Ernst Bloch

Ernst Bloch was among the most influential Marxist thinkers of the twentieth century. Like many German Jewish intellectuals, he was forced to flee from Nazi Germany in the 1930s, ending up in the USA before returning to East Germany after the war. His optimistic message of human liberation led to his political downfall in the GDR, and in 1961 he fled to West Germany, where he ended his career as an honorary professor at Tübingen University. Although associated with many figures from the Frankfurt School, he maintained his distance from their perspective, emphasizing a far more optimistic and utopian vision of the possibilities of creative human action. This perspective, most famously outlined in his magnum opus The Principle of Hope, led to his thought becoming one of the guiding inspirations of the 1968 student uprisings. Polity has published his seminal examination of the nature of fascism, Heritage of Our Times.