Sovereign Indifference: Jünger’s Anarch and the Appeal of the Small

Anarchist Studies - ISSN 2633-8270
Volume 24 Number 2

Sovereign Indifference: Jünger’s Anarch and the Appeal of the Small
James Farrugia pages -

Abstract

Pericles’ boast that ‘the man who takes no part in politics [is] not unmeddlesome but useless’ underscores a fundamental principle in any anthropocentric system: that any individual human being is a composite of an indefinite totality, to wit, historical humanity. Carl Schmitt’s and Giorgio Agamben’s formulations of sovereign power, the state of exception and bare life are relevant here; yet both thinkers are compromised by the supremacy of the political and human totality. The same, it will be claimed, also ultimately holds true for a great number of classical and contemporary anarchist thinkers. What makes Ernst Jünger’s ‘anarch’ different is precisely his indifference to the sovereign claims of any human totality, and the assertion of his own sovereignty: ‘the monarch wants to rule many, nay, all people; the anarch, only himself’. One of the key differences between more communal conceptions of the anarchist and Jünger’s anarch is that the latter does not believe that ‘human nature is intrinsically good’. More crucially, the anarch recognises that he lives in a world which he cannot ‘take seriously’. Underlying all this there is an implicit appeal for the small, the limited and the concrete. In a time of increasingly global compacts and formulations, this is worth investigating.

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To cite this article
James Farrugia (2016) Sovereign Indifference: Jünger’s Anarch and the Appeal of the Small, Anarchist Studies, 24(2), -

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