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Ernst Bloch’s thought is located at the intersection of classical German philosophy and historical materialist theory. It has played a major role in materialist thought in the 20th century and continues to influence discussions, especially in continental philosophy, today. Yet, his reception has historically been limited in the Anglophone context by an absence of available translations. Bloch’s self-consciously expressionistic, creative use of language and his allusive, esoteric style go some of the way to explaining this absence. Nevertheless, Bloch is an extremely interesting thinker whose work is sought after by a wide range of scholars, theorists and general readers in the English-speaking world. Against the background of the current revival of speculative philosophy and a burgeoning contemporary interest in historical materialism, the absence of much of his work in English translation represents a significant gap in scholarship and in the publication market. The Bloch Bibliothek seeks to address this requirement by developing a series of critical editions of Bloch’s works translated into English.

Ernst Bloch’s Speculative Materialism

Ontology, Epistemology, Politics

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Cat Moir

In Ernst Bloch’s Speculative Materialism: Ontology, Epistemology, Politics, Cat Moir offers a new interpretation of the philosophy of Ernst Bloch. The reception of Bloch’s work has seen him variously painted as a naïve realist, a romantic nature philosopher, a totalitarian thinker, and an irrationalist whose obscure literary style stands in for a lack of systematic rigour. Moir challenges these conceptions of Bloch by reconstructing the ontological, epistemological, and political dimensions of his speculative materialism. Through a close, historically contextualised reading of Bloch’s major work of ontology, Das Materialismusproblem, seine Geschichte und Substanz (The Materialism Problem, its History and Substance), Moir presents Bloch as one of the twentieth century’s most significant critical thinkers.

The Dialectical Meaning of Offshored Work

Neoliberal Desires and Labour Arbitrage in Post-socialist Romania

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Miłosz Miszczyński

The Dialectical Meaning of Offshored Work analyzes how offshoring investments function as a platform for intercultural encounters among corporate actors and local populations of hosting communities. The book synthesizes ethnographic research, media reviews, and policy analysis to examine how localized forms of offshoring production occur in social, political and economic processes to highlight dilemmas connected to mobility of capital, modernization, social equality and capitalist expansion. The book delineates the complex interplay between Western neoliberalism and a transforming post-socialist Europe, to show the complex ways in which offshoring production infiltrates local communities. Analyzing issues of labor, work and employment, this book engages with current scholarship on critical management, sociology, anthropology, and East European studies.

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Elleni Zeleke

Between the years 1964 and 1974, Ethiopian post-secondary students studying at home, in Europe, and in North America produced a number of journals. In these they explored the relationship between social theory and social change within the project of building a socialist Ethiopia. Ethiopia in Theory examines the literature of this student movement, together with the movement’s afterlife in Ethiopian politics and society, in order to ask: what does it mean to write today about the appropriation and indigenisation of Marxist and mainstream social science ideas in an Ethiopian and African context; and, importantly, what does the archive of revolutionary thought in Africa teach us about the practice of critical theory more generally?

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Edited by Dawn L. Rothe and Victoria E. Collins

This volume is in honor of William J. Chambliss who has influenced and provided a foundation for new directions and approaches in sociology, criminology, critical criminology in particular, and the sociology of law. This is to name a few of the many inspirational and foundational ways he has changed the course and methods for generations to come, inspiring not only the editors and contributors of this volume. Each of the chapters detail various ways Bill’s work has impacted on our own perspectives and/or research including, but not limited to, the way we understand the value of non-traditional methods, law and power, the very definition of crime, organized crime, and unmasking the power structures and powerful that cause inequality, social ills and pains.

Contributors are: Elizabeth A. Bradshaw, Meredith Brown, William J. Chambliss, Francis T. Cullen, Jeff Ferrell, David O. Friedrichs, Mark S. Hamm, Ronald C. Kramer, Teresa C. Kulig, Raymond Michalowski, Christopher J. Moloney, Ida Nafstad, Sarah Pedigo, Gary Potter, Isabel Schoultz.

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Daniela Spenser

Founder of numerous labour unions in Mexico and Latin America between 1920s and 1960s, Vicente Lombardo Toledano was not only an organiser but also a broker between them, the government and business managers, able to disentangle difficult conflicts. An operator of the Mexican government and when he found it appropriate of the neighbouring nations and even on behalf of the Soviet Union, he was identified with communism without belonging to the party and with the party of the Mexican government without being its member.

Daniela Spenser´s is the first biography of Lombardo Toledano, based on primary sources from European, Mexican and American archives, and on personal interviews. Her even-keeled portrayal of the man counters previous hagiographies or vilifications.

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Lothar Peter

Alongside the ‘critical theory’ of the Frankfurt School, West Germany was also home to another influential Marxist current known as the Marburg School. In this volume, Marburg disciple Lothar Peter traces the school’s history and situates it in the political discourse and developments of its time. The renowned political scientist Wolfgang Abendroth plays a large role, but unlike most histories of the Marburg School Peter also takes the sociologists Werner Hofmann and Heinz Maus into account as well as their many students and successors. They were united by the conviction that teaching and scholarship must necessarily be tied to the practical goal of transforming society – an approach that met with considerable opposition in the harshly anti-Communist atmosphere of the period.

This book was first published in 2014 as Marx an die Uni. Die "Marburger Schule" – Geschichte, Probleme, Akteure by PapyRossa Verlag, Cologne, ISBN 978-38-94-38546-0. With a new Introduction by Ingar Solty.

The Marxist Conception of the State

A Contribution to the Differentiation of the Sociological and the Juristic Method

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Max Adler

Edited by Mark E. Blum

This translation of Max Adler’s Die Staatsauffassung des Marxismus enables English readers to know a significant perspective on Marx’s theory of the state, which was central to the interwar period in which he was writing (1922). In an extended dialogue with democratic jurist Hans Kelsen, Adler shows that the so-called necessity of law as the neutral arbiter of a democratic society has been heretofore a flawed imposition of the authoritative understandings of the ruling classes. Adler’s brings to his argument the Kantian concept of “sociation”, where every human judgment perforce sets its determinations within its view of the social whole, demonstrating that an accurate comprehension of interdependent equality that realizes an objective “sociation” can only occur in a “classless” society.

Migration, Reproduction and Society

Economic and Demographic Dilemmas in Global Capitalism

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Alejandro I. Canales

In Migration, Reproduction and Society, Alejandro I. Canales offers a theoretical model for understanding the dilemmas presented by migration in the transformation of contemporary society. Aging and changing demographics in advanced societies make economic and social reproduction dependent upon the contributions made by immigration. However, these same demographic processes are conducive to ethnic transformations. The political dilemma facing advanced societies is that immigration is required to ensure their reproduction, but this entails becoming multicultural societies where the political hegemony of ethnic and demographic majorities becomes radically subverted. This paves the way to a pervasive political conflict already evident in the current immigration crisis in Europe just as in the revival of racism and xenophobia in the United States.

En Migration, Reproduction and Society, Alejandro I. Canales propone un modelo teórico para el entendimiento del dilema político y social concerniente al papel de las migraciones en la transformación de la sociedad contemporánea. El envejecimiento y decline demográfico en las sociedades avanzadas hacen que la dinámica económica y la reproducción social de la población dependan directamente de los aportes que hace la inmigración. Sin embargo, estos mismos procesos demográficos propician una transformación étnica de sus actuales equilibrios sociales y demográficos. El dilema político que enfrentan las sociedades avanzadas es que para asegurar su reproducción debe necesariamente abrirse a la inmigración, pero ello conlleva la posibilidad de constituirse en sociedades multiculturales en donde la hegemonía política de las actuales mayorías étnicas y demográficas se trastocaría radicalmente. Es la base de un conflicto político cuyos indicios ya se advierten en la actual crisis migratoria en Europa, así como en el renacer del racismo y xenofobia en los Estados Unidos.

Nietzsche, the Aristocratic Rebel

Intellectual Biography and Critical Balance-Sheet

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Domenico Losurdo

Perhaps no philosopher is more of a conundrum than Nietzsche, the solitary rebel, poet, wayfarer, anti-revolutionary Aufklärer and theorist of aristocratic radicalism. His accusers identify in his ‘superman’ the origins of Nazism, and thus issue an irrevocable condemnation; his defenders pursue a hermeneutics of innocence founded ultimately in allegory. In a work that constitutes the most important contribution to Nietzschean studies in recent decades, Domenico Losurdo instead pursues a less reductive strategy. Taking literally the ruthless implications of Nietzsche's anti-democratic thinking – his celebration of slavery, of war and colonial expansion, and eugenics – he nevertheless refuses to treat these from the perspective of the mid-twentieth century. In doing so, he restores Nietzsche’s works to their complex nineteenth-century context, and presents a more compelling account of the importance of Nietzsche as philosopher than can be expected from his many contemporary apologists.