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Radical critique as the paradox of post-political society

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date2009
JournalThird Text
Journal number5
Volume23
Number of pages8
Pages579-586
Original languageEnglish

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.