Bloch’s Developments of Marxism

  • Wayne Hudson


Bloch also attempts to counter the lacunae of the Marxist tradition with a series of developments of Marxism, designed to take account of the failures of the Marxist tradition since Marx’s death. These developments of Marxism are based on a new approach to the problem of the future. In contrast to the French tradition (running from Blondel, Bergson, Le Senne and de Jouvenel to Gaston Berger), which emphasises the causality of prospection and the possibility of prediction, especially in the context of social planning, Bloch is not concerned to detail the immediate future. He is critical of futurology, at least in its American form, and shows little interest in contemporary rational utopians, such as Buckminster Fuller, who attempt to invent the possible future. He is equally distant from analytical philosophical approaches to the logical and ontological status of the future, although inevitably he covers some of the same ground.1 Instead, Bloch draws on: (1) the projectivist approach to the future (cf. Heidegger in Being and Time), which emphasises that men project themselves into the future and base their lives on imaginations about what it can contain; (2) the presentist approach to the future, according to which the good future is present now (in a utopian manner) and must be brought to bear on praxis and on the selection of long- and short-term goals; (3) the recursive approach to the future, according to which the future is latent in the unrealised past; and (4) the eschatological approach to the future, according to which the future is not yet: a futurum vis-à-vis present delineations of the possible. Bloch fuses these approaches in an approach to the future based on a praxis of anticipation.


Socialist Society Dialectical Materialism Marxist Philosophy Possibility Content Warm Stream 
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© Wayne Hudson 1982

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  • Wayne Hudson

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