La rhéorique de la crise et la révocation de la sphère publique


The Rhetoric of Crisis and the Dismissal of Public Sphere

This text is an examination of the democratic public sphere in relation to the presently dominating crisis discourse. More precisely, we endeavor to expose assumptions, aims and consequences entailed by the discourse of crisis, hereafter considered as a rhetorical apparatus asserting that crisis reveals an unambiguous and mandatory nature of things imposing self-evident and thus non deliberative decisions concerning both singular existence and communities. The crisis discourse serves to endorse indisputable certainty and therefore to blur or even suppress indeterminacy. Nevertheless, and it is our guiding allegation formulated mainly in reference to Claude Lefort’s political thought, the possibility of democracy and of its public sphere depends constitutively on a unique indeterminacy. Our analysis proves that restoring certainty cannot but go along with a naturalist fallacy and an abuse of rhetoric power postponing deliberative-shaped democratic practices. This line of reasoning comes to define public sphere as a rhetorical counter-power strategy meant to reassert democratic indeterminacy.

Keywords: democracy, public sphere, indeterminacy, crisis, certainty, naturalism, normativity

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