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‘Who is a Negator of History?’ Revisiting the Debate over Left Fascism 50 Years after 1968

  • ROCHELLE DUFORD (a1)

Abstract

This paper revisits a debate dating from 1968 over the existence of left fascism and the role of theory and praxis in combating it. I trace the contours of the debate through the philosophy of history as it is delineated by Adorno, Deleuze, Foucault, and Marcuse. This positions the existence of left-wing fascism as a question concerning the role of history and futurity in thought and action. Specifically, the debate is formed by disagreement over the possibility of spontaneous action unconditioned by authoritarian social structures. I argue that Adorno and Foucault both require the use of history in service of liberation, while Deleuze and Marcuse seek to negate history in order to develop a new world in which the subject might be free. Lastly, I provide contemporary context to this unresolved debate, ultimately arguing that both sides of the debate must be considered in irresolvable dialectical tension with the other.

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References

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Journal of the American Philosophical Association
  • ISSN: 2053-4477
  • EISSN: 2053-4485
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-the-american-philosophical-association
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