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July 09, 2013

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Alain

Thanks for posting this. I took a quick glance at it but it seems to argue for participation within the electoral process, albeit through a new party. And it doesn't seem to challenge the notion of democracy but rather to establish a new institution within it.

Jodi Dean

Yes -- this is an electoral party suggestion. I don't necessarily agree with it. I am posting it as an indication of increasing left enthusiasm for a Left party. I'm also posting it as a way to push myself to think through where I stand on electoral politics as a tactic.

Christopher Shivers

Jodi, it's encouraging to know that even a rigorous theorist such as yourself is still having to think through a proper stance on electoral politics as a tactic for emancipatory change. My "post-autonomist, pre-communist" (or something) friends and I are constantly trying to hash this one out. It seems that taking a stance on the efficacy of electoral politics for radical leftists is impossible at this point. There is such cynicism held towards elections that even if a professed communist were to gain traction in local elections somewhere it seems that they would be ignored by the wider left. Even someone like Melenchon in France (who ignited quite a bit of enthusiasm among my friends here in the US) was given the cold shoulder by French radicals.

Could you call this cynicism toward elections by radicals a fear? Fear of co-optation or failure, or fear of having their cynicism revealed to be simply a mechanism used to maintain their privilege and the status quo?

And I'd like to take a moment to thank you for you work. Always know that your ideas and texts have a life and influence that is not just in the classroom or on the blogosphere. People are listening to you with open ears.

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