Unreal Nature

April 27, 2014

In Being Tied

Filed under: Uncategorized — unrealnature @ 5:50 am

… need and desire, constraint and obligation, subjection and love, glory and pity, interest and disinterest. … To think its act, establishment, and binding.

This is from the essay ‘Politics II’ found in The Sense of the World by Jean-Luc Nancy (1993):

… sovereignty and community can be the mere outline of the area of shared jurisdiction, or else they can identify themselves as the subject of a fundamental legitimacy. In the first case, sovereignty and community tend to be nothing — to repeat once again the formula that Georges Bataille exhausted himself in thinking through, “Sovereignty is NOTHING.” They are and have the being of the res publica as the absolute “nothing-properly-speaking.” In the second case, they are not merely something but the res cogitans of a subject effecting in person the autoteleology of its substance (whether this person be the people, the leader, the fatherland, the class, or the individual, as long as it is “consciousness” or “spirit”).

[ … ]

… The (k)not; that which involves neither interiority nor exteriority but which, in being tied, ceaselessly makes the inside pass outside, each into (or by way of) the other, the outside inside, turning endlessly back on itself without returning to itself — the link of mêlée and intrigue, confrontation and arrangement, need and desire, constraint and obligation, subjection and love, glory and pity, interest and disinterest. The tying of the (k)not is nothing, no res, nothing but the placing-into-relation that presupposes at once proximity and distance, attachment and detachment, intricacy, intrigue, and ambivalence. In truth, it is the heterogeneous realitas, this disjunctive conjunction, that the motif of the contract at once alludes to and dissimulates. The whole question is whether or not we can finally manage to think the “contract” — the tying of the (k)not — according to a model other than the juridicocommercial model (which in fact supposes the bond to have been already established, already presupposed as its own subject: this is the founding abyss or decisive aporia of the Social Contract). To think the social bond according to another model or perhaps without a model. To think its act, establishment, and binding.

My most recent previous post from Nancy’s book is here.

-Julie

http://www.unrealnature.com/

 

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