are we not men? (D-E-V-O)

I have a rather basic confusion re: the definition of homo sacer that I've been trying to sort out this morning, but since I have to leave for work in five minutes, I might as well put it to the public:

Being vs. being??


My experience in reading "Homo Sacer" was, to put it mildly, a frustrating one. Nevertheless, I pushed through, and for the most part, I ultimately understood most of concepts. He certainly has a knack for repeating his arguments. I can say with great confidence that the homo sacer may be killed but not sacrificed. However, I am still confused by the "Being vs. being." The capital letters always throw me off and this is no exception. On page 59, he writes, "That Being abandons the being means: Being dissimulates itself in the being-manifest of the being.

the werewolf

Throughout "Homo Sacer," Agamben makes several references to Foucault's "History of Sexuality." I just finished reading Foucualt's "Madness and Civilization" as well as "Discipline and Punish" for my final paper and their themes are equally resonant in Agamben's arguments. The continuous link between law and violence is an underlying force in both of Foucault's works. In order to implement a society defined by morals and organization, violence must be used on citizens. Anyone who strays from societal "norms" must be punished and in many instances, this entails banning.

Class Discussion pt. 2

Agamben seems to hold out hope for a politics (if the term could still be used) that goes beyond the sovereign-bare life relationship, that is, the relationship of the ban. I get this mostly from sections in which Agamben talks about how hard it is to break with the structure of the ban:

Another NYTimes find...

In doing a little online research, I came across this gem: a NYT op-ed piece written by Slavoj Zizek that name-checks Giorgio Agamben's Homo Sacer theorizations.

The article refers to events roughly two weeks prior, when Khalid Shaikh Mohammed confessed to organizing the 9/11 attacks. Here's the original NYT article about that.



Did anyone else get really annoyed by Agamben's constant use of parenthesis? I found them incredibly distracting and usually pointless.

"Political Theology"

I didn't quite understand how a "masterpiece" could be written on "Political Theology" until I re-read "Political Theology" a couple of times and realized "Political Theology" is not political theory. (See how I repeated political theology a bunch there so you could see the difference ;) )(I feel like thats a very postmodern joke the, "See what I did there" when its obvious what you just did. Its a very self referential type joke, a joke that knows its a joke and is therefore funny.

Class Discussion

One of the questions that aha and I wanted to pose for class discussion tomorrow is one that I posed briefly in my 'third world bare life' response to mftc's "oh wow" post: namely, to what extent does Agamben support a 'politicization' of bare life, and what would such a politicization look like?

Example versus exception

On page 21, Agamben brings up some tricky issues that I'm hoping to get some more clarity on, please! He delineates two opposing modes: inclusive exclusion (which serves to include what is excluded) versus exclusive inclusion (which i think one could infer serves to exclude what is included . . . ?)


During our class on Foucault, I briefly pondered explanations for why the Pro-Life movement argues so vehemently against abortion but not nearly as much against capital punishment. There are undoubtedly those that succeed in connecting these two causes. I feel these people are the exception, though. On a nationwide-scale, The Republican party in general/ 'Dubya' in particular, proposed a 'culture of life'. This 'culture' (for reasons unknown) really wants every baby to be born but does not mind capital punishment.

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