From Bakunin to Lacan: Anti-authoritarianism and the by Saul Newman

By Saul Newman

In its comparability of anarchist and poststructuralist concept, From Bakunin to Lacan contends that the main urgent political challenge we are facing at the present time is the proliferation and intensification of strength. Saul Newman goals the tendency of radical political theories and activities to reaffirm energy and authority, in numerous guises, of their very try to conquer it. In his exam of thinkers resembling Bakunin, Lacan, Stirner, and Foucault Newman explores vital epistemological, ontological, and political questions: Is the fundamental human topic the purpose of departure from which energy and authority will be adverse? Or, is the humanist topic itself a website of domination that needs to be unmasked? because it deftly charts this debate's paths of emergence in political concept, the booklet illustrates how the query of crucial identities defines and re-defines the boundaries and probabilities of radical politics at the present time.

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Extra info for From Bakunin to Lacan: Anti-authoritarianism and the Dislocation of Power

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Political power, according to this anarchist logic, has an outside from which it can be criticized and an alternative with which it can be replaced. This is precisely the proposition that will be questioned. However, anarchism is based on a radical picture of human nature and human society. 111 Mutual Aid: Anarchist Morality For anarchists, then, man is born with essential moral and rational capacities and it is this potential which Kropotkin sets out to explore in his study, Ethics. ” 115 This, however, puts him at odds with various social Darwinists who, Kropotkin argues, misappropriate Darwin to support their claim that warfare and selfish competition—“survival of the fittest”—are the natural condition of animal and human society.

It is therefore the principle of mutual aid that will naturally replace the principle of political authority. A state of “anarchy,” a war of “all against all” will not ensue the moment state power has been abolished. This is the hackneyed, old bugbear that has always been laid at the door of anarchism. For anarchists, a state of “anarchy” exists now: political power creates social dislocation, it does not prevent it. What is prevented by the state is the natural and harmonious functioning of society.

63 In Bakunin’s “negative dialectics” the dialectical contradiction is the victory of the Negative. However, in this victory both the Positive and the Negative are destroyed. For Hegel, and indeed for Marx, on the other hand, the thesis and antithesis are transcended—however elements of both are preserved in the synthesis. In the same way, elements of the old society are preserved and form a necessary part of the foundations of the new. For Marx, then, the communitarian, public essence that the state expresses should survive the destruction of the existing society.

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