Rowman & Littlefield Publishers / Rowman & Littlefield International
Trim: 6⅜ x 9¼
978-1-78661-525-1 • Hardback • February 2020 • $126.00 • (£97.00)
978-1-5381-4817-4 • Paperback • March 2022 • $36.00 • (£28.00)
978-1-78661-526-8 • eBook • February 2020 • $34.00 • (£26.00)
Larry Alan Busk received his doctorate from the University of Oregon and currently teaches philosophy at California State University, Stanislaus. His articles have appeared in many journals, including Philosophy Today, Radical Philosophy Review, and Constellations.
Chapter 1: The Categorical Imperative of Democracy
Chapter 2: Arendt’s Island of Freedom
Chapter 3: Radical Democracy at its Limits: Rancière, Mouffe, and Laclau
Chapter 4: From False Democracy to False Demos: Adorno, Marcuse, and Climate Skepticism
Chapter 5: What is Elitism?
A bold intervention that questions the widespread assumption among critical theorists that democracy is an end in itself. This assumption, Busk contends, leaves us without the resources that we need to confront a demos that is increasingly xenophobic, right-wing, and authoritarian in character. In this situation, what we need is not more democracy but rather a critique of the demos itself. For the latter, Busk turns to the theory of ideology developed in the work of Adorno and Marcuse. This book combines an insightful and provocative analysis of the limits and ambivalences of contemporary democratic theory with a compelling defense of the ongoing relevance of the early Frankfurt School.
— Amy Allen, Liberal Arts Professor of Philosophy and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, The Pennsylvania State University, USA
In his bracing and timely new book, Larry Busk shows why the democratic turn among left-leaning theorists leaves them mute in the face of post-truth politics. Astutely tracing a fundamental contradiction in the writings of Arendt, Rancière, Mouffe, and Laclau, Busk proposes instead a model of ideology critique derived from Adorno and Marcuse. Without such a critique, he argues, emancipatory theory will neither understand nor adequately address the politics of climate change denial, authoritarian populism, and anti-immigrant xenophobia. His book convincingly demonstrates the acute insights and ongoing relevance of the early Frankfurt School.
— Lambert Zuidervaart, Professor of Philosophy, University of Toronto, Canada