Anna Marie Smith clearly shows how Laclau and Mouffe's work has brought Gramscian, poststructuralist and psychoanalytic perspectives to revitalize traditional political theory. He complains that, while truth inspires the fidelity of the immortal self, established discourse merely communicates opinion (51–52) but allows that, to overcome totalitarian evil, “at least one real element” of the situation “must be reserved to opinion” because “we must all express our opinions”(85). Frankfurt School theorists also admit that Stalinist communism was dogmatic and oppressive, but they claim that the whole modern world is equally oppressive because they consider Enlightenment reason totalitarian. Anna Marie Smith clearly shows how Laclau and Mouffe's work has brought Gramscian, poststructuralist and psychoanalytic perspectives to revitalize traditional political theory. In later work, Laclau argues that the Lacanian notion of the unsymbolizable real explains the limits of identity formation.
Laclau fears that this logic of the specter can include totalitarian practices, but he accepts this Derridean logic whereby the opposition of flesh and spirit breaks down because the flesh never fully manifests the spirit; as he says, “I have nothing to object to” (“Time” 88). Although Simon Critchley, Laclau’s colleague at the University of Essex, praises this account of ideological hegemony, he objects that Laclau does not effectively distinguish between normative and ethical forms. Welcome back. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Brzezinski and Friedrich show that Marx’s ideas explain communism’s totalitarian characteristics—a dogmatic ideology sanctioned by the state, a monolithic party ruled by a dictator, a terroristic system of police control, and a monopoly of communications, arms and weapons, and economic production (56).
Torfing claims, however, that Laclau and Mouffe “share with Foucault the emphasis on subjectivation, power and politics” (91); actually, Laclau’s post-Marxism approximates the messianic Marxism of Jacques Derrida more closely than the disciplinary power or genealogical histories of Foucault.5 Derrida does not foster a hegemonic bloc of new social movements, yet he too critiques the “onto-theology” of traditional Marxism. What exposes the fissures within hegemonic ideological practices is not, then, the conflict of classes but the antagonisms of women, minorities, gays, and others. . 5. En savoir plus et paramétrer les cookies, Laclau and Mouffe: The Radical Democratic Imaginary is the first full-length overview of the important work of Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe. In Today’s Isms: Communism, Fascism, Capitalism, Socialism, which reached its ninth edition in 1985, William Ebenstein and Edwin Fogelman say, for example, that Soviet communism elaborates but deforms Western ideals. Ithaca: State University of New York Press. Laclau and Mouffe accept, in particular, the totalitarian theorist’s belief that Marx’s scientific view of history explains the Stalinist character of Soviet communism as well as the liberal historians’ claim that, more than Marxist theory, Russian socioeconomic conditions explain Soviet Stalinism. That is, emerging simultaneously, not in chronological succession, Russia’s diverse groups created an anomalous situation in which the frail bourgeoisie could not undertake the modernizing tasks assigned it by established historical schema. . They too maintain that the discursive conflicts by which contending political parties seek to impose their hegemony explain values and identities more fully than ruling-class interests or social structures do; however, Laclau and Mouffe explain the “hegemonic” ideological practices constructing modern political identities, not the technologies regulating the body or society. With clarity and insight, she shows how they have constructed a highly effective theory of identity formation and power relations that carefully draws from the criticism of political theory from postmodern...
Home › Literary Criticism › The Political Theory of Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe, By Nasrullah Mambrol on August 14, 2018 • ( 3 ). Critchley says that, if the normative character of hegemony is merely factual and not ethical, then Laclau has no reason to defend democratic hegemony or to resist ruling-class domination. In Hegemony, he and Mouffe argue, however, that the movements also radically extend the Enlightenment tradition of democratic rights. Like Althusser, Laclau and Mouffe critique the Hegelian belief that predetermined historical stages or economic contexts explain social development; however, while Althusser remained committed to the working class and its parties, Laclau complains that traditional Marxism treats the working class as a privileged agent achieving “full presence” in a “transparent” communist society. While Laclau and Mouffe accept the independence yet seek to unite the women’s, black, or multicultural movements, he condemns not only racist views but all views that grant the autonomy of different races or ethnicities. Thanks Ippolit, very useful blog! Since the operational rule whereby the Soviet practice of terror and oppression tells us the practical import of Marxist theory does not logically square with the cynical insistence that blind faith in Marxist ideology explains Soviet terror and oppression, these theorists face a blatant contradiction. Laclau complains that Derrida treats openness to the other as an ethical obligation, not a normative political or hegemonic construct (“Time” 95) but accepts this affirmative messianic Marxism (“Time” 75); however, by undermining “sedimented layers of social practice” and revealing the decisions grounding them, this absolute hospitality to a religious or messianic other always already part of us subverts more than a program of transcendent “onto-theological” truth or purposive “teleo-eschatological” action.
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