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Hegel's Rabble


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Table of Contents

Table of Abbreviations The Politics of Negativity by Slavoj Zizek Introduction: From the Rabble to the Proletariat 1.Luther and the Transfiguration of Poverty 2.Pauper-Rabble: The Question of Poverty 3.The Emergence of the Rabble from the Un-Estate of Poverty 4.Transition: From the Poor to the Rabble 5.Pauper-Rabble 6.Luxury-Rabble vs. Poverty-Rabble 7.The Formula of Infinite Unbinding: "This is the rabble" or: Resentment-Rabble and Absolute Rabble 8.The Lost Habit: Elements to a Hegelian Theory of Laziness/Foulness 9.Without Attitude? Rabble and State 10.Without Right, Without Duty - Rabble, Right without Right or: Un-Right 11.To Will Nothing or not to Will Anymore: The Rabble as Will and Presentation? 12.The Sole Aim of the State and the Rabble as Un-organic Ensemble 3.Conclusion: Hegel's Rabble - Hegel's Impossibility 14.Coda: Preliminary Notes Concerning Angelo-Humanism and the Conception of the Proletariat in Early Marx

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Drawing on insights from thinkers such as Badiou and Zizek, this book examines Hegel's conception of 'the rabble' in order to reconstruct his political philosophy.

About the Author

Frank Ruda is Research Associate at the Collaborative Research Centre on Aesthetic Experience and the Dissolution of Artistic Limits at the Free University of Berlin, Germany. He is the author of Hegel's Rabble: An Investigation into Hegel's Philosophy of the Right (Continuum 2011). Slavoj Zizek is one of the world's leading contemporary cultural critics and a hugely prolific author. He is Professor of Cultural Studies at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia and Visiting Professor at the New School for Social Research, New York, USA.


A remarkably incisive and powerful intervention into the question of the relationship between philosophy and politics. Taking the supposedly marginal notion of the "rabble" from Hegel's Philosophy of Right, Ruda elevates it to the status of a proper, yet paradoxical philosophical category. Paradoxical, because it marks a fundamental irritation of philosophy by politics, and calls for the transformation of the former. Relating this transformation to the passage from Marx to Hegel, Ruda revisits this passage from a highly original and non-standard perspective, allowing for important contemporary philosophical debates of politics to resonate in it. An extremely compelling and original philosophical work, it is on its way to becoming a classical reference in future philosophy-politics debates. -- Professor Alenka Zupancic, Institute of Philosophy, Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Art, Slovenia
Hegel'sRabble offers the first systematic analysis of this most symptomatic andintractable figure in Hegel's philosophy, and through its reformulation of therelation between impoverishment and empowerment - the relation that leads fromLuther's pauper to Hegel's rabble to Marx's proletariat - Ruda's book explodesthe illusions that still mystify the contemporary valorization of 'civilsociety', and reframes our whole understanding of poverty, class, and therevolutionary pursuit of equality. -- Peter Hallward, Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy, Kingston University London, UK
Ruda reads the minor theme of the rabble in Hegel'sPhilosophy of Right with the same care and insight as Derrida on the family orKojeve on the master-slave dialectic. Particularly interesting is his analysisof the two rabbles so often in the news today: the poverty rabble, so-called"hippies," "rioters," and "scum," and the luxury rabble, the financialcapitalists who wreaked havoc on the world economy with their reckless gamblingand speculation. No philosophical work is more relevant for understanding thecontemporary crisis. -- Aaron Schuster, Fellow, Institute for Cultural Inquiry, Berlin, Germany
"Hegel's Rabble succeeds marvelously at revivifying Hegel in the early twenty-first century. Ruda's carefully argued and well-supported reconstruction of Hegel's Philosophy of Right as embedded in the Hegelian edifice as a whole challenges received wisdom about Hegel himself and Marx's relations with him. It also brilliantly illuminates the main problems at the heart of contemporary leftist socio-political theorizing. Ruda has made a major contribution to both Hegel scholarship as well as current discussions of Marxism and post-Marxism. Hegel's Rabble is mandatory reading for anyone interested in Hegel and radical leftism today." -- NDPR, Adrian Johnston, University of New Mexico
[A] study at once intensely focused in its analysis of this conceptual and social anomaly, and wide-ranging in its exploration of the way the figure of the rabble sheds new light on aspects of Hegel's thought...Hegel's Rabble represents one of the more remarkable books on Hegel's thought to have appeared in the past decade or two, alongside the likes of Catherine Malabou's The Future of Hegel or Slavoj Zizek's recent Less than Zero (Zizek, moreover, gives his imprimatur with a preface here). This alone is an enormous accomplishment. But like any transformative analysis of this sort, Hegel's Rabble is not only a meticulous reconstruction of an historical object; it is the reactivation of a force that shapes our own present and opens onto the future. -- Jason E. Smith * Radical Philosophy *
Through his admirably detailed exegesis, Ruda argues that the unsolved problem of poverty reveals the defectiveness of the ideal of freedom animating all of Hegelian philosophy. This is obviously a major claim, and consequently the book will be of interest to Hegel scholars and students of modern political thought more generally... The book will also be of interest to students of contemporary left-Hegelian theory. -- Matt S. Whitt * Theory and Event *
The book offers rich and original analyses of the multiple dimensions of poverty - moral, ethical, sociological and political ... The descriptions of the problem of social integration are complemented with fine analyses of other conceptual points relating to these dimensions -- Jean-Philippe Deranty, Macquarie University, Sydney * Archive de Philosophie (Bloomsbury translation) *

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