turning on collective mentalities and anonymous forces in the unfolding
of the past. Yet such readings ignore Michelet’s actual
procedures of research and writing, which arguably recast both
“hermeneutic” and “scientific” methods in
order to create a genuinely “modernist” historical
scholarship. Michelet’s history writing, JacquesRancière
has argued, brought to the fore the salient but repressed
Democratic state, capitalist society, or dysfunctional
systems. It has been
seen that the economy, in principle, is just one of those systems, and that FD
is and remains the defining feature of sociological modernity. Endowed with
the appropriate constitutions and inter-systemic mediations, FD might provide
decisive impetus for the transition from political statehood to social statehood.
1 Colin Crouch, David Held, Wolfgang Streeck, JacquesRancière, and Wendy Brown,
amongst many others, are all grappling with this question. For an analysis of the
most important questions involved, see David Gonsalves
William Outhwaite (ed.), Brexit: Sociological Responses (London: Anthem Press,
2017), pp. 101–10, at p. 108.
41 JacquesRancière has done some very valuable research into the history of libertarian socialism, and has found that there are historical precedents for this kind of
re-ordering. See his La Nuit des prolétaires: Archives du rêve ouvrier (Paris: Fayard,
1981), chapters 7 and 11.
42 For example, the organisation responsible for uniting the French Colonies of Africa
may have been renamed as the Financial Community of Africa, but the states that