Infrapolitical Anxiety. (Alberto Moreiras)

Sometimes it is possible to grasp absolutely basic intuitions that unleash a way of thinking, a life of thought. I do believe that we only have one idea in us (because when we relate to one thing we relate to all things), and that some of us choose to make it our business to play with it (it is a bitter play, some times) through the end of our life. Except that, for the most part, we don’t know what the idea is, and we die before we find out. That is just the way it is, it may be rather pathetic, but the important thing, after all, is the fierce fight, the seeking. Sometimes, perhaps by chance, or dubious luck, the idea is expressed–recognizing it as such is another matter. I think what follows is Heidegger’s fundamental experience. I wonder whether we, today, can even understand it: “In the clear night of the nothing of anxiety the original openness of beings as such arises: that they are beings–and not nothing. . . . The essence of the originally nihilating nothing lies in this, that it brings Da-sein for the first time before [the being of] beings as such” (“What is Metaphysics?,” in Pathmarks, 90.) I think this quote accounts for all of Heidegger’s thought, including all the stupidities in it. My question here is whether a similar experience can account for infrapolitics—whether infrapolitics is also contained in an experience of anxiety, political anxiety in this case, that produces a withdrawal of, and from, politics (the Heideggerian “wholly repelling gesture,” 90), and interrogates its other side, its nihilating side.   And wants to explicitate what it might be.   And dwell on it. Because it must. No other choice.

2 thoughts on “Infrapolitical Anxiety. (Alberto Moreiras)

  1. “Except that, for the most part, we don’t know what the idea is, and we die before we find out.” Alberto, is this related to the “secret” in Derrida? I am thinking specifically here to the potential that a “demotic marrano democracy”, as suggested by Guillermo U a few months back, could have as an orientation to the deconstruction of the political in this project (in a sense that, at least for what I take it to be, goes well beyond left-heideggeranism)? Is this the absence of “principle” without a “desire” for the restitution of one?


  2. I think it is, and the necessary corollary then is that we are all marrano. The notion that there is only one idea in each one of us comes, I think, originally from Henri Bergson, and Heidegger quotes it in the first pages of his work on Nietzsche–Heidegger`s Nietzsche interpretation is of course a masterful deployment of the thought that Nietzsche´s philosophy is simply an attempt to work out the intuition of the Eternal Return of the Same, which ultimately drove him mad. Klossowski came out with the same proposal, from an entirely different analysis. Be that as it may, in Derrida the notion of the secret is essentially a political argument against community, in my opinion. In other words, it is a plea for a countercommunitarian approach to the political. And yes, there is a very long marrano legacy here, as one can easily imagine, and we need to go back for instance to the 1525 marrano treatise (was it Alonso del Castillo’s) on De Re Publica, where it is argued that the essence of the political is the negotiation of separation not union. Take a look at Derrida´s main argument in Le dernier Juif–I may post on it one of these days. So, absolutely, demotic marrano democracy–countercommunitarian and infrapolitical. Now, left Heideggerianism, or what we are calling that (see my comment below on Heidegger´s “On the Essence of Truth”) helps, but we are not certainly trying to theorize these issues as Heidgeggerian epigones, or even as Derridean epigones. I see it as taking up what these guys left off.


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