Negativity and Revolution: Adorno and Political Activism

How can activists strive against the political paralysis that characterises the anti-dialectical Marxism of Foucault, Derrida and Deleuze, with no reverting to a dogmatic orthodoxy? This booklet explores strategies within the ‘negative dialectics’ of Theodor Adorno.

The poststructuralist shift from dialectics to ‘difference’ has been so well known that it turns into tricky to create significant innovative responses to neoliberalism. The individuals to this quantity come from in the anti-capitalist stream, and shut to the worries expressed in Negri and Hardt's Empire and Multitude. despite the fact that, they argue forcefully and persuasively for a go back to dialectics so a real-world, radical problem to the present order will be constructed.

This is a passionate name to hands for the anti-capitalist move. it may be learn by means of all engaged activists and scholars of political and important theory.

“As somebody who studied with Theodor W. Adorno 40 years in the past it really is intriguing to work out how more youthful generations of students proceed to paintings with Adorno's equipment and retain his insights alive.” —Prof. Detlev Claussen, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz collage of Hannover

“This e-book may perhaps good were titled ‘Reading Adorno Politically.’ utilizing Adorno's paintings as touchstone and emphasizing the originality of his unfavourable dialectics, those essays have interaction essentially the most vital debates between modern political theorists and activists.” —Michael Hardt, co-author of Empire and Multitude

“A nice assortment that demonstrates the relevance of [Adorno's] detrimental dialectics to modern hobbies of resistance to capitalist globalization.” —Alex Callinicos, Professor of eu reports, King's collage London

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Kant’s moral philosophy, Adorno reminds us, always maintained an interest in action and “practical reason” as moral thinking was revealingly called. ” But by Kant’s time practical reason had already lost many of the nuances which the concept of praxis evoked for the Greeks. The heyday of the Enlightenment coincided with an emergent division of labour which was busy parcelling up experience into separate spheres such that philosophies like Kant’s could respond only with their own specialised critiques.

V Certainly, liberalism is not a ghost that exclusively haunts Deleuze’s work. 7 “The notion of multitude seems to share something with liberal thought because it values individuality but, at the same time, it distances itself from it radically because this individuality is the final product of a process of individuation which stems from the universal, the generis, the pre-individual. The seeming nearness is overturned and becomes the maximum distance” (Virno 2004: 76). Virno’s notion of multitude would thus separate itself from liberalism in that the concept of the individual associated with this notion of multitude would occur a posteriori in relation to a process of individuation, while the liberal concept of the individual would occur a priori.

On this Adorno writes: “However fraudulently the promotion of unity to a philosophy may have exalted it at the expense of plurality, its supremacy, though not the summum bonum a victorious philosophical tradition since the Eleatics took it for, is an ens realissimum. It really has a touch of the transcendence which the philosophers praise in the idea of unity” (1990: 314). The Hegelian system – where positive dialectics culminates in a reconciliation of the social totality in the Absolute Spirit – is its major exponent, that is, the system in which that identity reaches simultaneously its truest and falsest expression.

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