The Why Europe Was First Blog

A newer, more radical, modernity

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I just finished another article, “A Newer, More Radical, Modernity: A Prolegomena to a Politics of the Potential.” You can read it here.  The abstract goes like this:

Radical politics in modern society was premised on a constructivist ontology which now increasingly has been abandoned in favor of political solutions based on an ontology of self-organization. As a result, radical politics is in decline. Yet the self-organizing model is unable to explain the most salient feature of modern society — the relentlessness and automaticity of social change. Change can only be explained by an ontology which focuses on the self-actualization of the potential. This alternative ontology can also serve as the foundation for a new form of radical politics.

Truth be told, I originally wrote this a long time ago as a sort of summary of the best ideas from my Why Europe Was First book. I sent it to a journal, forget which, and the editor got back to me to say that although the article was very interesting it was really a summary of a book. He was right of course.  This version is entirely reworked and has a different focus. It’s all about the potential, man, and what only could happen if we took our imagination seriously and found a way of embedding it into the institutions that organize our lives.

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