There is a whole parallel world where a growing number of academics are involved in constructing alternative explanations of major public issues - this is political work also . . . public/political are connected words. The second argument I make, which comes out of this trajectory is that a good part of the power grab of the executive is not simply the result of the state of exception (in our case the Patriot Act as a national emergency) and hence anomalous; it is the normal condition in the current phase of the liberal state.