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Showing posts from January, 2019

Thoughts on "Sovereignty" and Lenin's Conception of the State

Recently, after yet another re-read of Lenin's State and Revolution, I found myself thinking about that post-Marxist/post-Heideggerian concept of "sovereignty" received from Agamben (with some origin in Foucault) and become doctrine for so many social theorists. Not that I haven't thought about this concept––or the way it has been linked to conceptions of biopolitics, governmentality, control, etc.––or bothered to think this concept before. I have taught it when I have had to teach those thinkers that use it, I have criticized it, and often I have dismissed it altogether. It's just that––and bare with me here because this will be a loosely structured meditation/intervention rather than the rigorous essay it deserves and that I might write at a later date––I haven't directly thought "sovereignty" in relation to Lenin's theoretical work on the state.


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Some background: I return to classics such as State and Revolution quite frequently. Lenin is alw…