Los Angeles Review of Books - History And The Sphinx: Of Riots And Uprisings


We might wonder, instead, if the very concept of an alternative belongs to the now-outmoded politics of party, state and program. In the 20thcentury, “alternative” always meant an alternate form of modernization and industrialization – modernization under socialist (or fascist) conditions of political control and distribution. Past revolutionary ideas of the future depended on a conception of an alternate course of development. But such futures are gone. There are no creditable images of the century to come that are not formed of nightmare and ruin, however much the Shanghai skyline tries to tell us otherwise. Everyone dreads the future. Which means that we might need to revise our very conception of what “revolution” and “alternative” mean.

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