Showing all posts tagged "Shunyata"
Shunyata & Representive Democracy: Attempting to bridge the emptiness in Democracy through philosophical considerations of Claude Lefort and Nagarjuna
There is an imminent but unsaid belief of a higher power in IR, as well as that of the state from a Hobbesian perspective. Shunyata and Lefortian democracy take this point, but turn it into a concept of 'all' / 'the people' and 'empty space'.
The higher power doesn't exist in IR. Similarly, it doesn't exists in a Lefortian democracy, as the space is empty. This is because power, the rule of making changes by one person or an institution, government or party or entity is ever changing. Looking past this anomaly, the rulers are the ones who seek power through representation. This works in such a way that a majority, or a pluralistic representation keeps power shifting continually as per the majority will of the people, regardless of their reasons for voting for a particular entity; as seen in a true representative democracy in India and Indonesia. The opposite is true in countries like Japan and Singapore, where the structure of its democratic system keeps the power with the powerful and not with the people, hence, the space is not empty.
Shunyata also states the same. There is no higher power, metaphysics, the origin of our world, our purpose, the question of God (higher power); the sum of our genetic make-up shifts as we grow, as we experience, as we make of ideas spread to us through conditioning and our path towards success (or conditioned being). Thus, coming to a quick conclusion that we exist and do not exist at the same time. The similar is seen in an representative democracy, where the genetic identity of a country and that of its experience and conditioning makes power a continually changing anomaly.
The result of a Lefortian democracy in a flux of 'is' and 'is not', allowing for change to work continually and accepting dissent into itself as it allows consent too. There is no fixed higher power, no identity or idea that can be representative of the people for all eternity (absolutism). Shunyata and Lefortian democracy are not permanent ideologies because of its empty & dis-continual power base; and power held by 'the people' through indirect methods of political representation.
There is no need of a higher power. Anarchy and a zero sum game is not a necessary construct. There is though, an innate need to understand and question Lefort's democratic concept of an empty space; that is not clearly defined, but filled with the indirect will of 'the people'. Any structure that comes into place which is seen as a 'absolute' will break 'democracy', development and 'the will of the majority'. Majoritarian Representation does not mean power to one entity as coalition representation gives voice to the smallest of identities, or to those without one. This theory is not 'perfection' or the best alternative based on an ideology or a belief, but do think that Lefortian democracy has the characteristic to change 'on the basis of...' and not any single and particular belief, makes it a flexible option to consider, depending on the situation and need.
Regardless of the type of regional power, i.e., rural, state, country, regional or international, the need for an empty space which represents the inhabitants to the maximum it can, has to be taken into consideration by the 'realists' (and others) in IR. Whether the entity is the UN, or the P-5, the bridge towards development will never stand for all eternity, thus allowing theoretically (and hopefully practically), to accept an democratic empty space which also is the collective will of 'the people' 'on the basis of...'.
Posted on March 26th, 2016