1st Edition

Alternative Futures and the Present Postcolonial Possibilities

By Ranabir Samaddar Copyright 2023
    330 Pages
    by Routledge

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    This book explores the idea that alternatives to our present condition are available in the present, such that a search for alternatives must involve rigorous study of some of its central texts, events, and thinkers.

    Through engagement with selected modern thinkers, texts, and events, it imagines a different future from the position of the current postcolonial moment, indicating the possibilities that emerge from the present and which shape contemporary radical thinking.

    An invitation to imagine a possible future marked with alternative possibilities of conducting struggles, and living through contentions and social restructuring, it will appeal to scholars with interests in social and political theory, political philosophy, colonialism and postcolonialism, and historical materialism.

    Introduction: Time, and the Politics and Poetics of Alternative

    Section One: Social Transformation and the Space and Time of Nation

    1. Karl Marx: Colonialism, Nation Form, and Social Transformation
    2. Home, World, and an Uncertain Nation
    3. In the Time of Nations
    4. Section Two: The Problematic of Population and Power in Transformative Politics

    5. The Problem of Population: Recalling Marx’s Critique of Malthus
    6. Populations and Populism as a Problematic in Transformative Politics
    7. Section Three: Two Universalisms: Imperial Imaginary and Imaginary of the Oppressed

    8. Hegel’s India and Imperial Imaginary of the Universal
    9. Annihilation of Caste and Universalism of the Oppressed
    10. Section Four: Contentions and Antagonisms as Template of Alternative Thinking

    11. Charles Tilly’s Theorising of Contention
    12. Genocide: A Most Contentious Word and Concept of Modern time
    13. Section Five: Beyond the Political, Imaginaries of Other Kinds

    14. The Impossibility of Politics: Brecht, Manto and Two Acts of Literature
    15. Memories of the Forgotten
    16. Section Six: Event as a Congealed Site of New Possibilities

    17. Settling Account with the Point of Origin: Marx, Engels, and the Revolution of 1848
    18. The Actuality of October Revolution as an Alternative in the Colonial and Postcolonial Time
    19. Occupy College Street, 1967-69
    20. Crisis, Biopolitics from Below, and a New Model of Public Power
    21. Layers of Solidarity
    22. Epilogue


    Ranabir Samaddar is currently the Distinguished Chair in Migration and Forced Migration Studies, Calcutta Research Group, Kolkata, India. He belongs to the critical school of thinking and is considered one of the foremost theorists in the field of migration and forced migration studies. His writings on migration, forms of labour, urbanisation, and political struggles have signalled a new turn in postcolonial thinking. Among his influential works are: The Marginal Nation: Transborder Migration from Bangladesh to West Bengal (1999) and Karl Marx and the Postcolonial Age (2018). His most recent publications are The Postcolonial Age of Migration (2020), and written in the background of the COVID pandemic, A Pandemic and the Politics of Life (2021).