A critical theory of hope: critical affirmations beyond fear

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Dinerstein re-evaluates the place of the theoretical and of critical theory in today’s praxis. By pointing to the sphere of social reproduction as the ‘site’ of both new forms of class struggle and the renewal of critical theory, Dinerstein argues that critical theory today should be based on Bloch’s philosophy of hope. Despite the critical theorist’s fear of the positivisation of social struggles, Dinerstein argues that the fight against Barbarism is not only possible but already exists in the form of struggles for alternative forms of life. In a context of crisis of the social reproduction, these struggles cannot not be regarded as positive: they are critical affirmations that affirm life as a form of negating a totality of destruction in a ‘contradictory’ manner (see Gun 1994). To her, while Adorno’s negative dialectics remarkably prevents dialectical closure of the capitalist totality from taking place theoretically, negative dialectics cannot open onto a ‘world with Front’ in practice. And this is what is needed today.

Keywords: Adorno, critical affirmation, Bloch, concrete utopia, hope, negation, social reproduction struggles, world with a front, positivisation
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOpen Marxism against a closing world
Subtitle of host publicationOpen Marxism 4
Place of PublicationLondon - New York
PublisherPluto Press
Publication statusAcceptance date - 28 May 2019

Cite this

Dinerstein, A. C. (Accepted/In press). A critical theory of hope: critical affirmations beyond fear. In A. C. DINERSTEIN, ALFONSO. GARCIA VELA, EDITH. GONZALEZ, & JOHN. HOLLOWAY (Eds.), Open Marxism against a closing world: Open Marxism 4 (Vol. 4). Pluto Press.