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By Miguel Abensour

Within the "Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right,” the younger Marx elliptically alludes to a "true democracy" whose creation could move hand in hand with the disappearance of the kingdom. Miguel Abensour’s rigorous interpretation of this seminal textual content finds an “unknown Marx” who undermines the identity of democracy with the nation and defends a traditionally occluded kind of politics.

True democracy doesn't entail the political and monetary energy of the country, however it doesn't dream of a post-political society both. to the contrary, the conflict of democracy is waged by way of a demos that invents a public sphere of everlasting struggles, a politics that counters political forms and illustration. Democracy is "won" through a humans forewarned that any dissolution of the political realm in its independence, any subordination to the country, is tantamount to annihilating the location for gaining and regaining a surely human existence.

In this explicitly heterodox studying of Marx, Miguel Abensour proposes a conception of "insurgent" democracy that makes political liberty synonymous with a residing critique of domination.

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In his Democracy in America ( 1 8 3 5 ) , Tocqueville interprets the democratic revolution as a " providential fact" that " each day escapes from human power. " 1 His desire for clear-headedness notwithstand­ ing, Tocqueville confesses that he feels "a sort of religious terror" at the sight of this " i rresistible revolution . 4 From now on, according to Tocqueville, the alternative is not between an aristocratic or a democratic society but between a democracy submitted to order and morality, or a " disorderly" and " depraved " democracy " a bandoned to its frenzied fury.

Fo r instance, is this not what Marx meant in regard to the Paris Commune with the mysterious wording "communal constitution " ? This affirmation of a non-statist political community leads t o a two-fold struggle . If it i s obvious that it struggles against the iden­ tification of politics with the State to which Hegelianism proceeds which reduces all political possi bilities to the State; it nevertheless also rejects a "vulgar" anarchism, that of Martin Buber in Utopie et Socialisme, for instance, which, content wi th inverting Hegel by playi ng the social against the political, concludes that the renaissance of the social fabric, the advent of the social, must immediately lead to the end, to the disappearance of the political assimilated to State domination.

6 Thus the democratic revolution, far from carrying on in a permanent revolutionary movement, is actually destined to sap the revolutionary passions by replacing subversive passions with new passions oriented more toward preserving the status quo. For Dr Marx, a young German philosopher then struggling to import the French political model to Germany, democracy appears, in the language of the 1 84 3 manuscript on Hegel's philosophy of right, as the " enigma of all the constitutions solved . " In truth, however, this enigma is not so much solved as redou bled, since once Marx turns his attention to his French contemporaries he notes the emergence of a new enigma in their writings.

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