The Privatization of Hope: Ernst Bloch and the Future of Utopia, SIC 8 ([sic] Series)

The Privatization of Hope: Ernst Bloch and the Future of Utopia, SIC 8 ([sic] Series)

Language: English

Pages: 336

ISBN: 0822355892

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

The concept of hope is central to the work of the German philosopher Ernst Bloch (1885–1977), especially in his magnum opus, The Principle of Hope (1959). The "speculative materialism" that he first developed in the 1930s asserts a commitment to humanity's potential that continued through his later work. In The Privatization of Hope, leading thinkers in utopian studies explore the insights that Bloch's ideas provide in understanding the present. Mired in the excesses and disaffections of contemporary capitalist society, hope in the Blochian sense has become atomized, desocialized, and privatized. From myriad perspectives, the contributors clearly delineate the renewed value of Bloch's theories in this age of hopelessness. Bringing Bloch's "ontology of Not Yet Being" into conversation with twenty-first-century concerns, this collection is intended to help revive and revitalize philosophy's commitment to the generative force of hope.

Contributors. Roland Boer, Frances Daly, Henk de Berg, Vincent Geoghegan, Wayne Hudson, Ruth Levitas, David Miller, Catherine Moir, Caitríona Ní Dhúill, Welf Schröter, Johan Siebers, Peter Thompson, Francesca Vidal, Rainer Ernst Zimmermann, Slavoj Žižek



















type will rise to the heights of an Aristotle, a Goethe, or a Marx. And above this ridge new peaks will rise.” Leon Trotsky, Literature and Revolution (Chicago: Haymarket, 2005), 207. 20 Peter Thompson 18 See also François Laruelle, Future Christ: A Lesson in Heresy (London: Continuum, 2010). 19 See Alain Badiou, Saint Paul: The Foundation of Universalism (Palo Alto, CA: Stan‑ ford University Press, 2003), and Slavoj Žižek and John Milbank, The Monstrosity of Christ: Paradox or Dialectic?

terrible, but at certain distances, and with certain modifications, they may be, and they are delightful” (pes, 40); the sublime therefore facilitates fruitful contemplation, not de‑ bilitating fear. Burke is clearly worried on a number of occasions that readers might find the word “delight” inappropriate in this context, and therefore either gives a nominalist explanation of the word (he is using it, he says, in an unusual way), uses another expression to convey his meaning—as in “relative

a relation between being and thought, then, it is imperative that speculative thought be able to access being without collapsing into a correlation. For the fundamental implication of correlationism—that thought determines being—is none other than idealism, the logical conclusion of which, as we see with Hegel, is that thought and being are identical, which they cannot be if we accept that material reality is fundamental to (in the sense of prior to) conscious thought. We can therefore say that

the three-­year Research Development Award made in 2008 which allowed me to start my research on Ernst Bloch and which gave rise to this volume. I would also like to thank Nick Hodgin for his translation work, never an easy job when dealing with Blochian language. I would like to thank my col‑ leagues in the Department of Germanic Studies at the University of Shef‑ field for their support through difficult times and for the intellectual stimulation provided both by graduate students as well as

provocative terms. Bloch variously refers to “zero-­points” or “zero-­limits” and does so, I would maintain, to indicate a place of extremity in which a confrontation be‑ tween what exists and has been realized strikes against the undetected or eclipsed.10 Attempting to locate subversive processes and transforma‑ tion within a zero-­point of seeming emptiness and nothingness places The Zero-­Point 169 the latency and immediacy of contradiction under enormous strain and yet it is this very

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