September 22, 2004

Better red than dead

No apologies for sharing some more words of wisdom from Slavoj with y'all:

'What if we are "really alive" only and if we engage ourselves with an excessive intensity that puts us beyond "mere life"? What if, when we focus on mere survival, even if it is qualified as "having a good time", what we ultimately lose is life itself? What if the Palestinian suicide bomber on the point of blowing himself (and others) up is, in an emphatic sense, "more alive" than the American soldier engaged in war in front of a computer screen hundreds of miles away from the enemy, or a New York yuppie jogging along the Hudson river in order to keep his boyd in shape?

It is a properly Nietzschean paradox that the greatest loser in [the] apparent assertion of Life against all transcendent Causes is actual life itself. What makes life "worth living" is the very excess of life: the awareness that there is something to live for which we are ready to risk our life (we may call this excess "freedom", "honour", "dignity", "autonomy", etc.)

... The "postmetaphysical" survivalist stance of the Last Men ends up in an anemic spectacle of life dragging on as its own shadow. It is within this horizon that we should appreciate today's growing rejection of the death penalty: what we should be able to discern is the hidden "biopolitics" which sustain this rejection. Those who assert the "sacredness of life," defending it against the threat of transcendent powers which parasatize on it, end up in a "supervized world in which we'll live painlessly, safely - and tediously," a wolf in which, for the sake of its very official goal - a long, pleasurable life - all real pleausures are prohibited or strictly controlled (smoking, drugs, food...)

The Puppet and the Dwarf, 94-95

Posted by mark at September 22, 2004 06:59 AM | TrackBack