Open Marxism and critical theory

negative critique and class as critical concept

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

Abstract

The chapter reflects upon the Open Marxist tradition as critical social theory and identifies its distinctive character as negative critique of capitalist society. It argues that Open Marxism continues to advance the critical purpose of the early Frankfurt School, and of critical theory, in the direction of critical confrontation with traditional theory, and with the prevailing positivism and scientificism in the Marxist tradition of the second and third internationals. The chapter, first, discusses the historical background and theoretical development of Open Marxism from Axelos’s original use of the term (1950s), to the work of Agnoli (1980s), and that of Clarke, Bonefeld, Gunn and Holloway— developed within the framework of the Conference of Socialist Economists (CSE) — since the 1990s. The second section defines the distinctiveness of Open Marxism and argues that there is a discernable common foundation to the work of Open Marxist authors that relates to their radical rethinking and use of critique not as normative and constructive, but as negative and destructive. Finally, the chapter discusses Open Marxism`s distinctive conception of social practice as a critique of the notion of class. For Open Marxists, class is not an affirmative category, but is essentially both a critical concept, and a negative category.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe SAGE handbook of Frankfurt school critical theory
EditorsBeverley Best, Werner Bonefeld, Chris O'Kane
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherSAGE
Chapter80
Pages1314-1331
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781526455628, 9781526436122
ISBN (Print)9781473953345
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 May 2018

Publication series

NameSAGE reference
PublisherSAGE

Fingerprint

Marxism
critical theory
Frankfurt School
positivism
economist
capitalist society

Cite this

Memos, C. (2018). Open Marxism and critical theory: negative critique and class as critical concept. In B. Best, W. Bonefeld, & C. O'Kane (Eds.), The SAGE handbook of Frankfurt school critical theory (pp. 1314-1331). (SAGE reference). London: SAGE. https://doi.org/10.4135/9781526436122.n80
Memos, Christos. / Open Marxism and critical theory : negative critique and class as critical concept. The SAGE handbook of Frankfurt school critical theory. editor / Beverley Best ; Werner Bonefeld ; Chris O'Kane. London : SAGE, 2018. pp. 1314-1331 (SAGE reference).
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Memos, C 2018, Open Marxism and critical theory: negative critique and class as critical concept. in B Best, W Bonefeld & C O'Kane (eds), The SAGE handbook of Frankfurt school critical theory. SAGE reference, SAGE, London, pp. 1314-1331. https://doi.org/10.4135/9781526436122.n80

Open Marxism and critical theory : negative critique and class as critical concept. / Memos, Christos.

The SAGE handbook of Frankfurt school critical theory. ed. / Beverley Best; Werner Bonefeld; Chris O'Kane. London : SAGE, 2018. p. 1314-1331 (SAGE reference).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

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Memos C. Open Marxism and critical theory: negative critique and class as critical concept. In Best B, Bonefeld W, O'Kane C, editors, The SAGE handbook of Frankfurt school critical theory. London: SAGE. 2018. p. 1314-1331. (SAGE reference). https://doi.org/10.4135/9781526436122.n80