Jacques Rancière opposes a type of politics that makes decisions on we find at the beginning of Rancière’s great book, Disagreement, the. Here, Jacques Ranciere brings a new and highly useful set of terms to the Disagreement investigates the various transformations of this regime of “truth” and. This dissertation brings the philosophical writings of Jacques Rancière to is a sociological theory of politics that claims disagreement, not consensus, must be.

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He has distanced himself from this kind of reading based on suspicion towards an approach that is more affirmative of the surface itself. The surface no longer hides, but becomes a scene on which the creativity and effectiveness of language games and speech acts are demonstrated.

It can liberate disaagreement from a situation in which the roles of the proper addresser and the addressee, as well as the limits of what is sayable, are strictly determined.

The written word can be appropriated by anyone. What is the relationship between politics and equality as the principle of politics? Rancieere is an an-archic equality in the sense that it exists through the inability of any political order ramciere count the communal parts and to distribute the shares of the common between them under the harmonious geometrical governance of some arkhe the principle of Justice, of the Good without there being a fundamental wrong [ le tort ] done; a miscount, which is then where the politics begins.

On Jacques Rancière

It is an equality which presents itself only through a declaration of a wrong committed by the count of community parts — it is thus, an equality which exists through what denies it. However, every declaration of eanciere wrong is possible only if the equality of people is axiomatically assumed.

This equality is simply the equality of anyone with anyone else: This takes three forms: While there is a lack of the arkhe of politics, this very lack itself is never lacking. Against this equation of the axiom of equality with chaos as the only proper principle, we should carefully claim — distinguishing thereby chaos from an-archy — that the axiom of equality does not mean a simple absence of any principle, but stands for the principle which exists, or, perhaps, better, the principle which insists precisely as lacking.

There are consequences to be drawn from all this: Here, we touch upon our second, disagreemenr complicated question — that of the relationship between politics and equality.

It is mostly performed as deciding over the destiny of the people removed from the domain of the people themselves; making decisions on the people, for the people, instead of the people. I propose to give this system of distribution and legitimization another name. I rznciere to call it the police. It is the logic of saturation. It is essentially the process which claims that in the given political order all of the community parts have been ac counted for and that each has been assigned its proper place.


In order to determine the parties and to define their share in the common, the police has to be first of all a law regulating the way disagrwement which these parts appear, the logic that decides how and what part is visible and identifiable as a part, whether or not its speech will be heard as intelligible, etc. Politics opposes to the police logic of saturation the logic of the void and the supplementary.

It does so, first, through the assumption of the existence of a wrong and, thus, through an axiomatic assumption of equality, and secondly, by constructing a scene in which the existence of a wrong is verified and subjectivized jacqued, i. Politics, which is nothing but the declaration of a wrong, is always an encounter between two heterogeneous worlds: Politics occurs where there is a place and a way for two heterogeneous jacquez to meet.

The first is the police process in the sense we have tried to define. The second is the process of equality. Politics is the appearance of the singular universal: The order of the police consists precisely in the denial of the existence of any such part, in rendering the wrong invisible and therefore non-existent.

Politics could be understood as the encounter between the logic of the state and the logic of the stage. The supplementary part, which has to be staged because it is not any of the particular social groups already identifiable within the police order it is not one of the statistic categories of the populationappears as the exception that stands for the whole and has the effect of disrupting the existing set of identifications, separating the community parts from the places they occupy, and creating a political community of dissent.

rnaciere Let us take the example of the proletariatthe classical name for the part of those who have no part and therefore stand for the whole of the capitalist society. It rather consists in a deployment of the axiom of equality through the artifice of political subjectivity — in this case the specific use of the name of the proletariat.

The subject of politics measures precisely the distance of any social group from itself.


It is the measure of a disagremeent between a particular social group identifiable rancieere the order of the police woman as a social category with the expected set ranxiere tasks to perform and roles to assume and the fanciere of its name to be appropriated by anyone, the ability of its name becoming the inscription of a wrong women as the subject of political struggle, as the name with which the declaration of a wrong takes place.

Politics relies on this distance between the part of the population and the place it occupies; it lives off the difference between the name as a rigid designation of a social entity and a name as an empty word that can stand for the equality of everyone. Consequently, there also can be no privileged political class. There is no properly political dissagreement.

Politics occurs within the order of the police. It shares its objects, its content with and happens against the background of the order of the police. Politics is thus a matter of form. Anything can become political the strike, the demonstration, the workplace — if it breaks with the logic of negotiation between the existing social entities, stops being the site of the determination of the proper, and becomes a scene of an encounter between the logic of the police and the axiomatic assumption of equality, dixagreement subjectivization of a wrong and the disidentification of the communal parts from themselves.


The population is always an established sum of parts and it is only possible to conceive of a political subjectivity as a subject of a wrong, the subject of a miscount in the count of the parts of the population, if this subject is not one of the parts.

Here certain problems emerge. If the political subject is a subject of a wrong, if politics exists only through the subjectivization of the wrong, how can we avoid a victimological identification of the political subject with this wrong?

If the political subjectivity can exist only insofar as the wrong exists, how can we avoid understanding the wrong as the cause of the subject and, consequently, turning the political subject into a victim? Indeed it would rancieer hard disayreement avoid the victimization of political subjectivity, if we assumed that the wrong simply precedes and determines the existence of the political subject.

On Jacques Rancière | Eurozine

For if disagremeent, which begins with a declaration of a wrong, only happens within the order of the police and if the order of the police is, by definition, the order of the non-existence of a wrong, then the wrong can not simply precede its declaration. The wrong does not simply precede the appearance of the political subject, the subject of a wrong.

It follows that with the declaration of the wrong within the order of the police it is not only the political subject that appears, but the wrong itself. The declaration of the wrong is therefore never simply a statement of an already existing fact. Politics is not countering facts with other facts.

The existence of a wrong is not a fact. The declaration of a wrong consists rather in the break with the logic of the factual. The declaration of a wrong is strictly impossible, since the existence of the wrong does not precede its declaration. It is nevertheless a declaration that happens. It happens through an enunciation that retroactively changes the conditions of its own possibility.

The positing of a political subjectivity through the declaration of a wrong thus involves a kind of an anarchic, free gesture that authorizes itself through a retroactive presupposition of the existence of the conditions of its own possibility.


Original in English First published in Fronesis Swedish version. But if the political subject is a subject of a wrong, and politics exists only through the subjectivization of that wrong, how can we avoid a victimological identification of the political subject?