A conclusion to the Homo Sacer project.
- The Use of Bodies coalesces around what, borrowing from Sophocles’ Antigone, Agamben calls the “superpolitical apolitical.” The phrase appears only twice in the volume, but it proves decisive.
- What is it to live as superpolitically apolitical? It is to live and, at the same time, to think a politics “set free from every figure of relation” (and representation), in which, however, “we are together beyond every relation.”
- This non-relational togetherness requires the “use of bodies”—in the subjective sense of the genitive. That is: another—unproductive, non-instrumental—body is possible for the human being, whereby a “zone of indifference” emerges between one’s own body and that of another. Use becomes common use.
The superpolitical apolitical also ambitiously involves deactivating the entire apparatus of Western ontology, beginning at least with Aristotle.
- The superpolitical apolitical also ambitiously involves deactivating the entire apparatus of Western ontology, beginning at least with Aristotle. Ontology, as inextricable from politics, is in fact founded on the relation of the ban, which ultimately founds every relation. Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life argued that the separation between natural life (zoè) and political life (bios), i.e. our understanding the anthropogenetic threshold as a fracture between life and language, is always accompanied by the banning (or better, the “inclusive exclusion”) of “bare life”, i.e. of a life deprived of its form, from the polis. The Use of Bodies complicates and substantiates this scenario. Ontologically, it is the very notion of the subject, the Aristotelian hypokeimenon as a singular existence that “must be at once excluded and captured in the apparatus.”