Changing the world with Hollowayism

holloway (1)

This is a book I have wanted to read for a long time. I am very interested in theories of social change. It is a tremendously important topic but one that is rarely discussed among the left and very much ignored in academia. John Holloway is one of those few authors that made a well-known contribution to the topic, but reading articles about and interviews with him, it always seemed Hollowayism is a perspective that I very much disagree with. That is why this book was on my to-read list for a long time: what better way to challenge your own perspective than to read something you think you very much disagree with. I still disagree with Holloway, but this is also one of the best books I have read in the last year.

It starts out brilliantly with the first two sentences, a paraphrasing of Goethe´s Faust: “In the beginning is the scream. We scream.” While you don’t realize it in the beginning, this already includes the main epistemological implications that are worked out in the rest of the book. The introduction is brilliant, it’s angry and not holding back:  ‘we need no promise of a happy ending to justify our rejection of a world we feel to be wrong’. While the book is quite complicated, with many difficult concepts being introduced and discussed, it is also written as accessible as one possibly could at this level of theoretical sophistication and still very poetic at times.

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