Agamben and Politics : a Critical Introduction by Sergei Prozorov

By Sergei Prozorov

Tracing how the good judgment of inoperativity works within the domain names of language, legislation, heritage and humanity, Agamben and Politics systematically introduces the basic strategies of Agamben's political idea and a severely translates his insights within the wider context of up to date philosophy.

Agamben's commentators and critics are inclined to specialise in his strong critique of the Western political culture within the Homo Sacer sequence. yet this slender concentration serves to imprecise the final constitution of Agamben's political suggestion, that's neither adverse nor serious yet affirmative. Sergei Prozorov brings out the affirmative temper of Agamben's political inspiration, concentrating on the concept that of inoperativity, which has been critical to Agamben's paintings from his earliest writings

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140). The purpose of studying without a clue, of reading ancient tomes that no longer mean anything to us, is precisely to remove the burden of their continuing presence and significance from our backs, to free us from the self-slanderous guilt by twisting loose from one’s capture in the apparatuses of law and tradition (see Lewis 2013). : 143) is the sole possibility to regain one’s own health. This is why Agamben concludes his reading of Kafka with the claim that ‘the new advocate’ studies the law ‘only on the condition that it no longer be applied’ (Agamben 2010: 36).

In contrast, this book will proceed on the assumption that Agamben’s comic overcoming of the Western political tradition is among the most provocative as well as most promising avenues in contemporary political thought and certainly deserves more than a cursory misreading or a curt dismissal. Of course, our initial formulation of the fundamental mood of Agamben’s political thought leaves more questions than it answers. Our presentation of the comic mood was largely based on concepts and examples from the domains that are quite distant from what we would conventionally characterise as the ‘political sphere’: Dante, Kafka, Bucephalus, Sancho Panza, limbo, and so on.

Secondly, this reversal itself does not take the form of a grand transformation of the ‘unhappy’ condition into a ‘happy’ one. Agamben frequently cites Benjamin’s claim in the essay on Kafka that the coming of the Messiah would not radically change the world by force but would ‘only make a slight adjustment within it’ (Benjamin 1968: 134). This ‘slight adjustment’, after which ‘everything will be as it is now, just a little different’ (Agamben 1993a: 53), is best exemplified by a story presented by Benjamin in the same essay.

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