Mar 11, 2013

A materialist account of historical possibility

A materialist account of historical possibility is interested not in motives for action but in the conditions that produce and contour such motives, the conditions in which our actions are iterated, and the conditions with which our actions interact to produce certain effects.... A materialist understanding of history does not imply that economic imperatives 'cause' or directly 'determine' human experience; rather, within a certain order of economic and attendant social relations, there are many possibilities for belief and action. But there are not infinite possibilities.
-- Wendy Brown, "The Sacred, the Secular, and the Profane: Charles Taylor and Karl Marx"