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Marxism Versus Post-Marxism

  • Nicos P. Mouzelis

Abstract

Given the general anti-Marxist climate of the 1980s, among those Marxists who have taken the ‘reductionism versus empiricism’ dilemma seriously, most have rejected the Marxist paradigm in toto, as a theory which — by its very construction — leads to a deterministic, essentialist view of the social world and/or to authoritarian attitudes in politics.

Keywords

Institutional Structure Subject Position Social Formation Conceptual Tool Political Sphere 
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Notes

  1. 1.
    E. Laclau and C. Mouffe, Hegemony and Social Strategy: Towards a Radical Democratic Politics, London: Verso, 1985.Google Scholar
  2. 4.
    See S. F. Nadel, The Theory of Social Structure, Vol. I, London: Routledge, 1962, p. 1.Google Scholar
  3. 5.
    See L. Althusser, For Marx, London: Allen Lane, Penguin, 1969, pp. 183–90 and p. 251. It has to be admitted that it is not always easy to distinguish between conceptual framework (Gen. II) and substantive theory (Gen. III) in the sense that all statements contain both substantive and metatheoretical/methodological elements. However, depending on where the emphasis lies, a distinction can and must be made between theories whose predominant preoccupation is with how to look at the social world, and theories which try to tell us something we do not already know about its functioning and structure.Google Scholar
  4. 6.
    D. Lockwood, ‘Social Integration and System Integration’ in G. K. Zollschan and W. Hirsh (eds), Explorations in Social Change, London: Routledge, 1964. See also N. Mouzelis, ‘Social and System Integration: Some Reflections on a Fundamental Distinction’, British Journal of Sociology, Dec. 1974.Google Scholar
  5. 8.
    See on this point Stephen Savage, The Theories of Talcott Parsons: The Social Relations of Action, London: Macmillan, 1987.Google Scholar
  6. 9.
    For an elaboration of the distinction between institutional analysis and a ‘strategic conduct’ approach, see A. Giddens, The Constitution of Society, London: Polity, 1984, pp. 289 ff. From the perspective adopted here, Giddens’ distinction between institutional analysis and analysis in terms of strategic conduct is similar to Lockwood’s distinction between system and social integration. For Giddens, however, given that he uses the system/social integration dichotomy differently from Lockwood, the two dichotomies do not coincide. For a critical discussion of Giddens’ view of the concepts of social and system integration, see N. Mouzelis, ‘Restructuring Structuration Theory’, Sociological Review (forthcoming).Google Scholar
  7. 11.
    See, for instance, B. Moore, Social Origins of . Dictatorship and Democracy, Boston: Beacon Press, 1966;Google Scholar
  8. 11a.
    E. J. Hobsbawm, The Age of Revolution: Europe 1789–1848, London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1962;Google Scholar
  9. 11b.
    F. Braudel, The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean World in the Age of Philip II (2 vols), London: Fontana, 1973.Google Scholar
  10. 12.
    See, for instance, T. Parsons, Societies in Evolutionary and Comparative Perspectives, Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall, 1966;Google Scholar
  11. 12a.
    S. Eisenstadt, The Political Systems of Empires, Glencoe, Illinois: Free Press, 1965;Google Scholar
  12. 12b.
    N. Smelser, Social Change and the Industrial Revolution, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1959.Google Scholar
  13. 14.
    On the differentiation between State and royal household in Western Europe, see Otto Hintze, Staat und Verfassung, Gottingen, 1962, pp. 275–320.Google Scholar
  14. 22.
    Such an attempt can be seen, for instance, in Marx’s Grundirisse. One can see it as well in M. Mann’s The Sources of Social Power, Vol. 1, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986;Google Scholar
  15. 22a.
    and Giddens, A Contemporary Critique of Historic Materialism, Vol. 1, London: Macmillan, 1987,Google Scholar
  16. 22b.
    and The Nation-State and Violence: Vol. Two of a Contemporary Critique of Historic Materialism, London: Polity Press, 1985.Google Scholar
  17. 26.
    For the adoption of such a theoretical position in the study of third world capitalist countries cf. John Taylor, From Modernisation to Modes of Production: A Critique of the Sociologies of Development and Underdevelopment, London: Macmillan, 1979, pp. 132 ff. For a more specific application to Latin America cf. D. Portantiero, ‘Dominant Classes and Political Crisis’, Latin America Perspectives, Vol. 1, No. 3, 1974.Google Scholar
  18. 26a.
    For a somewhat different approach which also leads to an empiricist treatment of politics, cf. P. Hirst, ‘Economic Classes and Politics’ in A. Hunt (ed.), Class and Class Structure, London: Lawrence and Wishart, 1977;Google Scholar
  19. 26b.
    cf. also A. Cutler et al., Marx’s Capital and Capitalism Today, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. 1977.Google Scholar
  20. 27.
    See A. Przeworski, ‘The Ethical Materialism of John Roemer’, Politics and Society, Vol. 4, No. 3, 1982. p. 290.Google Scholar
  21. 30.
    Ernesto Laclau, Politics and Ideology in Marxist Theory (PIMT), London. 1977.Google Scholar
  22. 32.
    For a detailed analysis of such connections, see I. Balbus, Marxism and Domination, Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1982.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Nicos P. Mouzelis 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicos P. Mouzelis
    • 1
  1. 1.The London School of Economics and Political ScienceUK

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