New Clear Vision


constructive commentary for the chronically farsighted


The Bare Life

March 01, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Current Events, Devon G. Pena, Politics

Notes on ‘Idle No More’ and the State of Exception

by Devon G. Peña

The Nazi jurist Carl Schmitt made two observations that are useful to fully understand the nature of white settler colonialism and its calculated brutality against First Peoples. The first idea, which of course has been taken up as the point of departure of the work of Giorgio Agamben,[i] is that after the Jewish Holocaust every parliamentary and liberal democracy exists in a permanent state of emergency/state of siege. The second point is that under such a regime, not only is there a suspension of the rule of law, the constituted power of the sovereign is focused on the ability to decide,[ii] and especially to determine who lives and who dies — hence, the concept of biopower as developed by Foucault and his protégés.

The end of the rule of law is surely by now a more familiar condition to most citizens in the U.S. and Canada who are dealing with the collapse of the Bill of Rights in the aftermath of 9-11 and the advent of the never-ending ‘War on Terror’. (more…)