positions 13:2 Â© 2005 by Duke University Press positions 13:2 Fall 2005 The Paradox of Peripheral Capitalism The rise of liberal modernity in western Europe and North America more than two hundred years ago, as Ernest Laclau and Chantel Mouffe have forcefully put it, marked a momentous mutation in the social imagination of Western societies: the logic of equivalence displaced the logic of differentiation and imposed itself as a fundamental nodal point in the construction of the social. In the matrix of the new social imaginary, subordination was constructed as oppression. This effectively delegitimated older, hierarchic and inequalitarian views of social organization.1 The Kantian tradition conceptualizes this radical break as the replacement of the primacy of the good life by the primacy of justice. No social order can persist without appearing (i.e., being perceived by people in it) to be just. Indeed, our intuitive conviction that each person should be rendered his or her due is so fundamental now that it forecloses any possibility that sacriï¬ces imposed on a few might accrue advantages that many, even society as a whole, could enjoy or beneï¬t from collectively.2 However, this does not mean that every social order is equally just
positions asia critique – Duke University Press
Published: Sep 1, 2005
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