This love of paradox is not simply a rhetorical tic. It deeply shapes Agamben’s political analysis, which seeks out places where our accustomed categories begin to overlap and break down. For example, he is fascinated with the figure of the sovereign ruler who can suspend the law, because of what he calls “the paradox of sovereignty,” namely “the fact that the sovereign is, at the same time, outside and inside the juridical order.” On the one hand, the sovereign who declares a state of emergency can freely violate the letter of the law; on the other, his actions are legitimated by reference to the law and (at least ideally) aim to restore the normal conditions for the rule of law. Sovereign action in the state of emergency is thus a strange kind of legal illegality — or is it illegal legality? A related dynamic is at work with the figure of the homo sacer, who stands as a kind of metaphor for all people excluded from official legal protection and reduced to a state of “bare life,” such as refugees, “enemy combatants,” and concentration camp victims. On the one hand, they are excluded from the realm of law, but this very exclusion is itself a legal act, indeed one of the most forceful and decisive of legal acts. Thus the person reduced to bare life is “excluded in,” or “included out.”
The greatest contradiction of all, however, is the way that the sovereign and the homo sacer’s respective relationships to the law — relationships of exclusive inclusion or inclusive exclusion — overlap. On a purely formal level, the same paradoxical and contradictory relationship to the law holds equally for the mightiest ruler as for the most desperate victim. Indeed, these two paradoxes begin to become mirror images of each other: “At the extreme limits of the order, the sovereign and homo sacer present two symmetrical figures that have the same structure and are correlative: the sovereign is the one with respect to whom all men are potentially homines sacri, and homo sacer is the one with respect to whom all men act as sovereigns.
”Agamben believes that our political system is increasingly breaking down and that extra-legal but legally validated emergency power is no longer the exception, but the rule. Here we might think of the ways in which the supposed “emergency” of the War on Terror, which has now dragged on for well over 10 years and shows no sign of ending, is used to legitimate increasingly extreme executive powers (including, most recently, President Obama’s claim that he has the right to assassinate US citizens suspected of terrorism without trial and on US soil). This breakdown in legal procedure is not a moment of weakness, however, but the moment when the law displays its power in its rawest and most deadly form. As Agamben puts it in State of Exception, when “the state of exception […] becomes the rule, then the juridico-political system transforms itself into a killing machine.”
the admin of a nexus of neoreaction recently saw fit to feature under the title of Theonomy information on so-called Chistian Reconstructionism. many of said movement, as with many so-called christian movements, are hardly in that much of an alignment with the doctrine of that son of man, called in the original greek—Iesous. it’s even doubted if homosexuality is specifically referenced in the New Testament at all, and the fact is that a great percentage of people claiming to be christians actually aren’t for they are against and act against the sayings of the Christ, as the Christ was a friend of sinners and preached not to judge them. there is hardly more to be said about this as it’s as simple as this: a hateful person is not following the theo-logical virtues: pistis, elpis, and caritas.
it’s a very common tendency to claim to be something one isn’t, and…
View original post 694 more words
Dogen relates the words of an old Zen master: “Formerly I used to hit sleeping monks so hard that my fist just about broke. Now I am old and weak, so I can’t hit them hard enough. Therefore it is difficult to produce good monks. In many monasteries today the superiors do not emphazise sitting strongly enough, and so Buddhism is declining. The more you hit them, the better.”
In the Soto and Renzai sects of Buddhism the kyōsaku, the “encouragement stick” is used to sharpen a slacking student’s flagging focus, to snap attention back one-pointedly toward the practice and to do so without words “interjecting mind into the seed of awareness.” This pre-emptive concretization of what Arran elsewhere refers to as the “concussive blunt force trauma of nihilism” becomes the post-nihilist realization that there are no carrots (they’ve gone extinct) yet we still require motivation…
View original post 745 more words
Ethereum brings up strong emotions. Some have compared it to SkyNet, the distributed artificial intelligence of the Terminator movies. Others once suggested the entire thing is a pipe dream. The network has been up for a few months now, and is showing no signs of hostile self-awareness — or total collapse.
The lesson is this: to control a situation, you must first know what the real situation is. You must first have situational awareness. If you do, you will be able to make the right decisions and take the right actions.