Grandeur and Twilight of Radical Universalism provides a theoretical construction to the extraordinary events of the past several years in Europe and the Soviet Union, and China. These masterful essays attribute much of the problem of totalitarianism to its blind acceptance of a Marxist philosophy of practice. With the failure of communist practice, the collapse of the Marxian paradigm was quick to follow.At its roots this volume is a critique of the idea that we can have "scientific knowledge" of the social and political future. Totalitarian Marxism combined statements of history and claims of omniscience. Free choice was surrendered to history, and when the predicted outcomes fail to materialize, when communism came closer to being buried than capitalism, and western ideals of democracy proved far more compelling than inherited doctrines of authoritarianism, the outcome proved monumental and disastrous.The authors position themselves as evolving from critical Marxism to post-Marxism, and then post modernism. By this, they mean a modest view of life, one that moves beyond radical universalism and grand narrative, into a realization of individualism and equity concerns are central to the end of the twentieth century. The volume proceeds historically: from studies of the classic Marxian legacy; to the early twentieth century efforts of Lukacs, Weber and Adorno; proceeding to the disintegration of the Marxian paradigm in both its pure and revisionist forms. It ends with a study of options posed by this paradigmatic collapse - to consideration of the status of postmodernity and the choices between pure relativism and a theological fundamentalism. ,This is a work of absolute importance for political philosophy, the sociology of knowledge, and the history of ideas. In raising recent events to a theoretically meaningful framework, it represents a refreshing as well as remarkable step toward understanding Revolutions from 1789 to 1989.
Table of Contents
I. THE CLASSIC PARADIGM 9 1 The Theory of Need in Marx 11 2 Marx and Modernity 101 3 The Legacy of Marxian Ethics 119 4 The Sphinx of the Revolution 143 5 Marx and the Permanent French Revolutions 163 6 Marx and Justice 177 7 Marx and the "Liberation of Humankind" 195 II. ORTHODOXY AND NEGATIVITY 209 8 The Unknown Masterpiece 211 9 Lukács in Weimar 247 10 Historical Novel and History in Lukács 275 11 Lukács and Benjamin: Parallels and Contrasts 291 12 Lukács, Benjamin, Theater 305 13 Lukács and the Holy Family 319 14 Adorno and the Vicissitudes of Rationalized Music 331 15 Weber and the Rationalization of Music 351 16 Group Interest, Collective Consciousness, and the Role of the Intellectual in Lukács and Goldmann 367 17 Lucien Goldmann as the "Recipient" of Lukács 381 18 Can Poetry Be Written After the Holocaust? (On Adorno’s Dictum) 393 III. THE DISINTEGRATION OF THE PARADIGM 403 19 Decision as Will or as Choice 405 20 Beyond Political Theology? 415 21 Hannah Arendt on the "Vita Contemplativa" 22 The Positivism Debate as a Turning Point in German Postwar Theory 443 23 Habermas and Marxism 453 24 The Discourse Ethics of Habermas: Critique and Appraisal 477 25 With Castoriadis to Aristotle; from Aristotle to Kant; from Kant to Us 491 26 Castoriadis and the Redefinition of Socialism 503 27 Sociology as the Defetishization of Modernity 517 28 On "Strong Coding" in Philosophy 529 29 The Status of Postmodernity 537 30 Between Relativism and Fundamentalism: Hermeneutic as Europe’s Mainstream Political and Moral Tradition