Praxis Seminar: Research Colloquium in Practical Philosophy 2020/21, Session 2

Tamara Caraus

Praxis-CFUL / University of Lisbon

Marx’s Radical Cosmopolitics

27 October 2020, 18h00 (Lisbon Time – GMT+0)

Due to the current health restrictions, this session will take place entirely via Zoom Follow this link

Meeting ID: 884 7169 1230

Password: 746274



“The bourgeoisie has through its exploitation of the world market given a cosmopolitan character to production and consumption in every country” says the Communist Manifesto, the same text which states that “The working men have no country” and ends with the famous call “The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. Working men of all countries, unite!”. The ‘bourgeois cosmopolitanism’ was the object of critique in different texts authored by Marx (and Engels). Thus, Marx underlined that “political economy displays a cosmopolitan, universal energy which overthrows every restriction and bond, but comes out in its complete cynicism” (Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844) and that “free competition and world trade gave birth to hypocritical cosmopolitanism and the notion of man”(German Ideology). However, Marx’s critique of ‘bourgeois cosmopolitanism’ was not formulated from a local or national perspective, but from the perspective of a  radical cosmopolitics whose main elements, as this presentation argues, could be detected in (i) the immanent critique of “bourgeois cosmopolitanism” or of globalised capitalism, (ii) in the ‘ruthless criticism of everything existing’ or in the emancipatory and transformational role of Marx’s radical  critique, (iii) in the proletariat as a cosmopolitical agency from below, (iv) in the missing theory of state in Marx’s oeuvre, (v) in the stake on the transformation of consciousness and self-emancipation, and (vi) in Marx’s unavoidable  humanism. In this radical cosmopolitics, cosmopolitan and communist horizons tend to become one, and the radical cosmo-communist politics appears as the real stake of struggle against global injustice, both in Marx’s time and now.