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Farewell to Postmodernism

Social Theories of the Late Left


Bartosz Kuzniarz

In the late 1960s, a whole pantheon of thinkers regarding themselves as radicals stole a part of the anarchic praxis of late capitalism, turned it into philosophy, and with the resulting set of views turned against the foundations of the system in a purportedly radical gesture. Postmodernism was the name for the superficially revolutionary culture which then came into existence. The thought of the late left appears as the subsequent response to the cunning of the system.
The main figures of Farewell to Postmodernism are Perry Anderson, David Harvey, Fredric Jameson, Terry Eagleton and Slavoj Žižek. The book provides an encyclopaedic introduction to their work, while at the same time seeking to grasp the current trajectory of radical thought.
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Chapter Two: David Harvey: From Crisis to Postmodernity


Chapter Two

David Harvey: From Crisis to Postmodernity

The principle of family life is dependence on the soil, on land, terra firma. Similarly, the natural element for industry, animating its outward movement, is the sea. Since the passion for gain involves risk, industry though bent on gain yet lifts itself above it; instead of remaining rooted to the soil and the limited circle of civil life with its pleasures and desires, it embraces the element of flux, danger, and destruction.

G. W. F. Hegel, Elements of the Philosophy of Right, trans. T. M. Knox, § 247.

‘Woe! Woe to you, great city, you mighty city of Babylon! (…) Woe! Woe to you, great city, where all who had ships on the sea became rich through her wealth!In one hour she has been brought to ruin!

Rev 18:10–19, New International Version

In characteristic style, Terry Eagleton makes the following remarks about the works of the Anglo-American geographer and Marxist, David Harvey:

In an age when the traditional boundaries between intellectual disciplines are rapidly blurring, geography shares with literary studies the signal advantage of never having had much idea of what it was about in the first place. Just as literary studies covers everything from dactyls to death, geography spans everything from sand dunes to marriage rituals. David Harvey, the doyen of radical geographers, writes of material limits in a language which disdains all bounds, crossing from...

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