Denaturalising Society: Concrete Utopia and the prefigurative critique of political economy

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Abstract

Dinerstein argues that the form of utopia today is not abstract but ‘concrete’. Concrete utopias are ‘denaturalising’ capitalist-colonial society as they are negating the given and creating alternative practices at the grassroots. Dinerstein suggests that Marx’s critique of political economy constitutes the most unforgiving critique of capitalist society. Yet, in order to grasp concrete utopias, Marx’s critique should be read ‘in the key of hope’, that is through the lenses of Bloch’s principle of hope. Like this, Marx’s critique become a prefigurative critique of political economy that recognises the process of shaping concrete utopia as a critique of the value form from within the process of the self-expansion of value. In the final section, Dinerstein enquiries about the adequacy of the term concrete utopia to understand indigenous struggles for self-determination. She offers the notion of ‘subsumption by exclusion’ to argue for a particular form of subordination of indigenous peoples in capital. They ‘appear’ outside but also constitute a threat to the expansion of value. Both kinds of concrete utopia navigate the open veins of capital.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSocial science for an other politics
Subtitle of host publicationWomen theorising without parachutes
EditorsAna Cecilia Dinerstein
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Pages49-62
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9783319477763
ISBN (Print)9783319477756
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16 Dec 2016

Keywords

  • DENATURALISING CAPITALISM
  • SUBSUMPTION BY EXCLUSION
  • KEY OF HOPE
  • ERNST BLOCH
  • THE NOT YET
  • KARL MARX
  • CRITIQUE OF POLITICAL ECONOMY
  • PREFIGURATION
  • CONCRETE UTOPIA

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    Dinerstein, A. (2016). Denaturalising Society: Concrete Utopia and the prefigurative critique of political economy. In A. C. Dinerstein (Ed.), Social science for an other politics : Women theorising without parachutes (pp. 49-62). [Chapter 4] Palgrave Macmillan. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-47776-3_4