The light has gone out. ​My beloved adviser, Erik Olin Wright, is no more. Perhaps, I am wrong to say that. Nevertheless, we will never see him again as we have seen him in the past. We will not run to him for advice and seek solace from him, and that is a terrible tragedy, not to me only, but to many who Erik touched their lives forever.
The light has gone out, I said, and yet I was wrong. For the light that he shone in this world--and in the sociological tradition-- was no ordinary light; the light that will illuminate the world for many years. Erik spent a lifetime studying social justice; from developing a nuanced and sophisticated version of Marxian class analysis and placing it at the very core of contemporary social theory, to the Real Utopias Project that encouraged pursuing what Karl Marx himself so strenuously abjured:drawing up designs—blueprints—of the institutions necessary for a just social order.
It is sad day for anyone who even remotely knew Erik. And all this has happened when there was so much more for him to do. We could never think that he was unnecessary and or that he had done his task. He is now gone but his exquisite intellectual legacy, his dedication to equality (or equal access to opportunity as he insisted), and above all, his moral commitment, will live forever.
Goodbye, beloved Erik! Your beautiful smile will be dearly missed...
Jim Farmelant http://independent.academia.edu/JimFarmelant http://www.foxymath.com Learn or Review Basic Math
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