Linear Time Vs Now Time: Towards a Critical Conception of Time in Marx, Benjamin and Rosenzweig

Juan Carlos Durán, University of Texas at El Paso


The main purpose of this thesis is to open a conversation regarding the role of the linear conception of time that serves as the driving force of the modern and capitalist conception of human history, and that conceives it as a timeline based on progress. The idea of modern progress establishes a civilizing tendency of development in history that prioritizes the future and rejects the past. The linear time conceives of traditional constitution of life of the oppressed people of the past as obsolete and old, and associates ‘modern’ behaviors in order to establish a bourgeois and utilitarian relation with nature devoid of metaphysics and myth. The task of this work is divided into three chapters, each of one of which focuses on the development of the topic towards a critique of the linear conception of time. The first is a presentation of Marx’s conception of history as a critique of capitalism and the bourgeoisie but that is influenced by the linear conception of time. The second chapter is an interpretation of Walter Benjamin’s critique of the linear time through Franz Rosenzweig’s ‘Jetzt-Zeit’ conception of time in order to formulate the necessity of a new dimension of historical materialism and criticize capitalism and modernity. The last chapter is a presentation of Franz Rosenzweig’s ‘Jetzt-Zeit’ from its Jewish roots to which is needed in order to comprehend the way in which Benjamin criticizes capitalism as a religion.

Subject Area

Philosophy|Public policy

Recommended Citation

Durán, Juan Carlos, "Linear Time Vs Now Time: Towards a Critical Conception of Time in Marx, Benjamin and Rosenzweig" (2020). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI28264194.