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This article argues that while the limitations of Hegel’s political reconciliation with existing reality has long been evident, the depth of Marx’s challenge to capital cannot be fully comprehended, let alone restated for today, without a re-encounter with Marx’s rootedness in and transcendence of Hegel’s concept of absolute negativity. The need to go beyond critiques of private property and the market by projecting ground for the negation of capital creates a compulsion to return to Hegel at his most ‘abstract’ level — the Absolute.
This article originally appeared in Capital & Class, No. 70, Spring 2000
This critique of Istvan Meszaros’s Beyond Capital (1995) interrogates Meszaros’s relationship to Lukács and to Hegel and Marx, while discussing the possibility of an emancipatory alternative to capitalism.