Marxism's cave in within the 20th century profoundly altered the fashion and substance of Western ecu radical inspiration. to construct a stronger type of democratic concept and motion, popular theorists moved to reject revolution, abandon category 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 robust sufficient to reinvent leftist notion 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 intricate, uncannily echoing the early German Romantics, who first complicated a latest belief 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 various principles of the symbolic between modern thinkers, Breckman lines a desirable mirrored image of Romantic issues and resonances, and he explores extensive the hassle to reconcile an intensive and democratic political schedule with a politics that doesn't privilege materialist understandings of the social. attractive 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 of 200 years of ecu proposal and extends their profound relevance to contemporary political activism.
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Extra info for Adventures of the Symbolic: Postmarxism and Democratic Theory
Viewed in this way, the symbolic opens the possibility for reorienting critical theory toward radical democracy, conceptualizing the power of symbols to body forth ideas, while at the same time viewing the social space as open and unmasterable. These conceptions of the symbolic overlap and frequently conﬂict in the course of radical thought in the aftermath of Marxism. The notion of the symbolic is too polyvalent, and the uses to which it has been put too diverse, to permit singular deﬁnitions or solutions or a singular line of development.
As Bengt Algot Sørenson, the great student of Romantic symbol theory, suggests, the idea of the symbol almost immediately forked oﬀ from Kant. Kant, after all, believed that the symbol makes concepts visible by analogy, not by participation in or identity with the conceptual object, which itself remains sensuously unpresentable; the sensual and the intellectual are permanently divided. Romanticism, as we shall see, did not decisively settle on one side or the other of the alternatives posed by Kant and Goethe, but oscillated between the notions that the symbol presents the unpresentable and that it participates in the object it presents.
Bauer’s philosophy of self-consciousness radicalized Hegel’s emphasis on the potential transparency of language and meaning, thereby tying the emancipatory project to a radical process of desymbolization. Feuerbach’s position was more conﬂicted. Although he developed a radical hermeneutic that had a tremendous impact on the development of left-wing thought, Feuerbach’s naturalism led him toward a stance in which the Hegelian schema of the subject’s appropriation of meaning contended with a resistant natural kernel that called for the reintroduction of symbolic representation as the only mode of signiﬁcation appropriate for this unsayable and unmasterable element.
Adventures of the Symbolic: Postmarxism and Democratic Theory by Warren