Comparing Connolly And Mouffe's Dualist Conception Of Political Identity

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Both Connolly and Mouffe consider their theories to be anti-universal. Mouffe’s dualist conception of political identities, sees identities emerging from the political – a name for the dimension of antagonism lurking beneath the formation of identities. By its nature, the political will assume many shapes and sizes to produce the identities. The political illustrates the pluralistic nature of politics and properly equips us to handle the movements that arise from it. The political is a stage upon which the us/them dynamic acts out its antagonism, forming a new synthesis. The political is important to Mouffe, because it breaks away from the liberal tendency of identifying a universal principle to justify their claims. Robert Talisse named this …show more content…
He, instead, prefers an indispensability and fragility of ethics – which acknowledges the inadequacies of universal foundations and inspires us to engage within the POB through an ethos of generosity. The idea being, if you reject dogmatic schemas of ethics, then you’re open to ethical maturation. This idea is understandable, considering the restrictive nature of universals and their effect on an individual’s outlook. Constanze Beierlein of the Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences, in Germany, states: “Several studies demonstrate that individual value priorities, particularly universalism and conservation, are strongly associated with negative attitudes” (C. Beierlein et al. 69). Admittingly, I agree there aren’t any dogmatic schemas of ethics to be universally discovered, but I stress that Connolly fails to move away from his own universals. Namely, the ethos of generosity – which we will later explore in more detail – is a fancy word for ‘open-mindedness’ that’s supposed to fuel change in the field of politics. This change, however, comes from the grand will to power, or POB. And like Mouffe’s inextricable dimension of the political, Connolly’s dialectical system of POB is a universal foundation. To drive this point home, I’d like to juxtapose the structure of Mouffe and Connolly’s theories to Christianity’s. I choose Christianity, because it’s widely known for its dogmatic, universal, religious, precepts that are often, “considered regressive or associated with fundamentalism” (Ewing). This comparison directly undermines the aspects both theorists strive to

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