By Edmund Burke

Written at a time whilst so much of Europe supported the French Revolution, Edmund Burke’s prescient and, on the time, arguable denunciation of its mob rule estimated the phobia, begun the trendy conservative culture and nonetheless serves as a caution to those that search to reshape societies via violence.

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Extra resources for The Evils of Revolution (Penguin Great Ideas)

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For Derrida confesses that ‘all I wanted to do was to confide or confirm my taste (probably unconditional) for literature, more precisely for literary writing’ [PAS 27 / 63]. 4 In fact Derrida has been often accused of liking literature too much, or of reducing philosophy to literature,5 as he acknowledges when he explains: Not that I like literature in general, nor that I prefer it to something else, to philosophy, for example, as they suppose who ultimately discern neither one nor the other. Not that I want to reduce everything to it, especially not philosophy.

DIFFÉRANCE AND JUSTICE Having examined Derrida’s extension of the structural dynamics he sees at work in the concept of friendship to democracy, we are in a position to understand Politics of Friendship as a ‘genealogical deconstruction of the political (and through it, to the democratic)’ and what kind of way this is ‘to think, interpret and implement another politics, another democracy’ [POF 104 / 128]. This project would be equivalent to a combination of the two options Derrida describes in the passage I have just referred to: on the one hand thinking through the old names of politics; but on the other hand seeking to think a new concept of politics.

The answer lies not so much in the word ‘democracy’ as in the ‘to-come’. Derrida’s account of democracy-to-come seems extremely ambiguous from the point of view of more conventional political theory. It proceeds neither from analysis of the history of the democratic state form, nor from the observation of what democracy means in the contemporary world. Nor does it consist in constructing practical and pragmatically oriented normative models for the functioning of a political democracy, or of adapting such models to local conditions.

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