15 But the Lord said to him, “Not so; anyone who kills Cain will suffer vengeance seven times over.” Then the Lord put a mark on Cain so that no one who found him would kill him. 16 So Cain went out from the Lord’s presence and lived in the land of Nod, east of Eden. [Gen. 4:13-16, NIV]
While Marion nods to Foucault and Antelme (The Human Race), there is no trace of a nod to Agamben, even in Marion's most political statement yet:
...even the philosopher, and perhaps he above all, has the means to confirm and thus also to put into question the humanity of other men: it is enough to establish that man defines himself as Greek, European, Aryan and so on...thus defining in the end which are not human. Every political proscription, every racial extermination, every ethnic cleansing, every determination of that which does not deserve to live: they all rest on the claim to define (scientifically or ideologically, because in the end the difference is canceled out) the humanity of man...(NC, 36).
Marion, in apparent sympathy with this delineation of 'threshold,' can observe, that under the medical gaze, 'the suffering of my flesh will be transmuted into a disease of my body' (CN, 28). Because the flesh is immense, only the parameters of the body fall under the physician's eye, which can only see that body as a machine defined by numbers (e.g., laboratory values), and whose gaze "opens the fearsome region where man as doctor must decide if, and when, that which the machine maintains as functioning in this particular sick man still deserves consideration as a life. And if this life can still claim to be human" (CN, 28). The very threshold that delineates sovereignty's distinction of 'inside from...outside' is a clinical threshold. The very anthropometrics Agamben identifies in the politicization of bare life, for Marion become the biometrics that determine identity in the event of sovereignty--- the proscription and prescription of the unpapered being, whose identity requires an ever escalating 'constant verification' (CN, 34). For Agamben's "new living dead man," that verification is always sought but never comes, even as the sovereign becomes for the sacred other, the object of desire, ever so bitterly, in the jouissance of sovereignty itself.
Marion's analysis of King Lear sympathizes with Agamben's axiom that "The camp is the space that is opened when the state of exception begins to become the rule. In the camp, the state of exception, which was essentially a temporary suspension of the rule of law on the basis of a factual state of danger, is now given a permanent spatial arrangement, which as such nevertheless remains outside the normal order" (Homo Sacer, 96). While there is no actual 'camp' in the tragedy, the conceptual space drives the action: the reduction of Lear from bios to zoë, from sovereign to persona non grata, from a state of ousia to a state of non-being. The permanence in Lear is not all that permanent, of course, and the reintegration of what it means to be human with the politics of the tragedy requires the reestablishment of love at great personal cost. The stakes are always high when the very definition of the human creature must rest in its indefinition in order to maintain humanity itself.