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Jacques Rancière “Disagreement”

Rancière, Jacques 1999. Disagreement: Politics and Philosophy. Minneapolis; London: University of Minnesota Press.

Politics in Its Nihilistic Age

[…] politics exists wherever the count of parts and parties of society is disturbed by the inscription of a part of those who have no part. It begins when the equality of anyone and everyone is inscribed in the liberty of the people. This liberty of the people is an empty property, an improper property through which those who are nothing purport that their group is identical to the whole of the community. Politics exists as long as singular forms of subjectification repeat the forms of the original inscription of the identity between the whole of the community and the nothing that separates itself – in other words, the sole count of its parts. Politics ceases wherever this gap no longer has any place, wherever the whole of the community is reduced to the sum of its parts with nothing left over. (123)

Realism claims to be that sane attitude of mind that sticks to observable realities. It is in fact something quite different: it is the police logic of order, which asserts, in all circumstances, that it is only doing the only thing possible to do. (132)

The present modesty of the state, as we have seen, is first of all modesty in relation to politics, in other words, hyperbolization of the normal practice of the state, which is to live off the elimination of politics. (136)

The inter of a political interesse is that of an interruption or an interval. The political community is a community of interruptions, fractures, irregular and local, through which egalitarian logic comes and divides the police community from itself. It is a community of worlds in community that are intervals of subjectification: intervals constructed between identities, between spaces and places. Political being-together is a being-between: between identities, between worlds. (137)

A political community is not the realization of a common essence or the essence of the common. It is the sharing of what is not given as being in-common: between the visible and the invisible, the near and the far, the present and the absent. This sharing assumes the construction of ties that bind the given to what is not given, the common to the private, what belongs to what does not belong. It is in this construction that common humanity argues for itself, reveals itself, and has an effect. (138)

Politics, in its specificity, is rare. It is always local and occasional. (139)

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