Notes on modernization, from the periphery I

A userpanel on 'Notes on modernization, from the periphery I'

Luiz Renato Martins
Jorge Grespan
  University of São Paulo
Ana Paula Pacheco
  University of São Paulo

Type Pre-Constituted Panel
When Jun 13, 2016
from 11:13 PM to 11:13 PM
Contact Name
Contact Phone 5511996428130
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Where does modernization come from and where does it go? What interests does the overwhelming and contradictory process appearing under such name serve? What will remain after the shock waves sweep away, as once pointed out, whatever seems venerable and as well whatever becomes antiquated before even having time to ossify? Results and Prospects (Trostky, 1906) provoked a copernic revolution in historical thinking, when it instituted the peripheral perspective as a decisive critical ingredient for a systematized and dialectical judgement on the historical process. New lights have illuminated, since then, imperialism and colonization after-effect issues. The complexity of unheard angles have appeared and challenged the dualistic viewpoint. In effect, Trotsky´s seminal essay showed that, from the periphery, imperialism and modernization appeared as two sides of the same coin, according to a process ruled not – as the Enlightenment myth supposed –, by the emancipation and enlightenment of the bourgeoisie, but instead by Capital as the automatical suject. In fact, since the first implosions of the colonial system back in the nineteenth century, the peripheral modernizations are actually triggered by the Capital productive revolutions. Instead of political revolutions with common agendas and some form of universality, what usually occurs in the periphery, even over the heads of temporary revolutionary episodes, is not but changes of the relations of production according to the international expansion of capitals. The results are passive revolutions that multiply in mottled ways the modes of dispossession and primitive accumulation, combined with advanced technologies. Against the myths of the bourgeois revolution as straightforward progress and modernization, Benjamin´s Theses on the Concept of History (1940), after Results and Prospects, argued that the revolutionary subject in the periphery couldn´t be but the subject of the social shipwreck caused by the productive forces revolution. The panel, stemming from peripheral critical experience, proposes two linked tables (I and II). The first one will discuss in three fronts – from Marx´s texts, from aesthetical debate on modernity and its overcoming, and from the collapse of the Brazilian PT (Workers Party) experience – the dead-ends, the blind spots and, despite everything, the revolutionary roads that might open themselves in the present crisis. PROPONENTS: Jorge Grespan – "Subject in modernity: representation forms and social conscience" (History Dept., Univ. of São Paulo); Luiz Renato Martins – "Notes on David Craven's 'Alternative Modernism'" (Visual Arts Dept., Univ. of São Paulo); Ana Paula Pacheco -