Book Review Rethinking Axel Honneth’s The Idea of Socialism
Axel Honneth’s (2017) The Idea of Socialism is a timely reflection on a puzzling state of affairs: Perhaps at no time in the past several decades have so many sensed that there is something terribly wrong with global capitalism – from mounting inequalities to runaway climate change – and yet rarely has the resolve to think through workable alternatives to the global capitalist order been weaker. But the “sudden decline in utopian energy” (p. 2), or withering away of the millenarian impulse, is perhaps not so difficult to explain. As Honneth recognizes, it is incredibly hard to re-engineer vastly complex, mutually interdependent systems of political governance, economic production, and sociocultural reproduction – perhaps so difficult that the very idea of fashioning ideological blueprints for the refabricating of the world has itself grown outmoded.
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