Die Selbstreflexion des Marxismus.
Fünfzig Jahre Negative Dialektik
The article argues that Adorno’s book Negative Dialectics is a major contribution to the Marxist debate. Adorno’s starting point is a critique of Marx’ eleventh Feuerbach-thesis that the world should not be longer interpreted but changed. After all the defeats that the left and Marxist theory had to experience since the middle of the 19th century Adorno argues for a renewal of theory by a self-reflexive turn of Marxism. As an important moment of this self-reflection a critical assessment of dialectics itself is necessary. Adorno criticized the traditional idea of the negation of negation and the expectation of a positive result as well as the notion of totality. Critically approaching Hegel, he sees him as the affirmative theorist of the tendency of the bourgeois society to totalize itself. In opposition to this – and in difference to any Hegel-Marxism – Adorno conceive of dialectics as negative i.e. it has itself a temporal index and is a form of intellectual appropriation of the world only under conditions of domination. To think in an emancipatory way then has as a consequence to develop a non-systematic theory and to be sensitive for the movements and contradictions of concepts that attract themselves and form constellations.