Wednesday, July 18, 2007

They just don't make these anymore ...

"History and the Revolution. A revolutionary critique of the historical materialism", by Paul Cardan.
Hönstryck ("Chicken print"), Sweden (anno?).
In the bubble: "How long shall we have to wait?"
NB: Still available from the booklist of Jaap van Huysmanns minde

40 years since 1967

1967 symbolizes not so much, but next year will be something else. The year 1968, and the cluster of cultural and institutional changes associated with it, now occupies a new generation of academics, historians, political scientists and the like. These are people who were too young to have experienced the events and the atmosphere of 1968 in any substantial sense, yet feel a need to understand 1968 as a decisive historical background - a background that is also their own. Hence, they need to analyze it in their own (creative) terms, not just read the tales of those who were the protagonists of the time.

On the other hand, these protagonists also seem to take a renewed interest in the tales of the times. An interesting occurence is various publications that in a sense revitalize the symbolic context of 1968. For instance, in Norway, the grass roots publication Vannbæreren - the Water Carrier (remember Aquarius?) - is launching an issue this August, after 30 years of silence. This image is from a 1974 issue.
In the interim, the former militants and free-thinkers have been busy running an eco-village close to the Polar Circle, Karlsøy. This year, the Karsløy group celebrates a 30 year anniversary at their annual festival, where Vannbæreren reappears. The articles are a.o. accounts of alternative organizations, the history of alternative organizations and political and spiritual thought. Ingerid Straume has written a piece on Castoriadis, generalized conformism and reflections on adolescence in the aftermath of 1968; the apolitical 1980's. He, of course, was one of the thinkers circulated in those days - the 1970's - in little pamphlets under the name of Paul Cardan, which young students were pushing at their local schools for a few nickles.
An other article on related topics will be published in the formerly marxist-leninist newspaper Klassekampen -- the title means The Class Struggle, and even though the pictures of Mao, Lenin and Marx were removed from the heading a few years ago, the publication still bears the same name, which demands some respect. Today, it is mostly a publication for the educated classes with leftist sympathies. This is probably the first article on Castoriadis brought by Klassekampen, again indicating that a new generation of journalists are reinvestigating the history of leftist thought.

Network group on Castoriadis studies

In 2007, The Nordic Summer University established a network group on Castoriadis studies, named Creation, Rationality and Autonomy. The group's first meeting was at Södertörn's Högskola, Stockholm, in March, 2007. The participants were of a wide range, in terms of age, academic career and geography. Here are some photos from Stockholm.

Now, we are getting ready for our first week-long summer session. The programme is very promising, and so are the social and cultural surroundings. For those who are interested, the next year's winter symposium will take place in one of the Nordic countries, possibly at the University of Akureyri, Iceland.

Castoriadis under the PCF banner

From Dominique Bouchet in Denmark:

For your information, Sciences Humaines Summer issue has a six pages introduction to Castoriadis thought about autonomy:

Michel Lallement. "Cornelius Castoriadis. L'imaginaire au fondement des sociétés". Sciences Humaines, 185 (août-septembre): 60-61.Michel Lallement. "La révolution de l'autonomie". Sciences Humaines, 185 (août-septembre): 63-65.

Michel Lallement. "L’aventure Socialisme ou barbarie". Sciences Humaines, 185 (août-septembre): ENCADRÉ page 64.

It's pretty funny seeing an article about Castoriadis under a banner of the PCF.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Website (multilingual) on alternatives in economy and organization

I was chekcing up details on the Irish thinker John Holloway - now living and teaching in Mexico - when I came across this interesting-looking website with articles and examples on alternative economy and organization.