Communism in History and Theory: The European Experience

By Donald F. Busky | Go to book overview

3

Neo-Marxism

There are a number of theorists beyond that of Marx, Engels, Lenin, Trotsky, and Stalin that deserve mention, not all of whom are Marxist-Leninists, that may be classified as neo-Marxist theorists because they have contributed new ideas and outlooks to Marxist theory.


LABRIOLA

Antonio Labriola (1843-1904) was an Italian schoolteacher from Naples who only gradually turned to Marxism. 1 Born in Cassino, the son of a teacher, he was reared to have the ideals of “Young Italy, ” the secret society founded by patriot and revolutionary Giuseppe Mazzini (1805-1872) that fought for unification and independence for Italy. After graduating from the University of Naples where he studied Hegelianism, Labriola became himself a schoolteacher in Naples. He first published works on Spinoza and then on Hegel, and later took up political journalism in the early 1870s. Around this time he became increasingly critical of liberalism and lectured on socialism. His best-known work, originally published in 1896, and revised in a second edition in 1902, is Essays on the Materialist Conception of History. 2 It soon became a classic in European Marxist literature. He opposed materialistic interpretations of Marxism, and may be considered a forerunner of Gramsci's and Lukác's neo-Marxism. He argued that progress is not inherent in events, but rather is a way of interpreting history. While there is good reason to hope for socialism, he dis-

-93-

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Communism in History and Theory: The European Experience
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • Introduction: Communism in Europe xvii
  • 1 - Eastern Europe 1
  • 2 - Western Europe 41
  • 3 - Neo-Marxism 93
  • 4 - A Critique of Marxism 119
  • Appendix 159
  • Bibliography 163
  • Index 169
  • About the Author 173
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