Kevin B. Anderson

Professor of Sociology, Political Science, and Feminist Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara

Karl Marx and the Present Moment: Beyond “Resistance” and Toward Human Emancipation

Date: Friday, April 13, 2012
Time: 500 PM
Venue: Samuel Alexander Lecture Theatre, University of Manchester

The Arab revolutions and the Occupy movement have placed both revolution and anti-capitalism at the forefront of global social consciousness.  While many are again evoking Marx, the legacy of decades of postmodernism and postmodernized postcolonial thought has left us, at best, with a politics of resistance rather than one of full human emancipation. This talk will explore Marx’s thought in light of this legacy. It will be argued that his multidimensional dialectical vision encompassed both ‘totalities’ like capitalism and the specificities of nation, ethnicity, gender, and anti-colonial resistance. Moreover, his philosophical dialectic, rooted in Hegel, theorized precisely this type of ‘concrete totality.’ And finally, his critique of capital was accompanied by an always implicit — and sometimes explicit — vision of a radically humanist future beyond the exploitative, alienating, and reified world of the capital relation.

 

Manchester-Shanghai Forum on Marxist Aesthetics: Marxism and Humanism