Marxism's cave in within the 20th century profoundly altered the fashion and substance of Western ecu radical suggestion. to construct a higher kind of democratic idea and motion, favourite theorists moved to reject revolution, abandon type for extra fragmented types of social motion, and increase the political over the social. Acknowledging the constructedness of society and politics, they selected the "symbolic" as an idea strong sufficient to reinvent leftist suggestion open air a Marxist framework. Following Maurice Merleau-Ponty's Adventures of the Dialectic, which reassessed philosophical Marxism at mid century, Warren Breckman significantly revisits those exciting experiments within the aftermath of Marxism.The post-Marxist inspiration of the symbolic is dynamic and complicated, uncannily echoing the early German Romantics, who first complex a latest perception of symbolism and the symbolic. Hegel and Marx denounced the Romantics for his or her otherworldly and nebulous posture, but post-Marxist thinkers preferred the wealthy strength of the ambiguities and paradoxes the Romantics first well-known. Mapping diversified principles of the symbolic between modern thinkers, Breckman strains a desirable mirrored image of Romantic issues and resonances, and he explores extensive the hassle to reconcile a thorough and democratic political schedule with a politics that doesn't privilege materialist understandings of the social. enticing with the paintings of Claude Lévi-Strauss, Cornelius Castoriadis, Claude Lefort, Marcel Gauchet, Ernesto Laclau, Chantal Mouffe, and Slavoj Žižek, Breckman uniquely situates those vital theorists inside 2 hundred years of eu inspiration and extends their profound relevance to cutting-edge political activism.
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Extra resources for Adventures of the Symbolic: Postmarxism and Democratic Theory
Conversely, the question of the dialectic does not disappear. ” In Žižek’s unconventional reading, Hegel is a philosopher of contingency, and the dialectic rests on a radical negativity that undoes the imaginary drive to wholeness. Moreover, for Žižek, the symbolic itself is the proper place of the dialectic, not only because the symbolic involves an endless series of mediated interactions but also because it is always in relation to that which exceeds it. Lacan’s position on the dialectic is itself divided.
Unlike Castoriadis, who avowed the revolutionary project right up to his death in December 1997, Lefort rejected the idea of a revolutionary transformation of society; his embrace of pluralism and, in the 1980s, the politics of human rights could seem to mark him as a liberal centrist. But, in fact, his mature theory involved a robust conception of democracy and, indeed, of the social basis of rights, which cannot be subordinated to liberalism. Accordingly, his theory could and did inspire radical democratic projects.
Scholars are quick to point out the gulf separating the Romantic from the postmodern sublime. ” Yet, the 26 THE SYMBOLIC DIMENSION relationship of postmodernism to Romanticism seems to go beyond this latter-day act of demystiﬁcation, for the experience of indeterminacy is not at all alien to Romantic thought. While Kant seemed conﬁdent that the symbolic could lead us toward an intellectual comprehension of that which cannot be presented, Romanticism did not produce a similar sense of certainty.
Adventures of the Symbolic: Postmarxism and Democratic Theory by Warren