Joshua Mostafa wrote to call attention to an interview with Jacques Rancière:
Jacques Rancière was interviewed by Le novel Observateur on the French presidential election. He argues that elections, despite being touted as the height of democracy, are anti-democratic, oligarchical procedures. He does not confine his criticism to the right, or to the likely winner of the election, François Hollande, whose weak-tea, centrist version of socialism cuts no ice with the philosopher, but also to the purported champion of the left, Front de Gauche candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon: ‘A true campaign of the left would denounce the office of president itself.’
In principle and in historical origin, representation is anti-democratic. Democracy was founded on the idea of equal competence of all. The usual mode of selection for office was drawing lots… Representation is an oligarchic principle: it has always been associated with power representing not the population but the status or competence that bases its authority over that population: birth, wealth, knowledge, etc.
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