Messianisches Medium. Benjamins Sprachpolitik

  • Sami Khatib

Abstract

This article discusses the intertwinement of Walter Benjamin’s early concepts of politics and language. The historico-linguistic medium of this intertwinement is immediate, non-instrumental and cannot be represented in another medium. Discussing his intricate theory of language, impartibility, translatability and mediacy, this article argues that it is in Benjamin’s concept of pure impartability where we can find a model to unravel his early concept of politics. As violence is not an instrumental tool for political goals, language is not a merely instrumental means of communication but a “pure means.” Pure means are means that relate to their own mediacy without teleological references to a final goal or telos. Staging or presenting this immediate or “pure” mediacy is the task of the Benjaminian language-politician. Against the language and politics of representation a linguistic politics
of pure means aims at the interruption of instrumental relations between and inside of politics and language. In its final section, the article argues that Benjamin’s non-teleological and non-instrumental concept of linguistic politics is not self-sufficient or merely selfreferential
but has a messianic trajectory. Language and politics are messianic media which immediately present and interrupt their own mediacy by relating it to an impossible messianic end.

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How to Cite
Khatib, S. (1) “Messianisches Medium. Benjamins Sprachpolitik”, Rivista Italiana di Filosofia del Linguaggio, 8(2). Available at: http://rifl.unical.it/index.php/rifl/article/view/228 (Accessed: 19August2022).