viernes, octubre 18, 2013

El misterio es el angel, el ministro, el policía, dixit Agamben

Agamben de cabeza y con las manos alzadas para protegerse del golpe.

Through these distinctions the entire economic-providential apparatus (with its polarities ordinatio/executio, providence/fate, Kingdom/Government) is passed on as an unquestioend inheritance to modern politics. What was needed to assure the unity of being and divine action, reconciling the unity of substance with the trinity of persons and the government of particulars with the universality of providence, has here the strategic function of reconciling the sovereignty and generality of the law with the public economy and the effective government of individuals. The most nefarious consequence of this theological apparatus dressed up as political legitimation is that it has rendered the democratic tradition incapable of thinking government and its economy (today one would instead write: economy and its government, but the two terms are substantially synonymous). On the one hand, Rousseau conceives of government as the essential political problem; on the other hand, he minimizes the problem for its nature and its foundation, reducing it to the activity of the execution of sovereign authority. The ambiguity that seems to settle the problem of government by presenting it as the mere execution of a general will and law has weighed negatively not only upon the theory, but also upon the history of modern democracy. For this history is nothing but the progressive coming to light of the substantial untruth of the primacy of legislative power and the consequent irreducibility of government to mere execution. And if today we are witnessing the government and the economy's overwhelming domination of a popular sovereignty emptied of all meaning, this perhaps signifies that Occidental democracies are paying the political price of a theological inheritance that they had unwittingly assumed through Rousseau.
The ambiguity that consists in conceiving government as executive power is an error with some of the most far-reaching consequences in the history of Western political thought. It has meant that modern political thought becomes lost in abstractions and vacuous mythologems such as the Law, the general will, and popular sovereignty, and has failed to confront the decisive political problem. What our investigation has shown is that the real problem, the central mystery of politics is not sovereignty, but government; it is not God, but the angel; it is not the king, but ministry; it is not the law, but the police—that is to say, the governmental machine that they form and support. (276)

Giorgio Agamben, The Kingdom and the Glory.

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