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By Sergei Prozorov

Tracing how the common sense of inoperativity works within the domain names of language, legislations, heritage and humanity, Agamben and Politics systematically introduces the basic techniques of Agamben's political notion and a seriously translates his insights within the wider context of latest philosophy.

Agamben's commentators and critics are likely to concentrate on his strong critique of the Western political culture within the Homo Sacer sequence. yet this slender concentration serves to vague the general constitution of Agamben's political notion, that is neither unfavourable nor serious yet affirmative. Sergei Prozorov brings out the affirmative temper of Agamben's political concept, concentrating on the idea that of inoperativity, which has been vital to Agamben's paintings from his earliest writings

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Additional resources for Agamben and Politics : a Critical Introduction

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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).

While this understanding of potentiality might at first glance appear esoteric, it is precisely this potential ‘not to’ that is constitutive of human existence as such: [Beings] that exist in the mode of potentiality are capable of their own impotentiality; and only in this way do they become potential. They can be because they are in relation to their own non-Being. Human beings, insofar as they know and produce, are those beings who, more than any other, exist in the mode of potentiality. This is the origin of human power, which is so violent and limitless in relation to other living beings.

In its extreme phase, capitalism is nothing but a gigantic apparatus for capturing pure means, that is, profanatory behaviours. Pure means, which represent the deactivation and rupture of all separation, are in turn separated into a special sphere. : 87–8). This nullification of profanatory potential is exemplified most starkly by the apparatus of pornography. In his brief history of the pornographic genre Agamben notes the tendency towards the transformation of the sexual acts of the models into pure means or ‘gestures’ that no longer communicate any determinate content.

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