The analysis of power that Merleau-Ponty proposes in his confrontation with Marxism and Bolshevism tries to think through the following paradox. The phenomenon of power is composed of two sub-phenomena. Firstly, the power of a political entity (Prince, State, Party, etc.) is recognized if it is perceived as given (moment of recognition). Secondly, the power of that entity depends on the said recognition (moment of institution). The first moment notices the given, while the other contests it. This article aims to elucidate, firstly, to what extent power must be understood as the union of recognition and institution, and secondly, to what extent that unity must be understood as a matrix productive of history. The first question will be resolved by appealing to the notion of the perceptual faith, which is the ontological version of such a unity; and the second, by appealing to the political notion of representation inherited from Machiavelli and developed in the critical analyses of the theme of the representation of the proletariat by the Party. The result is a reconfiguration of the relations between discourses of truth (in this case, ontology) and political action. It is a reconfiguration of the notion of power and a hypothesis that wants to account for the unity of Merleau-Ponty’s “theoretical” and “political” efforts.

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