Cornelius Castoriadis: A Society Adrift (Interviews and Debates, 1974-1997)

Geopolitics, History and International Relations, July 1, 2012 | Go to article overview

Cornelius Castoriadis: A Society Adrift (Interviews and Debates, 1974-1997)


Cornelius Castoriadis: A Society Adrift (Interviews and Debates, 1974-1997) Enrique Escobar, Myrto Gondicas, and Pascal Vernay (eds.) Helen Arnold (tr.) Fordham University Press: New York, 2010, 259 pp. ISBN 978-0-8232-3093-8

Castoriadis maintains that the revolutionary project, the project of individual and collective autonomy, is a social-historical project susceptible of being achieved (all citizens have an equal, effective possibility of participating in legislating, governing, and judging). Autonomy (true freedom) is a necessary self-limitation, with respect to the rules of social behavior and in the rules we adopt in our behavior toward the environment. Castoriadis writes that an autonomous society needs a true marketplace (one dominated by consumers). The imaginary is the creation of a human world, at the level of the individual psyche and in the social-historical field. Social and individual autonomy are social imaginary significations. Autonomy is an effective possibility for human beings. In an autonomous society one must have a true market with consumer sovereignty. A democratic society is an autonomous (self-limited) society with respect to any political excesses and in the works and acts of the collectivity, and is incompatible with today's huge concentration of economic power (the present system functions essentially nondemocratically). …

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