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12: B’s investigation will lead him to inquire into “not only a “sociable being” (animal social)

or an “economic subject” (homo oeconomicus), but also a “national being” (homo


nationalis).” The escape is not to talk of internationalist or cosmopolitan view, for these
vocabularies only point out and submit themselves to the sheer gravity of the national
reference and its hegemony. Can we have something that is not a nation state, that does
not also devolve into an absolute? / thus, we must turn to reflexivity, or the critical spirit.
And in this Balibar wants to bring into question the signification of what it means to say
nation, national and nationalism.
13: the alternatives to the nation: globalized new economy, an ecology, or an
internationalized culture. All are wanting. / what is the end of a nation, or post-nationality?
how do we define and speak of the threshold a nation must pass to enter post-nationality,
i.e., non-nationality? Secondly, what is the difference between a breakdown of nation into
sub nations (the Baltic region) or a unity of nations into an even bigger one, a
transnationalism (the European Union)?
15: criticizing another nationalism, with reference to the fact that we have moved past it,
that we have moved beyond it, that we transcend it, is its own form of nationalism, of
course, what else could it be? “Once again we can see an illustration of the essentially
projective character, as the psychoanalysts say, of nationalist ideology.” / the discourse on
the end of nations has the prerequisite assumption of the origin of nations. Therefore, there
is more than ever today a discourse on the origin of nation.
16: nations have an origin: they stem from the origin and have a permanent relation to this
origin. / “a “French path” and “German path,” […] on one side we have the model of the
political nation, on the other the model of the cultural nation. But this is clearly an imaginary
representation of two symbolic types of origin of political institutions – one that refers to
“will,” “consciousness,” and a “revolutionary” moment, the other to “tradition” and an
unconscious “nature” – and a projection of this representation onto history (whether one’s
own or that of the other).”/ lmao good definition: “Nations or nationalities are institutions
that last a certain time”. The idea of generation is critical here too, for it seems that all
nations define themselves according to increments of generations.
17: “nations are sets of codified relations between state and society, political community
and individuals”. However, the nation will only exist on the condition that it is reproduced.
“The continuous reproduction of a system of institutions is never something natural; it is not
the result of mechanical inertia or organic life, but neither is it a pure effect of will”.
However, this all is not the nation-form. This is “a mode of combination of economic and
ideological structures.”
18: this appears to be a way of speaking of governmentality, until one factors in that this is
actually “managing the symbolic in history”. / Balibar implies here that the nation-state is a
prime monopolize, a monopolize of relations between state and people. “To put it better:
there must be class struggles, capable of repressing or absorbing other forms of social
conflict (such as tribalisms, illegalisms, regionalisms), but at the same time these class
struggles must be controlled or regulated by force and, even more important by means of
specific political representation. It is thus necessary to invent institutions and discourses
that allow class conflict to be subordinated to a relatively effective, durable, and
“equitable” “general interest”.”
19: hence so much national discourse is either for or against imperialism: it must either
construct hegemony or tear it down, support or destroy monopoly. “If there is no
monopoly to defend or conquer, there can be no state; and if there is no state, there can
be no nation.” / aleatory determination and deflected causes: economic effects do not have
economic causes, just as symbolic effects do not have symbolic or ideological causes. It is
always a mediation of the opposite, hence the “ruse of reason”.
20: language (understood as something which links a people together) and genealogy
(understood as a symbolic order that is passed down): this is the constellation of the nation
form, and “each of them allows an internal control or regulation of certain fundamental
anthropological differences that intervene as soon as it is a matter of inserting subjects into
discourse and relations of power.” / states must appropriate this sacred. They msut also do
the same with day-to-day-legitimation, therefore controlling births/deaths/marriages and
withdrawing these functions from clans, families, churches, etc., and also they must control
“communication”: the definitions of culture and national languages, etc. / the nation-form is
not a community, nor even an ideal type.
21: rather it is “the concept of a structure capable of producing determinate “community
effect,””. nations are communities, but the nation form absolutely cannot be thought of as
an abstraction of these communities. The nation form cannot be thought of with the
classical opposition of “community” (Gmeinschaft) and “society” (Gesellschaft). It is, rather,
as Balibar seems to suggest, what allows for people as subjects, to identify with groups, and
to meet against other subjects, other groups: it is a mean of confrontation. A prerogative of
class conflict.
22: the nation-form, like structure, is parasitic, and therefore it is constantly altered through
the vicissitudes of this class conflict: its effect generates a reflexive affect, which thereby
alters its own constitution and changes from generation to generation even, and certainly
from century to century.
24: that the nation state could exist without nationalism is a pure illusion.
26: identity and orientation. One in many. But also many in one: and so I must choose my
personality amongst many, find out what it is that I wish to be.
28: primary identities, in order to be absorbed into national identities, must be worked on
for a long time, to be ‘deconstructed’. The subject must sit in classrooms for years for this to
work, and even then it often ends disastrously.
29: this, the ideologaical state apparatuses or what Foucault calls the discplines, is a critical
destructuring and then even more critical re-structuring.