For a Theory of Destituent Power

This is the transcript of a public lecture by Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben delivered to a packed auditorium in Athens on November 16, 2013 and recently published by Chronos.

Invitation and organization by Nicos Poulantzas Institute and SYRIZA Youth

Giorgio Agamben

A reflection on the destiny of democracy today here in Athens is in some ways disturbing, because it obliges us to think of the end of democracy in the very place where it was born. As a matter of fact, the hypothesis I would like to suggest is that the prevailing governamental paradigm in Europe today is not only non-democratic, but that it also cannot be considered political. I will try, therefore, to show that European society today is no longer a political society: it is something entirely new, for which we lack proper terminology.  We have therefore to invent a new strategy.Continue Reading

On Bullshit

by Harry Frankfurt
One of the most salient features of our culture is that there is so much bullshit. Everyone knows this. Each of us contributes his share. But we tend to take the situation for granted. Most people are rather confident of their ability to recognize bullshit and to avoid being taken in by it. So the phenomenon has not aroused much deliberate concern, or attracted much sustained inquiry. In consequence, we have no clear understanding of what bullshit is, why there is so much of it, or what functions it serves. And we lack a conscientiously developed appreciation of what it means to us. In other words, we have no theory.