Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Adventures of the SymbolicPost-marxism and Radical Democracy$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Warren Breckman

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780231143943

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231143943.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM COLUMBIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.columbia.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Minnesota Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CUPSO for personal use.date: 01 April 2020

The Post-Marx of the Letter

The Post-Marx of the Letter

Laclau and Mouffe Between Postmodern Melancholy and Post-Marxist Mourning

Chapter:
(p.183) Chapter Five The Post-Marx of the Letter
Source:
Adventures of the Symbolic
Author(s):

Warren Breckman

Publisher:
Columbia University Press
DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231143943.003.0005

This chapter examines the movement from the symbolic to a desymbolization that opens the door to political voluntarism by focusing on Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe's 1985 book Hegemony and Socialist Theory, where they sought to restore the theoretical dignity of Marxism by articulating a “post-Marxism without apologies.” Laclau and Mouffe's post-Marxism belongs to the intellectual history of France after 1968. In Hegemony and Socialist Theory, they reformulate proletarian dialectics into a theory that explicitly acknowledges the power of the symbolic as well as its debt to Claude Lefort's theory of democracy. Laclau's subsequent explorations and criticisms of deconstructionist philosophy and of Lacanian psychoanalysis are shown to be directed by his and Mouffe's concern to understand how radical politics can find its place in a world whose institution is ultimately symbolic and in which no agent or actor comparable to the dialectical proletariat can—or should—be imagined. An early ally in this search was Slavoj Žižek, who argues that “universality” is complicit with capitalist domination.

Keywords:   symbolic, desymbolization, Ernesto Laclau, Chantal Mouffe, Hegemony and Socialist Theory, Marxism, post-Marxism, radical politics, Slavoj Žižek, universality

Columbia Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .