Critical Horizons 13 (1):52 - 73 (2012)

The social thought of Castoriadis and Lefort address Old World constellations. Yet both are positioned in a critical relationship to the Enlightenment and Romanticism, and pose questions about power, the political and citizenship relevant to different civilizational settings. Two political philosophies that emerged in the era of revolutionary critique are examined in this paper alongside Castoriadis and Lefort. Thomas Jefferson’s philosophy of republic and empire and Simon Bolivar’s creed of independence were American visions that connected with the political imaginary. Each set down traditions open to interpretation and mythologisation. Both invoked an older rivalry of two images of the New World, as American or as Colombian, which was really a rivalry of Spanish and British Empires and their civilizational influences. Where earlier republican visions developed at the cusp of virtue and interest cultures had posed a particular range of questions about democracy, civic constitution and independence, American states now contained democratic and authoritarian potential. Even though Castoriadis and Lefort did not make these American contexts the centre of their work, each conceive the political and politics in ways that are relevant to American modernities. A key argument put in this paper with respect to Castoriadis and Lefort is that Castoriadis’s conception of creation is more salient to the republican revolutions more generally, while Lefort’s notion of political imaginary finds a strong case in the North American revolution
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DOI 10.1558/crit.v13i1.52
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The Philosophy of Claude Lefort. Interpreting the Political.Bernard Flynn - 2006 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 68 (4):835-837.

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