This posthumous collection of interviews and papers given by Castoriadis between 1974 and 1997 is a lively introduction to the thinking of a writer who never abandoned his radically critical stance. For this political thinker and longtime militant (co-founder of the revolutionary group Socialisme ou Barbarie), economist, psychoanalyst, and philosopher, two endless questions – how to understand the world and life in society – were intertwined with his own life and combats. In a chapter discussing the history of Socialisme ou Barbarie(1949-1967), Castoriadis presents the views he defended on subjects including a critique of Marxism and of the Soviet Union, the bureaucratization of society and of the workers’ movement, and the primacy of individual and collective autonomy.
Castoriadis constantly returns to the question of democracy as the never-finished, deliberate creation by the people of societal institutions, analyzing its past and its future in the Western world. He scathingly criticizes representative democracy and develops a conception of direct democracy extending to all spheres of social life. He wonders about the chances of achieving freedom and autonomy in a world of endless, meaningless accumulation of material goods, where the mechanisms for governing society have disintegrated, the relationship with nature is reduced to one of destructive domination, and, above all, the population has withdrawn from the public sphere: a world dominated by hobbies and lobbies-a society adrift.
Paperback, published at $45.