Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Overthrowing Democracies

If we know that the procedures and institutions of constitutional democracies* privilege the wealthy and exclude the poor, if we know that efforts toward inclusion remain tied to national boundaries, thereby disenfranchising yet again those impacted by certain national decisions and policies, and if we know that the expansion and intensification of networked communications that was supposed to enhance democratic participation serves primarily to integrate and consolidate communicative capitalism, why do we present our political hopes as aspirations to democracy, rather than something else? Why in the face of democracy’s obvious inability to represent justice in the social field that has emerged in the incompatibility between the globalized economy and welfare states to displace the political, do critical left political and cultural theorists continue to emphasize a set of arrangements that can be filled in, substantialized, by fundamentalisms, nationalisms, populisms, and conservatisms diametrically opposed to progressive visions of social and economic equality? The answer is that democracy is the form our attachment to Capital takes. Faithful to democracy, we eschew the demanding task of politicizing the economy and envisioning a different political order.
Jodi Dean, "Zizek Against Democracy"

*Adopting Hegel’s insight that the Universal “can realize itself only in impure, deformed, corrupted forms,” he emphasizes the impossibility of grasping the Universal as an intact purity.

4 comments:

Z said...

WHAT?
He almost had me till he celebrated that a color wins over talent or knowledge.
FJ, is he saying that Democracy is good except when, like in the case of France, DeGaulle went against the will of the people...and it was the right thing to do after all?
Help me out here !!

-FJ said...

I think that he's saying that Democrats (the people) don't write very good Constitutions. And in celebrating Obama's victory, I think he's saying that a colour-blind Constitution beats a voting public... even if the people actually do vote colour-blind every once in a while (do the right thing). The people aren't very "reliably good".

FreeThinke said...

Forget your troubles, c'mon get happy.
Get up and chase all those blues away.
Sing, Hallelujah, then make it snappy
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day!


ENJOY yourselves, DAMMIT! ;-)

-FJ said...

We'll certainly try, FT. I hope that you and yours enjoy the day!