Democracy  &  Nature, Vol. 7, No. 1


Post-Marxism, Democracy and the Future of Radical Politics

Simon Tormey


Abstract: This paper takes issue with the suggestion that the work of Post-Marxists, largely informed by a ‘postmodern’ perspective, should be viewed with suspicion by those concerned with advancing a radical democratic agenda. I argue that such a reading fails to penetrate beneath the surface of the Post-Marxist engagement with liberal theory, seeing their willingness to concede the necessity for a mediation between ‘particular’ and ‘universal’, individual and community as a sign of their happiness to rest within the presuppositions of classical liberal theory. In fact, the opposite is the case: only by treating seriously the question of ‘mediation’ can left radical demands for greater democratisation, increased equality and autonomy make sense within a modern, industrialised context. By extension, it is exploring the forms and modalities of mediation that left radical demands can become politically relevant.