On Professional Bliss. By Alberto Moreiras

So many constant misunderstandings eventually come to our ears one no longer knows the battles one wants to fight—surely not the battles we have not sought, whose result is indifferent in the best of cases?   Yes, this group (not the blog, but the group the blog is connected to) is composed mainly of people who are not professional philosophers, whatever that means, and mainly of people from the academic disciplines of Hispanic Studies, which is for many a double problem (first, we are said to speak out of line, as whatever we say has “nothing to do with our language and tradition,” whatever that means, which makes us incomprehensible; second, we are said to speak as mere impostors and amateurs, because we have no proper legitimation—say, through the Heidegger-Gesellschaft or the Derridean establishment, one would suppose, or through philosophy departments perhaps?)   And yet we are trying to develop a path of thought, which takes many years, particularly against such obstacles, depressing. And that is rarely granted. Much less helped. We do not complain (we like marranismo, and dis-inheritance is part of what we do), but at some point—now, for instance—this must be registered.

Infrapolitics is to be understood, genealogically, as a repetition of the Heideggerian adventure in the destruction of metaphysical thought (which of course Derrida took up and continued). It seems to me we can date the notion of infrapolitical legacy, in the restricted but nevertheless immediate way that concerns Heidegger, to the moment, in the 1920 lecture course on Phenomenology of Intuition and Expression, in which he says: “Philosophy has the task of preserving the facticity of life and strengthening the facticity of Dasein.” This is of course the precise moment that Agamben takes up–quoting, through Foucault, some other, later text–at the beginning of Homo Sacer, and that marks the beginning of what he conceives of as his own project in biopolitics. Essentially, if philosophy, or thought, which is in itself a particular way of factical life, must make it its business to understand that which it is a part of, then two main possibilities ensue: one of them has been called biopolitics. But the essential problem with biopolitics is that its horizon is and cannot not be politics. The other one is infrapolitical, which includes politics but is not constrained by politics. I suppose this is difficult to understand, or to accept, for many? But we only claim to want to do what we can.

So yes, there are many of us by now but we are on our own (like in the old joke about Galicians lost in the desert), provided we keep it up (otherwise, not even that). It is hard to know why–surely we have not historically militated in favor of isolation and silence? And yet that is what we usually get, insofar as we speak up. But never mind: the real thing, if it ever was, is no longer in these battles that we cannot win precisely because they are battles we have not sought and do not want to fight. What seems much more sensible is to persist, to persevere, and the writing will have to speak for us by itself eventually and in the future, if that is important.

 

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