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[Xmca-l] Re: Retrotopia
Thanks Mike for adding this.
What seems relevant is this notion of landmarks and what they generate.
Zygmunt comments on landmarks that have the capacity to generate imaginative scapes. Whether future or past oriented, what is generated are imaginal topos.
A secondary question then occurs when we notice in which direction our imaginative scapes direct our action.
Are we moving laterally or vertically? Are we progressing or regressing?
Are we traversing heights or depths? When traversing imaginal places that become actual places through our practical actions do we continually remain within imaginal places or do we leave the imaginal realm as we actualize and live within our shared worlds?
The assumption I am playing with is that imaginal realms are actualized through our shared mutual actions (sociality as practices).
As this occurs we are creating human (worlds)-of-being.
What Zygmunt is noticing in this book is that when we can no longer trust the dream of progressing (futuricity) we activate the imaginal through regressive moves in order to create retro imaginal places
What remains key is this imaginal aspect of sociality for both Zygmunt and Paul.
Practical action as text analogue.
Therefore, imaginal places are not only private realms occurring between our ears. Imaginal places are places that call us into sociality and call us to action and call us to live within shared (worlds).
Zygmunt’s profession was sociology which is usually assumed to be a social science. Ricouer asks if the appropriate way to approach social sciences is through recognizing that they share the attributes of text-analogues.
Ricouer assumes a radical shift occurs when we move from face to face dialogues (situations) towards trans formations which create shared (worlds) that we socially call into existence.
Note that 5 centuries ago, Thomas More when describing Utopia, was writing texts.
Today we have lost faith in progressing, and turn to imaginal regressing.
There continues a progressing-regressing dance of unfolding that continues our imaginal ways.
Sent from my Windows 10 phone
From: mike cole
Sent: July 4, 2017 12:48 PM
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Retrotopia
Bauman is always interesting, thanks Larry.
Here is a description of the book that is at the website
We have long since lost our faith in the idea that human beings could
achieve human happiness in some future ideal state ? a state that Thomas
More, writing five centuries ago, tied to a *topos*, a fixed place, a land,
an island, a sovereign state under a wise and benevolent ruler. But while
we have lost our faith in utopias of all hues, the human aspiration that
made this vision so compelling has not died. Instead it is re-emerging
today as a vision focused not on the future but on the past, not on a
future-to-be-created but on an abandoned and undead past that we could call
The emergence of retrotopia is interwoven with the deepening gulf between
power and politics that is a defining feature of our contemporary
liquid-modern world ? the gulf between the ability to get things done and
the capability of deciding what things need to be done, a capability once
vested with the territorially sovereign state. This deepening gulf has
rendered nation-states unable to deliver on their promises, giving rise to
a widespread disenchantment with the idea that the future will improve the
human condition and a mistrust in the ability of nation-states to make this
happen. True to the utopian spirit, retrotopia derives its stimulus from
the urge to rectify the failings of the present human condition ? though
now by resurrecting the failed and forgotten potentials of the past.
Imagined aspects of the past, genuine or putative, serve as the main
landmarks today in drawing the road-map to a better world. Having lost all
faith in the idea of building an alternative society of the future, many
turn instead to the grand ideas of the past, buried but not yet dead. Such
is retrotopia, the contours of which are examined by Zygmunt Bauman in this
sharp dissection of our contemporary romance with the past.
On Sun, Jul 2, 2017 at 1:18 PM, Lplarry <email@example.com> wrote:
> Retro spectives and sociality are being considered in another thread, so
> thought this book by Zygmunt Bauman may have some relevance
> Sent from my Windows 10 phone