“Infrapolitics in-between” Thinking with Heidegger, Foucault and Schürmann. By Maddalena Cerrato.

[Here there are some notes about what we were discussing throughout the first two sessions of the seminar….I apologize in advance for my still unsteady english…especially since I do not have the english versions of the texts I am referring to…] During the seminar’s last session, at some point, Alberto posed the question “What happens before subjectivation?”, as a question that could lead toward the space where infrapolitical theoretical practice takes place. So, taking that as a Leitfrage (leading question) and working with Heidegger and Foucault in their indirect connection through Schürmann’s reflexions on both of them, I would like to try suggest the possibility of thinking infrapolitics as a possible “in-between” (something like the heideggerian der Zwishen) subjectivations. The Dasein is always-already thrown into a world, or in Foucaultian terms we could say that individual is always-already subject to the normative order of the regime of truth in force. And that world, that regime of truth, always historically determined, constitutes the arché, the principles of a subjectivation where the human being find himself always-already thrown, insofar as an radically historical being (this is the Da of the Dasein). I would say that this is the archic, historical and heteronomous subjectivation, that constitutes the individual as a subject, gives form to his consciousness, and that is interiorized as identity, or perhaps better as multifold overlapping identities. As Schürmann wrote in his beautiful essay about Foucault: “ ‘Self-identity’, endlessly invoked, thus results from interiorized, although heteronomous, subjection. Self-identity is self-objectivation accepted and enforced as self-subjection.” For Foucault, indeed, government of the individuals happens always in a double modality: the exterior domination, through which the individual is subject to the norm and to the other’s control, and, on the other hand, the identitarian recognition, through which the individual is tied to an interiorized form of the normative framework. “This form of power applies itself to immediate everyday life which categorizes the individual, marks him by his own individuality, attaches him to his own identity, imposes a law of truth on him which he must recognize and which the others have to recognize in him. It is a form of power which makes individuals subjects. There are two meanings of the word subject: subject to someone else by control and dependence, and tied to his own identity by a conscience or self-knowledge. Both meanings suggest a form of power which subjugates and makes subject to.” (Foucault, The Subject and the Power) This is the first subjectivation, that I would say corresponds to the identitarian fiction, referring to last week’s meeting and to Derrida’s ’64 seminar the ontic metaphor through which the Dasein thinks about himself…, the auto-hetero-grafic metaphorization…where the hetero- implies a normative element. The subjectivation to which Alberto’s leading-question referred, is a second subjectivation, the properly political one, the one in force of which the individual (as a single human being as well as a collective individual) acts insofar as (the als structure)…a specific political subject. This is a “willful” subjectivation that one can say works as the arché of a specific political practice. It can and cannot follow directly from the first subjectivation…in form of continuance as well as reaction/inversion… So, with respect to what we were talking about on Tuesday, what about thinking infrapolitical practice as an an-archic theoretical praxis that irrupts in between the two subjectivations? What about thinking the infrapolitical irruption as the possibility of a not-dialectic mediation that can possibly open up the possibility of a political subjectivation autonomous and an-anarchic with respect to normative horizons of a specific regime of truth into which we have always-already been thrown? In this sense, I would say that infrapolitics is a critical-deconstructive practice, a demetaphorization that takes as a departure point the excess, the difference, the difference, the trace, the secret, the haunting…the rest.. with respect to the first subjectivation, this is our thrownness, as well as with respect to the second one in its form of coming-toward-itself, of a possibility always-already there, in the perspective of the ectasis of Heideggerian Dasein‘s temporality…. It operates as a not-dialectic, not-normative, an-archic mediation that interrupts the self-identity of the consciousness, and that, at the very same time, takes a distance from, or interrupts the “transparency” of political response that is coming. Such a practice can be neither teleological nor deontological, since it cannot be founded on any universal principle and so it cannot become an object of either a prescription or a doctrine which could be handed down or taught. It cannot be guaranteed, it can be neither founded nor postulated as necessary: it can only happen as an act of thought whose possibility is always-already there…this is, I would say, because of what Heidegger called the ontic-ontological priority of Dasein. It can happen and it does not really matter whether in a more or less narrative form…what does matter is that it keeps a “distance from its own taking a distance.”…

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8 thoughts on ““Infrapolitics in-between” Thinking with Heidegger, Foucault and Schürmann. By Maddalena Cerrato.

  1. Nice text, Maddalena. My only problem with it is that I don´t know if it is good to talk about “infrapolitical irruptions,” since I assume what irrupts is always of the order of a subjectivation. Perhaps “infrapolitical interruption,” which you also use, is better, don´t you think”? Even so, what interrupts interrupts some ongoing process, whereas for me the infrapolitical is the ceaseless, more what is interrupted than what interrupts. (I don´t say this to settle anything, needless to say–we can discuss and rediscuss every point.)

  2. Yes…it is an really an endless fighting with language… the only verbs that I really feel confortable with are those which have to do with an eventual dimension… as “happens” or “takes place”… this was I was looking for using ‘irruption’…(as well as the “in-between” idea)…I’ll keep thinking about it! 🙂

  3. Me parece buena la idea, planteada por Maddalena, de un between entre dos subjetivaciones para delimitar el espacio de la acción infrapolítica. Me pregunto si, en realidad, de lo que se está hablando es de un sujeto flotante con respecto a las continuas subjetivaciones, un sujeto en retirada de cada una de las identidades, una desestabilización permanente de todo lo que pueda enrigidecer los flujos subjetivos, esto es, la praxis misma. La actitud del agente infrapolítico es semejante a la lingüística prevención frente a la identificación entre signo y cosa.

  4. Pero ¿por qué es necesario que lo que se retira sea llamado “sujeto”? Cuando estoy tumbado en la hierba, tomando el sol, y pasa una abeja y me pica, y se me mete una mosca en la nariz, y le doy un trago al gin-tonic, y me cabreo con la mala música de la radio, por ejemplo, no soy un sujeto excepto por inercia y extrapolación. Estoy ahí tumbado, en una facticidad que pasa por mi, como pasa el tiempo, es todo. Lo que digo, Jorge, es que la insistencia en conceptualizarlo todo como sujeto impide comprensiones alternativas.

    • Comparto tus dudas, Alberto, acerca de la pertinencia del término, pero no es fácil encontrar un sustituto, ninguno parece satisfactorio: nos sirve unas veces “agente”, otras vale “individuo”, y otras “Hermenegilda” o “fulano”… pero hay una realidad a la que se remite (“tu tumbado con tu gin-tonic, un ser capaz de conciencia suficiente para contárnoslo a otros a los que reconoce como seres no sólo capaces de entender su código comunicativo sino susceptibles de una experiencia igual ): unos flujos de subjetividad, cierta conciencia, pensamiento, capacidad lingüística, posibilidad de distancia frente a un medio (libertad)… Todo eso no es del todo dispersable, ni tan fragmentario como para que solo podamos pensar en sucesos sin ningún punto de especial adensamiento, ni tan centrado como para constituir un punto de transcendentalidad.

      • Heidegger prefirió el término Dasein, no porque no conociese el de sujeto, sino por su absoluta contaminación, de la que quería huir como de la pólvora porque la terminología era parte del problema que él identificaba. Hoy, casi cien años después, la contaminación es todavía más grave, y al mismo tiempo no podemos usar Dasein, porque es una palabra alemana o bien porque ya incluye una firma. Pero podríamos hablar del existente, no del sujeto, al referirnos a infrapolítica.

  5. A mí lo que mas me parece peligroso en uso del termino ‘sujeto’, también especificando que se trata de un sujeto flotante entre multiples sujetivaciones.., es la implicación de unidad y ‘completitud’ (?) que de alguna forma siempre lleva consigo… peligro que quizás el termino Dasein no evita del todo tampoco… Lo que me interesa es la idea que el primer elemento de ficción en la ‘identidad’ es justo la ficción de la unidad…concretizada en la firma como dice Derrida en su ensayo sobre Nietzsche… Entonces pensar en la practica infrapolítica como in-between subjetivaciones seria quizás pensarla como interrupción, no de un continuum de subjetivación, sino de la ficción identitaria ( de unidad y autocoincidencia) que de alguna forma sostiene toda subjetivación…y esa “interrupción” no puede tener lugar que a partir del exceso del existente respecto al subjetividad, a la consciencia, a las categorías del pensamiento y al leguaje que lo nombra… De allí también lo interesante de pensar en la literatura infrapoilítica como ficción ‘deficcionante’…metáfora demetaforizante… (pero sobre eso me gustaría pensar un poco más con respecto al ensayo de Alberto que vamos a discutir en martes..)
    Pues me pregunto si para referirnos a la practica infrapolítica no se podría hacer jugar la diferencia entre ser y estar del español…y la estrecha vinculación semántica en el estar y la contingencia/ la acontecimientalidad…

    • Estamos de acuerdo respecto de la crítica de la categoría de sujeto, y también respecto de los procesos de subjetivación. Me parece sugerente la idea apuntada por Maddalena de la diferencia entre ser y estar, La discrepancia menor está si cabe usar la palabra sujeto sin la carga criticada, si cabe una estrategia nominalista con respecto a ella, como cabe con tantas otras que seguimos usando aunque criticaríamos si las tematizamos (esencia, fundamento, individuo, verdad, hombre, etc, etc) El lenguaje puede ser más versatil de lo que pensamos, pero en cualquier caso este no es el fondo de la cuestión. El buen humos de Alberto me permitirá la broma, pues reconocerá que no es menos insatisfactorio el término “ser- ahí” (Da-sein) que a continuación requiere de todo un libro para especificar qué hay que entender por ello, como el de “el existente”, que bien puede ser mi perro. El problema es que “tenemos” (sea lo que fuere a lo que apunta el sujeto del verbo) el gen PFOX2, doble articulación, conciencia, pensamiento, afectos, etc, etc., esto es, una realidad con suficientes propiedades distintivas, como para necesitar un término, ni demasiado vacío ni tampoco excesivamente recortado, para dar cuenta de ello l

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