24 September 2010

Book: Why we don't love democracy (in French)

Myriam Revault d'Allonnes is the author of "Pourquoi nous n'aimons pas la démocratie" (Why we don't love democracy; my translation), a book published in February 2010 by Seuil:


Publisher's description: "We remember Churchill's saying: 'Democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time'. Obviously, we do not 'love' democracy. And yet we are all democrats ... This strange process of disenchantment is as virulent as it is old: already in ancient Athens, there was no shortage of critics of democracy. Myriam Revault d'Allonnes interrogates not only the criticisms or sarcasms levelled at democracy, but also the nature of the democratic experience, with its uncertainty, conflicts, incompleteness, inextricably linked to what opposes and threatens it. How should democratic man, confronted with this always problematic existence, not fall prey to dissatisfaction and permanent disappointment? Nevertheless, if we do not 'love' democracy, can we not desire to? Because it is the democratic experience that makes us ethical and political subjects, citizens who do not just want to be governed, 'not like that, not for this, not by them'." (my rough translation)

Myriam Revault d'Allonnes is Professor of Philosophy at the École Pratique des Hautes Etudes (EPHE), Paris.

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