The Challenge and Burden of Historical Time: Socialism in the Twenty-First Century

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Overview

An extraordinary new work by the leading Marxian philosopher of the late twentieth and early twenty-first century, The Challenge and Burden of Historical Time represents a breakthrough in the development of socialist thought. It can be seen both as a companion volume to his earlier pathbreaking Beyond Capital and a major theoretical contribution in its own right. Its focus is on the "decapitation of historical time" in today's capitalism and the necessity of a new "socialist time accountancy" as a revolutionary response to the debilitating present.

Extending Mészáros's earlier analysis of capitalism as a social-metabolic system caught in an irreversible structural crisis, it represents a crushing refutation of the view that "there is no alternative" to the current social order. Mészáros's wide-ranging analysis explores the forces behind the expansion of world inequality, the return of imperial interventionism, the growing structural crisis of the capitalist state, and the widening planetary ecological crisis—along with the new hope offered by the reemergence of concrete socialist alternatives.

At the heart of his book is an examination of the preconditions of Latin America's historic Bolivarian journey, which is producing new revolutionary transformations in Venezuela, Bolivia and elsewhere. The Challenge and Burden of Historical Time is a work of great political as well as philosophical importance, one that defines the challenges and burdens facing all those who are committed to a more rational, more egalitarian future.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Today Mészáros's theoretical insights are becoming a material force, gripping the masses through various world-historical including Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez. -John Bellamy Foster,editor, Monthly Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781583671696
  • Publisher: Monthly Review Press
  • Publication date: 8/1/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 480
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

István Mészáros is a world-renowned philosopher and critic. He left his native Hungary after the Soviet invasion of 1956. He is professor emeritus at the University of Sussex, where he held the chair of philosophy for fifteen years. Meszaros is author of The Challenge and Burden of Historical Time, Beyond Capital, The Power of Ideology, The Work of Sartre, and Marx’s Theory of Alienation.

John Bellamy Foster is editor of Monthly Review. He is professor of sociology at the University of Oregon and author of The Ecological Revolution, The Great Financial Crisis (with Fred Magdoff), Critique of Intelligent Design (with Brett Clark and Richard York), Ecology Against Capitalism, Marx’s Ecology, and The Vulnerable Planet.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 17

1 The Tyranny of Capital's Time Imperative 35

2 The Uncontrollability and Destructiveness of Globalizing Capital 61

3 Marxism, the Capital System and Social Revolution 71

4 Socialism Or Barbarism: From the "American Century" To the Crossroads 95

5 Unemployment and "Flexible Casualization" 159

6 Economic Theory and Politics - Beyond Capital 179

7 The Challenge of Sustainable Development and the Culture of Substantive Equality 205

8 Education - Beyond Capital 215

9 Socialism in the Twenty-First Century 249

10 Why Socialism? Historical Time and the Actuality of Radical Change 363

Notes 439

Index 469

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