Göran Therborn on Noel Parker, Revolutions and History, and Fred Halliday, Revolution and World Politics. Two new contributions to the literature on revolution—where does it stand today?
Between our contemporary concepts of revolution and modernity there is an intimate mutual dependence. She who does not understand revolution does not understand modernity, and he who does not understand modernity does not understand revolution. Both notions denote a rupture with the past, an affirmation of the innovative capacity of the present, and a vision of the future as an open horizon, on which new lands will be discovered and new houses built, never seen before. The history of modernity is a history of revolutions: scientific, industrial, post-industrial, info-tech; sexual, artistic and, last but not least, political—American, French, Russian and Anti-Colonial. It is no surprise there should be a close, if by no means invariable, connexion between scientific or aesthetic avant-gardes and revolutionary politics, from the socialism of Einstein to the communism of Picasso.
’My institution subscribes to NLR, why can't I access this article?’
By the same author:
Dynamics of Inequality
Behind the political upsets in the Atlantic world lie far-reaching shifts in the distribution of global wealth. Göran Therborn assesses the path-breaking research of Branko Milanovic on world income trends.
An Age of Progress?
Contradictions of social evolution: climate change, stagnant incomes and social exclusion entwined with rising per capita GDP and lengthening life-spans, challenges to racism and sexism, and a mounting capacity for the human species to take control of its destiny.
What social forces are likely to challenge the supremacy of capital in the coming decades? An assessment of potential bases of resistance—from traditional communities overrun by the global market to factory workers and an expanding yet amorphous middle class.
Class in the 21st Century
From São Paulo to Beijing, a rising middle class has been hailed by liberal commentators as a bulwark for consumption and democracy in the decades ahead. Taking stock of these claims, Göran Therborn offers a magisterial overview of the global class landscape and the still prodigious numerical weight of manual workers within it.
Göran Therborn on Heinsohn, Söhne und Weltmacht. Political demography of the Mid-East youth bulge as threat to Western power.
The dramatic trajectories of Tbilisi, Baku and Yerevan, and differing roles in the present. Göran Therborn tracks the fortunes of Georgia’s capital, seat of monarchs and Mensheviks, through alterations in its physical fabric, setting these alongside the metamorphoses of its Caucasian counterparts.
Göran Therborn offers a panoramic survey of left social theory since the fall of Communism. The vicissitudes of modernity as contested temporal narrative, and the divergent thematic paths—religion, Utopia, class, sexuality, networks, world-systems—that are emerging in the new landscape.
A Liberal Provoked?
Is patriarchy a structure of power in the family or something wider? Is it largely a pre-capitalist phenomenon? What have been the principal forces dissolving it—commodity relations, liberal ideas, or radical political action? Where are negative rates of reproduction in advanced societies likely to lead? A sharp exchange of ideas beween Nicky Hart and Göran Therborn.
Capital's Twilight Zone
Göran Therborn on Robin Blackburn, Banking on Death. The fate of pensions in the future of capitalism, as political struggles over them escalate in North and South alike.
Into the 21st Century
States, markets, firms, classes, movements—how are they inter-related and where are they moving in the new century? Göran Therborn offers a panorama of global politics that amounts to a powerful and original alternative to all existing readings of the state of the world.