There is, first of all, a kind of social theory that is paradigmatic, seeking to address immediate questions using accepted tools, publishing in current discipline avenues. Then there is, in the second case, a kind of social theory that seeks to blow the world apart. Society will not grant credit on the basis of this second category; it goes, for the most part, un- or under-funded, often not coming to currency for years or even decades after long periods of being “forgotten” or “before its time.”
It is, for better or for worse, the second kind of social theory that we traffic in at the New School, hence its poverty and idiosyncratic nature. There are few of these institutions left. What will they read two generations from now, if we don’t engage in our Quixotic labor today?
There have to be wild thinkers, or there will be no chance to catch the future as it flies past.