What singularises the political procedure is the fact that it proceeds from the infinite to the 1. It makes the 1 of equality arise as the universal truth of the collective by carrying out a prescriptive operation upon the infinity of the State; an operation whereby it constructs its own autonomy, or distance, and is able to effectuate its maxim from within that distance.
Conversely, let us note in passing that, as I established in Conditions, the amorous procedure … proceeds from the 1 to the infinite through the mediation of the two. In this sense — and I leave the reader to mediate upon this — politics is love’s numerical inverse. In other words: love begins where politics ends.
The matrix of inequality consists precisely in the impossibility of measuring the superpower of the State. Today, for example, it is in the nature of a necessity of the liberal economy — a necessity without a measure or concept — that every egalitarian politics is deemed to be impossible and declared absurd. But what characterises this blind power of unfettered Capital is precisely the fact that it cannot be either measured or fixed at any point. All we know is that it prevails absolutely over the subjective fate of collectives, regardless of who they are. Thus, in order for a politics to be able to practise an egalitarian maxim in the sequence opened by an event, it is absolutely necessary that the state of the situation [the unfathomable dimensions of the State] be put at a distance through a strict determination of its power.
Non-egalitarian consciousness is a mute consciousness, the captive of an errancy, of a power which it cannot measure. This is what explains the arrogant and peremptory character of non-egalitarian statements, even when they are obviously inconsistent and abject. This is why liberal statements combine certainty about power with total indecision about its consequences for people’s lives and the universal affirmation of collectives.
Egalitarian logic can only begin when the State is configured, put at a distance, measured. It is the errancy of the excess that impedes egalitarian logic, not the excess itself. It is not the simple power of the state of the situation that prohibits egalitarian politics. It is the obscurity and measurelessness in which this power is enveloped. If the political event allows for clarification, a fixation, an exhibition of this power, then the egalitarian maxim is at least locally practicable.