anonymous asked:

Could you please summarise what is meant by "radical democracy"?

i can try but i’m not very good at it

so it comes from this book Hegemony and Socialist Strategy by Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe. it’s mostly about exposing the contradictions of liberal democracy and fighting to replace it with a radical democracy, which isn’t necessarily a democracy for radical leftists but a more genuine democracy for all, a search for the root of democracy, rule of the people. it is necessary to bring an end to capitalism for this to be possible but at the same time ending capitalism doesn’t inevitably bring an end to all other forms of oppression. a hegemonic link has to be formed between anti-capitalism and other struggles (against racism, homophobia, transphobia, etc.)  

The classic conception of socialism supposed that the disappearance of private ownership of the means of production would set up a chain of effects which, over a whole historical epoch, would lead to the extinction of all forms of subordination. Today we know that this is not so. There are not, for example, necessary links between anti-sexism and anti-capitalism, and a unity between the two can only be the result of a hegemonic articulation. It follows that it is only possible to construct this articulation on the basis of separate struggles, which only exercise their equivalential and overdetermining effects in certain spheres of the social. This requires the autonomization of the spheres of struggle and the multiplication of political spaces, which is incompatible with the concentration of power and knowledge that classic Jacobinism and its different socialist variants imply. Of course, every project for radical democracy implies a socialist dimension, as it is necessary to put an end to capitalist relations of production, which are at the root of numerous relations of subordination; but socialism is one of the components of a project for radical democracy, not vice versa. For this very reason, when one speaks of the socialization of the means of production as one element in the strategy for a radical and plural democracy, one must insist that this cannot mean only workers’ self-management, as what is at stake is true participation by all subjects in decisions about what is to be produced, how it is to be produced, and the forms in which the product is to be distributed. Only in such conditions can there be social appropriation of production. To reduce the issue to a problem of workers’ self-management is to ignore the fact that the workers’ ‘interests’ can be constructed in such a way that they do not take account of ecological demands or demands of other groups which, without being producers, are affected by decisions taken in the field of production.

- Hegemony and Socialist Strategy


Masculin Féminin (1966)
dir. Jean-Luc Godard / dop. Willy Kurant

“When I cut – I feel, I feel, I feel, and I say, “Here.” For no reason. Just feeling. Just – I feel that’s how long the shot should be. For no rational reason at all – I cannot explain why, but I know that it’s right. Why it’s right, I don’t know.”

Chantal Akerman (06 June 1950 - 05 October 2015)