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By Wesley C. Swedlow

Against the Personification of Democracy deals a brand new conception of political subjectivity that places the limitation of wish into the vanguard. through the use of Lacan to learn key figures in political philosophy, the e-book demonstrates why democratic concept -- consultant or radical - isn't just useless by way of the easiest type of political cohabitation, but in addition efficient of damaging and self-defeating forces.

The booklet starts off with the talk among Hobbesian and Lockeian notions of subjectivity to argue that the character of political subjectivity is a functionality of the matter of wish. It then considers the query of the right kind constitution of political cohabitation in mild of Hannah Arendt's insights into what occurred to the stateless in international conflict II, resulting in a contrast among the individual in a naked and unadorned shape and the general public character that's represented in such a lot varieties of democracy.

Lacan is used to reread the query of political subjectivity, yet, in contrast to radical democratic conception, the booklet argues opposed to agonistic, consultant, and therefore never-ending democracy. the sort of political formation is noticeable as an instigation and supreme sadness to hope (the persona), which ends up in normal unfavourable results, together with genocide, focus camps, and the elimination of rights. Arguing opposed to Zizek's thought radical Act can keep us politically, the e-book proposes a common political formation because the in simple terms method out of the trouble of political wish. This formation isn't really depending on public personas, yet rooted in genuine individuals assembly of their locality and sovereign to nobody.

An crucial textual content for somebody attracted to political conception, political philosophy, and democratic concept, opposed to the Personification of Democracy evaluations confident theories of sovereignty via its research of political subjectivity and the matter of wish. extra importantly, it offers a very common idea of democratic cohabitation that escapes political wish and hence the scapegoats of democratic failure, let alone the nervousness of the impossibility of the democratic promise.

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Additional resources for Against the personification of democracy : a Lacanian critique of political subjectivity

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3. Passion and Power Hobbes’ analysis of the passions led him to conclude that without a sovereign, the state of humankind is the state of nature, and this state tends to nothing other than war. ”28 And, as we shall see in the following, it is within the passions that we can delineate what is reasonable and unreasonable within Hobbes’ political theory. According to Hobbes, the animal suffers two distinct types of motion: voluntary and involuntary. 30 Indeed, for Hobbes, in the state of nature the only true manifestations of good and evil result from such a love/hate dichotomy.

35 See, in particular, Jacques Lacan, The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis: The Seminar of Jacques Lacan, Book XI, trans. Alan Sheridan (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1998). As Lacan puts it on page 180, “The object petit a [which, according to Lacan, is nothing but the representation of desire itself] is not the origin of the oral drive. ” Indeed, the impossibility of ultimate satisfaction in Lacan, which constitutes the basis of anxiety in the subject, provides an important parallel to Hobbesian anxiety that we will examine later on.

All the same, Hobbes’ account of the duties of the sovereign toward her or his subjects should strike one as rather profound given the usual concept one has of the brutal Hobbesian subject. From education to welfare distribution, Hobbes conceived of the sovereign’s public duties in a comprehensive way. The sovereign has to be preoccupied with her or his subjects’ understanding of ethics, with the formation of their conscience, and with their commodious living. ”78 5. The Politicization of Desire Hobbes was preoccupied neither with the natural rationality of subjects nor with the commonwealth as a container for alienated self-obsessed individuals.

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