This was 13 years, 15 days ago

Is Chantal Mouffe against a political party, which, by acting within the arena of agonistic democracy, attempts to silence another party and prevents it from speaking entirely? Is it acceptable to be pushed outside the boundaries of a discourse by those within the discourse itself? To be outside consideration?

If so, if this is okay, then the agonistic pluralism that Mouffe advocates as being expressly beneficial for a society is not a prescriptive argument per se and it's statements become denaturated into description, not argument. The argument becomes an observation. If a qualification into the bounds of agonistic democracy is not guaranteed but earned and struggled for, then this agonistic democracy is no different than any other political system-- or rather, it is less a description of a proposed system and more a deterministic or materialist modeling of all political interactions. Those in a current state of power possibly silence those without political power. So on and so forth.

And if not, if an ejection outside of the discourse is not 'fair game' for those participating in this pluralistic political system, then this is itself a public sphere, a modified version of Habermas's public sphere in which the political presence of all parties is guaranteed. This is opposed to the political equality of all parties that Habermas's ideal posited. But the equal right to participate itself is another form of equality -- the guarantee of being heard, but not necessarily to be considered seriously. Within this equal playground is another politics of domination and hierarchy, sure, but the meta-playground, the space of this discussion is itself a utopian space from which nobody is 'left out'.

This is not a critique of the notion or efficacy of an agonistic democracy per se but the line of Mouffe's reasoning that seems to separate her theory from the harmonious and consensus-idealizing notion of the public sphere. Mouffe quotes Rawls and argues that moral consensus is entirely separate from "mere agreement", and continues to say that the problematic of attempting to reach such a consensus is an ideal that disregards the extent to which that ideal itself is implicated within and induced by political dominance -- "By postulating the availability of a non exclusive public sphere of deliberation where a rational consensus could be obtained, they negate the inherently conflictual nature of modern pluralism."


I really have to do work. But two arguments against my argument. First, the concept of an ejection outside of a discourse itself is an assumption that I should examine. I'm positing an outside as opposite to the inside of a political sphere -- what's the distinction between 'left out' and 'extremely marginal'? This instant dichotomizing and differing is itself a basis; a counter argument could might as well say, 'even in politics, nobody is left out from participating, it's just that nobody listens to your voice, and your voice, even if it is being repressed, is still nonetheless an agent that speaks. It is not up to the political system to ensure that everybody is heard.' and so on and so forth. If, like the gradient between politically dominant and politically repressed, there's also a gradient between political participation and being outside consideration of political participation, then whatever issue I take with 'being outside of the discourse' is somewhat nullified.

Two. What's the second one? I forget. I need to do work. Whiteread it is.