“Foreword” to Martin Breaugh, THE PLEBEIAN EXPERIENCE. A DISCONTINUOUS HISTORY OF POLITICAL FREEDOM
December 4th, 2013
Series Editor’s Foreword (pp. xi-xiv) to Martin Breaugh, The Plebeian Experience. A Discontinuous History of Political Freedom (Columbia University Press “Studies in Political Thought/Political History”). Breaugh’s provocative study begins with the historical examples of the Roman republic, the Ciompi in Florence, the Carnival in Romans, and the Mansaniello in Naples. It turns then to the “philosophical genesis ” of what he calls the “plebeian principle” from Marchiavelli through Rancière. The study then turns to the French revolution, the English Jacobins and the Paris Commune. The third part of the book tries briefly, in 40 suggestive pages, to draw some contemporary conclusions concerning what Breaugh calls the “social bond of fraternity” (from the Sans-Culottes), the “political bond of plurality” (from the English Jacobins) and the “political bond of association association” (from the Commune).
The editorial Foreword puts this study also in the context of the CUP “Studies in Political Thought/Political History” edited by Dick Howard.