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as well as material, there is no plausible way to erect fixed boundaries separating idealism, legality and consciousness from materialism, legitimacy and institutions. Chapters 3 and 4 develop this point in detail by stressing the dialectical movement from law to idealism to new law, and by looking at the implications of this process of transformation for determinate relations of production and property ownership. The

in Beyond hegemony
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Towards a new philosophy of political legitimacy

Since the Enlightenment, liberal democrat governments in Europe and North America have been compelled to secure the legitimacy of their authority by constructing rational states whose rationality is based on modern forms of law. The first serious challenge to liberal democratic practices of legal legitimacy comes in Karl Marx's early writings on Rousseau and Hegel. Marx discovers the limits of formal legal equality that does not address substantive relations of inequality in the workplace and in many other spheres of social life. This book investigates the authoritarianism and breakdown of those state socialist governments which claim to put Marx's ideas on democracy and equality into practice. It offers an immanent critique of liberalism, and discusses liberal hegemony, attacking on liberalism from supposedly post-liberal political positions. Liberalism protects all individuals by guaranteeing a universally enforceable form of negative liberty which they can exercise in accordance with their own individual will. Immanuel Kant's critical philosophy both affirms and limits human agency through the media of rationality and legality. The conditions of liberal reason lay the groundwork for the structure of individual experience inside the liberal machine. The book also shows how a materialist reformulation of idealist philosophy provides the broad outlines of a theory of critical idealism that bears directly upon the organisation of the labour process and the first condition of legitimate law concerning humanity and external nature. Mimetic forms of materialism suggest that the possibilities for non-oppressive syntheses and realities are bound up with a libertarian union of intellect.

Critical theory and the affective turn

theoretical context that informs my re-​engagement with the earlier work of the Frankfurt School. In particular, I want to chart the recent ‘affective turn’ in the arts, humanities, and social sciences, which has proven to be a fertile, if somewhat disorderly, ground for research within the broader field of ‘new materialism’. My aim is to draw on some of these theories of affect to prompt new readings of first-​generation critical theory, readings that will emphasize the latter’s often overlooked concern with feeling, in all its senses. As will become apparent throughout

in Critical theory and feeling
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: conflict, struggle and war; non-materialism; irrationalism and anti-intellectualism; nation and race; the leader and the elite; the state and government; fascist economic and social theory. Conflict, struggle and war Fascism attached an astonishingly positive value to war. War was regarded as the ultimate conflict in a world in which struggle was the essence of existence. Permanent peace was not only nonsense, it was dangerous nonsense, as humans grow

in Understanding political ideas and movements

enjoy a sense both of self-fulfilment and community with others’ (248). The activity of being a citizen is intertwined with that of being a whole individual, an individual who could see the beauty in nature, enjoy music, and at the same time perform the duties of a virtuous citizen. This, of course, was not a unique ambition for a great philosopher. Plato, Kant, Hegel and even Mill (to name but a few) aspired to do the same. Did Rousseau succeed in his endeavour? He recognised – like Burke – that the advent of Godless materialism was undermining the moeurs, and that

in The political philosophy of Jean-Jacques Rousseau
The impossibility of reason

This book presents an overview of Jean–Jacques Rousseau's work from a political science perspective. Was Rousseau — the great theorist of the French Revolution—really a conservative? The text argues that the author of ‘The Social Contract’ was a constitutionalist much closer to Madison, Montesquieu, and Locke than to revolutionaries. Outlining his profound opposition to Godless materialism and revolutionary change, this book finds parallels between Rousseau and Burke, as well as showing that Rousseau developed the first modern theory of nationalism. It presents an integrated political analysis of Rousseau's educational, ethical, religious and political writings.

The affective politics of the early Frankfurt School

This book offers a unique and timely reading of the early Frankfurt School in response to the recent 'affective turn' within the arts and humanities. It revisits some of the founding tenets of critical theory in the context of the establishment of the Institute for Social Research in the early twentieth century. The book focuses on the work of Walter Benjamin, whose varied engagements with the subject of melancholia prove to be far more mobile and complex than traditional accounts. It also looks at how an affective politics underpins critical theory's engagement with the world of objects, exploring the affective politics of hope. Situating the affective turn and the new materialisms within a wider context of the 'post-critical', it explains how critical theory, in its originary form, is primarily associated with the work of the Frankfurt School. The book presents an analysis of Theodor Adorno's form of social critique and 'conscious unhappiness', that is, a wilful rejection of any privatized or individualized notion of happiness in favour of a militant and political discontent. A note on the timely reconstruction of early critical theory's own engagements with the object world via aesthetics and mimesis follows. The post-Cold War triumphalism of many on the right, accompanied by claims of the 'end of history', created a sense of fearlessness, righteousness, and unfettered optimism. The book notes how political realism has become the dominant paradigm, banishing utopian impulses and diminishing political hopes to the most myopic of visions.

Objects, affects, mimesis

3 A feeling for things: objects, affects, mimesis And things, what is the correct attitude to adopt towards things? –​Samuel Beckett, The Unnameable Recent years have seen an explosion of scholarly interest in things. From the ‘new materialisms’ to ‘object-​oriented ontology’, from ‘thing theory’ to ‘actor-​ network theory’, much of contemporary thought is turning its attention to the world of objects. What are the reasons for this shift? One of the principal motivations behind the turn to objects is a reaction against the ‘cultural turn’ and its subject

in Critical theory and feeling

England at cricket. We both survived the Cuban missile crisis (just), and were struck by how Oxford University pretended it wasn’t happening, along with the rest of life outside its complacent elitism and privileged rituals. Across potentially insurmountable sectarian and experiential divides, both wedded to historical materialism and realism, over the years we had many never-ending discussions and some fruitfully interminable disagreements. Yet, late in life we found how we surprisingly agreed on Marx, and how to move forward from Marx, and so decided to write a short

in Inequality and Democratic Egalitarianism
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sufficiently promote Ireland as an attractive place in which to do business. The State was concerned with self-sufficiency, was politically deferential to the agricultural sector, romanticised rural Ireland, and was influenced by an anti-business church which tied Catholicism to rural life and anti-materialism. The combination of these factors caused Ireland’s economic health to suffer, already high levels of emigration to rise, and low levels of corporate activity to persist. Consequently, the State was not concerned with issues of corporate and white-collar crime or

in Corporate and white-collar crime in Ireland