Christian Fuchs. 2021. Cornel West and Marxist Humanism. Critical Sociology, Online First, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0896920520988314 (published open access, freely available pdf and html)
Humanity has experienced an explosion of anti-humanism in the form of authoritarian capitalism, postmodern filter bubbles, and global problems. Marxist/Socialist Humanism is the proper answer to the deep crisis of humanity. In this context, this article asks ‘How can Cornel West’s works inform a contemporary Marxist humanist theory of society?’ Taking West’s works as a starting point, what are the key elements of a Marxist humanist theory of society?
Cornel West is one of the leading critical intellectuals today. His work has fused anti-racist theory, Black Liberation Theology, Marxist theory, pragmatism, and existentialism.
This article especially focuses on West’s understanding of humanism and culture. It shows how his works and praxis can inform the reinvigoration of Marxist Humanism in the age of authoritarian capitalism as a socialist response. West’s thought can and should also inform the analysis of alienation, exploitation, domination, culture, the public sphere, the critique of ideology, and popular culture.
Developing Marxist-humanist thought, Fuchs in 2020 published the book Communication and Capitalism: A Critical Theory. In March 2021, Marxist Humanism and Communication Theory will be issued as first volume in his new book series “Communication and Society”.
Image attribution: Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons