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Insurgent Democracy and the German Councils

  • Paul Mazzocchi
Chapter
Part of the Marx, Engels, and Marxisms book series (MAENMA)

Abstract

This chapter reads the German revolution through Miguel Abensour’s theory of insurgent democracy, and in the context of two major criticisms of radical democratic theory. Insurgent democracy posits a radical version of democracy that exists against the state and is founded in the emergence of a subject (the demos) asserting its political capacity. But two persistent and interlinked criticisms are levelled against this type of vision of democracy: it is inattentive to institutions and it lacks a mechanism for maintaining its radical or insurgent nature. Abensour responds to these criticisms through a reconceptualization of institution and an exploration of the possibility of an institutional right to insurrection. Drawing on these insights, this chapter suggests the need to think the German Revolution from the perspective of an insurgent institution which, by producing a sens (meaning and direction) to revolt, acts as the condition of possibility of revolutionary action.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul Mazzocchi
    • 1
  1. 1.York UniversityTorontoCanada

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