KeywordsSpecial Issue for Anson Rabinbach
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AbstractThis article gives a brief account of the influence of Anson Rabinbach on the work of his personal partner, Jessica Benjamin. Benjamin describes the significant points of convergence between the two thinkers' sensibilities in regard to critical theory, left-wing movements, and fascism. Both concurred in rejecting the privileging of rationalism and the repudiation of helplessness, which Benjamin identified in the thinking of Sigmund Freud and Theodor W. Adorno. Rabinbach's implicit perspective on this repudiation and his explicit analysis of the fascist aesthetics of virility and strength, the tension between embracing hyperrationality and rejection of modernity, were significant for Benjamin. Supported by Rabinbach's understanding of the appeal of messianic movements and of occupying the position of moral superiority, Benjamin was able to formulate her perspective on the need for a feminist critique that eschews such positions.