Materiali per una teoria materialista dello stato di eccezione

  • Manuel Disegni Università degli Studi di Torino

Abstract

This paper gathers materials for a theory of the state of exception from the point of view of historical materialism. They are gained from the history of this juridical figure and of its political matrix, the counter-revolution, whereat special attention is paid to the very century of historical materialism itself, the nineteenth. Leaning against the opus of two of the most representative authors of this thought, Marx and Walter Benjamin, the paper leads back the notion of state of exception from the terrain of juridical sciences to that of historical knowledge. The historical inquiry shows that the putative exception, which extraordinary emergency legislations always refer to, is actually a mere restatement and stabilisation function of the norm and therefore solidly united to it. In the perspective of the history of social domination, the suspension of the law and the direct intervention of state violence into social life do not mark any interruption of normality. In contrast to this so-called juridical exception, historical materialism proposes a notion of historical present as an opportunity to truly interrupt the continuity of power relationships. Reading recommended to all those who, ten years after 2007, still believe they live in a crisis.