Log In Sign Up. Raphael Schlembach. From the outset, thus, the editors make clear that this is not a book about Adorno. And yet their quarrel is not with the social democratic turn of critical theory since the first generation of the Frankfurt School. Rather, the book is directed against contemporary revolutionary theory that puts difference before contradiction, the ontological before the dialectical, and the positive before negativity.
VTLS Chameleon iPortal Full Record
This is where Adorno comes in. Dialectics in the negative sense, as a movement against identity, is not a series of historical stages ending in the synthetic, but a permanent questioning of familiar concepts, power, and identity.
This is the meaning of dialectics that the book seeks to rescue from post-structuralist and post- autonomist criticism. This is certainly an attractive interpretation for political activists who have been looking towards post-autonomist theory for the recognition of the primacy of their struggle. However, Holloway here makes a ruthless distinction between a negative and positive version of autonomism.
Negativity and revolution : Adorno and political activism
Positive autonomism sees the multitude as constituting the driving force behind social change. The starting point is not the positive constitution of class but the negative struggle against classification. The emphasis is not on capital recomposing to meet the challenges posed by the multitude, but of capital in crisis. But Bonnet points at length to the limits of opposing identification with a Deleuzian philosophy of difference. Instead he pleads for a reading that is based on the antagonism and contradiction of capitalist social relations.
The chapter describes the particular appeal of the alternative globalisation movement as its rejection of state-power, the lack of a notion of linear historical development and the lack of movement elites. Part three moves on from the concern with post-structuralism to a critique of totalitarian revolutionary thought. There can thus not be an answer that lies external to capitalist reality. Fernando Matamoros, enquiring about the influence of Bloch and Benjamin on Adorno, conceptualises negativity as hope.
He reminds us that negativity is not an absolute concept, but a critical one.
As such, in contemporary art, aesthetic artefacts are not the absolute inversion of the present, but its critical mimesis. Negativity and Revolution is not only a contribution to academic debate. John Holloway , Fernando Matamoros. How can activists combat the political paralysis that characterises the anti-dialectical Marxism of Foucault, Derrida and Deleuze, without reverting to a dogmatic orthodoxy? This book explores solutions in the 'negative dialectics' of Theodor Adorno.
Find a copy in the library
The poststructuralist shift from dialectics to 'difference' has been so popular that it becomes difficult to create meaningful revolutionary responses to neoliberalism. The contributors to this volume come from within the anti-capitalist movement, and close to the concerns expressed in Negri and Hardt's Empire and Multitude.
However, they argue forcefully and persuasively for a return to dialectics so a real-world, radical challenge to the current order can be constructed.