Utopianism v. Radical Democracy

Justin Schwartz jschwart at freenet.columbus.oh.us
Sun Jun 11 12:30:48 MDT 1995


It has a clear meaning, but not one we like. "Abandon telelogical visions
of social change" means that Leo and other RD reject the idea that there
are any immanent forces in our society pointing towards socialism, or
which might lead to the overthrow of capitalist production relations.
"Seek to realise the democractic possibiloity in each historical moment"
means that RD deny that there;'s anything structurual in our sort of
society (indeed, for Laclau & Mouffe, it makes no sense to talk of sorts
of society) blocking democracy: the problem is is simply constraints of
somne unbdetermined sort on democracy itself, and the expansion
ofdemocracy is something that is brought about by local struggles in alll
areas--the economy has no special centrality in this way of thinking. In
somne versions of RD, the goal of state power is explicitly eschewed as

Am I misrepresenting you, Leo?

--Justin Schwartz

On Sun, 11 Jun 1995, Doug Henwood wrote:

> At 2:42 AM 6/11/95, LeoCasey at aol.com wrote:
> >Radical democratic politics have abandoned
> >teleological visions of social change, and seek to realize the democratic
> >possibility in each historical moment.
> This sort of statement is exactly why I characterized "radical democracy"
> as "mush" here several weeks ago. What ever does this mean? It may have a
> meaning, but it sure isn't obvious from the glowing pixels.
> Doug
> --
> Doug Henwood
> [dhenwood at panix.com]
> Left Business Observer
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> New York NY 10024-3217
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