Structures, histories and anti-histories

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By OSVALDO COGGIOLA*

In recent decades, “global” notions of history have been redefined through theoretical and historical reconstitutions that do not ignore their political implications.

For Marxist-inspired historiography, the dynamics of modes of production and class struggles were (and continue to be) the determining factor in human history; the passage from one mode of production to another constitutes a historical rupture; capitalism funneled and reformulated the preceding social contradictions into a new synthesis, susceptible of making possible the passage to a new historical era, communism, which would be the starting point and the road to the end of human prehistory, characterized by absolute material scarcity or relative and by the various forms of class exploitation. From this angle of analysis, the transition to the capitalist mode of production was the product of productive (“economic”) transformations that led to ideological changes, not the other way around.

Based on the distinction between historical genesis and logical categories of economics, in Marx's words, “it would be impractical and erroneous to align economic categories in the order in which they were historically determinant. Their order of succession is, on the other hand, determined by the relations that exist between them in modern bourgeois society, and is exactly the reverse of what their natural order would appear or what their order of succession would correspond to in the course of historical development. It is not a question of the position that economic relations historically assume in the succession of different forms of society. Much less of its order of succession 'in the Idea' (a nebulous representation of the historical movement). It is a question of its articulation within modern bourgeois society”.[I]

A “historicist”, sequential and non-structural view or, appealing to the terminology of linguistics, diachronic and non-synchronic, of capitalism, therefore, would inevitably lead to errors, inaccuracies and mutilated approaches. History should struggle to find its place in the understanding of reality, or condemn itself to the role of an auxiliary discipline to the “structural” disciplines, which are increasingly varied and specialized.

A process that gave birth, almost naturally, to the idea of ​​a “structural method” overlapping and valid for all human sciences, producing in them a new hierarchy in which, in the words of its most famous formulator, “linguistics occupies an exceptional place; it is not a social science like the others, but the one that has long made the greatest progress; the only one that can claim the name of science and that has managed, at the same time, to formulate a positive way and to know the nature of the facts submitted to its analysis”. The structural method, originated in the linguistics of the first decades of the twentieth century,[ii] revolutionized, in the first place, anthropology, a discipline capable of overcoming the limitations of history, since “for the ethnologist, comparative studies [of illiterate societies] can make up for the absence of written documents… The critique of evolutionist and diffusionist interpretations has shown us that , when the ethnologist believes he is making history, he makes the opposite of history, and it is when he imagines not making it that he behaves like a good historian, limited by the same lack of documents”.[iii]

It was thus proposed that “this science [anthropology] is in no way dependent on the imposition of categories from one culture to another culture, it provides an equally impartial way of examining any community, and for the same reason, it is equally accessible to people of all cultural traditions… This new monistic anthropology can truly be the beginning of a new universal science of man”.[iv] Structurally based “anthropological monism” would manage to overcome, simultaneously, the abstract dualism that separates the “archaic” from the “modern” and the historical privileges granted to certain civilizations, “Eurocentrism” or any similar “centrism”.

The “civilizational” approach would be superseded; the question of the contradictory succession of modes of production would be relegated to the secondary place that would fit it. In this approach, history was not completely denied, but relativized. In an opposite direction, capitalism, in the Marxian formulation, not only altered the course of human history: it also reshaped the understanding of the totality of its development. The structure of capitalism would be the “key to the monkey's anatomy”. It would redefine the understanding of previous historical eras, at the same time that it would rely on its reconstruction to define its specificity (or, as Lucien Febvre wanted, “all history is contemporary”).

In contrast to this, history was reduced to a “method without a specific object”, the title of a chapter in the wild thought, by Claude Lévi-Strauss, text published in the early 1960s: “History is a method to which no distinct object corresponds. It is not, therefore, the last refuge of a transcendental humanism... The historian strives to reconstitute the image of vanished societies as they were in moments that, for them, corresponded to the present; while the ethnographer does his best to reconstruct the historical stages that preceded the current forms in time…. The historian and the historical agent choose, cut and cut, because a truly total History would lead them to chaos... A truly total History would neutralize itself: its product would be equal to zero”.[v] A decade later, Paul Veyne, underlining the necessary “gap nature of history”, entitled “Everything is historical, therefore history does not exist” a chapter of his book How to write the story.

The “structuralist revolution (or counter-revolution)” recognized its starting point in sad tropics, a text published by Claude Lévi-Strauss in the mid-1950s, based on his research with indigenous peoples in Brazil, “reconfiguration of relations between literature and the human sciences, born in the XNUMXth century, in a double gesture of repression of theoretical and in line with scientific 'rigor'… The object is disconcerting, as it is effectively the book of a scientist, an ethnologist by profession, but written in the writer's language. The press does not stop being ecstatic and evoking big names”.[vi]

The author has been compared to Cervantes, or the Montesquieu of Persian letters:[vii] “He manifests, through the subjectivity of his account, the link that unites the search for the Self and the discovery of the Other through the idea that the ethnographer has access to the source of humanity and, as Rousseau thought, to a truth of man that 'only creates something big in the beginning'. There is an original nostalgia in this perspective that only considers human history as a pale repetition of a moment lost forever, which is the – authentic – moment of birth”.[viii]

A birth that would distinguish and separate man, radically, from nature (including other animal species), since “one cannot expect to find in man the illustration of types of behavior of a pre-cultural character”, thesis that Lévi-Strauss, à la Montesquieu, defended it by making use of research on the social behavior (purely instinctive) of other species, focusing in particular on those related to the behavior and characteristics of higher primates.[ix] With culture placed on the distinctive pedestal of humanity, Lévi-Strauss approached, in an increasingly audacious manner, the most diverse and distant human cultures of the “European (or Western) model”, a path already largely paved by Anglo-American anthropology in the preceding decades, seeking to establish “models” (or “structures”) corresponding to their otherness.

As Emmanuelle Loyer pointed out, a sort of cultural “third worldism” was proposed by Lévi-Strauss before the term was created, in the preconditions for the emergence of the anticolonial struggle of the second post-war period. Les structures élementaires de la parenté e sad tropics were drawn up in the immediate post-war period. Now, “paradoxically, the decolonization that ensures the success of sad tropics entails, at the same time, the outbreak of the crisis resulting from its orientation based on immobile societies, caught in a tension between conservation and disappearance, while Third World societies show the capacity to overcome this reductive alternative and to open the paths of transformation that require modifications to their respective identities.[X]

The founder of structural anthropology admittedly suffered these contradictions in his own flesh, arising from the violent irruption of the convulsions of imperialism (at that time, undoubtedly capitalist) in his perspectives, previously so sure of himself: “The situation of contemporary anthropology offers a paradoxical aspect. A profound respect for cultures most different from our own had inspired the doctrine of cultural relativism. And behold, the very peoples for whose benefit we believed we had formulated it vehemently denounce it. More than that, these peoples join the theses of an old unilinear evolutionism as if, to participate more quickly in the benefits of industrialization, prefer to consider themselves as temporarily backward rather than different, but then permanently”.[xi]

In the midst of the anti-colonial storm, Lévi-Strauss found space to blame the lack of institutional support for anthropological research that, “conducted by ethnologists in sufficient numbers, could have prepared, in Vietnam and North Africa [shaken by wars of national liberation] , solutions similar to those that England adopted in India – at least in part – thanks to the scientific effort it spent there during a century”.[xii] This did not spare England and its Empire from a capital crisis, including wars, on the occasion of India's independence in 1947.

History, thrown out the door, described as “old unilinear evolutionism”, returned with the force of a hurricane through the window, leaving many broken panes. Whatever. Structuralism made a splash, even so, in all areas of the human sciences, reaching a “structuralist Marxism”, represented by Louis Althusser, with his sentence “Marx opened the 'continent of History' to science”. In one of the first criticisms of the “new wave”, Lucien Goldmann described structuralism as “ultra-formalist rationalism”.[xiii]

In the first half of the 1960s, however, one seemed to witness, in the words of a chronicler – historian, “in the sphere of ideas, the triumph of structuralism over all the philosophies of history. Structuralism becomes a public discussion. Those who defend it intend to do away with ideologies, all more or less marked by religion, in favor of science. The important thing is not to insist on the causality of the phenomena, but to make their operation intelligible, the reciprocity links between the components, the intrinsic agreements to the organization, the structure. The system, thus defined, not by its genesis, but by the relational networks, the relations of mutual dependence between the elements, the variations and the differences, is, by its method, a way of emptying history”.[xiv]

The reaction was immediate, and it was vigorous from the mid-1960s onwards. In 1967, Sylvie Le Bon responded in the negative to the question “How to suppress history?”, in an article in Les temps modènes, magazine directed by Jean-Paul Sartre: “For this impossible problem, Foucault proposes a desperate solution: not to think about it. Exclude it, if not from reality, at least from knowledge”. A year later, in the period leading up to the “French May”, Mikel Dufrenne, a professor at the University of Paris X (Nanterre), published pourl'homme,[xv] attacking the philosophy of the concept of Cavailllès-Granger, the episteme Foucaultian ("for whom man is nothing but his concept") and Althusser's reading of Marx, rising up against the "death of man" defended by structuralism and other variants of neopositivism, systems in which, in the words of Michel Winock , “man must die for the system to live”, or, more explicitly, “we no longer speak of conscience or subject, but of rules and codes; it is no longer said that man constitutes meaning, but that he is a surface effect of structure (in a conception) incapable of harboring a suitable theory to explain anything less than historical change”.[xvi]

Which is not without recalling the words, a century earlier, of Friedrich Engels, pointing out that in all philosophers it was precisely the “system” (improved as a “structure” in the “social sciences” that replaced philosophy) the weak point (Engels thought, of course, in the first place of Hegel and Kant), since he started from a natural tendency, also a weakness, of the human being: to pretend eliminate all contradictions (an impossible task for Engels, since eliminating them would be equivalent to eliminating reality itself).

The Marxist critique of structuralism took the form of a defense of historical dialectics and of humanism itself (of the subject as bearer and arbiter of its own meanings and practices, an idea, obviously, well before Marxism), of the process of human self-creation through social work, of the resulting conflicts and contradictions, which would be the process of human history itself (and, in the past, the “distinct” object of history as a discipline). In the words of the Argentine Marxist philosopher Oscar Del Barco: “By privileging (Lévi-Strauss) the cerebral structure against the project of a transforming praxis of the world, he is trapped in a closed world, alienated and with no possibility of rescue”.[xvii]

The authors criticized were varied (including, and especially, Althusser, the “structuralist Marxist”), but the deepest criticism was aimed at the very matrix of the school: “In Lévi-Strauss, the subjective conditions of knowledge are transformed – unjustifiably – into an objective reality of a mental nature. The Kantian 'thing in itself', what would exist outside the subjective consciousness, is no longer the concrete reality (which would open the field for materialism) but rather an 'objectified thought'. Fetishism leads Lévi-Strauss to an almost deification of this thought (which) on the other hand, knows no progress; unlike the Hegelian 'Spirit' (which constitutes a permanent process of self-creation and self-overcoming, that is, dialectically, historically, the Lévi-Straussian 'Spirit' coagulates in the static”.[xviii]

The Marxist sociologist Pierre Fougeyrollas hit the same key, with an equally philosophical accent, but also polemically political, even going so far as to question Lévi-Strauss’ positions in relation to the policies of European States regarding African immigrants (that is, the “others” not located in distant latitudes, but “at home”): “What is lacking in Lévi-Strauss is a scientific conception of science itself (led by him) to a theoretical reduction of plurality to identity, in the manner of Plato (asserting) 'in linguistically or in anthropology, the structural method consists in locating invariant forms within different contents'. The dialectic, the logic of contents, dissolves to give way to a form of substantialist neo-Aristotelianism… The famous unconscious and permanent laws of the human spirit are summarized [for Lévi-Strauss] in the generation of order; a discovery that goes back at least to Comte who, proceeding in his manner, reduced dynamics to statics, declaring that 'progress is nothing but the development of order'. To which we object that, for Marx, and before him for Hegel, order was, at most, a moment of progress”.[xx]

In parallel with, and also as a consequence of, structuralism, theories have developed (it would be better to say proposals) which, honestly recognizing structuralism's debt to theories of the "long duration" of Annals, as was not the case with anthropologists (Lévi-Strauss included), especially with regard to “invariant forms within different contents”, naturally shifted the focus of structuralist analysis from “peripheral” or “other” societies to societies Westerners and the nature of their “power relations”, with Gilles Deleuze, Félix Guattari and, mainly, Michel Foucault, whom Paul Veyne saw as responsible for a “revolution in History”, whose defining texts (History of Madness in the Classical Era and others) were produced by Foucault in the early 1960s, with a parallel and complementary impact, although not identical, to the “structuralist wave”, and with differentiated political influence.

Its axis was defined by Foucault himself: “From political mobility to the slowness typical of 'material civilization', the levels of analysis have multiplied; each has its specific ruptures; each one allows a cut that only belongs to it; and as we descend into the deeper layers, the rhythms become slower and slower… But don't be fooled by this intersection. Let us not judge, by appearances, that some of the historical disciplines went from the continuous to the discontinuous, while others – to say the least, History itself – went from the anthill of discontinuities to the great uninterrupted units. Indeed, it was the notion of discontinuity that changed its status.

For History, in its classical form, the discontinuous was, at the same time, the given and the unthinkable: what was offered in the form of events, institutions, ideas, or dispersed practices; and what should be, by the historian's discourse, circumvented, reduced, erased, so that the continuity of the chains would appear. Discontinuity was the stigma of temporal dispersion that the historian had the task of suppressing from History. It has today become one of the fundamental elements of historical analysis”.[xx]

A revolution, but what kind? The vast Foucaultian work appeared as libertarian, when analyzing society as an architecture of objectification of people by a system of normative knowledge, making them “deviations from a norm”, strays, sick or crazy, delinquents. In the 1970s, in the aftermath of the events of May 1968, Foucault brought together numerous intellectuals and activists to intervene in prison and psychiatric systems, questioning them, questioning power and society itself about their functioning mechanisms and their conception of the "normal".

In a context in which a new left acquired cultural hegemony, but the government remained in the hands of the liberal right, it was a perfect situation to be in favor of the current of opinion, but against power, which allowed that, from France , Foucault’s work gained international impact, in conditions in which “a change was operating in families, in administrations, in companies, in communities of all sorts. One sees the overthrow of secular taboos, the abolition of prejudice, the birth of new solidarities... The struggle became plural, attacking, sector by sector, the structures of oppression, which were called schools, prisons, psychiatric hospitals, marriages, etc. sexism. Foucault replaced Sartre in the multiform contestation”.[xxx] The same Sartre who had described it as the “last barrier against Marxism”…

Due in large part to this, Marxist criticism of structuralism and derivatives of it spared Foucault, who was only the object of serious questioning due to specific positions, mainly political (such as, for example, his support for the “Islamic revolution” in Iran). . His methodological position, and his central conclusion, was to state that power would unfold in “micropowers” ​​that would not be the product of a continuous History, conceived as a totality, but of genealogies of a lacunar nature, challenging “historical prisons” .

For Foucault, “the new historian is a thinker of discontinuities; history itself is discontinuous rather than continuous. The difference is crucial because it allows Foucault to think of genealogies as intrinsically malleable rather than closed and fully determined. If history is discontinuous, then its control over us is limited and fragmented. Not only do we lose necessary forms and compulsions, but also gaps and opportunities are not airtight things, but patchwork quilts… We are the product not of one story, but of many genealogies. They overlap and interact, so that the assumption of a single, supremely correct account of the development of history must be replaced by different accounts. They vary in terms of current problems…”.[xxiii]

Foucault would have been the herald of an unprecedented critical fusion of Kant with Nietzsche, implicitly proposing that capitalism would be nothing more than a “particular case” within a “discontinuity”. It is obvious that the “fragmentation of the report” (not its “cutting” appropriate to a certain “level of analysis”, to use Foucault's terms, or to a certain “object”) could only be based on the fragmentation of the very object to which it is addressed. the report (or “speech”) refers to.

Michel Foucault sought to make history of everything that seemed to lack history – feelings, morals, truth – segmenting it from everything that until then had been considered “history”. Apparently universal elements and immune to the passage of time, they would be historical contingencies created in precise circumstances. Foucault analyzed the mechanisms of domination of the “classical era”, as well as the forms and means of its social internalization, sustaining a “power”, with its corresponding “micropowers”, assuming a dispersion of power throughout all instances of society, based on the hospital and prison model: “Historically, the process by which the bourgeoisie became the politically dominant class in the course of the eighteenth century was covered up by the establishment of an explicitly codified and formally egalitarian legal framework, made possible by the organization of a parliamentary and representative regime. But the development and generalization of disciplinary mechanisms constituted the reverse, the dark side of these processes… supported by these tiny, everyday physical mechanisms, by all these micropower systems that are essentially unequal”.[xxiii]

Foucault defined the “isolated closure system” of the classical era as the basis of the “microphysics of power”: “It is dreamed that these ideal fortresses have no contact with the real world: entirely closed in on themselves, they would live only on the resources of evil, in a sufficiency capable of preventing contagion and dispelling terror. They would form, in their independent microcosm, an inverted image of society: vice, constraint and punishment would reflect as in a mirror the virtue, freedom and rewards that make men happy”.[xxv]

Some authors have proposed that the Foucaultian “microphysics of power” could give consistency or political coherence to Marx’s analyses, through his analysis of the disciplining of bodies to salaried work:[xxiv] “Disciplinary procedures increase the usefulness of bodies by neutralizing their resistance and, more generally, by allowing the unification of the two processes of accumulation of men and accumulation of capital. 'Discipline' and 'micropower' come to be inserted exactly at the point of the 'short circuit' operated by Marx between the economy and the political, society and the State, in his analysis of the production process (thus allowing to check the consistency of a 'practice')”.[xxv]

Foucault placed the process of creation of the industrial working class within the general disciplining of society, necessary for the emergence of the bourgeois order, during the “classical era” (centered on the XNUMXth century, called the great century). Along with the repression of “vagrancy”, pauperism became a matter of public order during this period, with the State replacing the Church in the administrative organization of charity. Cardinal Richelieu and Finance Minister Colbert, men of states, distinguished themselves in the task, which covered the whole of Europe, with the general hospital in France, the spinnhuis or rasphuis in Germany, the workhouse in England, all conceived as methods of closure and (social) correction: “It is known that the seventeenth century created great internees; it is less known that more than one inhabitant of Paris in every hundred was interned there for several months… We thus see inscription in the institutions of the absolute monarchy, those same ones that later became the symbol of its arbitrariness, the great bourgeois idea, and soon after republican, that virtue is a matter of the State (with) political, social, religious, economic and moral meanings that concern the classical world in its entirety”.[xxviii]

On this basis, “biopower” was defined by Foucault as the style of government that regulated the population in all aspects of human life, starting with the emergence of the bourgeois order: in the XNUMXth and XNUMXth centuries, the population became an object of study and political management. The State began to regulate society through “an explosion of numerous and diverse techniques for achieving the subjugation of bodies and the control of populations”. Medical and psychiatric knowledge, pathologization and medicalization as modern forms of domination over economically and socially inconvenient beings, the “crazy” (or presumed such), were integrated into this process. The compulsory training of the “free” labor force, in this way, was part of a general disciplining of society.[xxviii]

Liberal thought did not even discursively overcome or suppress these contradictions: “The great effort of legal-political thought in the course of the eighteenth century to demonstrate how, starting from the subjects of individual law, of natural law, one could reach to the constitution of a political unit defined by the existence of a sovereign, individual or not, holder of a part of the totality of his individual rights and, at the same time, principle of limitation of these rights, all this vast problematic, in short, is not completed by the problems of the economy.

The problematic of the economy and economic interest obeys a different configuration, a completely different logic, a reasoning and a rationality of another kind. The legal-political world and the economic world, in fact, from the XNUMXth century on, appeared as heterogeneous and incompatible worlds. The idea of ​​an economic-legal science is strictly impossible, and on the other hand it was never effectively constituted...

From the new reason of government, the government should no longer intervene, it would not have a direct connection to things or people. He cannot have it, nor is he legitimated to do so, being authorized to intervene on the basis of law and reason insofar as interest, interests, or the interplay of interests transform a certain individual, a given thing, a given well, a given richness, a given process of some interest to singular individuals, or to the group of individuals, or to the interests of a certain individual in confrontation with the interests of all. The government becomes interested only in interests”.[xxix]

In his last courses at France secondary school, Foucault assumed the philosophical scope of his research (“Philosophy is the activity that consists of expressing oneself truthfully and practicing truthfulness in relation to power”), defining its task as that of “challenging power”, contributing to the creation of an anti-power capable of, starting from the search for the truth, questioning and questioning its abuses. His differentiation with Marxism would consist in that “while Marx criticized historians for not dealing with economics, Foucault criticizes Marx for not having taken into account the institutions, safeguards, in a state of democratic legality, free competition and respect for human rights”. humans; of an economic-legal freedom that gives autonomy to the subjects of law.

This regulation is not a superstructure. It works at the same level as the economy, being a legal technical resource that conveys transactions”.[xxx] If the traditional criticism of Marx pointed to his “economism”, his supposed inability to see the autonomy of political or ideological institutions, dissolving them in economic determinations, Foucault apparently made the diametrically opposite criticism: Marx would not have interpellated these institutions as organic components of the processes of oppression and exploitation, would not, therefore, have been “economist” enough.

It was with the antecedents and against the backdrop of these polemics that, with the end of the Soviet Union (or the “socialist bloc”), on the one hand, the defeat of the revolutionary perspectives of the 1960s and 1970s in the “western world”, on the other hand, and its concomitant phenomena, that the notion of “post-modernity” came into vogue, based on an alleged exhaustion of the “modern project”, supposedly dominant in aesthetics and culture until the end of the XNUMXth century. Although the concept of “post-modernity” is recent, many have argued that it was Nietzsche who pioneered the movement to lash out at “modern ideals”, without witnessing the confirmation of his ideas in the XNUMXth century.

Perry Anderson rightly pointed out that, as with modernism, it was on the periphery of the dominant cultural system that “postmodernity” explicitly originated, much earlier than supposed by later critics: “It was a friend of Unamuno and Ortega, Federico de Onis, who printed the term postmodernism. He used it to describe a conservative ebb within modernism itself: the search for refuge against its formidable lyrical challenge in a perfectionism of detail and ironic, muted humor, whose main characteristic was the new authentic expression it granted to women… Created by Onis [in 1934], the idea of ​​a 'postmodern' style entered the vocabulary of Spanish-speaking critics… It was only twenty years later that the term appeared in the English-speaking world, in a very different context – as a category of time and not aesthetics”,[xxxii] and still without the mobilizing force that it would gain from the end of the 1970s and beginning of the 1980s.

Jean-François Lyotard, after the sixty eight A Frenchman who did not fail to cite Nietzsche as his inspirational source (probably also ignorant of the very existence of Miguel de Unamuno, José Ortega y Gasset and Federico de Onis), characterized postmodernity as a result of the death of totalizing “grand narratives” ( “incredulity in relation to metanarratives”, Marxism included, in his words) founded on the belief in progress and Enlightenment ideals,[xxxi] underlining, like the structuralists, the lacunar, fragmented and discontinuous character of history (or denying, according to their critics, history itself).[xxxii] For critics of postmodernity, its abandonment of the “pretension of totality” that guided modern thought, due to the presumed totalitarian vocation of this orientation, would develop based on a fragmented vision of social life and individuals, and a subjective fragmentation of the object aesthetic, historical or social, which would flow, politically, into a discourse of demobilization of class struggles and legitimization of the prevailing order.

For other authors, less polemically, post-modernity would be just an extension of modernity, of the period in which, according to Walter Benjamin, there was a loss of the aura of the artistic object due to the possibility of its infinite technical reproduction. In addition to touching only tangentially on historiography (especially in its critique/burial of the so-called “great narratives”), postmodernity has emerged as a highly controversial notion, although allegedly self-evident. Frederic Jameson and David Harvey identified postmodernity theory with “late capitalism” or the regime of “flexible accumulation” – a stage of capitalism characterized by highly mobile and malleable labor and capital, which postmodernity would less theoretically express than ideologically.[xxxv]

Jürgen Habermas, in a non (or post) Marxist field, stated that postmodernity would mainly represent a resurgence of long-existing anti-Enlightenment ideas: the modern project, in fact, would have remained unfinished, but could not, for that very reason, simply be discarded.[xxxiv] The world wars and their sequels were the events that would have provided the basis for the exhaustion of the modern project: Habermas contested this pessimistic view, conceiving a theory that would preserve a “project of emancipation” within modernity. Reason would be being interpreted in an incomplete way by its critics (including its former colleagues of the “Frankfurt School”), starting from a single principle, the instrumental reason, proper to the capitalist system and to the Modern State, which resulted in the loss of meaning and freedom in society: against this, Habermas instituted tracking concepts of a counterposition to instrumental reason and the colonization of the “lived world”: the “world of life” and “communicative reason”.

According to defenders of the idea of ​​postmodernity as a general defining element of culture, the decisive element would be that, since the 1980s, a global culture has developed; not just mass culture, already developed and consolidated since the middle of the XNUMXth century, but a true “cultural world-system” that would accompany the “political-economic world-system” resulting from “globalization”.

The gelatinous epistemological basis of the proposal was criticized by Ernest Gellner, in 1992: “Postmodernism is a contemporary movement. It's strong and it's fashionable. And above all, it's not completely clear what the hell he is. In fact, clarity is not among its main attributes. It not only fails to practice clarity, but on occasions even openly repudiates it... The influence of the movement can be discerned in anthropology, literary studies, philosophy. The notions that everything is a 'text', that the basic stuff of texts, societies and almost everything is meaning, that meanings are there to be decoded or 'deconstructed', that the notion of objective reality is suspect – all these seem to be part of the atmosphere, or fog, in which postmodernism flourishes, or which postmodernism helps to spread. Postmodernism seems to be clearly favorable to relativism, as far as it is capable of any clarity, and hostile to the idea of ​​a single, exclusive, objective, external or transcendent truth. Truth is elusive, polymorphous, intimate, subjective. Everything is meaning and meaning is everything and hermeneutics is its prophet. Whatever it is, it is made by the meaning given to it.”[xxxiv]

Cultural relativism and the structuralist “death of man” would gain, in postmodernism, the status of general philosophy. Whatever the criticism that is made of it, the idea of ​​postmodernity touched an exposed nerve of theories of knowledge, questioned by structuralism, Foucauldian epistemology, and others: the subject. In these debates, on the other hand, history was the stone guest, no less present for that reason, since it touched its very foundation. Microhistory, of Italian origin, seemed to (cor)respond to these challenges, reducing the scale and scope of observation of its objects in historical research, although not the scope of its aspirations and conclusions.[xxxviii] Its origin, however, predates the “postmodern” philosophical movement. His kinship with her was established from the displacement of the so-called “great narratives”, although without denying their validity. It developed identified with the search to give voice to the lower layers of society, providing elements to allow those excluded from history to express themselves in historiography.

In a very similar vein (but absolutely identical) “postcolonial studies” or “subaltern studies” were placed, which express themselves in a basically negative way of hegemonic studies and theories, including historical ones, as “a radical and profound critique of the western view -centric, that is, the dominant view of the current system and that has contaminated part of the left (which) seems important to me because it is a critique of the periphery, that is, the victims of the system who are the majority of humanity, and who have not just an economic and social perspective, but a broader perspective of history, of what the conquest and colonization was like.

Moreover, it is a subversive and radical thought that refutes the principles of capitalist, industrial, Western and modern civilization (where) there is also a polemic against Eurocentric and Western tendencies, not only in the dominant ideology, but even within the dominant Marxism”.[xxxviii]

The expression “dominant Marxism” is ambiguous, as it does not clarify whether we are facing a distortion of Marxism, or facing an authentic, albeit undesired, consequence of it (the quoted author claims to be a Marxist).

Against this fairly current type of argument, it has been correctly pointed out that, after the failure of the 1848 revolutions in Europe, Marx and Engels increasingly analyzed that “the fate of the revolutionary process in Western Europe now lay not only depending on what happened elsewhere, but its own importance in that process had diminished. Contrary to what became a commonplace in the literature dedicated to this subject, since at least 1859, Marx and Engels began to direct their eyes beyond that 'little corner' where they lived, seeking to detect the revolutionary initiatives that would occur in other parts of the world. around the world (which is why it is false) the charge of Eurocentrism leveled against Marx and Engels – a charge that has its roots in a solidly established Marxology and that has been adopted, to varying degrees, by postcolonialists and postmodernists… they (Marx and Engels) were first and foremost revolutionaries who saw the whole world as their theater of operations.[xxxix]

The questioning of western (or euro)-centrism, however, is older than “postcolonial studies”, and was not born of history (or historiography), but of anthropology, or, more precisely, of the aforementioned ethnography. , not at all from an anti-imperialist or similar perspective: “Western civilization turned entirely, two or three centuries ago, towards the availability of ever more powerful mechanical means… (In contrast) thirteen centuries ago, the Islam has already formulated a theory of the solidarity of all forms of human life – technical, economic, social, spiritual – which the West has only recently rediscovered, with certain aspects of Marxist thought and with ethnology. We know the place that this prophetic vision allowed the Arabs to occupy in the intellectual life of the Middle Ages. The West, master of machines, shows very elementary knowledge about the use and resources of that supreme machine that is the human body. In this domain, as in that of relations between the physical and the moral, the Orient and the Far East have an advantage of millennia”.[xl] This was written more than 60 years ago, and even older examples could be cited.

The questioning of Eurocentrism reached a radical (and militant) formulation in Jack Goody: “The divergence between East and West, both economically and intellectually, has proved to be relatively recent and may be temporary. However, according to many European historians, the trajectory of the Asian continent and even the rest of the world would have been marked by a very different development process (something like an 'Asian despotism'), which goes against my understanding of other cultures and archeology (of periods before and after writing)”,[xi] a critique in which the author included “historians” such as Laslett, Finley, Braudel, Anderson, even Karl Marx and Max Weber.

Overtly Eurocentric positions were based on both anachronisms and misrepresentations. Defenders of “eternal Europe” based themselves on the lines of geographic division drawn by the classical Greeks who, naturally Greco-centric, named the lands to the East as Asia, those to the South as Africa, and the rest as Europe, a notion that, however, , encompassed part of Africa and extended to the borders of Egypt on the Nile, that is, as far as the Hellenic civilization reached, excluding the Iberian peninsula. The Greek division, which fell into disuse in the Christian Era, was resumed in the modern era, intending to establish a direct historical continuity line between the Greek “Europe” with the modern Western Europe; the Mediterranean would always have separated the “civilized West” from the “barbaric East”.

The historical misrepresentation is clear, as the Mediterranean has been, since the dawn of historical times, a place of exchanges and mixtures. In the so-called “eternal France” a language is spoken that owes hundreds of words to Arabic and less than fifty to the ancient language of the Franks. Europe is not a geographic continent, separate from Asia, of which it forms a large peninsula (the geographic continent is Eurasia): it is a historical continent.

The geographical notion of Europe has existed since the times of classical Greece, but only to designate the Hellenic civilization: “The ancients did not depart from a formal notion of Europe, without a notion of a human Europe, defined in human terms, for the simple fact that this Europe did not exist… Greece invented Europe, but the Greek world was not a European world. Let's see on the map all the locations and names of the colonial cities founded by the Greeks. How to extract from its distribution the notion of a Europe distinct from Asia and Africa, from a European Europe, if half of these localities are found exactly on the coasts of Asia, on the shores of Asia Minor, and on the coasts of Africa, along Africa Smaller?".[xliii]

The recent concept of “East” opposed to “West”, born of the Greek confrontation against the Persian Empire, originated from the split of Christianity, in the division of the Roman Empire. The Church of Constantinople (or Byzantine Church) increasingly distanced itself from the Roman Church, refusing to recognize the Patriarch (Pope) of Rome as universal Christian authority, and establishing an "exarch" in the West. The explicit East/West division was thus created, based on the split in Christianity. The Church based in Rome proclaimed itself “universal”, catholikos. The estrangement led to the split between the two churches in 1054, with a short period of reunification in the 1815th century due to the Council of Florence. In the XNUMXth-XNUMXth centuries the concept of “Europe” acquired its contemporary connotation: centuries later, the Congress of Vienna of XNUMX designated the eastern limit of Europe in the Urals.

The pervasive awareness of a separate “Western unit” had a religious basis, the Christianites: the Carolingian Empire had adopted a calendar in which times were counted from the birth of Christ the Redeemer (annodomini). Western Christendom defined itself in relation to the orthodox faith and Islam. The division of the former romanitas gave rise to new concepts: “From the twelfth century onwards, Europe is a unitary reality that has the same extension as Latin Christianity. But their unity is not political. The Latin space was an agglomeration of entities of different dimensions, subject to powers of varying status, gathered or divided according to dynastic strategies, whose general relations were not allowed to be enclosed in any general formula”.[xiii]

A Christianites came to be defined in global terms: “The event that, more than any other, brought into question the concept according to which Christians were members of a club that identified itself with Europe was the Reformation which, from the third decade of the sixteenth century, divided non-Orthodox Christendom into Catholic and Protestant areas, each of which promoted a sincere and tyrannical campaign for the renewal of faith, moral conduct, religious practice. In the 1560s, Calvin, the most rigid of the promoters of the Reformation, contemplated the clash from his observatory in Geneva, summarizing the socio-political scope of this irreversible fracture with the expression Europae Concussio– the concussion of Europe, not of Christianity”.[xiv] The consistent anachronism of projecting contemporary “Europe” into the remote past is generally found at the service of proclaiming the superiority of “European” civilization (or Western civilization, considering its American projection).

In general, the authors who defended this type of approach are themselves European. Louis Rougier proclaimed that 25 centuries of “European civilization” had proved that “it alone asserted itself as perpetually ascending, while the others grew, spread, culminated, and then declined and perished”;[xlv] other civilizations would not have had the European “vitality”. This result would be due to the mentality of the Europeans, symbolized by the myths of Prometheus and Faust, the enemy of dogmatism and striving to understand the world, which would characterize the tendency towards abstract reasoning, the taste for overcoming difficulties, the desire for progress, “the acute sense of freedom and respect for the individual”, which would be uniquely European. Europe, “critical thinking”, would be the only one to have “revealed (sic) to other societies that the solution to human existence does not exist”, the “paradoxical Eurocentrism takes Westerners abroad without forcing them to deny themselves”: the the fact that some do so would be the product of "self-hatred."[xlv]

The above reasoning is based on the founding “Greek miracle” and on a supposed linear continuity between Pericles' Greece and later Western powers, including today's ones, configuring a monopoly on the continuity of the “miracle”. Émile Bréhier defined Hellenism, Roman law and Christianity as the bases of “European civilization”, noting that they were preserved during the Middle Ages, not in western Europe, but in the “eastern” Byzantine Empire. For Rougier, the basis of the superiority of Western civilization would be found in its “profound conviction that the way to salvation lies in Knowledge” (with “C”) of which Europe would have had a monopoly.

These statements are not just historiographical: Samuel P. Huntington defended that the values ​​considered fundamental in the West have little projection or acceptance in other civilizations; the West, therefore, should be prepared to defend them in a world conflict: “The idea I propose is that the fundamental source of conflicts in this new world will not be mainly ideological or economic in nature. The great divisions between humanity and the predominant source of conflict will be cultural. Nation-states will continue to be the most powerful actors in world affairs, but the main conflicts in global politics will be between countries and groups that are part of different civilizations. The clash of civilizations will dominate world politics. The dividing lines between civilizations will form the battlefronts of the future.” [xlv]

Huntington gave a general form, erudite and aggressive at the same time, to the ideological and methodological framework of an international “new right”, absolutely homogeneous (since politically divided, for example, between liberals, nationalists, and also neo-fascists). In France, in the 1970s, a strand of this current adhered, adapted to the dominant political winds, to a European nationalism that did not make the slightest point of hiding its Eurocentrism, organizing itself in a center called GRECE (Greece), an acronym forced and purposely created for the Groupement de Recherche et d'Études sur la Civilization Européene, which grew in the aftermath of the conservative backlash against the revolutionary political upheavals of 1968.

Its main ideologue, Alain de Benoîst, made a point of proposing that no historical or “cultural” theory could exist in the limbo of an ideological and political void, writing that “the objective study of history shows that only the Indo-European race (white race) , Caucasian) has continued to progress since its appearance on the upward trajectory of the evolution of living beings, unlike races stagnant in their development, therefore in virtual regression”.[xlviii] The author, of course, did not declare himself in favor of the extinction, violent or not, of any race or ethnic group (in which case he would have ended up in prison), but rather of its “separation”, which is why he found supporters among defenders of the apartheid and understanding among those of the “right to difference”.

Eurocentrism also found more qualified and less suspicious defenders (the author cited above collaborated with neo-fascist publications): “Europe found in its history traditions to respond to most of the challenges of the modern world, even when these challenges acquired hitherto unknown forms and powers . Since the end of the Middle Ages, Europe has been aware of this risk and since then has manifested its remedies. The counterweight of ethics (science without knowledge is the ruin of the soul) and the subordination of the economic and technological dimension to politics within the framework of the common good kept Promethean pride high”.[xlix] For the same author, “Europe was the original cradle of reason in ancient Greece”, which is written without more evidence than the statement itself. For Raymond Aron, the ideal of modernity was “the Promethean ambition of being masters and possessors of nature through science and technology”.[l] David Landes called the European industrial boom “Prometheus unchained".[li] The appeal to a founding myth as the basis for a historical process, the insistence on a kind of life force originating in the myth, does little justice to the efforts of historians to elucidate the question.

The formulation of the European Union reinforced, in its Constitution, the (superior) uniqueness of Europe over other bases: “Europe is a continent that bears civility; its inhabitants, brought together by successive waves since the dawn of humanity, have developed the values ​​that are at the basis of humanism: equality among human beings, freedom, respect for reason”.[liiii] This presumed superiority ignores non-European contributions to Renaissance humanism: “The influence on Northern Europe that eventually led to the Italian Renaissance arose above all from the military victories of Muslims in the South of the continent. The impact of Arab science erupted in the European world in the late XNUMXth century in Catalonia, made some headway in southern Italy in the late XNUMXth century, and exploded in Toledo and Salerno in the early XNUMXth century, literally 'illuminating' the knowledge of Europe. medieval. Why is a civilization that made such advances and contributed so much to the scientific revolution of the Renaissance in Europe left behind? …

Scholars generally attribute this difference to moral and intellectual causes. But essentialism cannot be responsible for alternation. Nor does the attribution to religious causes, because all Abrahamic religions have much in common. (One must point out) economic causes, such as the loss of control of the Mediterranean and the development of Italian trade with the East, a fundamental factor for the spectacular advance of the peninsula. At the same time, a conservatism crept into both secular and religious Muslim culture.[iii]

To base the “European identity” on Christianity is to ignore that it was born from a split in Judaism, which, in turn, was the heir of other, even more “oriental” religious syntheses (Persian Zoroastrianism and the ancient mythologies of Mesopotamia, largely resumed in the Old testment). Saying that it was only Paul's Christianity, not Jesus', does not solve anything, since this primitive Christianity converted the peoples of Ethiopia and some Slavic peoples before imposing itself in the Roman Empire, which extended on both shores of the Mediterranean, including North Africa, Asia Minor and the Middle East, excluding most regions and populations of present-day Europe (Northern Europe, East Europe, Mittel Europe, and most of the peoples of Southern Europe), populated by “barbaric peoples”. Most of the nations of present-day Europe were converted to Christianity late: the peoples of Europe resulted from an intense ethnic mixture after this conversion. During the Middle Ages, western Europe was a relatively poor region and threatened by other empires, a situation from which it took off to start the conquest of much of the world, known or unknown.

In the already broad framework of these debates, postcolonial studies were based both on the critique of Eurocentrism and on a shift in historiographical focus. Although the most significant authors listed as representatives of this current (from Franz Fanon and Albert Memmi to Edward Saïd and Aníbal Quijano) predate, even much predate, its explicit formulation, this does not prevent the claim that “postcolonial theory and studies subordinates are theoretical perspectives that allow us to reconstruct the spaces for issuing discourses in societies where the knowledge/power of coloniality was installed, highlighting the rescue of history, knowledge and the subordinate subject in the struggle for autonomy”.[book] Postcolonial or “subaltern” studies claimed their specificity, at first without denying or replacing work with a “global” or universal vocation. The “sensibility” of the postcolonial current or school is, however, far from the idea of ​​an evident, hegemonic and indisputable “cultural globality”, and poses, from a political angle, a questioning of the idea of ​​a “narrative (or history) of ) overall”.

Although questioned multiple times, this last genre experienced a spectacular flowering, distinguishing, in the so-called “globalization”, “on the one hand, a historical process of global, economic and/or cultural integration, whose analysis comes up against the difficulties of divergent periodizations or choice of the criteria considered relevant… The entire Braudelian tradition perceives the dynamics of globalized interdependence since modern times, in the wake of the Great Discoveries. [What should be distinguished from] other authors (who) define global history as a way of approaching historical processes and, therefore, are situated on a methodological level, considering a decompartmentalization of the look necessary, integrating a contextual approach sometimes extended on a planetary scale: globalization is here a way of studying objects, rather than an object of study”.[lv] “Metropolitan” historiography, in this way, responded to the challenge posed to Eurocentrism by seeking to overcome the polarization of westernized history/postcolonial history, through a history that was no longer “total” (as postulated by the Annals), but “global”.[lv]

In all these polarizations, the dialectic of the universal, the singular and the particular, as old as the method itself, has relocated itself in new, and critical, historical and ideological conditions. The debates of the last decades meant that the “global” notions of history needed to be redefined and resignified through their theoretical and historical reconstitution, including their political implications: just for example, the theory of the “end of history”, which made a rampant, worldwide ride in the 1990s, was probably the most political of historical theories.

Osvaldo Coggiola He is a professor at the Department of History at USP. Author, among other books, of Marxist economic theory: an introduction (Boitempo).

 

Notes


[I] Karl Marx. Introduction to the Critique of Political Economy (1857). Córdoba, Past and Present, 1973.

[ii] Structural linguistics is the theory in which language is conceived as an independent, self-sufficient and self-regulating system, with its elements defined according to their relationship with the others, a theory derived from the work of the linguist Ferdinand de Saussure. in your book General Linguistics Course, published posthumously in 1916, Saussure exposed language as a dynamic system of interconnected units. The syntagmatic and paradigmatic analyzes syntactically and lexically define the linguistic units, based on their differences with the other units of the same system. Structural linguistics became associated with the Saussurean notion of language as a dual-interactive system of signs and concepts. The terms “structure” and “structuralism” were incorporated into linguistics by Roman Jakobson and Nikolai Trubetzkoi, belonging to the research group known as the “Prague Circle” (André Martinet. Linguistiquegénérale, linguistiquestructurale, linguistiquefonctionnelle. La Linguistique nº 25, Paris, 1989).

[iii] Claude Levi-Strauss. Structural Anthropology. Rio de Janeiro, Brazilian Time, 1973.

[iv] Murray Leaf. A History of Anthropology. Rio de Janeiro/Sao Paulo, Zahar/Edusp, 1981.

[v] Claude Lévi-Strauss. History: method without specific object. In: Maria Beatriz N. da Silva. Theory of History. Sao Paulo, Cultrix, 1976.

[vi] Emmanuelle Loyer. Levi-Strauss. São Paulo, Sesc Editions, 2018.

[vii] “Neither superior nor inferior, but different” – Lévi-Strauss's warning to his (French, in the first place) audience about non-European peoples and their life structures, was not due to the irony of Montesquieu's imaginary Persian, in Paris: “How can you be Persian?” (Persian Cards. São Paulo, Lafonte, 2018 [1721]).

[viii] François Dosse. History of Structuralism. São Paulo, Ensaio/Unicamp, 1993, Vol. i.

[ix] Claude Levi-Strauss. LesStrucuresÉlementaires de laParenté. Paris-The Hague, Mouton, 1967 [1947].

[X] François Dosse. op cit.

[xi] Claude Levi-Strauss. Structural Anthropology Two. Rio de Janeiro, Brazilian Time, 1987.

[xii] apud Emmanuelle Loyer. Levi-Strauss, cit.

[xiii] LucienGoldmann. Structuralism, Marxism, existentialism. In: Henri Lefebvre et al. Debate on Structuralism. São Paulo, Documents, 1968.

[xiv] Michael Winock. The Century of Intellectuals. The Century of Intellectuals. Rio de Janeiro, Bertrand Brazil, 2000).

[xv] Mikel Dufrenne. Pour l'Homme. Paris, Threshold, 1968.

[xvi] Oscar Teran, Our Sixty Years. Buenos Aires, Siglo XXI, 2013.

[xvii] Oscar Del Barco. The wild thought by Claude Lévi-Strauss. Past and present nº 7-8, Córdoba, October 1964 – March 1965.

[xviii] Carlos Nelson Coutinho. Structuralism and the Poverty of Reason. São Paulo, Popular Expression, 2010.

[xx] Pierre Fougeyrollas. L'Obscurantisme Contemporain. Lacan, Lévi-Strauss, Althusser. Paris, SPAG-Papyrus, 1983 [1976].

[xx] Michel Foucault. History and discontinuity. In: Maria Beatriz N. da Silva. Theory of History. Sao Paulo, Cultrix, 1976.

[xxx] Michael Winock. The Century of Intellectuals, cit.

[xxiii] James Williams. Post-Structuralism. Petropolis, Voices, 2012.

[xxiii] Michel Foucault. Sorvegliare and Punire. Born della prigione. Turin, Einaudi, 2005.

[xxv] Michel Foucault. Histoire de la Folie à l'Âge Classique. Paris, Gallimard, 1977.

[xxiv] Pierre Dardot and Christian Laval. La Nouvelle Raison du Monde. Essai sur la société neoliberale. Paris, La Découverte, 2010.

[xxv] Etienne Balibar. Foucault et Marx. Paris, Seuil, 1989: “Foucault moved, in his theoretical development, from a rupture with Marxism as a theory, to a 'tactical alliance', that is, to the use of some Marxist concepts or some concepts compatible with the marxism” (Thomas Lemke. Foucault, governmentality and criticism. Plural vol. 24 nº 1, São Paulo, FFLCH-USP, 2017).

[xxviii] Michel Foucault. Sorvegliare and Punire, cit.

[xxviii] Michel Foucault. Histoire de la Folie à l'Âge Classique, cit.

[xxix] Michel Foucault. NascitadellaBiopolitica. Milan, Feltrinelli, 2005.

[xxx] Robert Echavarren. Foucault. Buenos Aires, Quadrata, 2014.

[xxxii] Perry Anderson. The Origins of Postmodernity. Rio de Janeiro, Jorge Zahar, 1999.

[xxxi] Jean-Francois Lyotard. The Postmodern Condition. Rio de Janeiro, José Olympio, 1998 [1979].

[xxxii] John Bellamy Foster and Ellen Meiksins Wood. In Defense of History. Marxism and postmodernism. Rio de Janeiro, Zahar, 1999.

[xxxv] David Harvey. Postmodern Condition. São Paulo, Loyola, 1992; Frederick Jameson. Postmodernism. The cultural logic of late capitalism. Sao Paulo, Attica, 2002

[xxxiv] Jurgen Habermas. Modernity – an unfinished project. In: Paulo and Otilia Arantes. A Blind Spot in Jürgen Habermas's Modern Project. São Paulo, Brasiliense, 1992.

[xxxiv] Ernest Gellner. Postmodernism, Reason and Religion. Lisbon, Piaget Institute, 1994.

[xxxviii] Carlo Ginzburg. The cheese and the worms. São Paulo, Companhia das Letras, 2006 [1976] is perhaps his most symbolic and representative work.

[xxxviii] Luis Martinez Andrade. Interview with Michael Lowy. analectics, slp. 2015. In: www. portal.amelica.org/ameli/jatsRepo/251/2511186001/html/index.html.

[xxxix] August Nimitz. Were Marx and Engels Eurocentric? In: Danilo Enrico Martuscelli and Jair Batista da Silva (eds.). Racism, Ethnicity and Class Struggle in the Marxist Debate. Chapeco, Ed. of the Authors, 2021.

[xl] Claude Levi-Strauss. Race et Histoire. Paris, Gonthier, 1961.

[xi] Jack Goody. The Theft of History. How Europeans appropriated the ideas and inventions of the East. São Paulo, Context, 2008.

[xliii] Lucien Febvre. L'Europe. Story of a civiltà. Milan, Feltrinelli, 1999.

[xiii] Krzysztof Pomian. L'Europa e le sue Nazioni. Milan, Arnoldo Mondadori, 1990.

[xiv] John Hale. La Civiltà del Rinascimento in Europe 1450-1620. Milan, Arnoldo Mondadori, 1994.

[xlv] Louis Rougier. Le Genie de l'Occident. Paris, Robert Lafont, 1969.

[xlv] Pascal Bruckner. Le Sanglot de l'Homme Blanc.Tiers-Monde, culpability, haine de soi. Paris, Seuil, 1983.

[xlv] Samuel P. Huntington. Lo Scontro delle Civiltà e il Nuovo Ordine Mondiale. Rome, Gli Elefanti Saggi, 1998.

[xlviii] Alain de Benoist. Les Indo-Européens: à larecherchedu foyer d'origine. New school No. 49, Paris, 1997.

[xlix] Jacques Le Goff. Medieval Europe and the Modern World. Bari, Laterza, 1994.

[l] Raymond Aron. Plaidoyer pour l'Europe Décadente. Paris, Robert Lafont, 1977.

[li] David S. Landes. Prometheus Unchained. Technological change and industrial development in Western Europe from 1750 to the present day. Rio de Janeiro, New Frontier, 1994.

[liiii]Gabriella Galante. La questione delle radici giudaico-cristiane nel prisma dell'integrazione europea. In: Giuseppe Marazzita (ed.). Il Processo de Integrazione Europea dopo il Trattato di Lisbona. Rome, Edizioni Scientifiche Italiane, 2012; JHH Weiller. Un'Europa Cristiana. Milan, Mondadori, 2003.

[iii] Jack Goody. Renaissance. Uno or molti? Rome, Donzelli, 2010.

[book] Jorissa Danilla Nascimento Aguiar. Postcolonial theory, subaltern studies and Latin America: an epistemological turn? Sociology Studies vol. 21, nº 41, Araraquara, São Paulo State University, 2016.

[lv] Caroline Douki and Philippe Minard. Histoire globale, histoires connectées: unchangement d'échelle historiographique? Revue d'Histoire Moderne&Contemporaine, Paris, nº 54/4 bis, 2007.

[lv] Laurent Testot. Histoire Globale, unAutreRegardsurle Monde. Auxerre, Editions Sciences Humaines, 2008.

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