Samir Amin: Eurocentrism: Modernity, Religion and Democracy: A Critique of Eurocentrism and Culturalism (1988-) [FR, EN, ES]
Filed under book | Tags: · capitalism, critique, culture, democracy, eurocentrism, europe, islam, marxism, metaphysics, modernity, political economy, religion, scholasticism, science, theory
Since its first publication more than twenty years ago, Eurocentrism has become a classic of radical thought. Written by one of the world’s foremost political economists, this original and provocative essay takes on one of the great “ideological deformations” of our time: Eurocentrism. Rejecting the dominant Eurocentric view of world history, which narrowly and incorrectly posits a progression from the Greek and Roman classical world to Christian feudalism and the European capitalist system, Amin presents a sweeping reinterpretation that emphasizes the crucial historical role played by the Arab Islamic world. Throughout the work, Amin addresses a broad set of concerns, ranging from the ideological nature of scholastic metaphysics to the meanings and shortcomings of contemporary Islamic fundamentalism. This second edition contains a new introduction and concluding chapter, both of which make the author’s arguments even more compelling.
Publisher Anthropos-Economica, Paris, 1988
Translated by Russell Moore and James Membrez
First published in 1989
Publisher Monthly Review Press, New York, 2010
ISBN 1583672079, 9781583672075
review (Joshua Moufawad-Paul, Marx & Philosophy Review of Books)
L’eurocentrisme: Critique d’une ideologie (French, 1988)
Eurocentrism: Modernity, Religion and Democracy: A Critique of Eurocentrism and Culturalism, alt link (English, trans. Russell Moore and James Membrez, 2nd edition, 1989/2010)
El eurocentrismo: Crítica de una ideología (Spanish, trans. Rosa Cuminsky de Cendrero, 1989)
Filed under book | Tags: · big data, critique, database, democracy, internet, technology
Our society is at a crossroads. Smart technology is transforming our world, making many aspects of our lives more convenient, efficient and – in some cases – fun. Better and cheaper sensors can now be embedded in almost everything, and technologies can log the products we buy and the way we use them. But, argues Evgeny Morozov, technology is having a more profound effect on us: it is changing the way we understand human society.
In the very near future, technological systems will allow us to make large-scale and sophisticated interventions into many more areas of public life. These are the discourses by which we have always defined our civilization: politics, culture, public debate, morality, humanism. But how will these disciplines be affected when we delegate much of the responsibility for them to technology? The temptation of the digital age is to fix everything – from crime to corruption to pollution to obesity – by digitally quantifying, tracking, or gamifiying behavior. But when we change the motivations for our moral, ethical and civic behavior, do we also change the very nature of that behavior? Technology, Morozov proposes, can be a force for improvement – but only if we abandon the idea that it is necessarily revolutionary and instead genuinely interrogate why and how we are using it.
From urging us to drop outdated ideas of the Internet to showing how to design more humane and democratic technological solutions, To Save Everything, Click Here is about why we will always need to consider the consequences of the way we use technology.
Publisher PublicAffairs, 2013
ISBN 161039139X, 9781610391399
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Filed under booklet | Tags: · bitcoin, capitalism, copyleft, critique, free software, hacktivism, money, software, wikileaks
“While most expressions of hacktivism lack this revolutionary vigour expressed in one of the later communiques by now infamous hacking collective AntiSec, hacktivism is widely appreciated for its radical potential. Wikileaks and hacking crews are considered by some as anarchist special forces striking blows against the forces of domination. Bitcoin is regarded as a practical approach to break the power of capital. Free software is thought of as a model for future production beyond capitalism. We disagree.
This booklet collects our writings on activism in the digital realm produced over the last few years. In our piece on Wikileaks — which first appeared in Kittens #1 — we critique Wikileaks’ appreciation of the bourgeois-democratic state which persecutes it. The article on Bitcoin — which previously appeared in Mute Magazine Vol. 3, No. 3 — deals with the political economy of the digital currency and critiques the Libertarian ideology driving it. Finally, our piece on free software and other digital commons — which has not previously been published — portrays how ‘copyleft’ software licences are still expressions of appreciation for the social conditions we are forced to live under.
All three pieces critique both the fallacies inherent in the reasoning behind these projects as well as left-wing hopes attached to them. As such, it might strike the reader as arrogant sneering from the sidelines. However, this is not the intent of this work. We hold that the project of transforming the existing social conditions must start from a correct understanding of these conditions to avoid reproducing them. In this spirit, this booklet is an invitation to critique.” (from the Foreword)
Publisher The Wine & Cheese Appreciation Society of Greater London, London, January 2013
via Marcell, via Anthony
Filed under book | Tags: · art, critique, culture, outsider art, philosophy of art
“Jean Dubuffet’s only and a particularly significant book, Asphyxiating Culture is a philosophical and political discussion which elucidates his antagonistic stance towards culture and its influence on the public domain of art and the private domain of creativity.
In his anti-culturalism, he posited the realm of culture against that of the individual, and saw culture as equivalent to the state and the police. To him, it represented bureaucracy, propaganda, patriotism, indoctrination, capitalism, the status quo, and illusory coherence. The individual, however, was the keeper of the creative spirit and the domain of the common man. The individual exemplified rebellion, independence, creativity, nature, diversity, and eclecticism.” (source)
Originally published in French as Asphyxiante culture, Jean-Jacques Pauvert, Paris, 1968
Cultura asfixiante (Portuguese, trans. Serafim Ferreira, 1971, no OCR)
Asphyxiating Culture and Other Writings (English sample, trans. Carol Volk, 1988, pages 7-12)
Dusivá kultura (Czech, trans. Ladislav Šerý, 1998, no OCR)
Filed under book | Tags: · autonomy, critical theory, critique, intersubjectivity, philosophy
Axel Honneth: Critical Essays brings together a collection of critical interpretations on the work of Axel Honneth, from his earliest writings on philosophical anthropology, his reappraisal of critical theory and critique of post-structuralism, to the development and extension of the theory of recognition, his debate with Nancy Fraser and his most recent work on reification. The book also includes a comprehensive reply by Axel Honneth that not only addresses issues and concerns raised by his critics but also provides significant insights and clarifications into his project overall. The book will be essential reading for all those interested in Honneth’s work, and in critical theory, philosophy and social theory more generally.
Edited and introduced by Danielle Petherbridge
Publisher BRILL, Leiden/Boston 2011
Volume 12 of Social and Critical Theory
ISBN 9004208852, 9789004208858
Filed under book | Tags: · critical theory, critique, hermeneutics, history, philosophy, philosophy of history, power, psychoanalysis, social theory
Axel Honneth’s Critique of Power is a rich interpretation of the history of critical theory, which clarifies its central problems and emphasizes the “social” factors that should provide that theory with a normative and practical orientation.
Honneth focuses on the dialog between French and German social theory that was beginning at the time of Michel Foucault’s death. It traces the common roots of the work of Foucault and Jürgen Habermas to a basic text of the last generation of critical theorists – Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno’s Dialectic of Enlightenment – and draws from this connection the outline of a program that might unite and surpass their seemingly irreconcilable methods of critiquing power structures. In doing so, Honneth provides a constructive and nonpolemical framework for comparisons between the two theorists. And he presents a novel interpretation of Foucault’s analysis of social systems.
Honneth traces the internal contradictions in critical theory through an analysis of Horkheimer’s early programmatic writings, the Dialectic of Enlightenment, and Adorno’s later social-theoretical writings. He shows how Habermas and Foucault in their distinctive ways reinserted the social world into critical theory but argues that neither operation has been wholly successful. His cogent analysis redirects critical social theory in ways that can draw on the strengths and avoid the weaknesses of the two approaches.
Originally published in German under the title Kritik der Macht. Reflexionsstufen einer kritischen Gesellschaftstheorie, Suhrkamp Verlag, Frankfurt am Main, 1985
Translated by Kenneth Baynes
Publisher MIT Press, 1991
Studies in Contemporary German Social Thought series
ISBN 0262581280, 9780262581288
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Kathi Weeks: The Problem with Work: Feminism, Marxism, Antiwork Politics, and Postwork Imaginaries (2011)
Filed under book | Tags: · autonomy, basic income, capitalism, critique, feminism, fordism, labour, marxism, politics, postwork, production, productivism, value, work
In The Problem with Work, Kathi Weeks boldly challenges the presupposition that work, or waged labor, is inherently a social and political good. While progressive political movements, including the Marxist and feminist movements, have fought for equal pay, better work conditions, and the recognition of unpaid work as a valued form of labor, even they have tended to accept work as a naturalized or inevitable activity. Weeks argues that in taking work as a given, we have “depoliticized” it, or removed it from the realm of political critique. Employment is now largely privatized, and work-based activism in the United States has atrophied. We have accepted waged work as the primary mechanism for income distribution, as an ethical obligation, and as a means of defining ourselves and others as social and political subjects. Taking up Marxist and feminist critiques, Weeks proposes a postwork society that would allow people to be productive and creative rather than relentlessly bound to the employment relation. Work, she contends, is a legitimate, even crucial, subject for political theory.
Publisher Duke University Press, 2011
a John Hope Franklin Center Book
ISBN 0822351129, 9780822351122