By Roberto Esposito, Connal Parsley
The thought of the "impolitical" built during this quantity attracts its that means from the exhaustion of modernity's political different types, that have turn into incapable of giving voice to any surely radical standpoint. The impolitical isn't the contrary of the political yet relatively its outer restrict: the border from which we'd glimpse a trajectory clear of all types of political theology and the depoliticizing developments of a accomplished modernity.
The book's reconstruction of the impolitical lineage-which is something yet uniform-begins with the intense conclusions reached by means of Carl Schmitt and Romano Guardini of their reflections at the political after which strikes via a chain of encounters among numerous nice twentieth-century texts: from Hannah Arendt's On Revolution to Hermann Broch's The dying of Virgil, to Elias Canetti's Crowds and Power; from Simone Weil's The desire for Roots to Georges Bataille's Sovereignty to Ernst Junger's An der Zeitmauer.
The path cast via this research bargains a defiant counterpoint to the fashionable political lexicon, yet even as a contribution to our realizing of its different types.
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Additional resources for Categories of the Impolitical (Commonalities
It is the determination of the political, in the literaI sense that it makes visible its terms [terminiF-which coincide with the entire reality of relations between people. When we understand it in this way, it could be said that aIl great political realism from MachiaveIli onward, as the nontheological thought of politics, has been impolitical. The grand interpretive tradition, from Croce to Meinecke, has in tact read Machiavelli as an impolitical thinker (albeit unwittingly): If only man were good, that would be one thing, but since he is not, there remain nothing but the categories of the political, besieged by their inability to be anything but political terms.
It is contradictory, in short, with its own being a category-that is, having an identity, albeit one that is negatively defined. This is essentially the critique that Georges Bataille directs at Weil, in what will constitute both the final station on our voyage and the final stage in the analysis of the impolitical as a category: its self~negation as a differentiated identity. It is as though in order to thoroughly resolve its "negative charge," the impolitical must withdraw even from the extreme point of contrast with the political that defines its border.
But not only does this project fail due to its own internaI contradiction, but it was that same contradiction that would pro duce the most compelling achievements of the author's fiction, from The Sleepwalkers to the Death of Virgil. When we read the latter's central conflict between Augustus and Virgil directIy against the grain of its dominant interpretation, it offers us the definitive and resolutely contradictory "systemization" of Broch's sense of the impolitical. This impolitical is not only manifested in a consciously contradictory way, in a textualformaI sense, as an attempt to reach the Word through the very language that expresses that Word's discursive negation (just as every political praxis is a degradation of the idea it presupposes).