Why am I once again immersed in Agamben before getting down to writing on the politics of love?
Before I go further with these posts and dig into the division between being and acting that Agamben traces in the story of the oikos and its oikonomia in the background to western thought and behaviour, I want to explain why I am doing this. Why is this important? It is because Agamben grasps the deep-structural concepts that underlie our language, understanding and actions and exposes their roots. I am convinced that love is basic to everything, and that a society based on it is not only possible, but essential for the overall wellbeing of the human race. However this is not obvious to most people, or if it is obvious it is nevertheless generally regarded as not possible. I believe that this is because we take for granted utterly basic assumptions about both social and political relationships. It is these assumptions that are the greatest obstacles to our communication. Paradoxically, we need a particular genre and vocabulary to uncover these assumptions. The combination of the covert assumptions and technical vocabulary make these most important of all realities quite difficult to get your head round. But we absolutely must attempt it if we are to recover and release the language and behaviour of love.
The core insight of my research is the recognition that the most significant building blocks of human life in our western world, what I call the deep structures, have been subsumed by unhelpful assumptions about the nature of authority and the shape of organisation. These assumptions suppose that self-orientated and hierarchical relationships on the basis of power, money and gender are necessary to the authority of government and the organisation of households. These assumptions displace and even exclude the possibility of love functioning as the fullness of authority and the proper shape of organisation. Two of the key words associated with authority and organisation are polis associated with city, and oikos associated with household. So this is why Agamben’s work on their background and genealogy is so important. The aim of these posts is to arrive at a point where the city and the household are restored as a frame for outworking the way of love. So for those of you who are bothering to attempt to follow my exegesis of Agamben, thank you, and please engage as far as you are willing and able, because where we are heading is, I fully believe, where the zeitgeist, the future, the essential kenosis, the kenarchy at the heart of everything is taking us.
So your engagement, interaction and comments are very welcome.