chapter  8
16 Pages

Who Is the Subject of the Rights of Man?

ByJacques Rancière

As we know, the question raised by my title took on a new cogency during the last ten years of the 20th century. The Rights of Man or Human Rights had just been rejuvenated in the 1970s and 1980s by the dissident movements in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe — a rejuvenation that was all the more signifi cant as the ‘formalism’ of those rights had been one of the fi rst targets of the young Marx, so that the collapse of the Soviet Empire could appear as their revenge. After this collapse, they would appear as the charter of the irresistible movement leading to a peaceful posthistorical world where global democracy would match the global market of liberal economy.