Informit article: Unchained radical prometheans

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Abstract:

It is precisely at a time when the socialist Left is extremely weak in developed capitalist countries that utopian thinking flourishes to fill the gap created by the absence of strong mass movements. This is particularly true of the United Kingdom and the United States, where a sense of hopelessness about radical change (as opposed to social democratic change) has produced unusual or spectacular flights of fancy. When major thinkers such as Fredric Jameson contemplate that the US army as an institution could be transformed into the vehicle of radical change, one knows that despair has well and truly manifested itself in utopian escapism. Utopian theorists fleetingly talk about the whole world, while remaining firmly focused on developed, affluent capitalist countries. Schooled in Marxist, anarchist and feminist debates, they recognise that most of the Old Left strategies revolving around the industrial working class as the principal agent of social change belong to an era long past. Disappointingly, most say little about the environment or decoupling it from the economy. Rather they appear to be so mesmerised by the promise of new technologies that they assume a ‘cheer squad’ and form an unofficial ‘united front’ with capitalists in wishing to accelerate its progress.

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