Expectant emotion and the politics of hope
in Critical theory and feeling
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This chapter aims to chart the dominant narrative of decline within leftist. Writing an intellectual history of the left inevitably involves the construction of narratives. The chapter also aims to excavate the utopian desires of critical theory with a view to reigniting an affective politics centred on hope. The utopian images and productivist dreams of building a better future are supplanted by consumerist nightmares of coercion, conformity, indifference, and subjective deformation. The chapter provides an engagement with the work of Ernst Bloch, since no discussion of the politics of hope can afford to ignore Bloch's major contributions to the topic. Bloch characterizes hope as an expectant emotion. His three-volume opus The Principle of Hope is an imposing, esoteric, unpredictable, often rambling and repetitive text, which spans the fields of anthropology, social and cultural history, philosophy, and theology.

Critical theory and feeling

The affective politics of the early Frankfurt School


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