22 October 2006

Mouffe's Critique of Negri

Caput Mortuum has a very nice post on Chantel Mouffe's latest, On the Political. This post is of particular interest as it focuses on Mouffe's critique of Negri and Hardt (which strikes me as hitting the heart of the matter, pardon the pun). The post ends with the ten million dollar question:
But I come away wondering how this democratic version can escape the capitalist model. There may well be other enlightenments, other histories beyond the rise of capitalism, other concepts of human rights that may or may not be in the service of specific geopolitical or economic interests, but am I reductive in wanting some more specific examples here? Mouffe says, “It is not in our power to eliminate conflicts and escape our human condition, but it is in our power to create the practices, discourses and institutions that would allow those conflicts to take an agonistic form.” But what are those practices? Why is this appeal to agonistic pluralism any less a utopian dream?
Returning to my earlier post, "I See Dead People", is there a way of viewing these micro-struggles as obsessional activities designed to avoid confronting the real of our situation: capital?


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