The End of Illusions

The End of Illusions

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Just a few years ago, social progress was seemingly certain to the Western public: the world triumph of democracy and the market economy seemed unstoppable, and liberalization and emancipation, the knowledge society and the pluralization of lifestyles were considered terms that would determine the future. But in the end, due to Brexit and the election of Donald Trump, came a painful realization that these were all illusions. And indeed, the extent of the change in the structure of society is only now visible: the old industrial modernism has been supplanted by the late modernism defined by polarization and paradoxes ‒ progress and discomfort are two sides of the same coin. In this book, Andreas Reckwitz provides an argumentative presentation of the central structural features of modernity: the new class society, the features of the post-industrial economy, the conflict between culture and identity, the exhaustion arising from the imperative of self-realization and the crisis of liberalism.

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For readers, it is certainly a fortunate circumstance that Reckwitz's study has been translated into Croatian, thanks to this publisher. In Croatia too, the time has passed when social practices in all areas of life followed tacit general maxims of action. Possibilities of dealing with new tensions between nationalism and universalism, individualism and collectivism, and between metropolitan and peripheral areas are sought. Croatia is also facing the problems of market regulation and immigration and emigration. If there is still a feeling that the illusions have not been exhausted, it is because the industrial society and the idea of Western hegemony have not yet had to be completely abandoned. The nation, reshaped by the violent breakup of the non-aligned Yugoslavia just as postmodernist society in the West reached its peak, can still be considered young. The euphoria about joining the European Union is still fresh. Precisely because the detours of late modernism in Croatia are only being hinted at, The End of Illusions may not be read here only as a manifesto that conveys ‒ in the best sense of the word ‒ an irritating picture of contemporary Western society, but also as an important handbook for what is to come.
Christine Magerski

  • ISBN: 978-953-369-022-3
  • Dimensions: 142x205 mm
  • Number of pages: 248
  • Cover: paperback
  • Year of the edition: 2023
  • Original title: Das Ende der Illusionen. Politik, Ökonomie und Kultur in der Spätmoderne
  • Original language: German
  • Translation: Nadežda Čačinovič