Philosophy Today

Volume 64, Issue 3, Summer 2020

Special Topic: Vulnerability

Sarah E. Vitale
Pages 651-669

Post-Marxist Political Ontology and the Foreclosure of Radical Newness

Much of leftist political philosophy has uncritically accepted the logic of capitalism, which is a logic of conservation that presents itself as a logic of “production.” Many leftist political philosophers subscribe to capitalism’s fundamental myth—that capitalism produces the new. This appearance of proliferation, however, masks an underlying stasis. This article interrogates this trend in the apparently disparate projects of contemporary accelerationism and Jacques Rancière. The accelerationist project of immanence allows for newness only in quantity and not in quality, while Rancière, coming closer to thinking radical newness in his account of politics, forecloses the possibility of a radically emancipatory society. I suggest an open ontology, which Marx offers, provides a better framework for thinking revolutionary newness.