Marx and Marxism

Marx and Marxism

Marx and Marxism

Marx and Marxism

Synopsis

Karl Marx probably had more influence on the political course of the last century than any other social thinker. There are many different kinds of Marxism, and the Twentieth Century saw two huge Marxist states in total opposition to one another. In the West, Marxism has never presented a revolutionary threat to the established order, though it has taken root as the major theoretical critique of capitalist society in intellectual circles, and new interpretations of Marx's thought appear each year. Peter Worsley discusses all these major varieties of Marxism, distinguishing between those ideas which remain valid, those which are contestable, and those which should now be discarded. Rather than treating Marxism purely as a philosophy in the abstract, he concentrates upon the uses to which Marxism has been put and emphasises the connections between the theoretical debates and political struggles in the real world.

Excerpt

My thanks are due to Peter Hamilton, Hamza Alavi, and Teodor Shanin, who read the first draft and made valuable comments, and to Linda Ollerenshaw, Jeanne Ashton, Janice Hammond and Hilary Thorber, who typed the manuscript with great efficiency. Sami Zubaida read the second edition for me.

Thanks are due to Lawrence & Wishart Ltd. for permission to use quotations from Marx and Engels' Selected Works, their Selected Correspondence, and from Marx's The Holy Family; to the World Publishing Company, New York, for a quotation from E.J. Hobsbawm's The Age of Revolution 1797-1848; Eyre Methuen Ltd. for the translation by Steve Gooch of the poem 'In Praise of Communism' from Bertholt Brecht's 'The Mother'; and to Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd. for an extract from Herbert Blumer's essay 'Society and Symbolic Interaction', republished in Arnold M. Rose (ed.), Human Behaviour and Social Process.

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