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Introductory Conclusion

1. Among the book-length surveys, I recommend Karsz 1974 (excellent for placing the whole range of Althusser's writings in the context of his later emphasis on class struggle); Callinicos 1976 (excellent on structural causality, weak on and hostile to Althusser's concepts of philosophy, science, and ideology); Benton 1984 (a judicious overview of Structural Marxism with a good discussion of Althusser and his critics); and Elliott 1987 (solid account of Althusser's theory in light of his politics, but occasionally reducing the former to the latter). Among the critiques, Rancière 1974 remains worth reading, as do Hirst 1979 and A. Glucksmann 1978. E. P. Thompson 1978 is as uninformed as it is hostile, but it has achieved something of a cult status and thus a life of its own. See also Vincent et al. 1974. For a full bibliography of Althusser's publications, see Elliott 1987. [BACK]

2. For Derrida's reflections on Marxism, history, and Althusser, see Derrida 1981; for an attempt to integrate Marxism and deconstruction, see Ryan 1982. Rosalind Coward and John Ellis (1977) provide a first-rate synthesis of Althusserian, Lacanian, and semiological perspectives (from Barthes to Kristeva). Juliet Mitchell (1974) brings Althusser and Lacan to bear on the relationship between feminism and psychoanalysis; see also Barratt 1980. Callinicos 1982 contains an excellent account of Deleuze and Foucault from a perspective informed by Althusser. Pierre Vilar (1973), a member of Annales , has written a lengthy article on Althusser that I discuss in chapter 1, note 1; see also D'Amico 1973. From the camp of the Habermasians, attempts to assess Althusser have been disappointing: Schmidt 1981 is superficial; John Thompson 1984 is much broader and more detailed, but stubbornly obtuse with respect to the explanatory power of the concepts he is attempting to critique. Perry Anderson (1980)

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responds to E. P. Thompson's polemic against Althusser; see also Nield and Seed 1979 and Benton 1984. [BACK]

3. The literature on Western Marxism is overwhelming. As a very selective list for those seeking a comprehensive introduction to the major figures and currents, I recommend the following works: Jay 1984; P. Anderson 1976a; Howard and Klare 1972; Poster 1975 (an invaluable account of French developments); Stedman Jones et al. 1978; D. Harvey 1982; and Carnoy 1984. For classic Western Marxist interpretations of Marx and Marxism, see Lichtheim 1965; Avineri 1968; and Gouldner 1982. For an excellent Structural Marxist account, see Therborn 1976. [BACK]

4. For Althusser's increasing frustration with the Party bureaucracy throughout the seventies, see Althusser 1978a; see also Althusser 1978 and 1977. Althusser's letters on the events of May 1968 may be found in Macciocchi 1973. Althusser must be seen as seeking a "third way" on the question of party reform, opposing both the existing Stalinist organization, which subordinated mass initiative and participation to the interests of the Party apparatus, and the conversion of the PCF into a reformist, parliamentary party. Rancière 1974 and Elliott 1987 are valuable on Althusser's political evolution.

There was a nuanced opposition within the Althusserian camp between more Leninist and more Gramscian views expressed with respect to the elimination, in 1976, of the slogan "dictatorship of the proletariat" from party canon. Etienne Balibar (1977) argued against elimination on the grounds that, whatever its Stalinist perversions, the term focused political attention on the class nature of existing parliamentary democracy and on the problems of the transition to socialism—problems that, in Balibar's view, were being dangerously ignored by the PCF as it blindly pursued a strategy of alliance with the Socialists. Balibar's arguments are not superficial; they stress important differences between capitalist democracy, in which politics is controlled by the wealthy, and socialist democracy, in which the people would actually have power. Balibar is concerned, rightly enough, that the role of the state as an instrument of class struggle during the transitional period between capitalism and communism not be forgotten. The post-revolutionary state must not only smash the old elitist institutions but actively organize and promote new popular democratic forms. However, Balibar remains caught up in a Leninist view of state power and Lenin's untoward confidence in the capacity of the post-revolutionary state to resolve the problems of pre-revolutionary society. The potential authoritarian dangers of Balibar's faith in the primacy of revolution are foremost in the mind of Nicos Poulantzas (1978). In contrast to Balibar (and many other Althusserians), Poulantzas took a very critical stance toward the PCF. He was a strong defender of Eurocommunism and fully endorsed the rejection of the dictatorship of the proletariat. From a Gramscian perspective, Poulantzas was concerned with pre-revolutionary rather than post-revolutionary events and with ensuring the democratic nature of post-revolutionary society—preparing for democratic socialism through ideological and political struggles whose purpose is not merely to promote a revolutionary crisis but to extend and preserve existing political liberties as well.

The political differences between the Leninist and Gramscian orientations

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within the Structural Marxist camp with regard to Eurocommunism and reform within the PCF are outlined cogently in Benton 1984. A useful triangulation on Eurocommunism is obtained from Mandel 1978 (a Trotskyist critique); Claudin 1978 (a Left-Eurocommunist perspective); and Boggs 1982 (a post-Marxist account). For the French context and the PCF, see Ross 1982 and Jenson and Ross 1984. Debates within the PCF are surveyed in Kelly 1982 and Molina and Vargas 1978. For events of the eighties, see Ambler 1985; Cerney and Schain 1985; Ross and Jenson 1988; and Singer 1988. [BACK]

5. For critical discussions of the neo-liberals, see Callinicos 1988; Tucker 1980; and Levine 1988. For Rawls, see Buchanan 1982; for a persuasive critique of Habermas, see Roderick 1986. I discuss Foucault and Deleuze in chapter 4; see also Callinicos 1982; and Resch 1989. Stoianovich 1976 remains a perceptive critical introduction to the Annales school. The disparate approaches of anthropologists Victor Turner, who is interested in the disruptive gaps between functionally ordered symbolic systems, and Clifford Geertz, a Parsonian disciple defending the primacy and unity of the cultural-symbolic, are straightforwardly presented in their own collected essays (Geertz 1973; Turner 1974). Baudrillard may be sampled in his selected writings (Baudrillard 1988); see also Douglas Kellner's thoughtful study of Baudrillard (Kellner 1989). [BACK]

6. My thinking on postmodernism has been inspired by the seminal essays of Fredric Jameson (1984; 1984a; 1987) and by David Harvey's brilliant and comprehensive study (Harvey 1989). Both Jameson and Harvey focus on the political economy of postmodernity, and Harvey, in particular, does a thorough job of relating the cultural logic of postmodernism to the dissolution of national Fordist modes of production and the globalization of capitalism. For the inability of dissident postmodernism to comprehend its own existence, see Soja 1989 (and my review essay, Resch 1992). For cultural-aesthetic discussions of postmodern, see Eagleton 1986; Foster 1983; Huyssen 1986; Krauss 1985; McHale 1987; Owens 1980; and Ulmer 1985. [BACK]

7. The class position of the professional middle class-new petty bourgeoisie is best developed, in my opinion, in Erik Olin Wright's reformulation of the concept of social class (Wright 1985; see also Wright et al. 1989). Wright's work has been influenced by Poulantzas and by the "labor theory of exploitation" developed by John Roemer (1986; 1988). Unlike his fellow "analytical" Marxist, Jon Elster, Roemer has contributed positively to the development of Marxist social theory through the use of game theory and mathematical model building. However, his contribution remains limited by its ahistorical and individualist assumptions regarding rationality. Ultimately Roemer is unwilling or unable to build the historical-intransitive dimension into his models—neither the ideological complexity of social subjectivity and habitus nor the matrix effect of the structured whole on the effectivity of individual structures. The analytical Marxists oscillate between an interesting critique of Marxist concepts of history and a neo-positivist attempt to subordinate the science of history to philosophy, specifically to certain premises of empiricist philosophy of science, namely, nominalism and methodological individualism. This move may permit a certain radicalism; Roemer, for example, takes neo-positivist methods

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and attempts to turn them against conservatives. More representatively, Jon Elster (1985) uses methodological individualism and nominalist empiricism to attack Marxism and to defend a philosophical position virtually indistinguishable from neo-liberalism. For a critical discussion of analytical Marxism see Ware and Nielson 1989; Callinicos 1989; and Levine, Sober, and Wright 1987.

Poulantzas 1975 explains why the "new petty bourgeoisie" of professionals and managers should be viewed as an ally of capital, not the working class (see chapter 6, note 12). The alternative, post-Marxist concept of the "professional middle class" is indebted to the opposite notion, fundamentally wrongheaded in my view, that because professionals are not owners of the corporations they manage they are somehow opposed to capitalism and somehow undermining the power of the capitalist class that does own or effectively own these corporations. Ultimately, the autonomy of the professional middle class is posited in order to refute the Marxist view of economic determination and to justify the "end of ideology" ideology of post-industrial or post-capitalist society. This technocratic view of a "managerial revolution'' has a long history, but it is perhaps most succinctly stated in Gouldner 1979 and thoroughly discussed in Walker 1979, a collection of essays on the concept of the professional middle class. The illusion of professional middle-class independence and anti-capitalism are finally succumbing to reality, however; see Barbara Ehrenreich's stimulating account of the inner life of the American middle class during the eighties (Ehrenreich 1990). Despite her many profound insights, Ehrenreich still cannot (or will not) see capitalism as determining the struggle between liberals and conservatives within the professional middle classes, a struggle she stubbornly persists in viewing as autonomous. [BACK]

8. My views of the structural dynamics of perestroika have been informed by Post and Wright 1989; Lane 1990; Mandel 1989; Kerblay 1989; Lewin 1988; and Alec Nove 1983. Nove's pragmatic attempt to define a "feasible" market socialism that might avoid the mistakes of Bolshevik-type economies without abandoning the goal of socialism or leaping beyond the objective possibilities of the present conjuncture should be read in conjunction with Carens 1981 and Miller 1989. Nove's ideas have been criticized in Mandel 1986 and 1988. Nove replies to Mandel's first article in Nove 1987; see also Elson 198. [BACK]

9. The totalitarian school of Soviet studies has concerned itself almost exclusively with moral condemnation, body counts, and a concept of party power and oppression detached from any social cause or explanation. It was never much interested in the class forces at work in the Russian Revolution or in the popular class struggles and political difficulties that transformed Bolshevism from a dictatorship of the proletariat to a dictatorship over the proletariat. Even Trotsky's interpretation of the "revolution betrayed" tends to ignore class analysis in favor of an explanation based on the "evil genius" of Stalin and a totalitarian conception of party power. Structural Marxists offer a more complex explanation emphasizing first the Stalin deviation, which substituted the development of the productive forces for the development of popular democracy, and second the class struggles within the Soviet Union, which ended in the triumph of a new technocratic ruling class, the state bourgeoisie (see Althusser 1976, 78-93; and Bettelheim 1983; 1982; 1978; 1976). These efforts paral-

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leled those of revisionist Anglo-American scholars seeking finally to break free from the dogmas of totalitarianism. For some recent fruits of this revisionism, see Fitzpatrick 1982; Getty 1985; Viola 1987; and Kuromiya 1988. These works build, of course, on the monumental achievement of the original and long-isolated revisionist E. H. Carr, who has lucidly condensed the results of his ten-volume History of Soviet Russia in Carr 1979. [BACK]

10. My emphasis on the conjunction of realism and formalism in modernist culture is indebted to John Berger (1985), who argues brilliantly the thesis that cubism represents the truly original component of modernism and a new "syntax" for the modern experience. My distinction between realist modernism of the Left and the irrationalist and elitist movements of the Right may seem untenable at first, but I call the reader's attention to Peter Bürger's provocative attempt to define the avant-garde in terms of the social status and function of art (Bürger 1984) and John Willett's fine survey of the politics of modernism from 1917 to 1933 (Willett 1978) in support of my position. The politics of art cannot, in any case, be read off from formal criteria alone, a fact that postmodernists carefully avoid in their ahistorical condemnation of the failures of "high modernism" and their tendency to obscure profound differences in the social and political context of European art during the interwar years and the Cold War. For the aesthetic Right, see Jameson 1979; Kaplan 1986; and Herf 1984. And for the capitalist assimilation and domestication of modernism after World War II, see Guilbaut 1983 and Allen 1983. For a more inclusive conception of modernism than the one defended here, see Calinescu 1987; and for the sweeping changes in technology and culture that created new modes of understanding and experiencing time and space between 1880 and World War I, see Kern 1983. [BACK]

11. For the social and political context of the scientific revolution and its philosophical and religious consequences, the works of James R. Jacob and Margaret C. Jacob are innovative as well as enlightening; for a general survey of the historical process by which scientific knowledge became an integral part of Western culture and a convenient synthesis of their approach, see Margaret Jacob (1988). [BACK]

12. For useful accounts of Structuralism, see Hawkes 1977; Jameson 1972; Culler 1975; Coward and Ellis 1977; and Merquior 1986. For poststructuralism and the broader philosophical and literary context, see Anderson 1984; Dews 1987; Descombes 1980; Eagleton 1983; Lentricchia 1980; and Gasché 1986 (the best study of Derrida and his philosophical project). [BACK]

13. This is the fatal flaw of post-Marxists Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe's concept of "democratic revolution" (Laclau and Mouffe 1985). Laclau and Mouffe define political and ideological discourses as free-floating, autonomous systems unrelated to economic determination and class positions and defend a neo-Crocean view of history as the "story of liberty" driven by a desire for democracy inherent in human nature and independent of social determinations. The concept of "democratic revolution" is, for Laclau and Mouffe, a Sorelian myth that can and should be constructed "autonomously" by ideological and political means without reference to the economy or social classes. Such an irrationalist view of discourse is not only unable to explain why it is

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we have no democracy (in the only meaningful sense of the word: popular control over the means of production and its distribution) but is also unable to move beyond the level of postmodern populist sloganizing or even to begin to articulate the material conditions for an alternative vision. Populism, Laclau argues in an earlier book (Laclau 1977), is a "popular-democratic" discourse that pits the interests of "the people" against those of the "power bloc" without reference to concepts of class. However, because Laclau stubbornly rejects the notion that political practice is assigned its "relatively autonomous" place and function by the matrix effect of the mode of production (a position Laclau dismisses as "reductionism''), he cannot accept the fact that the categories of populist discourse are determined, in the last instance, by economic structures and relations. Populism is always irrationalist insofar as class struggle is never explicitly present in populist discourse but rather masked behind collective political categories such as "the people." But populist irrationalism may be grasped rationally insofar as populist discourse is an indirect effect of economic class determinations refracted through ideological and political structures.

Populisms, democratic or otherwise, are politically unstable (and dangerous) precisely because they lack the very grasp of economic determination and class power that Laclau and Mouffe seek to replace with vulgar pluralism, relativism, and individualism. As Ellen Meiksins Wood points out (Wood 1986), Laclau and Mouffe cannot tell us who, in particular, might want or need democracy, whether some kinds of people might want or need more—or different aspects—than others do, how a social force capable of bringing it about might come into being, or indeed why there should be any difficulty or conflict about it. That we need a new, hopeful vision of democratic socialism is undeniable; that we will achieve it by a post-Marxist, postmodern lobotomy performed on the critical faculty of social theory is ludicrous.

Laclau and Mouffe, along with Barry Hindess, Paul Hirst, and others, make up a post-Althusserian variant of post-Marxist postmodernism that has rejected Structural Marxist concepts of structural causality, relative autonomy, and social class in order to embrace political voluntarism and philosophical irrationalism (see my discussion of Hindess and Hirst in chapter 1). The most thorough-going critic of the post-Althusserians and their concept of democracy is Ellen Meiksins Wood (1986). For a brief, lucid, and devastating critique of representative democracy under capitalism, see Macpherson 1977 and 1973; see also the powerful arguments for socialism put forward by Levine (1988; and 1987); Miller 1990; and for equality put forward by Baker (1987). [BACK]

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