sabato 31 ottobre 2009

Michael Mack on Benjamin

An article reviewing Walter Benjamin's Notion of Law from a quite independent standpoint of appraisal
Abstract  In this article I give the first detailed reading of Benjamin's Zur Kritik der Gewalt as well as his Kapitalismus als Religion in its relation to Kant's notion of Recht. I shall give the first analysis of Kant's reversal of St. Paul's spirit-letter opposition. It is by means of such a reversal that Kant sets out to redefine both religion and law in a radically anti-Judaic manner. If Benjamin rejects law in Zur Kritik der Gewalt he does not criticise Jewish law, rather he attempts to undermine the ethical validity of KantianRecht. Yet Benjamin employs Kant's transcendental method. Benjamin's ambiguous relation to Kant becomes understandable through his 1934 Kafka essays. The rejection of Recht in Zur Kritik der Gewalt conceals a melancholic farewell to rabbinical Jewish law as voiced in the 1934 Kafka essays. Thus, the Kafka essays are read as Zur Kritik der Gewalt's missing link.