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The Post-Political and Its DiscontentsSpaces of Depoliticization, Spectres of Radical Politics$
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Japhy Wilson and Erik Swyngedouw

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780748682973

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748682973.001.0001

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Occupation and the Return of Communism

(p.261) 13 AfterPost-Politics
The Post-Political and Its Discontents

Jodi Dean

Edinburgh University Press

During 2011, popular movements in Greece, Spain, and the United States included claims that the movements were “post-political.” Neither left nor right, some activists urged, the massing of thousands in public squares was a rejection of politics and a move to something else. This chapter will consider the oddness of a politics claiming not to be political, elaborating on the contexts in which the claims are raised, as well as the political conflicts the label of “post-political” obscures. I argue that in popular movements of occupation the claim to be post-political operates in multiple registers: a rejection of parliamentarianism, an attempt to constitute a new political space, and as a mechanism of inclusion and exclusion. Yet cutting through all these registers is a more profound division that the language of post-politics attempts to repress or displace – class conflict. Thus, I argue that the very attempt to displace class via an emphasis on post-politics is helping to usher in the contemporary return of communism.

Keywords:   Post-politics, Deliberative democracy, Class, Communism, Occupy

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