By Romand Coles

Within the early years of the hot millennium, the perform of democracy in the United States and world wide faces super hazards: the proliferation of transnational firms, the unfold of oppressive fundamentalism, and environmental cave in. in the usa, competition to more and more antidemocratic political and financial rules has been both nonexistent or unsuccessful. This pattern comprises, yet some distance exceeds, the Bush administration’s regulations from the Patriot Act and the struggle on Iraq to the “Clear Channelization” of the media and the non-public improvement of public lands. In past Gated Politics, political theorist and grassroots activist Romand Coles argues that the survival of democracy will depend on spotting the issues of disengaged liberal democracy—the exclusions and subjugations that accompany each democratic “we,” for example—and experimenting with extra radical modes of democratic concept and motion. between these introduced into the dialog are John Howard Yoder, John Rawls, Alisdair MacIntyre, Jacques Derrida, Jean-Luc Nancy, Gloria Anzald?a, and Audre Lorde. Coles, whose paintings is deeply proficient via his personal reviews as an activist, will pay shut recognition to the particular perform of democracy with specific curiosity in rising social routine. In doing so, he not just strikes past the paradigms of political liberalism, deliberative democracy, and communitarian republicanism, but additionally cultivates multidimensional modes of public discourse that mirror and maintain the artistic pressure on the middle of democratic existence and responsibility. Romand Coles is professor of political idea at Duke college. His prior books contain Rethinking Generosity: serious conception and the Politics of Caritas and Self/Power/Other: Political concept and Dialogical Ethics.

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Extra info for Beyond Gated Politics: Reflections for the Possibility of Democracy

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We must abstract [from these and] . . base our political lives on our capacity for agency. To do otherwise is . . not only to exclude those who do not share the particular ideals in question, but it also limits the moral autonomy of everyone” (50– 51). Hence, with Rawls, Moon thinks that public discourse over basics should exclude particular doctrines and aim to ensure agency. Yet Moon insightfully recognizes a circularity in all models of constrained discourse, a circularity that harbors the possibility of tragic imposition upon those who do not share those models’ aspirations.

As the title of this chapter suggests, I am also, and relatedly, interested in the tragedy that befalls tragedy in the hands of political liberalism. My claim is that “tragedy” is employed in this discourse in ways that betray some of what is most profound in the best contemporary efforts to theorize it (as well as the dramatic practices of many tragedians). I understand a tragic sensibility to be one that stretches its listeners between calls to the importance of articulating, mediating, and striving toward the highest values of a community, on the one hand, and painful evocations of the unacknowledged suffering often wrought by a community’s ideals (or constitutive failure in light of them) and the inextinguishable need to be transformed through receptive engagements with those a community marginalizes and subjugates, on the other.

I sense that there might be a nonmerging or nonconverting syncretism at work in both the way I read Yoder and the way his spirit profoundly inWltrates this book. Yet I imagine that my own project is inXected less by Christianity and more by a struggling faith in a traditio of discontinuous and discrepant insurgent struggles of radical democracy. And the mode I seek to cultivate is not confessional—or, better, it is not only confessional— but, rather, tensional, in the senses indicated by terms like traditio, Introduction xxxiii nepantla, and torn.

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