Reconsidering Agamben

Going back over my notes for The Coming Community, I was reminded that Agamben makes a very clear statement against the state, in line with those I have mentioned previously (Alain Badiou, Judith Balso, Antonio Negri, etc.).  In the chapter called ‘Tiananmen’ he says:

The novelty of the coming politics is that it will no longer be a struggle for the conquest or control of the State, but a struggle between the State and the non-State (humanity), and insurmountable disjunction between whatever singularity and the State organization.


John Gray (boo) on Zizek (sigh)

A fairly depressing piece in the NYRB in which John Gray trashes Zizek, mostly for all the wrong (that is, tired liberal) reasons.  However, one critique of Gray’s that may be worth paying attention to is the argument that Zizek’s communism is a “formless radicalism” that refuses to develop what communism would actually mean in practice.  I think it is worth interrogating the current spate of thinkers of communism (Zizek, Badiou, Nancy, Dean, Agamben, Hardt, Negri, etc.) by asking what kinds of concrete outcomes we are likely to achieve should we decide to move down the path toward communism.   Of course this does not mean demanding a fully-formed communist system, but it is appropriate I think to get more specific about the lineaments of the vision, the tracery of a pattern of communism…

And we should ask how the communist path is related to, entwined with, or perhaps running in an opposite direction from the path toward real (i.e. much-more-than-liberal) democracy.