PART ONE: The Logic of Sovereignty

2. ‘Nomos Basileus’



  • Pindar defines the sovereignty of the “nomos” (νόμος = law) by means of justification of violence. Nomos is the force that achieves the paradoxical union of violence (βία – “via”) and justice (δίκη/δικαιοσύνη – “dike”).
  • Hesiod: “Nomos divides violence from law in the same principle that it divides animal from man.”
  • Solon: “There is an interconnection between violence and justice.”
  • Pindar: Joins the two concepts in the concept of sovereign law and by doing so threatens them with indistinction.
  • Nomos Basileus = threshold between violence and law.

Violence ——————-Nomos Basileus——————-Law



  • Plato: “Justification of violence” can also be translated as “doing violence to the most just”
  • The axiom that places the strongest one in the position of ruler is common to all of nature. However strength comes also in the form of intelligence, so the intelligent should lead and the ignorant follow. It is not against nature, it does not occur through violence but according to nature, according to the power of the law over those who accept it.
  • Physis and nomos (φύση και νόμος, nature and law):  Plato neutralizes both.

Physis = body and elements that we “erroneously” say are of nature.

Nomos = soul and that which belongs to the soul (intellect, art, law).

  • “Law must rule over men and not men over law.”




Keywords: sovereign violence, exteriority, political system

 soph and hob

  • AS A RESULT: Sovereignty is the indistinction between nature and society between violence and law and this is what precisely constitutes sovereign violence.
  • The state of nature is “being in potentiality” of the law, it is the law’s presupposition as natural law.
  • Exteriority: law of nature + survival instinct, it is the concept that the core of a political system lives off the exception.




Keywords: sovereign nomos, localization, topological process.

  • Schmitt wishes to establish the superiority of the sovereign nomos. However he does show the link between localization and ordering constitutive of the “nomos” of the earth and the zone that that it implies that is excluded from the law.
  • So long as it is sovereign, the nomos is connected both with the state of nature and the state of exeption.
  • Both are sides of the same topological process in which it is impossible to tell between what is internal and what is external.
  • BUT they are merging and the exception is becoming more and more the rule… Therefore, everything is possible.



I have to say that this chapter was far from understandable to me… I got a vague notion of the concepts but it is not yet clear and was not at all enjoyable.. Oh Zizek we had a good thing going you and I, why leave it for this?!?!?!?!?

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