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Descrizione dell’editore

One of the enduring aspirations to emerge during the French revolution was that of "ni dieu, ni maitre', loosely translated as neither God nor master. The sentiment was clear; the hierarchical order of the estates of pre-revolutionary France was to be dismantled. In its place, a new social and political order predicated on liberty, equality and fraternity, the verities of the declaration of the Rights of Man, would see each individual man (and for the briefest of moments, individual women) as masters of their own fates, citizens beholden neither to a god nor a master. The idea that the political and social order derived neither from gods nor masters but from self-actualising and self-constituting citizens became the sine qua non of modern political rule. Foucault (1986: 121) once remarked that political theory has not yet managed to cut off the king's head. That is, the sovereign authority of the State may have been rendered subordinate to the citizens, but the hierarchy of authority that it symbolises remains embedded within our theories of political rule. Even so, Foucault only identified half the problem. The other hierarchical authority, symbolised by the Church, also remains intact. Despite the advent of a misnamed secular age, political rule remains tied to its religious moorings. In this paper I am principally concerned with demonstrating that political rule remains beholden to the hierarchies of gods and masters. Despite the alleged unimportance of religion for the constitution and exercise of political rule, the hierarchies of gods and masters, not self-actualising citizens, remain the sine qua non of political rule.

1 dicembre
Samar Habib

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