Homo sacer quartet

Flesh Machine: An anarchist magazine “on the body and its desiring machines” published in Athens.

A boy resides out-of-place. Two pigs charge into the out-of-place. In the conjuncture of these two trajectories, an event is born. The boy challenges the violation of the border of his out-of-place by the pigs. The pigs park in-place and cross, once again, the limits of the heterotopia, this time on foot. The pigs enjoin the boy. The boy responds to the injunction. The pigs shoot and destroy the life that "is not worth being lived." The pigs return to in-place. The borders of the out-of-place are ruptured and urban space, from end to end, is recomposed into a thick burning network of heterotopia: the city is on fire.

For sovereignty every life out-of-place is a life that is not worth being lived. The state of exception is imposed, even by suspension,on every life out-of-place, on every life that is acted not as a contemplation of privacy and its commodity-panoply but as a social relation, as a self-constituted construction of the space and time of conviviality. The sovereign exception is not so much about the control or the destruction of an excess in itself, but about the creation or the definition of a space where juridico-political order can be perpetually validated. The state of exception classifies space and the bodies withinit. It puts them in order. It imposes order upon them. With assimilation, commodification, surveillance, and discipline. Executing the delinquent with prisons, psychiatric units, marginalisation. And wherever, whenever might be necessary with bullets, with bullets, with bullets.

In a society dedicated to the production of privacies the murder of a boy can only be conceptualised in the terms of the value of his privacy, the ontological base of property: the sacred right to one’s own life. This is the only way in which death can be political: as a destruction of the source of property The destruction of property, let alone of its source, is a dreadful crime in the bourgeois world. Even, or especially when it is committed by the apparatus charged with its protection. But to destroy properties in order to take revenge for the destruction of property that is a doubly nefarious crime: have you not understood a thing? All those tears, all the dirge, the requiems are not for a boy that attacked the power-that-safeguards-property, they are for the power that failed in its duty: the duty to defend life as the ultimate property as privacy.

The body of an enemy now deceased can be sanitised, pillaged, transformed into a symbolic capital for the reproduction of sovereignty and Hnally in the announcement or reminder of the capacity for the imposition of a generalised state of exception. An emergency confirming the sovereign monopoly on the definition of the real through the abolition of its symbolic legitimisation. The sovereignty, in tears, shouts: you are all private individuals, else you are all potential corpses. And society falls on its knees in awe of its idols and shows remorse: mea culpa; from now on, I will take care of myself only, as long as you safeguard its reproduction. The return to the normalcy of the private is paved with the pectacle of generalized exception.

December 10, 2008, from the occupied Athens School of Economics and Business.

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Dec 18 2010 22:47


We are an image from the future: the Greek revolt of December 2008

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