“Gramsci once described the struggle for social justice as requiring ‘pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will.’ I believe in the world today we need an optimism of the intellect as well: an optimism grounded in our understanding of the real potentials for emancipatory alternatives which can inform our practical strategies for social transformation.” (Erik Olin Wright)
Erik Olin Wright, an eminent sociologist and one of the great public intellectuals of our time, has died at 72. Wright, a brilliant scholar and Marxist thinker, has not just taught us so much about class, exploitation and power, he has also envisioned way to democratic and egalitarian alternatives to the capitalist system. Erik Olin Wright was passionately and equally earnest about intellectual rigour and political relevance.
In deeply moving “Clarifying my final weeks” post, he wrote:
“Sometime in my late teens to early twenties, I decided… not to live…
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