Societies worldwide are in crisis. At this historical juncture in the turbulent course of the West, processes indicative of radical social and political change are in play, possibly of epochal significance. The current crisis (or historical moment of critical transformational intensity) is indicated by a swath of technological innovations, the accumulation of personal wealth on a scale never before seen, new forms of class domination accompanied by deepening impoverishment and socioeconomic inequality, extraordinary population displacement and global demographic realignment, exploding urbanisation, and gathering environmental disasters. In numerous parts of the world the human abjection of what Alain Joxe calls cruel little wars are increasingly threatening conflagration of a more engulfing, even nuclear kind, as the global balance of power shifts and what was once the status quo in many parts of the world is under threat. These processes are shaped in politicaleconomic changes that are at once continuous with the past and a break from it.
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