Agamben, The Open

‘The traditional historical potentialities — poetry, religion, philosophy — which (…) kept the historico-political destiny of peoples awake have long since been transformed into cultural spectacles and private experiences,and have lost all historical efficacy. Faced with this eclipse, the only task that still seem to retain some seriousness is the assumption of the burden — and the total management — of biological life, that is, of the very animality of man. (…) It is not easy to say whether the humanity that has taken upon itself the mandate of the total management of its own animality is still human, in the sense of that humanitas which the anthropological machine produced by deciding every time between man and animal; nor is it clear whether the well-being of a life that can no longer be recognized as either human or animal can be felt as fulfilling. (…) The total humanization of the animal coincides with a total animalization of man.’

Giorgio Agamben, The Open, Stanford UP, 2004 (2002), p. 77.

‘In our culture, the decisive political conflict, which governs every other conflict, is that between the animality and the humanity of man. That is to say, in its origin Western politics is also biopolitics.’

Giorgio Agamben, The Open, Stanford UP, 2004 (2002), p. 80.

en,quotations,reading matter | April 18, 2006 | 17:06 | Comments Off on Agamben, The Open |


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