A Nietzschean Defense of Democracy: An Experiment in Postmodern Politics

A Nietzschean Defense of Democracy: An Experiment in Postmodern Politics

A Nietzschean Defense of Democracy: An Experiment in Postmodern Politics

A Nietzschean Defense of Democracy: An Experiment in Postmodern Politics

Synopsis

In A Nietzschean Defense of Democracy, Hatab offers a new, postmodern account of democracy, freed from the traditional assumptions embodied in the Enlightenment project. Hatab advances a two-fold argument: first, that Nietzsche was wrong to repudiate democracy since democratic politics can be more amenable to his way of thinking than he imagined; second, Nietzsche was right to critique fundamental flaws in traditional democratic theory, especially the modernist emphasis on human equality, rational subjectivity, and natural rights.

Excerpt

The idea for this project had been brewing for a while. Years ago when I was working on my last book, I was orchestrating various elements of ancient Greek culture and Nietzsche's interpretation of the Greeks. All at once several ideas converged in a clash that gave me pause: the Greek experience of democracy as an open contest of speeches, Plato's repudiation of democracy, Nietzsche's critique of Plato, Nietzsche's affirmation of contention, and Nietzsche's repudiation of democracy. Something is wrong here, I thought. But political questions were not my focus at the time, so I put this interesting problem aside.

Provocative developments in social and political thought and reconsiderations of Nietzsche's political views later caught my attention and the problem came back to life, leading to an article and its expansion into the present book. the motivation for this study came from a dilemma that is surely not mine alone: I have been significantly influenced by Nietzsche and consider myself to be a fellow traveler; I also believe in democracy as the only viable political system; but Nietzsche was a severe opponent of democracy. It seems to me that there is a disparity here that calls for the following resolution: Either Nietzsche has a problem or I do. This book was written in the hope that the problem is not mine.

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