Open Access (free)
Kevin Harrison and Tony Boyd

Although Marxism and even anarchism are sometimes treated as if they are simply varieties of socialism, we consider that they have sufficiently distinctive characteristics to warrant separate treatment. Starting with Marxism, we examine Marx’s theories of history, economics and politics before discussing the controversies within Marx-inspired political organisations in the

in Understanding political ideas and movements
Robert Fine and Philip Spencer

3 Antisemitism, critical theory and the ambivalences of Marxism Citizens, let us think of the basic principle of the International: Solidarity. Only when we have established this life-giving principle on a sound basis among the numerous workers of all countries will we attain the great final goal which we have set ourselves. (Karl Marx – a speech given following a congress of the First International, 8

in Antisemitism and the left
A guide for A2 politics students
Series: Understandings
Authors: Kevin Harrison and Tony Boyd

In liberal democracies there is a belief that citizens ought to take an active interest in what is happening in the political world. Political debate in modern Western democracies is a complex and often rowdy affair. There are three fundamental political issues: 'politics', 'power' and 'justice', which feature in almost all political discussions and conflicts. The book assesses the degree to which the state and state sovereignty are disappearing in the modern world of 'globalised' politics, economics and culture and new international institutions. The main features of the nation and the problems of defining it are outlined: population, culture, history, language, religion, and race. Different types of democracy and their most important features are discussed. 'Freedom' is usually claimed to be the prime objective of political activity. The book discusses equality of human rights, distributional equality, equality before the law, the claims for group equality on the grounds of race, gender, class. Rights, obligations and citizenship are closely associated. Ideology is the driving force of political discourse. The book also discusses nationalism's growth and development over the last two centuries with particular reference to its main features and assumptions. It outlines the development of conservatism as a political ideology and movement in Britain during the last two centuries. An overview of liberalism, socialism, Marxism, anarchism, and Fascism follows. Environmentalism and feminism are also discussed. Finally, the book talks about how ideological change occurs and stresses the importance of rationality in politics.

Open Access (free)
Andrew Feenberg’s critical theory of technology

This is the first monograph devoted to the work of one of the foremost contemporary advocates of contemporary critical theory, Andrew Feenberg. It focuses on Feenberg’s central concept, technical politics, and explores his suggestion that democratising technology design is key to a strategic understanding of the process of civilisational change. In this way, it presents Feenberg’s intervention as the necessary bridge between various species of critical constructivism and wider visions of the kind of change that are urgently needed to move human society onto a more sustainable footing. The book describes the development of Feenberg’s thought out of the tradition of Marx and Marcuse, and presents critical analyses of his main ideas: the theory of formal bias, technology’s ambivalence, progressive rationalisation, and the theory of primary and secondary instrumentalisation. Technical politics identifies a limitation of Feenberg’s work associated with his attachment to critique, as the opposite pole to a negative kind of rationality (instrumentalism). It concludes by offering a utopian corrective to the theory that can provide a fuller account of the process of willed technological transformation and of the author’s own idea of a technologically authorised socialism.

From revolution to reform
David S. Bell

group and essential to activists, has had to seek private capital to keep going.3 Of the other satellite front organisations very little remains. Only the Confédération Générale des Travailleurs (CGT) is a force to be reckoned with but that trade union is also in a tense relationship with the Party hierarchy: if the CGT is to revive, it needs to free itself from the Party but the Party needs the CGT to prop up its own flagging influence. Third, the Communist Party had commandeered the cultural high ground of revolutionary Marxism and had imposed its own brand, Marxism

in The French party system
Open Access (free)
Kevin Harrison and Tony Boyd

essentially been an ideological wing of radical liberalism. To reiterate: it was nineteenth-century capitalist industrialisation that created the working class and socialism. From its very beginnings socialism was a many-faceted ideology, one that can be roughly divided into four main types, all of which have been influenced by idealist or ‘utopian’ socialism: social reformism or social democracy; Marxism or

in Understanding political ideas and movements
Open Access (free)
Uses and critiques of ‘civilisation’
Jeremy C.A. Smith

, Marxism and post-​colonial sociology. Through examination of paradigms that are positioned as alternatives, or are explicitly critical of contemporary civilisational analysis, the most salient criticisms are related to the modified version advocated here. Some short comments on how this takes place, and why, are necessary to show how the version of contemporary civilisational analysis that I elucidate in Chapter 4 is arrived at. 21 Civilisations debated 21 Critical perspectives on civilisational analysis When post-​colonial sociological responses are compared with

in Debating civilisations
Kevin Harrison and Tony Boyd

‘faithful’ into ‘correct’ ways of thought. ancien régime The political and social order that existed in France before the Revolution of 1789 Marxism and economic/class factors By the middle years of the nineteenth century industrialisation was transforming the economies, societies and the belief systems of the Western world. A new way of thinking about society

in Understanding political ideas and movements
Critique and utopia in Benita Parry’s thought
Laura Chrisman

). Parry’s concern with socialist eurovision has intensified since then, as is evident in her forthcoming article ‘Liberation Theory: Variations on Themes of Marxism and Modernity’. But if in 1987 she was content merely to identify a problem, now we find she is concerned to analyse the problem of the left’s non-engagement with colonialism, locating as crucial the ‘shift away from the political’ in European Marxism that began in the 1930s. However, Parry’s politics of hope and her analytic rigour prevent her from blanket denunciation. She gets at the problem of European

in Postcolonial contraventions
On the return of the Jewish question

Universalism has acted as a stimulus for Jewish emancipation, that is, for civil, political and social inclusion. It has also been a source of anti-Jewish prejudice up to and beyond the classic antisemitism of the modern period. While the experience of Jews is by no means unique in this respect, one of the peculiarities of the 'anti-Judaic' tradition has been to represent Jews in some important regard as the 'other' of the universal: as the personification either of a particularism opposed to the universal, or of a false universalism concealing Jewish self-interest. The former contrasts the particularism of the Jews to the universality of bourgeois civil society. The latter contrasts the bad universalism of the 'rootless cosmopolitan Jew' to the good universalism of whatever universal is advanced: nation, race or class. This book explores debates over Jewish emancipation within the eighteenth-century Enlightenment, contrasting the work of two leading protagonists of Jewish emancipation: Christian von Dohm and Moses Mendelssohn. It discusses the emancipatory power of Karl Marx's critique of Bruno Bauer's opposition to Jewish emancipation and endorsement of The Jewish Question. Marxist debates over the growth of anti-Semitism; Hannah Arendt's critique of three types of Jewish responsiveness--assimilationism, Zionism and cosmopolitanism-- to anti-Semitism; and the endeavours of a leading postwar critical theorist, Jurgen Habermas are also discussed. Finally, the book focuses its critique on left antizionists who threaten to reinstate the Jewish question when they identify Israel and Zionism as the enemies of universalism.