By Wesley C. Swedlow

"Against the Personification of Democracy" deals a brand new concept of political subjectivity that places the challenge of hope into the vanguard, utilizing Lacan to learn key figures in political philosophy. "Against the Personification of Democracy" bargains a brand new concept of political subjectivity that places the obstacle of hope into the leading edge. by utilizing Lacan to learn key figures in political philosophy, the booklet demonstrates why democratic conception - consultant or radical - is not just useless by way of the simplest type of political cohabitation, but in addition efficient of harmful and self-defeating forces. An imperative textual content for an individual attracted to political conception, political philosophy, and democratic concept, "Against the Personification of Democracy" opinions optimistic theories of sovereignty via its research of political subjectivity and the matter of wish. extra importantly, it offers a very common concept of democratic cohabitation that escapes political hope and hence the scapegoats of democratic failure, let alone the nervousness of the impossibility of the democratic promise.

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Extra resources for Against the Personification of Democracy: A Lacanian Critique of Political Subjectivity

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69 While it is clearly the case that Hobbes, in his assumption that both he himself and the sovereign can control the ideological process, is not as radical as Althusser, nonetheless, one of the main goals of the sovereign is an ideological process of indoctrination such that members of the state are not merely subjects, but believers. Desire and Ideology 37 Hobbes establishes this point on a double plane. To begin with, he is clear that civil law establishes sin and crime. Where there is no law, there is no crime given that everyone has a right to everything in the state of nature.

Hobbes’ response is rather complicated. As we just saw, for Hobbes definitions are established by agreement. 26 In those writings, Wittgenstein is famous for arguing that there is no measure for the meaning of words other than what is given by the community of users themselves. That we share a language depends on our active and yet tacit agreement that those words have the meanings they do. Indeed, in On Certainty, to the question of whether one is correct in the use of a term, the proper response is that one ought to go to one who knows, which means any normal language user.

Administration understood that what it did not want was precisely what it got: democracy (the same can be said of Hamas’ election victory in Palestein). This means that the content and structure of democracy is not unitary. Democracy has its ideological formulations, and the peculiarity of a given democratic structure, not to mention the motivations of those who are attempting to run it, will indicate the ideological underpinnings that motivate its policing of subjects. In other words, democracies have their sovereigns too, a point that we will return to in detail in Chapter 4.

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