Time Treks: The Uncertain Future of Old and New Despotisms

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In this collection of essays, Ashis Nandy uses the metaphor of the future -- imagined utopias, conceptions of cultural possibilities, social critiques of things to come - to redefine the present. Nandy's effort is to demonstrate that, in a world increasingly dominated by a narrow range of ideologies, one must affirm that social ethics and a more humane society can be based on grounds other than those framed for the past 200 years by political and psychological forces that have tried to flatten and homogenize the world and reduce the possibility of diverse futures.Nandy critiques the Enlightenment and the limited ideas of 'reason, ' 'progress' and 'development' given shape in Europe. He insists that we own up to our responsibility for alternative systems of knowledge at points in time 'when human beings turn emancipatory ideas, ideologies, and categories into new tools of violence and oppression.'