A long and uneven process of stabilization was implemented by normal sciences and disciplinary traditions, in order to maintain and institutionalize the antinomies that were a distinctive mark of the reason, which permeated the State. Therefore these antinomies become evident in the process of accumulation of knowledge, which, far from being purely contemplative, is at work within the very body and structure of the State. The task we must undertake today is to forsake normal science and put to the test, each by each, the categories, which were discovered, perfected and polished to serve the construction and confirmation of the paradigm. In particular the essay shows that the consolidated form of representation of the political world and its relationship with the State overshadowed all the problematic aspects connected to the modern paradigm. It points out at the figure of sovereignty, at its rather multiple and complex public incarnations. In fact, as the root and essence (if one may say so) of the modern state, this figure evokes all the antinomies that traverse the whole history of democracy . It also encourages a comparative reflection upon the statute of subjectivity and individuality, within the frame of an ever-difficult relationship between science and ethics, a relationship that was once mediated by the juridical discourse, and was later destructively resolved by a philosophy of values. Indivisibility, identity (as opposed to the alterity of what lies in the outside) and irresistibility are the common features shared by the different figures of subjectivity. These were the figures Hobbes chose to draw in his impressive effort to reconstruct on scientific bases the cosmos, which the crisis of the European mind had broken into pieces. The modern subject inseparably bears the attributes of individuality and sovereignty and we may say that the State (similarly to the status) functions as a (spatial) metaphor, within which and through which modern subjectivity is shaped and constructed. Ultimately, the “space of the sovereign”, which has been the focus of the close reading of Hobbes’s text proposed by the essay, is the space of the individual, understood as the principal target for the action of modern political culture. The connection between individuality and sovereignty is one of those features of the paradigm that were obscured by the disciplinary traditions of the sciences of the state. Such obscuration led, in our opinion, to complex and problematic consequences for the whole “narrative” of history, which was later provided by European and Western liberalism.
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