onsdag, augusti 17, 2011

Agamben goes Schmitt

Carl Schmitts berömda tes om att alla centrala begrepp för att beskriva staten ursprungligen är teologiska begrepp som sedan sekulariserats, tycks ges ny näring genom den italienska filosofen Giorgio Agambens kommande bok: The Kingdom and the Glory: For a Theological Genealogy of Economy and Government.

"If power is essentially government, why does it need glory, that is, the ceremonial and liturgical apparatus that has always accompanied it?"(...) "Agamben shows that, when combined with the idea of providence, this theological-economic paradigm unexpectedly lies at the origin of many of the most important categories of modern politics, from the democratic theory of the division of powers to the strategic doctrine of collateral damage, from the invisible hand of Smith's liberalism to ideas of order and security.

But the greatest novelty to emerge from The Kingdom and the Glory is that modern power is not only government but also glory, and that the ceremonial, liturgical, and acclamatory aspects that we have regarded as vestiges of the past actually constitute the basis of Western power. Through a fascinating analysis of liturgical acclamations and ceremonial symbols of power—the throne, the crown, purple cloth, the Fasces, and more—Agamben develops an original genealogy that illuminates the startling function of consent and of the media in modern democracies."
... eller med Paul W. Kahns ord: "the state is not the secular arrangement that it purports to be"!

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