In the neoliberal world of the twenty-first century, the progressive academy urgently needs a vehicle for normative social research. Critical theory once answered this call, but today its programme is in crisis. The 'pathologies of recognition' approach, popular among contemporary critical theorists, aids neoliberalism rather than challenging it, in part because it is unable to grasp the structural nature of power.To offer an alternative, this book returns to the work of Erich Fromm and Herbert Marcuse, using it as the basis for a revivified social theoretical foundation. As the first generation of critical theorists knew, thought itself can be reified, our imaginations debased, and our desires artificially induced. We need to think beyond recognition and embrace a more potent and aggressive form of social critique, true to the founding spirit of the Frankfurt School.