I finish up this series on Chantal Mouffe’s The Return of the Political with a discussion of her proposal for an “associational socialism.” Inspired by Italian socialist Noberto Bobbio’s attempt to combine elements of liberalism, democracy and socialism, Mouffe shows how his ideas fit with her notion of finding politics again through the interplay and competition of shifting identities and associations. Associational socialism involves people at the level of the workplace, but also in various movements and groups that they identify with. But exactly how would this idea work, and even more importantly, how would a society get from neoliberalism to associational socialism while avoiding various dangers, including the tendency to seek cultural homogeneity and/or endanger the liberty of people as individuals?
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