Twenty-First Century Anti-Democracy: Theory and Practice in the World


Contemporary political philosophy in the West is the philosophy of democracy, is democratic theory. Philosophy under democracy has become complacent. Even the recent reaffirmation of communism by influential philosophers such as Alain Badiou and Slavoj Žižek failed to inspire a significant following. There has been no radical philosophical reaction to the near-collapse of the capitalist economic system, mainly because any criticism of capitalism would imply a criticism of democracy ("the best possible political shell for capitalism", as Lenin said). Techno-philosophical alternatives to democracy, such as anarcho-capitalist "seasteading", and calls for the suspension of democracy to cure climate change are originating outside academic departments of philosophy. Is there still philosophy if everyone agrees? Is philosophy still philosophy if discontent with the-one-and-only-truth can only be voiced from outside the academy? Or does political philosophy more and more resemble Plato's cave? This paper will venture outside the cave, outside the comfort zone of western academic philosophy as always-already-democratic. Only in this way can it seek to engage in a meaningful dialogue with non-western worldviews. Only by stepping into the light will we illuminate why still, in the twenty-first century, scholars may be justified in studying not democracy, but anti-democracy. Where are the niches of anti-democratic thought that may yet save us from the destruction wrought upon the world by the failing capitalist-democratic complex? What are the political trends against democracy we miss at our peril and what are their philosophical implications, worldwide? What are the new alternatives to democracy that emerge in our day? Free of self-imposed prejudice, this paper rejects the boycott of thought that does not comply with western inhibitions, and refuses to shy away from the encounter of philosophical positions emanating from non-democratic political practices. Philosophy is not blind, it does not condone any ideologies uncritically, and philosophy does not equal democracy.

Author's Profile


Added to PP

671 (#23,467)

6 months
107 (#39,864)

Historical graph of downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.
How can I increase my downloads?