Foucault, Gramsci and Critical Theory

Bringing Marx, Gramsci and Foucault together is not so common in Germany and this is reflected in the limited number of scholars who do such work. Most critical intellectuals who refer to one of these names usually exclude the other two. For example, those who consider Marx from the perspective of the so called new reading of Marx show but little interest in most of the post-Marx-debates and would regard them as more or less misleading, ideological, and insufficiently radical. The same neglect holds for Gramsci, who is often seen by Marx scholars as the theoretician of the ‘historical compromise’. Likewise, Foucault is regarded as incompatible with their concern to reformulate and to restore Marx’ theory. For those refer to both Marx and Gramsci, Foucault is often seen as an unwitting or even deliberate supporter of neo-liberalism. Similarly, analysts of Foucault’s work obviously do not believe that the kind of analyses inspired by Marx – critical political economy, state theory, or critical theory of ideology – could contribute to “governmentality studies” or a critical history of the present. Things become even complicated if we bring Critical Theory into the picture.

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About Giorgio Bertini

Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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