If I were required to pick a date to mark the birth of the modern world, I should choose 1492, the year in which the Europeans began their conquest of the planet—military, economic, political, ideological, cultural, and even, in a certain sense, ethnic. But the world in question is also the world of capitalism, a new social and economic system, qualitatively different from all previous systems in Europe and elsewhere. These two traits are inseparable, and this fact calls into question all analyses of and responses to the crisis of modernity that fail to recognize their simultaniety. From this perspective, the dominant "social science" can be seen to be handicapped by its Eurocentrism, which in my opinion prevents it from correctly relating these two aspects of the modern world and its contradictions.
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