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Democracy and Dictatorship: Means and Ends of the State

Bonefeld, W. (2006) Democracy and Dictatorship: Means and Ends of the State. Critique, Journal of Socialist Theory, 34 (3). pp. 237-252. ISSN 0301-7605

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This article explores Walter Benjamin's insight according to which the tradition of the oppressed teaches us that the 'State of emergency' is not the exception but the rule. The liberal state tradition, and not just its authoritarian wing, understands this well and does indeed conceive of the state as the executive committee of the bourgeoisie. The neo-liberal conception of laissez-faire does not extend to the state. Laissez-faire is no response to riots. That is to say, neo-liberalism does not view dictatorship as the opposite to the liberal democratic state but sees it instead as a means that safeguards the ends of the rule of law in the face of democratic pressures.

Item Type: Article
Institution: The University of York
Academic Units: The University of York > Politics (York)
Depositing User: York RAE Import
Date Deposited: 23 Jun 2009 13:54
Last Modified: 23 Jun 2009 13:54
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03017600600994661
Status: Published
Publisher: Critique
Identification Number: 10.1080/03017600600994661
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/5930

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