On the Development of the Critique of Political Economy as a Critical Social Theory of Economic Objectivity

A Review of Critical Theory and the Critique of Political Economy by Werner Bonefeld

In: Historical Materialism
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  • 1 Department of Economics and Political Science, John Jay College, The City University of New York

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Abstract

This review-essay assays Werner Bonefeld’s timely attempt to unite contemporary critical theory with the critique of political economy. I begin by contextualising Bonefeld’s contribution in relation to the dearth of material on this issue in contemporary anglophone critical theory. I then discuss the anglophone reception of Adornian critical theory and provide an overview of the development of the subterranean critical-theoretical interpretations of the critique of political economy that Adorno influenced which have been occluded by the former. This sets up my discussion of how Bonefeld has taken up, criticised and developed this subterranean strand in critical theory and the critique of political economy. I close with some criticisms of how Bonefeld addresses the relationship between critical theory and the critique of political economy and point toward several areas of further investigation that are intended to extend this approach to the contemporary critical theory of society.

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