Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Chantal Mouffe again

I don't agree with everything she says, but a lot of it is on the money:
Every order is the temporary and precarious articulation of contingent practices. The frontier between the social and the political is essentially unstable and requires constant displacements and renegotiations between social agents. Things could always be otherwise and therefore every order is predicated on the exclusion of other possibilities. It is in that sense that it can be called 'political' since it is the expression of a particular structure of power relations. Power is constitutive of the social because the social could not exist without the social relations which give it shape. What is at a given moment considered as the 'natural' order - jointly with the 'common sense' which accompanies it - is the result of sedimented practices; it is never the manifestation of a deeper objectivity exterior to the practices that bring it into being.
Contrary to the various liberal models, the agonistic approach that I am advocating acknowledges that society is always politically instituted and never forgets that the terrain in which hegemonic interventions take place is always the outcome of previous hegemonic practices and that it is never a neutral one. This is why it denies the possibility of a non-adversarial democratic politics and criticises those who, by ignoring the dimension of 'the political', reduce politics to a set of supposedly technical moves and neutral procedures. 

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