Publisher: AK Press
Released: July 9, 2024
Now available for preorder! Order now and we'll ship as soon as the book is released in July.
A mind-expanding exploration of the political force of the imagination.
When we imagine a different society organized by a different logic than capitalism, what we imagine is not (yet) in the world as a material reality. To what extent is a rival vision for life on Earth a prerequisite for living differently? After all, we cannot aim to create what we cannot imagine. When we imagine something, it is already present. Human imagination is a world-creating power.
Radical theorist Richard Gilman-Opalsky explores the function of imaginary power in contexts as diverse as revolts across the globe, Black radical music, the international history of May Day, the George Floyd Rebellion, and ideology in present-day China. He reminds us that people once denounced slavery abolitionists and radical suffragettes as utopian. So much is declared impossible until it starts to happen.
In these expansive and surprising essays, Gilman-Opalsky demonstrates that anti-utopian naysayers suffer from limited imaginations, poor understandings of history, or worse, are favorably disposed toward a deadly status quo. Imaginary Power, Real Horizons, on the other hand, considers the urgent theoretical and practical importance of our ability to dream up our successes in real struggles to abolish the terrors of capital.
Praise for Imaginary Power, Real Horizons:
"As a Marxist, I have to say that to be a communist in today’s world is hard and precarious. Gilman-Opalsky’s Imaginary Power, Real Horizons is a vital source of inspiration to be a communist today and to envision a new utopia based on love."—Kohei Saito, author of Marx in the Anthropocene
Richard Gilman-Opalsky is professor of political theory and philosophy in the School of Politics and International Affairs at the University of Illinois. He is author of seven books, including The Communism of Love, Specters of Revolt, and Precarious Communism. Gilman-Opalsky has lectured widely throughout the world, and his work has been translated and published in Greek, Spanish, French, and German.