Radical politics have been defined in modern times -- and distinguished from earlier traditions of protest -- by the idea that economic, social and political structures are contradictory. Systems of exploitation creates not only wealth and prosperity for the powerful, but at the same time bring into being the forces which ensure their own eventual downfall. But it is a large step from the general assertion that social forms contain their own contradictions to analysis of the specific contradictions which occur in a given historical context, their interaction and movement, and their possible historical outcomes.
This collection of essays examines social contradictions in the age of globalization in which old antagonisms often appear to be overcome, and new cracks are emerging in the facade of capitalist progress. Where do they occur? Where can they be expected to appear in future? How can they be grasped in a spirit of sober radicalism, which neither accepts the limits of the present nor overcomes them through wishful thinking alone? What possibilities do they offer for mobilizing resistance? These issues define an agenda which is critical for socialism in our time.