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Focusing on Schmitt’s claim that the fence precedes all social relations, this chapter contrasts this notion with the emergent politics of the commons. Not only does the fence divide, it brings order and establishes law, providing the basis for the conceptual maneuvers underlying expropriation from our contemporary geopolitics to our subjectivizing bio-political institutions. In his engagement with the communal potential of the unenclosed, Zimmer argues that the fence is not ontologically prior to community and identity, but rather effaces the Commons in which a “savage” socio-politics precedes the appropriation of power within the State. By focusing on Andean commoners from both the colonial and the contemporary period, Zimmer maintains that Schmitt’s nomos is actually premised on the erasure of a nativist subjectivity predicated on the unenclosed commons. Schmitt’s project of enclosure has never been and probably cannot be completed, because the subjectivity of the commoners that Zimmer locates in these Andean movements still makes up an essential part of the socius. At the same time, Zimmer notes that this counterlogic, most often expressed in the idealization of a communal Incan Golden Age, also introduces a problem in the form of an idealized Andean homogeneity that is no longer tenable. Zimmer explores the central problematic of autonomous politics, particularly when it situates its argument in the identity of particular communities, naturalizing their ‘being’ and thereby potentially failing to develop a logic that is open to the complex spatial and historical deferment of identity.

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