the myth of the foundation of Rome. is not simply the secularized residue of the originary religious character of every political power.

when Agamben speaks of the biopolitical he has the tendency to transform it into an ontological category with value already since the archaic Roman right. in all cases. when what serves us are. on the other hand. he is very wrong-headed.that Foucault is not a sufficient base for founding a discourse over the biopolitical and my apprehension.. multitude. Then. As soon as this potential is transformed into a commodity. exodus. an "open doors" word. a word with an exclamation point. in my opinion. my fear. “General intellect. When there is a commodity that is called labor-power it is already implicitly government over life. that labor-power is only one of the aspects of the biopolitical.in relation to the birth of liberalism . And. in this. but rather is simply the potential to produce.. Then. . Revolutionary. covers problems instead of being an instrument for confronting them. mama!".ADI 2010 Fellows—Shree 55 Agamben K Aff: Alternative Doesn’t Solve The alternative fails to confront biopolitics and entrenches the harms Virno ‘2 (Paolo.” Archipelago n54. my fear is of fetish words in politics because it seems like the cries of a child that is afraid of the dark. use biopolitics in a historically determined sense. in my opinion. I don't negate that there can be a serious content in the term. the child that says "mama. "biopolitics. The problem is. because it is not a real commodity like a book or a bottle of water. a thinker with no political vocation. Agamben says. biopolitics!". June//shree) Agamben is a thinker of great value but also. then. that the biopolitical is only an effect derived from the concept of labor-power. but Foucault spoke in few pages of the biopolitical . it is necessary to govern the living body that maintains this potential. however I see that the use of the term biopolitics sometimes is a consolatory use. on the other hand. that contains this potential .. A fetish word. Toni (Negri) and Michael (Hardt). I say the contrary: over all because labor power is a paradoxical commodity. instruments of work and not propaganda words. is that the biopolitical can be transformed into a word that hides. I believe. basing it on Foucault. like the cry of a child. a word that carries the risk of blocking critical thought instead of helping it.

com/archive/sum_04/morris. tends increasingly to identify the work of art with the non-artistic product. The trick is to discover the best way to set sail. . slits. What has been negated is reassumed into the judgment as its only real content. stains.bookforum. I mention these criticisms here not because they are facile and misinformed (though they are) but because they emerge from a refusal to understand the full range of Agamben's philosophical project. “Life. and the skeletal remains of the living. These critiques are usually launched against Agamben's two best-known books. death. significance. categories. Thus. his thought has been sailing in search of that ungraspable something that not only constitutes life but also makes it worth living." The boats of thought capsize when they no longer carry ideas. and that aesthetic judgment is . When he published The Man Without Content. art immediately receives in itself its own negation. and that therefore his understanding of human life is left wanting. art criticism reaches its terminus: extreme object-centeredness. Kant says somewhere in the Critique of Pure Reason that all possible knowledge and experience are marooned on an island surrounded by the dangerous waters of the unknown. pg. . Art is important to us because it has no purchase on meaning. espionage takes the place of adventure. and what has been affirmed is covered by this shadow. . Yet Agamben won't go there. the reunion of art and its shadow. . In contemporary art." In contemporary art. and the police take the place of pirates. The Man Without Content begins to chart that course in order to resist the dark temptations of unknowability and ineffability. Where will he go? In a phrase: to Aristotle.ADI 2010 Fellows—Shree 56 Agamben K Aff: Alternative Doesn’t Solve The alternative leaves no hope for politics beyond obscure aesthetics Morris ‘4 (Daniel. That it does not have to matter is perhaps the only reason it does.” Summer. ." Michel Foucault remarked in a 1967 lecture.html) Contemporary critics of Agamben at times accuse him of reveling in the indeterminacy of naked life. we do not notice that in the meantime art has become a planet of which we only see the dark side. "through its holes. . Only when there is no mast in knowledge or experience that can be raised are we in trouble." Many critics. . http://www. it is critical judgment that lays bare its own split." he argues. . Agamben is today in his early sixties. he was twenty-eight. theorists. and Kafka. cultural critic. . and concepts as brigand chasers of our dreams. or Something Like It: The Philosophical Chiaroscuro of Giorgio Agamben. Caught up in laboriously constructing this nothingness. "it will only have laid out. For decades. "In civilizations without boats. thus suppressing and rendering superfluous its own space. an interminable skeleton of dead elements. and nonpictorial materials. . "dreams dry up. Some even charge that he aestheticizes the denuding of life as a pornographic transfixion for his gaze. Part of the misadventure of aesthetic thought for Agamben is that it traffics in nothingness. 2004. Benjamin. becoming aware of its shadow. and philosophers have phlegmatically resigned themselves to this space of abnegation. "Whatever criterion the critical judgment employs to measure the reality of the work. or the world. as Agamben dubs it. . Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life (1995 [1998]) and Remnants of Auschwitz: The Witness and the Archive (1998 [1999]). . in place of a living body.

Our critique of Agamben's (and also Foucault's) notion of biopower is that it is conceived only from above and we attempt to formulate instead a notion of biopower from below. It no longer takes the form of a dialectic between Self and Other and does not function through any such absolute exclusion. Prof of Romance Studies Dept @ Duke University. modern sovereignty rules over naked life and biopower is this power to rule over life itself.ADI 2010 Fellows—Shree 57 Agamben K Aff: Alternative = Powerlessness The alternative breeds powerlessness—it makes resistance to oppression impossible Hardt & Dumm 2K (Michael & Thomas. 4:3. . making hierarchies of hybrid identities. the bare minimum of existence that is exposed in the concentration camp. in other words. he explains. The pinnacle and full realization of modern sovereignty thus becomes the Nazi concentration camp: the zone of exclusion and exception is the heart of modern sovereignty and grounds the rule of law. is closer to our notion of a biopower from below. For that we have to look instead at Agamben's notions of life and biopower. There is no figure that can challenge and contest sovereignty. although cast on a very different register. though. a power by which the multitude itself rules over life . It implies. in which the modern functioning of rule becomes a permanent state of exception. I would say. is that Agamben dwells on modern sovereignty whereas we claim that modern sovereignty has now come to an end and transformed into a new kind of sovereignty. that is. He then links this conception to the figure of the banned or excluded person back as far as ancient Roman law with his usual spectacular erudition. (In this sense. particularly surrounding the notions of sovereignty and biopower. The most significant difference between our projects. In the final analysis. "Sovereignty. What results from this analysis is not so much passivity. My hesitation with this view is that by posing the extreme case of the concentration camp as the heart of sovereignty it tends to obscure the daily violence of modern sovereignty in all its forms. Prof @ Amherst College. Multitudes. This description may not immediately give you the same sense of horror that you get from Auschwitz and the Nazi Lager. what we call imperial sovereignty. but powerlessness. Agamben brilliantly elaborates a conception of modern sovereignty based on Carl Schmitt's notions of the decision on the exception and the state of emergency. but rules rather through mechanisms of differential inclusion.” Theory & Event. that if we could do away with the camp then all the violence of sovereignty would also disappear. and it has its own subtle and not so subtle horrors . Absolute Democracy: A Discussion between Michael Hardt and Thomas Dumm about Hardt and Negri's Empire. But still none of that addresses the passivity you refer to. Agamben uses the term "naked life" to name that limit of humanity. Imperial sovereignty has nothing to do with the concentration camp. but imperial sovereignty is certainly just as brutal as modern sovereignty was.) What we are interested in finally is a new biopolitics that reveals the struggles over forms of life. Project Muse//shree) MH: Our argument in Empire does share some central concerns with Agamben's Homo Sacer. the notion of biopower one finds in some veins of ecofeminism such as the work of Vandana Shiva.

somewhat trapped within Pauline exegesis. in particular. pg. I found his essay on Bartleby. But have you discussed all this with Agamben? What does he think about your critiques? AN: Whenever I tell him what I have just finished telling you. I believe that the concept of naked life is not an impossible. Spring. 172-174) CC: Well. all this incessant talk about the limit bores me and tires me out after a little while. the limit is not creative. And yet. to conceive of that extreme point at which power tries to [End Page 173] eliminate that ultimate resistance that is the sheer attempt to keep oneself alive. Agamben. however. to rethink naked life fundamentally in terms of exodus. nonetheless. to find a figure for it. assoc prof of cultural studies. it is possible to think all this: the naked bodies of the people in the camps. this book is extremely learned and elegant. which undoubtedly confronts the limit over and over again —but this is an extraordinarily rich limit. from the standpoint of power [potenza]? I am worried about the fact that the concept of naked life as it is conceived by Agamben might be taken up by political movements and in political debates: I find this prospect quite troubling. it remains. But this is also the point at which this concept turns into ideology: to conceive of the relation between power and life in such a way actually ends up bolstering and reinforcing ideology. revolutionary. This essay was published originally as a little book that also contained Deleuze's essay on Bartleby: well. From a logical standpoint.” Cultural Critique. through genetic engineering—and the ultimate result of such a process of saturation and capture is a capsized production of subjectivity within which ideological undercurrents continuously try to subtract or neutralize our resistance. unfeasible one. Ultimately. The limit is creative to the extent to which you have been able to overcome it qua death: the limit is creative because you have overcome death.ADI 2010 Fellows—Shree 58 Agamben K Aff: Bare Life != Powerlessness The production of bare life doesn’t prevent subjects from being politicized—those who are interpellated as bare life can transcend that labeling Cesarino and Negri ‘4 (Cesare. in effect. But this is absolutely not true! On the contrary: the historical process takes place and is produced thanks to a continuous constitution and construction. in which desires expand. that the conclusions he draws in Homo Sacer lead to dangerous political outcomes and that the burden of finding a way out of this mess rests entirely on him. for example. from the standpoint of the process of constitution. from the standpoint of those still struggling to overcome such a limit. I believe it is possible to push the image of power to the point at which a defenseless human being [un povero Cristo] is crushed. . He already attempted something of the sort in his recent book on Saint Paul. of course. The point is that. but I think this attempt largely failed: as usual. he gets quite irritated. absolutely infuriating. and in which life becomes increasingly fuller. but what do you think? And. “It’s a Powerful Life: A Conversation on Contemporary Philosophy. Of course it is possible to conceive of the limit as absolute pow-erlessness. especially when it has been actually enacted and enforced in such a way so many times. one and the same standpoint? Isn't this the story about power that power itself would like us to believe in and reiterate? Isn't it far more politically useful to conceive of this limit from the standpoint of those who are not yet or not completely crushed by power. I feel that nowadays the logic of traditional eugenics is attempting to saturate and capture the whole of human reality—even at the level of its materiality. isn't such a conception of the limit precisely what the limit looks like from the standpoint of constituted power as well as from the standpoint of those who have already been totally annihilated by such a power— which is. [End Page 174] CC: And I suppose you are suggesting that the concept of naked life is part and parcel of such undercurrents. it turns out that what Deleuze says in his essay is exactly the contrary of what Giorgio says in his! I suppose one could say that they decided to publish their essays together precisely so as to attempt to figure this limit— that is. I still maintain. for example. Antonio. power reduces each and every human being to such a state of powerlessness. And the type of problems he runs into in this book recur throughout many of his other works. but I don't think that this attempt was really successful in the end. that is. In any case. yes. V 57. what do you think about the fact that the concept of naked life has become so enormously and increasingly important for Agamben lately? AN: I believe Giorgio is writing a sequel to Homo Sacer. to give it a form— by some sort of paradoxical juxtaposition. inasmuch as it is death. even angry. can lead one precisely in this direction. is saying that such is the nature of power: in the final instance. rather than constituting a full-fledged attempt to reconstruct naked life as a potentiality for exodus. and I feel that this new work will be resolutive for his thought—in the sense that he will be forced in it to resolve and find a way out of the ambiguity that has qualified his understanding of naked life so far. which is why I felt the need to attack this concept in my recent essay.

and his neglect of the important role of social processes and practices in determining which populations become marked as excluded and targeted by discriminatory policies. however. and when this tends to occur . Consequently. in part. Latino Studies. This shortcoming results. Palgrave Journals//shree) Agamben's argument does.ADI 2010 Fellows—Shree 59 Agamben K Aff: Alternative = Totalization Only the plan can solve the harms—their totalization of state power is unable to explain violence and prevents effective action Astor ‘9 (Avi. Unauthorized Immigration. or why they target certain collectives but neglect others similarly situated economically and socially. Securitization. attributing essentially all atrocities committed against those at the margins of the political community to the actualization of the logic inherent to the foundational principles of nationstates. The most serious is that it is overly teleological. phD in Socio at UMich. from Agamben's overemphasis on political and legal exclusion. . 5/29. Agamben's ideas are not especially useful for explaining why xenophobic sentiment and discriminatory practices crystallize during some periods and not others. and the Making of Operation Wetback. suffer from several shortcomings.

to “optimize forces. above all. that is to say. life as untamed power and potentiality. and has been since Aristotle. In order to function properly. Doctorate in Social Science. If bio‐power multiplies and optimizes life. a main strategy of the sovereign power to establish itself to the same degree that sovereignty has been the main fiction of juridico‐institutional thinking from Jean Bodin to Carl Schmitt. The sovereign power is. as Foucault puts it. it does so. The modern synthetic notion of life endows it with such a notion. It enables bio‐power to “invest life through and through”.49 According to Agamben. Bio‐power needs a notion of life that corresponds to its aims. the life of bio‐power is a plenitude of life.” 48 At the end of Homo Sacer. because bare life is life that can only be taken away or allowed to persist which also makes understandable the vast critique of sovereignty in the era of bio ‐power. instead it produces “extra-life. However.”46 Bio‐power needs. in the era of bio‐politics. Foucault Studies) Moreover. It has already moved into the site that Agamben suggests as the remedy of the political pathologies of modernity. based on bare life because it is capable of confronting life merely when stripped off and isolated from all forms of life. The modern bio‐political order does not exclude anything – not even in the form of “inclusive exclusion”. Impossible Dialogue on Biopower. understood as potentiality (potenza). from the biological levels of life to the political existence of man. from the nutritive life to the intellectual life. life is already a bios that is only its own zoe. As a matter of fact.43 Instead of bare life. indeed.45 to produce “extra‐life. that bio‐power invests and optimizes. the multiplicity of the forms of life. Agamben gives this life the name “form‐of‐life”. however. there would be no power that could have any hold over men’s existence if life were understood as a “form‐of‐life”. a notion of life which enables it to accomplish this task. It can be taken away without a homicide being committed. the result of the exclusion of zoe from the political realm. by multiplying and optimizing potentialities of life.50 . Life is undoubtedly sacred for the sovereign power in the sense that Agamben defines it. it becomes everywhere is in no way bare. signifying “always and above all possibilities of life. and life in general without at the same time making them more difficult to govern. life as the object and the subject of bio‐power given that life is everywhere .” Ojakangas 5 (Mika. to “multiply life”. when the entire existence of a man is reduced to a bare life and exposed to an unconditional threat of death .44 Agamben is certainly right in saying that the production of bare life is. that instead of bare life (zoe) the form of life (bios) functions as the foundation of bio‐power. as Agamben emphasizes. into the site where politics is freed from every ban and “a form of life is wholly exhausted in bare life. bio‐power cannot reduce life to the level of bare life.” It could be argued. by fostering and generating “forms ‐of‐ life”. there is no room either for a bios in the modern bio‐political order because every bios has always been. In the case of bio‐power. What then is the aim of bio‐power? Its aim is not to produce bare life but. in other words. it is precisely this life. However. aptitudes. of course.ADI 2010 Fellows—Shree 60 Agamben K Aff: Biopower Good Biopower good—it doesn’t create bare life. always and above all power”. as Foucault emphasizes. this does not hold true. but is as the synthetic notion of life implies.

Thus. By virtue of its universality and abstract normativity. enabling endless violence Rasch 3 (William.g. it needs its negative opposite. but is that which makes the distinction possible. Schmitt presses the point home that political opposition to liberalism is itself deemed illegitimate. in Schmitt's eyes. However. is the horizon within which the distinction between believers and nonbelievers is made. In the same way that the human creates the inhuman. so in the history of humanity the superhuman brings about with a dialectical necessity the subhuman as its enemy twin. Indeed. can only be something completely antithetical to horizon and positive pole alike—can only. and outside its walls lie the barbarians. If humanity is both the horizon and the positive pole of the distinction that that horizon enables. of Salamanca. The humanism that Schmitt opposes is. in his words. This. ultimately.9 This "two-sided aspect of the ideal of humanity" (Schmitt 1988.ADI 2010 Fellows—Shree 61 Agamben K Aff: Friend/Enemy Distinction Good Whatever Being is built on a politics of universal friendship built upon the designation of an inhuman enemy. To be human.. liberal pluralism. This is civilization. is the polis. Prof of Germanic Studies @ Indiana U. once the term used to describe the horizon of a distinction also becomes that distinction's positive pole. That is. After all. the monism of humanity. humanity per se is not part of the distinction. Positionen und Begriffe. Henry. 151-65). this passage attests to the antiliberal prejudices of an unregenerate Eurocentric conservative with a pronounced affect for the counterrevolutionary and Catholic South of Europe. “Human Rights as Geopolitics:” Cultural Critique 54 120-147//shree) Yes. But the contrast between Christianity and humanism is not just prejudice. It seems to resonate with the apologetic mid-twentieth-century Spanish reception of Vitoria that wishes to justify the Spanish civilizing mission in the Americas. For Schmitt. As Schmitt says: Only with the concept of the human in the sense of absolute humanity does there appear as the other side of this concept a specially new enemy. it is also instructive. Does humanity embrace all humans? Are there no gates to the city and thus no barbarians outside? If not. Schmitt tries to grasp something both disturbing and elusive about the modern world —namely. it has no localizable polis. 72) is a theme Schmitt had already developed in his The Concept of the Political (1976) and his critiques of liberal pluralism (e. they must be of the same category of being. a philosophy of absolute humanity. Der Nomos der Erde. His complaint there is that liberal pluralism is in fact not in the least pluralist but reveals itself to be an overriding monism. in other words. ever new enemies . Jerusalem. 1988. as if by internal necessity. the one between the superhuman and the subhuman. Since nonbelievers can become believers. because with it. Spain. no clear distinction between what is inside and what is outside. the Christianity of Vitoria. with its divine revelations. against whom or what does it wage its wars? We can understand Schmitt's concerns in the following way: Christianity distinguishes between believers and nonbelievers. spatially imaginable order. setting off the inhuman from the human is followed by an even deeper split. and its Roman language and institutions. then the negative pole can only be something that lies beyond that horizon. the apparent fact that the liberal and humanitarian attempt to construct a world of universal friendship produces. In the history of the nineteenth century. centered (still) in Rome and. the inhuman. be inhuman. 1539. then. the . only an unregenerate barbarian could fail to recognize the irrefutable benefits of liberal order. reduces the political to the social and economic and thereby nullifies all truly political opposition by simply excommunicating its opponents from the High Church of Humanity. its Greek philosophy. represents a concrete. despite the claims that pluralism allows for the individual's freedom from illegitimate constraint.

human being and citizen. it considered them illegal.ace.. or of those who may have entered under the guise of seamen.land that was created when the war loosened the links between birth and nation. also created millions of refugees and stateless persons. wrong. It warned. this body stripped of personage has no rights. No estimate could be made as to the number of smuggled aliens who have been unlawfully intro..thy of very serious thought. that such a situation suggests..23 Second.bling. a body stripped of individual personage. 1921-1965." also advocated alien registration "as a necessary prelude to deport on a large scale.22 Recalling Hannah Arendt.24 Positive law thus constituted undocumented immigrants as criminals. "In the system of the nation- state. but because it had no record of their admission. not to say men. both fulfilling and fueling nativist discourse. we shall have more confusion and bungling than ever. In 1925 the Immigration Service reported with some alarm that 1.naturalized persons during the postwar period. The figures presented are wor." Nativists like Madison Grant.islating restriction.grants had lawfully entered the country. anti-alien animus shifted its focus to the interior of the nation and the goal of expelling immigrants living illegally in the country. It is no coincidence that the regime of immigration restriction emerged with World War I.try whose legal presence here could not be established. whose first act upon reaching our shores was to break our laws by entering in a clandestine manner-all of which serves to emphasize the potential source of trouble.ing illegally in the United States. The Strange Career of the Illegal Alien: Immigration Restriction and Deportation Policy in the United States.duced into the country since the quota restrictions of 1921. as well as denationalized and de." 25 ." Critics of nativism predicted that "if every man who wears a beard and reads a foreign newspaper is to be suspected unless he can produce either an identification card or naturalization papers. recognizing that deportation was "of great importance. The service conceded that these immi. Once nativism succeeded in leg.4 million immigrants-20 percent of those who had entered the country before 1921-might already be liv. especially when it is considered that there is such a great percentage of our population . the mere idea that persons without formal legal status resided in the nation engendered images of great danger. Asst Prof of History @ U Chi." Certainly the illegal alien appears in the same historical moment and in the same juridical noman's. (I)t is quite possible that there is an even greater number of aliens in the coun. the so-called sacred and inalienable rights of man show themselves to lack every protection and reality at the moment in which they can no longer take the form of rights belonging to citizens of a state. Moreover. JSTOR//shree) The illegal alien that is abstractly defined is thus something of a spec. philosopher Giorgio Agamben tells us.ter.bility of Europe and solidifying the nation-state system. The war. The Los Angeles Evening Express alleged that there were "several million foreigners" in the country who had "no right to be here.ADI 2010 Fellows—Shree 62 Agamben K Aff: Link Turn Illegal migrants exist in a zone of indistinction—the plan reverses this through expansion of visas Ngai 3 (Mae M. whose very presence is trou. by simultaneously destroying the geopolitical sta.

If we wait we will never address the latter and arguably most important issue-area: the welfare and quality of life for the human race. Perspectives on Third-World Sovereignty. Associate Political Science Prof @ Tampa. does not in and of itself address the problems and issues so critical to transnational relations. The assumptions of the paradigm will dictate the solution and approaches considered. . What we look at. Sovereignty must be used strategically – critique can be simultaneous Lombardi 96 (Mark Owen. We cannot wait until we have a neat self-contained and accurate theory of transnational relations before we launch into studies of Third-World issues and problem-solving. p 161) Sovereignty is in our collective minds. Questioning the very precepts of sovereignty. That is why theoretical changes and paradigm shifts must be coterminous with applicative studies. This is the call for international scholars and actors. as has been done in many instances. Yet. the way we look at it and what we expect to see must be altered. One does not and should not precede the other.ADI 2010 Fellows—Shree 63 Agamben K Aff: Perm Perm: Do the plan and break down the relationship between bios and zoe. a mere call to change this structure of the system does little except activate reactionary impulses and intellectual retrenchment.

there is no ‘original violence’. which aims at ridding the world of intrusive violence. What our ultimate sovereign of harmonious peace will do with the willfully violent intruders can only be guessed.ADI 2010 Fellows—Shree 64 Agamben K Aff: Rejecting Sovereignty Bad Cleansing the ontological slate of sovereignty justifies unconditional violence Rasch 4 (William. the political (denoted by the notion of sovereignty) is irretrievably identified with nihilism and marked for extinction. the political is the cause of the loss of ‘natural innocence’ (Agamben. In both instances. and the unconditional violence that will be used to eliminate their presence will be justified by invoking the ‘harmonic peace’ or ‘natural innocence’ they have so deliberately and maliciously disturbed. What remains equally clear. which is not thought of as part of the state of nature but is introduced into the human. “Sovereignty and its Discontents. but also. This. one would think that theoretical opposition to this trend would seek to rehabilitate the political. violence. Clear. is to be averred. Only a thorough. and the logical paradox of sovereignty is to be overcome by the instantiation of a new ontology. the post-Marxist left seems intent on hammering the final nails into the coffin. Deleuzean. the faulty supposition of ineluctable violence that guides political theory from Hobbes to Weber is to be replaced by a Heideggerian. Spinozan or Christian ontology of original harmony. That is. p 5). -1998. not the abolition of such sovereignty . condition by flawed or morally perverse social institutions.” p 3-4//shree) Now. To seek to remedy the perversity of the world as it is from within the flawed social and political structures as they are only increases the perversity of the world. if the triumph of a particular species of liberal pluralism denotes the de-politicization of society. nay. One must. In the most celebrated works of recent years. the world as it is is as it is because of the moral perversity of (some) human agents who willfully construct flawed social institutions. But rather than asserting the value of the political as an essential structure of social life. then. Prof of Germanic Studies @ Indiana U. 1990. is itself an act of fierce and ultimate violence – ultimate in its purported finality. but it is certain that they will not be looked upon as legitimate political dissenters. totally disengage from the world as it is before one can become truly engaged. Thus violence ‘is always a secondary willed intrusion upon this possible infinite order’ (Milbank. certainly. though only partially acknowledged. therefore. . is the great supposition that links the ascetic pessimism of an Adorno with the cheery Christian optimism of Milbank. a Christian social theorist who currently enjoys a modest following among political thinkers on the Left. In this way. but rather an originary ‘harmonic peace’ which is the ‘sociality of harmonious difference’. that flowering of human productivity that the Western metaphysical tradition has suppressed. is that whoever has the power to determine the nature of this harmonious sociality is the one who can determine which acts of violence are to be judged as intrusions into the placid domain and which acts of violence are to be condoned as necessary means of re-establishing the promise of perpetual peace . though not acknowledged. in its extreme ferocity . Determining the nature of this desired. required originary peace is itself a sovereign act. In the words of John Milbank. cataclysmic cleansing of the world will allow our activities to be both ‘innocent’ and ‘productive’. Giorgio Agamben’s Homo Sacer (1998) and Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri’s Empire (2000). is the fact that this cleansing. p 28).

” Borderlands. the erasure of difference between phenomena seems particularly counter-intuitive in the case of dissimilar modes of internment. critical theory would be in the odd position of casting aspersions upon the very people it purports to speak for. then our testimony should go also to all the individual lives that were freed from alienation by the establishment of legal barriers against arbitrariness and exclusion . that does not simply equate it with Nazi propaganda (Ogilvie 2001). Otherwise. and of depriving itself of a major weapon in the struggle against oppression.ADI 2010 Fellows—Shree 65 Agamben K Aff: Rights Good—Deranty Human rights are good—the alternative is totalizing and re-entrenches domination Deranty ‘4 (Jean-Philippe. V 3. We should heed Honneth’s reminder that struggles for social and political emancipation have often privileged the language of rights over any other discourse (Fraser. but not at the cost of renouncing the resources that rights provide. N 1//shree) In the case of empirical examples. To reject the language of human rights altogether could be a costly gesture in understanding past political struggles in their relevance for future ones. We want to criticise the ideology of human rights. From a practical point of view. Assoc Lecturer in Phil @ Macquarie University. it seems counter-productive to claim that there is no substantial difference between archaic communities and modern communities provided with the language of rights. and a serious strategic. If the ethical task is that of testimony. . Habermas and Honneth probably have a point when they highlight the advances made by modernity in the entrenchment of rights. “Agamben’s Challenge to Normative Theories of Modern Rights. between the lawlessness of war times and democratic discourse. of modernity’s moral superiority. political loss for accompanying present struggles. Honneth 2003). There must be a way of problematising the ideological mantra of Western freedom.

but whereas the former is to be deployed as sparingly as possible. 'in the exception the power of real life breaks through the crust of mechanism that has become torpid by repetition. Instances such as this. The state of exception is more often used to suppress industrial action: an attempt to turn law into violence in order to oppose the law-making violence of the strike. . In the Jewish law. Livy mentions an occasion when a iustitium was declared because people had given up going to work to participate in the Bacchanalia. reformation enables them to be renewed. The state of exception is. to render all men [and women] equal. 104-114//shree) This distorts Agamben's argument at both a historical and a theoretical level. in itself. exceptions to work can easily come about by accident. A formal state of exception may result. (The 2 January Bank Holiday in Scotland is a more recent example. a state of emergency (which lasted eight months) was declared to deal with the General Strike. so named because 'a holiday signifies a holy day and ours is to be of holy days the most holy . the exception differs significantly from constituent power and the political general strike. In the United Kingdom. there were five states of emergency. a purely formal device which allows 'the state to exist even as the law recedes'. both of which have the capacity to remake established legal and social frameworks.debtors given relief. The symmetry between the strike and the emergency is not just historical. slaves freed and the poor reunited with their property. but if there are enough outlaws there is effectively no law in any case. all in response to strikes. established to establish plenty. the latter is to be encouraged. Like the state of exception. Missing from his account of the state of exception is any real acknowledgment that.' Yet it is not the state of exception itself that carries the power of real life so much as the crisis with which it attempts to deal. jubilees were years when normal working activities ceased. a primary function of the emergency has been to deal with strikes. Yet unlike exceptions to the law. just as important for the survival of institutions as dictatorship. in which the government sanctions collective (in)action. then resuming work. In this respect. . The ability to revise existing norms is. London Review of Books. most recently. but it has its own sacred history. “State of Exception by Giorgio Agamben. as Machiavelli first recognised. during the Heath government. the first Emergency Powers Act was passed in 1920 and used the following year against the miners' strike. to abolish want. when all men [and woman] become homines sacri. editor. in its modern form. and the socially dead were resuscitated . are unusual. But Agamben gives little indication that the state of exception is usually only one side of a social confrontation.) Who then decides the exception? In Agamben's work. . Dictatorship and renovation may both be precipitated by crisis.” pg. the exception is often made in an attempt to close a space opened up by someone else.ADI 2010 Fellows—Shree 66 Agamben K Aff: State of Exception Good The state of exception has been used to stop political violence Bull 5 (Malcolm. and provides a bridge across the abyss between two moments of law. William Benbow's 'Grand National Holiday'. the state of exception produces outlaws. the strike is simultaneously within the law and outside it. on the holy day. and it is the body politic that becomes the defenceless homo sacer. Agamben does not refer to this tradition of exception. through the spread of wildcat strikes or absenteeism. rather than creating a void in the law. or that. workers break their contracts with a view to renegotiating them. for while dictatorship only allows norms to be preserved. for institutions last longer if they retain the capacity to start over. According to Schmitt. In a strike. or the crisis that it provokes. Such practices provided the model for the first attempted general strike. when 'we shall legislate for all [hu]mankind'.' Unlike the state of exception. and. all men [and women] are sovereign.