Download A Society Adrift: Interviews and Debates, 1974-1997 by Cornelius Castoriadis PDF

By Cornelius Castoriadis

This posthumous selection of interviews and coffee papers given through Castoriadis among 1974 and 1997 is a full of life, direct creation to the contemplating a author who by no means deserted his noticeably serious stance. It offers a transparent, convenient rsum of his political rules, just before their instances and profoundly correct to ultra-modern world.For this political philosopher and longtime militant (co-founder with Claude Lefort of the progressive crew Socialisme ou Barbarie), economist, psychoanalyst, and thinker, unending interrogations-how to appreciate the area and lifestyles in society-were intertwined along with his personal lifestyles and combats.An very important bankruptcy discusses the historical past of Socialisme ou Barbarie(1949-1967); in it, Castoriadis provides the perspectives he defended, in that team, on a couple of matters: a critique of Marxism and of the Soviet Union, the bureaucratization of society and of the staff' stream, and the primacy of person and collective autonomy. one other bankruptcy provides the idea that, primary to his considering, of imaginary significationsas what make a society cohere.Castoriadis always returns to the query of democracy because the never-finished, planned construction by way of the folks of societal associations, studying its previous 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 concerning the probabilities of reaching freedom and autonomy-those specifications of real democracy-in an international of never-ending, meaningless accumulation of fabric items, the place the mechanisms for governing society have disintegrated, the connection with nature is lowered to 1 of damaging domination, and, exceptionally, the inhabitants has withdrawn from the general public sphere: an international ruled by way of spare time activities and lobbies-a society adrift.

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Extra info for A Society Adrift: Interviews and Debates, 1974-1997

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At a given point, capitalists themselves realized that an ongoing rise in the worker’s standard of living was inherently necessary to the system’s functioning. Because without a continuous extension of the market for consumer goods, there can’t be any capitalist expansion, or at least not of the kind we now know. Of course, in some situations (such as Nazi Germany, the USSR for a long time, wartime, and so on), the system directs production essentially to producing arms, or toward accelerated accumulation, and the real standard of living of the working class is blocked or may even drop.

At the same time, Marx supposed that the value of variable capital declines as time goes by, for a given number of workers, according to the rising rate of exploitation—which doesn’t exist, as we have seen. So you can’t make any a priori statement about the evolution of the organic composition. As for the tendency toward a ‘‘falling rate of profit,’’ it’s a perfect example of a non-problem. Maybe some day someone should write a psychoanalytic essay on why Marx and Marxists, and classical political economists before them, are so fascinated by the idea of a century-long fall in the rate of profit.

But if you split up, you also have to come back together. How, in what forms? The conflict over the issue of the organization, brewing since the beginning but which had never explicitly turned up again since the 1951–52 discussions, then came out into the open again. The debate actually didn’t last very long and ended in September 1958 with a scission. Some comrades, whose spokesmen were Claude Lefort and Henri Simon, left S. ou B. and formed a group called Informations et liaisons ouvrie`res (later to become Informations et correspondance ouvrie`res).

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