Tag: Power

Why Trump Won’t Win and Why it Matters

Trump’s candidacy allows us to see the domestic contradictions that have always existed globally. There is a sinister umbilical cord between the inside of American politics and institutionalism and its unrestricted and savage outside. The American president resembles the case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Domestically, the institution is ‘seemingly’ politically controlled by a…

A Labour Party of protest or government? Bringing politics back in

A party of protest or a party of government – according to Gordon Brown these are the options, the choices at stake, suggesting they are very different things, polarities even. Those who protest don’t govern and those who govern don’t protest. But is this right? Social movement organisations, the back-bone of the protest movement, also govern…

On the Horns of the Moon: 5 More Years Of Pain

2015 UK General Election: Did voters defy the polls because of deeply rooted ideas about masculinity, race and political power? As I walked along the pavement early yesterday morning to get the papers, under the heavy grey sky, cussing the cold temperatures and contemplating all that a Tory majority will mean for the next five…

Conatus: political being and Spinoza

Key Concept Part I – The nature and significance of the conatus Spinoza’s ‘conatus’ is a signal concept of his thought and one which appears as an axiom of modern treatments, particularly those of a political nature. Famously, the conatus doctrine provides: Each thing insofar as it is in itself, endeavours to persevere in its…

A Taste for the Secret: Interview with Mark Neocleous

Mark Neocelous is Professor of the Critique of Political Economy at Brunel University, UK. Author of several books incl. most recently ‘War Power, Police Power’ (2014 EUP), ‘Anti-Security’ (2011 Red Quill Books) and ‘Critique of Security’ (2008 EUP/McGill). Many of his articles can be freely accessed here.This interview was originally conducted in March 2014 for Kampfplatz (a…

For a Theory of Destituent Power

“… While a constituent power destroys law only to recreate it in a new form, destituent power, in so far as it deposes once and for all the law, can open a really new historical epoch …” Transcript of lecture delivered by Agamben in Athens, 16.11.2013.A reflection on the destiny of democracy today here in…

Notes on the Theology of Constituent Power

In its traditional conception, the constituent is a power that constitutes and reconstitutes the state. This is a dangerous, though important salve for the problem of corruption in the body politic. The people or their representatives may overthrow the constituted order when it loses its authority, when the monarch or polyarch becomes tryannous. However, our…

The Illegality of Power

Law and juridical discourse play a central role in the configuration of power relations. In order to impose a programme of social cutbacks, a police action and even a protest mobilisation, force is needed. But so too is the ability to appeal to the law as a source of justification. The legality or illegality of…

The Guise of Citizenship: Immigration & Liminal Spaces of Legality

Like all obviousnesses, including those that make a word ‘name a thing’ or ‘have a meaning’ (therefore including the obviousness of the ‘transparency’ of language), the ‘obviousness’ that you and I are subjects – and that that does not cause any problems – is an ideological effect, the elementary ideological effect (Althusser, Ideology and the Ideological…

A note on power and responsibility

A short piece to mark just one example of the continuing intellectual hegemony of the banking/Thatcherism/Murdoch triad that infests British politics. Listening to the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, give an interview this morning to Evan Davis of the BBC, we heard him proclaim: If they [the Murdochs and Rebekah Brooks] have any shred of…

Exception, Precariousness, Power & Authority: irregular migrants in Australian law (Pt. 2)

<<< Part I State of exception, resurgent sovereignty? The Australian government has attempted to assert that the entire RSA process is an exercise of non-statutory executive power and as such, status assessors and independent reviewers are under no obligation to afford an applicant procedural fairness or to decide applications according to existing law. However late…

Constituent Power and this Summer of Rage

There has been much discussion and fear-mongering about this expected summer of rage. The idea is put forward by the media and political classes that we must expect the worst. However, in the light of the recent resurgence of the left and the countervailing ideology perpetuated by mainstream politics and the media, it is worthwhile…

Power, Violence, Law

Over the last two hundred years, the theory of right, now known as normative jurisprudence, has discovered its vocation in a frantic attempt to legitimise the exercise of power. It carries out this task by declaring that law and power are external to each other ontologically, politically, morally, the two are involved in a zero-sum…