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Futures Transformed

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Chapter Summary

This chapter provides understanding of modernity and the industrial way of life, and illuminates some of the key features of attendant approaches to the future. In particular it explains the deeply contradictory and paradoxical characteristics of contemporary futurity. As the future is progressively emptied of content and opened up to the possibilities that we might create, non-intended consequences mushroom and planned outcomes prove ever more elusive. The chapter explores the promethean power of producing futures in a variety of contemporary guises. Ancient chains of obligation and promise that stretched from the beginning to the end of time had been broken and were substituted with an abstract money economy and discontinuous relations guided by market utility. The chapter explains such severed connections and focuses on the paradoxes that arise when embodied and socially embedded people operate in abstract, dis-embedded and de-contextualised social and institutional structures.

Keywords: abstract money economy; contemporary futurity; institutional structure; market utility; modernity; promethean power

10.1163/ej.9789004161771.i-218.33
/content/books/10.1163/ej.9789004161771.i-218.33
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