Debordian Strategists: Agamben and Virno on the Coming Politics

Дейв Месинг. Email: dmesing@villanova.edu
Ключевые слова: Guy Debord; Giorgio Agamben; Paolo Virno; language; politics; life; post-operaismo
This paper considers Agamben’s political project as it develops in response to Guy Debord. By tracing the historical context of Agamben’s initial engagement with Debord during the summer of 1968, I argue for a reading of The Coming Community as at one and the same time the opening of Agamben’s explicit political project and as part of a specific theoretical horizon, namely a divergent or heretical Marxism. The importance of Debord for Agamben’s political project allows for a helpful comparison between Agamben and postoperaismo, especially the work of Paolo Virno, alongside whom Agamben published an essay recapitulating the conclusion of The Coming Community in a 1991 book on the Situationists. I situate Agamben’s inheritance from Debord against the work of Virno in order to carry out an immanent critique of Agamben’s conceptualization of language, life, and the common in relation to politics. Situating Virno’s development within a similar, if fleeting, Debordian heritage, I argue that it is especially the problem of the common that remains under-conceptualized in Agamben’s political project.
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