Quodlibet: Giorgio Agamben's Anti-Utopia

Utopian Studies 23 (1):212-237 (2012)
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The article analyzes the ethical and political stakes in Giorgio Agamben's The Coming Community. The book was first published in Italian in 1990 and was translated into English in 1993. It was then republished in Italian in 2001, with a short new apostil by the author that reaffirms its persistent and actual “inactuality.” In this text Agamben establishes the philosophical foundations of the long-lasting project started with the publication of Homo sacer. Its republication in 2001 seems thus to reaffirm the politics of his analysis of the past fifteen years. The argument revolves around the analysis of the “whatever singularity” as the subject of the “coming community,” a singularity that presents an “inessential commonality, a solidarity that in no way concerns an essence.” Whatever must not be understood as “indifference” but, rather, as “being such that it always matters.” The ethical and political proposal consists in the call to adhere to this singularity without identity and representation in order to construe a community without postulates and thus also without “subjects.” The paradigm of this politics is identified in Nancy's term inoperativeness, a messianic “de-creation.” The inoperative whatever is directed toward a politics che viene, à-venir as distinct from futura, future: It implies in fact the renunciation of construing images of the future—“utopia is the very topicality of things.”



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