Radical Critique as the Paradox of Post-Political Society

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Abstract:

This article focuses on the intimate relationship between two concepts, revolution and critique, arguing that the understanding of radical critique within social and aesthetic theory was directly inspired by the concept of revolution - revolution as a libertarian utopia that links critical thought with its epoch. However, despite its previous role as the most important concept of modern social life, politics and critical thought, in today's post-political society, in which radical social change is not imaginable, 'revolution' seems to have become an obsolete idea. Today the concept of critique seems to be locked into and de-valued in a post-political paradigm, which tends to collapse the virtual aspect of politics and critique into the actual. Against this background, the article takes issue with critique as a paradoxical concept, a virtual 'problem' that can be actualised in different conceptions or 'solutions' but can never be reduced to them, an event that cannot fully actualise itself in a final form.

Keywords: Critique; anger; biopolitics; exception; negativity; nihilism; post-politics; redemption; revolution; virtual

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09528820903184815

Publication date: September 1, 2009

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