‘Getting People Wild’: Opium for the Masses or Democracy with No Compromise Cover Image
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„Подивяването на народа”. „Опиум за масите” или безкомпромисна демокрация
‘Getting People Wild’: Opium for the Masses or Democracy with No Compromise

Author(s): Boyan Manchev
Subject(s): Philosophy
Published by: Фондация за хуманитарни и социални изследвания - София
Keywords: democracy; compromise; common good; labour force; neoliberalism; biopolitics

Summary/Abstract: The article starts with a critical introduction of the historical debate on the political and civic potential of Bulgarian people, and especially of the elitist vision of Bulgarian people as constitutively opposed to modern political forms and state institutions (vision, dating back to elitist discourses from the 18th century). I argue that in the present situation declaring the political insuffi ciency of the people as responsible for the catastrophic situation of the country could easily lead to dangerous political prescriptions. In contrast, I am trying to show that the supposed ‘wilderness’ of people is, on one hand, a rhetorical political fi gure and on the other, a complex devise for collective subordination and control. The neoliberal strategies of ‘getting people wild’ (which precisely are responsible for the new consumerist ‘wildness’ of Bulgarian people – an ‘adequate’ response to postcommunist wild capitalism) represent an extreme mechanism for the depolitisation of the ‘people’ as the collective political subject and for its reduction to a ‘raw mass’, or to a conglomerate of atomistic egoistic and apolitical particularities: they are a privileged form of contemporary biopolitics. The fi nal question of the article is: Is there a possibility for collective political subjectivation and for new emancipatory projects in this new situation, in which the new forms of production, exchange and control are commodifying labour force and forms of life themselves and in that way discrediting the possibility of the common good?

  • Issue Year: 2010
  • Issue No: 34
  • Page Range: 21-32
  • Page Count: 12
  • Language: Bulgarian