Editor’s presentation :
After the disappearance of Marxism as a (supposed) state ideology, a need for a serious and long-term book publishing programme on Marxism was recognized. Most publishers of scholarly work have abandoned any of the systematic publication of critical research on Marxist theory that they may have indulged in during the 1970s and early 1980s. The peer-reviewed Historical Materialism Book Series addresses this great gap with original monographs, translated texts and reprints of ‘classics’.
Editorial Board :
Paul Blackledge (Leeds), Sébastien Budgen (Paris), Michael Krätke (Amsterdam), Stathis Kouvelakis (London), Marcel van der Linden (Amsterdam), China Miéville (London), Paul Reynolds (Lancashire), Peter Thomas (Amsterdam).
Books with a bold number and title are available within the Smolny association.
Titles in the Series :
— 40. The Ellen Meiksins Wood Reader, Edited by Larry Patriquin, 2012 ;
Ellen Meiksins Wood is a leading contemporary political theorist who has elaborated an innovative approach to the history of political thought, the ‘social history of political theory’. She has been described as the founder, together with the historian Robert Brenner, of ‘Political Marxism’, a distinct version of historical materialism which has inspired a research program that spans a number of academic disciplines. Organized thematically, this Reader brings together selections from Wood’s groundbreaking scholarship, published over three decades, providing an overview of her original interpretations of capitalism, precapitalist societies, the state, political theory, democracy, citizenship, liberalism, civil society, the Enlightenment, globalization, imperialism, and socialism.
— 39. Marx on Gender and the Family, Heather A. Brown, 2012 ;
This, the first book-length study devoted exclusively to Marx’s perspectives on gender and the family, offers a fresh look at this topic in light of twenty-first century concerns. Although Marx’s writings sometimes exhibit sexism, especially through the naturalization of certain female social functions, his work often transcends these. Brown studies those writings on gender, as well as his 1879-1882 notebooks on precapitalist societies and gender, some of them still unpublished in any language. The author argues that although Marx never fully developed these ideas, he gave important indications toward a theory of gender and society. This study attempts to fill a significant gap in the literature on Marx and offer some general insights into the intersectionality of gender and class.
— 38. Gramsci’s Political Thought, Carlos Nelson Coutinho, 2012 ;
In Gramsci’s Political Thought, Carlos Nelson Coutinho offers an analysis of the evolution of the political thought of Antonio Gramsci. Focusing on central concepts of the Prison Notebooks and relating them to the history of modern political ideas, the book also demonstrates that Gramsci’s ideas continue to be relevant resources for understanding the controversies of our present time. Written by a leading Brazilian Marxist theorist, Gramsci’s Political Thought provides one of the most succinct and theoretically focused introductions to the thought of Antonio Gramsci available
— 37. The October Revolution in Prospect and Retrospect , John Eric Marot, 2012 ;
In a series of probing analytical essays, John Marot tracks the development of Bolshevism through the prism of pre-1917 intra-Russian Social Democratic controversies in politics and philosophy. For 1917, the author presents a critique of social historical interpretation of the Russian Revolution. Turning to NEP Russia, the author applies Robert Brenner’s analysis of pre-capitalist modes of production and concludes that neither Bukharin nor Trotsky’s NEP-premised programs of economic transformation and advance toward socialism were feasible. At the same time, he rejects the view that Stalinism was pre-destined to supplant NEP. Instead, he hypothesises that the superior alternative to Stalinism was NEP without collectivization and the Five-Year Plans - a outcome that would have been possible had Bukharin and Trotsky joined forces to stop Stalin.
— 36. Marx’s Concept of the Alternative to Capitalism , Peter Hudis, 2012 ;
In contrast to the traditional view that Marx’s work is restricted to a critique of capitalism and does not contain a detailed or coherent conception of its alternative, this book shows, through an analysis of his published and unpublished writings, that Marx was committed to a specific concept of a post-capitalist society that informed his critique of value production, alienated labor and capitalist accumulation. Instead of focusing on the present with only a passing reference to the future, Marx’s emphasis on capitalism’s tendency towards dissolution is rooted in a specific conception of what should replace it. In critically re-examining that conception, this book addresses the quest for an alternative to capitalism that has taken on increased importance today.
— 35. Criticism of Earth, Roland Boer, 2012 ;
Criticism of Earth thoroughly reassesses Marx and Engels’s engagement with theology, drawing on largely ignored texts. Thus, alongside ‘opium of the people’, Hegel’s philosophy of law, and the Feuerbach theses, other works are also central. These include Marx’s early pieces on theology, continual transformations of fetishism, and lengthy treatments of Bruno Bauer and Max Stirner. Engels too is given serious attention, since he moved beyond Marx in appreciating theology’s revolutionary possibilities. Engels’s Calvinism is discussed, his treatments of biblical criticism and theology, and his later writings on early Christianity’s revolutionary nature. The book continues the project for a renewed and enlivened interaction between Marxism and religion, being the fourth of five volumes in the Criticism of Heaven and Earth series.
— 34. Toward the United Front, Proceedings of the Fourth Congress of the Communist International, 1922, Edited and translated by John Riddell, 2011 ;
The proceedings of the last Comintern congress in which Lenin participated, now at last available in English, reveals a Communist world movement grappling to reconcile the goal of unifying workers and colonial people in struggle with that of pressing forward to socialist revolution. The principle of national parties’ autonomy strains against calls for more stringent centralisation. Debates range over the birth of Fascism, decay of the Versailles Treaty system, the rise of colonial revolution, and women’s emancipation. Newly translated and richly annotated, the stenographic transcript of the month-long congress discloses a rich spectrum of viewpoints among delegates. Indispensable source material on early Communism is supplemented by an analytic introduction, detailed footnotes, more than 500 short biographies, glossary, chronology, and index.
— 33. Discovering Imperialism, Translated, edited and introduced by Richard B. Day and Daniel Gaido, 2011 ;
The theory of imperialism is usually associated with some of the ‘big names’ in the history of European Marxism, such as Lenin, Rosa Luxemburg, Rudolf Hilferding and Nikolai Bukharin, alongside whom the English Progressive John Hobson is usually mentioned. However, little is known about the development of Marxist theory on this subject besides the books of these figures. This volume assembles for the first time the main documents of the international debate on imperialism that took place in the Second International during the period 1898-1916. It assesses the contributions of the individual participants to the developing theory of imperialism, placing them in the context of contemporary political debates.
— 32. Financialisation in Crisis, Edited by Costas Lapavitsas, 2011 ;
The turmoil of 2007-2009 is a crisis of financialised capitalism, and for this reason it is systemic and unusual. The crisis commenced in the sphere of finance, spread to production, and then became a world recession. Its unusual character is apparent since never before has a global economic crisis been triggered by banks lending to workers to buy houses. Moreover, state intervention to forestall the crisis becoming a major depression has been unprecedented. This book brings together several well-known political economists to analyse the domestic and international aspects of financialisation, thus putting the crisis in its appropriate context. It draws on Marxist and other heterodox economics to cast light on the broader implications of financialisation and crisis for society.
— 31. In the Steps of Rosa Luxemburg, Selected Writings of Paul Levi , Paul Levi, 2011 ;
Paul Levi remains one of the most interesting and controversial figures in the early history of the Communist movement. As leader of the KPD after the murder of Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht, he successfully built up a party of a third of a million members, but by 1921 Comintern pressure for ‘Bolshevisation’ forced Levi’s resignation and expulsion. Until his early death in 1930 he remained ‘a revolutionary socialist of the Rosa Luxemburg school’ (Carl von Ossietsky), and was described by Albert Einstein as ‘one of the wisest, most just and courageous persons I have come across’. The first English edition of Levi’s writings fills a long-standing gap in the documents of German Communism.
— 30. Monsters of the Market, David McNally, 2011 ;
Monsters of the Market investigates the rise of capitalism through the prism of the body-panics it arouses. Drawing on folklore, literature and popular culture, the book links tales of monstrosity from early-modern England, including Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, to a spate of recent vampire- and zombie-fables from sub-Saharan Africa, and it connects these to Marx’s persistent use of monster-metaphors in his descriptions of capitalism. Reading across these tales of the grotesque, Monsters of the Market offers a novel account of the cultural and corporeal economy of a global market-system. The book thus makes original contributions to political economy, cultural theory, commodification-studies and ‘body-theory’.
— 29. Red October, Jeffery R. Webber, 2011 ;
Bolivia witnessed a left-indigenous insurrectionary cycle between 2000 and 2005 that overthrew two neoliberal presidents and laid the foundation for Evo Morales’ successful bid to become the country’s first indigenous head of state in 2006. Building on the theoretical traditions of revolutionary Marxism and indigenous liberation, this book provides an analytical framework for understanding the fine-grained sociological and political nuances of twenty-first century Bolivian class-struggle, state-repression, and indigenous resistance, as well the deeply historical roots of today’s oppositional traditions. Drawing on extensive ethnographic fieldwork, including more than 80 in-depth interviews with social-movement and trade-union activists, Red October is a ground-breaking intervention in the study of contemporary Bolivia and the wider Latin American turn to the left over the last decade.
— 28. The American Road to Capitalism, Charles Post, 2011 ;
Most US historians assume that capitalism either “came in the first ships” or was the inevitable result of the expansion of the market. Unable to analyze the dynamics of specific forms of social labour in the antebellum US, most historians of the US Civil War have privileged autonomous political and ideological factors, ignoring the deep social roots of the conflict. This book applies theoretical insights derived from the debates on the transition to capitalism in Europe to the historical literature on the US to produce a new analysis of the origins of capitalism in the US, and the social roots of the Civil War.
— 27. Criticism of Theology, Roland Boer, 2010 ;
Criticism of Theology provides a detailed and critical commentary on the continued fascination with religion by yet more significant Marxist philosophers, historians and critics: Max Horkheimer, E.P. Thompson, G.E.M. de Ste. Croix, Michael Löwy, Roland Barthes, Gilles Deleuze, Felix Guattari and Antonio Negri. Simultaneously critique and construction, Criticism of Theology carefully analyses their work through close textual readings, with a view to locating hidden gems that may be developed further. The book continues the project for a renewed and enlivened interaction between Marxism and religion, being the third of five volumes in the Criticism of Heaven and Earth series.
— 26. Behind the Crisis, Guglielmo Carchedi, 2010 ;
Much has been written since Capital was first published, and more recently after the demise of the Soviet Union and the consequent triumph of neoliberalism, about the irrelevance, inconsistency, and obsoleteness of Marx. This has been attributed to his unworkable method of inquiry. This book goes against the current. It introduces the issues that are presently most hotly debated, it evaluates them, and it groups them into four headings, each one of them corresponding to a chapter. At the same time, it submits a new reading of Marx’s method of social research and on this basis it argues that Marx’s work offers a solid foundation upon which to further develop a multi-faceted theory of crises highly relevant for the contemporary world.
— 25. Theory as History, Jairus Banaji, 2010 ;
The essays collected here straddle four decades of work in both historiography and Marxist theory, combining source-based historical work in a wide range of languages with sophisticated discussion of Marx’s categories. Key themes include the distinctions that are crucial to restoring complexity to the Marxist notion of a ’mode of production’; the emergence of medieval relations of production; the origins of capitalism; the dichotomy between free and unfree labour; and essays in agrarian history that range widely from Byzantine Egypt to 19th-century colonialism. The essays demonstrate the importance of reintegrating theory with history and of bringing history back into historical materialism. An introductory chapter ties the collection together and shows how historical materialists can develop an alternative to Marx’s ’Asiatic mode of production’.
— 24. The Gramscian Moment , Peter D. Thomas, 2009 ;
Antonio Gramsci’s Prison Notebooks are today acknowledged as a classic of the human and social sciences in the twentieth century. The influence of his thought in numerous fields of scholarship is only exceeded by the diverse interpretations and readings to which it has been subjected, resulting in often contradictory ’images of Gramsci’. This book draws on the rich recent season of Gramscian philological studies in order to argue that the true significance of Gramsci’s thought consists in its distinctive position in the development of the Marxist tradition. Providing a detailed reconsideration of Gramsci’s theory of the state and concept of philosophy, The ’Gramscian moment’ argues for the urgent necessity of taking up the challenge of developing a ’philosophy of praxis’ as a vital element in the contemporary revitalisation of Marxism.
— 23. Politics and Philosophy, Mikko Lahtinen. Translated by Gareth Griffiths and Kristina Köhli, 2009 ;
Louis Althusser’s interpretation of Niccolò Machiavelli has never really been studied in any detail as an analysis of political action and intervention. The same is also true for Althusser’s notion of aleatory materialism. Instead, these have conventionally been studied from the viewpoint of a philosophical perspective in which politics is excluded. The objective of the present book thus runs against many of the prevailing views on Althusser. Here the emphasis is placed on Althusser’s advancement of a theory of materialist politics. The main argument put forward is that, for Althusser, it was essential to reflect on how the conjunctural understanding of history and reality could offer a theoretical starting point for a subversive political strategy.
— 22. Criticism of Religion, Roland Boer, University of Newcastle, 2009 ;
Criticism of Religion offers a spirited critical commentary on the engagements with religion and theology by a range of leading Marxist philosophers and critics: Lucien Goldmann, Fredric Jameson, Rosa Luxemburg, Karl Kautsky, Julia Kristeva, Alain Badiou, Giorgio Agamben, Georg Lukács, and Raymond Williams. Apart from offering sustained critique, the aim is to gather key insights from these critics in order to develop a comprehensive theory of religion. The book follows on the heels of the acclaimed Criticism of Heaven, being the second volume of a five volume series called Criticism of Heaven and Earth.
— 21. Witnesses to Permanent Revolution: The Documentary Record , Edited and translated by Richard B. Day and Daniel Gaido, 2009 ;
The theory of Permanent Revolution has been associated with Leon Trotsky for more than a century since the first Russian Revolution in 1905. Trotsky was the most brilliant proponent of Permanent Revolution but by no means its sole author. The documents in this volume, most of them translated into English for the first time, demonstrate that Trotsky was one of several participants in a debate from 1903-7 that involved numerous leading figures of Russian and European Marxism, including Karl Kautsky, Rosa Luxemburg, Franz Mehring, Parvus and David Ryazanov.
This volume reassembles that debate, assesses it with reference to Marx and Engels, and provides new evidence for interpreting the formative years of Russian revolutionary Marxism.
— 20. Following Marx: Method, Critique and Crisis , Michael A. Lebowitz, 2009 ;
What does it mean to follow Marx? In this examination of Marx’s methodology combined with specific applications on topics in political economy such as neo-Ricardian theory, analytical Marxism, the falling rate of profit, crisis theory, monopoly capital, Paul Sweezy, advertising and the capitalist state, this volume argues that the failure to understand (or explicit rejection of) Marx’s method has led astray many who consider themselves Marxists. By focusing particularly upon the concept of a totality and the necessary form of appearance of capital as many capitals in competition, Following Marx both demonstrates why Marx insisted that ‘in competition everything is reversed’ and provides a guide for following Marx.
— 19. Alasdair MacIntyre’s Engagement with Marxism, Edited by Paul Blackledge and Neil Davidson, 2008 ;
Although Alasdair MacIntyre is best known today as the author of After Virtue (1981), he was, in the 1950s and 1960s, one of the most erudite members of Britain’s Marxist Left: being a militant within, first, the Communist Party, then the New Left, and finally the heterodox Trotskyist International Socialism group. This selection of his essays on Marxism from that period aims to show that his youthful thought profoundly informed his mature ethics, and that, in the wake of the collapse of the state-capitalist regimes in Russia and Eastern Europe, the powerful and optimistic revolutionary Marxist ethics of liberation he articulated in that period is arguably as salient to anti-capitalist activists today as it was half a century ago.
— 18. Criticism of Heaven, Roland Boer, 2007 ;
This volume consists of a critical commentary on the interactions between Marxism and theology in the work of the major figures of Western Marxism. It deals with the theological writings of Ernst Bloch, Walter Benjamin, Louis Althusser, Henri Lefebvre, Antonio Gramsci, Terry Eagleton, Slavoj Žižek and Theodor Adorno. In many cases their theological writings are dealt with for the first time in this book. It is surprising how much theological material there is and how little commentators have dealt with it. Apart from the critical engagement with the way they use theology, the book also explores how their theological writings infiltrate and enrich their Marxist work. The book has three parts: Biblical Marxists (Bloch and Benjamin), Catholic Marxists (Althusser, Lefebvre, Gramsci and Eagleton), and the Protestant Turn (Žižek and Adorno).
— 17. Western Marxism and the Soviet Union , Marcel van der Linden, 2007 ;
The ‘Russian Question’ was an absolutely central problem for Marxism in the twentieth century. Numerous attempts were made to understand the nature of Soviet society. The present book tries to portray the development of these theoretical contributions since 1917 in a coherent, comprehensive appraisal. It aims to present the development of the Western Marxist critique of the Soviet Union across a rather long period in history (from 1917 to the present) and in a large region (Western Europe and North America). Within this demarcation of limits in time and space, an effort has been made to ensure completeness, by paying attention to all Marxist analyses which in some way significantly deviated from or added to the older theories.
— 16. Critical Companion to Contemporary Marxism, Edited by Jacques Bidet and Stathis Kouvelakis, 2007 ;
The Critical Companion to Contemporary Marxism is an international and interdisciplinary volume which aims to provide a thorough and precise panorama of recent developments in Marxist theory in the US, Europe, Asia and beyond. Drawing on the work of thirty of the most authoritative scholars, the Companion spans all the humanities and social sciences, with particular emphasis on philosophy. The work is divided into three parts: ’General Trends’, which provides a broad intellectual and historical context; ’Currents’, which tracks the trajectories of twenty specific currents or disciplinary fields; and ’Figures’, which examines in detail the work of fifteen key actors of Marxist or para-Marxist theory (Adorno, Althusser, Badiou, Benjamin, Bhaskar, Bourdieu, Deleuze, Derrida, Foucault, Gramsci, Habermas, Jameson, Lefebvre, Uno, Williams). The Companion is set to be unsurpassed for many years, in breadth and depth, as the definitive guide to contemporary Marxism.
— 15. Impersonal Power, Heide Gerstenberger. Translated by David Fernbach, 2007 ;
The point of departure of Heide Gerstenberger’s path-breaking work is a critique of structural-functionalist theory of the state, in both its modernisation theory and materialist variants. Prof. Gerstenberger opposes to these a historical-theoretical explanation that proceeds from the long-term structuring effect of concrete social practice. This is elucidated by detailed investigation of the development of bourgeois state power in the two key examples of England and France. The different complexions that the bourgeois state assumed are presented as the results of processes of social and cultural formation, and thus irreducible to a simple function of capitalism. This approach culminates in the thesis that the bourgeois form of capitalist state power arose only where capitalist societies developed out of already rationalised structures of the Ancien Régime type.
— 14. Exploring Marx’s Capital, Jacques Bidet. Translated by David Fernbach. Preface to the English Edition by Alex Callinicos, 2007 ;
This volume, originally published in French under the title Que faire du Capital?, offers a new interpretation of Marx’s great work. It shows how the novelty and lasting interest of Marx’s theory arises from the fact that, as against the project of a ‘pure’ economics, it is formulated in concepts that have simultaneously an economic and a political aspect, neither of these being separable from the other. Jacques Bidet conducts an unprecedented investigation of Marx’s work in the spirit of the history of science, exploring it as a process of theoretical development. Traditional exegesis reads the successive drafts of Capital as if they were complementary and mutually illuminated one another. In actual fact, like any scientist, Marx only wrote a new version in order to correct the previous one. He started from ideas borrowed from Ricardo and Hegel, and between one draft and the next it is possible to see these being eliminated and restructured. This labour, moreover, was never fully completed. The author thus re-assesses Marx’s entire system in its set of constitutive categories: value, market, labour-power, classes, working class, exploitation, production, fetishism, ideology. He seeks to pin down the difficulties that these encountered, and the analytical and critical value they still have today. Bidet attaches the greatest importance to Marx’s order of exposition, which assigns each concept its place in the overall system, and makes the validity of the construction depend on the pertinence of its initial presuppositions. This is particularly the case with the relationship between market mechanism and capitalism - and thus also between the market and socialism.
— 13. Althusser, Gregory Elliott, 2006 ;
First published in 1987, Althusser, The Detour of Theory was widely received as the fullest account of its subject to date. Drawing on a wide range of hitherto untranslated material, it examined the political and intellectual contexts of Althusser’s ‘return to Marx’ in the mid-1960s; analysed the novel character of the Marxism developed in his major works; charted their author’s subsequent evolution, from his self-criticism to the proclamation of a ‘crisis of Marxism’; and concluded with a balance-sheet of Althusser’s contribution to historical materialism.
For this second edition, Gregory Elliott has added a substantial postscript in which he surveys the posthumous edition of the French philosopher’s work published in the 1990s, from the early writings of the 1940s through to the late texts of the 1980s, relating the unknown Althusser revealed by them to the familiar figure of For Marx and Reading Capital, together with a comprehensive bibliography of Althusser’s oeuvre.
— 12. A Marxist Philosophy of Language, Jean-Jacques Lecercle. Translated by Gregory Elliott, 2006 ;
The purpose of this book is to give a precise meaning to the formula: English is the language of imperialism. Understanding that statement involves a critique of the dominant views of language, both in the field of linguistics (the book has a chapter criticising Chomsky’s research programme) and of the philosophy of language (the book has a chapter assessing Habermas’s philosophy of communicative action).
The book aims at constructing a Marxist philosophy of language, embodying a view of language as a social, historical, material and political phenomenon. Since there has never been a strong tradition of thinking about language in Marxism, the book provides an overview of the question of Marxism in language (from Stalin’s pamphlet to Voloshinov’s book, taking in an essay by Pasolini), and it seeks to construct a number of concepts for a Marxist philosophy of language.
The book belongs to the tradition of Marxist critique of dominant ideologies. It should be particularly useful to those who, in the fields of language study, literature and communication studies, have decided that language is not merely an instrument of communication.
— 11. Marxism and Ecological Economics, Paul Burkett, 2006 ;
This book undertakes the first general assessment of ecological economics from a Marxist point of view, and shows how Marxist political economy can make a substantial contribution to ecological economics. The analysis is developed in terms of four basic issues: (1) nature and economic value; (2) the treatment of nature as capital; (3) the significance of the entropy law for economic systems; (4) the concept of sustainable development. In each case, it is shown that Marxism can help ecological economics fulfill its commitments to multi-disciplinarity, methodological pluralism, and historical openness. In this way, a foundation is constructed for a substantive dialogue between Marxists and ecological economists.
— 10. Globalisation, Tony Smith, 2006 ;
Part One of this book examines the social-state, neoliberal, catalytic-state, and democratic-cosmopolitan models of globalisation. Each necessarily tends to function in a manner contradicting essential claims made by its leading advocates. This “immanent contradiction” provides a theoretical warrant for moving to a new position, addressing the shortcomings of the previous framework. The first three chapters of Part Two are devoted to a Marxian model of capitalist globalisation, in which the irresolvable contradictions and social antagonisms of the capitalist global order are explicitly recognised. The final chapter is devoted to a Marxian model of socialist globalisation, in which those contradictions and antagonisms are overcome, bringing the systematic dialectic of globalisation to a close.
— 9. Lenin Rediscovered, Lars T. Lih, 2006 ;
Lenin’s What is to Be Done? (1902) has long been seen as the founding document of a ’party of a new type’. For some, it provided a model of ‘vanguard party’ that was the essence of Bolshevism, for others it manifested Lenin’s élitist and manipulatory attitude towards the workers.
This substantial new commentary, based on contemporary Russian- and German-language sources, provides hitherto unavailable contextual information that undermines these views and shows how Lenin’s argument rests squarely on an optimistic confidence in the workers’ revolutionary inclinations and on his admiration of German Social Democracy in particular. Lenin’s outlook cannot be understood, Lih claims here, outside the context of international Social Democracy, the disputes within Russian Social Democracy and the institutions of the revolutionary underground.
The new translation focuses attention on hard-to-translate key terms. This study raises new and unsettling questions about the legacy of Marx, Bolshevism as a historical force, and the course of Soviet history, but, most of all, it will revolutionise the conventional interpretations of Lenin.
— 8. The Clash of Globalisations, Ray Kiely, 2005 ;
This work addresses the politics of globalisation through an examination of neo-liberalism, the third way, and anti-capitalist responses and alternatives. It utilises a Marxist approach, not only to challenge the claims made by apologists for ’actually existing globalisation’, but to explain, contextualise and problematise the rise of anti-globalisation politics. Central to the work is a critique of globalisation theory, neo-liberalism and the third way; an examination of the role of the state as an agent of globalisation, particularly the hegemonic US state; a theorisation of the nature of uneven development in the global order; and an examination of the political implications of these issues for progressive alternatives to neo-liberal globalisation.
— 7. Utopia Ltd. , Matthew Beaumont, 2005 ;
This book uncovers the historical preconditions for the explosive revival of utopian literature at the nineteenth-century fin de siècle, and excavates its ideological content. It marks a contribution not only to the literary and cultural history of the late-Victorian period, and to the expanding field of utopian studies, but to the development of a Marxist critique of utopianism. The book is particularly concerned with three kinds of political utopia or anti-utopia, those of ’state socialism’, feminism, and anti-communism (the characteristic expression of this last example being the cacotopia). After an extensive contextual account of the politics of utopia in late-nineteenth century England, it devotes a chapter to each of these topics before developing an original reinterpretation of William Morris’s seminal Marxist utopia, News from Nowhere.
— 6. Between Equal Rights, China Miéville, 2005 ;
This book critically examines existing theories of international law and makes the case for an alternative Marxist approach. China Miéville draws on the pioneering jurisprudence of Evgeny Pashukanis linking law to commodity exchange, and in turn uses international law to make better sense of Pashukanis. Miéville argues that despite its advances, the recent ‘New Stream’ of radical international legal scholarship, like the mainstream it opposes, fails to make sense of the legal form itself. Drawing on Marxist theory and a critical history of international law from the sixteenth century to the present day, Miéville seeks to address that failure, and argues that international law is fundamentally constituted by the violence of imperialism.
— 5. The German Revolution, 1917-1923, Pierre Broué, Translated by John Archer. Edited by Ian Birchall and Brian Pearce. With an Introduction by Eric D. Weitz, 2005 ;
On 12 October 1923, Grigory Zinoviev, president of the Communist International wrote the following in Pravda:
“The German events are developing with the inexorability of fate. The path which it took the Russian Revolution twelve years to cover, from 1906 to 1917, will have taken the German Revolution five years, from 1918 to 1923. ... The proletarian revolution is knocking at Germany’s door; you would have to be blind not to see it. ... Very soon, everyone will see that this autumn of 1923 is a turning-point, not just for the history of Germany, but for the history of the whole world.”
In fact, far from being on the point of triumphing, the German Revolution was on the verge of an irredeemable disaster which would soon inflict terrible consequences on Germany and the world.
In this magisterial work, first published 1971 and still unsurpassed, Pierre Broué meticulously reconstitutes the six decisive years during which - between ‘ultra-leftism’ and ‘opportunism’, ‘sectarianism’ and ‘revisionism’, ‘activism’ and ‘passivity’ - the German revolutionaries attempted to begin a new chapter in the history of the proletariat.
— 4. Pavel V. Maksakovsky: The Capitalist Cycle , Translated with introduction and commentary by Richard B. Day, 2004 ;
The Capitalist Cycle is a translation of a previously unknown work in Marxist economic theory. Originally published in 1928, this rediscovered work is one of the most creative essays witten by a Soviet economist during the first two decades after the Russian Revolution. Following the dialectic of Hegel and Marx, Maksakovsky aims to provide a ’concluding chapter’ for Marx’s Capital. The book examines economic methodology and logically reconstructs Marx’s analysis into a comprehensive and dynamic theory of cyclical economic crises. The introductory essay by Richard B. Day situates Maksakovsky’s work within the Hegelian and Marxist philosophical traditions by emphasizing the book’s dialectical logic as well as its contribution to economic science.
— 3. Making History, Alex Callinicos, 2004 ;
Making History is about the question - central to social theory - of how human agents draw their powers from the social structures they are involved in. Drawing on classical Marxism, analytical philosophy, and a wide range of historical writing, Alex Callinicos seeks to avoid two unacceptable extremes: dissolving the subject into an impersonal flux, as poststructuralists tend to; and treating social structures as the mere effects of individual action (for example, rational-choice theory). Among those discussed are Althusser, Anderson, Benjamin, Brenner, Cohen, Elster, Foucault, Giddens, Habermas, and Mann. Callinicos has written an extended introduction to this new edition that reviews developments since Making History was first published in 1987. This republication gives a new generation of readers access to an important intervention in Marxism and social theory.
— 2. The Theory of Revolution in the Young Marx, Michael Löwy, 2003 ;
This book proposes a Marxist analysis of young Marx’s intellectual evolution, from left neo-Hegelianism to his new philosophy of praxis. It distinguishes itself from most other books on the early Marx by its object - the theory of (proletarian) revolutionary self-emancipation - and its method: to understand the movement of Marx’s political and philosophical ideas in relation to the most radical currents in the labour movement of his time (beginning with Chartism and the uprising of the Silesian weavers in 1844). The central theoretical argument of the author is that Marx’s philosophy of praxis - first formulated in the Thesis on Feuerbach - is at the same time the founding stone of a new world view, and the methodological basis for the theory of revolutionary self-emancipation.
— 1. The New Dialectic and Marx’s Capital, Christopher J. Arthur, 2002 ;
This book both argues for, and demonstrates, a new turn to dialectic. Marx’s Capital was clearly influenced by Hegel’s dialectical figures: here, case by case, the significance of these is clarified. More, it is argued that, instead of the dialectic of the rise and fall of social systems, what is needed is a method of articulating the dialectical relations characterising a given social whole. Marx learnt from Hegel the necessity for a systematic development, and integration, of categories; for example, the category of ’value’ can be fully comprehended only in the context of the totality of capitalist relations. These studies thus shed new light on Marx’s great work, while going beyond it in many respects.