By Warren Breckman
Marxism's cave in within the 20th century profoundly altered the fashion and substance of Western ecu radical proposal. to construct a higher kind of democratic concept and motion, well known theorists moved to reject revolution, abandon type for extra fragmented versions of social motion, and raise the political over the social. Acknowledging the constructedness of society and politics, they selected the "symbolic" as an idea strong sufficient to reinvent leftist proposal open air a Marxist framework. Following Maurice Merleau-Ponty's Adventures of the Dialectic, which reassessed philosophical Marxism at mid century, Warren Breckman seriously revisits those exciting experiments within the aftermath of Marxism.
The post-Marxist proposal of the symbolic is dynamic and intricate, uncannily echoing the early German Romantics, who first complicated 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 favored the wealthy power of the ambiguities and paradoxes the Romantics first famous. Mapping diverse principles of the symbolic between modern thinkers, Breckman lines a desirable mirrored image of Romantic issues and resonances, and he explores extensive the trouble to reconcile an intensive and democratic political time table 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 of 200 years of eu proposal and extends their profound relevance to today's political activism.
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Extra resources for Adventures of the Symbolic: Post-marxism and Radical Democracy
Compelled by the attempt to free humanity from religion, radical Hegelians 28 THE SYMBOLIC DIMENSION like Arnold Ruge, Theodor Echtermeyer, and Friedrich Theodor Vischer sharpened Hegel’s opposition to the Romantic sensibility. Ruge and Echtermeyer’s polemical manifesto Der Protestantismus und die Romantik (1839–1840) is emblematic of this. The main tendency of Left Hegelianism was opposed to Romanticism and, by extension, Romantic ideas about symbolic form. Nonetheless, as this chapter will show, there were subtleties in the way this critical distance from Romanticism played out.
A new basis for the critique of allegory emerged with Goethe and Moritz’s Autonomieästhetik. Allegory, in this view, represents a mechanical and selfconscious way of connecting the particular and the general. In creating an allegory, the poet seeks a particularity to typify a generality, thus the particular serves merely to exemplify the general. By contrast, Goethe argued, the very nature of poetry lies in its expression of the particular, without thinking of or referring to a universal. To grasp this particular in a truly lively way, however, is also to come into contact with the general, though without immediate awareness or, at most, with an awareness that emerges only in reﬂection.
On the other side, he continually construes his own work as dialectical, whether we speak of his interwar openness to the Hegelian dialectic of recognition, his 1950s and 1960s structuralist emphasis upon the workings of the symbolic, or his later stress on the agonistic relationship between the symbolic and the real. ” This is a dialectic, sustained by irony, that does not settle into sedimented truth: “The actual dialectic has always been in play around necessity and freedom, the highest good, etc.