There is here a conspiracy—not in the legal sense but in the etymological sense: everything “conspires,” “breathes together,” is blowing in the same direction—of a society in which all criticism is losing its effectiveness. ~ Cornelius Castoriadis1
We are no more nature rendered self-conscious than we are humanity rendered self-conscious. Reason may give us the capacity to play this role, but we and our society are still totally irrational – indeed, we are cunningly dangerous to ourselves and all that lives around us
The dominant narrative today tells a story of linear progress, in which humanity is gradually becoming more reasonable and rational. We are told that we travel from ages of darkness toward times of enlightenment. And, supposedly, this tendency can be delayed, but cannot be stopped. Or so the narrative goes…
The philosopher Cornelius Castoriadis insisted that what he envisioned as project of autonomy- the project of a society in which all citizens have an equal, effectively actual possibility of participating in the institution of society – is far from a utopian vision. On the contrary, he was convinced that it is possible and its realization depends only upon the lucid activity of individuals and peoples, upon their understanding, their will, their imagination.
The following lecture was delivered by Yavor Tarinski within the framework of the International Conference: “Cornelius Castoriadis: 1922-2022. One hundred years since the birth of the philosopher of autonomy”, that took place in March 11-13, 2022, at Department of Political Sciences, AUTh, Thessaloniki.
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.
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:
« Concern with the problem of organization has meaning only for people convinced that they can and must struggle together (hence, by organizing) and who do not, from the very beginning, assume their own defeat is inevitable. »