The Process of Determination

Part of the Institute of Social Studies book series (ISDS, volume 3)


The concept of social totality has so far been portrayed as centred on economic practice as composed of articulated structures (the economic and others), and as essentially discontinuous in its internal relations. This last characterization needs further clarification. It stems from the concept of contradictions, which specify the relations of articulation and thus imply that these are both continuous, in the sense that related parts are conditions of one another’s existence, and discontinuous, in the sense that they also negate and conflict with one another. Because the latter aspect — with social classes as its ‘bearer’ — is basic to historical change, revolutionary or otherwise, it is for me the most important, hence the emphasis on the discontinuity of the internal relations of a totality.1


Class Action Social Formation Ruling Class Black Worker Royal Commission 
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© Martinus Nijhoff, The Hague, Netherlands 1978

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