05. Democratic socialism and our understanding of history

05. Democratic socialism and our understanding of history

 
 
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“Capitalism was not written indelibly into the future of the middle ages. The decline of the middle ages takes place and there are many responses to it. One is the rise of capitalism and one is also the rise of socialism, if I understand socialism to be the search for reasonable alternatives to capitalism, and indeed that turns out to be the case.”

—big mike

Listen: iTunes, Spotify, Mixcloud | Transcript

In this episode:

00:00 What even is history, and how does history as we in the West think of it today arise alongside capitalism? If history as we think of it today arises alongside capitalism, what does it do for capitalism?

15:21 More broadly, what does history do in the world, who does history serve? How can history give legitimacy to different views of the present?

18:54 How do conceptual questions about how we study objects in history—such as, for example, questions about how we should define an ‘event’—allow us to use history for different purposes?

22:10 If history is always a construct, then how do we start to construct a democratic socialist view of history, as opposed to the commonplace (capitalist) histories we are commonly confronted with? How does allow us to rethink the relation between socialism and capitalism?

37:30 If history is constructed ideologically, how do we weigh the validity of one history as compared to another? How do we allow the ‘debris’ of history to surprise us despite our preconceptions?

39:51 Looking ahead, how can we use history as a set of tools for creating a new mental structure that takes us towards the world(s) we want?

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