Democracy's Dangers & Discontents: The Tyranny of the by Bruce S. Thornton

By Bruce S. Thornton

Via democracy we frequently suggest a central authority comprising renowned rule, person human rights and freedom, and a free-market economic climate. but the failings in conventional Athenian democracy can train us at the weaknesses of that first section of sleek democracies shared with Athens: rule by means of all electorate both. In Democracy’s risks & Discontents, Bruce Thornton discusses these criticisms first aired by way of historic critics of Athenian democracy, then strains the old technique wherein the Republic of the founders has developed into anything just like historic democracy, and at last argues for the relevance of these reviews to modern U.S. coverage. He asserts that a number of the difficulties we are facing this day are the results of the expanding democratization of our govt and that the failings of democracy are not likely to be corrected. He argues that those hazards and discontents don't have to finish in tender despotism—that American democracy’s flair and energy might be recovered by means of restoring the restricted govt of the founders.

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Nonetheless, in terms of political positioning, identity politics and cultural studies have much in common. indd 35 30/04/2012 08:59 žižek and communist strategy working women, racial enlightenment and sexual reform allowed the development of new and profitable markets. Postmodernism might have been experienced as liberation for those outside the hegemony of the white man within Western nations, but this expression has come to mean little more than the commodification of cultural difference: Westerners may have a more diverse range of restaurants at which to eat, but for those who experience eating as an infrequent necessary, postmodern liberation remains entirely other.

This is a problem Laclau dealt with effectively in debates with traditional Marxists such as Norman Geras (1987), who were unwilling to accept the consequences of his rereading of Marxism through the notions of hegemony and discourse. Laclau states: The discursive character of an object does not, by any means, imply putting its existence into question. The fact that a football is only a football as long as it is integrated within a system of socially constructed rules does not mean that is thereby ceases to be a physical object.

Rather, it is itself a historical discourse, the fundamental elements of which continue to be a focus of debate. There was not some official announcement of a ‘turn to discourse’ at a conference of philosophers. Nonetheless, it has been a substantial move within continental philosophy and within those seeking to rethink Marxism. As we shall see in this chapter and the next, there are substantive differences between and within poststructuralist or postmodern ontologies and that of psychoanalysis.

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