Filed under book | Tags: · democracy, open society, philosophy, politics, society, totalitarianism
Written in political exile during the Second World War and first published in two volumes in 1945, Karl Popper’s The Open Society and Its Enemies is one of the most influential books of all time. Hailed by Bertrand Russell as a “vigorous and profound defence of democracy”, its now legendary attack on the philosophies of Plato, Hegel and Marx exposed the dangers inherent in centrally planned political systems and through underground editions become an inspiration to lovers of freedom living under communism in Eastern Europe.
Popper’s highly accessible style, his erudite and lucid explanations of the thoughts of great philosophers and the recent resurgence of totalitarian regimes around the world are just three of the reasons for the enduring popularity of The Open Society and Its Enemies and why it demands to be read today and in years to come.
Publisher George Routledge & Sons, London, 1945
2 Volumes: The Spell of Plato; The High Tide of Prophecy: Hegel, Marx, and the Aftermath
268 and 352 pages
Download (Volume 1, 1st edition, 1945)
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Download (Volumes 1-2, 5th edition, 1966)
Download (Volumes 1-2, revised edition, with a preface by Václav Havel and a note by E. H. Gombrich, 2002/2011, EPUB)
Die offene Gesellschaft und ihre Feinde, Volume 1, Volume 2 (German, trans. P. K. Feyerabend, 1958/1980)
La società aperta e i suoi nemici, Volume 1, Volume 2 (Italian, 2nd edition, 1973/1981)
A sociedade aberta e seus inimigos, Volume 1, Volume 2 (Portuguese, trans. Milton Amado, 1974)
Η ανοιχτή κοινωνία και οι εχθροί της (Greek, Volume 1, trans. Ειρήνη Παπαδάκη, 1980/1991)
Społeczeństwo otwarte i jego wrogowie (Polish, Volumes 1-2, trans. Halina Krahelska, 1993)
Otevřená společnost a její nepřátelé (Czech, Volume 1, trans. Miloš Calda, 1994, no OCR)
Otvoreno društvo i njegovi neprijatelji (Bosnian, Volumes 1-2, 1998)
La sociedad abierta y sus enemigos (Spanish, Volumes 1-2, trans. Eduardo Loedel Rodríguez, 2006)
Filed under book | Tags: · body without organs, capitalism, empire, event, globalisation, internet, machine, memetics, networks, philosophy, politics, schizoanalysis, sex, society, technology
In the late 1990’s, Swedish social theorists Alexander Bard and Jan Söderqvist started working on a radical new theory, since referred to as The Netocracy Hypothesis. At this early stage Bard & Söderqvist foresaw that the control of the internet would be the subject of the main power struggle for the next century; an outright war between a brand new rising elite (the netocrats) and an established but rapidly declining elite (the bourgeoisie). They made predictions against the tide in the early years of the new millennium (and cleverly foresaw both the dot com crash and September 11), and have since then been proven right in virtually every aspect and even in the most minute of details. Not only did Bard & Söderqvist foresee revolutionary innovations such as Google, Facebook, Al-Qaida and Wikileaks, they also went deeper and looked beyond where any other observer has been or managed to go, into the very power struggle of the on-going revolution. Now, for the first time, all three of Bard & Söderqvist’s groundbreaking works have been collected and released as one compact set, under the title The Futurica Trilogy. The first book is The Netocrats (explaining how the internet creates a new global upper class which fights and destroys the old stuggling power structure); the second book is The Global Empire (dealing with the worldview of the netocrats and how it radically differs from any previous ideology in history); and the third book is The Body Machines (discussing how the idea of what it means to be human in an interactive world radically differs from any previous concept of human existence).
Originally published in Swedish in 3 volumes: Nätokraterna (2000), Det globala imperiet (2002), and Kroppsmaskinerna (2009).
Translated by Neil Smith
Publisher Stockholm Text, 2012
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Marcel Mauss: The Gift: Forms and Functions of Exchange in Archaic Societies (1925-) [FR, EN, DE, RO]
Filed under book | Tags: · anthropology, gift, gift economy, myth, potlatch, society, sociology
The Gift is a short book by the French sociologist Marcel Mauss and is the foundation of social theories of reciprocity and gift exchange.
It is perhaps the first systematic study of the custom, widespread in primitive societies from ancient Rome to present-day Melanesia, of exchanging gifts. The gift is conceived as a transaction forming part of all human, personal relationships between individuals and groups. These gift exchanges are at the same time moral, economic, juridical, aesthetic, religious, mythological and social phenomena.
The Gift has been very influential in anthropology, where there is a large field of study devoted to reciprocity and exchange. It has also influenced philosophers, artists and political activists, including Georges Bataille, Jacques Derrida and more recently the work of David Graeber.
French edition: Essai sur le don: Forme et raison de l’échange dans les sociétés archaïques
In L’Année Sociologique
Publisher Librairie Félix Alcan, Paris, 1925
via National Library of France
Translated by Ian Cunnison
With an Introduction by E. E. Evans-Pritchard
Publisher Cohen & West, London, 1966
German edition: Die Gabe: Form und Funktion des Austauschs in archaischen Gesellschaften
Translated by Eva Moldenhauer
Publisher Suhrkamp, Frankfurt am Main, 1968
Later English edition
Translated by W. D. Halls
With a foreword by Mary Douglas
Publisher Routledge, London/New York, 1990
Filed under book | Tags: · citizenship, european union, governance, intellectual property, interactivity, neoliberalism, networks, politics, society, sociology of science, technology
Technology assumes a remarkable importance in contemporary political life. Today, politicians and intellectuals extol the virtues of networking, interactivity and feedback, and stress the importance of new media and biotechnologies for economic development and political innovation. Measures of intellectual productivity and property play an increasingly critical part in assessments of the competitiveness of firms, universities and nation-states. At the same time, contemporary radical politics has come to raise questions about the political preoccupation with technical progress, while also developing a certain degree of technical sophistication itself.
In a series of in-depth analyses of topics ranging from environmental protest to intellectual property law, and from interactive science centres to the European Union, this book interrogates the politics of the technological society. Critical of the form and intensity of the contemporary preoccupation with new technology, Political Machines opens up a space for thinking the relation between technical innovation and political inventiveness.
Publisher Continuum International Publishing Group, 2001
ISBN 0485006340, 9780485006346
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Filed under book | Tags: · 1600s, 1700s, 1800s, 1900s, history, humanism, modernity, philosophy, rationalism, renaissance, society
In the seventeenth century, a vision arose which was to captivate the Western imagination for the next three hundred years: the vision of Cosmopolis, a society as rationally ordered as the Newtonian view of nature. While fueling extraordinary advances in all fields of human endeavor, this vision perpetuated a hidden yet persistent agenda: the delusion that human nature and society could be fitted into precise and manageable rational categories. Stephen Toulmin confronts that agenda—its illusions and its consequences for our present and future world.
Originally published by Free Press, New York, a division of Macmillan, 1990
Publisher University of Chicago Press, 1992
ISBN 0226808386, 9780226808383
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Filed under book | Tags: · politics, religion, society, utopia
Opinion polls, volatile voting patterns, and street protests demonstrate widespread dissatisfaction with the current system, yet the popular response so far has largely been limited to the angry outcry of No! But negation, by itself, affects nothing. The dominant system doesn’t dominate because people agree with it; it rules because we’re convinced there is no alternative.
We need to be able to imagine a radical alternative – a Utopia – yet we are haunted by the disasters of “actually existing” Utopias of the past century, from fascism to authoritarian socialism. In this re-issue of Thomas More’s generative volume, scholar and activist Stephen Duncombe re-imagines Utopia as an open text, one designed by More as an imaginal machine freeing us from the tyranny of the present while undermining master plans for the future.
Open Utopia is the first complete English language edition of Thomas More’s Utopia that honors the primary precept of Utopia itself: that all property is common property. Open Utopia, licensed under Creative Commons, is free to copy, to share, to use. But Utopia is more than the story of a far-off land with no private property. It is a text that instructs us how to approach texts, be they literary or political, in an open manner: open to criticism, open to participation, and open to re-creation. Utopia is no-place, and therefore it is up to all of us to imagine it.
In this volume, and its accompanying website, Utopia is re-imagined and brought into the digital age as a participatory technology for undermining authority and facilitating new imagination.
Edited and With an Introduction by Stephen Duncombe
Publisher Minor Compositions, Wivenhoe/New York/Port Watson, an imprint of Autonomedia, NY, 2012
Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License
Filed under book | Tags: · archaeology, criminology, imitation, invention, philosophy, psychology, society, sociology, somnabulism
“Among the phenomena that early arrested his attention was imitation. From his office of magistrate he observed the large part that imitation plays in criminal conduct. Does it play a smaller part in normal conduct? Very rapidly M. Tarde’s ardent mind ranged over the field of history, followed the spread of Western civilisation, and reviewed the development of language, the evolution of art, of law, and of institutions. The evidence was overwhelming that in all the affairs of men, whether of good or of evil report, imitation is an ever-present factor; and to a philosophical mind the implication was obvious, that there must be psychological or sociological laws of imitation, worthy of most thorough study. [..] Tarde perceived that imitation, as a social form, is only one mode of a universal activity, of that endless repetition, throughout nature, which in the physical realm we know as the undulations of ether, the vibrations of material bodies, the swing of the planets in their orbits, the alternations of light and darkness, and of seasons, the succession of life and death. Here, then, was not only a fundamental truth of social science, but also a first principle of cosmic philosophy.” (from the Introduction)
Les lois de l’imitation: étude sociologique
Publisher Félix Alcan, Paris, 1890
Translated from the second French edition by Elsie Clews Parsons
With an Introduction by Franklin H. Giddings
Publisher Henry Holt and Company, New York, September 1903
announcement (The New York Times, 1903)Comment (0)