Sovereignty, property and the lifeworld
Democracy’s colonization of alterity
in Democracy in crisis
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This chapter considers the theme of responsibility to others on the basis of a critique of mutual recognition. It contests the belief that democracy is antithetical to colonialism and suggests that plurality is severely circumscribed by the ontological structure and the economic processes endemic to political participation. This chapter shows that the cognitive processes of mutual recognition serve to reinforce and perpetuate political structures predicated on private ownership, thereby radically curtailing the range of possible manifestations of alterity. It also explains that while democracy is embraced as the ground of plurality, it ties plurality to the level of identity, thereby obscuring the ontological sameness on which such plurality is predicated.

Democracy in crisis

Violence, alterity, community

Editor: Stella Gaon

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