Translated from the French by Mary Foster
How do we define politics? What is our role in the unfolding of the political?
Moments Politiques finds Jacques Rancière, the legendary French philosopher, addressing these questions in essays and interviews drawn from thirty years of passionate public discourse. Reflecting on events from the Paris uprisings of May 1968 to the near present, and on his contemporaries including Michel Foucault, Guy Debord, and Roland Barthes, Rancière interrogates our understanding of equality, democracy, and the shifting definition of communism today.
In these short, provocative pieces, we are asked to imagine a society where the “anarchic bedrock of the political” is precisely “the power of anyone.” This is a world of radical equality. It is a place where the student or factory worker’s opinion is equal to that of any banker or politician. To support these ideas, key concepts of Rancière’s political thought are introduced, such as his notions of dissensus and political performance, and his special definition of “police.” Moments Politiques stages unflinching confrontations with immigration law, new waves of racism, and contemporary forms of intervention. As ever, Rancière leads by example and breathes life into his argument that “dissent is what makes society liveable.”