The Specter of Democracy


The Specter of Democracy

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  • 製本 Hardcover:ハードカバー版/ページ数 368 p.
  • 言語 ENG,ENG
  • 商品コード 9780231124843
  • DDC分類 321.8


New in paperback. Hardcover was published in 2002. Argues that it is democracy, rather than Marxism, that is radical and revolutionary, and that Marx could have seen this but did not.

Full Description

In this rethinking of Marxism and its blind spots, Dick Howard argues that the collapse of European communism in 1989 should not be identified with a victory for capitalism and makes possible a wholesale reevaluation of democratic politics in the U.S. and abroad. The author turns to the American and French Revolutions to uncover what was truly "revolutionary" about those events, arguing that two distinct styles of democratic life emerged, the implications of which were misinterpreted in light of the rise of communism. Howard uses a critical rereading of Marx as a theorist of democracy to offer his audience a new way to think about this political ideal. He argues that it is democracy, rather than Marxism, that is radical and revolutionary, and that Marx could have seen this but did not. In Part I, Howard explores the attraction Marxism held for intellectuals, particularly French intellectuals, and he demonstrates how the critique of totalitarianism from a Marxist viewpoint allowed these intellectuals to see the radical nature of democracy. Part II examines two hundred years of democratic political life--comparing America's experience as a democracy to that of France. Part III offers a rethinking of Marx's contribution to democratic politics. Howard concludes that Marx was attempting a "philosophy by other means," and that paradoxically, just because he was such an astute philosopher, Marx was unable to see the radical political implications of his own analyses. The philosophically justified "revolution" turns out to be the basis of an anti-politics whose end was foreshadowed by the fall of European communism in 1989.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Why Should We, and How Should We,    vii
Reclaim Marx?
Part 1. Marxism and the Intellectuals
Marxism in the Postcommunist World 3 (21)
Can French Intellectuals Escape Marxism? 24 (15)
The Frankfurt School and the Transformation 39 (12)
of Critical Theory into Cultural Theory
Habermas's Reorientation of Critical Theory 51 (12)
Toward Democratic Theory
The Anticommunist Marxism of Socialisme ou 63 (8)
Claude Lefort's Passage from Revolutionary 71 (12)
Theory to Political Theory
From Marx to Castoriadis, and from 83 (16)
Castoriadis to Us
From the Critique of Totalitarianism to the 99 (40)
Politics of Democracy
Part 2. Republican Democracy or Democratic
The Burden of French History 139(34)
Intersecting Trajectories of Republicanism in 173(24)
France and the United States
Reading U.S. History as Political 197(23)
Fundamentalism and the American Exception 220(19)
Part 3. Back To Marx?
Philosophy by Other Means? 239(50)
Notes 289(46)
Index 335