Plato and The Stranger: Another Possibility of Democracy

5 February 2021

Plato and The Stranger: Another Possibility of Democracy

Oumuamua, the strange interstellar object, Artistic depiction by M. Kornmesser; Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

The significance of the rampage on Capitol Hill, therefore, is that it raises the specter of the West burning its relation to this tradition in the name of populist fantasies. It is a move intent on destroying the difference made by the idea of Europe or the West. It is an effort to spare the West the challenge of self-critically measuring itself up to the exigencies of a mode of speaking respectful of difference or otherness, and of a way of life that reserves a constitutive place for the other. Confronted with this challenge to the heritage of Europe and the West, and the absence of any alternative models, the only – and urgent – task is the recourse to the legacy of the West itself, and the yet-to-be-mined resources it contains, resources that, because of historical development, have been ignored and overlooked, or that, because of their radicality, have been resisted.

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