Class and Civil Society: The Limits of Marxian Critical Theory

By Jean L. Cohen | Go to book overview

Notes

Introduction
1.
The works of the Frankfurt School theorists, including Franz Neumann, Friedrich Pollock, Herbert Marcuse, Max Horkheimer, and Theodor Adorno in the 1930s and 40s, reflect this sentiment. For a concise account of the historical challenge to the orthodox Marxian class theory, see Jürgen Habermas, "Zwischen Philosophie und Wissenschaft:"Marxismus als Kritik, Theorie und Praxis ( Berlin: Luchterhand, Verlag, 1969), pp. 162-215.
2.
Marxists have been remarkably unable to assess the New Left in terms other than traditional class categories. For two excellent post-Marxist accounts, see Alain Touraine, Lutte étudiante ( Paris: Editions du Seuil, 1978, and Claude Lefort et al., May 1968: la Brèche ( Paris: Fayard, 1968).
3.
I am thinking of the neoconservative broadside and the movement of the "moral majority." The best summary of the former remains that of Peter Steinfels, The Neo-Conservatives ( New York: Simon and Schuster, 1979).
4.
The ecology movement, the disarmament movement, and the women's movement are three contemporary examples of social struggles that cannot be grasped through the class theory.
5.
I use the term neo-Marxism to distinguish attempts by Marxists to revise or reconstruct the original theory in light of historical development from the official orthodoxy of Soviet communism. Neo-Marxists seek to contribute to a renaissance of Marxian theory in order to rescue the original project from its degeneration into the official ideology of authoritarian communist regimes. In short, neo-Marxists try to restore the link between the critique of capitalism and emancipation to Marxism by revitalizing and, at times, adding to the Marxian. categories.
6.
See chap. 1, herein.
7.
Herbert Marcuse, One-Dimensional Man ( Boston: Beacon Press, 1964)
8.
Jean Cohen, "The Legacy of Herbert Marcuse", Dissent, Winter 1981, pp. 90-93.
9.
The mutual attraction in the 1960s between politically active radicals searching for the means to comprehend their society and Marcuse's analysis of the structure, ideology, and dangers of late capitalism created a powerful synthesis that gave sections of the New Left many of its distinguishing characteristics.
10.
Marcuse seemed to concur with Weber's cynical assessment of representative

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