Claude Lefort is one of the most innovative and insightful ambivalent character of modernity — and also with the difficult linkage between theory and practice. the political “form” or distinctive “regime” of modern democracy. the simple word I have just used. because of their desire to find some meaning behind the events. even though they claim to be in search of rigorous knowledge. Democracy and Political Theory has 13 ratings and 1 review. Leonardo said: Discutido en La razón populista pág, 峰 gave it 5 stars, F Cats gave it 4 s.

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Actually, his book contains a number of additional features which I had to bypass for the sake of brevity. The Visible and the Invisible. In Flynn’s words p. In the Introduction to his new book, Flynn presents the French philosopher as preeminently concerned with the ambivalent character of modernity — and also with the difficult linkage between theory and practice.

This unity was shattered by modernity and especially by the succession of modern revolutions.

Democracy and Political Theory : Claude Lefort :

Lefort, like yheory theorists, thus identifies the destruction of public space and its fusion with the political power as a key clahde of totalitarianism. It is in the study of these regimes, and the reading of The Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsynwhere he developed his analysis of totalitarianism. Instead, I turn to the more general topic of Lefort’s “practice of interpretation.

Schleiermacher appears as “Schreimacher” p. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Lynne marked it as to-read Mar 01, Elke marked it as to-read Apr 14, Through an analysis of some of the key texts of 19th and 20th century thought – from Marx, Michelet and de Tocqueville democacy Hannah Arendt – the author explores the ambiguities of democracy, the nature of human rights, the idea and the reality of revolution, the emergence of totalitarianism and the changing relations between politics, religion and the image of the body.

Gav marked it as to-read Nov 22, S marked it as to-read Sep 10, Socialism or Barbarism considered the USSR to be an example of state capitalism and gave its support to anti-bureaucratic revolts in Eastern Europe — especially the uprising in Budapest in With regard to the character of modernity, Arendt saw the distinguishing trait in the “rise of the social” and the eclipse of politics by “labor” and “work,” while Strauss located the basic change in the demise of classical “natural right” and the upsurge of history and political “science.


Right away, they formed a faction in the Trotskyist Parti Communiste Internationaliste called ” Chaulieu—Montal Tendency “, that left the party and became the Socialism or Barbarism group and which, instarted a journal with this name.

Valuable are also Flynn’s comparisons between Lefort and other prominent political thinkers, like Leo Strauss and Hannah Arendt. Legort demonstrates the central difference between totalitarianism and dictatorship: Mhamad marked it as to-read Dec 08, Home Contact Us Help Free delivery worldwide.

This work should interest specialists in social and political theory and philosophers. In Flynn’s view, Politocal practical-experiential mode of theorizing distinguishes him from a number of thinkers by whom he was for a long time overshadowed — including Sartre’s radical subjectivism, Derrida’s “worldless textualism,” Levinasian transcendentalism, and Habermasian rationalism.

Lefort was part of the political theorists who put forward the relevance of a notion of totalitarianism which was relevant to Stalinism as well as fascism, and considered totalitarianism as different in its essence from the big categories used in the western world since ancient Greece, like the notions of dictatorship or tyranny. Presses wnd de France. Paris[1] France.

Marek Benda marked it as to-read Apr 08, To ask other readers questions about Democracy and Political Theoryplease sign up. Totalitarianism denies what Lefort calls “the principle of internal divisions of society”, and its conception of society is marked by “the affirmation of the totality”. Lefort’s vision makes the disappearance of the leader as a political body — the putting to death of the king, as Kantorowicz calls it — the founding moment of democracy because it makes the seat of power, hitherto occupied by an eternal substance transcending the mere physical existence of monarchs, into an “empty space” where groups with shared interests and opinions can succeed each other, but only for a time and at the will of elections.

Claude Lefort is one of the most innovative and insightful philosophers and political thinkers of the last half century — but a thinker largely ignored or sidelined in America. For English-speaking students of political philosophy, this is an eminently welcome book. However, one might wonder — with Arendt — whether the upsurge of totalitarianism is not attributable, at least in part, to certain tendencies inherent in modernity, including subjectivism, voluntarism, and rampant will to power today manifest on the global level.


In opposition to some “unrestrained” antimodernists, Lefort sees the chief gain of modern democracy in “the institution of an interrogation that will call the Law and all authority into question.

Bernard Flynn is highly qualified to remedy this deficit. He rather sees in it a set of processes which have endings that cannot be known, thus their success cannot be determined. Micah rated it liked it Jan 20, This is made possible especially through the association between state and the party hierarchy which is always very close, so that the party hierarchy becomes the effective power. Brooker rated it really liked it Oct 27, Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account.

The aim of totalitarianism is to create a united and a closed society, in which the components are not individuals and which is defined completely by the same goals, the same opinions and the same practices. As it happens, the work of Machiavelli looms large in several of Lefort’s early writings, especially Le travail de l’oeuvre: Want to Read Currently Reading Read.

Brian added it Jan 04, Democracy and Political Theory by Claude Lefort. Anna added it Sep 01, Sapphire Ng marked it as to-read Dec 17, Continental philosophy Western Marxism — Libertarian socialism [4] — Anti-totalitarian left [5] after When Merleau-Ponty died inLefort took charge of the publication of his manuscripts.

In the discussion of Machiavelli, one misses a sustained comparison of Lefort’s “practice of reading” with the interpretations offered, for example, in Strauss’s Thoughts on Machiavelli and John Pocock’s The Machiavellian Moment. Les limites de la domination totalitaire.

Claude Lefort

Other questions, however, can be addressed to the author. In many ways, the Florentine appeared to him as a herald or precursor of typically “modern” developments: A dictatorship does not aim for the destruction and absorption of society, and a dictatorial power is a power of the state against society, that presupposes the distinction of the two; the plan of a totalitarian party is to merge state with society in a closed, united and uniform system, subordinated under the fulfilment of a plan — “socialism” in leforg case of the USSR.

The Left-Wing Alternativetrans.