“If it is the sovereign who, insofar as he decides on the state of exception, has the power to decide which life may be killed without the commission of homicide, in the age of biopolitics this power becomes emancipated from the state of exception and transformed into the power to decide the point at which life ceases to be politically relevant. When life becomes the supreme political value, not only is the problem of life’s nonvalue thereby posed, as Schmitt suggests, but further, it is as if the ultimate ground of sovereign power were at stake in this decision. In modern biopolitics, sovereign is he who decides on the value or the nonvalue of life as such.”
“Speaking of the presentation of melancholy events by orators, Hume notes that the pleasure derived is not a response to the event as such, but to its rhetorical framing. When we turn to tragedy, plotting performs this function. The interest that we take in the deaths of Hamlet, Gertrude, Claudius, et al. is not sadistic, but is an interest that the plot has engendered in how certain forces, once put in motion, will work themselves out. Pleasure derives from having our interest in the outcome of such questions satisfied.”
“Undoubtedly, a culture’s concepts makes thinking about some possibilities less likely than thinking about other possibilities. however, this need not entail any denial of reality. Our culture’s categories may make it unlikely (unlikely rather than impossible) that we think about jellyfish as big as houses coming from Mars to conquer the world. However, that’s no offense against reality; there are no such jellyfish. Nor am I being ethnocentric, anthropocentric, or naughty in any other way when I say so.”
600th Tumblr post.
The Death King
“These are well-marked paths, and, without neglecting them, I have preferred to make a different journey. It matters to me, in closing, that it should be agreed that the route was a sound one.”
“However, once one immerses oneself in the medical thought of the Greeks, or joins up, bag and baggage, with psychoanalysis, one can find no way of rejoining the tragic universe.”
Best wishes for oral exams this week! Do it!
“It had come into her mind that for life to be large and full, it must contain the care of the past and of the future in every passing moment of the present. Our daily work must be done to the glory of the dead, and for the good of those who come after. She thought that, and sighed without opening her eyes—without moving at all.”
“"Yes, but the material interests will not let you jeopardise their development for a mere idea of pity and justice," the doctor muttered grumpily.”
“The brilliant “Son Decoud,” the spoiled darling of the family, the lover of Antonia and journalist of Sulaco, was not fit to grapple with himself single-handed. Solitude from mere outward condition of existence because very swiftly a state of soul in which the affectations of irony and sceptism have no place. It takes possession of the mind, and drives forth the thought into the exile of utter unbelief. After three days of waiting for the sight of some human face, Decoud caught himself entertaining a doubt of his own individuality. It had merged into the world of cloud and water, of natural forces and forms of nature. In our activity alone do we find the sustaining illusion of independent existence as against the whole scheme of things of which we form a helpless part. Decoud lost all belief in the reality of his action past and to come.”
“We in this country know just about enough to keep indoors when it rains. We can sit and watch. Of course, some day we shall step in. We are bound to. But there’s no hurry. Time itself has got to wait on the greatest country in the whole of God’s universe. We shall be giving the word for everything; industry, trade, law, journalism, art, politics, and religion, from Cape Horn clear over to Smith’s Sound, and beyond, too, if anything worth taking hold of turns up at the North Pole. And then we shall have the leisure to take in hand the outlying islands and continents of the earth. We shall run the world’s business whether the world like it or not. The world can’t help it—and neither can we, I guess.”