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Extra info for About Europe: Philosophical Hypotheses
Politics is always the affair or coming-here of a we. 71 By contrast the world is what presents itself—there—as a spectacle. The world is the system of images of the world, whereas politics is us. That is why theater suits the era (or eras) of the assembly. 72 4. The Holy Roman Empire We are now equipped with three figures (of the universal). Two are bound together: church and empire. The third, Europe, follows them. Unsurprisingly, they have a few attributes in common. An unavoidable question then arises: how did we move from the former to the latter?
Pp. 39 Europe was thus abducted—from Asia, her paternal house, the country of her birth. She was carried away, over the sea, toward an unknown destination, doubtless taken by force, but consenting to it and even yearning for this abduction, which is as forceful as desire itself. And (this is what is striking to Herodotus) she is taken in a completely obscure direction, toward a nameless land. It will be Europe, of course, but there is no patronymic name; it is the land across the way, a foreign country.
Sovereignty (of the world) and assembly (of the people) are thus formed as rival and separate regimes. But either one can exist only in their coupling, produced by the division of a single body. Each one—like the tiny beings in Plato’s allegory—dreams of returning to oneness and repairing origins. Church and empire are twinned but inverse productions: sovereignty without assembly, assembly without power. Church and empire will not leave each other alone; they will not stop being rivals and trying to annex each other, with each pope wanting to be sovereign and each emperor dreaming of being pope.