This chapter opens with a debate taking place in Caracas in 1865 concerning the remodelling of Plaza Bolívar, the capital city’s main public square, that raises some of the main questions that will be addressed in the rest of the book. At stake in the debate was how to best physically remodel the site so as to best bring its appearance in line with the imaginary of the republic. In what amounts to a form of genealogical investigation the chapter then backtracks to the Venezuelan colonial order as a foil against which, in subsequent chapters, Venezuela’s postcolonial ‘monumental governmentality’ may be apprehended in its intrinsic modernity. As the rest of the book clarifies, answering the questions raised at the beginning of this chapter is contingent on the ability to recognize, beyond all the continuities that may indeed be discerned between colonial and postcolonial orders, the radical modernity of the postcolonial condition. The contrast, along Lefortian lines, between the empty centre of democracy and the colonial order’s filled centre of power, occupied by the figure of the Spanish Monarch, is pivotal to this chapter.
Fordham Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.