Christoph Menke
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Law and violence

The use of violence in law, the argument for its legitimacy says, constitutes an "unsurpassable limiting case"; it is at the disposal of law, whose internal organization is "symbolic" or normative, as a "symbiotic mechanism" that operates by action upon "physical-organic existence." The law to be discussed here is the law of tragedy; not just any sort of order guaranteed by a power that establishes a minimum of reliability of expectations, but the specific form of law engendered by the tragic labor of reflection. Oedipus issues the legal curse of autonomy only as a proxy, in his role as judge. Walter Benjamin offers an alternative to consent or rejection, instauration or destruction, an alternative he calls "relief of law". The dualism of bourgeois liberalism consists in confronting autonomous participation in the law and the right of free non-participation as mutually external registers.

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Law and violence

Christoph Menke in dialogue



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