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From Communism to Capitalism: Theory of a Catastrophe (Hardback)
  • From Communism to Capitalism: Theory of a Catastrophe (Hardback)
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From Communism to Capitalism: Theory of a Catastrophe (Hardback)

(author), (translator)
£25.00
Hardback 144 Pages / Published: 19/06/2014
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Both a unique witness of transformative events in the late 20th century, and a prescient analysis of our present economic crises from a major French philosopher, Michel Henry's From Communism to Capitalism adds an important economic dimension to his earlier social critique. It begins by tracing the collapse of communist regimes back to their failure to implement Marx's original insights into the irreplaceable value of the living individual. Henry goes on to apply this same criticism to the surviving capitalist economic systems, portending their eventual and inevitable collapse. The influence of Michel Henry's radical revision of phenomenological thought is only now beginning to be felt in full force, and this edition is the first English translation of his major engagement with socio-economic questions. From Communism to Capitalism reinterprets politics and economics in light of the failure of socialism and the pervasiveness of global capitalism, and Henry subjects both to critique on the basis of his own philosophy of life. His notion of the individual is one that, as subjective affect, subtends both Marxist collectivism and liberalism simultaneously. In addition to providing a crucial economic elaboration of Henry's influential social critiques, this work provides a context for understanding the 2008 financial shock and offers important insights into the political motivations behind the 'Arab spring'.

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
ISBN: 9781472524317
Number of pages: 144
Weight: 261 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 15 mm


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First published in France in 1991, From Communism to Capitalism is finally available for the English speaking public thanks to a superb translation by Scott Davidson. -- Michael Laurence, Northwestern University, Canada * Marx & Philosophy Review of Books *
Michel Henry remains 'the philosophers' philosopher' within the Continental tradition, having deconstructed Husserl, theorised affect, elevated immanence, and proclaimed a material phenomenology long before such gestures became commonplace. In From Communism to Capitalism, we are given access to how this maverick thinker of affect and life arrived at the political and economic implications of his thought at the decisive moment when Communism appeared to give way to the hegemony of late Capitalism. -- John O Maoilearca, Film and Television Studies, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Kingston University, UK
Originally published in 1991, Michel Henry writes From Communism to Capitalism on the heels of the collapse of the Soviet Union. Thus From Communism to Capitalism goes from the failure of communism to the success of capitalism. But for Henry, the success of capitalism is only alleged. Capitalism is a failure because, like the Marxist thought that animated communism, the liberal thought behind capitalism eliminates subjective life and the living individual. Thus, and this is the most powerful claim of Henry's book, communism and capitalism "are only two figures of the same death." While From Communism to Capitalism extends the criticisms of capitalism and technology that Michel Henry had initiated in his 1987 Barbarism, it could be read as a companion text to Derrida's 1993 Specters of Marx. -- Leonard Lawlor, Sparks Professor of Philosophy, Penn State University, USA

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