by Jacques Ranciere
To recapitulate: politics exists wherever the count of parts and parties of society is disturbed by the inscription of a part of those who have no part. It begins when the equality of anyone and everyone is inscribed in the liberty of the people. This liberty of the people is an empty property, an improper property through which those who are nothing purport that their group is identical to the whole of the community. Politics exists as long as singular forms of subjectification repeat the forms of the original inscription of the identity between the whole of the community and the nothing that separates it from itself-in other words, the sole count of its parts. Politics ceases wherever this gap no longer has any place, wherever the whole of the community is reduced to the sum of its parts with nothing left over.
There are several ways of thinking of the whole as the sole sum of its parts. The sum may be made up of individuals, small machines intensely exploiting their own freedom to desire, to undertake, and to enjoy. It may be made up of social groups building their interests as responsible partners. It may be made up of communities, each endowed with recognition of its identity and its culture. In this regard, the consensual state is tolerant. But what it no longer tolerates is the supernumerary party, the one that throws out the count of the community. What it needs is real parties, having both their own properties and the common property of the whole. What it cannot tolerate is a nothing that is all. The consensus system rests on these solid axioms: the whole is all, nothing is nothing. By eliminating the parasitical entities of political subjectification, little by little the identity of the whole with the all is obtained, which is the identity of the principle of the whole with that of each of its parts, beneficiaries of the whole. This identity is called humanity.
And this is where the trouble starts. The consensus system celebrated its victory over totalitarianism as the final victory of law over nonlaw and of realism over utopias. It was gearing up to welcome into its space-freed from politics and called Europe-the democracies born of the destruction of the totalitarian states. But just about everywhere .it looks it sees the landscape of humanity, freed from totalitarianism and the utopias, as a landscape of fundamentalisms of identity. On the ruins of the totalitarian states, ethnicism and ethnic wars break out. Religion and religious states once consecrated as a natural barrier to Soviet expansion take on the figure of the fundamentalist threat. This threat even springs up in the heart of consensus states, wherever those workers who are no longer anything more than immigrants live, wherever individuals turn out to be incapable of meeting the requirement that they militate for their own integrity. In the face of this threat, consensus communities witness the rebirth of sheer rejection of those whose ethnicity or religion cannot be borne. The consensus system represents itself to itself as the world of law as opposed to the world of nonlawthe world of barbaric identity, religion, or ethnicity. But in that world of subjects strictly identified with their ethnicity, their race, or with that people guided by divine light, in these wars between tribes fighting to occupy the entire territory of those who share their identity, the consensus system also contemplates the extreme caricature of its reasonable dream: a world cleansed of surplus identities, peopled by real bodies endowed with properties expressed by their name. The consensus system announced a world beyond the demos, a world made up of individuals and groups simply showing common humanity. It overlooked just one thing: between individuals and humanity, there is always a partition of the perceptible, a configuration that determines the way in which the different parties have a part in the community. And there are two main modes of division: counting a part of those who have no part and not counting such a part-the demos or the ethnos. The consensus system thought its expansion was boundless: Europe, the international community, the citizenry of the world, and, finally, humanity-all so many names for a whole that is equal to the sum of its elements, each having the common property of the whole. What it discovers is a new, radical figure of the identity between all and nothing. The new figure, the nonpolitical figure of the all identical to nothing, of an integrity everywhere under attack, is also, from now on, called humanity. Man "born free and everywhere in chains" has become man born human and every where inhuman.
Beyond the forms of democratic dispute, what is indeed spreading is the reign of a humanity equal to itself, directly attributed to each one, exposed in each one to its own shattering; an all inhabited by its nothingness, a humanity showing itself, demonstrating itself everywhere to be denied. The end of the great subjectifications of wrong is not the end of the age of the "universal victim"; it is, on the contrary, its beginning. The militant democracy of old went through a whole series of polemical forms of "men born free and equal in law." The various forms of "us" have taken on different subject names to try the litigious power of "human rights," to put the inscription of equality to the test, to ask if human rights, the rights of man, were more or less than the rights of the citizen, if they were those of woman, of the proletarian, of the black man and the black woman, and so on. And so "we" have given human rights all the power they could possibly have: the power of the inscription of equality amplified by the power of its rationale and its expression in the construction of litigious cases, in the linking of a world where the inscription of equality is valid and the world where it is not valid. The reign of the "humanitarian" begins, on the other hand, wherever human rights are cut off from any capacity for polemical particularization of their universality, where the egalitarian phrase ceases to be phrased, interpreted in the arguing of a wrong that manifests its litigious effectiveness. Humanity is then no longer polemically attributed to women or to proles, to blacks or to the damned of the earth. Human rights are no longer experienced as political capacities. The predicate "human" and "human rights" are simply attributed, without any phrasing, without any mediation, to their eligible party, the subject "man." The age of the "humanitarian" is one of immediate identity between the ordinary example of suffering humanity and the plenitude of the subject of humanity and of its rights. The eligible party pure and simple is then none other than the wordless victim, the ultimate figure of the one excluded from the logos, armed only with a voice expressing a monotonous moan, the moan of naked suffering, which saturation has made inaudible. More precisely, this person who is merely human then boils down to the couple of the victim, the pathetic figure of a person to whom such humanity is denied, and the executioner, the monstrous figure of a person who denies humanity. The "humanitarian" regime of the "international community" then exercises the administration of human rights in their regard, by sending supplies and medicine to the one and airborne divisions, more rarely, to the other.
The transformation of the democratic stage into a humanitarian stage may be illustrated by the impossibility of any mode of enunciation. At the beginning of the May '68 movement in France, the demonstrators defined a form of subjectification summed up in a single phrase: "We are all German Jews." This phrase is a good example of the heterological mode of political subjectification: the stigmatizing phrase of the enemy, keen to track down the intruder on the stage where the classes and their parties were counted, was taken at face value, then twisted around and turned into the open subjectification of the uncounted, a name that could not possibly be confused with any real social group, with anyone's actual particulars.
Obviously, a phrase of this kind would be unspeakable today for two reasons. The first is that it is not accurate: those who spoke it were not German and the majority of them were not Jewish. Since that time, the advocates of progress as well as those of law and order have decided to accept as legitimate only those claims made by real groups that take the floor in person and themselves state their own identity. No one has the right now to call themselves a prole, a black, a Jew, or a woman if they are not, if they do not possess native entitlement and the social experience. "Humanity" is, of course, the exception to this rule of authenticity; humanity's authenticity is to be speechless, its rights are back in the hands of the international community police. And this is where the second reason the phrase is now unspeakable comes in: because it is obviously indecent. Today the identity "German Jew" immediately signifies the identity of the victim of the crime against humanity that no one can claim without profanation. It is no longer a name available for political subjectification but the name of the absolute victim that suspends such subjectification. The subject of contention has become the name of what is out of bounds. The age of humanitarianism is an age where the notion of the absolute victim debars polemical games of subjectification of wrong. The episode known as the "new philosophy" is entirely summed up in this prescription: the notion of massacre stops thought in its tracks as unworthy and prohibits politics. The notion of the irredeemable then splits consensual realism: political dispute is impossible for two reasons, because its violence cripples reasonable agreement between parties and because the facetiousness of its polemical embodiments is an insult to the victims of absolute wrong. Politics must then yield before massacre, thought bow out before the unthinkable.
Only, the doubling of the consensual logic of submission to the sole count of parties with the ethical/humanitarian logic of submission to the unthinkable of genocide starts to look like a double bind. The distribution of roles, it is true, may allow the two logics to be exercised separately, but only unless some provocateur comes along and lashes out at their point of intersection, a point they so obviously point to, all the while pretending not to see it. This point is the possibility of the crime against humanity's being thinkable as the entirety of extermination. This is the point where the negationist provocation strikes, turning the logic of the administrators of the possible and the thinkers of the unthinkable back on them, by wielding the twin argument of the impossibility of an exhaustive count of extermination and of its unthinkability as an idea, by asserting the impossibility of presenting the victim of the crime against humanity and of providing a sufficient reason why the executioner would have perpetrated it.
This is in effect the double thrust of the negationist argument to deny the reality of the extermination of the Jews in the Nazi camps. It plays on the classic sophist paradoxes of the unending count and division ad infinitum. As early as 1950, Paul Rassinier fixed the parameters of negationism's sales pitch in the form of a series of questions whose answers let it appear every time that, even if all the elements of the process were established, their connections could never be entirely proved and still less could it be proved that they were a result of a plan entirely worked out, programmed and immanent in each of its steps. Most certainly, said Rassinier, there were Nazi proclamations advocating the extermination of all Jews. But declarations have never in themselves killed anyone. Most certainly, there were plans for gas chambers. But a plan for a gas chamber and a working gas chamber are two different things-as different as a hundred potential talers and a hundred real talers. Most certainly, there were gas chambers actually installed in a certain number of camps. But a gas chamber is only ever a gasworks that one can use for all sorts of things, and nothing about it proves that it has the specific function of mass extermination. Most certainly, there were, in all the camps, regular selections at the end of which prisoners disappeared and were never seen again. But there are thousands of ways of killing people or simply letting them die, and those who disappeared will never be able to tell us how they disappeared. Most certainly, finally, there were prisoners in the camps who were effectively gassed. But there is nothing to prove that they were the victims of a systematic overall plan and not of simple sadistic torturers.
We should pause for a moment to look at the two prongs of this line of argument: Rassinier claimed in 1950 that the documents that would establish a logical connection between all these facts, linking them as one unique event, were missing. He also added that it was doubtful they would ever be found. Since then, though, documents have been found in sufficient abundance, but the revisionist provocation still has not given in. On the contrary, it has found new followers, a new level of acceptance. The more its arguments have revealed themselves to be inconsistent on the factual level, the more its real force has been shored up. This force is to damage the very system of belief according to which a series of facts is established as a singular event and as an event subsumed in the category of the possible. It is to damage the point where two possibilities must be adjusted to each other: the material possibility of the crime as a total linking of its sequences and its intellectual possibility according to its qualification as absolute crime against humanity. The negationist provocation stands up not because of the proofs it uses to oppose the accumulation of adverse proofs. It stands up because it leads each of the logics confronting each other in it to a critical point where impossibility finds itself established in one or another of its figures: as a missing link in the chain or the impossibility of thinking the link. It then forces these logics into a series of conflicting movements whereby the possible is always caught up by the impossible and verification of the event by the thought of what is unthinkable in it.
The first aporia is that of the law and of the judge. French public opinion cried out against the judges who let ex-militiaman Paul Touvier off on the charge of the "crime against humanity." But before we get indignant, we should reflect on the peculiar configuration of the relationships between the law, politics, and science implied in such a matter. The juridical notion of the "crime against humanity;' initially annexed to war crimes, was freed from those to allow the pursuit of crimes that legal prescriptions and government amnesties had allowed to go unpunished. The sorry fact is that nothing by rights defines the humanity that is the object of the crime. The crime is then established not because it is recognized that humanity has been attacked in its victim, but because it is recognized that the agent who carried it out was, at the time of its execution, an underling simply obeying the collective planned will of a state "practicing a policy of ideological hegemony." The judge is then required to become a historian in order to establish the existence of such a policy, to trace the continuity from the original intention of a state to the action of one of its servants, at the risk of once again ending up in the aporias of division ad infinitum. The original judges of militiaman Touvier did not find the continuous thread of a "policy of ideological hegemony" leading from the birth of the Vichy State to the criminal act of that state's militiaman. The second lot of judges resolved the problem by making Touvier a direct subordinate of the German Nazi State. The accused argued in his defense that he showed humanity by doing less than the planned collective will required him to do. Let us suppose for a moment that an accused were to put forward conversely that he did more, that he acted without orders and without ideological motivation, out of pure personal sadism. Such an accused would be no more than an ordinary monster, escaping the legal framework of the crime against humanity, clearly revealing the impossibility of the judge's putting together the agent and the patient of the crime against humanity.
This is the double catch on which the negationist argument plays. The impossibility of establishing the event of the extermination in its totality is supported by the impossibility of thinking the extermination as belonging to the reality of its time. The paradoxes that distinguish formal cause from material cause and efficient cause from final cause would have rapidly run out of steam if they merely reflected the impossibility of the four causes being able to be joined into one single sufficient principle of reason. Beyond the quibbling about the composition of the gases and the means of producing sufficient quantity, the negationist provocation calls on the "reason" of the historian in order to ask if, in their capacity as an educated person, they can find in the modes of rationality (which complex industrial and state systems in our century obey) the necessary and sufficient reason for a great modern state's abandoning itself to the designation and mass extermination of a radical enemy. The historian, who has all the facts at their fingertips ready to respond, then is caught in the trap of the notion that governs historical reasoning: for a fact to be admitted, it must be thinkable; for it to be thinkable, it must belong to what its time makes thinkable for its imputation not to be anachronistic. In a famous book, Lucien Febvre alleges that Rabelais was not a nonbeliever. 3 Not that we have any proof that he was not-that kind of truth is precisely a matter for the judge, not the historian. The truth of the historian is that Rabelais was not a nonbeliever because it was not possible for him to be, because his time did not offer the possibility of this possibility. The thought event consisting in the clear and simple position of not believing was impossible according to this particular truth: the truth of what a period in time makes thinkable, of what it authorizes the existence. To break out of this truth is to commit a mortal sin as far as the science of history goes: the sin of anachronism.
How does one get from that impossibility to the impossibility that the extermination took place? Not only through the perversity of the provocateur who carries a certain reasoning to the point of absurdity and scandal, but also through the overturning of the metapolitical regime of truth. Lucien Febvre's truth was that of a sociological organicism, of the representation of society as a body governed by the homogeneity of collective attitudes and common beliefs. This solid truth has become a hollow truth. The necessary subscription of all individual thought to the common belief system of one's time has become just the hollowness of a negative ontological argument: what is not possible according to one's time is impossible. What is impossible cannot have been. The formal play of the negative ontological argument thereby chimes with the "reasonable" opinion that a great modern industrial state like Germany had no need to invent the insanity of the extermination of the Jews. The historian who has refuted all the liar's proofs cannot radically refute his lie because he cannot refute the idea of the truth that sustains it. The historian brings to the judge the connection between the facts that the judge had been missing. But, at the same time, the rationality of the historian shifts the rationality of the linking of the facts toward the rationality of their possibility. 4 It is therefore necessary for the law to outlaw the falsification of history. It is necessary, in short, for the law to do the work the historian cannot do, entrusted as they were with the job that the law cannot do.
This double aporia is, of course, only the mark of the law's and of science's adherence to a certain system of belief, the system of belief peculiar to the consensus system: realism. Realism claims to be that sane attitude of mind that sticks to observable realities. It is in fact something quite different: it is the police logic of order, which asserts, in all circumstances, that it is only doing the only thing possible to do. The consensus system has absorbed the historical and objective necessity of former times, reduced to the congruous portion of the "only thing possible" that the circumstances authorize. The possible is thereby the conceptual exchanger of"reality" and "necessity:' It is also the final mode of "truth" that metapolitics perfected can offer the logic of the police order, the truth of the impossibility of the impossible. Realism is the absorption of all reality and all truth in the category of the only thing possible. In this logic, the possible/truth in all its scholarly authority is required to fill in all the holes in the possible/reality. The more unsteady the performances of managerial realism, the more it needs to legitimize itself through monotonius reiteration of the impossibility of the impossible, even if it means protecting this negative self-legitimization behind the thin barrier of the law that determines the point at which the emptiness of the truth must end, the limit that the argument of the impossibility of the impossible must not overstep. Hence the strange phenomenon of a law that outlaws the lie at a time when the law is trying to wipe out all the "taboos" that cut it off from a society itself devoted to infinite enjoyment of every sacrilege. What is at play here is not respect for the victims or holy terror but preservation of the flimsiest of secrets: the simple nullity of the impossibility of the impossible, which is the final truth of metapolitics and the ultimate legitimization of the managers of the only thing possible. More than it robs the negationists of speech, the ban rules out showing the simple emptiness of the argument of the unthinkable. There is absolutely nothing outside what is thinkable in the monstrousness of the Holocaust; nothing that goes beyond the combined capabilities of cruelty and cowardice when these benefit from all the means at the disposal of modern states; nothing these states are not capable of whenever there is a collapse in the forms of nonidentary subjectification of the count of the uncounted, wherever the democratic people is incorporated into the ethnic people.
No doubt Hannah Arendt's argument of the "banality of evil" leaves us intellectually dissatisfied. It has been criticized for banalizing the overwhelming hate aimed at a specific victim. But the argument is reversible. The Jewish identity eradicated by the Nazi extermination was no different from that of ordinary anti-Semitic fantasies. So it is indeed in the capacity to put together the means of extermination that the specific difference lies. Moreover, we do not need to be intellectually satisfied here. It is not a matter of explaining genocide. Clearly the problem has been put the wrong way around. Genocide is not a topical object that today impinges on our thinking with the effect of shaking up politics and philosophy. Rather, it is governmental curbing of politics, with its remainder or its humanitarian double, that has turned genocide into a philosophical preoccupation, engaging philosophy, as ethics, to somehow deal with what in this remnant the law and science cannot get atthat identity of the human and the inhuman that the consensus state has delegated to them to worry about. And it is from this standpoint that we should locate the discussion. No "good" explanation of genocide contrasts with the bad. Ways of locating the relationship between thought and the event of genocide either enter or fail to enter into the circle of the unthinkable.
The complexity of the play of this "unthinkable" is pretty well illustrated by a text of Jean-Francois Lyotard. For Lyotard, any reflection on the Holocaust must deal with the specificity of the victim, the specificity of the plan to exterminate the Jewish people as a people who have witnessed an original debt of humanity toward the Other, thought's native impotence to which Judaism bears witness and which GrecoRoman civilization has always been keen to forget. But two ways of assigning thought to the event are inextricably intertwined in his demonstration. At first the issue seems to be about the type of memory or forgetting required by the event of genocide that has come to pass. It is then a matter of measuring the consequences the notion of genocide may have for Western philosophy's reconsideration of its history, without worrying about "explaining" genocide. But the moment this history is thought of in terms of repression, the name "Jew" becomes the name of the witness of this "forgotten" of which philosophy would like to forget the necessity of forgetting. The Holocaust then finds itself assigned the "philosophical" significance of the desire to get rid of what is repressed, by eliminating the sole witness to this condition of the Other as hostage, which is initially the condition of thought. The "philosophical" identity of the victim, of the witness/hostage, then becomes the reason for the crime. It is the identity of the witness of thought's impotence that the logic of a civilization demands be forgotten. And so we have the double knot of the powerfulness of the crime and the powerlessness of thought: on the one hand, the reality of the event is once again lodged in an infinite gap between the determination of the cause and the verification of the effect, and on the other hand, the demand that it be thought becomes the very place where thought, by confronting the monstrous effects of the denial of its own impotence, locks itself into a new figure of the unthinkable. The knot established between what the event demands of thought and the thought that commanded the event then allows itself to be caught up in the circle of ethical thinking. Ethics is thinking that hyperbolizes the thought content of the crime to restore thought to the memory of its native impotence. But ethics is also thinking that tars all thought and all politics with its own impotence, by making itself the custodian of the thought of a catastrophe from which no ethics, in any case, was able to protect us.
Ethics, then, is the form in which "political philosophy" turns its initial project on its head. The initial project of philosophy was to eliminate politics to achieve its true essence. With Plato, philosophy proposed to achieve itself as the basis of the community, in place of politics, and this achievement of philosophy proved, in the final analysis, to mean elimination of philosophy itself. The social science of the nineteenth century was the modern manner in which the project of the elimination/realiziation of politics was achieved as realization/elimination of philosophy. Ethics is today the final form of this realization/elimination. It is the proposition put to philosophy to eliminate itself, to leave it to the absolute Other to atone for the flaws in the notion of the Same, the crimes of philosophy "realized" as soul of the community. Ethics infinitizes the crime to infinitize the injunction that it has itself addressed by the hostage, the witness, the victim: that philosophy atone for the old pretension of philosophical mastery and the modern illusion of humanity freed from alienation, that it submit to the regime of infinite otherness that distances every subject from itself. Philosophy then becomes the reflection of the mourning that now takes on evil as well as government reduction of dikaion to sumpheron. In the name of ethics, it takes responsibility for evil, for the inhumanity of man that is the dark side of the idyll of consensus. It proposes a cure for the effacement of the political figures of otherness in the infinite otherness of the Other. It thus enlists in a perfectly determined relationship with politics-the one set out by Aristotle in the first book of Politics by separating political "humanity" from the twin figure of the stranger to the city: the subhuman or superhuman. The subhuman or superhuman is the monster or the god; it is the religious couple of the monstrous and the divine. Ethics sets thought up precisely in the face-to-face between the monster and the god/ which is to say that it takes on as its own mourning the mourning of politics.
Certainly one can only approve philosophy's present concern to be modest, meaning, conscious of the combined power and powerlessness of thought, of its puny power in relation to its own immoderation. It remains to be seen how this modest thinking is to be achieved in practice, the mode in which it claims to exercise its moderation. The present modesty of the state, as we have seen, is first of all modesty in relation to politics, in other words, hyperbolization of the normal practice of the state, which is to live off the elimination of politics. We should make sure that the modesty of philosophy is not also modesty at something else's expense, that it is not the final twist of this realization/elimination of politics that "political philosophy " lives off: the mourning of politics proclaimed as expiation of the faults of"realized" philosophy. There is no mourning of politics to be reflected upon, only its present difficulty and the manner in which this difficulty forces it to adopt a specific modesty and immodesty. Politics today must be immodest in relation to the modesty forced on it by the logics of consensual management of the "only thing possible." It must be modest in relation to the domain where it has been put by the immodest modesty of ethical philosophy: the domain of the immoderate remains of modest politics, meaning, the confrontation with naked humanity and the inhumanity of the human.
Political action finds itself today trapped in a pincer movement between state managerial police and the world police of humanitarianism. On the one hand, the logics of consensus systems efface the traces of political appearance, miscount, and dispute. On the other, they summon politics, driven from the scene, to set itself up from the position of a globalization of the human that is a globalization of the victim, a definition of a sense of the world and of a community of humanity based on the figure of the victim. On the one hand, they reduce the division involved in the count of the uncounted to a breakdown of groups open to presenting their identity; they locate the forms of political subjectivity within places of proximity (home, job, interest) and bonds of identity (sex, religion, race, culture). On the other, they globalize it, they exile it in the wilderness of humanity's sheer belonging to itself. They even recruit the very concern to reject the logics of consensus to imagine the basis of a non-identity-based community as being a humanity of the victim or hostage, of exile or of not belonging.
But political impropriety is not not belonging. It is belonging twice over: belonging to the world of properties and parts and belonging to the improper community, to that community that egalitarian logic sets up as the part of those who have no part. And the place of its impropriety is not exile. It is not the beyond where the human, in all its nakedness, would confront itself or its other, monster and/or divinity. Politics is not the consensual community of interests that combine. But nor is it the community of some kind of being-between, of an interesse that would impose its originarity on it, the originarity of a being-incommon based on the esse (being) of the inter (between) or the inter proper to the esse.8 It is not the achievement of some more originally human humanity, to be reactivated within the mediocrity of the rule of interests or outside different disastrous embodiments. Politics' second nature is not the community's reappropriation of its original nature; it ought to be thought of effectively as second. The interesse is not the sense of community that the recapturing, in its originarity, of existence, being or "an alternative being," would deliver. The inter of a political interesse is that of an interruption or an interval. The political community is a community of interruptions, fractures, irregular and local, through which egalitarian logic comes and divides the police community from itself. It is a community of worlds in community that are intervals of subjectification: intervals constructed between identities, between spaces and places. Political being-together is a being-between: between identities, between worlds. Much as the "declaration of identity" of the accused, Blanqui, defined it, "proletarian" subjectification affirmed a community of wrong as an interval between a condition and a profession. It was the name given to beings situated between several names, several identities, several statuses: between the condition of noisy tool-wielder and the condition of speaking human being, between the condition of citizen and the condition of noncitizenship, between a definable social figure and the faceless figure of the uncounted. Political intervals are created by dividing a condition from itself. They are created by drawing a line between identities and places defined in a set place in a given world, and identities and places defined in other places and identities and places that have no place there. A political community is not the realization of a common essence or the essence of the common. It is the sharing of what is not given as being in-common: between the visible and the invisible, the near and the far, the present and the absent. This sharing assumes the construction of ties that bind the given to what is not given, the common to the private, what belongs to what does not belong. It is in this construction that common humanity argues for itself, reveals itself, and has an effect.
The simple relationship between humanity and its denial never creates a community of political dispute, as current events never cease to show us. Between exposure of the inhumanity suffered by the displaced or massacred populations of Bosnia, for example, and the feeling of belonging to common humanity, compassion and goodwill are not enough to knit the ties of a political subjectification that would include, in the democratic practice of the Western metropolises, a bond with the victims of Serb aggression or with those men and women resisting it. The simple feeling of a common essence and the wrong done to it does not create politics, not even particular instances of politics that would, for example, place a bond with the raped women of Bosnia under the banner of the women's movement. The construction of wrong as a bond of community with those who do not belong to the same common remains lacking. All the bodies shown and all the living testimonies to the massacres in Bosnia do not create the bond that was once created, at the time of the Algerian War and the anticolonialist movements, by the bodies, completely hidden from view and from any examination, of the Algerians thrown in the Seine by the French police in October 1961. Around those bodies, which disappeared twice, a political bond was effectively created, made up not of identification with the victims or even with their cause but of a disidentification in relation to the "French" subject who massacred them and removed them from any count. The denial of humanity was thus constructable within the local, singular universality of a political dispute, as French citizenry's litigious relationship with itself. The feeling of injustice does not go to make up a political bond through a simple identifying that would appropriate the disappropriation of the object of wrong. In addition, there has to be the disappropriation of identity that constitutes an appropriate subject for conducting the dispute. Politics is the art of warped deductions and mixed identities. It is the art of the local and singular construction of cases of universality. Such construction is only possible as long as the singularity of the wrong-the singularity of the local argument and expression of law-is distinguished from the particularization of right attributed to collectivities according to their identity. And it is also only possible as long as its universality is separate from the naked relationship between humanity and inhumanity.
The reign of globalization is not the reign of the universal. It is the opposite. It is in fact the disappearance of the places appropriate to its rationale. There is a world police and it can sometimes achieve some good. But there is no world politics. The "world" can get bigger. The universal of politics does not get any bigger. There remains the universality of the singular construction of disputes, which has no more to hope for from the newfound essence of a globalization more essentially "worldwide" than simple identification of the universal with the rule of law. We will not claim, as the "restorers" do, that politics has "simply" to find its own principle again to get back its vitality. Politics, in its specificity, is rare. It is always local and occasional. Its actual eclipse is perfectly real and no political science exists that could map its future any more than a political ethics that would make its existence the object solely of will. How some new politics could break the circle of cheerful consensuality and denial of humanity is scarcely foreseeable or decidable right now. Yet there are good reasons for thinking that it will not be able to get around the overblown promises of identity in relation to the consensual logics of the allocation of parts or the hyperbole that summons thought to a more original globalization or to a more radical experience of the inhumanity of the human.
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Obsolete Capitalism - Acceleration, Revolution and Money in Deleuze and Guattari's Anti-OEdipus (Part 1)
Obsolete Capitalism - Acceleration, Revolution and Money in Deleuze and Guattari's Anti-OEdipus (Part 2)
Obsolete Capitalism: Acceleration, Revolution and Money in Deleuze and Guattari's Anti-OEdipus (Part 3)
Obsolete Capitalism - Acceleration, Revolution and Money in Deleuze and Guattari's Anti-OEdipus (Part 4)
Obsolete Capitalism: Acceleration, Revolution and Money in Deleuze and Guattari's Anti-OEdipus (Part 5)
Steven Craig Hickman - David Roden and the Posthuman Dilemma: Anti-Essentialism and the Question of Humanity
Steven Craig Hickman - The Carnival of Globalisation: Hyperstition, Surveillance, and the Empire of Reason
Steven Craig Hickman - Shaviro On The Neoliberal Strategy: Transgression and Accelerationist Aesthetics
Steven Craig Hickman - Hyperstition: Technorevisionism – Influencing, Modifying and Updating Reality
Terence Blake - CONCEPTS OUT OF THE SHADOWS: Notes on Deleuze and Guattari’s “What is Philosophy?” (2)
Terence Blake - GUATTARI’S LINES OF FLIGHT (2): transversal vs transferential approaches to the reading contract
Himanshu Damle - Games and Virtual Environments: Playing in the Dark. Could These be Havens for Criminal Networks?
Himanshu Damle - Hegelian Marxism of Lukács: Philosophy as Systematization of Ideology and Politics as Manipulation of Ideology.
Nick Land - The unconscious is not an aspirational unity but an operative swarm, a population of 'preindividual and prepersonal singularities'