“NO/US: The Nietzschean Democracy of Jean-Luc Nancy,” my article for Diacritics (Vol. 43, n.4)


How to break up the equivalence of objects? How to raise the question of a politics able to oppose the equivalence of the peculiarities produced by capitalism? Against such economy, that this essay calls an archi-economy, Jean-Luc Nancy’s radical existential perspective calls for a renewed concept of democracy: a “Nietzschean democracy” that would enable us, again, to say “we.” Far from being an outright oxymoron, a Nietzschean democracy outlines a politics that would prevent the “us” from getting rid of the surplus, the gap, the outside without which there would be no being-in-common, but a claustrophobic “immanentism.” The “us” to come should be written no/us, an open word that must be read in two languages:nous, that is to say “us” in French, and no us. No/us is both the possibility and the impossibility of community, preventing it from being a pure identity or a totalitarian substance, avoiding as well its mere dissemination, that is to say, an absence of community. No/us is the call for a political thought opened by the outside.


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