By Giorgio Agamben
"Is it significant to name oneself a democrat? And if this is the case, how do you interpret the word?"In responding to this query, 8 iconoclastic thinkers end up the wealthy capability of democracy, in addition to its severe weaknesses, and reconceive the perform to house new political and cultural realities. Giorgio Agamben strains the annoying heritage of constitutions and their coexistence with quite a few governments. Alain Badiou contrasts present democratic perform with democratic communism. Daniel Bensaid ponders the institutionalization of democracy, whereas Wendy Brown discusses the democratization of society below neoliberalism. Jean-Luc Nancy measures the variation among democracy as a sort of rule and as a human finish, and Jacques Rancière highlights its egalitarian nature. Kristin Ross identifies hierarchical relationships inside of democratic perform, and Slavoj Zizek complicates the excellence among those that wish to personal the kingdom and people who desire to do with no it.Concentrating at the classical roots of democracy and its altering that means through the years and inside various contexts, those essays uniquely protect what's left of the left-wing culture after the autumn of Soviet communism. They confront disincentives to energetic democratic participation that experience prompted voter turnout to say no in western international locations, they usually tackle electoral indifference by way of invoking and reviving the culture of citizen involvement. Passionately written and theoretically wealthy, this assortment speaks to all elements of contemporary political and democratic debate.
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Extra info for Democracy in What State? (New Directions in Critical Theory)
But then the nature of the "political body" entails an impossibility: that the Sovereign could impose on itself a law that it could not itself break. " In other words, the contract is always subject to revision, and the constituent power inalienable. From which there logically follows the codification in law of the right to insurrection. " If sovereignty is simply "the exercise of the general will," it cannot indeed be alienated. Power may be delegated, but not the will. " Here we have the ground of "immediate democ- PERMANENT SCANDAL 29 racy/' where the Sovereign "can never be represented except by himself/' which Rosanvallon today rejects.
He meant to be provocative, clearly If it is indisputable that workers' parties and unions were stronger "in Stalin's time," this bare observation supplies no basis for deciding whether that was thanks to or in spite of him or, above all, for stating what his policies cost movements of emancipation, then and now. " 24 DANIEL BENSAID That's still a tip of the hat too many. 13 The critique of Stalinism in Badiou boils down to a question of method: "It is not possible to direct agriculture or industry with military methods, nor to pacify a collective society by State violence.
Fifth, along with the domination of politics by capital, the overtaking of democratic rationality with neoliberal rationality, and the juridification of politics, globalization s erosion of nation-state sovereignty as well as the detachment of sovereign power from nationstates is also crucial to the de-democratization in the West today7 If nation-state sovereignty was always something of a fiction in its aspiration to absolute supremacy completeness, settled jurisdiction, mo48 WENDY BROWN nopolies of violence, and perpetuity over time, the fiction was a potent one and has suffused the internal and external relations of nation-states since its consecration by the 1648 Peace of Westphalia.
Democracy in What State? (New Directions in Critical Theory) by Giorgio Agamben