By Cornelius Castoriadis
This posthumous number of interviews and coffee papers given by way of Castoriadis among 1974 and 1997 is a full of life, direct advent to the considering a author who by no means deserted his substantially severe stance. It presents a transparent, convenient rsum of his political principles, just before their occasions and profoundly suitable to brand new world.For this political philosopher and longtime militant (co-founder with Claude Lefort of the innovative crew Socialisme ou Barbarie), economist, psychoanalyst, and thinker, unending interrogations-how to appreciate the area and lifestyles in society-were intertwined together with his personal lifestyles and combats.An very important bankruptcy discusses the background of Socialisme ou Barbarie(1949-1967); in it, Castoriadis offers the perspectives he defended, in that crew, on a couple of topics: a critique of Marxism and of the Soviet Union, the bureaucratization of society and of the staff' move, and the primacy of person and collective autonomy. one other bankruptcy provides the idea that, vital to his considering, of imaginary significationsas what make a society cohere.Castoriadis consistently returns to the query of democracy because the never-finished, planned production by means of the folks of societal associations, studying its earlier and its destiny within the Western global. He scathingly criticizes representativedemocracy and develops a notion of direct democracy extending to all spheres of social lifestyles. He wonders in regards to the probabilities of attaining freedom and autonomy-those necessities of actual democracy-in a global of never-ending, meaningless accumulation of fabric items, the place the mechanisms for governing society have disintegrated, the connection with nature is lowered to at least one of damaging domination, and, exceptionally, the inhabitants has withdrawn from the general public sphere: a global ruled via spare time activities and lobbies-a society adrift.
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Additional info for A Society Adrift: Interviews and Debates, 1974-1997
On the theoretical level, there is a Marxist metaphysics, a theory of history and an economic theory, all closely tied together. All three are untenable. Since Marxists view their economic theory as the cornerstone of the construction, let’s begin with that. What is economic theory for Marx? What can it say? How far can it go? Has it any limits? We know that the mature Marx’s systematic theoretical elaboration, as opposed to the spirit of some sentences written when he was young, aims at establishing a sovereign, boundless theory deﬁning the laws of the capitalist economy and demonstrating that the functioning of the latter leads inevitably to its breakdown and to a new society.
The Break with Marxism Why is a break with Marxism necessary, in your opinion? How is it tied to your analysis of the situation of the working-class movement? That question can be broached on two levels: the theoretical content of Marxism and the way it deﬁnes the problem of theory, and the historical fate of Marxism. On the theoretical level, there is a Marxist metaphysics, a theory of history and an economic theory, all closely tied together. All three are untenable. Since Marxists view their economic theory as the cornerstone of the construction, let’s begin with that.
The ideas circulated, no doubt, but the public behaved like a passive consumer of ideas. Second, there was an increasingly haunting problem as to the group’s membership: some very young, very lively people joined, but at the same time they weren’t able to function with the older members (or vice versa; it comes to the same thing). My interpretation is that those people, drawn in by personal motivations of course, like Why I Am No Longer a Marxist 27 us all, were constantly expressing them in the way they behaved in the group, and given the situation the group didn’t provide any ground on which those original motivations could be transformed into something else.
A Society Adrift: Interviews and Debates, 1974-1997 by Cornelius Castoriadis