The challenge is not how to make these people accept Western rationality, but how to stop the affluent Northern classes from ruining the planet and thus making it uninhabitable for everyone, including themselves. So I’d say we should struggle for the universal as it is in ‘universal suffrage’, ‘universal taxation’, ‘universal biological needs’, or ‘universal dependence on the ecosystem’ and not as in ‘universal religion’, ‘universal language’, or a ‘universal rationality’. With the political name for this universal being ‘equality’.
From the Introduction by Jan Sowa
The Missing Denominator. Universalism and Progressive Cultural Politics, a book edited by Jan Sowa constitutes a conclusion to the eponymous symposium organised in May 2019 as part of the first edition of Biennale Warszawa, “Let’s organise our future!” It comprises voices of European intellectuals, researchers and activists concerning universalism and its significance for progressive cultural politics. It touches upon such issues as colonialism, neoliberal globalisation, identity politics, populism and migration, among others.
The book was published jointly by Biennale Warszawa and EUNIC European Union National Institutes for Culture. The project co-financed by the funds of the European Commission Representation Office in Poland.
The entire publication in two language versions is available on ISSUU and as downloadable files: