By Jacques Rancière
Jacques Rancière argues that the West can now not easily extol the virtues of democracy by way of contrasting it with the horrors of totalitarianism. As yes governments are exporting democracy by way of brute strength, and a reactionary strand in mainstream political opinion is prepared to desert civil liberties and wreck collective values of equality, Rancière explains how democracy—government by means of all—attacks any kind of strength in accordance with the prevalence of an elite. therefore the terror, and for this reason the hatred, of democracy among the hot ruling category. In a compelling and well timed research, Hatred of Democracy rethinks the subversive energy of this democratic perfect.
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Extra resources for Hatred of Democracy
The question yesterday was about the equality peculiar to the republican School and its relation to social inequality. The question today is only about the process of transmitting knowledge that has to be saved from the self-destructive tendency being born in democratic society. The issue yesterday concerned transmitting the universality of knowledge and its egalitarian power. What it comes down to transmitting today, and what the name 'Jew' 30 HATRED OF DEMOCRACY typifies for Milner, is simply the principle of birth, the principle of sexual division and of kinship.
It is properly the regime that overturns all the relations that structure human society: its governors have the demeanour of the governed and the governed the demeanour of governors; women are the equals of men; fathers accustom themselves to treating their sons as equals; the foreigner and the immigrants are the equals of citizens; the schoolmaster fears and flatters the pupils who, in turn, make f u n of him; the young are the equals of the old and the old imitate the young; even the beasts are free and the horses and asses, conscious of their liberty and dignity, knock over anyone who does not yield to them in the street.
But there are many ways of dealing with this paradox. One can simply exclude the democratic title because it is in contradiction with every title to govern. One can also refuse to accept that chance is the principle of democracy, thereby disjoining democracy and the drawing of lots. That is how our moderns have done it, experts, as we saw, at alternately playing on the supposed difference or the similitude of the times. The drawing of lots, so they say, was fitting for ancient times in those small towns with little economic development.
Hatred of Democracy by Jacques Rancière