Revolution and Radical Democracy: Marx Versus Post-Marxism

  • Kohei Saito
Part of the Marx, Engels, and Marxisms book series (MAENMA)


This paper examines Marx’s theory of revolution as an attempt to overcome the modern dualism of the state and civil society. By correctly understanding how Marx dealt with the “separation” and the “unity” of the economic and the political under the capitalist mode of production, it becomes possible to reject the widespread critique against Marx’s historical materialism as crude economic reductionism. A post-Marxist theory of radical democracy developed by Ernesto Laclau, Chantal Mouffe, and Jacques Rancière still typically repeats this type of critique against Marx, but it will be shown through a closer examination that post-Marxists rather fall into a fetish understanding of capitalism by uncritically celebrating the autonomy of the political in modern society. In contrast, Marx actually aimed at overcoming the myth of the autonomy of the political. In this sense, the “end of politics” is one of the main objectives of socialist revolution.


Revolution Radical democracy Post-Marxism Civil society State 


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kohei Saito
    • 1
  1. 1.Osaka City UniversityOsakaJapan

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