Time Emptied And Time Renewed – The Dominion Of Capital And A Theo-Politics Of Contretemps, Part 2 (Daniel Rhodes)

The following is the second installment of a three-part series.  The link to the first portion can be found here.

As the source of productivity, time rendered as quantifiable and rectilinear not only orders the social and political to accumulation but orients and shapes the human subject to this experience as well. Its disjointed time, configured as a series of homogenous and irreversible units ordered to growth and accumulation becomes the culturally dominant experience of time under the imperial sign of money. Time has become fully monetized, and homo temporalis has become homo economicus. The result, as Marx recognized, is that the person herself becomes completely determined by this experience of time. Within the domain of the fallen, earthly city, “Time is everything, man is nothing; he is at most time’s carcass. Quality no longer matters. Quantity alone decides everything; hour for hour, day for day.”[1]

It would be left to Immanuel Kant, the Prussian champion of the Enlightenment, to develop the philosophical scaffold of capital time that still serves to legitimate and rationalize this experience. According to Alliez, Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason marks the most crucial turning point in the Western configuration of time because, by locating a certain configuration of time at the heart of human consciousness, he brings the transcendental aspect of pure time into subjective unity with the quantitative and sequential flow of earthly time.[2] Attempting to cut a path between the rationalism of Leibniz and the skepticism of Hume, Kant turns his attention to the process-of-putting-together intrinsic to subjectivity that makes the knowledge of things possible, if limited. And inscribed at the base of his attempt to limn the structures of rationality and, therefore, the subject herself is a particular conception of the experience of time, one ultimately correlated to capital.[3]

For Kant, because time is both the “formal condition of the manifold of inner sense” and “contained in every empirical representation,” one’s own sense of herself is homogenized to her experience of external objects in and through time, as the “transcendental schema” that allows for their unification.[4] The core and medium of the transcendental power of judgment, then, is time, which, as the fabric of the imagination, also provides the mind with the capacity to establish a rapprochement with the understanding through the process of schematization. “Hence,” as Kant states, “an application of the category to appearances becomes possible by means of the transcendental time-determination which, as the schema of the concept of the understanding, mediates the subsumption of the latter under the former.”[5]

With respect to human subjectivity, and this subjectivity is considered to be universal for Kant, time functions as the form and the medium within which the imagination makes possible our understanding of the outside world because it is time that serves to homogenize the subject and the object with one another. In short, just as time is the element and power by which human subjectivity orders and arranges the world in a manner that is useful, conceptualizing intuition, it is also through temporalizing the world that we master the objective world, filling our thoughts with content.[6]

Kant’s philosophical sketch lodges the quantitative and homogenous time of capital within the transcendental unity of apperception, solidifying the hegemony of this time within subjectivity. “From this point of view then,” as Antonio Negri observes, “the Critique of Pure Reason serves to found the bourgeois conception of time, both in its superior form [internal and external, not internal and/or external], and in its schematic project.”[7] Kant, that is to say, normalizes the disjointed (economized) time of capital, theorizing it as the ordering mechanism of pure reason actualized in process of schematization as the way the subject makes sense out of her world.

The result is that the quantitative and rectilinear time of capital accumulation, of money and profit, of production and consumption with their linkages in circulation, distribution, and exchange, are lodged within the subject, as the very field of resonance within which the world makes sense and becomes knowable.[8] A true turning point in the conception of time, Kant provides modern, capitalist culture with a philosophical rendering of the subject’s self-understanding and its understanding of the world in the form of rationality determined by and correlated to the homogenous and rectilinear time of accumulation.

Coincidentally, a primordial wedge is also driven between the subject and the object so as to allow this configuration of time to determine how objects are understood, used, and rendered for human subjects. Capital time dictates how objects become property as the phenomenological world becomes intelligible only in its synchronization with the purposiveness of exchange and accumulation that now structure its rhythmic movements.

One final development needs to be noted with regard to the dominion of the homogenous and rectilinear time of capital, one that broadens and deepens the capture of the experience of time under the disjointed rule of capital. This final development emerges with the technologies of globalization, wherein the internal and external horizon of time becomes sealed and comprehensively determined by capital, allowing it seemingly to encompass the totality of life. As an aspect of its persistent search for profits, internally, capital continually strains toward reducing time to zero in an attempt to capture and homogenize time completely by breaking it into ever-smaller, exchangeable segments.[9] Within this culture the time of capital production and circulation increasingly become the time of life, as the nanoseconds of investment and exchange reach ever closer to the dream of zero with the purpose of capturing every moment for profit.[10]

At the level of culture, as Fredric Jameson has argued, this experience of the end of temporality makes its way “in terms of something like existential uneven development” from the sense of “deep time” intrinsic to the modern novel, as they sought to reconcile the two opposing temporalities of the city where they now lived and the countryside in which they were born to the postmodern Hollywood action flick and its near “zero degree of plot.”[11] Intensifying the Kantian relation of the subject to objects as the discipline of infinitesimally quantified, rectilinear, and empty time shapes the collective imaginary under a now fully matured capitalism. To quote Jameson again,

Rather than a period style, therefore, it seems more desirable to stage the “end of temporality” as a

Frederic Jameson
Frederic Jameson

situation faced by postmodernity in general and to which its artists and subjects are obliged to respond in a variety of ways. This situation has been characterized as a dramatic and alarming shrinkage of existential time and the reduction to a present that hardly qualifies as such any longer, given the virtual effacement of that past and future that can alone define the present in the first place.[12]

On a global level technologies serve to flatten time on the external edge of the regime’s continuum with the threat of complete nullification though military destruction. Prominently displaying its capacity to annihilate any alternatives, global capital establishes an external horizon to life, promulgating that the only way to survive is to become synchronized to its time and integrated into its regime of accumulation. There is not alternative to the immediacy of the market, a reality ensured by the state-finance nexus. Marking this horizon is the nuclear bomb, the real, if excessive, threat posed to any outlier, refusing to be incorporated into its empire.[13]

Outside capital time, is the bomb: the nihilation of time as the exact reflection of the internal zero-drive of the process. The hegemony of capital, the power of the economic institutions and financial corporations at the heart of it, congeals with the state as a military-industrial complex that paves the way for the ascendency of capital and bolsters its global circuits.[14] Capital time, subsumes human existence both objectively and subjectively in the formation of an ontically derived metaphysics of its own.

The flat and homogenous time of capital, thus, achieves a kind of total triumph, not only, as Marx suggests, accomplishing the “annihilation of space by time” but also subjects all times to the instant absolute present of accumulation.[15] The bourgeois Kantian subject is solidified and reified in a global dominion ordered by the empty and homogeneous, and therefore, dislocated or disjointed time of capital. The rhythm of the process of accumulation, thus, is not only normalized within the subjectivity but also governs the structuring practices of society and gives shape to its objective order. Gutted of any significance and configured in opposition to the polis and its social relations, life under the dominion of capital serves only accumulation. It is a regnant regime that can only be countered, therefore, by nothing other than the real transformation of time itself.

 Changing Time?: A Politics of Contretemps

My intention in this essay is not to parse the theoretical differences between the various Marxish figures I have engaged, but to work with their concepts to diagnose the current configuration and to expose the nature of the dominion of global capital. It is no accident that they all raise the question of whether there remains any possibility for contesting the logic, circuits, and global hegemony of capital by changing time and in doing so cultivating new subjectivities and reconfiguring culture. The problem of revolution is particularly difficult given that because capital’s reign is constituted primarily in time and not just space, allowing it to function as a system of fluid openness, it orchestrates life through what appears to be the rational and immediate liberty of free markets.

At a macro-level this is how it can exist as a decentered and deterritorialized order, appearing as an unparalleled manifestation of freedom whose dynamic mechanisms of creative destruction and unfettered mobility seemingly generate limitless opportunity and integrate all interests. And yet, belying this openness on the macro-level, a certain microphysical totality is at work within capital, as it acts to synchronize all of existence to the process of accumulation. On this level it is empire as sect; its openness is its very closure and totality. A dominion constituted in its emptying, via homogenization and quantification, of time, capital is exposed as being at heart a formidable cult of nihilism that remains quite difficult to escape or resist.

Truth be told, even time within capital remains heterogeneous and multiple. Despite its attempt to subsume all facets of life to the smooth time of exchange and accumulation, discordant times persist between and within the varying moments of the process. Indeed, this temporal multiplicity is the “germ of crises” capital cannot expunge. Thus, as has already been suggested, it must rely upon the coercive apparatuses of the state to reintegrate such discordant times.[16] Rectifying or constraining the divergence that gives rise to the crisis, the state plays a central role in congealing and executing capital power. Capital’s dominion is a rule revealed to be just as dependent on coercion as it is on the activity of free markets. Indeed, the violence of the state resides at the source of the emergence of markets, for essential to political economy is the suppression of all discordant times to that of capital.[17]  It is a market-state without politics.

Given this situation, the revolutionary political task, according to Daniel Bensaïd, is to take advantage of the “arrhythmias of crisis” intrinsic to the structure of capital time so as to cultivate and embolden alternative times.[18] Exploiting the discordance of times endemic to human existence, an asynchrony even the dominant circulatory flows of capital cannot eviscerate, the practice of contretemps aims to free persons in their time (their time of joy, labor, eating, agony, love, etc.) from the chronometric hold of the market.

Thus, contretemps is at the same time a critique of capital time and an exigent politics. Profaning the status quo through a critique that demystifies the seeming inevitability of capital and disenchants its logical superiority, Bensaïd’s reading of Marx elicits a “syncopated history” set against the homogenous and empty time of capital and evokes a newly social and political time “tuned into [a] ‘revolutionary frequency.’”[19] To this extent, Bensaïd’s development of contretemps draws heavily off of the thought of Walter Benjamin.

It is Benjamin’s sense of messianic time, a “now-time” [Jetztzeit],[20] that Bensaïd extends to contrast the crude homogenization of time within the history of capital. As he puts it, “Lacerated and torn, messianic time destroys the myth of a homogeneous history of being, its beginnings and decline.”[21] In contrast to the empty and quantified moments of duration or the monotonous line of progress-as-accumulation, messianic time resonates with an urgency of action emerging from the doubling back, skipping forward, or fits and starts of an aleatory history.

Thus, Benjamin develops a historical materialism pregnant with a temporality attuned to transitions and interruptions, rifts and spurts. As Bensaïd avers, Benjamin finds in Marx a “new representation of time as social relation” and this discovery makes it possible then to conceptualize “anachronisms and contretemps.”[22] No longer the prophet of historical determinism, Marx is freed from this arcane orthodox straight-jacket by Benjamin and becomes, for Bensaïd, a proponent of an “aleatory materialism, allied with the subtleties of messianic reason.”[23] Emphasizing an alternative conception of time as social relation, with all of its contingency, particularity, and potency, Bensaïd asserts, Marx does not so much construct a universal history as he combines critique and politics to politicize the present such that “history becomes intelligible to anyone who wishes to engage in action to change the world. ‘Politics attains primacy over history.’”[24]

643ae368272c32e67a1ebe800d42622aThe art of contretemps, then, aims to subvert and to resist the de-politicization of life under capital with its smoothing out of time by eliciting the discordant tempos and rhythms of real relations and human action so as to privilege extant moments of crisis and heightened political judgment. In this sense, it means to cultivate an embodied attunement to cultural and societal untimeliness as a presence of permanent revolution: to become out of joint with a disjointed capital time. As Bensaïd puts it, such “Messianic times, when an older order breaks without the new order having yet taken shape [as a moment pregnant with political possibility], are necessarily out of joint.”[25]

Contretemps, thus, suggests the radicalization of Marx’s critique so as to re-politicize it, igniting a new discordance or asynchrony to the reign of capital.[26] Illuminating the field of resistance and counter-practice, the art of contretemps seeks to interjects a new political cadence into the public realm, cultivating a different mode of judgment that is more open and receptive to ruptures and asynchronies. Given that “politics is precisely the point where… discordant times intersect,” the public practice of a new time initiates conflict and debate.[27] Attending to the friction, rifts, and fissures that arise from the intersection of discordant times, the possibility for a political judgment not reliant on markets or capital flows to resolve conflicts and to discern outcomes can be employed.[28]

Therefore, the aim of contretemps is not simply to acknowledge discordant times, but to discover in their intersection a renewed politics.[29] In short, contretemps points to the possibility of resistance through the enactment of a qualitatively different temporality, a manifold temporality saturated with a multiplicity of experiences.

Change, especially as contretemps, however, does not come easy, neither is it historically inevitable. In Bensaïd’s own admission, the untimely revolution has been harder to achieve than most of his fellow Marxist thinkers and activists believed, even as it remains no less necessary. Failure is an ever-present possibility.[30] Nonetheless, similar to other figures such as Badiou, Agamben, and Negri, Bensaïd’s project aims at cultivating new political subjectivities that escape the strictures of market logic and the enclosure of the regime of accumulation.[31] In fact, it is the generation of such alternative political subjectivities through breaking with capital time that Bensaïd takes to be both the arduous task and urgent responsibility of those dedicated to liberation and reconfigured social relations. Such is the potential of training in contretemps.

Despite having described the lineaments of alternative politics and signaling the central element of time in the formation of political subjectivities, Bensaïd’s development of contretemps as a practice suffers two major difficulties that have forestalled its actualization. First, while he does attempt to salvage some sense of class as a strategic category from Marx’s conceptual reserve, Bensaïd (as does Derrida) struggles to connect the practice of contretemps to any real community, thus leaving it to float or wander somewhat disembodied or ephemeral.

Without a community of support and shared practices, it remains to be seen how those involved will be habituated out of the isolation and alienation consonant with consumer culture. Second, it is not clear that the emphasis on the exigency of the present in BensaÏd’s consideration of revolution is not simply a reiteration of the privileging of such latent to capitalism itself instead of being the intervention of a truly different order.[32] Neither is it clear how such an art of revolution could be sustained without these discordant times dissolving in endless fragmentation. Lacking a pattern for renewal, it is not clear how it could avoid simply dissolving into chaos, even as Bensaïd may not necessarily see this as a problem, or succumb to being recolonized by capital circuits.

Second, and more importantly for my purposes, lacking a theological orientation not only is it hard to

DCF 1.0perceive how such engagement could be sustained in the face of such immense challenges, but it also seems likely to fall prey to a solidarity born of resentment and hatred that inclines toward violence thereby occluding the political project. While I remain quite sympathetic to this outlook and even foresee the possibility of new strategic alliances between Christianity and Marxish approaches, the task of changing time here ultimately seems prone to reproducing relations of brute force.[33]

Yet, a theo-politics of contretemps, one set within an ecclesial practice of political deliberation, collective discernment, and practical judgment, however, could provide a way within the church to begin to resist the homogenization of time under capital and enact counter-structures of transformation. As I will argue below, following McClendon’s “baptist” vision, only an alternative community constituted by a constellation of unique transformative social processes could pose a real challenge to the regnant way of resolving conflicts and making decisions under capital, thereby, renewing time.

Dan Rhodes teaches at Loyola University of Chicago where he is Faculty Co-Ordinator of Contextual Education.  He is also Editor-in-Chief of The Other Journal.  He holds a Th.D. from Duke University Divinity School.  He is co-editor Christian Amondson and Silas Morgan of Faces of Debt: Theological Calls and Struggles for Material Forgiveness (a joint project of Syndicate Theology and The Other Journal).


[1] Karl Marx, The Poverty of Philosophy, ed. C. P. Dutt and V. Chattopadhyaya (New York: International Publishers, 1892), 47.

[2] Alliez, Capital Times, 231. On this Kantian transition, also see Kenneth Surin, Freedom Not Yet: Liberation and the Next World Order (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2005), 22-23.

[3] Twisting Augustine’s sense of time, Kant sees time as the mind’s essential connectedness to the body. It is inner bodiliness, if you will. The person is time, as she is ensouled body. But this also means that rationality itself is at heart ordered by a certain representation of time. Even stable truths for Kant are graspable for us only in relation to the concrete line of time. Here we can make sense of Kant’s enigmatic view of the synthetic a priori. For instance, such mathematical truths as 7 + 5 = 12 for him are synthetic exactly because they bear within themselves already the imprint of time as a result of the inner grammar of our consciousness even as they are not derived from experience of the outside world. See the discussion of the transcendental aesthetic in Immanuel Kant, Critique of Pure Reason, trans. and ed. Paul Guyer and Allen W. Wood, The Cambridge Edition of the Works of Immanuel Kant (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1998), Pt. I, Sec. II, 178-192. Hence, in Kant’s philosophy, time is both what so naturally connects us to the world but also what inevitably keeps us, as a rule of this grammar, at arm’s length from its deepest truths.

[4] Ibid., Pt. II. Div. I. Bk. II. Ch. I., 272. In Kant’s philosophy the transcendental realm of the heavenly city, as Carl Becker has noted, has become lodged within the very subjectivity of the individual as the ground of her consciousness. See Carl L. Becker, The Heavenly City of the Eighteenth Century Philosophers (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1932). For Kant, while we do not have direct access even to this unity, the inner sense of the transcendental unity of apperception is that of a line; we experience ourselves, the contiguous unity of ourselves, as a line. Ibid., 271n. Louis Dupré further substantiates this point in saying, for Kant “precisely the inner time consciousness gives structure and meaning to existence,” due to the fact that “the self’s outward orientation extenuated its sense of inner identity, reducing it virtually to a connecting link among successive and wholly contingent experiences.” See Louis Dupré, Passage to Modernity: An Essay in the Hermeneutics of Nature and Culture (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1993), 159.

[5] Kant, Critique of Pure Reason, Pt. II. Div. I. Bk. II. Ch. I., 272. Furthermore Kant goes on to state, “From this it is clear that the schematism of the understanding through the transcendental synthesis of imagination comes down to nothing other than the unity of all the manifold of intuition in inner sense, and thus indirectly to the unity of apperception, as the function that corresponds to inner sense (to a receptivity).” Ibid., 276.

[6] Ibid., Pt. II. Intro., 193-94.

[7] Negri, Time for Revolution, 60. This is also the point at which Negri begins to formulate his own revolutionary theoretic of time, based upon the surplus of life that resides even within a time seemingly captured by capital. The excess of life-time, he thinks, can be the source of a new collective and antagonistic time embodied in the negative work of the proletariat acting out of the multiplicity and fecundity of life itself. In this way, Negri (and Hardt for that matter), maintains a certain commitment to Hegel, as the collective consciousness via the fecund assemblages of desire (or should we call it spirit) latent within an excessive immanence continues to constitute, almost from behind our backs, its own oppositions to the totalizing reach of capital.

[8] Ibid., 61. Kant’s connection to bourgeois time as an eighteenth century champion of emerging capitalism, while somewhat implicit in the Critique of Pure Reason, is absolutely evident in his essay on the “Idea For a Universal History with a Cosmopolitan Purpose.” In this essay, Kant makes the argument that a certain purposiveness can be attributed to nature and this “highest purpose of nature” is achieved, ironically, through the “unsocial sociability” of humanity actualized in the market. Immanuel Kant, “Idea For a Universal History with a Cosmopolitan Purpose,” in Kant: Political Writings, ed. Hans Reiss, trans. H.B. Nisbet, 2nd ed., Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought (1991; reprint, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1996), 44-5.

[9] In his analysis of the process of capital, Marx elicits the implicit dream of capital to reduce circulation time to zero. Marx, Grundrisse, 538-9. Notice also that the connection between production time and circulation time gives rise to the mechanism of credit, as an attempt to valorize the non-value generating barrier of circulation time (658-60). Through credit and the complete monetization of time, capital aims to overcome this barrier through the creation of what Negri calls “productive circulation” (Time for Revolution, 65), and is conveyed by Marx in the ultimate equation of capital: M—M’. Similarly, David Harvey’s work on the “space-time compression” of capital notes from a geographical perspective how capital reshapes human relations. See David Harvey, The Condition of Postmodernity: An Inquiry into the Origins of Cultural Change (Cambridge, MA: Blackwell Publishers, 1990). Finally, this temporalization of space is noted by Negri as well. He adds, “Space is temporalized, it becomes dynamic: it is a condition of the constitutive realization of time. With Marx, time becomes the exclusive material of the construction of life.” Negri, Time for Revolution, 35.

[10] Negri, Time for Revolution, 44. As David Harvey, remarks, “For instance we all too easily forget that the hour was largely an invention of the thirteenth century, that the minute and the second became common measures only as late as the seventeenth century and it is only in recent times that terms like ‘nanoseconds’ have been invented.” David Harvey, A Companion to Marx’s Capital (London: Verso, 2010), 147. One example of the infinitesimal capture of time by capital can be seen in the Flash Crash of May 6, 2010, wherein the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost nearly 1000 points in a matter of minutes only to make that loss up a few minutes later, as the drastic volatility of this event was apparently facilitated by computer generated high-frequency trading.

[11] Fredric Jameson, “The End of Temporality,” Critical Inquiry, Vol. 29, No. 4 (Summer 2003): 699, 715

[12] Ibid., 708.

[13] Negri, Time for Revolution, 64-70. As Hardt and Negri have pointed out, key to the global imperialism of capitalist sovereignty are: “the bomb, money, and ether.” With respect to the bomb, they continue, “This is an operation of absolute violence, a new metaphysical horizon, which completely changes the conception whereby the sovereign state had a monopoly of legitimate physical force.” Hence, “From no other standpoint is the passage from modernity to postmodernity and from modern sovereignty to Empire more evident than it is from the standpoint of the bomb.” Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, Empire (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2000), 345.

[14] The relation between the technological dominance of the U.S. industrial-military complex and the global success of capitalism is well documented. Not only is this the basis of Francis Fukuyama’s widely popular thesis in The End of History and the Last Man (New York: Free Press, 2006), but a similar argument is developed by Philip Bobbitt in The Shield of Achilles: War, Peace, and the Course of History (New York: Knopf, 2002), and can be inferred to stand behind the destructive and asymmetrical relations of the IMF, World Bank, and WTO chronicled by Joseph Stiglitz in Globalization and Its Discontents. The gestures of resistance enacted by radical states such as North Korean or Iran have engaged exactly on this horizon, as they seek to claim independence from Western hegemony through the development of a counter-bomb. In doing so, however, not only do they create the possibility of a catastrophically violent clash, but they also fail to recognize that the productive capacity for arms outside the orb of capital is dwarfed significantly by the capacity of the regime to produce the technologies essential for a dominant war machine. While resistance may be possible on some level, as we have seen with Al Qaeda and now ISIS, this resistance cannot really challenge the productive capacity, the financial dominance, or the global military might of the state-capital system.

[15] Marx, Grundrisse, 539.

[16] Daniel Bensaïd, An Impatient Life: A Political Memoir, trans. David Fernbach (New York: Verso, 2013), 306.

[17] Ibid. The indelible connection between the violence of the state and the emergence of the market is also described by David Graeber. As he notes there is an intimate connection between quantification (market logic) and violence (state power), “[turning] human relations into mathematics.” David Graeber, Debt: The First 5,000 Years, Updated and Expanded Edition (Brooklyn, NY: Melville House, 2014), 14. Commenting further on this connection, he states, “In [the] common-sense view, the State and the Market tower above all else as diametrically opposed principles. Historical reality reveals, however, that they were born together and have always been intertwined. The one thing all of these misconceptions have in common… is that they tend to reduce all human relations to exchange, as if our ties to society, even to the cosmos itself, can be imagined in the same terms as a business deal.” Ibid., 19.

[18] Bensaïd, Marx for Our Times, 77.

[19] Ibid., 89.

[20] Walter Benjamin, “On the Concept of History,” in Walter Benjamin: Selected Writings, Volume 4, 1938-1940, trans. Edmund Jephcott et al. and ed. Howard Eiland and Michael W. Jennings (Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press, 2006), 395.

[21] Bensaïd, Marx for Our Times, 88.

[22] Ibid.

[23] Bensaïd, An Impatient Life, 285.

[24] Bensaïd, Marx for Our Times, 87 quoting Benjamin, The Archades Project, 388-89.

[25] Bensaïd, Impatient Life, 291.

[26] Derrida, Specters of Marx, 107.

[27] Bensaïd, Marx for Our Times, 22. While I do not have space to engage the full breadth of his argument, the ecological is, according to Bensaïd, one of the most obvious places where the conflict of times can be seen. He states, “The quarrel between ecology and economies (as understood by classical and neoclassical economies at least) refers to the divorce between two heterogeneous temporalities: an economic temporality punctuated by the reproduction of capital and labour-power; and an ecological temporality governed by the storing and consumption of energy, which is also stored time.” Ibid., 344.

[28] Ibid., 4.

[29] Bensaïd says, “To rescue politics from these threats of disappearance, it has to be conceived anew, as the site of deliberation and decision where different spaces and rhythms combine. Those of the economy, of information, of ecology and of law are no longer in tune with one another. We have therefore to abandon the mirage of a politically homogeneous space and time, and learn to conceive the sites and moments of a future politics.” Impatient Life, 319.

[30] Ibid., 313, 290.

[31] While I am not insinuating that all of these theorists are the same, I do see a shared concern among them for seeking new political subjectivities. Badiou’s pursuits run within a Platonic framework whereas Negri follows Deleuze and radical Aristotelianism. Agamben moves more within a course of inverted Heidegerrianism, inflected with Benjamin’s messianism and Foucault’s attention to discipline, governance, and sovereignty.  Bensaïd, as more of the practitioner of the group, draws off of Benjamin and Gramsci.

[32] Jameson offers a similar critique of Delueze and Guattari in “The End of Temporality,” 710-711.

[33] One can only recall here Marx’s axiom that “between equal rights, force decides.” Marx, Capital, Vol I, 344.

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