Michael Ignatieff Warns Against the Politics of Enemies

Michael Ignatieff is a historian and former Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada. He has served as rector and president of Central European University, and is the author, most recently, of On Consolation: Finding Solace in Dark Times. He recently wrote, "The Politics of Enemies" in the Journal of Democracy.   Become a Patron! Make... Continue Reading →

Will Left-Wing Populism Bring About a Green Democratic Revolution?

Become a Patron! Preorder Towards a Green Democratic Revolution: Left Populism and the Power of Affects Populism and Chantal Mouffe In 2018, Chantal Mouffe tried to reclaim the idea of populism for the left. She argued the left must abandon its technocratic inclinations to reclaim a populist message for the masses and the working class... Continue Reading →

Robert Meister Believes Justice is an Option

Robert Meister is the author of the new book Justice is an Option: A Democratic Theory of Finance for the Twenty-First Century and a Professor of Social and Political Thought in the History of Consciousness Department at the University of California Santa Cruz.   So, now I've developed a way of talking about revolution as an... Continue Reading →

Meritocratic Ideals Can Undermine Democracy

Michael Sandel describes the meritocratic ideal as a dystopian aspiration in The Tyranny of Merit. Justin Kempf reflects on this book and considers how meritocratic ambitions can undermine democratic governance. What is Justice Justice is an ideal divided between claims of inequality and equality. Philosophers as early as Plato and Aristotle defined it as what each... Continue Reading →

Populist Logic and Populist Mindset

A populist logic is necessary to understand the populist mindset. Justin Kempf reflects on Ernesto Laclau's classic On Populist Reason to construct a sense of logic within a largely illogical political mindset.  What is Populism? Populism implies widespread support. It indicates popular public policies. So it may come as a surprise populists do not always win... Continue Reading →

Michel de Certeau – The Practice of Everyday Life

So many expectations burden democracy. There are conflicting expectations of representation. Some expect democracy to represent different viewpoints or ideologies while others expect a representation of diverse groups sorted by geography, gender, race, or other characteristics. There are expectations of merit. Leaders are expected to embody personal character, virtue, and most of all, leadership. But... Continue Reading →

Chantal Mouffe – On the Political

Condescension toward political polarization begins from a position of privilege. It requires an expectation of inclusion within the political process. Elites assume polarization is a problem with a simple cure. But the reality is it is a symptom of deeper systemic problems without simple solutions. Polarization is a manifestation of the politics of exclusion. It... Continue Reading →

Friedrich Nietzsche – On the Genealogy of Morality

The political right has drifted away from the values of conservatism. It is not simply the Republican Party in the United States, but right-wing parties around the world. This is a difficult realization to make because conservatism is typically defined as the politics of the right. But I interpret the politics of the left and... Continue Reading →

Chantal Mouffe – The Democratic Paradox

A paradox is distinct from a contradiction. Sometimes the two ideas are confused. They are used interchangeably in ways which remove the impact of the concept of paradox. It is true ‘paradox’ feels a bit more exotic than the more pedantic ‘contradiction.’ But this is no reason to distort its meaning. A contradiction is where... Continue Reading →

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