On the achievement of democracy and the ‘impartial’ state.
We speak to sociologist Dylan Riley about his new book Microverses, a series of aphorisms on social theory and politics.
The rational-legal state seems to be under threat by politicians who have no sense of the division between public and private – patrimonialists like Donald Trump, or Silvio Berlusconi. What are we to make of this attack on the notion of office?
Anti-corruption politics is often the response, but what happens when the left positions itself as the defender of the ‘impartial’ bourgeois state – rather than its overthrower? And was democratic capitalism the achievement of a militant working class – or a concession made after the working class had already been disciplined by fascism and war?
The second half of the interview, and our After-Party, is available at patreon.com/bungacast
Microverses: Observations from a Shattered Present, Dylan Riley, Verso Books
Seven Theses on American Politics, Dylan Riley & Robert Brenner, NLR
Inflection Point (podcast), Dylan Riley & Robert Brenner, UC Berkley
Safe Substitutes for Posting: review of Microverses, Harold Florida, Damage