« What Hannah Arendt identified as the crucial component of the totalitarian problem, Giorgio Agamben made the root of modern violence: the necessity to belong to a nation-state. State power, as he defines it, has the ability to exclude and decide on the state of exception, hence to distinguish between “bare” and “sacred” life. In order to form a homogenous nation, the nation-state creates physical and imaginative spaces, where human beings can legally be deprived of their fundamental rights – just because they do not fit the norm.
Put it differently: the nation-state can only maintain itself as such if certain groups, for instance LGBTQ individuals, women, ethnic and religious minorities or refugees, can be systematically marginalized by a state that only provides cultural hegemony for the majority society. “Bare life” does not only refer to the physical elimination of human life, but further implies all types of social and political oppression and exploitation by the nation-state. Homo Sacer, as Agamben calls the non-citizen or an individual that stands outside the nation, becomes a figure that can be sacrificed by state power.
In a world where a paradigmatic nation-state centrism applies almost automatically – even for the Left – minorities are often offered three options only: either they assimilate into the majority society, become Homo Sacers of the system or supposedly free themselves in forming their own nationalist movement and building their own nation-state. In case of the latter, most of the nationalist movements do not even consciously realize – unless they have internalized critical self-reflection – that they replicate their oppressors most when they reconstruct a status-quo based on state loyalty and nationalism, that ideologically functions as a kind of ‘supreme religious worship’. A vicious cycle. »