Politocratic communitarianism, polyarchy and juridicalpluralist reflections on political community

  • Andries Raath University of the Free State, South Africa
Keywords: Politocracy, Communitarianism, Polyarchy, Juridical pluralist, Political community

Abstract

Die afgelope tyd het politokratiese kommunitarisme in Afrikaanse politieke literatuur verskyn. Hierdie artikel ondersoek die belangrikste denklyne van politokratiese kommunitarisme: die ontkenning van die staat as ’n politieke en regsentiteit; daarteenoor die nastrewing van die utopiese ideal van klein politieke entiteite in die vorm van die antieke Griekse polis. Politokrasie beoog die emansipasie van polistipe samelewingsentiteite bevry van die staat ten einde betekenisvolle politieke lewe moontlik te maak. Politokrasie deel die ideaal van politieke pluralisme met poliargie. Soortgelyk aan Robert Dahl se visie van ’n pluraliteit van sosiale instellings wat funksioneer as ‘tussengangers’ tusen die staat en die onderdane, maak politokrasie voorsiening vir klein samelewings-entiteite gebaseer op Aristoteles se meta-etiese konsepsie van gemeenskap. ’n Vergelyking met poliargie toon die noodsaak vir ’n juridies-pluralistiese model ter rehabilitering van die idee van politieke gemeenskap. Juridiese pluralisme onderskei die veelvuldige regsbelange binne materiele regsfere van sosiale samelewingsvorme sowel as die kompetensies van die instellings en strukture om sodanige belange te behartig. Voorts open dit perspektiewe ter transendering van die dilemma van staatsoewereiniteit versus atomistiese individualisme op politieke terrein.

In recent years politocratic communitarianism has made its debut in Afrikaans political literature. This essay investigates the main thrust of politocracy: the debunking of the state as a political and legal entity and efforts to give expression to the utopian ideal of reviving small political entities in the form of the ancient Greek polis. The aim of politocracy is to accomplish the emancipation of polis-like habitative communities from Leviathan (the state) and “to lay the mortal god to rest with joy and thereafter enter into a meaningful political life”. Politocracy shares the idea of political pluralism with polyarchy. Similar to Robert Dahl’s vision of a plurality of social institutions functioning as intermediaries between the state and the subjects, politocracy envisages small habitative communities (Gemeinschaften) on the basis of Aristotle’s meta-ethical conception of community. A brief comparison with polyarchy brings to light the need for a juridical-pluralist model for  rehabilitating the idea of political community. Juridical pluralism distinguishes the plurality of legal interests within the material juridical spheres of social life-formations plus the competences of the institutions or structures to administer these interests. Furthermore it opens perspectives for transcending the dilemma of state sovereignty versus atomistic individualism in political life.

Published
2016-12-16
How to Cite
Raath, A. (2016). Politocratic communitarianism, polyarchy and juridicalpluralist reflections on political community. Tydskrif Vir Christelike Wetenskap | Journal for Christian Scholarship, 52(4), 209-238. Retrieved from http://pubs.ufs.ac.za/index.php/tcw/article/view/410
Section
Artikels | Articles

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