Post-Marxism: An Intellectual History (Routledge Studies in by Stuart Sim

By Stuart Sim

This e-book strains the crystallisation of post-Marxism as a selected theoretical place in its personal correct and considers the position performed in its improvement through post-structuralism, postmodernism and second-wave feminism. It examines the historical past of dissenting developments in the Marxist culture and considers what the long run clients of post-Marxism usually are.

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Example text

All to play for’ can also mean ‘no possibility of winning no matter how long you play’. While this may well be a more realistic assessment of the political world than the left has been prone to peddle in the past, there is no denying that it is not the most galvanising of messages to deliver to an already heavily demoralised left. A lack of centre may appeal greatly to deconstructionists, but many more will find it disorienting and productive of insecurity. The message is largely negative in tone: we know what we are up against, but also know that it is unlikely to go away and that it is at least as resourceful as we are.

What is important from their point of view is the act of rebellion itself, rather than the precise form it takes, and, picking up on Geras’s jibe once again, that could well be described as an ex-Marxist attitude. The new social movements are to be regarded, therefore, as the product of the profound social changes that characterised the post-war period, and the longterm success of the ‘democratic revolution’ in promoting campaigns for liberty and equality across a constantly widening range of social domains (‘the egalitarian imaginary’ in action56).

Anyone who has ever tried to construct a broad front out of several left-wing groups – all but indistinguishable in doctrinal terms to outsiders – will evince a certain scepticism about the likelihood of such an outbreak of common sense. Desiring it is one thing, expecting it to happen quite another, but depending upon it for the success of one’s enterprise is to raise serious doubts concerning the viability of the entire enterprise. Laclau and Mouffe are more concerned with the current struggle against the encroachments of the new right, which they see as posing a serious threat to the expansion of the democratic revolution.

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