Politics & the Poor

Thomas’ post came about right as I was digging back into Jacques Rancière for a paper I’m writing about aesthetics and theology. Without preface or commentary, I thought I’d throw out a quote:

“The struggle between the rich and the poor is not social reality, which politics then has to deal with.  It is the actual institution of politics itself.  There is politics when there is a part of those who have no part, a part or party of the poor.  Politics does not happen just because the poor oppose the rich.  It is the other way around: politics (that is, the interruption of the simple effects of domination by the rich) causes the poor to exist as an entity.. . . Politics exists when the natural order of domination is interrupted by the institution of a part of those who have no part.  This institution is the whole of politics as a specific form of connection.  It defines the common of the commonality as a political community, in other words, as divided, as based on a wrong that escapes the arithmetic of exchange and reparation.  Beyond this set-up there is no politics.  There is only the order of domination or the disorder of revolt.”  (Jacques Rancière, Disagreement, 11-12)