The rule of no body as a new rationality?

GT 1.7 Política, agonismo y deliberación : el lugar del conflicto y el consenso en las democracias contemporáneas

tonci kursar (University of Zagreb)
Ana Matan (University of Zagreb)
Sesión 3
Día: viernes,20 de septiembre de 2013
Hora: 11:45 a 14:15
Lugar: E10SEM04

Some liberal and conservative theorists like John Keane and John Gray consider the idea that ‘no body rules’ meaningless since every form of rule needs rulers. We would like to show that this supposedly realistic criticism of the rule of no body is too literal and superficial. If we consider democracy to be a kind of sentiment rather than a set of political institutions, we can get closer to the puzzling idea that ‘no body rules’. This idea, namely, is not about abolishing the rule of men over men, but about being aware of the contingency of all forms of mastery. This was well known to Plato and has been convincingly revived in the works of Jacques Rancière. In Rancièr’s works democracy fights routine models of government that can be founded on one or another way of distributing (positions and opportunities). If liberal democracy wishes to be something more than elective aristocracy, it needs some assistance from those who have no part. We witnessed it in Croatia when some student groups occupied buildings of some faculties in Zagreb. They considered that event as a kind of citizen’s rebellion which set up its own institutions in the form of ‘plenum republic’. In that political form all those interested are invited to participation, those who formally belong to the ‘free territory’ (students), those who are not students and even those who are against the plenum. When the plenum makes a decision it should achieve as greater consensus as possible. In that way ‘democratic scandal’ (Rancière) shows the intervention in the order of non-equality which, ultimately, can recreate, through this new rationality, a political community.

Palabras clave: democracy, the rule of no body, plenum republic