Metabasis N. 31
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Surveillance, control and freedom

Surveillance, control and freedom

May 2021 - Year XVI - Number 31

Political reflections

Health Security and Pandemic: from Noso-Politics to Global Care.

Rosanna Castorina

DOI: 10.7413/18281567197

This contribution aims to investigate some philosophical implications of the concept of security/safety in the health field, starting from Foucauldian reflection on noso-politics up to the debate on the governance of medical-hygiene-health policies in the context of today's Covid-19 pandemic. The double meaning of security/safety is accompanied by care, understood as a relational and global dimension that is based on individual and political responsibility, on the promotion of environmental ethics and on a concept of equity that reconciles distributive justice and an empathic-emotional dimension.

«Omnes affectant libertatem, & simul tamen omnes amant servitutem». The voluntas as fons omnis moralitatis in Christian Thomasius’ natural law.

Gianluca Dioni

DOI: 10.7413/18281567189

This essay tries to outline the dynamic of the deliberative process in Christian Thomasius’ politic anthropology, in the attempt to rebuild the nature of moral subject’s freedom. Starting from the analysis of the two faculties of the human soul, intellect and will, it comes to highlight the voluntas as active principle, that in his activity always move the intellect, by conditioning it. On the contrary, the last one can recognize the nature of the real good, only when it is not conditioned from the will.of enlarging the political spectrum of political identities in order to reactivate genuine political forces against a-democratic powers.

Ernst Jünger: from Total Mobilization to theatre of security.

Giada Fiorese

DOI: 10.7413/18281567203

Through the analysis of the two world conflicts, Jünger primarily intends to talk about technology. The application of technology in the sphere of war has made the so-called Total Mobilization feasible. The Total Mobilization implies the activation of all the resources of the State, so that the war is transformed into a broad working process involving the community. The concept of Total Mobilization can also be applied to modern society which, in an attempt to defend and guarantee security, is continuously and totally committed in performing immaterial wars and spectacularizing security.

Insurgent violence and defensive violence: understanding the use of political violence by the italian extreme left in the 1960s and 1980s.

Caroline Guibet Lafaye

DOI: 10.7413/18281567191

Italy in the 1960s and 1980s experienced a remarkable wave of political violence involving the extreme right, the extreme left and the State. In order to highlight the mechanisms accompanying the emergence of this type of phenomenon and the way in which the violence actors relate to it, we conducted a qualitative sociological survey of 30 extra-parliamentary left-wing activists from this period. In opposition to the researches done so far on the topic (Bosi and Della Porta, 2012; Della Porta, 2013; Sommier, 1992), we will show the need to include the pragmatic interpretation of political violence in its politico-ideological paradigm and to propose a critical reading of the temporal evolution of these patterns according to the generations of activists encountered, in the sense, for example, that the paradigm of defensive violence does not intervene in the “escalation” phase of the conflict but from its origin. We will also highlight the role of the perception of a closure of political opportunities in the mechanisms of production of violence within the most militarized political groups rather than in the broader social movement.

Homo homini noxius. Biopolitics of a state of exception.

Raffaella Sabra Palmisano

DOI: 10.7413/18281567199

Contemporary philosophical and political debate is increasingly focusing on the question of the state of exception and biopolitics. The ongoing pandemic inevitably leads to questions about the relationship between politics, language and body. In this article the question is analyzed from a political point of view starting from the theory of reality as a social construction that develops through language and has an inevitable impact on bodies (a deeply political impact). A reflection on the relationship between politics, bodies and language cannot currently disregard the relationship between fear and consensus in the current post-global era.

Distancing, Control, Surveillance. New Political Categories?

Fabrizio Sciacca

DOI: 10.7413/18281567190

There is more and more talk about distance, surveillance and control as tools of political power over individuals in a given society. In this paper I analyse these concepts in order to try to understand whether we can speak of new political categories.

Philosophical Horizons

Utopia and its Volumes: Symbolic-Political Profiles of Medieval and Renaissance Architecture.

Giuseppe Maria Ambrosio

DOI: 10.7413/18281567201

The following paper aims to analyse the symbolic-political structures of the utopic imaginary, particularly focusing on the Late Medieval and Renaissance literary and architectural sources. A theoretical distinction is preliminarily made between the concepts of “utopian genotype” and “utopian phenotype”, characterized by a different force of attraction to the real world, as well as by different actors and forms of exercise (i.e. the intellectual and the book; the architect and the volumes). A second paragraph deals with ideal architectures within some famous utopian books of the Renaissance. A third and final paragraph compares the utopian vision of the architect – on hold between an ideal model and its structural requirements – , and the contemporary will to power of the sovereign, in turn in search of new forms of domination and control.

The colors of pacifism between the XIX and XX centuries

Claudio Giulio Anta

DOI: 10.7413/18281567198

Through the reflections of contemporary philosophers and sociologists, such as Norberto Bobbio, Mulford Quickert Sibley, Wilhelm Emil Mühlmann, Michael Allen Fox, David Cortright, Larry May, John Rawls, Eric Reitan, Johan Galtung and David Boersema, this article reconstructs the lively debate on the pacifism between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It was animated by prestigious intellectuals: from Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, to Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, Bertrand Russell, Sigmund Freud and Albert Einstein via John Atkinson Hobson, Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, Friedrich Nietzsche, Norman Angell, Romain Rolland, Richard Nikolaus Coudenhove- Kalergi, Luigi Einaudi, Lord Lothian and Lionel Robbins. They encapsulated the main dilemmas derived from the changed political conditions of their time: the crisis of internationalism, the affirmation of imperialism, the spread of irrationalism, the beginning of the Great War, the establishment and failure of the League of Nations, the consolidation of totalitarian regimes, the outbreak of the Second World War, and the escalation of the Cold War. They developed various ideas and models which could ideally be linked to a “positive pacifism” according to which, as foretold by Baruch Spinoza, peace could not be conceived as mere absence of war, but above all the presence of justice, law and order (“Pax enim non belli privatio”).

Myth, ideology and praxis in direct democracy. An exploratory enquiry.

Paolo Bellini

DOI: 10.7413/18281567196

The origins of Direct democracy as a form of government can easily be traced back to the historical-political experience of ancient Athens in the V-IV centuries BC. Despite being included among the forms of government in ancient and medieval treatises, together with Monarchy (the government of one), Aristocracy (the government of a few) and their possible degenerations (cf. the Platonic-Aristotelian model), Direct democracy was no longer practiced in later centuries, with the exception of some well-defined and limited circumstances, and it never became a dominant form in a systemic way. For a long time, it was essentially considered an experiment that was neither repeatable nor desirable. After the French Revolution, which was anticipated, in many respects, by the First and Second English Revolutions (1642-1689) and by the American Revolution (1775-1783), the principle of popular sovereignty emerged in Europe and America; it gave rise to the first modern democracies, which, however, contrary to the Greek example, were representative democracies from the beginning. Such a principle, however, had and still has a far-reaching symbolic and ideological value for direct democracy as well, since it transfers the legitimation of power from a theological and/or metaphysical dimension (coinciding with the divine will or with some abstract, self-subsisting idea as the Platonic good) to a purely human level, stating that power always stems from the people, who originally hold it.

‘Big states’ or ‘small states’? Jacob Burckhardt and political participation.

Luca Gasbarro

DOI: 10.7413/18281567193

This contribution aims at investigating if, among the points to ponder identified by an author like Jacob Burckhardt, there are some ideas that might suggest a predilection for an ideal political model that includes and promotes, somehow, political participation. A dilemma that has two possible solutions: big states or small states.

Cristianesimo e modernità politica. Il problema teologico-politico nell’ultimo Kant.

Salvatore Muscolino

DOI: 10.7413/18281567194

In this paper I will analyse the religious issue in the late Kantian work. I argue that Kant’s reflections on Christianity have to be strictly connected with those on law and history. This connection lead us to the political theological problem which is crucial in the case of Hegel as well. In the Encyclopedia Hegel explicitly takes inspiration from Kant who thinks that the problem of that age is the relation between religion and law. That is why Kant cannot be considered a liberal thinker because religion is not a mere private question for him but it has a public importance within his modern conception of history. In this sense, I also argue that Kant’s judgment on Christianity is more negative than that of Hegel who attributes a more positive value to religious beliefs in the history of Spirit.

Migrating as critique. Reflexions on Erich Unger’s political messianism.

Ernesto C. Sferrazza Papa

DOI: 10.7413/18281567195

The present article aims at analysing Erich Unger’s Politik und Metaphysik, his main philosophical text. Even though this text, published in 1921, has been almost forgotten by philosophical literature, we suggest it can be reconsidered in its hidden potentiality, especially if we want to better understand contemporary migrant crisis. The paper is structured as follows: after a brief consideration on Walter Benjamin’s uses of Unger’s thesis, the essay investigates the messianic dimension of human movement discussed in Politik und Metaphysik, which is, at the end, an attempt to actualize the biblical imagine of the exodus. At the end, the paper suggests understanding human migration as a critique of the world.

Metabasis N. 31
digital edition

peer review

Each essay of this journal is reviewed by two anonymous referees and their comments are sent to the authors .

Evaluation Form

Editorial Criteria