By Étienne Balibar, James Ingram
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Additional info for Equaliberty: Political Essays (a John Hope Franklin Center Book)
Indeed, no time was lost in reproaching it for this, and this was what very quickly led to the dissociation, in one way or another, of man and citizen, or the rights of man and the rights of the citizen, while we find here the confirmation of their coincidence in the revolutionary moment, from which the act of enunciation (the Declaration) is inseparable. Not only does the Declaration not install any "human nature" before society and political order as an underlying foundation or external guarantee; it integrally identifies the rights of man with political rights and, in this way, shortcircuits theories of human nature as weIl as those of theological supernature, identifying man, individual or collective, with a member ofpolitical society.
These formulations do more than compensate for the absence of equality in the enumeration of Article 2; they reverse its meaning, making equality the principle or right that efTectively ties aIl the others together. 44 CHAPTER 1 The treatment of equality in the Declaration is precisely the site of the strongest and most precise identification of man and citizen. Indeed, no time was lost in reproaching it for this, and this was what very quickly led to the dissociation, in one way or another, of man and citizen, or the rights of man and the rights of the citizen, while we find here the confirmation of their coincidence in the revolutionary moment, from which the act of enunciation (the Declaration) is inseparable.
On the contrary, with the TIlermidorian Declaration of 1795, centered on the untouchable character of property and the reciprocity of rights and duties, a determinate social foundation is substituted for the natural, universal foundation of citizenship: there is a rupture, even a reversaI. This of course expresses counterrevolutionary reaction to the development of social conflicts, and especially to the way the popular, nonbourgeois elements of the Revolution continually used the universalism of the rights of man politically, against the practical restrictions placed on them by their own authors-the distinction between active and passive citizenship on a censitary basis, and the exclusion of de facto equality from the domain of natural rights.