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The Theme of ‘The Rising Tide of Insignificancy’ in the Work of Cornelius Castoriadis

Author: Curtis David Ames

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The theme of “The Rising Tide of Insignificancy” was introduced by Castoriadis quite late in his life but became, after his death, one of the most recognized expressions of his relentless criticism of contemporary societies. This “insignificancy” theme, which has its roots in his earlier theme of “Socialism or Barbarism,” intervenes decisively in the author’s overall work. At the same time, we are going to examine how Castoriadis analyzed people’s actual creative and countervailing autonomous responses to this “rising tide of insignificancy.” Castoriadis’s elucidation of the contemporary social imaginary, we shall see, is not only economic.

Keywords: Modernity, bureaucratic capitalism, autonomy, barbarism, insignificancy.

This post is also available in: Italian

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145 mm x 210 mm

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