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Lecture 20

POLSCI 3VV3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 20: Jacques Rancière

Political Science
Course Code
James Ingram

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Jacques Ranciere
-We should be in favour of democracy but democracy is not what we think it is
-Democracy is always against something
-Looking at ways of being in favour of democracy and we live in countries that call themselves
-He believes in radical democracy
-Democracy can only be understood as a fugitive. Fugitive is distinguishing between politics and
“the political”
-Politics is trying to accomplish things you want, institutions etc
-“The political” —> political action that is addressed to the good of the community
-He believes that under modern circumstances, democracy will only appear in fugitive moments
when people get together and decide to do something for the general will
-Wolin discusses the Soviet domination in Poland
-Ranciere called democracy a scandal, it never existed as a stable thing, a form of organization
or a form of institution
-Democratic society is never anything that intends to supports a “good government”. Society is
controlled by oligarchies. Government is always practiced by the minority over the majority. He
is critical of Hannah Arendt
-Government is always by a few over the many
-Democracy cannot be a form of government and it also cannot be a form of society
-Racniere believes that any social arrangement puts certain people over others, some count
some don’t, this is true in all societies and in a democracy
-Household stuff, family morals are not identified as public things yet they are not things we
don't vote on them in parliaments therefore men should take care of public things and women
should take care of private things
-Politics only goes on when people challenge how things are organized
-Democracy is the same as politics. Both are away of disrupting that have fixed rules, or have
concerns but are not heard
-Ranciere believes that any break with nature, that is democracy which is the opposite of Arendt
-“The power of the people are always below those forms” All government make the claim to be
governing the general interest
-(Wolin, 18) “Centuries later marx remarked that democracy was a….” He's referring to Marx
before he wrote on the Jewish Question. Democracy is the solution to every constitution. Every
constitution makes the claim to rule in the interests of people
-Ranciere on (219) refers to the same idea. It is important we elect representatives, they pre-
suppose the people so we could choose a ruler
-Politics is always referenced to the people, but the people are always outside politics
-He refers to politics as “the police” everything that requires people to do natural order
-Democratic movement making things that aren't poltiical, political. And making people that
aren't in the public domain, in the public domain
-(Page 301) —> If you regard me as political enough for regarding rights to women, then I am
considered part of politics (Alan Degouje) and mentions Rosa Parks who was against the
segregation laws in busses which Ranciere liked
-For Wolin, democracy consisted in getting politics to equal the “poltiical” For Racniere, politics
is the opposite of the “poltiical” in any given moment. Politics is a disruption of “the political”
-“this is what democracy looks like” by a group of people. He means a group of people who are
not the whole community, is not democracy, it is a negative quote whereas Wolin praised this
quote bc he thinks they reflect the whole community
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