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As Rome makes itself into its empire, this is what is lastingly expelled from politics and sovereignty, and thus from the world: the assembly itself, the ecclesia, thanks to which the Greeks brought about their being-in-common. Another ecclesia gathers, then, convening as strangers in the world, heterogeneous in relation to the world, and transcendent. ” With the empire (of the world) established upon (or as) the impossibility of assembling, it constitutes this gathering as the alterity that escapes and transcends it.
This logical priority of the universal as an expansion that one could term “pure” clearly appears in Kant’s essay “Idee zu einer allgemeinen Geschichte in weltbürgerlicher Absicht” (“Idea for a Universal History with a Cosmopolitan Aim”). As a matter of fact, neither the name “Europe” nor the adjective “European” appears at any time in this short work, which is worth analyzing. In its ninth thesis, close to the ending, after lengthy considerations about the universal in and for itself, Kant writes: “It seems, at first sight, a strange and even an absurd proposal to suggest the composition of a History according to the idea of how the course of the world must proceed, if it is to be conformable to certain rational laws.
H4) Europe Crossways 29 There is an empire of the world, a government, a sovereignty of the world, and even politics (without assembly) of the world; but there is no being-assembled. As Rome makes itself into its empire, this is what is lastingly expelled from politics and sovereignty, and thus from the world: the assembly itself, the ecclesia, thanks to which the Greeks brought about their being-in-common. Another ecclesia gathers, then, convening as strangers in the world, heterogeneous in relation to the world, and transcendent.