Towards a New Strategy of Liberation

  • Stanley Aronowitz
Part of the Language, Discourse, Society book series (LDS)


Just as capitalism is the name we affix to the system in which commodity production based upon the domination of nature has become the leading force in world economic life but does not subsume all elements of social, political, and ideological relations, so a new conception of the emancipatory project of which socialism has been the leading proposal must be articulated.


Historical Materialism Marxist Theory Socialist Movement Liberation Theology Autonomous Movement 
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  1. 120.
    The term logocentricity is borrowed from Jacques Derrida, Of Grammatology (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1977). It connotes the process by which Western culture suppresses, in language and discourse, difference (or in Derrida’s term “Differance”) into identities derived from the canon explicated in Aristotle’s Organon. One recalls Aristotle’s three laws of logic, according to which a thing is identical with itself and cannot be its other. Otherness is deferred when it is interpreted as a formal logical contradiction. As I have tried to show in my discussion of Adorno, Hegel failed to resolve the problem of the occlusion of opposition within logical theory by his insistence upon the return to the positive. That is, negativity is conceived in Hegel as a moment in the process of the resolution of contradiction into identity. Marxism’s adoption of dialectical logic tends to follow the viewpoint of negativity as passing. Adorno and Althusser’s more recent efforts have tried to grapple with this problem by asserting that difference is not recuperable under the sign of the totality. The “totality” is a spatial and temporal metaphor connoting a series of relations, the articulation of which depends upon specific conditions. Thus, there can be no a priori dominance of one kind of relation over another. Such determinations are contingent. As Fredric Jameson has argued, in his helpful reading of the present manuscript, historical materialism becomes a theory of determination of past relations. That is, it is only retrospectively valid as the decoding of the logic of development from the standpoint of a certain ideologically-grounded paradigm.Google Scholar
  2. 122.
    Norbert Bobbio, “Gramsci and the Conception of Civil Society,” in Chantal Mouffe, ed., Gramsci and Marxist Theory (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1979).Google Scholar
  3. 126.
    For the best American discussion of this point see Murray Bookchin, Post-Scarcity Anarchism (Berkeley: Ramparts Press, 1971).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Stanley Aronowitz 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stanley Aronowitz
    • 1
  1. 1.City University of New YorkUSA

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