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Terms of the PoliticalCommunity, Immunity, Biopolitics$
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Roberto Esposito

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780823242641

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823242641.001.0001

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Community and Violence

Community and Violence

(p.123) Community and Violence
Terms of the Political
Roberto Esposito
Fordham University Press

This chapter explores the constitutive link between violence and community. Not only do all world literatures and origin stories posit war, violence, or bloodshed as the founding act of community, but what human beings have most in common is their capacity to kill or be killed. Within this originary community, violence is characterized by a limitlessness, a lack of an inside and an outside, which allows for violence's endless communicability or contagion. Modernity responds to this by erecting an immunitary apparatus, which sets up protective borders against what is outside the group as well as among its very own members. The only way to limit reciprocal violence seemed to be that of establishing solid borders, of marking insurmountable limits between one space and another.

Keywords:   Community and violence, Violence and communication, Contact and community, Political borders, Immunization, Biopolitics and globalization, Social contagion, Law and exception, Sovereign power, Nazism, Globalization, Sacrificial crisis, Religious fundamentalism

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