The Principle of Hope, Volume 2 (Studies in Contemporary German Social Thought)
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"Ernst Bloch's Principle of Hope is one of the key books of our century. Part philosophic speculation, part political treatise, part lyricvision, it is exercising a deepening influence on thought and on literature.... No political or theological appropriations of Bloch's leviathan can exhaust its visionary breadth." -- George Steiner
The Principle of Hope is one of the great works of the human spirit. It is a critical history of the utopian vision and a profound exploration of the possible reality of utopia. Even as the world has rejected the doctrine on which Bloch sought to base his utopia, his work still challenges us to think more insightfully about our own visions of a better world. The Principle of Hope is published in three volumes: Volume 1 lays the foundations of the philosophy of process and introduces the idea of the Not-Yet-Conscious--the anticipatory element that Bloch sees as central to human thought. It also contains a remarkable account of the aesthetic interpretations of utopian "wishful images" in fairy tales, popular fiction, travel, theater, dance, and the cinema. Volume 2 presents "the outlines of a better world." It examines the utopian systems that progressive thinkers have developed in the fields of medicine, painting, opera, poetry, and ultimately, philosophy. It is nothing less than an encyclopedic account of utopian thought from the Greeks to the present. Volume 3 offers a prescription for ways in which humans can reach their proper "homeland," where social justice is coupled with an openness to change and to the future.
About the Author
Ernst Bloch (1885-1977) was a close friend and colleague of Georg Lukács, Walter Benjamin, Theodor Adorno, and Berthold Brecht. He made major contributions to socialist thought, although the ideas were regarded as heretical by orthodox Marxists.
Bloch's work in philosophy focuses on the concept that in a utopian human world where oppression and exploitation have been eliminated there will always be a truly ideological revolutionary force. Bloch's work became very influential in the course of the student protest movements in 1968 and in liberation theology.
standpoint, but it is no more moving than the preservation of other small nations. Judaism still claims in its Bible at least a more specific pathos of its existence, without which pathos its existence would be immaterial. So what is in question is solely this: do the Jews, whether a nation or not, still as such have a consciousness of what the
the programme of worldcitizenship, which here means the unity of the human race. At the bottom the individual remains its representative; the ‘superior state’ begins as the selection of individuals for moral education and nonviolent communal life. But it by no means ends there; it is onesided and exaggerated when Wilamowitz remarks on one occasion that Plato's ideal construct is a community, but Zeno's is an individual. Even Page 494
socialism (from Robert Owen onwards) has More as its ancestor, while centralist socialism (from SaintSimon onwards) has points of contact with Campanella, with a broadbased, highbuilt system of rule, with social utopia as strictness and arranged happiness. Socratic inquiry into freedom and order, with regard to ‘Utopia’ and ‘Civitas solis’ The bigger the words, the more easily alien elements are able to hide in them. This is particularly the case with freedom, and with order, of which
from the original right to property, not at all private capitalist conclusions. In Fichte there is no right of ownership of things but only of actions, so that nobody else is to be authorized to cultivate this piece of land, or only one group is to be allowed to manufacture shoes. Page 551 Old guild rights are thus functionally renewed, as the guaranteed ability of the individual ‘exclusively to pursue a greater art’. In the case of land there is absolutely no
up, on which the old in their insecurity were unable to find their way. An open field lay ahead, it only seemed to be accessible and indeed visible to the young. First boys and then also girls banded together and emigrated as it were. Green, that was the approved colour, in order to begin afresh. In order to remain fresh and not to grow wooden, not even later on as a man. Everyone was a scout, the