Pluriversal Socialism: The Very Idea

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‘Pluriversal Socialism – The Very Idea’ starts from the position that politics in the West today is typically conducted in liberal humanist terms. This is the case regardless of whether those involved identify as radical democrats, socialists, communists, feminists, Greens, Marxists or anarchists.

Contemporary antihumanist and posthumanist theory is meant to offer something very different to liberal humanism. Media ecology, media archaeology, new materialism and object-oriented philosophy are all positioned as representing a shift away from anthropocentrism and a modernist epistemology based on the separation of human from nonhuman, subject from object, masculine from feminine, culture from nature, living from non-living. Instead, they champion a radically relational approach to the world that is designed to destablise such ontological dualisms. Yet while antihumanist and posthumanist theorists may write about transgressing the boundary that divides the human from the nonhuman, when it comes to their own ways of being and doing they too often end up operating as bourgeois liberal humanists.

‘Pluriversal Socialism’ continues with my exploration (in texts such as Pirate Philosophy and ‘Anti-Bourgeois Theory’) of how we can not only write non-liberal humanist theory but actually work, act and live as non-liberal humanists too. It does so by drawing on the emphasis that is currently placed by a number of Latin Americanist theorists on pluriversal, ontological, radically relational politics (as distinct from the universal, modernist, counterhegemonic politics of most left thinkers in the Global North). In the process it addresses two important questions that have been raised recently by Arturo Escobar and Boaventura de Sousa Santos respectively: ‘Can we unlearn the liberal individual … in a similar way that we endeavour to unlearn patriarchy, racism and heterosexism?’ And is what we need to do so ‘another theory of revolution’ or a revolution of theory?
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages30
JournalMedia Theory
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 25 Sept 2021

Bibliographical note

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative
Commons Attribution License Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)


  • relational
  • ontological
  • liberal
  • humanist
  • posthuman
  • inhuman
  • Escobar
  • decolonisation


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