Constituent vs. destituent insurrections
Tag Archives: Agamben
Amador Fernández-Savater: “Reaching for a politics of pure potentiality, or trying to keep power at bay”
‘In the state of disappointment, we no longer have any position to “defend”, no formula to “sell”, we are all, as it is said, “in the same shit”. It is a moment of not knowing where new knowledge can be elaborated, if we avoid falling into the crossroads of accusations, the settling of accounts, the search for the guilty and the logic of the court.’
“Modern states of emergency follow close on the heels of modern revolutions. They are, per Agamben, ‘a creation,’ ironically, ‘of the democratic-revolutionary tradition and not the absolutist one’ [State of Exception, 5]. Though he does not himself make this point explicitly, we cold consider emergency an instrument that emerges from within the revolution to turn its most radical tendencies back. When a revolutionary government suspends its own constitution, it undermines the constituent politics – that is, the popular power to form a truly egalitarian body politic – that originally precipitated the revolution and which the constitution is supposed to enshrine. Emergency decrees are, in this regard, the counterinsurgent practice par excellence. They circumscribe constituent power withing the sovereign voice” (Ahmed, Archaeology of Babel, 2017, 189).