Stuart Hall and the Self-Renewal of Social Critique

Stefan Kalmring, Andreas Nowak


The slogan “back to Marx” always appears during every crisis cycle of Marxism. However, the idea of a return to Marx is problematic because each generation that embraces a critical approach is faced with new conditions and questions that have changed.

Employing the work of Stuart Hall is a particularly fruitful means of updating Marx because it provides us with suitable guidelines with which to re-employ Marx. Hall calls for a Marxism without guarantees that renounces historical-philosophical ultimate justification. He calls for a form of Marxism that engages in theoretical, social and political conflicts and that takes Marx seriously, not just in his strengths, but also in his weaknesses. Consequently, he sets out an approach that could truly provide a foundation with which to undertake the self-renewal of social critique. In this essay we want to find out how to revitalise a fruitful engagement with Marx by utilising Hall’s writings.

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