Negativity and Democracy: Marxism and the Critical Theory Tradition

Despite the crisis and the fact that many people regard bourgeois parliamentary democracy as a system that does not and cannot express their needs, the same model persists. People have become even more shackled within its intellectual framework and look for parties or politicians that will act as saviors and alter the current political situation. Instead of debunking the philosophical anthropology, the values that are adopted by those who occupy the state and by those who support the bourgeois form of democracy, people continue to embrace and reiterate their faith in these very values – growth, interpreted as the perpetual accumulation of wealth, competition and hard work – and seek politicians who will more effectively implement them for the common good. Different parties occupy states all the time yet the logic according to which we are supposed to live remains the same. To what extent is the irrational rationality of capitalism, which evaluates everything in terms of money multiplication, being produced by ordinary people who only attempt to fulfill a decent livelihood?

Through exploring and elaborating on the critical theory of the early Frankfurt School, my book, Negativity and Democracy: Marxism and the Critical Theory Tradition, challenges the view that democracy should be understood as a call for a more effective domination of the people, as another kind of power or as a demand for the replacement of the elite that currently holds power, even by a party that claims to be socialist or Marxist.

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About Giorgio Bertini

Research Professor. Founder Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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