File spoon-archives/lyotard.archive/lyotard_2003/lyotard.0302, message 24

Date: Sun, 09 Feb 2003 18:53:57 +0000
Subject: Re: the latest in propaganda...


The coming community - was originally published in 1990. This text was 
written then in one of the high points of the counter-reformation, at 
the moment when globalisation was being named for the first time as 
something that would triumphantly change the world.

Let me quote exstensively one of the most telling moments in the 
text...he is writing on Debord who appears to be extremely central to 
Agamben's work

"...Today in the era of the complete triumph of the spectacle, what can 
be reaped from the heritage of Debord ? It is clear that the spectacle 
is language, the very communicativity or linguistic being of humans. 
This means that a fuller Marxian analysis should deal with the fact that 
capitalism (or any other name one wants to give to the process that 
today dominates world history) was directed not only towards the 
expropriation of roductive activity, but also and principally toward the 
aleination of language itself, of the very linguistic and communicative 
nature of humans, of the logos which one of Heraclitus's fragments 
oidentified as the common. The extreme form of this expropriation of the 
Common is the spectacle, that is, the politics we live in. But this also 
means that in the spectacle our own linguistic nature comes back to us 
inverted. This is why (precisely because what is being expropriated is 
the very possibility of a common good) the violence of the spectacle is 
so destructive; but for the same reason the spectacle retains something 
like a positive possibility that can be used against it..." (P80)

As long as you do not confuse the 'spectacle' with a false notion of the 
dominance of the image, but rather understand it as an economic and 
social relation "Capitalism in its final form"  then it seems that the 
very text you quote below contains a different answer to the question 
you ask. Especially given the difficulties that the spectacle finds 
itself in 13 years on...

steve wrote:

>Eric, you mention the Zapatistas and "another world," and that reminds me of 
>Agamben's call towards the Coming Community.
>He writes in a book by the same name:
>It is the Most Common taht cuts off any real community.  Hence the impotent 
>omnivalence of whatever being.  It is neither apathy nor promiscuity nor 
>resignation.  These pure singluraties communicate only in the empty space
>of the example, without being tied by any common property, by any identity.  
>They are expropriated of all identity, so as to appropriate belonging itself, 
>the sign E.  Tricksters or fakes, assistants or 'toons, they are the exemplars 
>of the coming community (10-10.1).
>Is there any choice?


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