Alex Khasnabish and Max HaivenOct 22, 2023
The Radical Imagination in Reactionary Times
A Discussion with Alex Khasnabish and Max Haiven
Zed Books 2023
Professors Alex Khasnabish and Max Haiven are authors of a book called The Radical Imagination: Social Movement Research in the Age of Austerity (Bloomsbury, 2014). Their book examines how social movements imagine (and build) radical new futures. Additionally, the book critically intervenes in broader social movement theory, and suggests new approaches for scholar-activists.
As part of a recent episode of Darts and Letters, “Mutual Aid & the Anarchist Radical Imagination,” we spoke to Alex and Max about how these ideas help us make sense of autonomous and anarchist-styled movement building. However, we had a much broader conversation about the book, its legacy, and how we should understand it today. That longer conversation is here.
We cover: the history of social movement theory, how it (mis)understands prefigurative politics, and how to make sense of the burgeoning far right. In a time where reactionary movements offer radical visions – space colonization, transhumanist enhancement, life extension, and more – how are we to make sense of the radical imagination? Do they have a kind of new reactionary radical imagination, or is it more of the same? We discuss.