Marx, Education and the Possibilities of a Fairer World: Reviving Radical Political Economy through Foucault

By Olssen, Mark; Peters, Michael A. | Linguistic and Philosophical Investigations, January 1, 2015 | Go to article overview

Marx, Education and the Possibilities of a Fairer World: Reviving Radical Political Economy through Foucault


Olssen, Mark, Peters, Michael A., Linguistic and Philosophical Investigations


ABSTRACT.

Although this paper constitutes a revision of a paper originally published in 2007 (see note 1), the editors are pleased to republish this paper due to its theoretical importance for the critique of Marxism as well the interest it creates for establishing the possibility of a new political economy based upon the work of Michel Foucault. The paper documents and interrogates the contradictions between postmodernism and poststructurahsm with Marxism. Starting by documenting the crisis of the Left at the start of the twenty-first century, an attempt is made to radically critique and reappraise Marxism in a direction set out by Foucault. The paper is not so much an attempt to meld Marxism and poststructurahsm but rather to generate a new poststructuralist historical materialism which still has equality and fairness as its central concerns, but which goes beyond the traditional problems of Marxism based on its adherence to outmoded methodologies and theoretical modes of analysis. Echoing well known critiques of Marxist historical materialism, the paper focuses on forms of articulation drawn from the revolution m language influenced by post-modernism and by historically more recent post-quantum complexity theories.

Keywords: Marxism; the Left; political economy; poststructurahsm; Michel Foucault; historical materialism; complexity; global politics; neohberahsm

It is clear, even if one admits that Marx will disappear for now, that he will reappear one day. What I wish for is not so much the defalsification and restitution of a true Marx but the unburdening and liberation of Marx in relation to party dogma, which has constrained it, touted it, and brandished it for so long (Foucault 1998, p. 458).

Introduction1

Marxism, we are told by politicians and the popular press is dead. The Left, as a historical movement tied to the labor movement, is frozen over, caught between the collapse of actually existing communism in Eastern Europe and the triumph of global market forces. Union membership in the traditional industrial economy in the United Kingdom is dwindling as multinationals relocate offshore; even insurance, information, banking and call-centre jobs of the "new economy" are increasingly outsourced to India and other emergent economies literate in information and computing technology and English. China has joined the World Trade Organization and committed itself to a post-socialist market economy. At a time of an intensification of inequalities between regions and, perhaps more significantly, between North and South - between the developed world and the developing world - the Left in Britain, the USA and most of Europe seems ideologically gutted by the Third Way preoccupation with the social market and with citizenship "responsibilities" rather than with traditional concerns of equality and advancing rights. The best offer on hand seems to be a socialization of the market and an acknowledgement of its moral limits. Neoliberalism, in the age of privatization reduces the state's role more and more to one of regulation, rather than provision or funding of public services. The US-UK neoliberal model of globalization has dominated the world economy and world politics for the last 20 years, defining the present crisis of fundamentalisms and restyling imperialism as a new age of barbarism. In this age, American-style democracy is exported alongside the ideology of "free trade." Yet many Americans have shifted their view since the Vietnam War on whether the USA is a force for good in the world or an imperialist power, and this is so despite Bush's recent election victory. Even the philosophers of '68 have given way to a new breed of fashion-conscious savants, who now turn their attention to extolling the virtues of liberal individualism or sneer at the last great generation of Left-Nietzscheans, such as Foucault and Derrida.

The Left has certainly been marginalized and even in the home of European socialism it seems confused and crisis-ridden. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Marx, Education and the Possibilities of a Fairer World: Reviving Radical Political Economy through Foucault
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.