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Accepted Paper:

Immanence vs. revolution, or why there is no hope (or is there?)  
Steve Coleman (Maynooth University)

Paper long abstract:

This paper considers the problem of critical thought and revolutionary action as "models of/for" society.

Crises inspire analysis of, and defamiliarisation of, sociocultural doxa. But since even analytical reflection is a form of social action, even critical thought is haunted by its own social forms, and can't help but be taken as a possible embodiment of utopia - that is, as a model of and for alternatives.

Thus, for revolutionary Marxism, there is the problem of the Party, and for anti-authoritarian and anti-statist movements, the temptation or desire to create miniature "heavens on Earth," and for all, there is the tyranny of Utopian desire, the attempt to create a perfect image of the future. Meanwhile, established power can point to the poverty or absurdity of these attempts, as evidence that "there are no alternatives."

Drawing upon both the hostorical and ethnographic records of activism, this paper looks for alternatives to the Utopian dilemma, the ways that critical thought and action may forestall or de-center images of what could be.

Panel IW005
Imagination, crisis and hope, or, do futures have a future?
  Session 1