Alternative Futures and the Present
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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.
Table of Contents
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 Section Two: The Problematic of Population and Power in Transformative Politics 4 The Problem of Population: Recalling Marx’s Critique of Malthus 5 Populations and Populism as a Problematic in Transformative Politics Section Three: Two Universalisms: Imperial Imaginary and Imaginary of the Oppressed 6 Hegel’s India and Imperial Imaginary of the Universal 7 Annihilation of Caste and Universalism of the Oppressed Section Four: Contentions and Antagonisms as Template of Alternative Thinking 8 Charles Tilly’s Theorising of Contention 9 Genocide: A Most Contentious Word and Concept of Modern time Section Five: Beyond the Political, Imaginaries of Other Kinds 10 The Impossibility of Politics: Brecht, Manto and Two Acts of Literature 11 Memories of the Forgotten Section Six: Event as a Congealed Site of New Possibilities 12 Settling Account with the Point of Origin: Marx, Engels, and the Revolution of 1848 13 October Revolution as an Alternative in the Colonial and Postcolonial Time 14 Occupy College Street, 1967-69 15 Crisis, Biopolitics from Below, and a New Model of Public Power 16 Layers of Solidarity 17 Epilogue
Ranabir Samaddar is Distinguished Chair in Migration and Forced Migration Studies at the Calcutta Research Group, India. He is the author of The Postcolonial Age of Migration and Karl Marx and the Postcolonial Age.