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-olitical and &mpolitical: ./o -erspecti*es to $ethin0 the Common and the -olitical in Contemporary .

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-olítico e &mpolítico: dos perspecti*as para repensar lo com2n y lo político en el pensamiento contempor3neo M$8P$0 "E$6(R- 0$7(E" Conse<o 6acional de 7nvestigaciones Cient2ficas * 8:cnicasS Univ Católica de 0anta %eS Univ del 0alvador T $rgentina matiaslsaidelNgmail com #,stract: 8+is article introduces a distinction =etHeen tHo Ha*s of t+inGing t+e common and t+e political in contemporar*/ post? foundational political t+oug+t H+ic+ 7 call UpoliticalU and UimpoliticalU 3ot+ stances s+are t+e idea t+at t+e communit* is =ot+ impossi=le and necessar* 6onet+eless/ H+ile t+e political perspective seeGs to t+inG a neH political su=<ectivit* to produce a neH commonalit*/ t+e impolitical Hill tr* to t+inG Ha*s of desu=<ectification in order to avoid cooperating Hit+ an* form of )oHer 8+e paper tries to s+oH t+eir useful insig+ts and to point out t+eir limits to re?t+inG t+e common and politics in times of neoli=eral governmentalit* 4ey /ords: communit*/ politics/ su=<ectivit*/ post?foundationalism impolitical/ post?mar,ism/

$esumen: Este art2culo introduce una distinción entre dos modos de pensar lo com4n * lo pol2tico en el pensamiento pol2tico post? fundacional Oue llamo Upol2ticoU e Uimpol2ticoU $m=as posiciones comparten la idea de Oue la comunidad es a la ve' imposi=le * necesaria 6o o=stante/ mientras la perspectiva pol2tica =usca pensar
1 $ first draft of t+is paper Has read at t+e conference 7hat is the commonV/ !ot+en=urg/ -cto=er KLL9 7 Hould liGe to t+anG (iego Rossello/ 3runo 3osteels/ Emilio "o Dalvo and Emiliano 0acc+i for reading t+is paper at t+at time 7 also Hould liGe to t+anG 7ngrid (iran for +er useful comments and revision of t+is paper 7 Las Torres de Lucca 6I J (<ulio?diciem=re KL1J): 7?J4 7006: KKQQ?JMK7 HHH lastorresdelucca org

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una nueva su=<etividad pol2tica para producir una nueva forma de lo com4n/ la impol2tica intentar& pensar modos de desu=<etivación para evitar cooperar con cualOuier forma de )oder El art2culo =usca mostrar las apreciaciones 4tiles * a la ve' se1alar los l2mites de estas posiciones para repensar lo com4n * lo pol2tico en tiempos de gu=ernamentalidad neoli=eral -ala,ras Cla*e: comunidad/ pol2tica/ su=<etividad/ post?fundacionalismo $eci,ido: 11545KL1J #ceptado: 1J51K5KL1J impol2tico/ post?mar,ismo/

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&5 &ntroduction

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n t+is article 7 introduce a distinction =etHeen tHo Ha*s of t+inGing t+e common and t+e political in contemporar*/ post?foundational political t+oug+t (Marc+art KLL7) H+ic+ 7 call UpoliticalU and UimpoliticalU (Esposito 1999) 7 stage t+is dialogue in order to anal*'e +oH t+ese t+eories can come to terms Hit+ t+e pro=lems posed =* a societ* in H+ic+ our practices are captured =* t+e dispositifs of control and no solid ground can =e found for our =eing?in?common 7 maintain t+at =ot+ stances s+are t+e vieH of communit* as simultaneousl* impossi'le and necessary 6onet+eless/ H+ile t+e political perspective seeGs to re?t+inG political su=<ectivities in order to produce a neH commonalit*/ t+e impolitical Hill tr* to t+inG modes of desu=<ectification as a Ha* to avoid cooperating Hit+ )oHer 8+e t+inGers 7 Hill deal Hit+ +ere +ave =een tr*ing to ret+inG t+e common given =ot+ t+e a=sence of an* sta=le foundation for political action and t+e ultimate impossi=ilit* of a reconciled communit* 8+e* s+are t+e vision t+at politics are indispensa=le as long as t+e negation or even foreclosure of antagonism returns in t+e Real of even greater violence (Mouffe 199JS KLLL W KLLQ) H+ile conflict and dissent represent t+e core of politics (Esposito 19MMS 199J) -n t+e ot+er +and/ =ot+ stances Hould agree t+at the political is the space of the in,common as such (6anc* 199J/ 1J9) )ut ot+erHise/ t+e political is t+e e,pression of t+e common H+ic+ continuall* actuali'es and redefines it $s a result/ communit* is not a sta=le/ reified entit* or institution Rat+er/ it is a conflictive dimension in H+ic+ political su=<ects co,ek,sist K 3earing t+ese t+eoretical assumptions in mind/ 7 suggest t+at t+e tHo perspectives XUpoliticalU and UimpoliticalUX avoid reproducing t+e traditional gesture of political p+ilosop+*/ namel*/ instituting a self? identical depolitici'ed communit* -n t+e contrar*/ t+e* assume t+at antagonism is unavoida=le and t+at t+e full reconciliation of t+e
K 7 use t+is term =earing in mind .eideggerYs depiction of Dasein as an .k?sistent toget+er Hit+ +is notion of +itsein Bit+ t+e notion of eG?sistence .eidegger tried to undo t+e metap+*sical distinction =etHeen essence and e,istence/ and s+oH t+at Dasein is open to 3eing and implied in t+e Horld around +im as 7n?der?Belt? 0ein 7 add t+e Zco?[ of co?eG?sistence recovering t+e .eideggerian notion of +itsein to stress t+at political su=<ects alHa*s?alread* s+are/ constitutivel*/ t+is e,perience of t+e outside/ of ecstas*/ even of freedom in t+e ontological sense 7t is precisel* t+is notion of +itsein t+at Has ret+oug+t =* 6anc* and Esposito in order to ela=orate a non?reified or su=<ectivist notion of communit* Las Torres de Lucca 6I J (<ulio?diciem=re KL1J): 7?J4

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communit* is impossi=le .oHever/ 7 suggest t+at t+eir different approac+es to t+e relation =etHeen t+e common and politics/ su=<ectivit* and political agenc*/ leads to importantl* different ansHers to t+e contemporar* political situation 8o illuminate t+e first perspective/ 7 Hill draH mainl* on tHo ma<or representatives of "acanian post?Mar,ism: "aclau and \i]eG 7 also stage a dialogue Hit+ Ranci^re/ H+ose t+eor* occupies an intermediate position =etHeen =ot+ approac+es J %or t+e second/ 7 Hill comment on tHo 7talian p+ilosop+ers/ $gam=en and Esposito/ H+ose HorGs =ear t+e influence of .eidegger since t+e 197Ls/ and of %oucault and (eleu'e in t+e last tHo decades 4 8+e first perspective/ H+ic+ 7 call _politicalY/ +olds t+at even if t+e full reali'ation of t+e communit* (full emancipation) is impossi=le/ it is still necessar* to emplo* negativit* toHards a positive pro<ect Hit+ a definite su=<ect 8+e second/ _impoliticalY perspective t+inGs t+e political from its =orders and t+us linGs t+e common to inoperativeness (3lanc+ot)/ t+ere=* deconstructing an ontolog* =ased on t+e preeminence of pra8is and su=<ectivit* 7n t+is sense/ H+ile "aclau and \i]eG reinstate a form of sociall* construed transcendence/ $gam=en and Esposito oppose t+e communit* to suc+ transcendence/ H+ic+ t+e* figure as t+e continuation to a tradition of t+eologico?political sovereignt* alHa*s founded in and upon violent e,clusions 7n t+is sense/ H+ile t+e former perspective sees political representation as necessar*/ t+e latter suggests t+at a communit* of singularities is unrepresenta'le/ a fact H+ic+ deactivates an* productive overcoming of negativit*/ an* "ufhe'ung 7n t+e ne,t sections/ 7 tr* to give a s*nt+etic and inevita=l* simplified account of t+e different aut+orYs perspectives on t+e common and t+e political in t+eir oHn terms 7 do so in order to elucidate t+e political potential of eac+ perspective for +elping us re?t+inG t+e operations of poHer and t+e opportunities of political action 7n t+e process of t+is
J 4 7 t+anG an anon*mous revieHer for +elping me reflect more seriousl* on t+is issue 7 Hill develop t+is idea furt+er in t+e folloHing sections Be do not +ave enoug+ space +ere to delve into t+e position t+at +as developed more e,plicitl* t+e notion of t+e common and t+e multitude in recent *ears draHing on t+e tradition of immanence t+at runs from 0pino'a to (eleu'e: t+at of .ardt W 6egri/ "a''arato/ Dirno/ etc .ardt W 6egri understand t+e common as t+e common?Healt+ Zof t+e material Horld[ (mainl* natural resources) and t+e Zresults of social production t+at are necessar* for social interaction and furt+er production/ suc+ as GnoHledges/ languages/ codes/ information/ affects/ and so fort+[ (KLL9/ viii) 8+is perspective and t+at of an emerging =ioeconomics Hill =e anal*'ed in a future paper

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mutual delimitation/ moreover/ t+e deadlocGs of eac+ perspective Hill also come to lig+t 7 Hant to suggest t+at t+ese aut+ors attempt to offer political alternatives to H+at +as =een perceived in t+e Best as depolitici(ation/ Hit+out reinstating a normative discourse $nd *et/ as 7 Hill seeG to demonstrate/ onl* a mutual encounter of t+e tHo perspectives can offer glimpses of a proper account of toda*Ys forms of governance Bit+out suc+ an encounter/ activism =ased on t+e UpoliticalU perspectiveYs demands can reinforce domination in our society of control ((eleu'e)/ H+ile UimpoliticalU forms of retreat and inoperativeness can amount to a Hit+draHal into an individual/ aest+etic e,perience 0een as a dialectical pair/ t+e tHo positions can correct one anot+er: t+e political stance serves to avoid a ni+ilistic stance toHards politics/ H+ile impolitical t+oug+t mig+t =e a good antidote for preventing sacrificial and aut+oritarian forms of transcendence 8+us/ in t+e final part of t+e paper 7 Hill suggest t+at an engagement Hit+ \i]eGYs anal*sis of capitalism and t+e full commodification of social life actuall* ena=les $gam=enYs reflections on use to gain neH cogenc* as an alternative econom* of social interaction/ production and en<o*ment &&5 .he political perspecti*e: from radical democracy to the uni*ersal e6ception 8+e political perspective 7 Hill consider +ere is t+at of so?called )ost? Mar,ist t+inGers )ost?Mar,ism/ as ela=orated =* Ernesto "aclau and C+antal Mouffe (19MQ)/ Has a deconstruction of t+e essentialist and economicist postulates of classical Mar,ism/ giving priorit* to antagonism over o')ective contradiction to understand social c+ange/ t+ere=* ret+inGing t+e !ramscian t+eor* of hegemony in order to ela=orate a neH political t+eor* from t+e "eft B+ereas classical Mar,ism understood antagonism as class struggle and t+e proletariat as t+e su=<ect of social emancipation/ "aclau and Mouffe underlined t+e contingent nature of politics/ H+ic+ means t+at t+ere is no privileged su=<ect/ locus or form of antagonism 6onet+eless/ even if antagonism/ H+ic+ _prevents societ* from =eingY/ is insurmounta=le (199L) it is still necessar* to posit a political su=<ect as t+e remainder of radical negativit* t+at can lead to a neH/ more emancipated form of commonalit* 8+is political su=<ect is seen as t+e positive result of an addition of differential negativities %or Ernesto "aclau/ t+e Ouasi?transcendental dislocation t+at prevents societ* from ac+ieving full reconciliation maGes possi=le t+e
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notion of radical democracy ("aclau W Mouffe 19MQ) %ar from c+aracteri'ing a political regime/ radical democrac* indicates t+e potential to democrati'e ever* realm of social life Hit+in a pluralistic/ multicultural societ* 7t assumes t+e necessit* of contingenc* (Marc+art KLL7/ 11ss) and antagonism/ avoiding an* totalitarian closure of t+e social H+ole 7n t+is Ha*/ "aclau and Mouffe supported li=eral democrac* H+ile simultaneousl* re?evaluated t+e ontological role of politics 7f for Mar,ism politics is traditionall* configured in instrumental terms and reduced to t+e domain of t+e 0tate/ for "aclau and Mouffe politics is an instituting social practice t+at +as no predefined ground/ locus/ su=<ect or content "aclau e,plains t+e logic of politics t+roug+ an ontolog* =ased on discourse anal*sis and a generali(ed rhetoric (KLL4/ 1J) in H+ic+ an* social practice can =e understood as discursive insofar as it conve*s meaning (199L/ KLL4S "aclau W Mouffe/ 19MQ) 7n +is t+eor*/ social identities HorG as signifiers for ot+er signifiers/ and are t+ere=* relational and differential 8+ese identities come a=out as t+e result of demands/ H+ic+ are t+e minimum unit of social anal*sis (ifferent demands can =e made to t+e political aut+orities =* diverse groups H+ic+ constitute t+eir social identities t+roug+ t+em $s long as t+ese demands are satisfied differentially =* t+e $dministration/ no counter?+egemonic commonalit* is formed 3ut H+en a Ouantit* of t+em cannot =e satisfied/ a neH central demand can emerge as t+e signifier of a common lacG/ and a chain of e9uivalences =etHeen different demands5identities can =e formed around an empty signifier Q Empt* signifiers Zmatter to politics[ (199R) =ecause t+e* can give name to Xand condenseX a common lacG 8+us t+e* give rise to a hegemonic relation t+roug+ t+e articulation of different demands and t+e affective investments in a name/ and t+is/ in return/ retroactivel* constitutes t+e common identit* %or "aclau/ ever* social identit* is politicall* construed t+is Ha* 7t does not precede its political e,pression 7dentities are not t+e result of positive contents =ut of a common lacG/ and a c+ain of eOuivalences =etHeen different identities gives place to _t+e peopleY as a political su=<ectivit* H+en an antagonistic =loc toHards t+ose in poHer is formed around an empt* signifier 8+is is/ =riefl* put/ t+e logic t+at c+aracteri'es "aclauYs _populismY (KLLQ W 1979)
Q $ c+ain of eOuivalences is an aggregate of negativities around an empt* signifier %or instance/ H+en _democrac*Y is felt =* most people as lacGing/ different people demands _democrac*Y 8+en/ an* political group H+ic+ can identif* its oHn struggle Hit+ t+at empt* signifier can +egemoni'e t+e political situation forming a c+ain of eOuivalencies t+at articulates t+ose different demands and identities

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8+us/ "aclauYs rhetorical ontology is immediatel* political insofar as ever* social identit* is politicall* constructed and su=<ect to metonymic displacements (difference) and metaphorical condensations (e9uivalence) 8+e negativit* of ever* signifier and its openness to a pluralit* of _language gamesY (Bittgenstein) accounts for "aclauYs anti?essentialism/ as t+ere is no positive term/ no concrete or predefined demand t+at Hill lead to +egemon* or to political investments $lso/ t+ere is no privileged locus or su=<ectivit* for social antagonism/ since ever* social identit* is strictl* differential/ not depending on positive contents/ alloHing a pluralit* of contingent language games and political identities to =e displa*ed 8+erefore/ ever* social identit* is differential .oHever/ t+is differentialit* is partiall* suspended H+en a neH political commonalit* is formed as antagonistic to t+ose in poHer/ H+en a neH +egemonic signifier50u=<ect arises 3ut t+is can onl* taGe place t+roug+ t+e emergence of a popular demand
Be Hill call a demand H+ic+` remains isolated a democratic demand $ pluralit* of demands H+ic+/ t+roug+ t+eir eOuivalential articulation/ constitute a =roader social su=<ectivit* He Hill call popular demands X t+e* start/ at a ver* incipient level/ to constitute t+e UpeopleU as a potential +istorical actor .ere He +ave/ in em=r*o/ a populist configuration Be alread* +ave tHo clear preconditions of populism: (1) t+e formation of an internal antagonistic frontier separating t+e UpeopleU from poHerS and (K) an eOuivalential articulation of demands maGing t+e emergence of t+e UpeopleU possi=le 8+ere is a t+ird precondition` t+e unification of t+ese various demands` into a sta=le s*stem of signification (KLLQ/ 74)

$s He can see/ "aclau maintains t+at Ut+e peopleU is t+e political and antagonistic su=<ect to Ut+ose in poHerU t+at emerges out of a political construction %or "aclau/ politics are alHa*s +egemonic/ since a particularit* must assume t+e representation of t+e social H+ole t+roug+ t+e constitution of a c+ain of eOuivalences )olitics are also _populistY since t+e construction of t+e people is its first tasG: Z8+ere is no +egemon* Hit+out constructing a popular identit* out of a pluralit* of democratic demands[ (KLLQ/ 9Q) 7n a similar Ha*/ Ranci^re maintains t+at t+e political communit* can never =e identical to itself =ecause t+ere are politics/ =ecause a part H+ic+ +as no assigned part in t+e communit*/ t+e people/ affirms itself and its freedom/ as linguistic =eings eOual to an* ot+er/ revealing t+e e,istence of politics as a space of sharing :partage; )olitics are practiced

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=* t+e part* of t+e poor/ as an activit* of a common t+at is necessaril* litigious (Ranci^re 1999) and t+at implies a democratic su=<ectification t+at puts into Ouestion t+e given organi'ation of societ* 7n t+is sense/ democrac* is
8+e institution of politics itself/ t+e s*stem of forms of su=<ectification t+roug+ H+ic+ an* order of distri=ution of =odies into functions corresponding to t+eir UnatureU and places corresponding to t+eir functions is undermined (Ranci^re 1999/ 1L1)

8+us/ H+ereas "aclau emp+asi'es t+e impossi=ilit* of a self? presentation of t+e people in contemporar* societ*/ and t+erefore t+e necessit* of political representation to articulate different demands R/ Ranci^re (1999 W KLL7) sees democrac* as consisting of e,ceptional moments of politici'ation in H+ic+ t+e common emerges from t+e =ottom/ contesting a state of affairs in H+ic+ all parts of t+e societ* are assigned/ asserting itself instead as an an?arc+ic government H+ere no title is needed to govern 8+e tHo t+inGers s+are t+e notion of contingency as t+e condition of (im)possi=ilit* of an* social order and t+e opposition =etHeen politics and administration (H+ic+ Ranci^re calls UpoliceU)S politics is H+at distur=s t+e smoot+ functioning of t+e administration .oHever/ "aclau e,tends t+e logic of contingenc* furt+er t+an Ranci^re: against t+e misleading idea X freOuent in radical political t+oug+tX t+at conservative politics are t+e negation of politics as suc+/ "aclau defines politics =* structure and not =* content Conservative politics/ for +im/ are as political as radical politics 8+us/ "aclau critici'es Ranci^re for e,cessivel* identif*ing t+e possi=ilit* of politics Hit+ emancipation ("aclau KLLM=) $ccordingl*/ "aclau s+oHs t+at no predefined realm or content is in+erentl* political .verything can 'e politici(ed since nothing is political in itself 7n +is vieH/ politics are alHa*s +egemonic/ so an* universal value Hill =e contaminated =* a particularit* t+at Hill contingentl* incarnate a universal signifier/ H+ic+ means t+at universalit* is not ac+ieva=le as suc+ 8+is is tantamount in avoiding an* form of moral or political imperialism
R $long t+is pat+/ "aclau Hill critici'e _immanentistY t+eories of t+e multitude H+ic+/ in +is vieH/ affirm t+at t+ere is no need of suc+ political articulation and t+at an* form of political struggle affects directl* t+e core of t+e Empire ("aclau/ KLLQS KLLM) .oHever/ in Commonwealth .ardt W 6egri address t+e pro=lem of political articulation

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$t t+is point/ +oHever/ He ma* =egin to note some potential pro=lems in "aclauYs account %irst/ t+e a,iomatic assertion t+at political representation must =e invested in a name t+at unifies Zt+ese various demands a`b into a sta=le s*stem of signification[ and t+e role of leaders+ip in "aclauYs idea of populism reveal t+at li=idinal investments in a name cannot =e easil* separated from t+e investments in a =od* 7ndeed/ t+is investments seem to unif* different demands Hit+in Zt+e name of t+e leader[ and not Hit+in empt* signifiers liGe _<usticeY or _democrac*Y B+en one recogni'es t+at t+e master signifier is also t+e master<s signifier/ t+e real Ouestion =ecomes who +as t+e poHer to impose meaning to t+ese signifiers and incarnate t+em 7n t+is conte,t/ "aclauYs t+eor* implies t+at effective political identities can onl* =e construed t+roug+ strong leaders+ip/ H+ic+/ in m* vieH/ can lead to political +eteronom* 8+e second critiOue points to t+e limited capacit* of an ontolog* =ased on t+e notion of demand to c+aracteri'e toda*Ys politics/ especiall* in developed societies H+ere most demands are satisfied =* t+e marGet Even if one insists t+at "aclauYs account is ontological/ +e recogni'es t+at an* ontolog* is molded =* t+e ontic conte,t of its production/ ena=ling us to critiOue +im on t+ese grounds 8+erefore/ 7 see strong limits in "aclauYs account on t+is point %irst/ it neit+er e,plains +oH demands and lacG are created in our capitalistic societies/ nor t+e Ha* in H+ic+ toda*Ys capitalism is predicated not on demands =ut rat+er upon t+e productiveness of desire %urt+ermore/ even if He accepted t+at He desire somet+ing to fill a lacG/ t+is lacG and t+e o=<ects He desire Hould alread* =e determined =* 7deolog* 7deolog* is H+at _teac+esY us +oH and H+at to desire (\i]eG) Hit+in t+e noopolitical dispositifs of neoli=eral capitalism 7 8+ese pro=lems of t+e ideological production of desire and t+e political role of en<o*ment are anal*'ed =* 0lavo< \i]eG/ H+o in +is first Hritings supported t+e "aclauian idea of radical democrac*/ Hit+ its anti? totalitarian and pluralistic t+rust (19M9) "ater/ +e critici'ed t+e logic of radical contingenc* to redefine antagonism as class struggle (KLLL) %or +im/ t+ere is not onl* a need to understand t+e formal logic of t+e political Xas "aclau Hould doX =ut also to posit a positive content t+at accounts
7 Bit+ noopolitics (nous: intellect) "a''arato (KLL4) refers to a set of tec+nics of control e,erted upon t+e =rain/ impl*ing its attention in order to control memor* and its virtual potentialities $ paradigmatic e,ample of t+ese is marGeting and advertising/ H+ic+ strive to capture our attention in order to modif* our Ha*s of feeling/ t+inGing and =e+aving Las Torres de Lucca 6I J (<ulio?diciem=re KL1J): 7?J4

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for t+e possi=ilit* of social c+ange %or even if t+e struggles of different social identities can =e _progressiveY/ t+e* are not necessarily c+allenging H+at in +is vieH alHa*s returns to t+e same place: capitalism as Real (1999/ KLLL) .e maintains t+at radical democrac* s+ould no longer =e a (political) democrac*/ since li=eral democrac* cannot =e separated from capitalism )ut differentl*: in \i]eGYs vieH/ since capitalism is t+e condition of possi=ilit* of li=eral democrac*/ if He Hant to overcome capitalism He must also =e read* to get rid of democrac* 6o Honder t+at "aclau accused \i]eG of recalling t+e _Horst tradition of non?deconstructed Mar,ismY and of Hrongl* reading $lt+usserian over, determination as _determination in t+e last instanceY (KLLL W KLLM) B+ereas "aclau t+inGs t+at t+ere is no transcendental locus for social antagonism and t+at ever* political articulation is contingent/ \i]eG maintains t+at t+e ver* possi=ilit* to perceive social identities as contingent onl* emerges in late capitalism 7ndeed/ t+e concept of contingenc* is for +im t+e Ouasi?transcendental condition of possi=ilit* of our multicultural societies 8+us/ in t+e last decade \i]eG +as associated "aclauYs position Hit+ li=eral multiculturalism and also dismissed an* form of _+istoricismY/ _relativismY or _deconstructionismY as part of t+e cultural logic of late/ postmodern capitalism 7n t+is sense/ H+ereas "aclau t+inGs politics t+roug+ contingentl* construed identities/ H+ere universalism is alHa*s contaminated =* particularism/ \i]eG Hill defend t+e possi=ilit* of a direct access to Universalit* .oHever/ +e Hill avoid a condemnator* approac+ to su=stantial identities Bit+ regards to t+e notion of community/ \i]eG does not propose onl* a formal or negative approac+ liGe t+e impolitical one (see =eloH) .e states t+at H+en He confront et+nicall*?=ased communities/ He must differentiate =etHeen t+e latent dream thought and t+e desire e,pressed in a dream 8+erefore/ t+e roots of fascism are not to =e soug+t in t+e legitimate desire to form a su=stantial communit* Rat+er/ fascism in+eres onl* in a Ha* of sym'oli(ing t+is His+ as an e,plicit ideological te,t .ence/ fascist ideolog* tries to o=scure t+e structural impossi=ilit* of full* reali'ing a communit* =* =laming one of t+e communit*Ys parts for t+e presence of antagonism (\i]eG 199J W KLLL) -n t+e ot+er +and/ +e states t+at H+at +olds communities toget+er is not a common identification =ut rat+er a dis,identification/ a Ha* of organi'ing en)oyment t+roug+ t+e disavoHed transgression of pu=lic rules (KLLQ/ QQ): Zt+e fear of Ue,cessiveU identification is a`b t+e fundamental feature of t+e late?
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capitalist ideolog*[ (199J/ KJ7) .ence +e maintains Xin contrast to "aclauX t+at over,identification is more su=versive t+an fig+ting _essentialismY and _fi,ed?identitiesY $lso Ranci^re Hill t+eori'e disidentification =ut in a different sense Rat+er t+an organi'ing communal en<o*ment/ disidentification is a necessar* step in political su=<etification/ in H+ic+ a part of t+e communit* stages a wrong t+at c+allenges t+e current division of t+e sensi=le and removes itself from t+e names and places t+at H+ere assigned to it %or Ranci^re/ politics is a matter of Umodes of su=<ectificationU
3* su')ectification 7 mean t+e production t+roug+ a series of actions of a =od* and a capacit* for enunciation not previousl* identifia=le Hit+in a given field of e,perience/ H+ose identification is t+us part of t+e reconfiguration of t+e field of e,perience (1999/ JQ)

$t t+e same time:
$n* su=<ectification is a disidentification/ removal from t+e naturalness of a place/ t+e opening up of a su=<ect space H+ere an*one can =e counted since it is t+e space H+ere t+ose of no account are counted/ H+ere a connection is made =etHeen +aving a part and +aving no part (1999/ JR)

$s He Hill see/ t+ese ideas of disidentification toget+er Hit+ t+e conception of politics as interruption of t+e given order ( police) are also crucial for t+e impolitical approac+ .oHever/ since disidentification implies for Ranci^re a Ha* of political su')ectification of a part t+at names itself t+e people and identifies itself ZHit+ t+e H+ole of t+e communit*[ (1999/ 9)/ Ranci^reYs approac+ mig+t =e considered a political one 7n +is oHn terms/ +e s+ares "aclauYs and \i]eGYs idea t+at communit* is =ot+ necessar* and impossi=le =ecause t+ere is an antagonism H+ic+ prevents societ* from =eing %or \i]eG/ +oHever/ t+is Real is a positive _entit*Y called capitalism $nd *et its e,ception/ its symptom/ (or the part of those who have no part in Ranci^reYs terms) is t+e place from H+ic+ true Universalit* can emerge against glo=ali'ation (i e t+e universali'ation of Capital) 7n t+is sense/ against t+e UpostmodernU assertion of contingenc*/ \i]eG affirms/ folloHing $lain 3adiou/ t+e e,istence of a 8rut+ H+ic+ can onl* =e seen from t+e point of vieH of t+ose alread* committed to it (19M9S 1997S KLLL W KLL4) 7ndeed/ for \i]eG a true communit*/ even +uman survival/ +inges upon t+e assertion of 8rut+ and of a neH form of communism/ since t+e marGet can onl* lead
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to catastrop+e (KLLM/ 4KL?JL) 7n t+is sense/ =esides t+e crucial antagonism =etHeen t+e e,cluded and t+e included/ \i]eG points out t+ree domains of antagonisms =etHeen t+e commons (6egri) and t+eir commodification: in culture or socio?s*m=olic space/ in outer nature (environment) and inner nature (=iogenetics)
7t is t+is reference to UcommonsU Xt+is su=stance of productivit* H+ic+ is neit+er private nor pu=licX H+ic+ <ustifies t+e resuscitation of t+e notion of communism 8+e commons can t+us =e linGed to H+at .egel` deplo*ed as die 0ac+e/ t+e s+ared social t+ing?cause/ ct+e HorG of all and ever*oned/ t+e su=stance Gept alive =* incessant su=<ective productivit* (KLLM/ 4K9)

$ffirming t+e necessity of communism for t+e Horld to survive/ \i]eG maintains t+at t+e real utopists are t+e free?marGet li=erals H+o =elieve He +ave approac+ed t+e end of +istor* and dream of a +app* capitalism Hit+out antagonism 0o/ rat+er t+an providing t+e formal logic of t+e political/ \i]eG tries to ela=orate a critiOue of our societ*/ s+oHing t+at ever* realm of social life is =eing commodified and t+at/ under certain circumstances/ t+e desire to form a su=stantial communit* can lead to forms of resistance to full commodification "iGe "aclau/ +oHever/ Ci'eGYs vieH also reveals some inconsistencies %or one/ naming capitalism as Real s*m=oli'es t+e Real/ H+ic+ in turn maGes it insurmounta=le: He can HorG to c+ange our s*m=olic order/ =ut somet+ing t+at is Real is =* definition =e*ond our reac+ 8o sum up/ H+at c+aracteri'es t+e political perspective is t+e idea t+at antagonism is unavoida=le and/ at t+e same time/ t+at ever* social practice can =e/ in t+e last resort/ political 6onet+eless/ H+ereas "aclau/ Mouffe and Ranci^re stress t+e contingent nature of politics/ \i]eG tries to s*m=oli'e antagonism t+at impedes societ*Ys fullness as Uclass struggleU 7n t+is sense/ H+ereas t+e first aut+ors t+inG t+e formal conditions for radical?democratic politics/ t+e latter seems more read* to t+inG t+e pro=lems t+at arise in toda*Ys capitalism/ connecting +is reflection on ideolog* Hit+ t+e pro=lem of t+e e,propriation of t+e common raised =* .ardt and 6egri 8+is notion of t+e common =e*ond t+e opposition =etHeen pu=lic and private leads us to t+e impolitical perspective and its focus on t+e notions of singularit* and inoperativeness

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&&&5 .he impolitical perspecti*e: the e6posure to the common 8+e impolitical perspective/ liGe its political counterpart/ conceives politics as a conflictive realit* .oHever/ impolitical t+eorists focus on t+e community as t+e Ge* figure to t+inG t+e common as a sp+ere of constitutivel* impossi=le +armon* $lt+oug+ t+is approac+ s+ares t+e anti?identitarian/ anti?totalitarian and anti?essentialist vieH of politics He find in "aclau and Mouffe/ it does not consider t+e common as a result of political su=<ectification and li=idinal investments 7mpolitical t+oug+t conceives t+e common as a dimension t+at precedes and e,ceeds =ot+ politics and su=<ectivit* giving _voiceY to coe,istence: somet+ing t+at is impossi=le to produce 7n fact/ t+is perspective considers politics as an interruption t+at does not lead to neH institutional foundations M 8+inGing t+e common from a p+ilosop+* of im,potentiality ($gam=en KLLQa)/ and as neit+er su=stantial nor su=<ective/ t+e impolitical also opposes an* stance t+at founds t+e common in t+e proprium (as identities or interests)/ or in an* presupposition 8+e communit* does not =elong to its su=<ects and t+e su=<ects donYt =elong to t+e communit*: communit* is rat+er t+e transcendental condition t+at e,propriates t+em as closed selves/ e,posing t+em to t+eir 'eing,in,common 7n t+is sense/ t+e community is a limit?concept of political p+ilosop+* =ecause it remains ontologically impossi=le (8ari''o KLLJ) 7n our vieH/ t+e political staGe of t+is t+oug+t is to empt* an* form of political mediation and sovereignt* of its foundations in order to t+inG coe,istence =e*ond an* transcendent )oHer 3ut let us clarif* H+at He understand =* impolitical (also translated recentl* as unpolitical) 8+e term impolitico Has first used =* Massimo Cacciari in an article a=out 6iet'sc+e (197M) and re?ela=orated =* Ro=erto Esposito (19MM W 199J)/ as a Ha* to consider t+e political from its =orders/ staging an alternative to =ot+ political t+eolog* and modern de? politici'ation 7ts stance is neit+er directl* political/ nor anti?political/ since t+at Hould presuppose t+e reduction of politics to a Dalue or 6orm and a dialectical movement H+ic+ t+is Gind of t+oug+t tries to avoid 8+e impolitical implied a movement of retreat (6anc* and "acoue?"a=art+e 19MJ) H+ic+ redefined t+e relation =etHeen p+ilosop+* and politics/ once t+e model of t+e !ramscian organic intellectual proved no longer
M $s mentioned a=ove/ also Ranci^re s+ares t+e idea of politics as an interruption 7n +is case/ t+is interruption ena=les t+e e,pression of an egalitarian logic t+roug+ political su=<ectification Las Torres de Lucca 6I J (<ulio?diciem=re KL1J): 7?J4

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practica=le for most of t+e European "eft %or Esposito/ t+e impolitical taGes us =e*ond an* political p+ilosop+*/ understood as a tradition in H+ic+ politics is measured =* its correspondence Hit+ a good p+ilosop+* and p+ilosop+* is evaluated =* its capacit* to transform politics (1999) Undou=tedl*/ most intellectuals He Hould include in t+e _politicalY perspective also retreat into an ontological reflection t+at departs from political p+ilosop+* t+us descri=ed 3ut H+ile in t+e political perspective t+ere is a need to ret+inG political su=<ectivit* and emancipation/ for t+e impolitical vision/ politics and communit* def* su=<ectivit* and actuall* impl* processes of de?su=<ectification $t t+e same time/ t+e impolitical tries to t+inG t+e factum of t+e political in a realistic/ non?apologetic Ha* 8+e p+ilosop+er H+o develops an e,plicit reflection on t+e impolitical in t+ese terms is Ro=erto Esposito/ H+o maintained in t+e 19MLYs t+at our political language Has o=solete since our present?da* realit* could not =e appre+ended t+roug+ it 9 $s long as t+ere Has no alternative language/ t+e onl* possi=ilit* Has to t+inG t+e political in negative terms/ deconstructing its traditional categories 8+e impolitical stance tried to s+oH t+e am=iguities and deadlocGs of our political concepts and dic+otomies/ overturning t+e political notions of modernit* in order to e,+i=it t+e void t+at in+a=its t+eir core (Beil in Esposito 19MMS 199R) 8+is deconstruction of ever* political term Has also emplo*ed to re? t+inG t+e notion of community 8raditionall*/ t+e communit* Has t+oug+t as t+e result of s+ared properties (et+nicit*/ race/ language/ territor*)/ pro<ects or interests -n t+e contrar*/ t+e impolitical stance Hould =egin =* t+inGing communit* as UstructuredU =* s+aring a common impossi'ility: for instance/ t+at of d*ing in t+e place of t+e ot+er (3lanc+ot 19MJ) or of s+aring t+e ot+erYs deat+ (6anc* 1999) or d*ing toget+er as in 3atailleYs account of /umancia (Esposito 1999) "ater/ presenting t+is deconstructive insig+t in positive terms/ Esposito ela=orated a tension =etHeen Communitas and Immunitas 3ot+ terms s+are t+e reference to munus/ understood as a compulsor* gift/ =ut differ in t+e Ha* t+e* relate to it 1L 7f im,munitas designates t+e e,emption/ t+e dispensation from t+e common munus t+at c+aracteri'es modern p+ilosop+ical/ <uridical/ ant+ropological and medical t+oug+t t+roug+ t+e
9 7n t+e last decade/ Esposito seems to +ave found t+is positive language t+at can +elp us understand our present in =iopolitics and t+e paradigm of immuni'ation (KLLK/ KLL4/ KLL7) 1L $s Esposito states/ t+e concept of munus +as t+ree meanings: onus/ officium and donum .oHever/ +e clearl* privileges t+e latter Las Torres de Lucca 6I J (<ulio?diciem=re KL1J): 7?J4

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assertion of t+e proprium/ com,munitas implies a positive relation (cum) to it/ our common e8posure to a t+reatening/ violent/ mandator* gift B+at He +ave in common/ t+en/ is not+ing =ut t+is gift/ t+is e,posure to t+e possi=ilit* of mutual contagion/ H+ic+ +as to =e avoided for an* immunitarian stance t+at protects life t+roug+ its negation 6onet+eless/ a form of immunit* is necessar* if life is to =e conserved or developed 7n t+is sense/ present?da* =iopoHer Xin H+ic+ t+e protection and increase of t+e Oualit* of life is t+e onl* issue t+at legitimi'es a governmentX can =e understood t+roug+ immuni'ation paradigm as a series of measures to protect communitarian and individual life Hit+in t+e frameHorG of a self?same social =od* in H+ic+ t+e t+reatening dimension of t+e common/ t+e possi=ilit* of transgressing =oundaries/ is Gept at =a* B+en an e,aggerated form of immuni'ation arises/ it ends up attacGing t+e same =od* it strives to protect/ as in auto? immune diseases 3ut immunit* does not necessaril* lead to a t+anatological/ auto?immunitarian outcome 8o t+e contrar*/ EspositoYs idea of a common immunity/ e,emplified =* pregnancy, in H+ic+ t+e mot+er protects t+e em=r*o despite t+e difference of t+eir genetic codes (KLLK)/ offers a paradigm in H+ic+ life emerges t+roug+ t+e conflict =etHeen tHo immunities 7n t+is sense/ difference =ecomes t+e condition for coe,istence and common groHt+ in an ontolog* =ased not on presupposition =ut in e8,position 7t is precisel* t+roug+ t+e concept of e,? position t+at Esposito Hill tr* to t+inG affirmative/ communitarian =iopolitics 3* Ue,?positionU He must understand a radical s+ift in t+e concept of co?e,istence 8raditional metap+*sics +ave t+oug+t a !round or 0u=stance of H+ic+ t+e concrete e,istence Hould derive its meaning 7n politics/ t+ere Has alHa*s t+e idea of a s+ared/ presupposed element grounding t+e communit* or a 0u=<ect instituting it -n t+e contrar*/ t+e logic of e,position deconstructs t+e opposition =etHeen essence and appearance/ e,pressing t+at t+ings/ =odies/ ideas/ etc / co?=elong Hit+out an* ground ot+er t+an co?=elonging itself 7ndeed/ the common is not a result of some prior ground 'ut the pure event of 'eing,with / H+ic+ is anot+er Ha* to affirm radical contingency 8+e logic of e8position is also developed =* $gam=enYs notion of communit* as t+e co?appearance of _ whatever singularitiesY (199L) %or $gam=en/ poHer dispositifs and metap+*sical t+oug+t alHa*s HorG =* separating tHo poles/ producing t+e possi=ilit* of an inclusive e8clusion of
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one of t+em =* t+e ot+er: 'ios and (o&/ logos and phon&/ human and animal 7n +istoric communities t+is e,clusion renders t+e e,cluded sacer/ i e / possi=le to Gill Hit+out committing +omicide or sacrifice/ t+ere=* turning e8clusion into a transcendental presupposition for =elonging $gam=en opposes to t+is t+e notion of t+e coming community (199L)/ H+ic+ is not founded in an* su=<ective propert* as identities or interests/ =ut rat+er on t+e ver* event of co?=elonging Hit+out an* presupposition $gainst t+e notion of a community of those who don<t have one (3ataille/ 6anc*/ 3lanc+ot) or as nothing in common (Esposito/ 199M) +e t+inGs of a communit* in H+ic+ the only condition for 'elonging is 'elonging itself (199L) $gam=en is also critical of t+e stances H+ic+ XliGe t+at of Esposito and MaussX focus on t+e notion of mandatory gift $gam=en instead privileges t+e notion of grace/ as Zt+e a=ilit* to use t+e sp+ere of social determinations and services in its totalit*[ (KLLM=/ 11Q) %or $gam=en/ grace does not found social e,c+anges/ =ut rat+er interrupts t+em 8+is insistence on grace (charis) derives from t+e )auline and later %ranciscan notion of use (chr&sis) XH+ic+ deactivates o=ligations and t+e "aHX as opposed to propert* (dominium)/ and leads +im to propose profanations as t+e restitution of o=<ects to a free use/ against t+e idea of seculari(ation/ in H+ic+ t+e sacred dimension and its poHer effects secretl* insist (KLLQaS KL11=) 11 .ence/ $gam=en understands t+e messianic communit* as an interruption of t+e proprium t+roug+ a neH/ profane use: Zt+e messianic vocation is not a rig+t and does not constitute an identit*: it is a generic )otentialit* H+ic+ is used Hit+out =eing its proprietors[ (KLLM=/ J1) 8+is notion of t+e messianic communit* is developed =* $gam=en in +is reading of )aulYs .pistle to the Romans/ in H+ic+ +e e,plores t+e logic of as,if,not (hos me) and of deactivation (katargein) 1K %or $gam=en/ )aul is not t+e founder of universalism as 3adiou (1997) maintains =ut rat+er t+e one H+o divides ever* nomistic division Hit+ t+e impercepti=le $pellesY
11 $s He can see/ t+is idea is crucial in our digital era/ in H+ic+ t+e conditions for a free and common use of t+e produce of t+e general intellect are t+Harted =* t+e institution of propert* and t+e commodification of t+e common %or 6egri and .ardt/ t+is full* intellectuali'ation of la=or/ Hit+ its accent on affects and communication preannounces t+e neH communism of t+e multitude (199Q/ KLLL/ KLL4/ KLL9) $gam=en +as also t+eori'ed a=out t+e general intellect and t+e multitude in order to ret+inG t+e common and to c+aracteri'e +is notion of form? of?life (KLLL/ 1L?11) .oHever/ departing from 6egriYs t+oug+t/ +e opposes t+e dominant role of production and su=<ectivit* in Bestern metap+*sics 1K $gam=en notes t+at t+e %renc+ d&s=uvrement (>o<eve/ 3ataille/ 3lanc+ot/ 6anc*) is a good translation of katargein Las Torres de Lucca 6I J (<ulio?diciem=re KL1J): 7?J4

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cut/ maGing impossi=le for t+e H+ole and t+e part to coincide )aulYs universalism is not <ust indifferent to differences =ut rat+er cuts across and suspends ever* previous identit*/ inviting us to maGe a neH use of ourselves as?if He Here not H+o He are 8+e staGe is not <ust to c+ange our <uridical status or identit* or to enforce a neH "aH =ut to deactivate (katargein) t+em 7n +is vieH/ =ot+ t+e Messianic and t+e state of e,ception HorG t+roug+ suspension 3ut H+ile/ according to $gam=en/ toda* He live in a virtual state of e,ception in H+ic+ t+e "aH is suspended =ut still enforced/ maGing life prone to =e eliminated/ )aulYs messianism XH+ic+ $gam=en reads t+roug+ 3en<aminYs glassesX strives to produce a real state of e8ception in H+ic+ "aH and "ife coincide 1J 8+is coincidence is elseH+ere termed =* $gam=en form,of,life/ a life t+at cannot =e separated from its form/ in H+ic+ a =are life cannot =e produced (KLLL/ JS KL11=) 7n t+is sense/ $gam=en opposes t+e community of H+atever singularities (199L)/ and a form,of,life =ased in t+e %ranciscan notion of use (KL11=)/ to t+e sovereign poHer of t+e state (199Q) %or $gam=en/ t+e state produces and at t+e same time tries to capture t+e e,ception Xt+e 'are life of t+e homo sacerX and rule t+roug+ it 7t legitimi'es its oHn poHer t+roug+ t+e representation of social identities H+ic+ are =ased on =are life -n t+e contrar*/ t+e community recogni'es no presuppositions and no representation 7t is an un?founded/ indestructi=le remnant arestob/ H+ere singularities co?=elong/ =eing?suc+: Zt+e state can recogni'e an* assertion of identit* a b =ut t+at t+e singularities form communit* Hit+out asserting an identit* a b t+at is H+at t+e state cannot tolerate under an* circumstances[ (199L/ QM?Q9) .ere He see t+e contrast =etHeen $gam=enYs position and t+at of "aclau and \i]eG B+ile according to "aclau t+e logic of +egemon* and articulation implies a political constitution of identities and a struggle =etHeen t+em to represent t+e H+ole/ $gam=en is seeGing an Unrepresenta=le remnant t+at gets rid of previous identities and t+reatens t+e 0tateYs sovereign violence $t t+e same time/ H+ile \i]eG sees dis? identification as t+e element t+at +olds toget+er empirical communities and calls for an et+ics of over?identification/ $gam=en e,presses t+e need to elude identification since =* producing identities poHer dispositifs
1J (raHing on t+e latterYs idea of communica'ility and of divine violence/ as a violence t+at does not institute a neH "aH/ $gam=en t+inGs t+e coming politics as a means without ends H+ic+ s+ould turn t+e virtual (0c+mittean) state of e,ception in H+ic+ He live into a real (3en<aminian) one (199Q) Las Torres de Lucca 6I J (<ulio?diciem=re KL1J): 7?J4

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capture our attempts of su=<ectification 14 8+at is H+* t+e communit* $gam=en is tr*ing to t+inG is =e*ond identit*/ since/ for +im/ contemporar* politics +ave alread* emptied an* tradition or identit* of meaning and deal onl* Hit+ =are life (KLLL) -n t+e contrar*/ t+e messianic communit* cannot =e institutionali'ed/ =ecause ever* form of institutionali'ation or representation implies its aut+oritarian negation: ZH+en t+e eGGles2a Xt+e messianic communit*X Hants to organi'e itself/ t+e pro=lem of t+e rig+t doctrine and infalli=ilit* =ecomes crucial[ (KLLM=/ J7) 7n t+is sense/ H+ile "aclau and \i]eG introduce a transcendent dimension in politics (part*/ state/ leader/ empt* signifier)/ t+e impolitical perspective t+inGs communit* outside t+e transcendence of sovereign poHer/ understanding it as a sacrificial mac+ine $gainst suc+ vieH/ "aclau maintains t+at to =e =e*ond sovereignt* and e,clusion is to =e 'eyond politics and t+at $gam=enYs idea of politics is =ased on t+e m*t+ of a full* reconciled communit* ("aclau KLLM/ 1KJ) $s He saH/ for "aclau t+is reconciliation is impossi=le since t+e e,tension of structural dislocations at HorG in contemporar* capitalism maGe visi=le t+e contingenc* and precariousness of an* o=<ectivit* and create a pluralit* of neH antagonisms/ opening unprecedented possi=ilities for t+e radicali'ation of democrac* and political articulation 7n t+is sense/ processes of commodification/ =ureaucrati'ation/ etc do not give =irt+ to a self?regulated totalit* -n t+e contrar*/ t+e* open up t+e possi=ilit* of neH political struggles and c+ange ("aclau/ 199L) 7n $gam=enYs vieH/ +oHever/ suc+ dislocations Xt+e 0pectacle/ t+e capitalist e,propriation of language and t+oug+t/ t+e dissolution of traditional identitiesX are t+e precondition for a redemptive outcome/ namel* a communit* or form?of? life =e*ond sovereignt* and propert* in H+ic+ t+e role of politics is difficult to grasp 7n t+is sense/ H+ile for "aclau an* commonalit* is t+e precarious result of political representation and +egemon*/ for UimpoliticalU aut+ors t+e communit* is unrepresenta'le (Esposito 19MM)/ it cannot =e produced =ut it can take place ($gam=en/ 199L) .oHever/ t+ere is an important difference =etHeen Esposito and $gam=en %or t+e first/ the community is not something that relates what it is, 'ut 'eing itself as relation %or t+e latter/ t+e common and t+e political must =e t+oug+t =e*ond an* form of
14 $s He saH a=ove/ disidentification is for Ranci^re a condition of policial su=<etification Las Torres de Lucca 6I J (<ulio?diciem=re KL1J): 7?J4

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relation/ H+ere t+e first step is to t+inG potentialit* Hit+out an* relation to actualit* (199Q) 7n t+is sense/ whatever singularity/ as a reformulation of Dasein/ means for $gam=en t+e impossi=ilit* of isolating su=stance and modes/ individualit* and universalit* $t staGe +ere is a form?of?life H+ic+ reflects +uman life as (im)potentialit*/ since +uman =eings +ave no predefined =iological tasG (KLLL) $lso/ H+ereas "aclau and \i]eG strive to ret+inG political su=<ectivities/ $gam=en and Esposito e,plore t+e Impersonal dimension t+at e,ceeds t+e su=<ective and legal status of t+e person H+ic+/ in t+eir vieH/ produces t+e separations =etHeen +ig+er and loHer forms of life 8+e staGe for =ot+ aut+ors is to t+inG a life?in?common previous to t+e divide =etHeen 'ios and (o&/ person and non,person =* t+e "egal apparatus 7ndeed/ t+roug+ t+is notion of impersonal life/ Esposito tries to t+inG t+e possi=ilit* of affirmative 'iopolitics/ turning against t+emselves t+e dispositifs t+at 6a'ism emplo*ed against its victims (Esposito KLL4 W KLL7) 7n +is vieH/ if =iopolitics continue to lead to t+e destruction of t+e onl* t+ing t+at can legitimate toda*Ys governments (life itself) it is =ecause t+e dispositif of t+e person is founded upon t+e separation =etHeen 'ios and (o&/ Oualified life and mere life "iGe $gam=en/ Esposito opposes t+e communit* of singularities to state sovereignt* .oHever/ +e considers t+at t+e notion of profanations implies t+at somet+ing s+ould =e consecrated first in order to =e later made profane (KL1L)/ H+ile immuni'ation paradigm remains alHa*s attac+ed to t+e immanence of life itself 7n t+is sense/ H+ile $gam=en +as to recourse to Messianism to t+inG politics/ for Esposito immuni'ation implies t+at a politics of life ( politica della vita) can =e t+oug+t out of an* t+eologico?political root/ in t+e same terrain of =iopoHer 7ndeed/ t+e recourse to religious categories to t+inG t+e political in t+e last decades Hould reveal our incapacit* to esc+eH t+e t+eologico? political paradigm .oHever/ EspositoYs formulation arrives at a deadlocG H+en tr*ing to t+inG politics in positive terms/ since t+e immuni'ation paradigm can onl* =e a Ouasi?transcendental frameHorG for present?da* politics t+at cannot offer an* positive content 8+at is t+e reason H+* H+en +e tries to t+inG affirmative 'iopolitics/ instead of draHing from political e,periences/ +e maGes use of metap+ors liGe 'irth/ or p+ilosop+ical categories suc+ as norm,of,life (Canguil+em)/ chair (Merleau? )ont*)/ or impersonal life ((eleu'e) $t t+e same time/ t+is is H+* t+e prefi, He find in all +is notions is t+e cim?d/ from t+e impolitical to t+e
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impersonal t+roug+ immuni'ation 8o sum up/ impolitical aut+ors critici'e an* form of mediation of t+e communit* in a separate sp+ere/ an* form of representation H+ic+/ as Esposito maintains/ is alHa*s a representation of -rder (199J) 8+e* also critici'e t+e role identities pla* in politics 8+e* s+are a moment of retreat and t+e assertion of norm5form?of?life (Esposito KLL4S $gam=en KL11=) against an* t*pe of legal and political transcendence 8+ese aut+ors are critical of li=eral democrac* since it can =e seen as immunitarian (Esposito KLLM) and since t+e predominance of government +as done aHa* Hit+ an* form of popular sovereignt* ($gam=en KL11a) 6onet+eless/ despite Hriting a=out government and =iopolitics/ t+ese aut+ors usuall* +ave a negative approac+ on poHer t+at does not let t+em consider seriousl* present da* governance 1Q Be Hill come =acG to t+is in t+e concluding remarGs &V5 Concluding remar0s 7n t+is paper 7 tried to s+oH t+at political and impolitical perspectives t+inG t+e common in a non?foundational Ha*/ as t+e* do not presuppose an* su=stantial or sta=le ground for it $t t+e same time/ =ot+ recogni'e t+at a full closure or total reconciliation of t+e communit* is impossi=le and +as proved politicall* deadl* .oHever/ as He +ave seen/ t+e* are not post?foundational in t+e same Ha*: H+ile t+e political perspective tries to fill t+e void of t+e communit* and cname t+e not+ingd stressing t+e relevance of politicall* construed identities ("aclau) and t+e ontological function of t+e 0u=<ect as t+e a=sent center of political ontolog* (\i]eG)/ t+e impolitical suggests t+at t+is void s+ould not =e filled if He Hant to avoid neH modes of t+anatological e,clusion B+ile for t+e first perspective t+e common is politically construed/ for t+e second it is 'eyond politics and cannot =e politicall* produced 8+at is H+* t+e first assumes t+at politics consist in activism and strives to find an emancipator* su=<ect (t+e people/ t+e proletariat/ etc ) H+ile in impolitical t+oug+t t+e staGe is to deactivate an* form of su=<ectivit* and poHer/ in
1Q 7n Il regno e la gloria (KLL7)/ $gam=en speaGs of a =i?polar mac+ine constituted =* sovereignt* and oikonomical government/ in H+ic+ t+e latter predominates 6onet+eless/ instead of giving an account of toda*Ys t+eories and practice of governance/ +e maGes an arc+eolog* of t+eological te,ts to reveal t+e separation =etHeen a transcendent reign of god/ H+o reigns =ut doesnYt govern/ and t+e immanent oikonimical government =* t+e angels (ministers) $lso Esposito (KL1J) refers to economics t+roug+ t+e filter of t+e t+eological de=ate Las Torres de Lucca 6I J (<ulio?diciem=re KL1J): 7?J4

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order to avoid reinforcing t+e domination over life/ namel*/ t+e capture of su=<ectification =* poHer dispositifs 8+at is H+* $gam=en stresses t+e necessit* to t+inG ontolog* =e*ond t+e paradigm of operativeness and effectiveness as a first step to ret+inG politics (KL1K) and Esposito tries to t+inG t+e 7mpersonal as t+e improper dimension of life common to ever* =eing 8+erefore/ t+e main Ouestions t+at divide t+e tHo vieHs are: is a communit* of singularities t+e result of political action or impolitical deactivationV Be ma* add: does deactivation lead to a depolitici'ed/ aest+etic or et+icist stanceV $nd also: H+at form of commonalit* is t+inGa=le Hit+in and =e*ond toda*Ys societ* of controlV 0o far/ 7 +ave tried to suggest t+at =ot+ approac+es provide useful insig+ts to t+inG politics and commonalit* in our societies/ =ut t+at none of t+em is completel* satisfactor*/ and t+at t+eir limits come to lig+t as a function of t+eir mutual delimitation -n t+e side of t+e political/ forms of progressive political activism can reinforce domination and control despite

themselves -n t+e side of t+e impolitical/ forms of e,odus and retreat
from sovereignt* can +ave unforeseen political effects .oHever/ H+at is missing in =ot+ approac+es is/ first/ a =etter account of toda*Ys forms of domination and/ t+en/ neH ideas concerning an alternative political poHer t+at could provide t+e c+ance to avoid t+e c+oice =etHeen _inoperativenessY/ _neo?0talinismY and _investments in a nameY/ i e / =etHeen tr*ing to interrupt t+e _mac+ineY Hit+out ena=ling a political alternative and t+e institution of neH forms of +eteronom* 7n t+is sense/ t+e impolitical vieH alloHs us to =ear in mind t+e deadlocGs of su=<ectivist approac+es to t+e notion of communit*/ H+ic+ seem to lead sooner or later to re?esta=lis+ t+e idea t+at it can =e produced =* a part*/ et+nical identit* or an* privileged 0u=<ect/ in a sacrificial and aut+oritarian position -n t+e ot+er +and/ t+e _political stanceY is also important to understand possi=le Ha*s of political su=<ectification/ tr*ing to avoid a ni+ilistic standpoint toHards politics 7ndeed/ if impolitical t+oug+t =ecomes a critical stance toHards an* actual politics/ it risGs =ecoming ultrapolitical,1R in t+e sense of =eing 'eyond politics/ alHa*s needing to face t+e "eviat+an in order to =e sure He are on t+e good side 3ut is an* form of political institution a Gind of _cold monsterYV -r s+ould He focus on forms of governmentV 7s t+e retreat from t+e 0tate an
1R 7 t+anG 3runo 3osteels for discussing t+is point Hit+ me =acG in KL1L Las Torres de Lucca 6I J (<ulio?diciem=re KL1J): 7?J4

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e,istential need/ an et+ical imperative or a suicidal actionV Be +ave alread* commented on "aclauYs critiOue of $gam=enYs dream of politics Hit+out e,clusions 0imilarl*/ \i]eG (KLLM) critici'es t+e retreat from state poHer =* suggesting t+at _local strugglesY and _infinite demandsY 17 onl* reinforce t+e position of t+ose H+o rule 7nstead of resisting state poHer or retreating from it/ +e suggests t+at true revolutionaries s+ould tr* to sei'e it (KLL7) 3ut does it maGe an* sense to speaG toda* of _true revolutionariesY and t+e sei'ure of state poHer in comple, and glo=ali'ed societiesV 7n m* vieH/ the limits of 'oth perspectives stem from the very diagnoses they make (espite providing useful insig+ts/ =ot+ stances +ave a reductive understanding of toda*Ys forms of domination/ H+ic+ undermines t+eir capacit* to ela=orate a positive account of t+e communalit* to emerge and politics to come 7n t+is sense/ impolitical t+oug+t seems to =e still secretl* o=sessed Hit+ sovereign poHer and Hit+ t+eological and <uridical dispositifs H+en toda*Ys forms of (=io)poHer are muc+ more su=tle and productive B+ile it is true t+at t+e e,ception =ecame t+e rule of government and t+at racism is far from =eing overcome/ H+at is taGing place in toda*Ys societies of control is rat+er t+e Uinclusion of t+e outsideU B+ereas classic sovereign poHer and even disciplinar* societies =elong to a mec+anical?analogical era/ toda*Ys =iopolitical or noopolitical ("a''arato KLL4) poHer =ecame molecular/ informational and digital ((eleu'e 199LS 0i=ilia KLLQ) 8oda*Ys main forms of (=io)poHer do not for=id or enclose =odies =ut modulate su=<ectivities at a distance/ and t+e su=<ect5o=<ect of poHer is not onl* t+e population as a =iological aggregate =ut also t+e pu'lic as a sociological realit* 8oda*Ys (=io)poHer does not emplo* our muscles/ =ut stimulates our neural centers 7t does not to for=id our en<o*ment =ut maGes it mandator* 8+e oppressive contours of t+is in)unction to en)oy +ave =een anal*'ed =* \i]eG t+roug+ t+e stud* of t+e "acanian superego (passim) 7n a Ha*/ it +as also =een recogni'ed =* $gam=en/ H+o stresses t+e impossi=ilit* to resist a )oHer t+at maGes us =elieve t+at ever*t+ing can =e done/ separating us from our potentialit* not?to?do (KLL9/ R9) .oHever/ t+is pro=lem is a=sent in Esposito and "aclauYs accounts 7ndeed/ even t+oug+ "aclauYs logic of politics seems to HorG at t+e level of political discourse and aggregation/ +e does not engage in
17 .ere Ci'eG attacGs Critc+le*Ys =ooG Infinitely Demanding: .thics of Commitment, Politics of Resistance/ "ondon: Derso/ KLL7 Las Torres de Lucca 6I J (<ulio?diciem=re KL1J): 7?J4

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understanding toda*Ys forms of poHer in _developed societiesY H+ere demands and desires are more liGel* to =e construed and fulfilled t+roug+ marGeting and consumption or self?entrepreneurs+ip rat+er t+an =* li=idinal investments in politics 6oHada*s t+e _affective investment in a nameY Hit+ H+ic+ "aclau descri=es t+e construction of _t+e peopleY is liGel* to =e done =* political marGeting 3esides/ it also implies t+e identification Hit+ a =od* t+at incarnates t+e communit*/ reinstating a t+eological dimension in politics $ postmodern t+eolog* in H+ic+ no 7dea mo=ili'es t+e people: onl* a name/ or slogan -f course/ m* assertion implies leaving aside contingenc* for a moment and taGing a _su=stantiveY and _outmodedY vieH of politics as somet+ing different from marGeting and consumption 7t also implies a critical vieH on marGeting as a su=tler =ut no less aut+oritarian Ha* of constructing political images and social identities compared to t+e 8otalitarian propaganda .oHever/ as mentioned a=ove/ t+is spectaculari'ation of politics and t+is commodification of social identities can +ave a positive outcome for =ot+ "aclau and $gam=en %or t+e first/ t+e dislocations t+ese processes impl* open t+e possi=ilit* of neH demands/ struggles and political articulation %or t+e latter/ t+e possi=ilit* of a communit* Hit+out identit* is t+e result of t+e e,propriation of t+e Common =roug+t a=out =* toda*Ys capitalism and t+is opportunit* s+ould =e used against t+e 0pectacle (199L) 7n t+is sense/ t+e logic of profanation implies t+e possi=ilit* to create an alternative econom* of social interaction/ production and en<o*ment related to H+at $gam=en calls use 8+e a=sence of a stud* of toda*Ys governance is also a pro=lem in EspositoYs account $lt+oug+ draHing on %oucault and (eleu'e/ EspositoYs reflection +as not full* engaged Hit+ an anal*sis of t+e economic and su=<ective aspects of toda*Ys forms of poHer H+ic+ emplo* t+e su=<ectsY desires and creativit* in t+eir reproduction Even if +e +as tried to overcome a merel* deconstructive approac+ t+roug+ t+e immuni'ation paradigm/ +is anal*ses remain all too ontological %irst/ even t+oug+ +e acGnoHledges t+e necessit* of conflict for politics/ +e never privileges a particular form of politics 0econd/ despite t+at +e recogni'es transformations in t+e e,ercise of poHer/ +is diagnosis XliGe $gam=enYsX seems too o=sessed Hit+ 0overeign )oHer and its legal apparatus 8+ird/ as said =efore/ +is idea of affirmative =iopolitics draHs on e,amples He can =arel* call political $ssuming t+at an* form of action
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means t+e increase of violence/ Esposito proposes to ret+inG t+e impersonal dimension and/ liGe $gam=en/ to advocate a _m*sticalY life t+at cannot =e separated from its forms/ a deactivation of =ot+ t+e "aH and its su=<ect 7n t+is sense/ 7 t+inG t+e gesture of retreating to t+inG t+e common in its ontological/ a?su=<ective and impersonal condition is only a first step 7f toda*Ys forms of domination involve our H+ole _=eing and timeY/ if t+e administration and t+e corporations treat us as a sample of prosumers from H+om t+e* can o=tain _valua=leY information t+roug+ neH forms of confession to capture our desires for t+eir profit and reproduction/ one of t+e resources at +and is to den* our participation/ U=ecome invisi=leU/ and deactivate t+is governmentality t+at puts to HorG our political capa=ilities (Dirno KLL1) .oHever/ Hit+out considering political su=<ectivi'ation one cannot avoid t+e risG of treating an* form of real political action as a simulacrum t+at doesnYt correspond to its ontological trut+ (3osteels KLL9) 8+en/ m* suggestion +ere is t+at in order to redefine t+e contours of t+e common He need a neH politics H+ic+ s+ould not =e t+e same pla* of ideologicall* overdetermined desires/ particular demands and its representation t+roug+ spectacular politics or strong and glorified leaders+ips 7n t+is sense/ $gam=enYs idea of use (KL11=) is interesting since noHada*s social cooperation and codependence +as reac+ed a point in H+ic+ in a Ha* He alread* form a glo=al communit* and +ave to decide H+at sense He Hill give to our coe,istence and +oH Hill He use t+e resources at +and B+ile t+e capitalist logic Hill emplo* t+is cooperation for private =enefit Hit+out an* concern for t+e common/ $gam=en invites us to t+inG new uses/ not onl* of o=<ects =ut also of ourselves/ of our common Horld/ Hit+out a'using it/ in a communit* of singularities Hit+out conditions for =elonging .oH to translate t+is ontological vieH into political action is a great c+allenge %or even if re?t+inGing t+e common and politics aneH is necessar*/ t+e ontological speculation s+ould not =e a ps*c+ological compensation for good politicsY a=sence =ut rat+er a step in inventing neH political practices in H+ic+ a more emancipated commonalit* can emerge 7n t+is sense/ t+e impolitical gesture of retreat mig+t =e tacticall* useful against a poHer t+at involves our su=<ectivities in its reproduction/ =ut t+e real staGe of t+is retreat is H+et+er a neH politics can =e re,traced (6anc* and "acoue?"a=art+e 1997) 8+at is H+* neH uses must =e
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invented/ profaning an outdated idea of propert* and also an aut+oritarian notion of politics in order to produce neH political e,periences 8o do so/ He cannot sever t+e common from t+e political: not even Hit+ $pellesYs +elp V5 Bi,liography $gam=en/ !iorgio (19M7)/ Z3ataille e il paradosso della sovranite[/ in >eorges 5ataille: il politico e il sacro / edited =* di #acOueline Risset/ 6apoli: "iguori XX (199L)/ La comunit? che viene/ 8orino: Einaudi XX (199Q)/ #omo @acer Il potere sovrano e la nuda vita 8orino: Einaudi XX (KLLL)/ +eans 7ithout .nds /otes on Politics/ 8ranslated =* Dincen'o 3inetti and Cesare Casarino/ Minnesota: Universit* of Minnesota )ress XX (KLLQ)/ Profana(ioni/ 8orino: 3ollati 3oring+ieri XX (KLLQ=)/ La poten(a del pensiero @aggi e conferen(e / Dicen'a: 6eri )o''a XX (KLL7)/ Il regno e la gloria Per una genealogia teologica dellAeconomia e del governo .omo sacer K/K/ Dicen'a: 6eri )o''a XX (KLLMa)/ Il sacramento del linguaggio: "rcheologia del giuramento Roma: "ater'a XX (KLLM=)/ Il tempo che resta Bn commento alla Lettera ai Romani, 0econd Edition/ 8orino: 3ollati 3oring+ieri XX (KLL9) /udit?/ Roma: 6ottetempo XX (KL11a) Z7ntroductor* note to t+e concept of democrac*[/ en $$DD/ D&mocratie, dans 9uel &tatC/ "a %a=riOue/ KLL9/ trad ing Billiam McCuaig/ Democracy, in 7hat @tateC/ 6eH ForG/ Colum=ia Universit* )ress XX (KL11=) "ltissima Povert?: Regole monastiche e forma di vita, Dicen'a: 6eri )o''a XX (KL1K) Dpus Dei: "rcheologia dell<ufficio #omo sacer, II / Q 3ollati 3oring+ieri/ 8orino 3adiou/ $lain (1997)/ @aint Paul The -oundation of Bniversalism/ translated =* Ra* 3rassier/ 0tanford: 0tanford Univ )ress 3osteels/ 3runo (KLL9)/ Z8+inGing/ 3eing/ $cting: -r/ -n t+e Uses and (isadvantages of -ntolog* for )olitics[/ in " Leftist Dntology 5eyond Relativism and Identity Politics/ Edited =* Carsten 0trat+ausen/ Minneapolis: Universit* of Minnesota )ress
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C+iesa/ "oren'o (KLL9)/ Z!iorgio $gam=enYs %ranciscan -ntolog*[/ in Chiesa, Loren(o E "l'erto Toscano, The Italian Difference: 'etween nihilism and 'iopolitics/ Mel=ourne: Re press (eleu'e/ !illes (199L)/ Z)ostscript on t+e 0ocieties of Control[/ in LAautre )ournal/ 6r 7/ Mai -riginall* pu=lis+ed in Englis+ in t+e <ournal DCTD5.R Q9/ Binter 199K/ pp J?7/ Cam=ridge: M78 )ress (errida/ #acOues (199M)/ Z%ait+ and >noHledge: 8+e tHo 0ources of UReligionU at t+e "imits of Reason $lone[/ trans 0 Be=er/ in ! $nid<ar (ed ) "cts of Religion/ "ondon T 6eH ForG: Routledge Esposito/ Ro=erto (1999)/ Categorie dell<impolitico (1st ed 19MM)/ 0econd Edition 3ologna: 7l mulino XX (199J)/ /ove pensieri sulla politica 3ologna: 7l mulino XX (199M)/ Communitas Drigine e destino della comunit? / 8orino: Einaudi XX (KLLK)/ Immunitas Prote(ione e nega(ione della vita 8orino: Einaudi XX (KLL4)/ 5ios 5iopolitica e filosofia 8orino: Einaudi XX (KLL7)/ Ter(a Persona Politica della vita e filosofia dellAimpersonale 8orino: Einaudi XX (KLLM)/ Termini della politica Comunit?, Immunit?, 'iopolitica 8orino: Einaudi XX (KL1L)/ Pensiero vivente: Drigine e attualit? della filosofia italiana / 8orino: Einaudi %oucault/ Mic+el (KLL4)/ /aissance de la 'iopoliti9ue: Cours au CollFge de -rance 012GH,12G24, Edited =* Mic+el 0enellart/ )aris: !allimard5 0euil .ardt/ Mic+ael W $ntonio 6egri (KLLL)/ .mpire/ Massac+usetts: .arvard Universit* )ress .ardt/ M W $ 6egri (KLL9)/ Commonwealth/ Massac+usetts: .arvard Universit* )ress "aclau/ Ernesto (199L)/ /ew Reflections on the Revolution of Dur Time / "ondon: Derso XX (199Ra)/ ZUniversalism/ )articularism and t+e fuestion of 7dentit*[/ in .mancipation(s)/ "ondon: Derso XX (199R=)/ ZB+* do Empt* 0ignifiers Matter to )oliticsV[/ in .mancipation(s)/ "ondon: Derso XX (KLLQ)/ Dn Populist Reason/ "ondon: Derso XX (KLLM)/ Z$ti'=ando el futuro[/ in Laclau " critical reader/ Edited =* Critc+le*/ 0imon W -livier Marc+art/ 8ranslated to 0panis+ =*
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8eresa $ri<ón/ Laclau "pro8imaciones cr$ticas a su o'ra/ p J47?4L4/ 3uenos $ires: %ondo de cultura económica XX (KLLM=) De'ates y com'ates Por un nuevo hori(onte de la pol$tica / 3uenos $ires: %ondo de cultura económica "aclau/ E W C+antal Mouffe (19MQ)/ #egemony and socialist strategy Towards a radicali(ation of democracy/ "ondon: Derso "aclau/ E / # 3utler W 0 \i]eG (KLLL)/ Contingency, Bniversality, #egemony, "ondon T 6eH ForG: Derso "a''arato/ Mauri'io (1997)/ Lavoro immateriale -orme di vita e produ(ione di soggettivit?/ Derona: -m=re Corte XX (KLL4)/ La politica dell<evento/ Cosen'a: Ru==ettino Marc+art/ -liver (KLL7)/ Post,-oundational Political Thought: Political Difference in /ancy, Lefort, 5adiou and Laclau, Edin=urg+: Edin=urg+ Universit* )ress Mouffe/ C+antal (199J)/ The return of the political/ "ondon T 6eH ForG: Derso XX (KLLL)/ The democratic parado8/ "ondon T 6eH ForG: Derso XX (KLLQ)/ Dn the political/ 6eH ForG: Routledge 6anc*/ #ean?"uc (1999)/ La communaut& d&s=uvr&e, 6ouvelle :dition revue et augment:e/ )aris: C+ristian 3ourgois XX (KLLL)/ Z7s ever*t+ing politicalV[/ C:line 0urprenant (trans )/ in M Mcfuillan (ed ) The Politics of Deconstruction: *ac9ues Derrida and the Dther of Philosophy/ "ondon: )luto )ress/ pp 47?QJ XX (KLL7)/ La communaut& affront&e (KLLK)/ translated into 0panis+ =* # M !arrido/ La comunidad enfrentada/ 3uenos $ires: "a Ce=ra 6anc*/ #ean?"uc W "acoue?"a=art+e/ )+ilippe (1997)/ Retreating the political, 0 0parGs/ Ed / "ondon: Routledge Ranci^re/ #acOues (1999)/ Disagreement: politics and philosophy/ translated =* #ulie Rose/ Minneapolis: Universit* of Minnesota )ress XX (199Q)/ "u8 'ords du politi9ue/ -siris/ )aris/ 199K/ translated 3* "i' .eron/ Dn the shores of politics/ "ondon: Derso XX (KLL7)/ La haine de la d&mocratie / "a fa=riOue :ditions/ )aris/ KLLQ/ trans 0teve Corcoran/ #atred of Democracy/ "ondon: Derso 0i=ilia/ )aula (KLLQ)/ .l hom're postorg%nico Cuerpo, su')etividad y tecnolog$as digitales/ 3uenos $ires: % C E 8ari''o/ (avide (KLLJ)/ Il pensiero li'ero La filosofia francese dopo lo strutturalismo Milano: R Cortina
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