Download Adventures of the Symbolic: Post-marxism and Radical by Warren Breckman PDF

By Warren Breckman

Marxism's cave in within the 20th century profoundly altered the fashion and substance of Western eu radical proposal. to construct a far better kind of democratic idea and motion, well-known theorists moved to reject revolution, abandon category 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 robust adequate to reinvent leftist inspiration 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 complicated a contemporary perception of symbolism and the symbolic. Hegel and Marx denounced the Romantics for his or her otherworldly and nebulous posture, but post-Marxist thinkers liked the wealthy capability of the ambiguities and paradoxes the Romantics first well-known. Mapping diversified principles of the symbolic between modern thinkers, Breckman lines a desirable mirrored image of Romantic topics 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 very important theorists inside 2 hundred years of eu proposal and extends their profound relevance to today's political activism.

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The first two chapters explore two quite different ways 23 INTRODUCTION in which the emerging western European left engaged Romanticism in the early nineteenth century. Chapters 3 and 4 treat Castoriadis and Lefort, the cofounders of Socialisme ou Barbarie, whose subsequent work shared numerous features but diverged in significant ways. Finally, chapters 5 and 6 are driven by the relationship between Laclau, Mouffe, and Žižek. CHAPTER ONE The Symbolic Dimension and the Politics of Young Hegelianism IS S TRUC TUR A LISM A PRODIG A L CHILD of German Romanticism?

In the light of Marx’s critique of the commodity, it is not particularly surprising that the Hegelian left sharpened its blades for combat with Romanticism; nor, given our discussion thus far, should it come as a surprise that the Left Hegelians attacked Romantic concepts of symbolic form. Just as the Romantic ideal of the symbol was anchored in the desire to present the unpresentable, so too was the Left Hegelian rejection of the symbolic deeply implicated in their campaign against religion. Marx followed the Left Hegelians in associating human emancipation with the task of overcoming the otherness, heteronomy, and unmasterability implied by symbolic representation.

Tarot’s insistence that Durkheim’s approach to the symbolic was ultimately allegorical leads him to draw a contrast between Mauss and Durkheim. Mauss maintained that symbols are irreducibly complex. They are polysemic and always open to interpretation, as Saussure acknowledged in the act of pushing symbols to the margins of his linguistic science.  Surveying the innovations of Mauss’s thought, Tarot suggests that Mauss’s symbolic sociology ultimately developed a more “Romantic” version of Durkheimianism.

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