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A Society Adrift: Interviews and Debates, 1974-1997

by Cornelius Castoriadis

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311658,778 (3.75)1
This posthumous collection of interviews and occasional papers given by Castoriadis between 1974 and 1997 is a lively, direct introduction to the thinking of a writer who never abandoned his radically critical stance. It provides a clear, handy résumé of his political ideas, in advance of their times and profoundly relevant to today's world. For this political thinker and longtime militant (co-founder with Claude Lefort of the revolutionary group "Socialisme ou Barbarie"), economist, psychoanalyst, and philosopher, two endless interrogations--how to understand the world and life in society--were intertwined with his own life and combats. An important chapter discusses the history of "Socialisme ou Barbarie" (1949--1967); in it, Castoriadis presents the views he defended, in that group, on a number of subjects: a critique of Marxism and of the Soviet Union, the bureaucratization of society and of the workers' movement, and the primacy of individual and collective autonomy. Another chapter presents the concept, central to his thinking, of "imaginary significations" as what make a society "cohere." Castoriadis constantly returns to the question of democracy as the never-finished, deliberate creation by the people of societal institutions, analyzing its past and its future in the Western world. He scathingly criticizes "representative" democracy and develops a conception of direct democracy extending to all spheres of social life. He wonders about the chances of achieving freedom and autonomy--those requisites of true democracy--in a world of endless, meaningless accumulation of material goods, where the mechanisms for governing society have disintegrated, the relationship with nature is reduced to one of destructive domination, and, above all, the population has withdrawn from the public sphere: a world dominated by hobbies and lobbies--"a society adrift."… (more)
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Este libro reúne las entrevistas y los debates en los que entre 1974 y 1997 participó Cornelius Castoriadis, el polifacético pensador que fue a la vez político, economista, psicoanalista y filósofo.
Defensor de lo de que denominó un proyecto de autonomía en lo individual y en lo social, los temas interminables de su obra -el de la verdad y el de la vida en sociedad- se encuentran en este volumen. Luego de entrevistas en las que se trazan las largas etapas de su carrera, en particular la experiencia de socialismo o barbarie, castoriadis regresa incansablemente sobre la cuestión de la democracia -su carácter inacabado, su pasado y su futuro y también sobre lo que constituye el núcleo de su pensamiento desde la institución imaginaria de la sociedad: el análisis de la naturaleza de esas significaciones imaginarias que permiten la cohesión de las sociedades. A lo largo de la obra advertimos la presidencia recurrente de una interrogación: las posibilidades de la libertad y del proyecto de autonomía en un mundo caracterizado por la destrucción de significaciones, la descomposición de los mecanismos de dirección, la retirada de la población de la esfera política -en una sociedad de hobbies y lobbies: una sociedad a la deriva.
  ckepfer | Apr 11, 2021 |
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This posthumous collection of interviews and occasional papers given by Castoriadis between 1974 and 1997 is a lively, direct introduction to the thinking of a writer who never abandoned his radically critical stance. It provides a clear, handy résumé of his political ideas, in advance of their times and profoundly relevant to today's world. For this political thinker and longtime militant (co-founder with Claude Lefort of the revolutionary group "Socialisme ou Barbarie"), economist, psychoanalyst, and philosopher, two endless interrogations--how to understand the world and life in society--were intertwined with his own life and combats. An important chapter discusses the history of "Socialisme ou Barbarie" (1949--1967); in it, Castoriadis presents the views he defended, in that group, on a number of subjects: a critique of Marxism and of the Soviet Union, the bureaucratization of society and of the workers' movement, and the primacy of individual and collective autonomy. Another chapter presents the concept, central to his thinking, of "imaginary significations" as what make a society "cohere." Castoriadis constantly returns to the question of democracy as the never-finished, deliberate creation by the people of societal institutions, analyzing its past and its future in the Western world. He scathingly criticizes "representative" democracy and develops a conception of direct democracy extending to all spheres of social life. He wonders about the chances of achieving freedom and autonomy--those requisites of true democracy--in a world of endless, meaningless accumulation of material goods, where the mechanisms for governing society have disintegrated, the relationship with nature is reduced to one of destructive domination, and, above all, the population has withdrawn from the public sphere: a world dominated by hobbies and lobbies--"a society adrift."

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