Equality of intelligence, and the social order come together in my section of the chapter, The
Society of Contempt. Ranciere focuses on the idea of a reasonable man, and of how they act in the forced social order. The process of society , the human creation of organization, can be idealized similarily to Thomas Hobbes’ idea of the nation state. But in Ranciere’s idea of the pre-state, instead of there being uncivilized people out for their own interests, there are reasonable people who are all equally intelligent. Society, in Ranciere’s view, is an oppressive regime consisting of people who have placed the order of society over their freedom as bearers of reason and are obedient to the ideas and rules of the social order as they will benefit from being citizens with rights and order. To Ranciere the citizen is an inferior version of a man who is a person possessing of freedom from the sentiment of the inequality of intelligence (86) meaning a reasonable man knows that everyone is born with equal intelligence and that society is something that cannot be rationalized but must be obeyed.
1. Ranciere claims that the battlefield is the true portrait of our society just like how the reasonable man must battle with inner conflicting reason and the reality of an oppressive social order.
- can you use any real life institutions as an example of this statement?
2. What do you think Ranciere means when he says social inequality starts with an acknowledgment of equality of intelligence?