Marx and the Postmodernism Debates: An Agenda for Critical Theory

By Lorraine Y. Landry | Go to book overview
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Chapter 7
Marx and the Postmodernism Debates

The discussion of the project of modernity in Chapter 1 concludes in setting two goals. The first goal is to identify and develop a fruitful tension approach in the postmodernism debates centering on critiques of ideological aspects of the Enlightenment and modernity. The second goal is to explore this fruitful tension in light of its relation to Marx's materialist critique of capitalism and its sustaining ideology. The general claim is that the works of Marx provide an interpretative key for the postmodernism debates insofar as they share a common concern with critique and the project of social change, which underpins criticisms of the Enlightenment and modernity.

Chapter 6 is the culmination of those chapters setting out a maximally unbiased construction of the Habermasian and poststruc-turalist positions to the end of demonstrating the value of a fruitful tension approach combining deconstructive and reconstructive criti-cisms. This approach contributes to a broader conception of critical social theory and radical politics where features of the critiques are recognized, in part, as responses to the perceived limitations both of previous analyses of the "old" movements (labor, civil rights, women's) and of Marx's critique of capitalism. In particular, the postmodernism debates can be seen as fueled, to a greater degree than is cursorily thought, by complex responses to Marx's legacy.

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