List of Bookmarks It has now been exactly a year since I returned to Russia. One of the questions I get asked the most from Russians and foreigners alike is whether I enjoy living here, or whether I am disappointed.
The year was one of the most tumultuous in modern Greek history. Following the First World War, lands granted to Greece at the expense of the Ottoman Empire by the victorious Entente powers were being claimed militarily by Turkish nationalists.
As a result, Castoriadis spent his youth in Athens where he discovered philosophy at the age of twelve or thirteen. He engaged in communist youth activities while in high school and later studied economics, political science, and law while resisting the Axis occupation of Greece during Second World War.
His Trotskyist opposition group distanced itself from the pro-Stalinist opposition.
In he won and accepted a scholarship to write a philosophy dissertation at the Sorbonne in Paris, thus starting a wholly new stage in his life. In Paris Castoriadis planned to write his dissertation on the impossibility of a closed, rationalist philosophical system.
This plan took second stage, however, to his critical-political activities. By Castoriadis developed his own criticism of the Soviets who, he argued, had only created a new brand of exploitation in Russia, i. Discovering he shared similar views with recent acquaintance Claude Lefort, the two began to distance themselves altogether from the Trotskyist goal of party rule.
Castoriadis began two major vocations in First, he and Lefort co-founded the journal and political group Socialisme ou Barbarie Socialism or Barbarism.
They focused on criticizing both Soviet bureaucracy and capitalism and on developing ideas for other possible organizations of society. On the one hand, the traditional questions Marx raised about workers and social organization would remain important, while on the other hand any commitment to specific Marxist positions would remain conditional.
He would remain there untilanalyzing the short- and medium-term economic status of developed nations. His work with OEEC not only allowed him an income and the possibility of remaining in France until his eventual nationalization, but it also permitted him great insights into the economies of capitalist countries and into the functioning of a major bureaucratic organization.
Contemporary society, he argued, is split between a stratum of managers who direct workers, and a stratum of workers obedient to managers. Workers pass real-world information up to the managers; but they must then carry out the often nonsensical orders that are passed back down.
For Castoriadis, in both Western and so-called "communist" countries i. Such a managerial apparatus, argued Castoriadis, leads to inefficiency, waste, and unnecessary conflict between aloof managers and servile workers.
The domination of society by the managerial apparatus can only be surpassed, argued Castoriadis, when workers take responsibility for organizing themselves. They should form workers councils consisting of conditionally elected members.
Those members, in a strict reversal of the bureaucratic managerial model, should convene frequently not in order to make decisions for workers but in order to express the decisions of the workers. They should then convey important information back to the workers for the purpose of helping workers make their own decisions.
Rather, it helps convey information to workers for their purposes. While Castoriadis did support a centralized institution, or assembly of councils, capable of making rapid decisions when needed, such decisions, he argued, would be at all times reversible by the workers and their councils.
In the end, Castoriadis contrasted self-management with individualistic, negative libertarian, or anarchic ideals, i. Such countries reject the role of workers councils but they then become heavily bureaucratized anyway.
Castoriadis also contrasted self-management with the explicitly centralized, exploitative bureaucracies of the so-called communist countries. In both cases what currently blocks the emergence of self-management is the division between directors and executants.
Capitalism, Marxism, and the Soviet experiment were all based in a common set of presuppositions. This name implies that the principle of the social order in the USSR is truly an analogue—albeit a more centralized analogue—of the Western capitalist order, which Castoriadis called fragmented bureaucratic capitalism FBC Castoriadis Reader Both capitalist thought and Marx assumed that capital has enormous, even total power over humanity.
This assumption led to an excessive desire on both sides to control its supposed force. The managerial, bureaucratic class became a unified, oppressive force in itself, pursuing its own interests against the people.
That philosophy itself had emerged from the common social imaginary that FBC and TBC share, namely the desire to gain total control of nature and history through controlling capital.
Marx, he argued, failed to consider the importance of the unplanned, contingent actions of the proletariat, actions powerful enough to save a company from mismanagement or to lead it into disaster. Rather, workers sustain or destroy capitalism itself through their own actions.
As such, workers' actions—singularly and collectively—can lead to changes in the very laws of the system. The actions of workers cannot be sufficiently explained by supposed laws of historical dialectic.
Workers themselves could determine the law of history rather than being merely determined by history's law. Autonomous society, he argued, is a creation of the singular individual and the collectivity.
It cannot be sufficiently deduced or developed from tendencies, potentialities, impossibilities, or necessities contained within the current system. These struggles had preceded capitalism, were subdued within capitalism and the modern era of rational mastery, and are still present but also largely subdued in the contemporary age of FBC and TBC World in Fragments Written by Dr.
Peter Kreeft. Dr. Peter Kreeft is a professor of philosophy at Boston College and a noted Catholic apologist and philosopher. He is a convert to the Catholic Church from reformed Protestantism.
This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable pfmlures.comced material may be challenged and removed. (September ) (Learn how and when to remove this template message). Review: Cover Story Writing for Middle School.
Cover Story is a new writing curriculum for middle school (6th-9th grade) students from the creator of The One Year Adventure Novel high school writing curriculum. I have heard rave reviews about The One Year Adventure Novel in the past.
Read this piece earlier this week and have spent every moment since physically restraining myself from wheatpasting copies of it to every telephone pole in town.
My Surnames. COGNOMI ITALIANI "L": © Writing a back cover blurb that sells is an art as well as a science. We give you a step by step method and also explain why writing your blurb at the outset is.