When in countries that are called civilized, we see age going to the workhouse and youth to the gallows, something must be wrong in the system of government.
~ Thomas Paine 
For too long now many have been viewing social emancipation through an overtly economistic lens. This is evident from the persistence of some on insisting that class analysis is central to social change: exploring which economic class is most prone to revolt against its oppressors, trying to mobilise along class line, etc.
These are the images from Euboea (Εύβοια), Greece, where due to raging wildfires hundreds of homes have been burned down and their inhabitants – now climate refugees – were forced to flee to make-shift camps on stadiums. And it is not only Euboea, as in many other places in Greece for fifth day now flames have been engulfing both forests and human settlements alike, leaving behind the complete destruction of vital ecosystems and livelihoods.
In this episode of the podcast “Castoriadis and Autonomy in the 21st Century” author Yavor Tarinski joins the hosts to discuss the projects of Autonomy and Social Ecology, contrasting the visions of Cornelius Castoriadis and Murray Bookchin.
The debates surrounding Climate Change almost always contain certain urgency and it couldn’t be otherwise as it is an issue that, if unattended on time, will develop into a catastrophe with existential for humanity consequences. So of course, there is need of a well coordinate action on global scale so as to avoid the grimmest of projections.
International call, signed by over 100 activists, scholars and political organizations:
We – politicians, human rights advocates, journalists, academics, members of parliaments, political activists, ecologists, and feminists from all over Europe – have been closely following the dangerous developments resulting from Turkey’s attacks on South Kurdistan (North Iraq) since the 23rd of April, 2021. As a result, we have gathered in Erbil today and decided that we must speak out.
When exploring social change, one has to examine all aspects of it. Developing strategies and institutions that will help facilitate the coming into being and functioning of a democratic and ecological society is of an immense importance, and so is the anthropological type that will consist it. In this latter aspect, the concept of citizenship plays crucial role.
What are the perspectives for the project of autonomy that Castoriadis’ thought offer?
Yavor Tarinski: Castoriadis offers an inclusive and holistic understanding of autonomy. He advocates for something quite different from what other autonomists support. Castoriadis challenges narrower understandings of autonomy:
Among opponents of direct democracy there is this reoccurring argument of it being prone to the so-called “mob rule”, as if the people, once empowered, will most probably turn into a mob. But this line of thought, deeply submerged into oligarchic imaginary, is highly fallacious and deceptive. There are certain reasons because of which the people can degrade into mob, and Hanna Arendt’s work can provide clarity into distinguishing the former from the latter, as well as alternative civic routs that can lead to the emergence of an active citizenry instead.
Urban researcher Nikos Vrantsis interviews Yavor Tarinski, author of Common Futures: Social Transformation and Political Ecology [co-authored with Alexandros Schismenos] (Black Rose Books, 2021), on the current bureaucratic state of cities and the democratic perspectives offered by autonomous urban movements.