Critical theory must add to its agenda “disrupt[ing] the easy passage from critique [to] its neoliberal double”, Nancy Fraser recently argued. Emancipatory movements have not only been transformed by neoliberalism. They have, “unwittingly”, provided powerful “ingredients” for the transition to neoliberalism. This essay examines Axel Honneth and Nancy Fraser’s assessment of and normative proposal for addressing the paradoxes of neoliberalism. The constraints of neoliberalism, I argue, bring into focus the structural challenge of immanent critique as understood within second and third generation Critical Theory. Normative ambivalence within neoliberalism, I maintain, calls for a shift in the way that critical and justificatory practices are understood within the Frankfurt School.
- Frankfurt School