This article was presented as the keynote speech to the conference “The Politics of Social Ecology: Libertarian Municipalism” held in Plainfield, Vermont, U.S.A., on August 26-29, 1999. The speech has been revised for publication. This article originally appeared in Left Green Perspectives (Number 41, January 2000). Some issues have recently arisen in discussions of libertarian municipalism, and I would like to offer my views on them. One of the most important involves the distinction that should be drawn between libertarian municipalism and communitarianism, a distinction that is often lost in discussions of politics.
Newman coined the term “post-anarchism” as a general term for political philosophies filtering 19th century anarchism through a post-structuralist lens, and later popularized it through his 2001 book From Bakunin to Lacan. Thus he rejects a number of concepts traditionally associated with anarchism, including essentialism, a “positive” human nature, and the concept of revolution. The links between poststructuralism and anarchism have also been developed by thinkers like Todd May and Lewis Call.
The encounte rbetween Cornelius Castoriadis and the Mouvement Anti-Utilitaris tedans les Sciences Sociales(MAUSS;Anti-Utilitarian Movement in the Social Sciences) may seem both necessary and subject to chance.It seems necessary, given the questions broached both by MAUSS researchers and by the initiator of the review Socialisme ou Barbarie. But stillmore does it seem subject to chance, like the encounte revoked by Diderot between Jacques the Fatalist and his Master, because this belated encounter, ona Saturday in December1994, does not have the proper and conventional character of an academic colloquium, and because, before find in gap lace in what Pierre Bourdieu calls the “intellectual field,” Castoriadis long remained in the world of far-left militants, a microcosm far removed from the academic circles in which the MAUSS group has anchored it self since its creation….
Since Darwin’s day, we’ve been told that sexual monogamy comes naturally to our species. Mainstream science—as well as religious and cultural institutions—has maintained that men and women evolved in families in which a man’s possessions and protection were exchanged for a woman’s fertility and fidelity. But this narrative is collapsing. Fewer and fewer couples are getting married, and divorce rates keep climbing as adultery and flagging libido drag down even seemingly solid marriages.
The Accumulation of Capital is a book that remains one of the masterpieces of socialist literature. Rosa Luxemburg takes Marx as her starting point and offers an independent and fiercely critical explanation of the economic and political consequences of capitalism in the context of the turbulent times in which she lived, reinterpreting events in the United States, Europe, China, Russia and the British Empire. Many today believe there is no alternative to global capitalism. This book is a timely and forceful statement of an opposing view.
Eric Hobsbawm’s brilliant enquiry into the question of nationalism won further acclaim for his ‘colossal stature … his incontrovertible excellence as an historian, and his authoritative and highly readable prose’. Recent events in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet republics have since reinforced the central importance of nationalism in the history of political evolution and upheaval.
At the Minds Limits is one of his most notable work work. It provokes the reader to empathize while simultaneously making him question or even feel guilty for such empathy. Amery describes in this book his experiences in the death camp, using terminology taken from the phenomenology school – Husserl and Heidegger – in order to show its inadequacy to refer to that experience as well as in order to make fun – and harshly criticize – the intellectuals’ inability to approach the human evilness and fathom phenomena such as the murderous Nazi regime
Jacques Ellul – French philosopher, law professor and sociologist – in this book discusses the issue of propaganda in its fullest and widest sense, as a phenomenon integrated in the institutions of mass – and individualized – societies, such as the state, the media, the market, political parties, churches… Propaganda, for Ellul, aims to change the people’s perceptions depriving communication and consultation and reducing every individual into a meaningless instrument.
Through his writings of the period 1974-1997 summed in this book, Castoriadis encourages us to rethink that we, as individual and social beings, are solely responsible for the history we create through praxis and contemplation, the only ones that can produce meaningful significations. For more than thirty years, Castoriadis was preoccupied with the existence of direct democracy (as almost tautological with the project of autonomy), being inspired from ancient Greece. He has been critical on postmodernism, according which the western world appears entirely subdued to the imaginary of consumerism and passiveness (retreat to conformism) as a substitute for the absence of meaning, that is absence of values and norms that guide the social prattein.
In this interview with the German journalist Günter Gaus (October the 28th, 1964) Hannah Arendt addresses a wide range of topics concerning philosophy, gender and politics. Subjects that are of particular importance (for Arendt) are also discussed, drawing on ideas expressed in her earlier works, such as The Origins of Totalitarianism (perhaps the most notable of Arendt’s work, focused on Judaism in Europe, imperialism and the two major totalitarian movements of the twentieth century; Nazism and Stalinism), her controversial Eichmann In Jerusalem and The Human Condition (one of the most important works for the understanding of the Greek polis and democracy)…