Historical materialism is what is called a fashionable subject. The theory came into being fifty years ago, and for a time remained obscure and limited; but during the last six or seven years it has rapidly attained great fame and an extensive literature, which is daily increasing, has grown up around it. It is not my intention to write once again the account, already given many times, of the origin of this doctrine; nor to restate and criticise the now well-known passages in which Marx and Engels asserted the theory, nor the different views of its opponents, its supporters, its exponents, and its correctors and corruptors. My object is merely to submit to my colleagues some few remarks concerning the doctrine, taking it in the form in which it appears in a recent book by Professor Antonio Labriola, of the University of Rome. For many reasons, it does not come within my province to praise Labriola's book. But I cannot help saying as a needful explanation, that it appears to me to be the fullest and most adequate treatment of the question. The book is free from pedantry and learned tattle, whilst it shows in every line signs of the author's complete knowledge of all that has been written on the subject: a book, in short, which saves the annoyance of controversy with erroneous and exaggerated opinions, which in it appear as superseded. It has a grand opportunity in Italy, where the materialistic theory of history is known almost solely in the spurious form bestowed on it by an ingenious professor of economics, who even pretends to be its inventor.
This book challenges the widely-held view that Marxism is unable to deal adequately with environmental problems. Jonathan Hughes considers the nature of environmental problems, and the evaluative perspectives that may be brought to bear on them. He examines Marx s critique of Malthus, his method, and his materialism, interpreting the latter as a recognition of human dependence on nature. Central to the book s argument is an interpretation of the development of the productive forces which takes account of the differing ecological impacts of different productive technologies while remaining consistent with the normative and explanatory roles that this concept plays within Marx s theory. Turning finally to Marx s vision of a society founded on the communist principle to each according to his needs , the author concludes that the underlying notion of human need is one whose satisfaction presupposes only a modest and ecologically feasible expansion of productive output.
Release on 2016-04-29 | by Mark Rupert,Hazel Smith
Essays on Continuity and Change
Author: Mark Rupert,Hazel Smith
Category: Political Science
Now that Soviet style socialism has collapsed upon itself and liberal capitalism offers itself as the natural, necessary and absolute condition of human social life on a worldwide scale, this book insists that the potentially emancipatory resources of a renewed, and perhaps reconstructed, historical materialism are more relevant in today's world than ever before. Rather than viewing global capitalism as an eluctable natural force, these essays seek to show how a dialectic of power and resistance is at work in the contemporary global political economy, producing and contesting new realities and creating conditions in which new forms of collective self determination become thinkable and materially possible. It will be vital, topical reading for anyone interested in international relations, international political economy, sociology and political theory.
In this provocative and famous book, now substantially revised and with much new material, Stanley Aronowitz lays bare the fundamental logical problems in Marxist theory with respect to nature, gender and race relations, the concept of class, and historical time. Aronowitz has written a stunning book offering an approach towards a new way of thinking about these problems, a book which will be addressed by other Marxist scholars and by students of social and cultural theory in many disciplines.