MYTH, UTOPIA, AND POLITICAL ACTION
Languages of publication
Starting from the premise that some form of 'reality transcendence', i.e. the ability to imagine a different reality and reach out for the (un)thinkable, is necessary for political action, the aim of this paper is to analyse the concepts of myth and utopia elaborated by Georges Sorel and Karl Mannheim and to examine their possible contributions to a theory of political action and social change. By comparing the role the authors assign to rationality and irrationality in human affairs, methodological and conceptual differences between Sorel's and Mannheim's approaches to the political are illustrated. It turns out that due to its immunity to critique Sorel's concept of the social myth is highly problematic. Mannheim's concept of utopia, on the other hand, culminates in a technocratic understanding of the political. Though both approaches emphasise the collective dimension of political action, they ultimately exhibit elitist understandings of the political.
Publication order reference
CEJSH db identifier