Chapter

Promising and Civil Disobedience

J. M. Bernstein

in Thinking in Dark Times

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print December 2009 | ISBN: 9780823230754
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823235858 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fso/9780823230754.003.0011
Promising and Civil Disobedience

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This chapter argues that civil disobedience reveals that the truth of revolutionary founding is always a re-founding. If action is essentially beginning, and beginning is best exemplified by revolutionary founding, and founding finally is completed in the re-founding that is civil disobedience, then civil disobedience is the fulfilment of Arendt's political doctrine. Civil disobedience as refounding is renewing; it is the return of the new in its double conditionality: always dependent on the radical past it exceeds and the repressive present it repudiates; because so conditioned, it reveals the political as always failing (ready to be lost, again).

Keywords: Hannah Arendt; democracy; civil disobedience

Chapter.  6704 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social and Political Philosophy

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