Chantal Mouffe on Agonism




“What we need is a hegemony of democratic values and this requires a multiplication of democratic practices, institutionalizing them into ever more social relations so that a multiplicity of subject positions can be formed through a democratic matrix - It is in this way and not by trying to provide it with a rational foundation – that we will be able to not only defend democracy but also deepen it. Such a hegemony will never be complete, and anyway, it is not desirable for a society to be ruled by a single democratic logic. Relations of authority and power cannot completely disappear, and it is important to abandon the myth of a transparent society, reconciled with itself, for that kind of fantasy leads to totalitarianism. A project of radical and plural demoncracy on the contrary, requires the existence of multiplicity, of plurality and of conflict, and sees in them the raison d’etre of politics.”

Chantal Mouffe, The Return of the Political, 2006
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