Sources of Anxiety About the Party in Radical Political Theory

in Theoria
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  • 1 marceloihoffman@gmail.com
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Abstract

New protest movements have recently occasioned debates about the party form on the left. Jodi Dean contributes to these debates through her theorisation of the party as an organisation for making the egalitarian impulses of the crowd durable. In this endeavour, Dean acknowledges anxiety about the party form on the left, yet she dilutes its complexity through recourse to generalities and abstractions. This article seeks to reclaim the complexity of anxiety about the party form on the left through the reflections of three major thinkers in radical political theory: Frantz Fanon, Michel Foucault and Alain Badiou. These thinkers suggest that anxiety about the party can spring from highly variegated sources and lend itself to equally variegated positions. These sources and positions capture the complexity of sources of anxiety about the party on the left. They also enable us to take stock of the forms of the betrayal of radical politics by the party.

Contributor Notes

Marcelo Hoffman is the author of Foucault and Power: The Influence of Political Engagement on Theories of Power (Bloomsbury, 2014). He is currently working on a book entitled Militant Acts: Investigations in Radical Political Struggles and Theories (under contract with State University of New York Press). His most recent publication is ‘Investigations from Marx to Foucault’, in Active Intolerance: Michel Foucault, the Prisons Information Group, and the Future of Abolition, edited by Perry Zurn and Andrew Dilts (Palgrave MacMillan, 2015).

Theoria

A Journal of Social and Political Theory

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