Eros, destiny, and politics. by Gerardo Muñoz

At his rubric at Quodlibet, Giorgio Agamben has recently reflected on the famous Goethe-Napoleon exchange on the destiny of human beings as entirely political. This theme is central to any observer of contemporary geopolitics, which as Carl Schmitt noted towards the end of The Concept of the Political (1932) was realized through the indirect powers of economy and war. During the interwar years Schmitt wanted to preserve the autonomy of the political at all costs, although he will soon conclude in his postwar writings that it was no longer possible given the full extent of a global police management (as he notes in the Italian prologue “Premessa alla edizione” to the 1963 Mulino edition).

What does it mean that politics has become the only destiny of Western Man? One could only imagine Goethe’s surprise at Napoleon given that he was the poet that most passionately reflected on the demonic opening towards destiny. Now, the fact that politics is destiny is a way to emphasize the dislocation of character from destiny as the search for one’s own freedom.

It is no surprise that it was another poet, William Butler Yeats who, in the dark hour of 1939, confronted this issue in his poem “Politics” published in his very last book. The poem in question is a sort of farewell to the eclipse of life of the soul constituting the releasement of destiny. It is also interesting that Yeats does not cite the Napoleon-Goethe scene recorded by Eckermann, and rather uses an epigraph from Thomas Mann to reiterate this preposition. The poem should be considered in its totality:

“Politics” (1939)

‘In our time the destiny of man presents its meanings in political terms.’ – Thomas Mann 

How can I, that girl standing there,

My attention fix

On Roman or on Russian

Or on Spanish politics,

Yet here’s a traveled man that knows

What he talks about,

And there’s a politician

That has both read and thought,

And maybe what they say is true

Of war and war’s alarms,

But O that I were young again

And held her in my arms.

No destinial politics, however, can totalize the experience of language and thought. This is the crux of Yeats’ poem, it seems to me. In the opening of an epoch of catastrophic politics (as Unger would register it), it was a poet that resisted the metaphysical valence of political destiny working through the imaginal remembrance through the appearance of a “girl standing there”. The last poetic apostrophe of a caducous time could only be redeemed erotically; forever disentangling the fictive conflation of life and politics.

Adespoton, the flight of freedom. An intervention on Pulcinella for the PAN Group Meeting. by Gerardo Muñoz

I want to thank Lucia Dell’Aia for putting together the PAN Group, which she describes as a natural garden composed of different voices already constituted and dispersed around the world. The group’s initial inspiration springs from Giorgio Agamben’s Pulcinella ovvero divertimento per li regazzi (Nottetempo, 2015), a beautiful and important book. Pulcinella is, prima facie, a book about a puppet (the famous Napolitan puppet that I remember first encountering years ago in an Italian pizzeria in New York Upper West Side without knowing much about him), but it is also something else. As it is already common to Agamben’s thought, these figures are depositary of arcanii of the western tradition, and Pulcinella is no exception. I want to suggest to all of you something obvious: Pulcinella stands for the arcana of blissful and happy life in the wake of a catastrophic civilization. It should be obvious that the thematics of happiness have always occupied a central place in the Italian philosopher’s work, and every book is a way to measure up to this latent sensibility proper to the mystery of anthropogenesis. In a way, then, Pulcinella rehearses an idea that has been present since the early books, although restated in new garments that have remained unsaid. In this short intervention I want to address these two dimensions, and perhaps contribute to the already rich discussion on Pulcinella in the intersection between philosophy, poetry, ethics and politics, which Lucia suggests it should be the way that we approach the field of forces of thought.

As early as in the gloss “Idea of Happiness” in Idea of Prose (1985), Agamben thematizes the problem of happiness inscribed in the relationship between character and destiny that will reappear in a central way in Pulcinella: “In every life there remains something unlived just a s in every word there remains something unexpressed…The comedy of character: at the point when death snatches from the hand of character what they tenacious hide, it but grasps a mask. At this point character disappears: in the face of the dead there is no longer any trace of what has never been lived…” [1]. Against the metaphysics of eudaimonia and the theological tribulation of happiness as a reflection of property (“in pursuit of happiness”, Thomas Jefferson will define civic life within the organization of the goods of the res publica); the idea of character is what traces the unlived in every life; and, more importantly, what neutralizes the tragic dimension of the narrative of destiny. Narration is the point of fixation and representation transcendence; it creates order and irreversibility, it hold us accountable. This is why character is a parabasis of destiny, thus its comic axis: “Character is the comic aspect of every destiny, and destiny is the tragic shadow of character. Pulcinella is beyond destiny and character, and tragedy and destiny” [2]. Pulcinella breaks aways from the prison of the metaphysics of destiny and character posited as “substance” for action. This is why, radicalizing the relation to death in the gloss on happiness, Agamben will introduce the theatrical figure of the parabasis to define the desertion from the conditions of fixation and historical time [3]. In other words, there is happiness when there is a possibility of parabasis in the face of catastrophe. And catastrophe is nothing but the integral adaptive operation between character and destiny that regulates legal fictions, political mediations, and ultimately the opposition between life and death. If Søren Kierkegaard understood Pulcinella as a figure of privation in opposition to the knight of faith; for Agamben, on the contrary, Pulcinella does not depend on fides or the persona, but rather on a comic intensification that allows “life itself” to move beyond the theological conditions dispensed by sin, guilty, or fear of death – all guarantees of the economy of salvation [4]. Pulcinella heresy is to move within and beyond the world, as Agamben writes in a remarkable orphic moment of the book:

“Che Pulcinella abbia una speciale relazione con la morte, è evidente dal suo costume spettrale: come l’homo sacer, egli appartiene agli dei interi, ma appartiene loro così esageratamente, da saltare tutt’intero al di là della morte. Ciò è provato dal fatto che ucciderlo è inutile, se lo fucilano o impiccano, immancabilmente risorge. E come è al di là o al di qua della morte, cosí è in qualche modo al di qua o al di là della vita, almeno nel senso in cui questa non può essere separata dalla morte. Decisivo è, in ogni caso, che una figura infera e mortuaria abbia a che fare essenzialmente col riso.” [5].

The comic dimension in Pulcinella’s expressive character, then, has little to do with an anthropological laughter automatism that would reveal the species proximity to animality (but also its outermost distance and alienation). More specifically, Pulcinella’s character is a lazzo or medial relation that exceeds life and death fixation. At the same time, Pulcinella (like Hölderlin, Pinocchio, to recall the other figures in Agamben’s most recent books) irradiates a new type of existence; in fact, an existence against all reductions of subjectivity and personalism, which could very well defined by the pícaro motto “vivir desviviéndose” [6]. If we grant this, we are in a better position to grasp that death is not finality to “a life”, but rather a limit of caducity of experience that those in possession of character can breach in order to affirm the releasement of happiness. In a fundamental way, life is always unto death, so it is through his character that one could accomplish resurrection and become eternal. It is obvious that Pulcinella’s character has important consequences for a novel characterization of freedom; a freedom beyond the attributes of the person (be the ‘harm principle’ or the ‘non-intervention’) and the modern legitimation through the rise of interests as a way to suppress the passions. One could say that the politico-civil conception of freedom always stood on the firm ground of the fiction of the person, which Pulcinella destitutes by emphasizing the unlived reminder: the soul. And it is the soul that renders – this is not explicit in Giorgio Agamben’s book, and could perhaps be a theme of discussion – a new principle of differentiation within the logic of immanence of nature. Towards the end of the book, Agamben appeals to Plato’s Myth of Er, which speaks to the penumbra or zone of indetermination between life and death, character and destiny; while preparing the ground for a different conception of freedom. A freedom defined through a very important term: “adéspoton” or virtue – which he designs as without masters and beyond adaptation, and it has been taken as one of the earliest affirmations of the notion of freedom as a separate intellect (a rendition elaborated by Plotinus’s Enneads VIII) – but this, I think, could be fully assessed in another ocassion. This is what Agamben writes:

“Nel racconto di Er il Panfilio alla fine della Repubblica, Platone ha rappresentato le anime che, giungendo dal cielo o dal mondo sotterraneo “in un luogo demonico” davanti al fuso che sta sulle ginocchia di Ananke, scelgono la vita in cui dovranno reincarnarsi. Un araldo le mette in fila e, dopo aver preso in mano le sorti e i paradigmi di vita, proclama che sta per cominciare per esse un nuovo ciclo di vita mortale: “Non sarà un demone a scegliere, ma voi sceglierete il vostro demone. Chi è stato sorteggiato per primo, scelga la forma di vita [bios] a cui sarà unito per necessità. La virtù invece è libera [adespoton, “senza padrone”, “inassegnabile”] e ciascuno ne avrà in misura maggiore o minore a seconda che la’- miola disprezzi. La colpa è di chi sceglie, dio è innocente” (617e).” [7]

The adéspoton is a strange and sui generis virtue, since it does not appeal to a moral conception of the good. Of course, this allows for something very subtle: retreating from the tribune of morality, the adéspoton belongs to the access of a life in happiness. I think this complicates the picture of Agamben’s insistence through his work on “beatitude” – and in large measure, Spinoza’s conatus essendi – since adéspoton is not a form of absolute immanence, but rather of a soul that is always inadequate in relation to the assigned preservation of its nature (perseverantia in suo esse). In other words, the adéspoton is the intensity that allows for a relation between interiority and exteriority through an acoustic attunement with the world. The adéspoton refuses the conditions of possibility for “freedom”; since it conceives freedom as emanating from the non-objective conditions of the contact with the outside.

At this point I will reach a preliminary conclusion in my intervention picking up on this last problem: the outside. Of course, to speak of the outside – the “transmigration of souls” as in Plato’s quintessential myth – already announces an imaginary of flight. And it is no coincidence that Pulcinella is a sort of half-bird creature: a chicken that cannot flight, but nonetheless experiences the outside thanks to its adéspoton. Agamben reminds us of the etymological proximity of Pulcinella with “pullecino” or chicken like creature like the Donald Duck [8]. It is also no coincidence that Agamben closes the book recalling how Giandomenico during his last years of life was fascinated with all kinds of birds that he painted in the Palazzo Caragiani in an effort to radically dissolve the human form [9]. I think that birdly nature of Pulcinella is to be taken seriously, given that in the mythical register of the Hebrew bible, the large bird, the Ziz, is the third mythic creature along with the Leviathan and the Behemoth, the creates of the sea and the land that have marked the world historical opposition of appropriation. And it is more strange that, in The Open, Agamben mentions the Ziz without thematizing its potentiality for the flight from the nomos of the earth that today expresses itself as a civilizational conflagration. The Ziz, very much like Pulcinella, prefers “not to” to participate in the geopolitical confrontation between land and sea undertaking a flight of its own from life towards freedom.

The arcana of Pulcinella resonates with the Ziz mythic figure, but it is not dependent on myth or allegorical substitution. The parabasis is the exposition of every life here and now. Although the figure of the bird disappeared from Agamben’s mature work, one should not dismiss his first publication, the poetic short-story “Decadenza” (1964), which he wrote while a law student at Sapienza, and which tells the story of a depressed community of birds with eggs that do not hatch and species that have lost the contact with the external world [10]. I think it’s fair to say that Agamben’s Pulcinella finds the ‘exit’ to the oblique and impoverished world of “Decadenza” through Pulcinella’s adéspoton: a new capability is imagined to flee from the catastrophe of the world, against nihilism and the global conflagration (think of the fetichistic avatar of political destruction), but rather to dwell in the non-event of happiness in the mystery of every life. If as Agamben writes, metaphysics is always the production of a dead-end – always arousing a feeling of “being-stuck”, always in need of “catching up” at the expense of suppressing our ethical freedom – one could very well see how Pulcinella’s flight of freedom is the path against metaphysics par excellence [11]. As Agamben writes at the closing of Pulcinella: “Il segreto di Pulcinella è che, nella commedia della vita, non vi è un segreto, ma solo, in ogni istante, una via d’uscita” [12]. One can imagine him being a truly unforgettable anti-Sisyphus.




1. Giorgio Agamben. Idea della prosa (Quodlibet, 2002), 93.

2. Giorgio Agamben. Pulcinella ovvero divertimento per li regazzi (Nottetempo, 2015), 4

3. Ibild., 35

4. Søren Kierkegaard. Fear and Trembling (Penguin Classics, 1985), 79.

5. Giorgio Agamben. Pulcinella ovvero divertimento per li regazzi (Nottetempo, 2015), 65.

6. Gerardo Muñoz. “La existencia pícara. Sobre Pinocchio: Le avventure di un burattino (2021) de Giorgio Agamben“, Infrapolitical Reflections, 2022: 

7. Giorgio Agamben. Pulcinella ovvero divertimento per li regazzi (Nottetempo, 2015), 105.

8. Ibid., 47.

9. Ibid., 122-123.

10. Giorgio Agamben. “Decadenza” (Futuro, 1964). I thank Philippe Theophanidis for bringing to my attention this early text. 

11. Giorgio Agamben. Filosofia prima filosofia ultima: Il sapere dell’Occidente fra metafisica e scienze (Einaudi editore, 2023), 103.

12. Giorgio Agamben. Pulcinella ovvero divertimento per li regazzi (Nottetempo, 2015), 130.

Glosses on Idris Robinson on Enzo Melandri’s logic of analogy. by Gerardo Muñoz

This is the final entry on the mini-series of interventions within the framework of the course that I am teaching at 17 instituto on contemporary Italian political thought. In this last fourth installment we had a very rich and productive conversation with Idris Robinson (University of New Mexico) on the philosophy of work of logic developed by the Italian thinker Enzo Melandri. Melandri’s work remains largely unknown, aside from the recent new editions of his major works at Quodlibet, and the recent monograph Le Forme Dell’Analogia: Studi Sulla Filosofia Di Enzo Melandri (2014) by Angelo Bonfanti. Idris’ doctoral dissertation (hopefully a book in the near future) will be a major contribution in a rising interest on Melandri’s work on logic, politics, and history, and its dialogues with the work of Wittgenstein, Foucault, and Agamben. As Idris Robinson recalled, the work of Melandri would have been entirely unknown if it weren’t for Agamben’s book on method, Signatura rerum, which uses Melandri’s work on analogy and paradigms as conditions for his own archeological method. This whole terrain remains to be explored, as Philippe Theophanidis suggested, given that it has been for the most part ignored in all the main works on the Agamben’s thought (including Villacañas’ otherwise excellent essay on method, history, and archaeology in the recent collective volume that I edited). But to the extent that Enzo Melandri’s work remains to be translated into English, Idris’ lecture serves as an important introduction to some of the key elements of his work, even if there is a lot to fill in and discuss from now on. All of the questions regarding Agamben’s method should emerge from this terrain, rather than the exhausted and ambiguous mantra of “critical theory”.

1. First, Idris Robinson suggested that Melandri’s central contribution departed from the distinction of two major path of Western logic: linear logic, which comes full circle in symbolic logic and formalization at the turn of the twentieth century (Russell, Frege, Wittgenstein); and analogical logic, which remains suppressed, but subterranean latency for problems of bivalence and the excluded middle against all preconditions of the identity-difference polarity. Like Agamben would later do with his rereading of energeia/dunamis opposition in Aristotle, Melandri was also a strong reader of Aristotle’s logic and the categories in order to advance a series of logical alternatives (not by any means the only ones, and not necessarily distributed equally): a) a different conception of the principle of identity (p / -p), b) gradations of contradictions (p / -p), c) inclusion of a middle or third as failure of bivalence, d) continuity and gradation, and e) the equivocity of meaning. All of these should not be taken at face value or even as complete abandonment of linear logic. Needless to say, these elements supply analogic logic an exit from linear reductions of formal logic and its presuppositions on the grounds of identity and negation to secure general ends and goods. By working within the paradigm of analogy, Melandri is said to account for indetermination and modality, which do not divide form and matter as opposites as in the linear model of the Aristotelian canons of medieval philosophy (Aquinas as its foremost representative) to the more analytical models of twentieth century logic.

2. The work of analogical logic allows Idris Robison to take up the question of form (he referred to it as morphology) as a problem of experience and specular observation of the world. Essentially this is the difference between Goethe and Newton in their explorations of colors, whereas the paradigmatic assumptions of Goethe aligned him with the logic of analogy by favoring deviations, gradation, and middle terms when thinking about the sensible problem of colors as an immanent series in nature (a method continued in Benjamin’s constellation images in his study of nineteenth century, but one could also think of Aby Warburg’s pathosformel as index of Western Art). Whereas Newton made an experiment and deduced the range of colors from a prism; Goethe was able to engage in observation (Idris alluded to his descriptions in his Italian diaries entries) in changing phenomena and organize it as such.

3. As a methodological question, what is important is how the paradigm becomes the unity for regulating (perhaps not the happiest of words) and constructing the indeterminate zone between thinking and the world, and in this way avoiding the abyss of pure relativism (or the arbitrary, I would also add). In this sense, the Goethe example stands for the problem of paradigm, but it does not necessarily entail – at least in my view – that his work is in itself free-standing for analogical transformation of life and thought. At the end of the day, Goethe is also famous for claiming that “All theory is gray, forever green is the tree of life”, which could explain why Giorgio Agamben in his most recent book on Holderlin’s final year juxtaposes the chronicle of Hölderlin modal and dwelling life (the parataxis is analogic poetics with respect to language) with the diplomatic and successful life of Goethe (the linear logic here could also be transposed with the ideal of destiny becoming ‘political’, as it is appears in his meeting with Napoleon). In any case, the logic of analogy and the reduction of paradigms becomes crucial to account for two distinct problems (at least this is my first reading, and I am in no way speaking on behalf of Idris Robinson’s thesis): to hold on to a stratification of history (open to configuration of mediums – images); and, on the other, a ground for logic, but only insofar as they are neither at the level of historical necessity and negation (philosophy of history), nor about linear logic that dispenses moral ends according to some “natural law”. From this premises, it should be interesting to explore Agamben’s archeology and ethics as a third path that diverges from both rationalization and the moral standing of understanding the just or the good.

4. Finally, I think two major problems emerge from a first preliminary confrontation with Melandri’s work, which we are only beginning to see how they “operate” in Agamben work, although at some point one should also confront the work on its own merits: on the one hand, the logic of analogy provides us with a truly historical method that is sensible to forms and stratification of the imagination that does not depend on conceptual history (in the manner of R. Koselleck), and even less on teleological historical progression. At the level of content, the analogical paradigm is consistent with trumping (suggested by Philippe Theophanidis) the hylomorphic conjunction of Western metaphysics, and thus contributing to a logical infrastructure for the form of life that abandons the primacy of ends and realization. What could this design entail for the transformation of our political categories? Does this necessarily imply that analogical legislating is always about political ontology! Does it require interpretation or a qualification of truth-validity? Or rather, does analogy favors the event instead of formal principles that have subsumed the grammar of politics and its negations (yes, also revolutionary politics, a problem also present in Della Sala’s paper)? Sure, extrapolating these questions to the field of politics is perhaps too hasty to fully repeal deontological concerns. Perhaps analogical analysis requires, precisely, a distance from the subsumption of political ontology at the center of thought. But to be able to answer these questions we need to further explore the work of Melandri. Idris Robinson’s lecture has provided us an excellent starting point§.



§ Idris Robinson’s intervention on Melandri and the discussion should be available in the next days at the 17/instituto YouTube channel.

Glosses on Federico Della Sala on tragedy, comedy, and revolution. by Gerardo Muñoz

These are further notes on the mini-series of interventions within the framework of the course that I am teaching at 17 instituto on contemporary Italian political thought. In this third installment we engaged with Francesco Guercio and Federico Della Sala around the notions of comedy and tragedy in Italian theory, and the development of political reflection in Italy from the sixties onwards. Della Sala facilitated an excellent paper entitled “Tragedy and Comedy in Italian Theory: Notes on the intersection between literature and politics” (for the moment unpublished), which was extremely suggestive, elegant, and comprehensive in terms of its critical take on the horizon of Italian theory. These notes are by no means representative of the richness of Della’s text: rather, it just wants to highlight a few checkpoints to further the discussion of the seminar. Francesco Guercio participated in the conversation as a commentator who provided important insights on several of the essay’s critical movements.

1. In his paper, Della Sala offers one of the strongest critiques of Italian theory that I have read in recent times (perhaps the strongest), and it does so by engaging its own premises on alterity and historical restitution, which he defines as working within the paradigm of political modernity. As it emerges in the projects of Massimo Cacciari, Roberto Esposito, Antonio Negri, but also in the commentaries of the so-called Italian difference paradigm by academics such as Dario Gentili, the common terrain is to sustain a paradigm of alternative modernization rooted in difference and conflict. In a way – and I understand I risk of simplifying Della Sala’s layered argument a bit – Italian theory amounts to offering a paradigm that remains within the metaphysics of power and governmental optimization, even when it speaks the language of contingency, errancy, or the outside. Here Della Sala’s critique of Italian theory differs quite substantially from the normativist accounts raised against Italian theory, such as that of P. P. Portinaro, whose discomfort is really against political excess and its allegedly revolutionary principles. For Della Sala, on the contrary, Italian theory is a betrayal of thinking the transformative politics at the threshold of the ruins of modern principles of authority and legitimacy. Indeed, Massimo Caccari’s return to renaissance humanism in his Mente Inquieta: saggio sull’Umanesimo (2019), or Esposito’s Pensiero istituente (2021) that ends up defending human rights and anthropology of rights, ironically self-serve Portinaro’s critique of the “radical excess” as if inadvertently admitting the irreversibility of political modernity. Of course, this doesn’t get out anywhere. In fact, it is regressive, instead of moving thinking forward.

2. Della Sala credits Italian theory – specially from the 1960s onwards, perhaps from the work of Mario Tronti and autonomia more generally – with bringing the question of politics to the center debate, showing the limitations of political economy in Marxist thought and the insufficiency of the negative. But, at the same time, it has done so by remaining within a paradigm of crisis in which the ideal of struggle defines the meditation between politics and life. And this can only exacerbate the administration of a catastrophic of politics. It is through the “krisis” of negative thought (Cacciari, Vattimo, and Esposito) that something like a literature of Italian theory becomes tragic, amounting to a sort of reverse nihilism. Della Sala does not it claim it explicitly – and I wonder if he would agree with my own personal translation – but this tragicity results to a compensatory wager to the sacrificial horizon of the philosophy of history opened by Hegelian dialectics or the imperial romanitas conception of politics. So the sense of the tragic in modernity can live comfortably within the paradigm of the sacrifice of modernity, and it does not get us very far.

3. As Francesco Guercio also suggested it, the abyssal ground of modernity becomes tragic when it places life in the site of death, which entails that existence can only be understood as something to be administered and protected. It goes without saying that this is the overall project of positive biopolitics and immunity in the horizon of democratic legitimacy, whose final utopia, according to Della Sala, is to live at least one day like a King. This rings true given the operative function of King and “archē” (principle) that are needed to legislate the creation between politics and life, history and the anthropological sense of reality. Under this paradigm there is no space – or it is always parasitic, always subjected to the enmity of the species– to the question of existence, which becomes a generic aggregate of civil community. But can one subtract oneself from the seduction of a demonic politics and its negative relation to the tragic politics in the face of nihilism? The strong thesis in Dalla Sala’s paper is that Italian theory has not been successful to the task and that we must begin from scratch putting aside, once and for all, the mythical paradigm of crisis.

4. It is here where comedy enters. And it enters obliquely, although in resonance with Giorgio Agamben’s most recent argument in his book on Hölderlin, where the comic is understood as a retreat from the conversion of the tragic into the sacrificial suture of modernity. And for Della Sala, but also for Agamben, comedy has little done with the anthropology of laughter or the psychic drive of the Freudian slip. Rather comedy becomes the possibility of imagining a life that refuses the promise of living like a future king. On the contrary, the motto of the comic can be the early Hispanic (it was mentioned by Francesco Guercio in the conversation) “vivir desviviéndose” of the pícaro existence that allows for the mystery of life without political subsumption. Della Sala concludes his paper with a provocative assertion: “after all there has never existed nor will exist a tragic or unhappy revolution”. But would a “happy life” be consternated about revolution, or should it forfeit revolution to the trash bin of the modern political concepts? Isn’t comedy the abdication of revolution, either as the return to the same (think of Saint-Just naturalism) or the overcoming of the temporal order of the day after tomorrow? Perhaps comedy as the texture of life is a thorough abandonment not only of the tragic, but also of the efficacy of revolution as a residual messianism. And it is against the closure of revolution (because revolution depends on a principle of authority the exact moment that it triumphs) where the ongoing stasiological present should be thought.

Felicidad en separación. Sobre Averroes intempestivo (2022), de Karmy, Figueroa & Carmona. por Gerardo Muñoz

¿Por qué volver Averroes en nuestro tiempo? Se pudieran enumerar muchas razones, alguna de ellas de justificación de corte universitaria o histórica. Averroes porque quiero aprender del mundo árabe medieval sin teleologías historicistas. Averroes porque es un nombre intermitente en los textos que leemos y discutimos. Averroes porque convoca, pero también hay bastante más. Decir Averroes sigue siendo nombrar uno de los márgenes de la tradición filosófica occidental, aunque también es cierto que marginados hay y siempre habrán muchos; y, sin embargo, nos seguimos ocupando de Averroes y no de los otros que en realidad no interesan. Sin embargo, es probable que no seamos nosotros los interesamos en Averroes, sino el viejo comentador quien permanece como una sombra insondable que acecha a todo pensamiento y reflexión atenta. Por eso es por lo que tienen razón los editores del excelente volumen colectivo Averroes intempestivo (Doblea editores, 2022) al decir que el averroísmo es un espectro que recorre la imaginación a pesar de carecer de una arquitectónica sistemática de conceptos morales, políticos, u ontológicos. Aunque es gracias a esta misma razón que el averroísmo sobrevivió a lo largo de siglos, tras su exilio de la universidad medieval, en el extrañamiento lingüístico de la poesía, como señalan Agamben & Brenet en Intelletto d’amore (Quodlibet, 2020).

En efecto, no podemos hacer una historia de la sensación y de la experiencia de la lengua desde el concepto, sino que tenemos que contar con el espectro averroísta para esta génesis. El averroísmo es la verdadera marca de la philia en la filosofía, lo cual implica un paso atrás de la objetivación del mundo, la sistematización metafísica y sus tribulaciones, o el ordenamiento teológico de lo político aunque sin abstraerse de la configuración de la realitas. En tanto que potencia de lo impensado, la figura de Averroes sigue inspirando la incesante aventura de todo pensamiento sereno y medido (no hay que olvidar que, en su relato sobre Averroes, Jorge Luis Borges pone en escena justamente la búsqueda sobre la pérdida absoluta de la modernidad: la comedia) que autoafirma la separación originaria con el mundo bajo la fuerza del medio de la imaginación y de los sentidos.

De ahí que uno de los aciertos inmediatos de Averroes intempestivo (2022) – que recoge una serie de estudios que en muchos casos exceden los límites académicos propios de la una práctica del objeto de estudio en cuestión – es hacer patente un Averroes que en su excentricidad filosófica es tan moderno como cualquier referente de la modernidad occidental. Desde luego, Averroes, como luego Hölderlin, son portadores de un gesto de pensamiento en el cual se tematiza lo más “ajeno” (o lo extraño, diría Brenet en su lectura) en proximidad con lo que es “propio”. ¿Qué más arduo que el uso de la potencia al vernos asediados por la propia contemplación de la teoría? El sentido de lo “ajeno” en la relectura de Averroes en torno al corpus griego (los corpi filosóficos de Platón y Aristóteles) – así como luego lo llevaría a cabo Hölderlin con la tragedia de Empédocles o en los himnos pindáricos – es la exposición de la potencia a ser lo que somos en el medio de las cosas y de nuestras pasiones. El estudio o el pensamiento se vuelven exigencias éticas: estilos de estar en el mundo. En otras palabras, en Averroes lo ajeno cobra un sentido de expresión que solo puede ser registro de lo acontecido, y no de lo temporalmente inscrito en un mundo entregado a la eficacia administrativa de personas y objetos en la economía pastoral de las almas de los vivientes. Como lo demuestra con contundencia argumentativa Rodrigo Karmy en su ensayo “El monstruo Averroes”, la gnoseología Averroes supuso una dificultad mayor para la confección de la antropología tomista al desligar la voluntad subjetiva de los presupuestos necesarios del derecho natural [1]. El averroismo es otro nombre para el verdadero antipersonalismo sin recaer en la negatividad de lo sacro.

Al final , la monstruosidad de Averroes, como sugiere Karmy, consintió en una operación deflacionaria de la substancia calificada del hombre, por lo tanto abandonado las categorías hidráulicas de la culpa, la responsabilidad, de los actos, y toda la dimensión sacrificable de la persona propia de la filosofía de la historia cuyo coste ha sido el al nihilismo y su voluntad de poder. Averroes es un pensador que, previendo el nihilismo del valor como apropiación del mundo, hizo posible una antropología erótica y poética para expresar otra forma de estar verdaderamente en libertad. De ahí que Averroes tampoco encarne un gnosticismo ni una religión secularizada en nombre de la inmanencia absoluta (algo que solo puede devenir en el momento de la traducción de la irreductibilidad de las cosas a la iconocidad objetual, como hemos argumentado en otro lugar), sino que es un pensador de la individuación desde los acontecimientos que afectan a cada una de las formas de vida [2].

Si en la lectura de Averroes, la potencia es una forma sensible fundamentalmente atélica – en separación con su actualización de las obras – esto supone que el verdadero sentido de cada vida es la afirmación de nuestras pasiones para la que no hay objeto ni orientación ni orden (en la doble acepción de la palabra), tal y como el derecho natural intentó formalizar la mediación entre moral y principios para el actuar. Estas son las condiciones teológicas que dan lugar al sobrevenido de la voluntad que se somete a la comunión de salvación para garantizar su sentido de libertad. Aquí también otro de los aciertos que recorre los ensayos de este estupendo libro colectivo; a saber, ofrecernos un Averroes que no es ajeno a la política, sin que esto implica abonar las condiciones sustancialitas de aquella eficacia teológica sobre la contigencia (esencialmente temporalista). En este sentido, Averroes aparece como una tercera figura en la partición entre una legitimidad propia de un positivismo excluyente, y la de un derecho natural cuyo “ideal” de justicia y bien común depende de la dimensión impolítica de la antropología de la especie. Y esta tercera postura se define como la prioridad del acontecimiento mediante la cual se vuelve posible dar forma a nuestras pasiones. En el momento en el que las pasiones se vuelven pulsiones idólatras – como en nuestro actual mundo de pasarelas, influencers, y guardianes de la pobreza del valor – la erótica del intelecto ya ha degenerado en un sadismo que, en virtud de la posesión sobre la mera corporalidad, lleva a la caducidad inerte. Es aquí donde podemos situar el punto en el que el uso se transforma en abuso (ius abutendi). Pero si la norma se ecargará de regular el abuso y el derecho natural a tipificar un cúmulo de bienes del ‘buen uso’; la lección exotérica de Averroes reside en la posibilidad de asumir un uso que, en su separabilidad con el mundo, hace viable la libertad en las pasiones. O lo que es lo mismo: en los medios con los que dispone cada singular exponiendose eróticamente al mundo.

La abnegada actualidad de Averroes reside en el hecho de que es un pensador excéntrico no porque suministre una antropología del juicio reflexivo; sino más bien porque transforma nuestro sentido del ser a una potencia en desobra con efectos irreversibles para nuestra concepción de la libertad. Por eso, lo importante no es que Averroes apueste por un sentido de la irreversibilidad en el plano de la historia o de la negativa a ser dominado (ideal republicano); sino más bien se trata de un sentido de la irreversibilidad en el registro de las pasiones, del afectar, y de nuestros contactos con lo ajeno. Todo esto nutre la dimensión modal del ser humano a partir de la separabilidad de sus acontecimientos. Ya siglos más tarde el escritor Carlo Levi diría en Miedo a la libertad desde un averroísmo intuitivo: lo esencial no es ser libre de las pasiones, sino poder estar en libertad en las pasiones [3]. No debemos hacer nada con el averroismo, pues el averroismo solo es teoría en tanto que pensamiento que ya nos atraviesa. Así, el averroísmo no es una analítica de los conceptos ni una ontología de la acción o del derecho, sino un estilo en separación del mundo que en su opacidad huye de la domesticación de lo social como imperio psíquico de los valores.

En este sentido, la imputación de Ramón Llull de los averroístas como grupos clandestinos al interior de lo sociedad, debe entenderse como la vivencia desvivida, siempre renuente de las determinatio de la obra, de la obligación, y de la servidumbre de una voluntad ilimitada a las particiones substantivas de lo común [4]. En su clandestinidad comunicacional, el averroísmo es otro nombre para la intuición que siempre ha excedido las normas de la ciudad y sus trámites civiles. Averroismo: lo que conseguido la felicidad en los acontecimientos de lo que sentimos, pensamos y hablamos. Por lo tanto, la impronta del averroísmo es la indefinición absoluta de la vida feliz. Una felicidad que se recoge en la separabilidad del dominio de los sacerdotes y de sus comuniones subsidiadas en la eterna fe de la salvación.




1. Rodrigo Karmy & Benjamín Figueroa & Miguel Carmona, Editores. Averroes intempestivo: ensayos sobre intelecto, imaginación y potencia (Doblea editores, 2022), 198.

2. Sobre la relación entre uso y objetivación en la filosofía de Emanuele Coccia, ver mi ensayo “En el reino de las apariencias: sobre la cosmología”, Ontología de las superficies: ensayos averroístas sobre Emanuele Coccia (Universidad Iberoamericana AC, 2021).

3. Carlo Levi. Paura della libertà (Neri Pozza, 2018). 

4. Francesco Márquez Villanueva. “El caso del averroísmo popular español”, en Cinco siglos de Celestina: aportaciones interpretativas (Universidad de València Servicio de Publicaciones, 1997), 128.

Second thoughts on Giorgio Agamben and civil war. by Gerardo Muñoz

In a recent entry in his Quodlibet roster entitled “Sul diritto di resistenza“, Giorgio Agamben takes up once more time the question of civil war, but this time tested against the “right to resistance” (diritto di resistenza) as included in many Western constitutions. What is interesting in this note is that the for the first time – as far as I know, although it complements superbly an old intervention a propos of the publication of Tiqqun, along with Fulvia Carnevale and Eric Hazan – Agamben lays out quite explicitly how the “planetary civil war” tips the enumerated constitutional right of resistance on its head, making it indistinguishable from the management of civil war and the blurring of the category of formal enemy and that of the terrorist.

Indeed, the very notion of “planetary civil war” in an unified society without a strong discriminatory principle of enmity turns politics, as Carl Schmitt noted in his prologue to the 1971 Italian edition of The Concept of the Political, into something like a world police [1]. And the historical present has given Schmitt his due. Following Schmitt’s sound diagnosis, Agamben says nothing different, although this is the thesis that marks the limit of Schmitt’s modern categorical delimitations as well. In other words, if the unity of friend-enemy collapses, and now there is only the stratified value of association based on moral justifications, how can one speak of the “political” in this scenario (it is no longer about war, as we commented in a previous occasion). Is there even one?

And, if the political collapses so do the total sum of actions oriented as political resistance, and even resistance to the collapse of the political. For Schmitt it is very clear that it is even the internal exhaustion of the juridical order (ius publicum europeum) insofar as positivism is concerned, leading the way to the rise of what he called a world legal revolution consistent with what Karl Loewenstein already in the 1930s had termed “militant democracy” (1937). Once the modern state loses its monopoly on the legitimacy of authority, then anyone can establish an authoritative force; while, in turn, every enmity becomes a potential absolute enmity (even more so in legality, as we clearly see in the American context). In this sense, it is a misnomer to call a state “the state” if its function becomes a full equipped instrument of the optimization of civil war that rests on a sort of dual structure: on the one hand there is civil war at the limit of the collapse of legitimacy, but also the total domination that incorporates stasis as a functioning vector of its regulatory order.

In this sense, the advent of civil war after the collapse of the state is not a return to the confessional civil wars of early modern Europe, but rather the total unification of state and society without residue. So, if “right to resistance” presupposes not just the formal limitation of enmity but also the separation of society and state, it only makes sense that this category becomes defunct once the social emerges as proper site of the total administration: “the reunification gave us a new tyrant: the social” [2]. This entails that proper civil resistance is already subsumed in the process of civil war in the threshold of the political. In the context of civil war, resistances can mean both administration of the stasis, and the embedded position of a sacrificial subject, which has been costly (and it remains so) for the any calls for contestation, striking, or insubordination. Resistance here could only amount as a shadow apocalypticism. And sacrifice insofar as it is the fuel of any philosophy of history, merely relocates the energy of hostilities as measured by the factors of optimization.

It is only implicitly that Agamben concludes by suggesting that any “true resistance” must be imagined as a form of life in retreat from the social and its sacrificial idiolatry, from which one must draw its consequences or effects. This is the grounds of an ethical life, but also the way of reimagining another possibility of freedom, which in the brilliant definition of Carlo Levi, it means to live in freedom within our passions instead of being free of passions (precisely, because no principle can determine the true object of our passions, this demands a total reworking of modern notions of liberal and republican determinations of liberty) [3]. The time of the civil war, then, is best understood as a time of the affirmation of the conatus essendi, which rediscovers freedom through the sense of the event insofar as we are capable of attuning to the separability from any principle of socialization.



1.  Carl Schmitt. “Premessa all’edizione italiana”, Le categorie del politico (ll Mulino 1972), 34.

2. Tiqqun. Introduction to Civil War (Semiotext, 2010), 61.

2. Carlo Levi. Paura della libertà (Neri Pozza, 2018), 45.

La existencia pícara. Sobre Pinocchio: Le avventure di un burattino (2021) de Giorgio Agamben. por Gerardo Muñoz

En Pinocchio: Le avventure di un burattino (Einaudi, 2021), Giorgio Agamben vuelve a tratar el arcano que para él atraviesa la textura incompleta de la vida: una larga iniciación que no cesa de acontecer mientras vivimos. La temática de la aventura ciertamente aparecía en el opúsculo L’avventura (2015) en el que Agamben relacionaba de manera decisiva el Ereignis manifiesto en el propio develamiento de la lengua, aunque también se encontraba in nuce en una glosa sobre la voz como región de perpetuo no-saber [1]. Ahora Agamben se sirve del Pinocho de Collodi – un pariente cercano de Pulcinella y Kafka, de Walser y Hölderlin – para tematizar un personaje que transfigura literatura y mito, cuento de hadas y contingencia de una forma de vida. Una vida arrojada a la vivencia no es aquella situada en la normatividad y las ordenes, sino aquella que encuentra en los acontecimientos propios su fundamento ético. Siguiendo las tesis de Kerenyi y Carchia sobre el misterio como forma transfigurada en la novela, para Agamben Pinocho es un relato infantil sobre la iniciación de la existencia. Este misterio es aparente y de ahí su transfiguración fáctica. Y no es menor que Agamben remita esta existencia errante a la figura del “pícaro” que solo sabe “vivir desviviéndose” (la frase es de Américo Castro) en cada uno de sus sucesos errantes. De alguna manera esto es lo que ya Agamben había explorado con la teoría de las hipostasis en L’uso dei corpi, solo que ahora nos recuerda que la vida fuera de la vida coincide con la autopoesis de las formas bajo la condición de un arrojamiento que siempre renueva otros mundos posibles.

El acontecimiento mistérico de la fábula de Collodi es el hecho de que Pinocho no es un pedazo de madera arrojado a las artesanías de la carpintería. Es mucho más que eso pues concierna a la propia transformación de la materia. Es notable que Agamben recuerde que Calcidio en su comentario al Timeo de Platón haya traducido forma (hyle) como silva; esto es, como madera de bosque, que remite no tanto a la naturaleza, como a un proceso de individuación propio de la creación de un mundo. Pinocho es, de algún modo, el remanente originario de toda separación del mundo – el exceso del nomos que desiste en organizar la tierra – y por lo tanto la anomia que alberga cada existencia. Dicho de otro modo, Pinocho encarna el “inmemorial” de que existe otra posible separación del habitar, puesto que la única separación es la de una creación entre formas que jamás coinciden totalmente con aquello que ha sido asimilado en la vida. De ahí que Pinocho sea, ante todo, una marioneta cuya “gracia en suspenso” transfigura la mandato de toda ontoteología de la persona, escapando tanto la captura temporal inmanente (vitalismo) como la trascedente (monoteísmo de la creación). El mundo ahora es irreductible a los acontecimientos, y el tiempo es contable mediante las especies.

Agamben vincula Pinocho a Kleist y a Pulcinella, aunque también al estatuto de marioneta en las Leyes de Platón, y más importante aún al mundo subterráneo de los duendes, faunos, y hadas del Secret Commonwealth del escocés Robert Kirk. Este “reino secreto” de especies fantásticas de Kirk le permite a Agamben relacionar Pinocho a una dimensión imaginal y órfica entre el mundo de los vivos y el de los muertos como continuum de la imaginación que no ha dejado de poblar las gramáticas “objetivas” del mundo. Así, la creación de Pinocho no radica en haberle dado forma a un pedazo de madera en el taller de Gepetto, sino más importante aún, la posibilidad de encontrar, mediante el acontecimiento, una entrada y salida entre los mundos de la vida. La creación de algo es, esencialmente, la posibilidad de exhibir la desobra mediante el juego de las formas. Por eso Agamben corrige las lecturas convencionales que ven en Pinocho un paradigma de buena conducta moral, y recuerda que las transformaciones corporales del niño de madera (el crecimiento de la nariz, las orejas de burro, incluso la muerte) no son efectos sobre una serie de acciones, sino la evidencia de una dimensión indefinida y en tanto tal ya siempre pícara. En efecto, la existencia pícara es aquella que rechaza una y otra vez las órdenes, el trabajo, la identificación, o la pedagogía bienpensante de algún Grillo moral. Solo el pícaro sabe establecer una relación de solidaridad entre las especies y los muertos, porque solo ahí hay es que podemos dar con una vía de escape. Desde luego, el carácter pícaro de Pinocho no se limita a las actividades ilícitas de la lógica cambiaria de la ciudad, sino a poder entrar el salir de la misma.

Por eso Agamben le dedica varias páginas a la aventura marítima de Pinocho, pues en el estomago del monstruoso pez, Pinocho navega más allá de la vida para seguir desviviéndose en la oscuridad. Esta es la existencia desvivida de la ética pícara: siempre más allá de la muerte y de la realidad, siempre valiente al buscar una salida. Escribe Agamben en un momento programático de su ensayo: “La marioneta es, en este sentido, una figura de la infancia, en la medida en que la infancia no sea un preámbulo para el adulto en potencia ni para la edad, sino como una vía de escape (una via di fuga). ¿Pero escape de qué? De todas las antinomias que definen nuestra cultura, entre el burro y el hombre, desde luego, pero también entre la locura y la razón” [2]. El misterio que nos devuelve la marioneta, entonces, no es otro que aquel que nos recuerda que podemos transformarnos contingentemente sin los sigilos de los pedagogos, los científicos, los policías, o los psicoanalistas, todas figuras que para Agamben mantienen en pie la ficción de un mundo que ha secuestrado a la imaginación sensible. Para Agamben la valentía pícara de Pinocho radica en la manera en que arruina el dispositivo antropológico que ha querido “dominar y domesticar al animal, y educar a la marioneta” [3]. Y solo podemos afirmar “el misterio de la existencia” (sic) si somos capaces de liberar esa zona infantil del reino secreto en la que se dan cita nuestras potencias como modos de renacimiento sin fin. El reino siempre ha sido una proximidad entre técnicas propias que facilitan la metamorfosis de las formas para liquidar la objetividad absoluta del mundo.

Así , tal vez la existencia del pícaro Pinocho no tiene otro fin que la de rechazar una y otra vez la mistificación que el dispositivo adulto construye como “mundo real”. Según Agamben, el sello magistral de Collodi lo encontramos hacia el final cuando no sabemos si Pinocho ha estado despierto todo este tiempo o si simplemente se ha tratado de un largo ensueño. En cualquier caso, en el encuentro entre Pinocho niño y la marioneta se da cita la contemplación absoluta del virtual de la potencia: la infancia es también imagen de pensamiento. Y ahí donde concluye la aventura todo vuelve a comenzar, puesto que en los cuentos de hadas no hay una separación entre el mundo real y el sueño. Siguiendo de cerca los estudios del antropólogo Geza Roheim, Agamben recuerda que el sueño es la realidad de nuestro propio “nacimiento”.

Pero el sueño ahora aparece como una declinación, una catabasis, hacia un mundo que no coincide con un principio de realidad, sino que lo depone una y otra vez mediante la apertura de una aventura que acompaña a cada existencia en descensus Averno [4]. Este sueño, tan real como la vigilia, incesantemente se desvive vaciando el sentido de lo vital al misterio de la existencia y existencia del misterio. En las aventuras mistéricas de Pinocchio, Agamben acierta al mostrar cómo la salida de la máquina teológica-política de Occidente no tiene una divisa exclusica en la temporalidad mesiánica, sino que es siempre la proximidad ingobernable de una infancia. Allí habita una aventura sin épica – un reino ordinario y profano – que nunca dejamos de emprender sobre la tierra.




1. Giorgio Agamben. L’avventura (nottetempo, 2015), y “La fine del pensiero””(1982).

2. Giorigo Agamben. Pinocchio: Le avventure di un burattino doppiamente commentate e tre volte illustrate (Einaudi, 2021), 153.

3. Ibíd., 154.

4. Ibíd., 161.

Un panfleto impolítico: sobre La apropiación de Maquiavelo: una crítica de la Italian Theory (Guillermo Escolar Editor, 2021), de P.P. Portinaro. por Gerardo Muñoz

El libro La apropiación de Maquiavelo: una crítica de la Italian Theory (Guillermo Escolar editor, 2021) de Pier Paolo Portinero, que acaba de aparecer en excelente traducción de José Miguel Burgos Mazas y Carlos Otero Álvarez, se autopresenta como un panfleto político. En su forma ejemplar, el panfleto se remonta a la tradición de los pamphlets (cuya incidencia en la revolución norteamericana sería decisiva, como lo ha estudiado Bernard Bailyn), aunque el libro de Portinaro tiene la particularidad de no abrirse camino al interior del estancamiento de la realidad, sino en un ejercicio particular: desplegar una enmienda a la constelación de pensamiento contemporáneo proveniente de Italia rubricado en antologías y discurso académico como “Italian theory”. Para ser un libro con abiertas intenciones de “pamphlet, La apropiación de Maquiavelo asume una posición en el registro de la historia de las ideas. Esta diferencia, aunque menor, no debe pasarse por alto, pero ya volveremos sobre ella hacia el final de esta nota. En realidad, el libro de Portinaro tiene algunos visos de impugnación contra todo aquello que huela a “teoría” – de momentos recuerda el libro de François Cusset contra la French theory y su impronta en las universidades norteamericanas – a la que Portinaro entiende como una fiesta atroz de disfraces que combina un plusvalor político propio de las viejas utopías revolucionarias con un apego realista en su crítica de la tradición liberal ordenada.

Según Portinaro se trataría de un monstruo de dos cabezas cuya eficacia política no sería anecdótica: “La irrupción de un anómalo populismo don dos cabezas – esta sí, una peculiaridad italiana – no puede considerarse como un epifenómeno sin relación con la pretensión de combinar una sobre abundancia de utopía y una sobreabundancia de realismo, una plusvalía de representación y una plusvalía de conflicto” [1]. ¿Qué esconde este movimiento pendular, según Portinaro? Un pensamiento localizado y localizable (“italiano”, una suerte de reserva nacional para tiempos globales) que no es otra cosa que “promoción de versiones extremas, de las teorías de otros” [2]. Entendemos que Portinaro hace referencia aquí – en efecto, lo despliega a lo largo de su panfleto – al horizonte de la biopolítica en la línea de las investigaciones de Michel Foucault, y la crítica a la metafísica y al nihilismo en el horizonte heideggeriano de la filosofía alemana.

Portinaro no les concede mucho más a los exponentes de la Italian theory. Y, sin embargo, el panfleto de Portinaro se concibe como un libro justo y necesario. ¿Es suficiente? En ningún momento Portinaro se hace cargo de que la introducción de esa “plusvalía política” por parte de la Italian theory, en realidad, viene acompañada de un esfuerzo sistemático, heterogéneo, e imaginativo de poner en suspenso los presupuestos de la organización ontológica de lo político. Como ha visto Alberto Moreiras en su comentario al libro, el pensamiento de Massimo Cacciari, Carlo Galli, Giorgio Agamben, o Roberto Esposito en lo absoluto pueden ser traducidos a una estructura genérica de politización revolucionaria, pues en cada caso estas obras llevan a cabo una exploración efectiva de las condiciones de politicidad [3]. Desde luego, podríamos prever que el rechazo por parte de Portinaro de confrontar los momentos de mayor lucidez especulativa de la IT se justifican a partir de una matriz realista en ambos casos (tanto para la mentada ‘plusvalía política’ de la IT, como para el propio Portinaro cuya dependencia en el principio político de realidad es absoluto). Pero es aquí donde entran a relucir las contradicciones, pues la IT en modo alguno se agota en un realismo político al servicio de los proyectos de la anarquía de los fenómenos políticos mundiales. En efecto, lo que un “realista” como Portinaro debió haber hecho (pero no hizo) es ver qué pasa con la estructuración de la realidad política para que fenómenos iliberales florezcan por doquier, y para que ahora el orden internacional se vea acechado por el nuevo ascenso imperial de la China.

El acto de magia “irreal”, en cualquier caso, es del propio Portinaro al notar las antinomias de revolución y realismo en el marxismo residual de Antonio Negri sin poder responder apropiadamente a los déficits de la propia tradición liberal que ahora han sido liquidados en la propia génesis de su desarrollo histórico (pensemos en el interpretativismo en el derecho como abdicación del positivismo, o en el paradigma de la optimización de la ingobernabilidad como sutura a la crisis de la legitimidad) [4]. Estos procesos de pudrición histórica-conceptual tienen poco que ver con las audacias especulativas de una constelación de pensamiento atenta a la crisis de las mediaciones entre estado, sociedad civil y subjetividad. Pero es cierto que a Portinaro no le interesa polemizar con el registro especulativo del pensamiento teórico italiano, cuyo momento más alto no estaría en la política sino en la dimensión poética e imaginal a través de la herencia de Vico y de Averroes y del regreso de la teología (el debate sobre la secularización que ha tenido una productiva continuación en Italia tras sus inicios germánicos).

A Portinaro le preocupa la anfibología desde la cual el “pensamiento revolucionario” (¿es lo mismo que la IT?) queda atrapado entre la economía y la política; esto es, entre Marx como suplemento de Maquiavelo, y Maquiavelo como suplemento que se convierte en “estratégicamente ineludible” en el post-marxismo [5]. Dicho en otras palabras, el fracaso del pensamiento del paradigma de la economía política de Marx rápidamente se compensa mediante el paradigma de un realismo político de un Maquiavelo radical para así echar a andar el motor de la conflictividad. El Maquiavelo de la IT dejaría de ser el gran pensador florentino del realismo para devenir un nuevo “visionario revolucionario” capaz que llevar adelante un horizonte histórico de liberación. Pero la sobrevalorada importancia de Maquiavelo en el libro de Portinaro es, a todas luces, estratégica y manierista. Pues Maquiavelo viene a confirmar inmutabilidad del “realismo” en la esfera de la política. Sin embargo, ¿no sería, como vio en su momento Carl Schmitt, que Maquiavelo es el pensador menos realista de la política, pues ningún consejero lo suficientemente “maquiavélico” escribiría los libros que escribió el autor de los Discursos?

Sin embargo, el problema en torno a Maquiavelo es sintomático. Pues lo importante aquí es que aquello que pasa por “realismo” en la época (sociedad civil, estado, instituciones, positivismo, mediaciones) ha dejado de tener un sentido concreto ante la abdicación integral de la organización de la arquitectónica política moderna y la crisis de autoridad. En cualquier caso esto es a lo que viene a alertarnos la Italian Theory. Esto supone que, incluso si hemos de aceptar la centralidad de un “maquiavelismo” exotérico en la IT, tanto Portinaro como los representantes de la constelación que se critica quedarían encerrados en un mismo horizonte de irrealidad; o lo que es lo mismo, presos en un encuadre retórico que les permite compensar la disyunción entre hermenéutica conceptual y realidad política, pero a cambio de abandonar toda imaginación capacitada para una transformación realista. La posibilidad de morar en este abismo entre realidad y concepto, entre el agotamiento de la política y la dimensión insondable de la existencia responde a lo que hemos venido llamando una región infrapolítica. Y atender a esta región es el único modo de hacernos cargo de la realitas en un mundo entregado a la devastación sin acontecimiento.

En los momentos más estelares de la IT (lo impolítico y la munus de Esposito; la destitución y la forma de vida de Agamben; el pensamiento en torno al nihilismo de Cacciari, Vitiello, y Severino) se confirma concretamente la pulsión de lo real; si por real entendemos una posibilidad de proximidad en torno a una crisis conceptual de los fenómenos que no puede trascenderse ni mucho menos suturarse con la gramática de los conceptos políticos modernos. Al final, como alguna vez apuntó Román Jakobson, todos somos instrumentos del realismo, y solo varían los modos de efectuar un principio de realidad. En otras palabras, lo importante no es ser realista como siempre lo hemos sido, sino desde una mirada que se encuentre en condiciones de poder atender a la dimensión concreta de los fenómenos en curso. La diferencia entre los primeros y los segundos hoy se instala entre nosotros como dos visiones ante la época: aquellos que en nombre de la realidad mantienen el mundo en el estado perenne de estancamiento; los segundos que, sin certezas ni principios fijos, arriesgan una posibilidad de pensamiento sin abonar las adecuaciones que ya no pueden despejar una ius reformandi interna.

No deja de sorprender la metafórica con la que cierra el libro de Portinaro, pues en ella se destapa la latencia que reprime la pulsión realista. Escribe al final del libro citando a Rousseau: “el filósofo ginebrino menciona en clave antipolítica la práctica de aquellos “charlatanes japoneses” que cortan en pedazos a un niño bajo la mirada de los espectadores; después, lanzando al aire sus miembros uno tras otros, hacen caer al niño vivo y recompuesto. [6]. Las diversas misiones de la IT le recuerdan a Portinaro estas charlatanerías bárbaras e impúdicas (y podemos imaginar que es también toda la teoría de corte más o menos destructiva o radical). Y, sin embargo, ese mismo cuerpo descompuesto, en pedazos, desarticulado, y abandonado a su propia suerte es la imagen perfecta de la fragmentación del mundo luego del agotamiento de lo político. Ese cuerpo en mil pedazos es el mundo sublime y anárquico que el Liberalismo solo puede atribuirles a terceros para limpiar (de la manera más irreal posible) su participación de la catástrofe. 

Pero mucho peor que imaginar el acto de magia negra de recomponer al niño luego de desmembrarlo en mil pedazos, es seguir pensando de que el niño (lo Social) sigue intacto y civilizado, inmune y a la vez en peligro de los nuevos bárbaros irresponsables. Pero sabemos que esto ya no es así, y pretender que lo es, tan solo puede asumirse desde el grado más alto de irrealismo posible: un idealismo categorial sin eficacia en la realidad. De ahí que, paradójicamente, entonces, el panfleto de Portinaro sea al final de cuentas un texto impolítico, en la medida en que a diferencia de los political pamphlets – que como nos dice Bailyn buscaban persuadir, demostrar, y avanzar concretamente una lucha política reformista – el libro de Portinaro busca aterrorizar contra el único bálsamo de aquellos que buscan: la posibilidad de pensamiento e imaginación [7]. La IT no es otra cosa que una invitación a errar en esta dirección ante una realidad que ya no nos devuelve elementos para una transformación del estancamiento. O lo que es lo mismo: la renovación de volver a preguntar por la revolución.




1. P. P. Portinaro. La apropiación de Maquiavelo: una crítica de la Italian Theory (Guillermo Escolar editor, 2021). 38.

2. Ibíd., 39.

3. Alberto Moreiras. “Comentario a «Apropiación de Maquiavelo. Una crítica de la Italian Theory», de Pier Paolo Portinaro”, Editorial 17:

4. Grégoire Chamayou. The Ungobernable Society: A Geneology of Authoritarian Liberalism (Polity, 2021). 

5. Ibíd., 115.

6. Ibíd., 201-202.

7. Bernard Bailyn. The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution (Belknap Press, 2017). 18-19. 

Alberto Moreiras and Italian theory: life and countercommunity. by Gerardo Muñoz

The core of my present intervention was prompted by a joke recently told by a friend. This friend said: “Alberto Moreiras is Spain’s most important Italian philosopher”. I felt I had to respond to it, in my own sort of way, such as this brief intervention. I will offer at least three hypotheses as why that was said. First, what is obvious: Moreiras’ analytical reflection is irreducible to the dominant Spanish philosophical or cultural reflection, however we take that to be (taking in consideration that Moreiras’ work is hardly defined solely by the Spanish archive or historical tradition). Second, that Moreiras’ reflection is somewhat close to the Italian philosophical tradition, particularly in the wake of the contemporary turn of “Italian Difference”. Thirdly, that Moreiras’ own singular thought shares a vinculum with the Italian philosophical culture as “thinking on life”, as perhaps best defined by Roberto Esposito in his Living Thought (2011). There is probably no way to find out the original “intention” of said friend in terms of the Italian signatura of Moreiras’ work, and it is not my desire defend any of three hypotheses. Rather, in what follows what I want to develop is a preliminary exploration of the way in which Línea de sombra: el no-sujeto de lo político (2006) could be very well read a horizon of thought that retreats from community vis-à-vis the non-subject that transfigures the “democratic kernel of domination” (Moreiras 94).

In this analytical development I want to ‘actualize’ Línea de sombra’s potential not very rehearsing the arguments against the so called decolonial option, the metaphysical concepts of Empire and multitude, or the critique of the humanism of the politics of the subject, all of them contested in the book. It is not that I think that those discussions are closed, but rather that I want to suggest that a different politics of thought that radicalizes and abandons those very notions – nomos, legacy, and subject – through the practice of infrapolitical reflection. Hence, I will take up two instances of this nomic sites of contemporary reflections in the so called school of “Italian Difference”; mainly, Remo Bodei’s “Italian” entry in the Dictionary of untranslatables (Princeton U Press, 2014), and Roberto Esposito’s articulation of “Italian philosophy” in his Living Thought: the origins and actuality of Italian Philosophy(Stanford U Press, 2011). I would like to anticipate a critique that could perhaps note that I am putting off Italian thought, or even antagonistically clashing two schools of thought. I am not interested in establishing what could well said to be a legislative clash between theories. I am also aware that Italian Difference is a topological heterogeneity that organizes variations of common themes among thinkers, but that it is not reducible to what singular thinkers generate in their own effective elaborations. In this way, you could say that what I am interested here is in the way in which a certain nomic grounding under the name of ‘Italian Thought’ has been articulated, grounded, and posited as a tradition between conservation and rupture. In the remaining of this intervention, I would like to offer some preliminary speculative ideas about the way in which infrapolitical reflection decisively emerging from Línea de sombra divergences from the general horizon of radical democratic politics advanced by Italian theory.

For reasons that are not just chronological, I think Remo Bodei’s entry in the Dictionary of the untranslatables is preparatory for Esposito’s own take on the territorial and exterritorial force of “Italian Philosophy” in his 2005 book. Indeed, Esposito records in a footnote Bodei’s entry, as well as other recent contribution to the topic such as Borradori’s Recording Metaphysics: New Italian Philosophy (Northwestern, 1988), Virno & Hardt’s Radical Thought in Italy: A Potential Politics (Minnesota, 1996), and Chieza’s The Italian Difference Between Nihilism and Biopolitics (2009). An important predecessor reflecting on Italian philosophical culture – ignored by both Esposito and Bodei – is Mario Perniola’s early “Difference of the Italian Philosophical Culture” (1984), which already establishes the conditions for thinking this nomic specificity beyond the encompassing paradigm of the nation-state, and against the grain of the organization based Italian identity of the Risorgimento. For Perniola, “this is now over, and that natilistic ways, based on a comparison and vindication of identities have completely exhausted their historical function” (Perniola 105). The exhaustion of a national philosophical script is what reversely makes the case for Italian thought to be a thinking measured by civic activism, which entails that the conditions for transmission and interruption of tradition is essentially through a distance between history and language (Perniola 108-09).

sIn a profound way, Italian philosophy is what speaks without historicizing itself, or what speak the non-historiciable to put in Vico’s terms in the New Science. This amounts to an interruption of any philosophy of history, since it discloses a region of what cannot be rendered a science of history. Italian philosophic reflection opens up to the collapse of narration not as consequence of State persecution or constitutive violence, but as a function of a politics incapable of coinciding with the Italian nation-state (as we know this is the symptom of Gramsci’s formulation of the subaltern, and the North-South relations the Prison Notebooks). Perniola’s early essay is an important salient informant of Bodei’s entry, since what arouses the second’s reflection is precisely the drift towards a civil philosophy, or what is the same, a philosophy based on a civic vocation. Thus, writes Bodei:

“From a broad historical perspective and taking into account the limits imposed by its irreducible complexity the Italian language has been character by a constant and predominant civil vocation. By civil I mean a philosophy that is not immediately tied to the sphere of the state, nor to that region of interiority. In fact, ever since its humanist and Renaissance origins, its privileged interlocutors have not been specialist, clerics or students, attending university, but a wider public, a civil society one has sought to orient, to influence, to mold” (Bodei 516). 

Italian language, which for Perloina was constitutive of Italian thought, here takes a civic function that exceeds the proper limits of the philosophical act. This is why Bodei’s most important symptomatic definition is Machiavelli’s ‘verità efffecttuale della cosa’, which is guided by desire at the intersection between tradition and innovation, revolution and rupture. For Bodei’s Italian vernacular language necessarily breaks away from the very containment of the philosophical nomos, spilling over an excess that is anti-philosophical or ultra-philosophical. By proxy of Leopardi’s writings, Bodei argues against the ‘German poem of reason’, defending a poetical space of thought that knows (according to Leopardi) “the true and concrete…the theory of man, of governments, and so on, that they Germans have made none”. The point being is not just that Italian philosophers are ultra or non-philosophical, but that an antiphilosophy of praxis, of what citizens already do. The difference, according to Bodei vis-à-vis Croce, only rests upon critico-practical reflection as the central determination of thinking in Italian (523). 

As it is for Esposito – but we can say also for Agamben in the last volume of the Homo sacer series, L’uso dei corpi (Neri Pozza, 2014) – philosophy is a praxis that provide immanent validation for Aristotle’s treatment of dunamys and energeia, as well as his general typology of causation. What is at stake here is nothing less than the actualization of the question of technology (technê), which Bodei reads in Galileo’s as a contestation to the systematization of maquination (Gestell). The scientific thought of Bruno or Galileo bring to halt the machination that Heidegger understood as the end and realization of epochality through gigantism, by positing the artificiality of the apparatus (of the ‘thing’) as an extension of nature, and not as its mere opposition (Bodei 527). Although he does not explicitly thematizes it on its proper terms, one could very easily read in this argumentation the polarity that structures Italian non-philosophy: the question of civic vocation (klesīs) and the question of nihilism (the co-belonging between technique and philosophy of history). 

What is rather puzzling about Bodei’s argumentation is that at no point does he account for a genealogy of what I would call the non-philosophy of life, or even the life of non-philosophy as the excess of the philosophical life in the Italian republics. In other words, Bodei leaves out the sophist, and it is the figure of the sophist what ultimately lead a positive civic contemplative life outside the constrains of philosophical schools, such as stoicism (Bonazzi & Bènatouïl 2006). Instead, what he does offer and reconstructs is the paradigm of an Italian philosophical tradition that still structures itself between tradition and interruption, thought and action, immanence and life. This is the conflictivity or differend – we could also call its krisis, which Cacciari’s studied in relation to the labor of the negative in his important book Krisis: Saggio sulla crisi del pensiero negative (1976)– that in Bodei remains unresolved at the political register, still organized around the concept of the “civil”. 

Roberto Esposito’s Pensiero vivente (Giulio, 2010) shares many of the basic premises advanced by Bodie, but there is little doubt that it is the most sophisticated and sustained reflection on thinking the nature and the political consequences of “Italian Difference” in the wake of nihilism and biopolitics after Michel Foucault’s critique of governmentality. Although unlike Bodei, Esposito pushes the political consequences to its limits on the relation between philosophy and history. According to Esposito, it is on this threshold that a region beyond the impasse of the philosophical and political categories of Western modernity, would allow an actuality of thought with transformative capacities and innovative energy (Esposito 21). Departing from Deleuze & Guattari’s anarchic definition of philosophy as de-territorializing, Esposito affirms not an ultra-philosophy or a non-philosophy, but the development of an uneven grammar that is universal due to its very singularity, that is, it could travel unbounded throughout Europe with arguments, formulations, and images that everyone could make their own and share (20). 

Esposito outlines three different paradigms of Italian difference: a political one that solicits conflict in every instance; a radical historicity of the non-historical; and one of life, which is to be understood as both the worldliness of the modern subject and the deconstructive gesture of the dual theological machine folded on the person.  I want to limit myself to elaborate on the first and third declinations (political conflict and life). Esposito also thinks against the German or English traditions understood as State traditions – the traditions of Locke, Hegel, or Fichte – which he sees as constituting the state knowledge of the political (Esposito 21). Esposito views them as philosophies of history, whose nexus to the political is one of consensus and not of disagreement or antagonism. Instead, “Italian philosophy has shown a critical and sometimes antagonistic potential not commonly found in other contexts. Sometimes, in special situations, and under certain conditions – in the case of a drastic transition between epochs like the one we have been experiencing for some hears now – what appears to be, an is, in effect, a lack or an antimony can transform itself into advance compared to more stable, well-established situations” (21). 

This ‘antagonistic potential’ defiantly avoids the nihilism of acting according to the presenting of principles of the normative order. However, so it seems to argue Esposito, the antagonistic politics feeds off crisis, is born out of transitional or inter-epocal subsumption. The question is similar to the one that one could formulate against the hegemonic principle overriding the populistic logic, which Moreiras frames it in this way in Línea de sombra: “if hegemony is the democratic horizon of domination [because it is not consensual], the search for a politics of the closure of sovereignty begs the question about the end of subalternity in a radically democratic horizon” (Moreiras 94). But the truth of democratic politics is only possible against the condition of hegemonic attainment. Esposito writes this much: “…[against] the Hegelian identification between politics and state, the world of life is cut through by pervasive struggle, in a fight to idea for hegemony: whether like it or no, we are always forced to take a position in favor of one part against the other” (Esposito 25). 

I would not go as far as to say this exhaust the horizon of Esposito’s political thought, from the intricacies of the impolitical to his most recent turn to the impersonal. However, this does mark a fissure from the possible of generating a radical theory of de-theologizing the political, an operation of thought not alien to the infrapolitical horizon (132). Essentially, the problem here is not about the theory of hegemony, or the continuation of hegemonic principle of Roman politics, as what continues to divide and administer life through domination. More so, I would argue, give that we are seeing here a second order of interior domination that posits the life of infrapolitics at the expense of the political and the community (munus). This means, that if one takes seriously the articulation of infrapolitics as the possibility of action outside the subject, that it is not enough to think the politics of Italian difference as a pre-statist that is always already the promise of a democratic or post-democratic infrapower as governed by a counter-hegemony of decision (Moreiras 224). Secondly, this leads to the question of contingency that underlines the very co-belonging between history and philosophy of the Italian Difference. Stefano Franchi is right in noting that the “sporgenza” or protrusions are processes that punctuate the body and archive of Italian thought. Protrusions are also what allow for the development of epochs, constituting the excess and contingent foundation of the historical unfolding as such. Of course, the pressing question is: “and how do we know if ‘Il Pensiero vivente’ as such – not the book Esposito wrote, but though he advocates in its last sentence as a breach capable of renewing contemporary philosophy as a whole – is capable to uncover those events in unprecedented ways?” (Franchi 31). And what is more: how does one establishes a co-substantial difference from an epochal presence of living thought to Esposito’s own thought (impersonal / third person)?

My purpose here is not to resolve this aporia in Esposito’s characterization of Italian Difference, because to cross its nihilism. Infrapolitics has something to say here in regards to location. In the chapter on infrapolitics in Linea de sombra, Alberto argues: “The difference between an imperfect experience and one reducible to an aporia is also the difference between understanding the aporetic as the end of thinking, and that of understanding as a reflexive opening that is the beginning of an infrapolitical practice in the same location where the suppression against the aporia reinforces the exorbitant violence of the imperial biopolitical hegemony” (Moreiras 235). But infrapolitical dwells necessarily in a non-space or alocation, since is very excess is the falsification of life; that is, what is no longer structured around an enemy for political antagonism. Italian Difference necessitates a non-supplementary exodus that is infrapolitical life, what escapes biopolitical life of the community.

Here one must ask, what is the relation between alocationality and democracy? Is there a democracy of the impersonal or the unequal? This is a difficult question to ask at this moment, but it is pertinent if the question about civic duty (Bodei) or immanentization of social strife is constitutive Italian thought. Following the political historian of Ancient Greece, Christian Meier, Agamben concludes his recent Stasis (2015) by suggesting that the politization brought by the isonomic foundation carries the latent possibility of social strife or stasis, which is the obfuscation of the ontology of war (politics) within the polis. This runs counter to Arendt, who in On Revolution attributed non-rule to the principle of isonomy as antecedent to democracy as majority rule (Arendt 30). It also seems insufficient to end at Esposito’s determination of the community based on the logistics of binding-debt (munus), intensified today by the total unification of existence and world, in what Moreiras has called the principle of equivalence (Moreiras 2016). Is infrapolitics then, always, a shadow of civil war? If the non-subject cannot constitute isonomic citizenship; infrapolitics disjoints the mediation between the political and the differential absorption of differences. In other words, posthegemonic democracy prepares a different institutionalization for political relation that no longer covers the empty space of the One at the heart of the civil.     

* A version of this text was written on the occasion of a roundtable on Alberto Moreiras’ book Línea de sombra: el no-sujeto de lo político (2006, 2021), which Sergio Villalobos-Ruminott and I organized for the ACLA 2016 at Harvard University. I am actualizing it here with minor changes in light of the first discussion on “Italian theory” in the framework of the Foro Euroamericano, at 17/instituto, which I am co-organizing along with José Luis Villacañas, Benjamin Mayer Foulkes, and José Miguel Burgos-Mazas. The first session is mow available here:


Alberto Moreiras. Línea de sombra: el no-sujeto de lo político (Palinodia, 2006).

______. “Infrapolitical Action: The Truth of Democracy at the End of General Equivalence”, Política Común, Vol.9, 2016:;rgn=main#N7

Giorgio Agamben. Stasis: civil war as a political paradigm (Stanford University Press, 2015).

Hannah Arendt. On Revolution (Penguin Books, 1986).

Mario Perniola. “The difference of Italian philosophical culture”. Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal, Vol. 10, N.1, Spring 1984.

Mauro Bonazzi & Thomas Benatouïl. Theoria, Praxis and the Contemplative Life after Plato and Aristotle (Brill, 2012).

Reiner Schürmann. Broken Hegemonies (Indiana University Press, 2003).

Remo Bodei. “Italian”. Dictionary of untranslatables (Princeton University Press, 2014), 515-527

Roberto Esposito. Living thought: the origins and actuality of Italian Philosophy (Stanford University Press, 2012).

Stefano Franchi. “Living thought and living things: on Roberto Esposito’s Il pensiero vivente“. Res Publica: Revista de filosofia politica, 29 (2013), 19-33.

La guerra civil y el carácter: una nota. por Gerardo Muñoz

La temática de la stasis o guerra civil se puede entender tanto como herramienta para una nueva analítica del poder, así como una figura que prepara y pone en disposición una la transfiguración de la política. Si bien lo que anuncia la transfiguración de la política es hoy innominado – y que habría que asociar fuertemente con el aviso de Heidegger sobre la democracia para una época absolutamente dominada por la técnica – lo cierto es que la stasis le da un golpe de gracia a la ruina categorial de la política moderna; y, en particular, a los fundamentos del republicanismo cuya condición mínima de posibilidad es la autoridad. En efecto, si estamos en guerra civil es porque ya no hay objetivos ni principios de orientación definidos. Y así diríamos: donde no hay fines entonces toman partido los medios, aunque seamos incapaces de nombrar la simbolización política más allá de los viejos principios de la acción y la realización. Esta ciencia de la stasiología – como la ha situado Rodrigo Karmy en un horizonte de rendimiento teórico productivo – es salida al bios theoretikos a la espera de una nueva secuencia de politicidad, irreductible a la fisonomía democrática y en disyunción con la forma de lo civil (Martínez Marzoa).

En el campo de la comprensión del poder, la guerra civil aparece como un nuevo realismo sobre la organización de fuerzas. Esto lo ha tematizado con nitidez Julien Coupat en un reciente ensayo que vale la pena citar: “La única cosa que los distingue [a la policía] de las otras bandas es que están organizados en un aparato de complicidad más vasto, y que de esta manera se arrogaron la impunidad. Dicho de otra manera: no hay más que fuerzas en este mundo, que se consideran criminales de manera proporcional a su desorganización” [1]. En otras palabras, la guerra civil es otro nombre para la anarquía de los fenómenos por fuera de la intensificación amigo-enemigo del conflicto central. Y no es porque la definición del enemigo-amigo haya desaparecido; sino que, como sugiere Coupat, el nuevo diagrama de la composición de lucha se condensa en la manera en que podemos organizar la pasión de una parte contra la ficción de la separación entre sujetos. Dicho en otras palabras, la guerra civil es una nueva física de la separación de lo político en virtud de ser una separación de todas las energías subjetivas que paralizan el campo afectivo de las formas que nos damos.

Paradójicamente cuando Amadeo Bordiga decía que solo se llegaría a la revolución una vez que seamos lo suficientemente “desorganizados” en realidad quería decir lo mismo: la desorganización de la especie agrupará a los entes en una nueva comunidad de estilos y afecciones más fuerte que los dispositivos de la reducción interna del sujeto. Y, en última instancia, esto también implica que el mundo no solo puede ser transformado desde una técnica-política (esto siempre fue la salida del leninismo) sino desde una praxis experiencial. Esta praxis de la experiencia reconoce la irreductibilidad entre formas y acontecimiento: dotarnos de fuerza en las formas en separación es otra manera de autoorganizar la contingencia de nuestros modos. Esta autonomía no denota una capacidad subjetiva del actuar, sino una composición libre de las maneras de ser.

De ahí que sea importante recordar que el momento en el que Giorgio Agamben alude a la stasis de Tiqqun en L’uso dei corpi (Neri Pozza, 2014) lo hace en relación con el gusto propio de las inclinaciones. Y el “secreto del gusto”, nos dice Agamben, es definitorio de los gestos y los medios que realizan y llevan a su término el brillo de todo carácter [2]. De esta manera, la stasis o guerra civil, no supone la confrontación total entre los miembros de una comunidad política; sino que, al contrario, es apertura a la declinación de los gustos para poder nutrir un carácter. Desde luego, esto supone una inmensa dificultad para la concepción clásica del republicano. De ahí que cuando Rodrigo Karmy dice que “la guerra civil pone en crisis la herencia del republicanismo” le debemos tomar la sugerencia al pie de la letra, pues en la stasis la unidad de la existencia ya no es el ciudadano del derecho, ni tampoco la acción ni las oscilaciones metafísicas entre cosas (-res) y sujetos. Ahora es el ethos la noción operativa para la experimentación en separación de la política, o lo que algunos de nosotros hemos venido llamando desde hace algunos años infrapolítica.

Por eso, dejando a un lado a la producción y a la acción del eón político (desde el meson de la polis misma), aparece el cultivo de la existencia que Karmy invita a pensar como: “borde del mundo, jardín es la figura que remite al cultivo del estilo” [3]. Este cultivo del estilo es el brillo de la guerra civil como separación abismal entre fragmentos que Josep Rafanell i Orra tematiza como cultivo de la parcialidad. En esta ecuación la politicidad es un proceso secundario, a la espera de ser dotado de una forma que ya no pueden ser mimética ni de la isonomia ni de la configuración republicana para un presente post-autoritario. Este paso atrás a la textura sensible es tal vez lo que siempre denegó el fundamento de la política moderna para legitimarse; y es solo ahora que reaparece con bajo la discontinuidad vital de la guerra civil. Si la pregunta del enemigo es siempre la pregunta por nuestra forma (gestalt); la guerra civil es la pregunta por el carácter, esto es, de cómo vamos a ser lo que somos.




1. Julien Coupat. “Engrenages, ficción policial”. Ficción de la razón, julio de 2021.

2. Giorgio Agamben. L’uso dei corpi (Neri Pozza, 2014). 294.

3. Rodrigo Karmy. “Stasiologia: prolegomenos para una anti-ciencia de las formas de vida”. Stasis: Política, Guerra, Contemporaneidad, Revista Disenso, N.III, ed. Rodrigo Karmy, julio de 2021. 102-120.

*Esta nota se escribió para acompañar la presentación del número “Stasis: Política, Guerra, Contemporaneidad, editado por Rodrigo Karmy de la Revista Disenso Encuentro organizado por el editor de la revista Iván Torres Apablaza.