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War on PeopleDrug User Politics and a New Ethics of Community$
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Jarrett Zigon

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780520297692

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520297692.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 25 May 2020

A Community of Those without Community

A Community of Those without Community

(p.75) Chapter 3 A Community of Those without Community
War on People

Jarrett Zigon

University of California Press

One of the most common ways the anti–drug war movement describes who it is they represent is with the word community. This chapter interrogates what is meant by this use of community, a use that is problematized by the fact that drug “addicts” around the globe are systematically excluded from all totalized communities of belonging and identity. Inspired by Jean-Luc Nancy and Maurice Blanchot’s philosophical linking of death and community and by Roberto Esposito’s rethinking of community as the cum of communal being-with and the munus of the gift of care, this chapter traces the ways in which anti–drug war activists seek to build new communities open to anyone who arrives. This chapter sets the stage for the rest of the book by ethnographically showing how the experience of dying-with another person who has died a drug war death is the event that motivated many of those who went on to be key players in the anti–drug war movement. It is argued and shown that this motivating experience is crucial for understanding their political vision of an open community characterized most specifically by freedom and care. The next two chapters build off of this.

Keywords:   community, death, political activity, political motivation, hospitality

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