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Fugitive DemocracyAnd Other Essays$
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Sheldon S. Wolin and Nicholas Xenos

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780691133645

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691133645.001.0001

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Postmodern Politics and the Absence of Myth

Postmodern Politics and the Absence of Myth

(p.316) Chapter 16 Postmodern Politics and the Absence of Myth
Fugitive Democracy

Sheldon S. Wolin

, Nicholas Xenos
Princeton University Press

This chapter discusses how the absence of myth is what helps to define the politics of the modern and the postmodern world. Myth was once preeminently discourse about power, about powers immanent and transcendent, and man's relationship to them. In the myths of the Old Testament, the Epic of Gilgamesh, and Hesiod's Theogony we have tales of power centering around the theme of chaos held at bay or overcome, of powers in conflict or rebellion. It was the equivalent of an introductory text to the subject of power. Its special feature was not its poetry but its realism. It is exactly that quality that tends to be obscured by modern social science when it replaces myth not by “realism” but by fiction.

Keywords:   political theory, myth, power, modern society, fiction

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