Rethinking Marxist Theories of Transition, Onur Acaroglu traces the concept of transition across the tracts of Classical and Western Marxism. Rarely directly invoked, transition between different societies appears as an imminent social reality, and a useful conceptual tool for critical social theory.
Transitions as qualitative shifts between societies are often considered as eventual historical stages, or effaced altogether. Theorising transition in a new direction, Onur Acaroglu elaborates a theory of temporal dislocation. Considering transition through a framework of out-of-joint temporalities, the notion comes through as an undervalued tendency in social reproduction.
Onur Acaroglu, Ph.D. (2020), University of Birmingham, is a doctoral researcher. He has published articles and reviews on contemporary Marxism and political theory, including
Paris 1871 and Fatsa 1979: Revisiting the Transition Problem (Globalisations, 2019). He is an editor of
Marx and Philosophy Review of Books.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS INTRODUCTION The curious neglect of transition in left theory The structure of the book
PART I | The Theoretical Heritage: Transition in Classical and Western Marxism
Chapter 1 – ‘Poetry of the Future’: Marx and the Problematic of Transition
The primacy of production Production and alienation The separation of the political and the economic The tasks of social revolution and non-contemporaneous contemporaneity Communism as positive supersession Marx and transition Towards a theory of transition
Chapter 2 – Interlacing of Times: The ‘Althusser effect’, Temporality and Transition
Expressive totality to ruptural unity: Althusser reading Marx Temporal dislocation: Balibar reading Althusser ‘Revolution against ‘Capital’’: Gramsci reading Marx Time of times: Althusser reading Gramsci
Chapter 3 – The Discursive Turn: The Post-Marxist Gramsci of Laclau and Mouffe
Class, popular interpellations, and populism Discourse and hegemony The impasses of discourse analysis and the melancholy of radical democracy
Summary: The Marxist transition debate and the notion of multiple temporalities
PART II | Transition as Hermeneutic: The Dichotomy of Melancholy and Utopia
Chapter 4 – Left Melancholy: Obstacle or Resource?
Mourning and ‘left’ melancholy Melancholy as obstacle Melancholy as resource
Chapter 5 – Through the Melancholic Impasse: Utopia
Anti-utopianism and the neoliberal closure of the future Reformulating the utopian Marx, Engels and utopia Bloch and the Not-Yet Spatio-temporal utopianism as method: Harvey and Levitas Timelessness of utopia
Summary: Melancholy, Utopia, and Transition as a Hermeneutic
PART III | Enacting transition: Substantive Left Visions
Chapter 6 – Lineages of Postwork Theory
Antiwork politics: The critique of productivism The autonomist corollary Accelerationism Postwork departures
Chapter 7 – Postwork: A Contemporary Left Vision
The post-work agenda Postcapitalism: Mason on the information economy Inventing the Future: The post-accelerationist techno-utopian strain
Chapter 8 – Demands, Agency and Strategy
Non-reformist reforms Social reproduction and the agency of transition Organising transition: Prefiguration after Occupy
Summary: Transitional Left Politics and a Prefigurative Left Vision
CONCLUSION BIBLIOGRAPHY INDEX
All interested in historical materialism, left theory, and anyone concerned with the theoretical and practical aspects of anti-capitalist social movements and political parties.