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Nancy and the Political$
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Sanja Dejanovic

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780748683178

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748683178.001.0001

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‘A Struggle between Two Infinities’

‘A Struggle between Two Infinities’

Jean-Luc Nancy on Marx’s Revolution and Ours

(p.272) 11 ‘A Struggle between Two Infinities’
Nancy and the Political

Jason E. Smith

Edinburgh University Press

In Jean-Luc Nancy's text “Urbi et Orbi,” we read what is perhaps his most dramatic formulation of the relation between communism, a theme that has haunted his work for more than two decades, and capitalism, a theme that has received less attention but has increasingly appeared at the center of his most recent texts. This relation is characterized in rather classical terms as a “struggle“; a struggle, but not between two classes first of all, but between what he characterizes as a two infinites, namely the endless and aimless circulation of capital (which he summarizes as “extorsion“) and the sharing, in communism, of the incalculable (“exposition“). Through an analysis of “Urbi et Orbi,” but also a group of texts all published over the last decade, what I will show is that Nancy's work proposes a thoroughgoing critique and transformation of the categories of political economy (wealth, value, property, production), and a reconceptualization of the nature of capitalism itself (not simply a mode of production, but a regime of evaluation, an entire “civilization” that is in decomposition).

Keywords:   Infinity, Capitalism, Communism, Globalization, Valuation, Enjoyment, Marx

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