Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Spooky fish

Thursday, 15 January 2009


Hello all,
a text a have been reading over the last weeks and I find very interesting is the 4th chapter of Cornelius Castoriades' "The Imaginary Instituting of Society". In this chapter Castoriades looks at the idea of history, its nature and its evolution. As I understand the text Castoriades' thought moves in two directions. The first revolves around the idea of the subjectivity of history: As past events can only survive in people's memories any effort to describe them cannot be objective. Memory, he argues, does not function independently of the filters of perception and ideology.

The writer's second direction of thoughts is concerned with the evolution of history. Castoriades disagrees with the concept of the cyclic evolution of history as it has been suggested, often by religions but mainly, by Karl Marx. Marx wrote that history moves in cycles and the same apllies, consequently, to social processes. Castoriades, on the other hand, writes that history can evolve through gaps and leaps. In his words: "There can be creation in history".

I try to think of this disagreement in light of the current financial crisis and its effect on the social process. Marx wrote that crisis in capitalism can gradually generate the social conditions that will lead the working class to revolt. In the same line of ideas, Marxist writers such as Lenin (in "State and Revolution") argues that a revolution will gradually create the social conditions for the transition to a non class divided society. Unfortunately Castoriades does not draw a such detailed plan of the social process. However, since I dont identify with the Marxist perception of history, I wonder whether Catoriades' argument for the possibility of "creation" within history can become a valid model for the understanding of the final social effects of the current crisis.

PS, I'm sorry for not coming to the class but I've been ill for the last three days