Min, Anselm

The Dialectic of Concrete Totality in the Age of Globalization: KarelKosik’sDialectics of the Concrete Fifty Years Later

e-mail: Anselm.Min@cgu.edu

When the Dialectics of the Concrete was first published in 1963, it was rightly hailed as one of the finest critical syntheses of Hegel, Marx, and Heidegger, perhaps comparable to Georg Lukac’sHistory and Class Consciousness, a comprehensive restatement of historical materialism

in the explicit context of Phenomenology and the implicit context of Soviet totalitarian Marxism.  It was a manifesto of humanistic Marxism with emphasis on praxis.  Fifty years later, it still remains one of the finest restatements of humanistic Marxism, but Marxism has been discredited and the world has radically changed.  We are faced with the question:  What can we still retrieve from Kosik’s legacy today in a vastly changed context from the postmodern critique of totality to the turn to religion to, above all, the daunting challenges of globalization?  What can we still learn and perhaps develop from the implications of “concrete totality” in a world where “pseudo concrete” and “pseudo totalities” have multiplied and intensified?  How do we develop the “dialectic of concrete totality” today in the face of capitalist imperialism, ecological disasters, conflict of religions and cultures, and above all the “death of the subject” itself?  I try to develop some of these themes in my paper.