Polycracy as an A-system of Rule? Displacements and Replacements of the Political in an Unbounded Dictatorship


  • Anthony Court University of South Africa, College of Graduate Studies, School of Interdisciplinary Research & Graduate Studies
  • Ulrike Kistner University of Pretoria, South Africa, Department of Philosophy




polycracy, National Socialist totalitarianism, Nazi regime, party–state relationship, occupying regime, Weimar Republic, quantitatively total state


The concept of polycracy is beset by a number of paradoxes: it designates a form of political rule in the absence of such rule. In such circumstances, a multiplicity of social formations, economic and financial agencies and operational functions install themselves anomically at local level and extend independently of and beyond policy and legislation. In doing so, they split and supplant frameworks of the state and of political and societal institutions. This article sets out to trace the lineages of the concept of polycracy and its instantiations in a system of rule that involves a process of political de-structuring. More specifically, the question explored here is what takes place in the destroyed political space and what takes its place in the unbounded state of the Nazi dictatorship.




How to Cite

Court, Anthony, and Ulrike Kistner. 2019. “Polycracy As an A-System of Rule? Displacements and Replacements of the Political in an Unbounded Dictatorship”. Politeia 38 (1):20 pages. https://doi.org/10.25159/0256-8845/4756.



Received 2018-08-31
Accepted 2018-11-28
Published 2019-01-25