A review of Mike Wayne’s Red Kant: Aesthetics, Marxism,and the Third Critique written for Marx & Philosophy Review of Books.
In the late 1970s when Antonio Negri found himself imprisoned on trumped up charges, he turned to Spinoza. In a context of the defeat of the autonomous movements of the time, Spinoza helped Negri find a new way forward in thinking politics and collective subjectivity. Nearly 40 years later Mike Wayne has written a book arguing for understanding Kant as an important precursor of Marxist theory. Wayne thus proposes to rescue Kant’s aesthetic theories from the confines of bourgeois interpretations, as well as from competing Kantian-Marxist formulations, both of which he argues fail to appreciate the way that Kant’s Third Critique is a significant break from his earlier work, rather than merely a logical continuation of it.