Revolt, Revolution, Critique

The Paradox of Society

By Bulent Diken

© 2011 – Routledge

204 pages | 2 B/W Illus.

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Paperback: 9780415495455
pub: 2011-12-05
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About the Book

In contemporary society the idea of ‘revolution’ seems to have become obsolete. What is more untimely than the idea of revolution today? At the same time, however, the idea of radical change no longer refers to exceptional circumstances but has become normalized as part of daily life. Ours is a ‘culture’ of permanent revolution in which constant systemic disembedding demands a meta-stable subjectivity in continuous transformation. In this sense, the idea of revolution is painfully timely. This paradoxical coincidence, the simultaneous absence and presence of the desire for radical change in contemporary society, is the point of departure for the symptomatic reading this book offers.

The book addresses the social, political and cultural significance of revolt and revolution in three dimensions. First, it analyzes revolt and revolution as ‘events’ which are of history but not reducible to it. Second, it elaborates on theories that grant revolt and revolution a central place in their structure. Thirdly, it discusses revolutionary or emancipatory theories that seek to participate in radical change. Further, since both revolt and revolution involve the critique of what exists, of actual reality, the implications of the intimate relationship between revolt, revolution and critique are explicated.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Life Without Idea Part I: Revolt and Counter-revolt 1. Revolt and Repetition 2. The Profane 3. Revolt as Pure Politics Excursus I: The Ghost of Spartacus Part II: Revolt and Counter-Revolution 4. The Infinite Revolution 5. Nothing and Everything 6. Strategy and Intoxication 7. Mass Movement, Elections and the Medieval Man 8. Antagonisms and Disjunctive Syntheses Excursus II: Huxley’s Brave New World – and Ours Part III: Critique and Counter-Critique 9. Critique of Critique of Critique… 10. Critique as Communism, Communism as Critique Afterword: De Te Fabula Narratur!

About the Author

Bülent Diken is Senior Lecturer at Lancaster University, Department of Sociology. His research fields are social theory, post-structuralism, political philosophy and urbanism. His books include Strangers, Ambivalence and Social Theory (Ashgate 1998). He is author of The Culture of Exception – Sociology Facing the Camp (Routledge 2005), I Terrorens Skygge (Samfundslitteratur 2005), Sociology through the Projector (Routledge 2007) and Nihilism (Routledge 2009).

About the Series

International Library of Sociology

The International Library of Sociology (ILS) is the most important series of books on sociology ever published. Founded in the 1940s by Karl Mannheim, the series became the forum for pioneering research and theory, marked by comparative approaches and the identification of new directions in sociology, publishing major figures in Anglo-American and European sociology, from Durkheim and Weber to Parsons and Gouldner, and from Ossowski and Klein to Jasanoff and Walby.

Its new editors, John Holmwood (University of Nottingham, UK) and Vineeta Sinha (National University of Singapore), plan to develop the series as a truly global project, reflecting new directions and contributions outside its traditional centres, and connecting with the original aim of the series to produce sociological knowledge that addresses pressing global social problems and supports democratic debate.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HIS031000
HISTORY / Revolutionary
POL042000
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Ideologies / General
SOC026000
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General