An Agenda for Critical Theory
Central to Habermas's claim that Marx's paradigm requires radical reconstruction is his aim of wedding with his own theory the "best of Marxism and democratic theory." 1 Markus notes that Habermas's goal is "to reconstitute an organic link between 'socialism' and 'democracy.'" 2 The majority view is, of course, that this link, if not chimerical, has been lost or, at least, severely tested. 3 According to Habermas, this is not only because contemporary conditions have compromised much of Marx's critical theory but because features of Marx's theory itself have encouraged such a situation.
Benhabib, like Habermas, is emphatic that Marx's adherence to the philosophy of the subject is the root of epistemological and political difficulties which are ultimately antithetical to radical democracy. For Benhabib, the concept of reappropriation 4 embedded in the philosophy of the subject (or "work model") is questionable on two counts: (1) "the model of self-actualization operates with the assumption of an epistemologically transparent self, who seems to possess unequivocal knowledge for determining what would 'actualize' him/her," and (2) "it is assumed that what this agent accomplishes in doing is fundamentally independent of what others think or claim s/he is doing." 5
This model presents a self-transparent individual revealing and manifesting his/her essence in work and, as such, is an example of the