Recurring of Enlightened Dark Ages: Rethinking the Discourse of Democracy through the Nietzschean Framework of the Death of God

    • Cover Venice
    • Presentation speakers
      • Junfu Wong, University of Cambridge, UK


    Nietzsche (1886) accentuated the total collapse of the absolute truth through exclaiming the death of god. Since then, the position of god is suspended, the absolute truth of believing an unquestionable god becomes something of the benighted past, thereby should be removed or rejected. But such a reformist attempt is dangerous as the removal of religious beliefs of god actually causes a total forfeiture of beliefs that served as the engine for leading a purposive life. Postmodernism somehow fills this empty field by conversely laying an excessive amount of truths down to us, suggesting that all beliefs are righteous through taking a relativist perspective. Caputo (2013) recognized postmodern thought as a style that advises flexibility that reads all opinions as competing truths, depending solely upon your position. It thus becomes a continued philosophical quest of asking if there is still a possible standard of truth exists at the core of beliefs of people during the postmodern era. Serving as an attempt to answer this question, this paper aspires to argue that democracy gradually becomes an alienated kind of religious belief that serves as the absolute truth of the postmodern age for those political protesters. By believing that they are fighting for democracy, they are endorsed by a sense of dogmatic legitimacy to carry out their acts that they rendered as praiseworthy, by reframing them rhetorically as the search of freedom. Because of this, for the devoted believer of democracy, any challenges towards it are unacceptable as they are considered promptly as a transgression of the basic right of peoples. Following these premises, this paper aims at rethinking the discourse of democracy through contextualizing it under the prism of the death of god. It argues that democracy actually takes up the former position of the theist god, becoming a sophistic kind of truth that forms the belief of postmodernism.