Difference between revisions of "Homo Sacer in Afghanistan"

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The lesson to be learned from Carl Schmitt is that the divide friend/enemy is never just the verification of a factual difference: the enemy is by definition always — up to a point, at least — invisible, it looks like one of us, it cannot be directly recognized, which is why the big problem and task of the political struggle is that of providing/constructing the recognizable IMAGE of the enemy. (This also makes it clear why Jews are the enemy par excellence: it is not only that they conceal their true image or contours — it is that there is ultimately NOTHING beneath their deceiving appearances. Jews lack the "inner form" that pertains to any proper national identity: they are a non-nation among nations, their national substance resides precisely in a lack of substance, in a formless infinite plasticity). In short, the "enemy recognition" is always a performative procedure which, in contrast to the deceiving appearances, brings to light / constructs the enemy's "true face." Schmitt refers here directly to the Kantian category of Einbildungskraft, the transcendental power of imagination: in order to recognize the enemy, the conceptual subsumption under preexisting categories is not enough; one has "to schematize" the logical figure of the Enemy, providing it with concrete sensible features which make it into an appropriate target of hatred and struggle.
 
The lesson to be learned from Carl Schmitt is that the divide friend/enemy is never just the verification of a factual difference: the enemy is by definition always — up to a point, at least — invisible, it looks like one of us, it cannot be directly recognized, which is why the big problem and task of the political struggle is that of providing/constructing the recognizable IMAGE of the enemy. (This also makes it clear why Jews are the enemy par excellence: it is not only that they conceal their true image or contours — it is that there is ultimately NOTHING beneath their deceiving appearances. Jews lack the "inner form" that pertains to any proper national identity: they are a non-nation among nations, their national substance resides precisely in a lack of substance, in a formless infinite plasticity). In short, the "enemy recognition" is always a performative procedure which, in contrast to the deceiving appearances, brings to light / constructs the enemy's "true face." Schmitt refers here directly to the Kantian category of Einbildungskraft, the transcendental power of imagination: in order to recognize the enemy, the conceptual subsumption under preexisting categories is not enough; one has "to schematize" the logical figure of the Enemy, providing it with concrete sensible features which make it into an appropriate target of hatred and struggle.
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==Source==
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* [[Homo Sacer in Afghanistan]]. ‘’Lacaniank Ink’’ Volume 22. Spring 2002. pp 100-113. <http://www.lacan.com/frameXX6.htm>
  
 
From: Lacanian Ink, Issue 20.
 
From: Lacanian Ink, Issue 20.

Revision as of 11:24, 7 June 2006

Homo Sacer in Afghanistan Slavoj Zizek. Lacanian Ink, Issue 20.


The lesson to be learned from Carl Schmitt is that the divide friend/enemy is never just the verification of a factual difference: the enemy is by definition always — up to a point, at least — invisible, it looks like one of us, it cannot be directly recognized, which is why the big problem and task of the political struggle is that of providing/constructing the recognizable IMAGE of the enemy. (This also makes it clear why Jews are the enemy par excellence: it is not only that they conceal their true image or contours — it is that there is ultimately NOTHING beneath their deceiving appearances. Jews lack the "inner form" that pertains to any proper national identity: they are a non-nation among nations, their national substance resides precisely in a lack of substance, in a formless infinite plasticity). In short, the "enemy recognition" is always a performative procedure which, in contrast to the deceiving appearances, brings to light / constructs the enemy's "true face." Schmitt refers here directly to the Kantian category of Einbildungskraft, the transcendental power of imagination: in order to recognize the enemy, the conceptual subsumption under preexisting categories is not enough; one has "to schematize" the logical figure of the Enemy, providing it with concrete sensible features which make it into an appropriate target of hatred and struggle.


Source

From: Lacanian Ink, Issue 20. Available: http://lacan.com/frameXX6.htm