New Criticals

2) Following on the first, since theorizing consciousness is indeed taken to be capable of recognizing and articulating the total alienation thesis, it must exist in a metaphysical space beyond the universally alienated world. It is thus committed to something like Kant’s homo noumenon or some other dualist, hierarchical metaphysics. Of course, unlike Kantian ethics, the insurrectionists are perfectly willing to treat others solely as means to their ends: their non-metaphysical political goals require it.

3) Since consciousness and the will it guides must exist in this metaphysical beyond, the project retains subjective moral purity as its orienting element. That is to say, as a project it is not in the least concerned with hard political or pragmatic questions: “full communism now, the world be damned,” or some such sloganeering even when the second half of the line is rarely explicit.  In this way the subjectively absolutely and pragmatically naïve call of conscience in the midst of total alienation produces little more than a will to retreat from the concrete challenges of transforming problematic structures. At the level of cultural critique, its strivings only try to invert bourgeois morality, not concretely overcome it.