Anticipation, Critique and the Problem of Intervention: Understanding the Messianic: Derrida through Ernst Bloch
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This paper looks at the concept of themessianic as a means of understanding theMarxist tradition, particularly therelationship between the ethical and thepolitical. It examines the positions of JacquesDerrida and Ernst Bloch, whereby both utilisethe messianic as a means of upholding anethical space which is not reducible to being,while at the same time emphasising the need anddemand of the messianic to be brought intobeing. This contradiction operates as the basiccharacteristic of the messianic and it isasserted that Bloch, rather than Derrida,offers a stronger version of the messianic andthe relationship it constructs between ethicsand politics, by attaching a notion of thegood, that of human dignity which operates toguide the ethical command. While Bloch'sdignity may lead to the position of sacrificewhen engaging within the political, theco-ordination of the ethical by dignity doesnot itself sacrifice ethics as a totality.
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