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Steven Connor, in the Times Literary Supplement, sums up the major importance of Slavoj Žižek's ''everlasting gobstopper of a book" Less Than Nothing. In a single paragraph, Connor explains Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit as the 'engorgement' of Spirit through the dialectical movement of history (spirit meets its negative antagonist in the form of matter or the material world and responds by both preserving and overcoming both thesis and antithesis through the process of sublation), the principle of the postmodernist reaction to it (denouncing the Hegelian dialectic as one of several totalising conceptions of the world that it rejects) and finally Žižek's critical thrust that manages to:
both discredit postmodernist arguments in their dependence on a dishing of Hegel, and to endorse the objections to totality that are key to those postmodernist arguments.
Stuart Jeffries gives an overview of the mainstreaming of Marx in today's Guardian, featuring Verso authors Alain Badiou, Jacques Rancière, Owen Jones and Slavoj Žižek as well as the new edition of The Communist Manifesto.
Class conflict once seemed so straightforward. Marx and Engels wrote in the second best-selling book of all time, The Communist Manifesto: "What the bourgeoisie therefore produces, above all, are its own grave-diggers. Its fall and the victory of the proletariat are equally inevitable."...
Today, 164 years after Marx and Engels wrote about grave-diggers, the truth is almost the exact opposite. The proletariat, far from burying capitalism, are keeping it on life support.
Jeffries interviews Jacques Rancière, philosopher, radical social historian (and Ségolène Royal's favourite thinker) to shed light on the 'new Marxism':
Aren't Marx's venerable ideas as useful to us as the hand loom would be to shoring up Apple's reputation for innovation? Isn't the dream of socialist revolution and communist society an irrelevance in 2012? After all, I suggest to Rancière, the bourgeoisie has failed to produce its own gravediggers. Rancière refuses to be downbeat: "The bourgeoisie has learned to make the exploited pay for its crisis and to use them to disarm its adversaries.