Remember the future? The Communist Manifesto as historical and cultural form

With the disappearance of the horizon of proletarian revolution, and the retreat to the spirit world of the famous 'spectre' of communism, the text has undergone a profound transformation. In short, the Manifesto appears to have been transformed from an eschatological tour de force, in which the end of capitalism was assured ('What the bourgeoisie...produces, above all, is its own gravediggers'), into what Marshall Berman has notoriously described as a 'lyrical celebration of bourgeois works': a celebration, more specifically, of the revolutionary temporality of capitalism; a capitalism which - without a fundamental countervailing force - appears now as open-ended. From the standpoint of the philosophy of history, communism as the eschatological absolute has given way to the 'bad infinity' of capitalism - 'the affirmation as negation of the finite' - capitalism without end, amen. Or at least, so it would seem. But does the rest of the Manifesto belong unambiguously to a shape of life grown old? Or is there another sense in which it is still a 'living' text, after the fall of historical communism? Is there, perhaps, new life in it today? What lives in the Communist Manifesto? In particular - and this is the question I shall address here - what is the temporal character of its address to us, citizen-subjects of Western capitalist democracies? How does it inscribe us into historical time, today?
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index Translate to english
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 15,914
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

19 ( #145,074 of 1,725,579 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

14 ( #50,735 of 1,725,579 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.