Giorgio Agamben: The Power and the Glory

This investigation concerns the reasons and modalities through which power has taken in western societies the form of an economy, that is to say, of a government of man and things. So we will not speak about power in general, but about a peculiar form of power, a modern form of power, that is to say, government.

Of course I will therefore have to cary on Michel Foucault´s enquires in the genealogy of governance. As you probably know, starting from the mids of the seventies, Foucault began to work on what he called “le governement des home”… I will cary on and continue his research, but I also try to locate, to deslocate then in a different context. Foucault once wrote that his historical investigation were only the shadow of his theoretical  questioning of the present. And I completly share this point of view, also for me, the historical investigation I have to do are just the shadow cast from my interrogation of the present. And in my case, this shadow becomes longer; riches back to the very beginning of christian theology.

I will try to show that two paradigms derived from christian theology, from the early christian theology : political theology, which grounds in the one god, the transcendence of sovereinty power, and – this is the new thing – the economical theology, which bases itself on the notion of oeconomia, an economy conceived as an imanent order, domestic and not properly political, of both human and devine life. The first paradigm is juridical, or juridical political, and will give rise to the modern theory of sovereinity, and the second one is managerial and will lead to modern biopolitics up to the present domination of economy and management over all aspects of social life.

This entry was posted on Friday, November 19th, 2010 at 6:48 pm
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