|Jouissance and Antagonism in the Forms of the Commune: A Critique of Biopolitical Subjectivity
In recent years a growing literature on biopolitical governmentality, prompted by the work of Michel Foucault, presents subjectivity as the decisive locus of both the rule of neoliberal capitalism and the production of the common. While sharing its central focus of subjectivity, we are concerned with what this literature leaves out (due to what we discern to be certain implicit tendencies of behaviorism): the constitutive role that subjective investments and “enjoyment” (jouissance) play in the crisis-ridden formations of capitalism and in the constructive turns to communism. We proceed from the premise that there is no balanced relation to jouissance and that class antagonism is irreducible. From this perspective, we propose to approach capitalist and communist subjectivities in terms of two different “forms of the commune”: that is, as two distinct subjective orientations toward enjoying the impossibility of instituting the common once and for all.