The Inoperative Community
by Nancy, Jean-Luc (1991)
For the moment , we need not stop to evaluate the element of retrospective illusion in this interpretation, which represents for Marx the truth of "communal labor in its spontaneously evolved form as we find it among all Civilized peoples at the dawn of their history.'" What is important, beyond the nostalgic ideology that is common to Marx and to many others is the thinking of community that in spite of everything still comes through 'here-for it is a thinking, not merely an idyllic narrative ready to be transformed into a future utopia. Community means here the socially exposed particularity, in opposition to the socially imploded generality characteristic of capitalist community. If there has been an event in Marxist thought, one that is not yet over for us, it takes place in what is opened up by this though. Capital negates community because it places above it the identity and the generality of production and products: the operative communion and general communication of works. (And when it plays the game of multiplying differences, no one is fooled: difference belongs neither to the work not to the product as such). As I have already said, it is a work of death. It is the the work of death of both capitalist communism (including when it goes under the name of "advanced liberal society") and of communist capitalism (called "real communism"). Standing opposite and to the side of both of these - and resisting them both ,in every Society - there is what Marx designates as community: a division of tasks that does not divide up a preexisting generality (as though society, or humanity, could have a general task that could be given, and known, in advance-only capitalist accumulation has ever tried to represent such a general task), but rather articulates singularities among themselves. This is "sociality" as a sharing, and not as a fusion, as an exposure, or as an immanence. (p.74)
KeywordsPhilosophy, Community, Mythology, Communism, Literature, Love, Divinity, Individuality, Communication
ThemesThe Inoperative Community, Nancy Citations
Links to Reference
TranslatorConnor, P.; Garbus, L.; Holland, M.; Sawhney, S.
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