When talking about his film Salò, Pasolini claimed that nothing is more anarchic than power, because power does whatever it wants, and what power wants is totally arbitrary. And yet, upon examining the murderous capital of modern sovereignty, the fragility emerges of a power whose existence depends on its victims’ recognition. Like a prayer from God, the command implores to be loved, also by those whom it puts to death. Benefitting from this "political theurgy" as the book calls it (the idea that a power, like God, claiming to be full of glory, constantly needs to be glorified) is Barnardine, the Bohemian murderer in Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure, as he, called upon by power to the gallows, answers with a curse: ‘a pox o’ your throats’.

He does not want to die, nor, indeed, will he. And so, he becomes sovereign. On a level with and against the State.

chapter |6 pages


chapter II|6 pages

Fault lines

chapter III|9 pages

That sovereign, a true Machiavel!

chapter IV|5 pages

Machiavelli and Shakespeare

chapter VI|22 pages

Hineni 1

chapter VII|9 pages

Tu es/tuer

chapter VIII|31 pages

‘I will not consent to die’

chapter IX|10 pages