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Dancing Jacobins$
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Rafael Sánchez

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780823263653

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823263653.001.0001

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Scenes of the Imaginary, II

Scenes of the Imaginary, II

Bolívar Superstar

Chapter:
(p.251) Chapter 8 Scenes of the Imaginary, II
Source:
Dancing Jacobins
Author(s):

Rafael Sánchez

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823263653.003.0011

This chapter examines the other alternative imaginary cum governmental pole or scene, i.e., “Bolívar Superstar” or “Bolívar Unico,” composing Venezuela’s postcolonial governmentality. Originally codified by The Liberator himself in order to interpellate the coloured majorities in the wake of the collapse of the First Republic, in this scene “Bolívar” returns as the embodiment of uncompromising equality or Great Legislator figure in order to re-totalize the nation rent by manifold inequalities, heterogeneities, dislocations and antagonisms. As it is argued in this chapter, if in Venezuela, the figure of ‘Bolívar’ has been enshrined in the nation’s political imaginary as the Great Legislator that, during crises, cyclically returns to the political foreground from the chiaroscuro background where, during “normal times” it is kept by the state, this is because of how recurrently Venezuela’s republicanism breaks down, shedding all appearances of equality amidst an explosive proliferation of particularism and differences. It is at these junctures that ‘Bolivar’ returns as an image of homogeneity and wholeness. A vertical prosthesis of the ‘general will,’ this hyper monumentalized Bolívar figure ultimately, however, also tumbles down, incapable of managing the nation’s intractable predicament.

Keywords:   “Bolívar”, equality, Great Legislator, Rosseau, totality/totalization, vertical and horizontal prostheses

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