Book Section
Amplifying the distinction between ‘politics’ and ‘the political’, Ernesto Laclau crowns his examination of the blind spots of the Marxist tradition with an encomium of populism. His project to re-centre ‘the political’ does not postulate a beginning marked by a great event. Instead, Laclau celebrates ontological foundation as the abyss of all politicity. This chapter critically assesses how Laclau invests the body of the populist leader with an extra-quotidian character. I will also show how the assumption that the body of the leader animates political beginnings and primordially channels them restrains Laclau’s previous ‘deepening of the materialist project’.
Keywords: the political; populism; extraordinary; ordinary; exceptionalism; political ontology; radical materialism; political beginnings; the many; Laclau, Ernesto
Title
On Populist Illusion
Subtitle
Impasses of Political Ontology, or How the Ordinary Matters
Author(s)
Facundo Vega
Identifier
DOI Target
HTML Page
Description
Amplifying the distinction between ‘politics’ and ‘the political’, Ernesto Laclau crowns his examination of the blind spots of the Marxist tradition with an encomium of populism. His project to re-centre ‘the political’ does not postulate a beginning marked by a great event. Instead, Laclau celebrates ontological foundation as the abyss of all politicity. This chapter critically assesses how Laclau invests the body of the populist leader with an extra-quotidian character. I will also show how the assumption that the body of the leader animates political beginnings and primordially channels them restrains Laclau’s previous ‘deepening of the materialist project’.
Is Part Of
Place
Berlin
Publisher
ICI Berlin Press
Date
2021
Subject
the political
populism
extraordinary
ordinary
exceptionalism
political ontology
radical materialism
political beginnings
the many
Laclau, Ernesto
Rights
© by the author(s)
Except for images or otherwise noted, this publication is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Language
en-GB
short title
On Populist Illusion
page start
327
page end
343
Source
Materialism and Politics, ed. by Bernardo Bianchi, Emilie Filion-Donato, Marlon Miguel, and Ayşe Yuva, Cultural Inquiry, 20 (Berlin: ICI Berlin Press, 2021), pp. 327–43
Bibliographic Citation
Facundo Vega, ‘On Populist Illusion: Impasses of Political Ontology, or How the Ordinary Matters’, in Materialism and Politics, ed. by Bernardo Bianchi, Emilie Filion-Donato, Marlon Miguel, and Ayşe Yuva, Cultural Inquiry, 20 (Berlin: ICI Berlin Press, 2021), pp. 327–43 <https://doi.org/10.37050/ci-20_18>

References

  • Badiou, Alain, Peut-on penser la politique? (Paris: Éditions du Seuil, 1985)
  • Balibar, Étienne, La Crainte des masses. Politique et philosophie avant et après Marx (Paris: Éditions Galilée, 1997)
  • Balibar, Étienne, La Proposition de l’Égaliberté (Paris: PUF, 2010) <https://doi.org/10.3917/puf.balib.2010.01>
  • Balibar, Étienne, Equaliberty: Political Essays, trans. by James Ingram (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2013) <https://doi.org/10.1515/9780822377221>
  • Butler, Judith, Notes Toward a Performative Theory of Assembly (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2015) <https://doi.org/10.4159/9780674495548>
  • Glasson, Benjamin, ‘Unspeakable Articulations: Steps Towards a Materialist Discourse Theory’, in Material Discourse-Materialist Analysis: Approaches in Discourse Studies, ed. by Johannes Beetz and Veit Schwab (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2017), pp. 81–94
  • Heidegger, Martin, Gesamtausgabe, 102 vols (Frankfurt a.M.: Klostermann, 1975–) [hereafter GA]
  • Heidegger, Martin, GA, ix: Wegmarken, ed. by Friedrich-Wilhelm von Herrmann (1976)
  • Heidegger, Martin, GA, xl: Einführung in die Metaphysik, ed. by Petra Jaeger (1983)
  • Heidegger, Martin, GA, xv: Seminare, ed. by Curd Ochwadt (1986)
  • Heidegger, Martin, GA, lxv: Beiträge zur Philosophie (Vom Ereignis), ed. by Friedrich-Wilhelm von Herrmann (1989)
  • Heidegger, Martin, GA, l: Nietzsches Metaphysik. Einleitung in die Philosophie. Denken und Dichten, ed. by Petra Jaeger (1990)
  • Heidegger, Martin, GA, lxxix: Bremer und Freiburger Vorträge, ed. by Petra Jaeger (1994)
  • Heidegger, Martin, GA, x: Der Satz vom Grund, ed. by Petra Jaeger (1997)
  • Heidegger, Martin, GA, xvi: Reden und andere Zeugnisse eines Lebensweges, ed. by Hermann Heidegger (2000)
  • Heidegger, Martin, GA, xxxvi/xxxvii: Sein und Wahrheit, ed. by Hartmut Tietjen (2001)
  • Heidegger, Martin, GA, viii: Was heißt Denken?, ed. by Paola-Ludovika Coriando (2002)
  • Heidegger, Martin, GA, lxxviii: Der Spruch des Anaximander, ed. by Ingeborg Schüßler (2010)
  • Heidegger, Martin, GA, lxxxiii: Seminare. Platon. Aristoteles. Augustinus, ed. by Mark Michalski (2012)
  • Heidegger, Martin, GA, xcvi: Überlegungen xii xv (Schwarze Hefte 1939–1941), ed. by Peter Trawny (2014)
  • Heidegger, Martin, GA, xciv: Überlegungen ii vi (Schwarze Hefte 1931–1938), ed. by Peter Trawny (2014)
  • Heidegger, Martin, GA, xcv: Überlegungen vii -xi (Schwarze Hefte 1938–1939), ed. by Peter Trawny (2014)
  • Heidegger, Martin, GA, xcvii: Anmerkungen i v (Schwarze Hefte 1942–1948), ed. by Peter Trawny (2015)
  • Heidegger, Martin, GA, lxxxix: Zollikoner Seminare, ed. by Peter Trawny (2018)
  • Heidegger, Martin, GA, xcviii: Anmerkungen vi -ix (Schwarze Hefte 1948–1949), ed. by Peter Trawny (2018)
  • Hennessy, Rosemary, Materialist Feminism and the Politics of Discourse (New York: Routledge, 1993)
  • Kantorowicz, Ernst, The King’s Two Bodies: A Study in Mediaeval Political Theology (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1957)
  • Kraniauskas, John, ‘Rhetorics of Populism’, Radical Philosophy: A Journal of Socialist and Feminist Philosophy, 186 (July/August 2014), pp. 29–37
  • Laclau, Ernesto, ‘Antagonism, Subjectivity and Politics’, in The Rhetorical Foundations of Society, pp. 101–25
  • Laclau, Ernesto, ‘Building a New Left’, in New Reflections on the Revolution of our Time, pp. 177–96
  • Laclau, Ernesto, ‘New Reflections on the Revolution of our Time’, in New Reflections on the Revolution of our Time, pp. 3–85
  • Laclau, Ernesto, ‘Power and Representation’, in Emancipation(s), pp. 84–104
  • Laclau, Ernesto, ‘Theory, Democracy and Socialism’, in New Reflections on the Revolution of our Time, pp. 197–245
  • Laclau, Ernesto, ‘Why do Empty Signifiers Matter to Politics?’, in Emancipation(s), pp. 36–46
  • Laclau, Ernesto, ‘La Politique comme construction de l’impensable’, in Matérialités discursives, ed. by Bernard Conein, and others (Lille: Presses Universitaires de Lille, 1981), pp. 65–74
  • Laclau, Ernesto, ‘The Controversy over Materialism’, in Rethinking Marx, ed. by Sakari Hänninen and Leena Paldán (Berlin: Argument, 1984), pp. 39–43
  • Laclau, Ernesto, ‘Political Significance of the Concept of Negativity’, Vestnik, 1 (1988), pp. 73–78
  • Laclau, Ernesto, ‘Politics and the Limits of Modernity’, in Universal Abandon? The Politics of Postmodernism, ed. by Andrew Ross (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1988) (= Social Text, 7.3 (1989)), pp. 63–82 <https://doi.org/10.2307/827809>
  • Laclau, Ernesto, New Reflections on the Revolution of our Time (London: Verso, 1990)
  • Laclau, Ernesto, Emancipation(s) (London: Verso, 1996)
  • Laclau, Ernesto, ‘Identity and Hegemony: The Role of Universality in the Constitution of Political Logics’, in Contingency, Hegemony, Universality: Contemporary Dialogues on the Left, ed. by Judith Butler, Ernesto Laclau, and Slavoj Žižek (London: Verso, 2000), pp. 44–89
  • Laclau, Ernesto, ‘Glimpsing the Future’, in Laclau: A Critical Reader, ed. by Simon Critchley and Oliver Marchart (London: Routledge, 2004), pp. 279–328
  • Laclau, Ernesto, ‘Populism: What’s in a Name?’, in Populism and the Mirror of Democracy, ed. by Francisco Panizza (London: Verso, 2005), pp. 32–49
  • Laclau, Ernesto, ‘The Future of Radical Democracy’, in Radical Democracy: Politics between Abundance and Lack, ed. by Lars Tønder and Lasse Thomassen (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2005), pp. 256–62
  • Laclau, Ernesto, On Populist Reason (London: Verso, 2005)
  • Laclau, Ernesto, ‘Ideology and Post-Marxism’, Journal of Political Ideologies, 11.2 (June 2006), pp. 103–14 <https://doi.org/10.1080/13569310600687882>
  • Laclau, Ernesto, The Rhetorical Foundations of Society (London: Verso, 2014)
  • Laclau, Ernesto, and Chantal Mouffe, ‘Post-Marxism without Apologies’, in Laclau, New Reflections on the Revolution of our Time, pp. 97–132
  • Laclau, Ernesto, and Lilian Zac, ‘Minding the Gap: The Subject of Politics’, in The Making of Political Identities, ed. by Ernesto Laclau (London: Verso, 1994), pp. 11–39
  • Laclau, Ernesto, and Chantal Mouffe, Hegemony and Socialist Strategy: Towards a Radical Democratic Politics (London: Verso, 2001)
  • Marchart, Oliver, Post-Foundational Political Thought: Political Difference in Nancy, Lefort, Badiou and Laclau (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2007) <https://doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748624973.001.0001>
  • Rancière, Jacques, La Mésentente. Politique et Philosophie (Paris: Éditions Galilée, 1995)
  • Wolf, Frieder Otto, ‘Summary of Discussions’, in Rethinking Marx, ed. by Sakari Hänninen and Leena Paldán (Berlin: Argument, 1984), pp. 52–53
  • Žižek, Slavoj, ‘Against the Populist Temptation’, Critical Inquiry, 32.3 (Spring 2006), pp. 551–74 <https://doi.org/10.1086/505378>
  •  
     
Cite as: Facundo Vega, ‘On Populist Illusion: Impasses of Political Ontology, or How the Ordinary Matters’, in Materialism and Politics, ed. by Bernardo Bianchi, Emilie Filion-Donato, Marlon Miguel, and Ayşe Yuva, Cultural Inquiry, 20 (Berlin: ICI Berlin Press, 2021), pp. 327–43 <https://doi.org/10.37050/ci-20_18>
Facundo Vega, ‘On Populist Illusion: Impasses of Political Ontology, or How the Ordinary Matters’, in Materialism and Politics, ed. by Bernardo Bianchi, Emilie Filion-Donato, Marlon Miguel, and Ayşe Yuva, Cultural Inquiry, 20 (Berlin: ICI Berlin Press, 2021), pp. 327-43 <https://doi.org/10.37050/ci-20_18>

Export