Thursday, October 15, 2009

New Castoriadis Stuff

via Agora International:

Modern Capitalism and Revolution
. Written by Cornelius Castoriadis under the pseudonym Paul Cardan, and first published in three parts, "Le mouvement révolutionnaire sous le capitalisme moderne" in Socialisme ou Barbarie 31 (1960-61), "La signification des grèves belges" in S. ou B. 32 (1961) and "Le mouvement révolutionnaire sous le capitalisme moderne (suite)" in S. ou B. 32. (1961). Translated into English by Maurice Brinton and published by Solidarity London in 1965 as Modern Capitalism and Revolution, together with an introduction and additional English material by Brinton. This second English edition was published by Solidarity London in 1974, with a new introduction by Castoriadis.

"Beating the Retreat into Private Life," a pdf of an extract of a conversation between Castoriadis, Michael Ignatieff, and Christopher Lasch in The Listener in 1986.

CASTORIADIS: I think what is implied in all this is various things. 'One day at a time', if I take this very nice expression, is what I call the lack of a project—in both the individual and society itself. Thirty years ago, 60 years ago, people on the Left would talk to you about the glorious night of the revolution, and people on the Right would talk to you about indefinite progress and so and so forth. And now nobody dares express a grandiose or even moderately reasonable project which goes beyond the budget or the next elections. So there is a time horizon. Now in this respect 'survival' is an expression you may criticise, because, of course, everybody thinks about his retirement pension and thinks also about his children's education. But this time horizon is private. Nobody participates in a public time horizon, in the same way as nobody participates in a public space. I mean, we always participate in public space, but take the Place de la Concorde or Piccadilly Circus during rush-hour. There you have one million people who are drowned in an ocean of social things, who are social beings, and they are absolutely isolated. They hate each other, and if they could clear their way by neutralising the cars in front of them, they would. Public space today is what? It is within every home with TV. But what is this public

It's empty.

It's empty, or worse. It's public space mostly for publicity, for pornography—and I don't mean only straightforward pornography, I mean there are philosophers who are in fact pornographers.

Well it was 1986. Do read the rest of it.

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