Materialism of Suffering and Left-wing Melancholia


  • Lea Kuhar Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Institute of Philosophy


left-wing melancholia, Marx, object-loss, materialism of suffering, fidelity


Left-wing melancholia is usually perceived as a state of self-observation that turns emancipatory struggles anti-revolutionary, anti-social and even apolitical. In the article I attempt to delineate a possible line of defence against these accusations, claiming that left-wing melancholia is neither a nostalgic remembrance of past revolutionary ideals, nor a mourning of their failures, but rather a form of fidelity to future actions, the content of which remains unknown. Following Freud and Agamben, I argue that melancholia rather not a reaction to a loss of any specific object but is an active stance that produces its object as something that is lost, as an object-loss. I claim that in the case of left-wing melancholia this object-loss has a triple function: it functions as a recognition of the social non-relation; it produces a fictional object that functions as an opening of the possibility of other worlds; it claims allegiance to the fact that these possible worlds cannot be realized in the currently existing one.


Download data is not yet available.




How to Cite

Kuhar L. Materialism of Suffering and Left-wing Melancholia. FV [Internet]. 2019 Dec. 31 [cited 2022 May 18];40(1). Available from: