One Definition of Infrapolitics.


Cf. the Lacanian thought that every private grammar is a “fundamental fantasy,” hence it refers to no substantive “truth,” only to a kind of working, to a structuration. And that the same is the case for collective grammars that regulate our ideas of any community, from the elementary school soccer team all the way to the nation or indeed to humanity as a whole. The fact is, no collective grammar could function without support in a private grammar (the organizer, for every one of us, of the cogito as “true fiction”), and no private grammar could function without support in a common language. And yet, the gap between private and collective grammar is irreducible. When it is filled up, it gives rise to kinds of fascism in every case. To the extent that politics thinks of itself as the attempt to respect the impossibility of filling the gap between the private and the public, politics is democratic. To the extent that politics thinks of itself as the attempt to bypass the impossibility of filling the gap between the private and the public, politics is fascistic, or at the very least falsely democratic.   All of this is the foundation of Davide Tarizzo’s forthcoming book Political Grammars: The Unconscious Foundations of Modern Democracy.

I would then add that infrapolitics is the name for the space of the gap between private grammar and collective grammar; it is a khora. It sets itself up between fundamental fantasies, it is the space between fundamental fantasies, itself not a fundamental fantasy. Affirmative infrapolitics refers to a strong or militant position on the impossibility of the closing of the gap.   In that sense, critics are right–infrapolitics refers to a nothing, hence to nothing.   It is the nothing of politics, upon which politics consummates its own permanent catastrophe.

This definition is not a new one–it is consistent with the rest of them.   But I think it has the advantage of clearly delinking from Cacciari and Esposito’s “impolitical,” from Dubreuil’s “refusal of politics,” from Viriasova’s “unpolitical,” even from Bennington’s “politics of politics.”

3 thoughts on “One Definition of Infrapolitics.

  1. My question for Davide would be: if both private and collective grammars are purveyors of “true fictions,” which is what gives them the rank of “fundamental fantasies,” I wonder whether the kind of practical/thinking activity that the very notion of ontological difference refers to (essentially, the attempt to explore the gap between being and the real, which is the gap that structures and produces the supplementary gap between fundamental fantasies), would also be considered by him a “true fiction.” I think that “ontological difference,” taken in that sense, that is, redescribed from the Heideggerian discovery, is no longer a true fiction, but rather something like the exposure of fictionality to its own facticity.


  2. This is great, and I am already looking forward to Tarizzo’s book when it comes out. Now, would you say that posthegemonic democracy would appeal to a certain form of true fiction, insofar as it stands against the infinitization (a-ficitional, since it only has symptoms such as debt, guilt, or terror) of neoliberal equivalence. I wonder what Tarizzo would respond to post hegemony, and to democracy as a fiction beyond metaphoricity (equivalence)…just a thought.


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