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CoCommunity, immunity, biopolitics. What is the relationship between these three terms, around which my work has been articulated in recent years? Is it possible to connect them in a relationship, which goes beyond a mere succession of different concepts or lexicons? I believe not only that it is possible but also that it is necessary. Indeed, I believe that each term reaches its fullest meaning only in relation to the other two. But let us begin with an historical fact, briefly recalling the passage through which the two semantics, first that of community and then that of biopolitics, followed each other within our contemporary philosophical debate. It is at the end of the Eighties that in France and Italy a discourse on the category of community has been developed. This discourse presented itself as a radical deconstruction of the way the term-concept of community has been adopted by the whole twentieth century philosophy, first by the organicist sociology of Gemeinschaft, then by the various ethics of communication, and lastly by the American neo-communitarianism. Despite the conspicuous differences between them, these three conceptions of community were connected by a tendency, that we could define as metaphysical, to think the notion of community in a substantialist and subjectivist sense. Community was understood, indeed, as that substance able to connect certain subjects with each other by giving them a common identity. In this way, community appeared conceptually linked to the figure of the ‘proper’ [proprio]: either understood as the appropriation of what is common [comune], or as the communication of what is ‘proper’ [i.e., one’s own] [proprio], in both cases community remained defined by a reciprocal belonging [appartenenza]. Its members finished up having in common their ‘proper’, and to be the owners [proprietari] of their ‘common’.
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