Τρίτη, 12 Ιανουαρίου 2010

Counting (On Cyprus)--Αδημοσίευτο δοκίμιο


Antonis Balasopoulos
Counting (on Cyprus): Parts, Partitions, Departures

Conference version, 2/6/08*
*Όχι για αναδημοσίευση. Μόνο με σύνδεσμο στο παρών ιστολόγιο.

1.
My choice of topic has been impelled, if not overdetermined, by the desire to respond to a certain aspect of the text that may in all justice be said to have dominated Cypriot political debate between January of 2002 and April of 2004: the U.N Secretary General’s plan for a “comprehensive settlement” to the so-called Cyprus problem. As for the aspect in question, I would suggest that it involves the dominance, within its written provisions, of a logic that links the tasks of political constitution to those of political arithmetic—the practice of apportioning shares to political representation according to an ensemble of calculations that in turn hinge upon determinate, if mostly implicit, norms of justice and the good.

What the text of the settlement makes clear is that this ensemble of calculative adjustments and corresponding norms takes up the post-Enlightenment principle of the “representative sovereignty of subjects” (Appadurai 131) in a manner that involves it in a persistent oscillation between two conflicting directions: on the one hand, a construction of individuals as undifferentiated, abstract, and effectively interchangeable units within quantitative aggregates, one which grounds the executive, legislative and juridical architecture of the proposed common state on the principle of numerical preponderance; on the other hand, a re-count of such individuals in terms of their pre-existing distribution among ethnic communities, a principle the plan arguably inherits from a number of precedents, including the formalization of bicommunalism in the 1959 London-Zurich consociationalism agreements and the 1960 Constitution of the Republic of Cyprus (C. Constantinou 250). In this second count, the political constitution of the common state that “recalls”, in the words of the settlement, the co-founding of the Republic of 1960, becomes predicated not on the numerical calculus of majorities and minorities, but on a logic of equilibration and harmonization of parts, or what Jacques Rancière would call a geometric rather than arithmetical principle of political equality.

The tension between the conflation of democracy with a majoritarianism that risks insidiously establishing the dominance of a specific ethnic community and its submission to the goal of securing the geometric harmonization of constituent parts (a goal already encoded in the word politeia or, in the later, Latinate version, “republic”), expresses itself in the ambiguity that haunts the term “political equality” itself. For in the text of the settlement, this is a term that flirts at once with the normativity of numerical equality—any one vote is abstractly equal to any other—and with that of a just symmetry between numerically unequal partner communities and their avowedly coextensive “constituent states” (31 March 2004: 7-8); in the latter case, of course, not every vote is abstractly equal to all others. The result, as far as the settlement is concerned, is a constant gerrymandering between a political arithmetic oriented toward majority decision and one attuned to the asymmetries—and hence, the wrongs—that concretely subvert the egalitarianism abstractly promised by the first.

Instances of such gerrymandering abound in the text of the settlement: Cyprus is to be at once a single state and two equal constituent states, while the relationship of constituent laws to federal ones is to be equal (31 March 2004: 8); the coming into being of the common state requires the simple numerical preponderance of a “yes” vote to the plan, albeit in Referendums that are to be conducted simultaneously in both component states; the Parliament is to be divided into two chambers, one of which—the Senate—would be composed by an equal number of Senators from each constituent state, while the other—the Chamber of Deputies—would be comprised in proportion to the population holding constituent state citizenship, but with the provisions that no component state is represented by less than one quarter of the seats (31 March 2004: 9-10), and that the “religious minorities” (9) of Maronites, Latins and Armenians are represented by no less than one deputy (29); its decisions are to be taken by simple majority, but this majority (in analogy to the one required by the Referendum) must be secured in both of the differentially constituted bodies of the Parliament (10). In addition, the counting of Senator votes is to follow the provision earlier used to determine majority vote for members of the Chamber of Deputies: that is to say, at least one quarter of the votes have to come from the Senators of each “constituent state” (10). As for the Presidential council, it is to be elected by special majority (two fifths of the vote) in the Senate and approved by simple majority in the Chamber of Deputies. Its composition, on the other hand, is to be proportional to the population of the two constituent states, with the provision that no less than one third of its members hail from each (10). Decisions, in the case of the failure of consensus, are to be taken by simple majority of members voting, provided that this includes at least one member from each constituent state, while the votes of the members are to be counted as equal, with no casting votes reserved for the President and Vice-President (10). These last two, finally, are to be selected from each of the two constituent states, while their offices are to rotate every twenty months (10).

It is not my purpose to pronounce a judgment on the fairness or practical viability of such formulas; such judgment would be likely to presuppose the efficacy of a restorative count of what the settlement plan avowedly miscounts or discounts. It would thus fail to address the fact that the politics on which dispute over the settlement counts, the politics which it makes count, is one that renders counting a determining principle of the constitution of political community. The intractable problems of democracy and sovereignty, of justice and citizenship, of equality and freedom, of identity and difference, remain so many occasions for negotiating between modes of determining quantities (including the controversial question of who is to count as a legitimate and enfranchised political subject in the new state and who is not), and modes of calibrating the articulation between quantitative and ethical desiderata. Caught in the dialectic of arithmetical and geometric equality, politics becomes that which aims to settle the account with the political by counting on its disappearance without remainder in an archipelago of calculation. What ultimately links the plan to the constitutional impasses it aims to resolve and to the opinion polls and Referendum results that regulated its mediatized reception is precisely their location in the same discursive archipelago, a territory limned by the operations of political arithmetic and by what such arithmetic both presupposes and produces: negotiating parties representing readily identifiable parts, each of which brings along its own vested and preconstituted interests, its own knowledge of what really counts in politics-cum-rational negotiation, arbitration, and apportionment.

Yet I say this without meaning to say that the logic that effectively dominated political debate over the future of the island embodies some kind of egregious aberration from the principles of a hallowed political philosophy or constitutional tradition it ought to have remained faithful to. Rather, what becomes legible in it is a decisive confrontation between counting and the political that is at once ancient and modern, theoretical and practical, politically and socially fateful. And it seems to me that critical thinking on the aporias and prospects of contemporary politics, here as well as elsewhere, can hardly afford to dispense with an anatomy of the determinations and implications of this confrontation.

Political philosophy, as Jacques Rancière demonstrates, originally comes into being as a means of addressing the inefficacy of the principle of arithmetically constituted equality, its disturbing non-identity to justice. Platonic “archipolitics” thus consists in the shift away from the vulgarity of an arithmetic that is ultimately the arithmetic of profit and loss, and that reduces political community to the form of a commercial contract, and toward an ideal geometry that would apportion appropriate shares to political arkhe according to the virtue, or axia, of each identifiable and countable part of the community (5-6). Yet it is precisely at the moment when the community parts to which such shares correspond are to stand up to be counted by philosophical reason that a certain calculative scandal makes its appearance. If politics “arises from a count of community ‘parts’”, Rancière argues, the count shows itself to be “always a false count, a double count, or a miscount” (6).

It is so, as Aristotle’s Politics will be compelled to show, because of a number of asymmetries that fracture the homogeneity and cohesion of the parts empirically present in the constitution of the polis: the oligoi, who hold the city property, are not quite properly defined by virtue but by a principle of domination secured on the basis of their mastery of the calculative rationality of profit (7); while the demos, this fusion of financial poverty and numerical strength that inverts the financial wealth and numerical weakness of the oligoi, appears bereft not merely of the property of the oligoi but of the virtue of the aristoi as well. Yet this part that has no legitimate, acknowledgeable part in the governance of the polis, scandalously claims for itself a virtue that is both irreducible to quantification and far from peculiar or proper to itself—freedom. The freedom of the demos—an empty, unfounded claim to a qualification that is not, properly speaking, one—conjoins numerical strength to the force of the incalculable, that which refuses determination by the law of the proper and of property, that which therefore wreaks havoc on the very logic of a political architecture founded on the building blocks of determinate, substantive and measurable parts. As if that weren’t enough, this part that can have no legitimate part and is not, properly speaking, a part at all, this aparted part or “party that is not one” (8), defines itself in a gesture of singular, “hyperbolic universality” (Balibar, Masses 50) as something not infinitely less but infinitely more than a part. In calling itself demos, “the people”, it “identifies its improper property” (freedom) “with the exclusive principle of community” and “its name with the name of the community itself” (Rancière 8-9).

In this account, the originary site of politics is nothing but the scandal of the impossibility of a proper arkhe, the constitutive wrong of a miscount that cannot be set to rights: the name of this wrong is democracy. “Political philosophy”, on the other hand, is the name of that species of thought that constitutes itself by apportioning to itself the task of containing or managing the deregulating, destabilizing, an-archic implications of the wrong. It does so—and this effectively amounts to a further dimension of the constitutive nature of the wrong that democratic politics embodies—while coming to the scene too late. The philosophical search for a proper arkhe already finds the scandalous miscount that gives birth to democracy in place, for democracy has erupted in all the glory of its contingent factuality without awaiting the guidance of philosophical prescription (62). Philosophy’s count—“one, two, three”, begins the Timaeus, even while Platonic philosophical counting longs to return back to “one”—is thus always a recount: “but where is the fourth of those who were yesterday my guests?” Socrates asks. Like an exasperated accountant faced with a badly balanced account, the political philosopher will be forced to undertake to trace and eliminate the error that haunts the constitution of political community with dissymmetry, dispute, disagreement and division. The philosophical foundation of the polis comes in the form of a corrective count, one that aspires to correct a fatal and originary error in counting.

There are two things I want to register about the import of this task. The first is that its confrontation with the incalculability of the improper property of freedom renders a properly political correction of the miscount impossible: for the radicality of what Badiou might call “a freedom without criterion” (Century 53)--a freedom that renders “the people” other to its own abject being as a non-entity that lacks a legitimate part in the affairs of the polis--axiomatically posits a fateful complement or supplement: an equality among the community’s parts whose nature can be neither arithmetical nor geometric. Not based on the logic of a dominance predicated on the vulgar arithmetic of property, it is also no longer subsumable by the geometric ideal of a correspondence between the harmonious balance of the cosmos and that of an ordered body politic. What the institution of politics sets into place is therefore an abyssal gap between “the arithmetical order” and “the geometric order” (Rancière 19), a gap that preemptively frustrates the task of ever fully or finally adjudicating community parts and their relations. What the structural impossibility of setting the democratic wrong to rights bequeaths to political philosophy, on the other hand, is a permanent hostility to the political, to the extent that the latter reveals itself to be identical to democratic wrong, that “wrong count of the parts of the whole” (Rancière 10) that makes politics a name for the community of dispute, the “conflict over the very existence of something in common between those who have a part and those who have none” (35). If an irreparable miscount is recognized as lying at the heart of the constitution of the political-cum-constitution of democracy, if the fatal heterogeneity of the community’s parts to each other and to themselves sabotages all prospects for the possibility of a community that would be equal to the sum of its parts, then the wrong that brings politics into being cannot be undone without the elimination of politics itself.

The task of what mostly counts as philosophical thought on the political therefore becomes the containment of the exceptional event of politics, its displacement by a normalizing simulacrum that shares its language, topics and sites of articulation but not its contingent logic of appearance, nor its disruptive effectivity. This simulacrum is what Rancière calls “the police.” The police is the name not of some principle of petty, bullying repression or surveillance, but of that which converts politics into a set of procedures through which one may secure “the aggregation and consent of collectivities”, “the organization of powers, the distribution of places and roles, and the systems for legitimizing this distribution” (Rancière 28). The police is therefore precisely that which busies itself with the adjudication of parts and parties, their securing into place, the staging of the mirror game whereby they are represented, in all their plenitudinous self-identity, to themselves, the engineering of consensus. If the political is that which forces into appearance “the part of those who have no part” (Rancière 73), the function of the police is to eliminate the restlessness that makes possible this appearance of a subjectifying gap, to erase the possibility of what Badiou calls the “differential and differentiating passion” of “subtraction”; to render impossible, in other words, what The Century calls “the staging of a minimal, but absolute difference between the place and what takes place in the place, the difference between place and taking-place” (Badiou 56), and what we might also be tempted to call the difference between being a part and taking a part, if only to take apart the constituted order in which parts are partitioned and apportioned.

Far from fading away with the dreams of Platonic arkhe or with the Aristotelian, “parapolitical” compromise between the scandal of the demos and its accommodation in a constituted order, the police survives the passage to modernity, transmuted, in the period of our own, contemporary Restoration, to what Rancière calls the “state managerial police and the world police of humanitarianism” (136), those twin embodiments of “postdemocracy”. It is, I want to suggest, the postdemocratic police that confronts us in the guise of the U.N Secretary General’s constitutional calculus, just as it is the postdemocratic police that dominates the conception of “rights” on the basis of which the calculus was found wanting, particularly in the South. For what else except the “police” could one call a “politics” founded on the disappearance of the “miscount and the dispute opened up by the name ‘people’ and the vacuum of their freedom” (102), and on the reduction of “rights” to formal proeprties, divorced from the political capacity of a subject, and from fidelity to the injunction of polemical universality?

Under such circumstances, the evocation, in the text of the settlement, of the “inherent constitutive power” (31 March 2004: 6) of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots actually signals not the ratification, but the ultimate degradation of democratic constituent power. To the extent that such power can aspire to be the name of an immeasurable force of innovation, of a production of subjectivities “born from the nothingness of any determination or preconstituted destiny” (Negri, Insurgencies 320), it is by definition intolerant of a justice reduced to the meretricious haggling of self-appointed arbitrators and pre-nominated shareholders (Insurgencies 333). Such a parody of politics denies in advance the power of constituent innovation to continually decide and reconstruct the foundation of community, reducing the singular universal of the “people” to the “sociologically determinable” totality of a “population” and its humanitarian, or imperial, patrons (Rancière 99). What is left, Antonio Negri has remarked, once the “dynamic, creative, continual, and procedural constitution of [constituent] strength” has been abstracted from the political, is not cooperation but command, “pure administrative and diplomatic mediation”, “bureaucratic and police activity” (Insurgencies 335). Squeezed between the pseudo-constituent power leased to it by the Constitutionalism of international diplomacy and the representational machine of a parliamentary virtualism for which it is present only “in the form of its statistical reduction” (Rancière 117), the “people” is left with no language through which to subjectify itself in dispute other than the binary codes of “yes” and “no”—inert modalities of a regime of “public opinion” and its counting “with nothing left over” (Rancière 105).

2.
In the case of Cyprus, however, the genealogy of the fateful encounter between politics and the calculus of counting and distribution cannot be assumed to be an exclusively political affair. Rather, political arithmetic is an operator that links the long history of reflection on the singular problem of political community to what has, especially after Marx, worked to displace the primacy or autonomy of the political and its privileging of freedom; namely, the problem of the social as the problem of a realm structured in normalized, embodied and reproducible forms of inequality. We have for some time been familiar with the centrality, for both the modern state and modern political economy, of the enumerative and classificatory techniques of the population census, the cadastral survey, or the detailed, large-scale map. We have also, since the studies of Bernard Cohn, Benedict Anderson, Sudipta Kaviraj and Arjun Appadurai, become aware of the vital import of such techniques for both colonial administration and postcolonial identity-construction. The passage from “fuzzy” to “enumerated” communities, predicated on the political ascendancy of utilitarian doctrines of securing “the greatest good for the greatest number” (Kaviraj 28-29) affects both metropolitan and colonial modernities, but it does so differentially and unevenly. If, Appadurai has shown, the emphasis of the early modern British census was overwhelmingly “territorial and occupational” domestically, it was “ethnic or racial” for nineteenth-century British colonialist administration; if it was directly tied to the “politics of representation” and the correction of class and regional asymmetries hidden therein at home, it could not be so for the enumeration of disenfranchised populations overseas; and if its most invasive investigations were aimed at the social margins nationally, it was to universalize the preoccupation with exotic difference in its colonial versions (Appadurai 117-18).

In the west, the advent of modernity could be said to accompany a certain scission in the directions of political arithmetic, encapsulated, let us say it schematically, in the gap between the Republican Constitutionalism of Jefferson, Madison, or Condorcet on the one hand and the biopolitical capture of the problem of population in Graunt or Malthus on the other. In the colonies, on the other hand, political arithmetic was divested of all substantive links to democratic political reform and converted into an administrative and bureaucratic means for managing subject populations. The origins of what, to borrow the words of Charlotte Sussman, we might call “the colonial afterlife of political arithmetic”, are thus not, strictly speaking, to be traced in Plato, Aristotle or the mathematical constitutionalisms that sprung out of the American and French revolutions. They are rather a matter of the refraction and mutation of such precedents in the practice of their less illustrious and less high-minded inheritors in the cadres of imperial administration. Orientalism, after all, was precisely that “absolutely anatomical and enumerative” formation which engaged in what Said calls “the particularizing and dividing of things Oriental into manageable parts” (Said 72). In Cyprus, as Michael Given has shown, a number of colonial administrative projects between 1878 and 1929—the Kitchener topographical survey, the twenty-year cadastral survey, the boundary-setting of the Forest Delimitation Commission—performed precisely that task. Like similar projects elsewhere, these colonial undertakings contributed decisively to the weakening of a social network marked by “communal relationships, kinship groups, and ongoing political negotiation” (Given 3) and its displacement by a logics of demarcation, enumeration, and essentialization that on the one hand fixed the ethno-religious identities of populations throughout the island, and on the other consolidated notions of private property in Cypriot society (10-11).

Community and property: what Etienne Balibar, reflecting on the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen, views as antithetical values that allow for a mediation between liberty and equality which guarantees the institutional stability of rights deriving from both (50-51), are here far from mutually regulating concepts, restraining each other from excess. In fact, colonial political arithmetic not only busies itself with the apportioning of proprietary rights to communities largely produced by colonialist techniques of classification; it converts belonging to a communal subset into a fixed and inalienable property, ascribing to each individual a social part or place only on the precondition of assigning her with membership in a bounded and delimited ethnic group. In Cyprus, and at some distance from the bewildering proliferation of communal identities in India, the count on the basis of which these subsets were to be determined, effectively extended to two. The Legislative Council instituted by the British in the first years of administration by the Crown decided that the population was to be represented on the basis of two electoral rolls, assigning, as Costas Constantinou reminds us, nine representatives to “Greeks” and three to “Turks”. Democracy, in the measure to which such a thing could exist under conditions of colonial rule, became identified with segregation at the municipal level as well. “City and village council representation”, Constantinou observes, “was distributed proportionally, and representatives were elected through separate electoral rolls by their co-religionists” (257). The fateful dialectic whereby the tangibles of colonial political arithmetic become the most easily available building blocks of nationalist identity-formation, and thence the prime engines of effectuating a reification of social being along the axis of majority and minority identities, has left its indelible mark in most attempts to imagine postcolonial democracy, including, of course, the case of the Cyprus Republic. The equation of bicommunalism to representative democracy runs like a red thread from the representational politics of the British colonial administration to the Consociational agreement, to the Constitution of the Republic, and, finally, to the “Settlement for a Comprehensive Solution to the Cyprus problem”. This fateful equation is the rock on which a Cypriot politics capable of breaking through the shoals of international geopolitics and state biopolitics keeps floundering.

3.
With Marx, Antonio Negri remarks, there begins a vital process of calling into question “the catastrophic split of the political and the social” which, in surrendering the latter to the tender mercies of mere sociologism, also conspires to sustain a transcendentalist construction of the former (Insurgencies 325-326). In Etienne Balibar’s terms, the Marxian intervention amounts to the effectuating of a “short circuit of ‘politics’ and ‘economy’, arising from the simultaneous economic critique of ‘politicism’ and political critique of ‘economism’” (Balibar xi). In those of Antonio Negri, Marx breaks the policing effect of the partition between politics/freedom and society/equality, to bring into “light a commonality of the social, the political, and being that is traversed and always newly defined by living labor”, which is to say, “constituent power” (327). Either way, the irony—and this is the irony I have so far tried to draw attention to—is that the calculative procedures of political arithmetic always already constitute an existing means of threading together the political and the social, and of doing so in a totalizing, praxis-disabling manner, a manner that blocks the possibility of all innovation beyond the limits of sovereign or governmental power on the one hand, and the constituted, propertarian order of de facto partitioned socialities on the other. A response to this blockage, therefore, must perforce remain attentive to the constant interplay between the political and the social that political arithmetic both effectuates and contains within the jurisdiction of the police.

In this respect, it seems to me, one should critically engage the logic whereby what remains possible today is factually constrained by a “realistic” acceptance of the degree of entrenchment of bicommunalism on the island. Such realism presupposes a rather asymmetrical treatment of questions of political and social transformability, absorbing the problems raised by the former entirely within the domain of a specific construction of the latter. Hence, to take the example of the position taken by Costas Constantinou, the implicit diagnosis of the persistence of the colonialist and nationalist legacy of political arithmetic does not extend to an acknowledgement of the need for a critique of its tenacity in the Annan Settlement. Rather, the practical impossibility of a “‘meaningful’ and ‘just’” solution that could “brush aside” bicommunalism as its fundamental basis (C. Constantinou 260)—the diagnosis of “no alternative”—renders critique itself either impractical or politically suspect. On the other hand, and in a compensatory gesture of sorts, it is asserted that the political impasse created by the persistence of the bicommunal count does not prevent the possibility of a “tangential” challenge against “bicommunal mentality” (265), one that would substitute “social, legal, artistic, intellectual” tactics for “yet another strategy for a solution” (267).

These tactics, the modest but existing alternatives to an impossible and suspectly Utopian grand strategy, consist in the mobilization of hybrid, syncretistic or impure identity constructions within the realm of Cypriot everyday life. Such constructions, it is said, can “unsettle ethnic reification and bring forth historical insight as to the contingency of identity”, “expose the bias and discrimination of local ‘laws of necessity’ and embarrass local regimes before international legal, political, and social forums” (C. Constantinou 267). What this familiar vision of a transgressive, boundary-crossing antinomianism  entails, it seems to me, is the displacement, and simultaneously, the takeover, of the problematic of constituent innovation by the not simply more modest but qualitatively different one of the tactical manipulability of identity. In the latter case, subjects rationally opt for a tactic over which they effectively maintain instrumental control. Such control, on the other hand, makes a virtue out of an implicit quiescence toward the constituted order, whose persistence is precisely what allows transgressive tactics to be recognized as such. In other words, the state of the situation can be individually or piecemally negotiated precisely to the extent that it cannot (or ought not to be) radically challenged. Between the de facto entities of “local regimes” and “international legal, political, and social forums”, there therefore remains nothing but individual, tantalizingly enigmatic bodies, alternately violating ethno-religious boundaries and attempting to sustain themselves by playing the regulative order of international human rights against the dehumanizing policies of local nation-states.

Rancière’s intervention, and the one I would like to speak on behalf of here, constrastively consists in the affirmation of an “immodest” politics, one that “must be immodest in relation to the modesty forced on it by the logics of consensual management of ‘the only thing possible’” (136). Such political immodesty consists in the polemical advocacy of an impropriety that is not a proclamation of not belonging, nor a hypostatization of exile, nor a celebration of inter-est as “some kind of being-between.” What it improperly speaks of is the inter-est of a community that can only subsist in the inter-ruption or the inter-val opened in the temporal continuum of things as they are, in the “fractures, irregular and local, through which egalitarian logic comes and divides the police community from itself” (Rancière 137). To the modest claims put forth on behalf of the hybridization, mediation or syncretization of existing parts, it responds with the hyperbolic calculus of subjectification, the production of subjects theretofore unaccounted and missing, subjects whose appearance can never take place without the dismantling of the existing partition of the sensible: the pleb, the New Model Army, the proletariat, female domestic workers, black power, queer nation, the global South. If hybridization images the new by way of a calculus of addition, subjectification does so via an act of painful subtraction. For subjectification involves a prior moment of disidentification, the “removal from the naturalness of a place, the opening up of a subject space where those of no account are counted, where a connection is made between having a part and having no part” (Rancière 36). To emerge into political subjectivity, Rancière concludes, is thus not to become aware of who one is, or to find one’s proper voice; it is to both connect and disconnect “different areas, regions, identities, functions, and capacities existing in the configuration of a given experience”, to build a relationship “between these things that have none”, to cause “the relationship and non-relationship to be seen together as the object of dispute” (40).

To conceive of radical subjectification as the experience of subjects “absent to themselves”, “torn away” (Badiou 92) from what they are in the socio-political count of constituted parts and of parties (Rancière 99-100) is to also critically engage the transcendental unit of the subject’s modern socio-political measure—its humanity, its status as carrier of rights and vulnerabilities, in need of humanitarian protection and occasionally intervention. The problem here, if one is to recall Michel Foucault’s important intervention, is that the biopolitical construction of population, its emergence as “a set of processes to be managed at the level and on the basis of what is natural in these processes” (Foucault 70) coincides with the discursive rise of a humanism that is now supposed to constitute the ultimate buffer of such population’s protection from the bio-power of the state: “Man, as he is thought and defined by the so-called human sciences of the nineteenth century, and as he is reflected in nineteenth-century humanism, is nothing other than a figure of population” (Foucault 79). The political arithmetic of politics-cum-police is thus not “the bane of democratic politics” (Appadurai 132) in the seemingly self-evident sense that it dehumanizes what is most singularly human. On the contrary, it is the persistence of the totalizing calculus of the police that substitutes for the polemical universality of democracy a humanitarianism whose emblematic subject is the powerless, unsubjectifiable victim. “Beyond the forms of democratic dispute,” Rancière notes, “what is indeed spreading is the reign of a humanity equal to itself, directly attributed to each one, exposed in each one to its own shattering; an all inhabited by its own nothingness, a humanity showing itself, demonstrating itself everywhere to be denied” (125). If political community is constituted by the emergence into visibility of a “nothing” that claims to be “all”—“We have been nought, we shall be all” in the words of the Internationale (Badiou 107)—the measure of what Badiou calls a “project-less humanism” (175) ends up being that of an “all” that consistently, and scandalously, reveals itself as “nothing.”

4.
And what of the “Cyprus problem”? In a certain sense, what I have tried to outline is a number of reasons why the Cyprus problem does not yet exist, any more than an unhyphenated “Cypriot” political subject exists, even as a constitutional fiction (C. Constantinou 248). Though one can certainly speak of the Cyprus problem from the “humanitarian” standpoint, as the problem of a population--the predicament that a population both suffers through and embodies for its outside--one cannot yet speak of it as a problem that has acceded to the order of the subject, that has nominated a subject. The problem with what has been called the “Cyprus problem” is that it does not concern the problem-posing eruption of something that has allowed a community of subjects to emerge, to come into being as something other than the finite and determinate count of parts. But the “Cyprus problem” cannot become a problem of this order as long as it remains the passive mirror of what prevails virtually everywhere in the world, including the world of the would-be solvers of the problem: the naturalized and self-legitimating partition of the sensible, the scission between political constitution and social transformation, the police regulation of consensus among pre-constituted, entrenched communities, parties and parts. Without the subtractive exposure to a freedom that dis-identifies, without the axiomatic enforcement of an equality without limit, Cypriots cannot aspire to make the anomaly of their situation “savage” (Negri, The Savage Anomaly). At most, they may aspire to the abject satisfaction of remaining what Perry Anderson recently called “one inconspicuous thorn in the palm of Brussels” (Anderson 1).




9 σχόλια:

Ανώνυμος είπε...

μπραβο ρε.. ave

Αντωνης είπε...

Ευχαριστώ. Είπα να το βγάλω απ' το σεντούκι και αυτό. Ελπίζω να βρει κάπου σπίτι στο μέλλον.

LeftG700 είπε...

"Όσο η Αριστερά ασχολείται με την επίλυση του Γόρδιου Δεσμού του εθνικού ζητήματος, τόσο δεν θα ασχολείται με αυτό το ζήτημα πού είναι η κύρια αποστολή της: το ταξικό". (Ανώνυμος, αρχές του 21 αιώνα).

Αντωνης είπε...

Καλώς τους. Εγώ το είπα με πιο πολλά λόγια (lol).

LeftG700 είπε...

Φίλε Αντώνη,


Κάτι μας λέει -αλλά όχι με απόλυτο τρόπο- ότι διάβασες όλες τις γραμμές του παραπάνω ανώνυμου, αλλά όχι και όλα όσα υπάρχουν ανάμεσα σ' αυτές. Θα φανεί σύντομα αν έχουμε δίκιο. ;-)


Τα λέμε.

Αντωνης είπε...

?

Δεν κατάλαβα γρι, παιδιά.

LeftG700 είπε...

Φίλε Αντώνη,


Σόρυ για την καθυστερημένη απάντηση.

Όπως ίσως έχεις καταλάβει, μας αρέσει να είμαστε κάπου-κάπου παιγνιώδεις. Γι' αυτό δεν κατάλαβες.

Ετοιμάζουμε ένα κείμενο σχετικά με το Κυπριακό. Εκεί κολλάει το "θα φανεί σύντομα".

Μείνε συντονισμένος! :-)


Τα λέμε.

Ανώνυμος είπε...

και ένα weird παραλειπόμενο από την εποχή ... μιας και είσαι ταινιακός..


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YxacvXljdOg

http://theodosiou.wordpress.com/


http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0070106/

Αντωνης είπε...

Τρομερά ενδιαφέρον. Δεν είχα ιδέα.