ABSTRACT

This chapter argues that the constraints on world-systems analyses and praxes of historical alternatives have ultimately emanated from the choice of the proper unit of analysis that originally inspired and subsequently framed world-systems studies. Western utopianism has often favored global knowledge and change in sharp contrast to Eastern exercises in the same via self-knowledge and inner transformation. The proposed transition from utopistics to utopystics, a further terminological metamorphosis introduced by Immanuel Wallerstein, signifies an intentional move toward comparative/integrative utopistic theorizing and practice by advancing non-orientalist, cross-cultural analyses of Western utopian, Eastern mystical, and critical scientific discourses and praxes. Eastern mysticism can only enrich the world-systems studies to conceive not only of a greater global world-system but also of the inner world-systems shaping the everyday lives by the process of self-knowledge and transformation. A de-orientalized world-system, and world-systems studies, could benefit from engaging comparatively with non-Western traditions that have been for millennia pursuing the good life, in other ways.