Politics in a Tragic Key

Politics in a tragic key Alberto toscano In memory of Joel Olson (1967–2012)In the quarter-century or so since the obscure disaster of the Soviet bloc’s collapse, two words have been pinned to that of ‘communism’ with liberal abandon: ‘tragedy’ and ‘transition’. Tragedy, to signify the magnitude of suffering, but not the greatness of the enterprise; […]

Adorno and the Weather

Adorno and the weather Critical theory in an era of climate change Ackbar abbas In Beckett’s Endgame – about which Adorno wrote an important essay – nature is in ruins (‘corpsed’, as Clov describes it), yet the weather is still important.* The pathetic story that Hamm tells (and he has to bribe Nagg to listen) […]

‘The world spirit on the fins of a rocket’

‘The world spirit on the fins of a rocket’ Adorno’s critique of progress Michael Lowy and Eleni Varikas The ideology of progress, born (in its modern guise) during the Enlightenment, finds its culminating philosophical expression in Hegel’s conception of history. Here, everything that happens marks a further step in mankind’s march towards freedom: watching Napoleon […]

The Frankfurt School and the Problem of Critique

The Frankfurt School and the Problem of Critique: A Reply to McCarney Peter Dews and Peter Osborne The question of the possibility, form, and validity of a ‘critical’ social science, of its relation to Marxism and to the ideas of dialectic and contradiction, received considerable attention on the pages of Radical Philosophy in the late […]

13 Reviews

Reviews industry demands more than narrow special ism. Gorz analyses the growth of student militancy in this context, but beyond students he sees the contradiction as the source by the social democratic parties of the ‘real needs’ of the ‘modern that came to power in Europe during worker, the needs that will lead to the […]

Adorno on late capitalism

In his appraisal of mass societies, Theodor W. Adorno briefly discussed those changes in Western economies that had helped to transform the earlier liberal phase of ʻfree marketʼ capitalism at the turn of the twentieth century. Responding in part to these changes, governments legislated into existence social welfare institutions and agencies that quickly became more […]

Social Emancipation: One Hundred and Fifty Years After The Communist Manifesto; From Enlightenment to Dialectics: Dialectic of Enlightenment

News Anniversary blues Social Emancipation: One Hundred and Fifty Years After The Communist Manifesto 17–20 February 1998, Centro Capitolio, Havana. From Enlightenment to Dialectics: Dialectic of Enlightenment 26–28 February 1998, Columbia University/New School for Social Research/Goethe Institute, New York. Integral to this argument is the critique of such notions as ʻsocial controlʼ and ʻlabour aristocracyʼ, […]

Hearing the silence

Of the few myths about the sense of hearing, the most memorable is that of Ulysses and the Sirens. Lashed to the mast of his ship, Ulysses alone experiences the pleasure of the Sirensʼ song, while the crew, their ears plugged with balls of wax, row on regardless of his signals to be released. Like […]