The Task of Cultural Critique (review)

The Task of Cultural Critique (review) symploke "the latent presence of violence," in Benjamin's terms (288). The idea of the state provides, following Weber, a monopoly on violence as means, deriving legitimacy from its capacity to administer the difference--decide the boundaries, as it were--between communication and violence. Benjamin notes that interest in transgression--rupture, strikes, sabotage as justified violence-- begins with the French Revolution, and what animates Abel's interest in specimens of nonjudgmental, blasé violence should be read as a continuation of this robust theme. There is a chance of a true accident in the collision of objects and affect--acting out, resisting judgment, in a manner ethically open to new states of becoming. The fear is--and here I second Benjamin--that these would-be geniuses of immediate violence, fantasists of law-destroying violence, may just pan out to be pernicious expiates of the guilt of mere life. Aaron Jaffe, University of Louisville Teresa L. Ebert. The Task of Cultural Critique. Urbana: The U of Illinois P, 2009. 232 pp. This book engages in an extended polemic against any and all cultural theories which deny the traditional Hegelian Marxism of Karl Marx, Georg Lukács, and V. I. Lenin. In other words, the book faults any theory that rejects the http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png symploke University of Nebraska Press

The Task of Cultural Critique (review)

symploke, Volume 18 (1) – May 18, 2011

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Publisher
University of Nebraska Press
Copyright
Copyright © University of Nebraska Press
ISSN
1534-0627
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Abstract

symploke "the latent presence of violence," in Benjamin's terms (288). The idea of the state provides, following Weber, a monopoly on violence as means, deriving legitimacy from its capacity to administer the difference--decide the boundaries, as it were--between communication and violence. Benjamin notes that interest in transgression--rupture, strikes, sabotage as justified violence-- begins with the French Revolution, and what animates Abel's interest in specimens of nonjudgmental, blasé violence should be read as a continuation of this robust theme. There is a chance of a true accident in the collision of objects and affect--acting out, resisting judgment, in a manner ethically open to new states of becoming. The fear is--and here I second Benjamin--that these would-be geniuses of immediate violence, fantasists of law-destroying violence, may just pan out to be pernicious expiates of the guilt of mere life. Aaron Jaffe, University of Louisville Teresa L. Ebert. The Task of Cultural Critique. Urbana: The U of Illinois P, 2009. 232 pp. This book engages in an extended polemic against any and all cultural theories which deny the traditional Hegelian Marxism of Karl Marx, Georg Lukács, and V. I. Lenin. In other words, the book faults any theory that rejects the

Journal

symplokeUniversity of Nebraska Press

Published: May 18, 2011

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