Thursday, March 08, 2007

A quote on the origins of political patriarchy for International Womens Day

Giorgio Agamben, from Homo Sacer, pg. 88:

"And when we read in a late source that in having his sons put to death, Brutus 'had adopted the Roman people in their place,' it is the same power of death that is now transferred, through the image of adoption, to the entire people. The hagiographic epithet 'father of the people,' which is reserved in every age to the leaders invested with sovereign authority, thus once again acquires its originary, sinister meaning. What the source presents us with is therefore a kind of genealogical myth of sovereign power: the magistrate's imperium is nothing but the father's vitae necisque potestas extended to all citizens. There is no clearer way to say that the first foundation of political life is a life that may be killed, which is politicized through its very capacity to be killed."

So, everybody, today (as we should everyday) spend some time appreciating the women in yr life and what they do in this world. And maybe imagine this earth moving away from patriarchal political mythologies towards something a lot less Brutus.

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