A Society Adrift: Interviews and Debates, 1974-1997 / Edition 2

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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.

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.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
All the material in A Society Adrift, a posthumous collection of lectures and writings by Castoriadis, appeared well after that upheaval. The earliest of the texts gathered here, a long interview from 1974, is an extensive political and intellectual autobiography covering the SOUB years and just beyond. It is followed by the transcript of a 1982 radio discussion that provides an excellent introduction to Castoriadis's subsequent philosophical and psychoanalytic work.

A gateway to Castoriadis' adventurous and open-ended way of thinking, his tireless attempts to envision the imperceptible future.-Stathis Gourgouris

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780823230938
  • Publisher: Fordham University Press
  • Publication date: 1/4/2010
  • Edition description: 2
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

The late CORNELIUS CASTORIADIS (1922-1997), a Greek-French political thinker and longtime militant, as well as economist, practicing psychoanalyst, and philosopher, former Director of Studies at the cole de Hautes tudes en Sciences Sociales, has been published extensively in English, including The Imaginary Institution of Society; World in Fragments; Writings on Politics, Society, Psychoanalysis, and the Imagination; and Figures of the Thinkable.

Translator HELEN ARNOLD participated for several years in the Socialisme ou Barbariepolitical group along with Castoriadis, co-founder of the group. She has also translated his Figures of the Thinkable.

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Table of Contents

Editors' Note to the French Edition vii

Translator's Postscriptum xiii

Part I Itinerary

The Project of Autonomy Is Not a Utopia (1992) 3

Why I Am No Longer a Marxist (1974) 11

Imaginary Significations (1982) 45

Response to Richard Rorty (1995) 69

On Wars in Europe (1992) 83

Part II Interventions

On the Possibility of Creating a New Form of Society (1977) 103

What Political Parties Cannot Do (1979) 117

Present Issues for Democracy (1986) 125

These Are Bad Times (1986) 130

Do Vanguards Exist? (1987) 135

What Revolution Is (1987) 144

Neither a Historical Necessity nor Simply an "Ethical" Exigency: A Political and Human Exigency (1988) 151

When the East Swings to the West (1989) 156

The Market, Capitalism, and Democracy (1990) 161

"Democracy" without Citizens' Participation (1991) 166

The Gulf War: Setting Things Straight (1991) 171

Gorbachev: Neither Reform nor Backtracking (1991) 176

On War, Religion, and Politics (1991) 183

Communism, Fascism, and Emancipation (1991) 190

Ecology against the Merchants (1992) 194

The Revolutionary Potency of Ecology (1992) 197

A Society Adrift (1993) 206

On Political Judgment (1995) 216

Neither Resignation nor Archaism (1995) 220

A Rising Tide of Significancy? (1996) 223

A Singular Trajectory (1997) 230

Chronology and Bio-Bibliography 239

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