Excerpts from a contribution for the Castoriadis workshop at Berlin in March 2014
The theme of a “rising tide of insignificancy” might at first appear merely part of the dyspeptic ramblings of a disappointed and bitter old man nearing the end of his life. Nothing, however, could be further from the truth. A brief anecdote illustrates this point. At a gathering a few years after Castoriadis’s death, a former Socialisme ou Barbarie member complained to me that this seemingly pessimistic “insignificancy” theme took Castoriadis far afield from his earlier political concerns. Yet, this comrade was asked in turn: What does the “socialism or barbarism” alternative indicate but that, throughout his life, such barbarism was for Castoriadis an ever-present tendency of modern-day society, to be ignored at our peril? The comrade had no reply.
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