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On the Shores of Politics

by Jacques Ranciere

On the Shores of Politics Synopsis

It is frequently said that we are living through the end of politics, the end of social upheavals, the end of utopian folly. Consensual realism is the order of the day. But political realists, remarks Jacques Ranciere, are always several steps behind reality, and the only thing which may come to an end with their dominance is democracy. 'We could', he suggests, 'merely smile at the duplicity of the conclusion/suppression of politics which is simultaneously a suppression/conclusion of philosophy.' This is precisely the task which Ranciere undertakes in these subtle and perceptive essays. He argues persuasively that since Plato and Aristotle politics has always constructed itself as the art of ending politics, that realism is itself utopian, and that what has succeeded the polemical forms of class struggle is not the wisdom of a new millennium but the return of old fears, criminality and chaos. Whether he is discussing the confrontation between Mitterrand and Chirac, French working-class discourse after the 1830 revolution, or the ideology of recent student mobilizations, his aim is to restore philosophy to politics and give politics back its original and necessary meaning: the organization of dissent.

On the Shores of Politics Press Reviews

Ranciere's writings offer one of the few consistent conceptualizations of how we are to continue to resist. - Slavoj Zizek

Book Information

ISBN: 9781844675777
Publication date: 14th December 2006
Author: Jacques Ranciere
Publisher: Verso Books
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 107 pages
Categories: Social & political philosophy,

About Jacques Ranciere

Jacques Raciere is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University of Paris-VIII. His books include The Politics of Aesthetics, Short Voyages to the Land of the People and The Nights of Labor. His Hatred of Democracy is forthcoming from Verso.

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