Citoyen

by Arran James

To characterise the phenomena of our times we must, first of all, call into question the concept of crisis. One speaks of a crisis of society, a crisis of democracy, and so on. It is a way of blaming the current situation on the victims. Now, this situation is not the result of a sickness of civilisation but of the violence with which the masters of the world direct their offensive against the peoples. The great fault of the citizens continues to be that of always: that of allowing oneself to be dispossessed of one’s power. Now, power of th citizens is, above all, the power for them to act for themselves, to constitute themselves into an autonomous force. Citizenship is not a prerogative linked to the fact of being registered as an inhabitant and voter in a countryl it is, above all, an exercise that cannot be delegated. As such, it is necessary to oppose clearly this exercise of citizen action against the moralising discourses that can be heard nearly everywhere about the responsibility of the citizens in the crisis of democracy: these discourses deplore the lack of interest by citizens in public life and they blame it on the individualist drift of consumer individuals. These supposed calls for citizen responsibility only have, in fact, one effect: to blame the citizens in order to capture them more easily within the institutional game that only consists of selecting, between members of the ruling class, those they would prefer to allow ro dispossess them of their power to act.

-Jacques Ranciere

There exists an international citizenship that has its rights and its duties, and that obliges one to speak out against every abuse of power, whoever its author, whoever its victims. After all, we are all members of the community of the governed, and thereby obliged to show mutual solidarity.

-Michel Foucault

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