ABSTRACT

The year 1968 is often said to have changed our sense of what politics is. From the slow boring of hard plankwood that Max Weber was keen on likening it to, suddenly, for hundreds of thousands of young demonstrators in Paris and countless other cities of the west, politics had come to signify a reappropriation of the ability to shape one’s life against the strictures of perceived reality: ‘Be realistic: ask for the impossible’ was another popular slogan. During the four decades that have elapsed since that moment, politics has by and large been more on the side of the slow boring than on that of a tidal wave of the imagination, except perhaps when the Berlin Wall fell in November 1989. In any event, although politics is indeed a recurrent object of our discourse, rarely do we pause to define it.